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, April 30, 2011

Down to the wire

Summer is on its way! The weather today in San Diego was absolutely gorgeous.  The kids have less than 30 days of school left, and summer plans are in the making. One thing I want to do this summer is take a mommy and me swim class with Jean-Marc to get him used to the water. To do that, I need to figure out my bathing suit situation.

I've loved Land's End clothing for some time. I've always liked the casual look they  have. More recently, I've appreciated the brand because they consider a "small" in the size 6-8 range, so that works for me. There is something really encouraging about knowing I'm putting size small on! Maybe it was because it was a pair of Land's End shorts in size 14 that were too tight two years ago that pushed me over the edge to say "enough is enough!"

Anyway, I was pleased to find out from a friend that many of their swimsuits come with mastectomy pockets on the top.  Did you know that my foobies are waterproof?  Yep, I can get them wet in the pool or the ocean and all I need to do is wash them in the shower afterwards.  As long as there is a little pocket in the suit, I can slip my foobies in and no one will be the wiser. This was great news, since I had purchased 2 new swimsuits last spring before my diagnosis. Because they allow you to mix and match, if I could find a top that matched some of the bottoms I already had, I wouldn't have to buy an entire new suit. As luck would have it, they did!  I went ahead and ordered the top only in a cute navy with white polka dot that matches some bottoms I have. I also got a whole new suit that is more athletic looking in pink. (I couldn't just get ONE item!)

The suits came today. I love getting stuff in the mail that I've ordered! Especially fun stuff like clothes. The pink suit looks pretty good. I was a teeny bit disappointed that it doesn't look like I could just wear the top without the foobies in it because it has a molded cup. But it will look okay anyway.  I would like to have the option of just going without "breasts" altogether, but I'll have to find another suit that doesn't have a molded cup.  That will be my "flat" suit.

Anyway, the polka dot top looks cute, and matches the bottoms perfectly.  The only problem is that it has an underwire. I was told to stay away from underwires because it impedes the flow of lymphatic fluid.  So there is the chance that it may not work with my lymphedema. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it. I haven't even tried it on, so maybe it won't fit too tightly. We'll see. If it fits too tight, I'll have to return it. If it isn't too tight, I may keep it and see what happens. Any of you survivors out there have any experience with underwires?

Regardless of the suit, I'm really looking forward to the summer time.  This summer is going to be SO MUCH BETTER than last summer! Last summer was such a detour for us. We went from all of these plans to be active and enjoy the time together to the drama of surgery, recovery, and chemotherapy. It was no fun for anyone. This summer I'll be training for the 3 Day in November, going to France on a family vacation, taking the kids to the beach, celebrating birthdays, and making the most out of every day that God has given me. I can't wait!


  1. Both of us will have a much better summer this year :) last year I had just finished radiation and had my hysterectomy/oopherectomy and barely any hair...this year so much more fun to be had :) xoxo

  2. I too am looking forward to a great summer! I've spent the last 2 summers either with chemo or radiation. Thanks for the info on the swimsuits. I just have a prosthetic for one side, and wasn't sure what I was going to do. I will need something high-necked though, as my scar goes up fairly high and is easily visible if I'm not careful.
    Take care! Tina