Don’t Forget to Feel It on the First!

February 1, 2018 — 7 Comments

This is your friendly reminder!

Feel It on the First!


Men too! Know your body. Be your own advocate. Doing a monthly self breast check will familiarize you with our own body. Check for any unusual lumps, bumps, dimples or changes. You just might save your own life!


Okay, lot’s going on in my head.

The reality of everything that my body has gone through and what is to come is apparently just starting to sink in. The hormone changes are not making anything any easier to deal with. My entire torso looks like it belongs to someone else. Yes, my tummy is gone and that is nice, I now have breast and that is amazing and the cancer is out of my body and that is the BEST news, but there are many changes that look and feel very strange. I am covered in scars with more to come. A large part of my torso is numb and that is taking some getting used to. I am in the middle of the process so I’m still not sure what I will look like when it is all over. I can not seem to sleep. The hot flashes are crazy right now so they have increased my medication. After the mastectomy my body has gone through some strange changes and I have the body odor of a teenage boy, or a construction worker, or both! Phase 2 and Phase 3 are yet to come and having more surgery sounds exhausting right now. I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it feels like the tunnel is very long.

I turned 50 and felt like I was at my best. Now at 51 I feel like I’m 91!

Monday, I met with a new OBGYN. I had a hysterectomy scheduled in March with my regular OBGYN, but after reading several post on the Facebook support group for DIEP flap surgery, I saw several women talking about combining Phase 2 of the DIEP surgery with their hysterectomy.

Feeling frustrated that the option of combining the two surgeries had not been suggested to me, I decided to check into that. I would need to find a new doctor that worked with my Plastic Surgeon within KU Med.

I am so glad that I checked into it! I discovered that KU has a Oncology OBGYN department (why had no one mentioned this to me?) with four female surgeons and they scheduled my appointment with Dr. Jewel. I loved her immediately. 

She made me feel so comfortable and answered all of my questions. I was feeling 90% certain that a hysterectomy was a good idea for me, but after meeting with her, I now feel 100%. AND….she will coordinate with my Plastic Surgeon to do the hysterectomy and Phase 2 together. This means one less recovery period and one less time under anesthesia.

I’m hoping this surgery happens in March, but know that it could be later due to scheduling conflicts.

Yesterday I had a vaginal sonogram as part of the pre-op. You’re welcome.

You have to drink 32 ounces of water one hour before the sonogram, then hold it! When receiving this information from the nurse, I opened up my eyes wide.

Me – “Are you serious? Has anyone ever not been able to hold it during the sonogram?”

Nurse laughing – “Thats never happened.”

Me laughing – ‘Well, there’s a first time for everything.”

I was fine. I guess that’s still never happened


Two weeks ago, I went in for an MRI on each knee.

Now it seems that I have a torn meniscus on EACH knee and a Bakers Cyst on the left knee. Apparently these cyst are common when you have a torn meniscus. Yep. Likely another surgery.

I’m not real sure how this happened, but I did fall down the deck steps carrying my granddaughter about a year and a half ago. I was wearing slippers and we were going in the back yard in the dark to look at the Harvest moon. I slipped on the second to the last step and I held her tight and landed hard on both knees on the concrete landing. Thank goodness she was fine but my knees did hurt pretty good, one more than the other. I iced them and took Advil. I didn’t see any need to go to the doctor. That is the only thing that I can think of where this could have happened. Who knows?

I have an appointment next week with the Orthopedic Surgeon. 


Walking and Yoga?

I took a three mile walk with a friend on Saturday afternoon. That was my first walk after surgery. It was a beautiful day and it felt great to be catching up with Becky and walking outside. My knees don’t hurt to walk on, but they do ache at night and when I bend them I have a sharp pain in each knee. Going up and down the stairs hurts sometimes, but not all the time. They crack and make lots of noises.

I didn’t’ think walking would hurt anything. I actually thought that it would be good for me. Saturday night I hardly slept at all due to the aching. So, no more walks until after my doctors appointment and find out exactly what the plan is.

Some yoga positions feel great while others feel not so great for my knees or the parts of my body affected by surgery. I’m just trying to do what feels best and avoid anything that doesn’t feel right.


My Sweet Friends

There are some really difficult things happening for some of my friends right now and I hate that they are going through so much. Cancer battles and the unexpected loss of a friend this week. It’s been a rough year for this group of friends.

I have a great support system with these girls as two of them were diagnosed with cancer a few months before me and they have both been so strong. We have been able to have very open conversations and laugh about everything as well as cry.

I hate that these friends are going through so many deeply emotional life events. They are a strong group and a kind group. They are a loyal group. They have all been friends for years and I am lucky to know them.

Prayers and good vibes for all of them please.


So, this post has been on my mind for a few days and each time I would sit down to write, it was hard to decide what to share and what to not share, and food pictures didn’t feel very important.

Thanks for reading and letting me share when I need to.

2018 Goals

Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
Fitbit 10,000 Daily Steps

“love the life you live, live the life you love”


7 responses to Don’t Forget to Feel It on the First!

  1. February 4, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Nancy! Hope you are having a great birthday! 🙂

    Happy to be able to have both surgeries the same day. Thank goodness!!

    We need another coffee date soon! I have your surgery on my calendar.


  2. February 4, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Betty Sue! These knees are really messing with me! I had rotator cuff surgery in 2013 and I love my surgeon. He also does knees so I will be curious to see what he says at my appointment on Tuesday! Fingers crossed it’s not a super long ordeal.

    Have a great week Betty Sue!

  3. February 4, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    So happy to hear you are a 10 year survivor!! I could not agree more. The whole team at KU has been amazing. I feel very lucky to have such a great team of doctors, nurses taking care of me and answering all of my questions!

  4. What a blessing to be able to combine some procedures!!! And you love the new OBGYN…even better!

    You are doing amazing! Walking through this difficult time with grace and a good attitude! Keep sharing, we (I) am here for ya as much as possible through a blog! And you definitely have my prayers!

  5. Julie…you will get to the other side of this! I’m so thrilled for you that you can do both of those surgeries at once. Mine is still March 2nd.
    I was sorry to hear about what your friends are going through. I know you care so much about them! It’s kind of strange you have the exact knee issue I have!!! It will have to wait too!
    Prayers & Blessings!

  6. Julie, I’ve had both knees replaced, a year apart. Tried to avoid as long as possible by getting some sort of lubricant shots for probably six years. We skied a lot and I did aerobics for years and racket ball too. But finally the knees were “creaking” and it was bone on bone so I had to have them taken care of. I can give you the name of my doctor as he is considered one of the best in JOCO. Don’t wait too long to do something.

  7. Julie-I am a 10 year cervical cancer survivor. My Dr at KU is Julia Chapman. I would throw myself under a bus for her! You will get amazing care!

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