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, May 25, 2011

I'm still here!

It has been awhile since my last post. In some ways, that is a good thing, right? Nothing new to report on the "cancer" side of life.  In fact, I'm even starting to think of myself as someone who "had" cancer. (As opposed to someone "with" cancer.)  Yes.  It is something that I had in the past. I dealt with it, did the whole nine yards of treatment (double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation), and have made dietary and lifestyle changes to keep it in my past.

I'm delving more and more into learning about the link between nutrition and cancer, as well as other diseases. I'm reading "The China Study" by Dr. T Colin Cambell.  After a career of studying nutrition and disease, he advocates a whole foods, plant based diet. There are others who disagree with him, and to try to read their competing scientific reasons, and Dr. Cambell's rebuttals makes my head spin.  In the end, I guess I just have to do the best with the information that I have. I'm still going to try for 80% plant based diet, with about half of those raw.  I'm not swearing off animal products at this point. But those that I do eat will be organic.  I can easily go a few days with no animal products at all, but my family balks at it. I'm not 100% convinced about the healthfulness of a vegan diet at this point, especially for my kids who will pick over protein sources if they don't like them. Regardless of what I do, I know to listen to what my body is telling me and adjust things accordingly.

I am still enjoying my exercise about 6 times a week. In an ideal world, I would run 3 times a week doing one long run outside (7+ miles), one tempo run on the treadmill at the gym (20-30 minutes at a challenging pace) and an interval run.  I'd also do 2 circuit training workouts. That is what helped me drop the weight last year, and I've been doing it a little bit more. There really is nothing else like it for me to notice changes in my body and fitness level. But I have to be careful about lymphedema and the weight training. In the ideal world, I'd also do at least 1 workout of cardio cross training at the gym on the elliptical and stationary bike.  But the world is still not ideal-imagine that!  I'm getting 6 workouts in a week, but they aren't exactly this mix of workouts. That's okay. I'm feeling strong and good.

I spent part of last weekend camping with Olivier. It was just the two of us up at a San Diego-Imperial Council's campground in the Santa Ysabel mountains. There was a day of shooting sports on Saturday, with camping on Friday. We brought his little 2 man tent and camped Friday night. It was a lot of fun to spend some one on one time with him.  It had been a long time since I had camped, and it was the first time it was just Olivier and I.  It was fun being back into a scouting atmosphere and seeing other adult leaders that I had not seen in awhile. I've been to that campsite before, but this time I was in much better shape. It was so nice to be able to go up "cardiac hill" like it was nothing! In fact, I challenged Olivier to run up it, but he didn't take me up on it.  Being in better shape reaps all kinds of rewards that I had not considered before-I'm able to get more out of life with less boundaries.  Being "done" with cancer means that I can get back into scouting more, and I'm really pleased to be able to do so!

Jean-Marc has been sick since last Friday, which has interfered with my plans. He's got a nasty flu/cold that started last Friday. He threw up once on Sunday.  Up until today (Wednesday), he has been lethargic with no appetite. All he wants is to have me sit on the couch with him and watch whatever it is that he wants to watch. I've had my fill of "The Wiggles" and "Thomas the Tank Engine."  Jean-Marc just sits there moaning and mumbling, "I'm crying, mom.  I'm crying, mom.  My tummy hurts." Once on Sunday night (or maybe it was Monday), he even said, "Pray for me."

Isabelle woke up yesterday displaying similar symptoms to Jean-Marc. No appetite, and lethargy. I kept her home from school and took her along with Jean-Marc and I to the pediatrician. We ruled out ear infections and strep throat. It's just some virus that we have to ride out.  She threw up in the car on the way home. Luckily, I was able to pull over and she jumped out and got most of it into the gutter. TMI?

The thing is, we have tickets for a family trip on Friday! We MUST be healthy! We are taking the kids up to San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend.  Olivier and Isabelle had read a couple of books about kids who lived on Alcatraz and struck up a correspondence relationship with Al Capone, an inmate. They loved the books, "Al Capone Does My Shirts" and "Al Capone Shines My Shoes."  We found a great package deal online and have roundtrip airline tickets, 3 nights in a hotel (2 rooms) and a rental car. We've already paid for it, so we're going!  We are going to spend Saturday at Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf. On Sunday, we are going to rent bikes and bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.  There is a vegan restaurant that I'd like to visit called Cafe Gratitude. I'm not sure we'll be able to make it. It is near the mission, so perhaps we can check the mission out at the same time. Isabelle has been studying California history this year in the 4th grade, and missions make up a big part of that. We'll see.

We also are hoping to close escrow on our old house in the next few days.  I am so grateful to God that we got some great buyers, a good price, and a fast escrow in this market!

Anyway, I'm here. I'm doing good. I've just been busy....living! Thank you Jesus!

1 comment:

  1. Praising God for your successes. xoxo So happy you're busy living :) xoxo