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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mind games

It is April. 

To many, April means springtime, flowers, sunshine. Summer is right around the corner!  For me, it is these things too, but I have an added event...my six month checkup with my oncologist, Dr. P. 

I am going on 3 years since my diagnosis in June 2010.  It was in April 2010 that I had my first mammograms that were declared "all clear." Ironic now that it just happens to be the same month of my biannual checkup. 

In the past, Kaiser had called me in advance to schedule this appointment. This past Monday, we were a week into the month and I still had not heard, so I called. They were able to get me in today. Goody. 

I realized this morning what a head trip this gives me, even if I don't recognize it at first. My workouts since making the appointment have been tough. I was supposed to run 12 miles on Wednesday. I knew that I wasn't going to get that far, since I had taken a week off to nurse a shin injury a week or two before. I had done 10 miles on the dreadmill  treadmill the week before. But it had been awhile since I had attempted 10 outside. So I was aiming for 10-11 miles.  The first hour was fine, but it was a hilly route and I lost energy around mile 6.5. I ended up jog/walking the last few miles. Grr. I have a hilly half marathon coming up at the end of the month-I NEED to be able to do this. Anyway, yesterday was a bootcamp class at the gym. The regular teacher was on vacation and there was a sub. It was a tough workout. I stuck it out, but man. I just did not have that feeling of inner strength that I usually do. Today was supposed to be an easy 4 mile run. Because I cut my mileage short earlier in the week, I did 5. The first 3 miles were great, but the last 2 were hard. I kept my overall pace under 10:00, but still. It should not have been that hard.

As I was taking Jean-Marc to preschool, the teachers all asked me the typical greeting question, "How are you doing?" I had to admit I felt kind of tired, and blah.  The problem is, when I feel kind of tired and blah, that little voice in my head pipes up and taunts me with...."Psst....this isn't normal for you. Maybe its cancer!" 

Why can't I just have an off day?

Then it hit me. I've been feeling this way since I made that oncology appointment on Monday. On paper, I should be feeling fantastic. I had a great 5k race last Sunday and ran my fastest time ever-I even scored a top 250 medal! I'm excited about my upcoming race plans-I'm getting into triathalon and am motivated. I've been doing great on my nutrition this week, I even weighed 3 pounds less today than I did a week ago! I've been getting 7+ hours of sleep each night. Spiritually, I've been spending more time in prayer and devotion and reaping the benefits of drawing near to my Abba.  Yet despite all of these positives, I've got this oppressive "thing" hanging over my head.

Now that I recognize it for what it is...spiritual attack, I will address it head on. Yes, I'm going to see Dr. P today. Big deal. We'll talk about how to get my body to stop producing estrogen, and he'll do his exam. I'll let him know I'm getting into triathalons, too. (He told me awhile back that he does them.) It will all be fine.  Not exactly like visiting an old friend, but not a meeting with the grim reaper, either. 

I'll look at a silver lining of it too. At least I was able to get my appointment within a few days. Imagine if I had this appointment hanging over my head for several weeks! Getting it in a few days is a blessing!   

I'll get this appointment behind me for another six months, and tomorrow I will KILL my planned run of sub 9:00 speed intervals around Discovery Lake! 

If anyone out there wants to pray for me, you still can. I need all of the help I can get to deflect these attacks. 

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