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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The tickle

Wouldn't you know it? I make it through six rounds of chemo, over 6 weeks of radiation without any secondary health issues. Sure, I had the typical side effects. But I didn't catch any colds are flus the whole time. Now I'm going on a week of an annoying cough and cold. It isn't quite in my lungs, but manifests itself as an irritating tickle in the back of my throat.  Some in my family have dubbed it the "Osgood tickle." It doesn't keep me from functioning, but it does make me feel like my head is a little bit in a fog. The worst part is that it keeps me up at night. I cough and cough, but nothing gets rid of it at times. My burns are healing to the point where there is not a lot of pain anymore. It's just the skin that keeps falling off as it dies. I may even try wearing my foobies for the first time in weeks. We'll see.

Life has been pretty busy. Eric has been travelling on business for the past couple of weeks. It really helps having another adult around to share the kid duties with. Being the only one to make sure the dog gets walked, kids get to school and their activities, fed, etc., is hard. Adding less sleep and less than optimal health on top of it, and it has been a challenging week.  On the plus side, my sister and her kids are visiting from New Mexico. It has been fun to meet my new niece, Kate, as well as hang out with my nephews. It's great to see all of the cousins play together!

I'm trying to keep up with my workouts, despite it all.  On Monday, I went to the gym with my mom and sister.  It was fun to work out with her.  We pushed each other a bit on the treadmill, which was great. I took the day off yesterday, since I was busy all morning at bible study. Today, I was back at it with a Jillian DVD, Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. I don't know if I'll make it to the gym tomorrow. Jean-Marc has come down with a cold as well, and I can't really put him into the babysitting room with a runny nose. I'll figure something out to do at home, I suppose.

On the nutrition side, I've been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. I'm not going vegetarian, but I am trying to think of meat as a small side dish, rather than the main course. I also am trying to have more of my veggies raw. I want to get into making my own smoothies and juices. I've been spending $12 a week at the farmer's market for these great green smoothies.  Even the kids will drink them. But I'd love to make my own. I'm investigating buying either a supercharged blender or a juicer. I joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) last month. Every Wednesday, I pick up a box of fresh, organic, locally grown produce. It usually has a lot of greens: 2 kinds of lettuce; kale; collard greens; and other greens I've never tried. On Monday, I had a mystery green left over that I knew I'd never finish eating it as a salad green by today. I tried making my own green smoothie by putting it in a blender, along with some parsley, apple and lime juice. It wasn't too bad! But my poor, cheap Hamilton Beach blender really had a hard time doing it. I definitely need to upgrade!

Mom and I have been getting excited about the 3-Day. It is daunting on so many levels. The physical challenge of it all is one.  We definitely are going to have to go on some training walks where we get used to walking so long. They suggest a 20 minute mile. I tried it on a treadmill, and it seems very slow. But I need to keep in mind I'll be doing that for about 6 hours for 3 days in a row! It's a marathon, not a sprint. We are going to participate in several training walks that the 3-Day will sponsor in our area as the big weekend approaches. It will be nice to connect with other 3-Day walkers, too!

We also are trying to figure out how to raise the money. I'm so proud of my mom!  She went to the general manager of the 24 Hour Fitness where we work out and asked him to have the club sponsor us! He didn't say they would, but he didn't turn her down, either.  We are planning a couple of fundraising events as well. Hopefully, we can enjoy the fundraising process as well. It never is easy asking for money, especially when the economy is what it has been.  I won't make another pitch here, but I will keep the little "donation" widget on this page so if you feel so moved, you can help us out.


  1. Yes, it feels like being a single parent - Bob is away so much of the time that my house is a constant mess and I feel so disorganized and unrested - sleep is better when he's home. Good luck with the fundraiser!

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