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, October 1, 2011

Audition Day

About a week ago, I got an e-mail from the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. They were looking for individuals who were interested in being cast for commercials for the 2012 3-Day for the Cure. In particular, they were looking for survivors with children, survivors who had recently completed treatment, or husbands of survivors who were going to be walking.

I replied, since I fit 2 of the 3 categories. I sent them a quick, one-paragraph background about myself, along with the picture that is at the right of this blog.

A couple days later, I learned that they wanted me to appear in person for an "audition."  That took place this morning. I wasn't nervous. If this happens, it will be fun. If it doesn't, its no big deal. The meeting was in La Jolla, about 40 minutes away. They had scheduled potential cast members every 10 minutes all morning. My slot was at 10:50 a.m.  I did this on purpose, so I would have time to get in a short training walk this morning!

I was in a bit of a quandary about what to wear. I didn't want to look like I had dressed up.  I wanted to look like myself. Casual, not dressy. In the end, I wore the pink San Diego Charger T-shirt I got last fall from the American Cancer Society when I went to the Charger game and participated in the NFL's "Crucial Catch" awareness program. It says "SURVIVOR" on the back.  Along with some black capri pants, I thought that was a good look.

When I walked into the building, I saw a group of 3 women. Two of the three were in pink. I figured I was in the right place. It was pretty amazing. I walked up to them, and it was like we had known each other forever. The two women in pink were also survivors.  One woman had already done her audition, the other was scheduled for after me. As we talked, I learned she was a middle school P.E. teacher and an almost 5 year survivor. We talked about how epidemic breast cancer seems to be. This lady even had a student IN MIDDLE SCHOOL diagnosed with breast cancer! 

Anyway, as people came out of the audition room, she would ask them if they cried. Most of them said yes. I thought to myself...uh-oh. I don't *think* I will lose it in a room full of strangers. But maybe? One woman walked out with her daughter, who wore a shirt that said, "Fight Like a Girl."  Hmm.  Maybe I should have brought my kids?  As it was, I had a couple of pictures of them.

As I went into the room, the guy who came to get me drew my attention to a paper taped to the wall with 4 phrases on them. I was supposed to pick one, memorize it, and be ready to say it during my audition. I chose a short one: "You can do this."   The room was dark. There was a screen with a small stool in front of it that was for me. There were lights, and a camera set up on a table. There was the camera man, then two women at the table he was at. Closer to me on another stool was a lady who was going to ask me questions.

She asked me why I was doing the 3 Day.  I was able to talk about how last year I was in chemo and made doing the 3 Day a goal of mine. She dug deeper. But why that? There are lots of things you could do. I confessed it was the physical challenge. Especially at a time when I was being weakened physically.  She asked if I had kids. I talked about how hard the process was on them, how they are survivors too.  The closest I got to crying was when I told them about when we told the kids about my diagnosis. Isabelle had donated her hair to "Locks of Love" a few months before. The first thing she said after she found out about my diagnosis was, "I want my hair to go to you."  They thought that showed what a sensitive girl she was.  We talked a bit more about how cancer affected our family.  They asked me if I was excited about the 3 Day. I really am.  Training has been very time consuming, but being around other survivors this morning was really neat. To imagine being around thousands at the same time all weekend is going to be really awesome.

Then they asked me to say my chosen line into the camera.

"You can do this."

Then she said, "Say it like you are talking just to one person."

"You can do this."

Then they asked me to say, "I will never give up."

Easy! "I will never give up."

It was a fun experience. We'll see if anything comes of it. If I am chosen, I'll have to go up to LA in a couple weeks to shoot the commercial. If not, I'll save some gas!


  1. Oh my, you truly are a warrior!!!
    I hope they pick you:)