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.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What a difference a year makes

My mom and I took the two older kids to the San Diego County Fair yesterday.

I can't help but reflect on the differences between this year and last. Last year, I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was in that scary place of knowing I had a terrible disease, but not knowing exactly how bad it was. I knew I had major surgery and chemo in my near future, but didn't know when I would be able to actively start treatment.  This year, I am through the main part of my treatment. I am hoping we can have the fun summer that we had planned last year.  I want us to get outside, be active, and live life to its fullest.

My motto at the Fair last summer was carpe diem. Isabelle and I rode an elephant.  I bought Olivier a deep fried twinkie. Heck, I even took a bite of it! Anything we wanted to do, we did.  That attitude held this year as well. We ate (or attempted to eat) huge grilled turkey legs. I bought Olivier a new hat and a hair feather for Isabelle. We topped it off with a Weird Al Yankovic concert.  It was a lot of fun.  I did not miss that omnipresent cloud that was over my head last year one bit.

I want to live each day, each moment to its fullest. That is what a brush with death is supposed to do to you, right?

But I have a confession to make--I am finding it very difficult to do that. I have noticed that I have been having a hard time being "present" for any sustained period of time.  I often have other thoughts going on in my head, from scary to mundane.  For instance: what am I going to make for lunch or dinner; what are we doing next; where do I have to take the kids later; did I take my Tamoxifen today?; how am I doing nutritionally?; is the cancer going to come back?

If its not other thoughts distracting me, it is a feeling of being fuzzy headed. I don't know if it is an after-effect of chemotherapy. Sort of like being in a fog.

Maybe it has nothing to do with cancer. Maybe it is just a product of living in the society and age that we do.

I'm not sure how to overcome these obstacles to my stated goal of living life to its fullest. Its frustrating because I need to cherish each moment.  Not to be morbid, but you just don't know how many days you have. That goes for anyone, cancer or not.  It feels like a waste to be either mentally elsewhere or in a fog.

At least I am aware of it, right?

Living for the moment at the Fair!

1 comment:

  1. When you get a diagnosis of cancer you look at life differently. I also want to live life to the fullest, make more intentional choices, not take things for granted. I don't think it's unusual to have your thoughts going in several different directions, mine do too.(I am also getting close to the time of year I was diagnosised so my thoughts are going back to what was going on last year) I am hoping with time, my thoughts about cancer will start to fade in the background but I don't think you ever look at things the same way.Is that a good thing? (maybe)