About this blog

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A big step

Today I took a couple of big steps. At least they were for me.

First, I took a Zumba class for the first time since my surgery last July. I used to love going and doing it. It made me feel like I did when I was a kid and took dance classes. Having taken dance classes for several years, I'm pretty good at picking up coreography. So I caught onto Zumba fairly fast. After I was physically able after surgery, I didn't take classes just because I never wanted to wait in the long line. Women start lining up 45 minutes before the class starts! I just don't want to waste that much time not exercising at the gym.  Today, I was on the ellipitcal, and had done about 25 of my 30 minute program. The Zumba line was pretty short, and there were only 10 minutes left before it was going to start. I was in!  I didn't have as much to shake up on top like I used to, but whatever. It was still fun, and a great way to switch up the workout!

The other step was even bigger.

I went out in public with NO wig, NO hat, NO scarf. Just me and my super short hair. I took the kids to see the new "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie. I was a little nervous about doing it. What if I saw someone I knew? Would I be mistaken for a man?  But at some point, I knew I was going to have to just go for it. Some women wear their hair really short on purpose. I put on some earrings, filled in my eyebrows with liner, put some gel in the hair I do have and went out.

It's funny. The kids didn't even notice until I mentioned it afterwards. They are used to seeing me "as is" around the house, so it was no big deal. I felt a little awkward when I thought about it. I felt REALLY awkward as we were leaving the theater and I saw my reflection in the window of my car.  But whatever. It is what it is. In a way, it was kind of liberating not to hide under a hat or head covering. Gray hairs and all!

As it turned out, I did see someone I knew. A friend from church. She has the distinction of being the first to see me "au naturale."  I don't know if she was shocked or not, I know I would be if I were her. I usually wear the wig on Sundays!

I'm not sure when I'll do it again. Probably next week for my 5k for sure. We'll see how I feel each day. Here is how I looked:


  1. You are a beautiful woman both inside and out! Cancer has a way of stripping away a lot of frivolous baggage and allowing us to be who we really are! I find that liberating! You have allowed yourself to be vulnerable and brave at the same time.Bravo Tonya, Bravo!

  2. Actually, I think it looks REALLY cute! I know it's not your preferred style but it's actually pretty cool. I like it!

  3. Bravo! And I think you look super-cute with your short hair!