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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Changing changes

Our hot water heater went out last weekend. Of course, Eric was out of town at the time and I had to deal with it over the weekend until he got back. A repair company came in and installed a temporary unit so we could dry out some drywall in the garage and decide what kind of heater we wanted to replace it with. The temporary heater didn't keep water hot for very long, so it wasn't until Tuesday we were able to get a new permanent heater.

What does this mundane household drama have to do with breast cancer?

Because of the water situation, I decided that after my workout at the gym on Monday morning, I would just take a towel and use the showers at the gym. No biggie, I've done that before-especially if I had been swimming laps.

I've never been self-conscious in a women's locker room about changing out in the open. Most people do, and we're all women. Whatever. Even being overweight, I would just do it quickly and be done with it. But after I got there, I realized that I didn't really feel comfortable being bare chested in front of strangers, even if it was for just a couple seconds.  I don't know if people take notice that I'm uber-flat. Especially at the gym, when I actually like being unhindered by floppy breasts while I work out. But my bare chest still looks like a freak show. I've got huge jagged horizontal scars running from side to side. I can only imagine the reaction it would raise. I don't blame anyone for it...it would be one of those instinctual things that you couldn't control. I mean, I still do it to myself at times when I see myself in the mirror! How could I blame others for having the same reaction?

I handled the situation by bringing my fresh T-shirt into the shower area with me and changing it in the shower.  (I chose one of my 3 Day team shirts that says "Survivor" on the sleeve just in case anyone had any questions.)  Then I wrapped a towel around myself and made it out to the locker area and got dressed the rest of the way. In the end, there weren't that many ladies there, and I probably could have just changed in the open. But still....there was that never before felt element of self-consciousness that I was able to avoid.

It wasn't an earth shattering event. But it did give me pause to reflect on how some things that I took for granted "BC" will forever be different, even the simple things like getting dressed in a locker room!

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