Life Lately

Hey there, friends! If you came to the blog today looking for organization or home decor or blogging ideas, I apologize that you’ll probably be disappointed. (But I promise that I’ll be back next week with lots of fun projects!) It’s been a little while since I’ve done a life/health update post, and since there have been some significant things going on behind the scenes around here lately, I figured that it was about time.

Abby Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

Over three years ago now, I talked about the fact that I, along with my mom and sister, am a carrier of the BRCA1 genetic mutation, which makes us very prone to breast and ovarian cancer. You can read our full story here.

I’ve known about the gene since I was 20, and I knew it would mean that I would have to have some preventative surgeries sometime down the road. Two years ago when I turned 30, we knew we were done having kids, and since my grandmother was just 33 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, I decided it was time to have a preventative double mastectomy to greatly reduce my risk. You can read about my surgery and recovery in this post.

Though my chance of getting breast cancer is now extremely small, I have continued to see high risk doctors and specialists to monitor my risk of ovarian cancer. Every 6 months I would have a few tests run and would go to see one (or more) of the doctors on my team to make sure everything was looking good.

Every 6 months, though, we would get the reports back from the tests, and my numbers would move ever so slightly in the wrong direction. To be clear, none of the many knowledgeable, highly-qualified doctors that I meet with thinks that I have cancer. There are many different factors that go into these numbers, and they could mean absolutely nothing. But there is still a (very small) chance that they could mean something.

Abby Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

So every 6 months for the past few years, I have watched those numbers go up and up and up. This past time when they went up again, my doctors agreed that I should start having the tests done every 3 months instead of every 6 months. And that was kind of the last straw for me.

I know that I have a gene that makes me very, very prone to cancer.

I know that several women in my family have gotten cancer at a very young age, and that I am approaching the age that my grandmother was when she was first diagnosed with cancer.

I know that for a few years now, my numbers have been going in the wrong direction. 

And it’s stressful. And it scares me. And every 6 months when we would get my test results back and the numbers had gone up again, I would think about what it would be like for my boys to grow up without their mother. I know that seems dramatic, but it’s where my mind would go.

And so rather than have to do that every 3 months, I started talking with my doctors about options. Initially, I wasn’t planning to have the surgery to reduce my risk of ovarian cancer until I was 35– about 2 1/2 years from now. There are hormonal implications and all sorts of other potential side effects that go along with the surgery, so the recommendation is typically to wait until 35.

But because of all of the factors listed above, because I don’t want to have to go through another few years of less-than-ideal test results, I began asking my doctors if it would make a significant difference over the long term to have surgery now rather than wait a few more years. They all agreed that there would be no significant difference, so we decided to go ahead and schedule surgery for March.

I know it’s not the path that everyone would choose. I know that I probably don’t have cancer and would probably be fine to wait another few years. But I am confident that this is the best personal choice for me, and that for my own sanity and peace of mind, it’s better to go ahead with it.

Abby Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

I’m not going to lie and say I’ve been totally calm and brave throughout this whole process. In fact, even though it’s what I wanted and I initiated the discussion, for a few days after I found out I would be having surgery sooner rather than later, I felt like I shut down. I couldn’t bring myself to do blog projects or go places or do much work around the house. I was kind of down in the dumps and not very much fun to be around.

But then on one of those days when I was feeling all mopey and sorry for myself, out of nowhere a part of Esther 4:14 popped into my head, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

If you’re not familiar with the story, Queen Esther has been asked to do a big thing, something that has the potential to end her life but also has the potential to save her entire people. She’s scared, but her cousin asks her this challenging question: What if she had become queen, had been brought to her position for this exact purpose? (Spoiler alert: She saves her people and her life is spared. Yay!)

Now I know that my having to have surgery seriously pales in comparison to what Esther was asked to do, but at those times when I find myself wishing that I was just “normal” and didn’t have to deal with all of this genetic stuff, it is such a good reminder to me that this gene may be a mutation, but it is not a mistake. I believe that God created every fiber of my being, BRCA1 included, so even if it’s scary, even if I don’t understand how or why, He can use it for good. And he’s smarter than me, so I’m okay with that. 🙂

I also know that God loves me, and He wants His very best for me. I’m confident in that. So if that includes genetic mutations and surgeries and recoveries, I know there’s a reason, there’s a purpose, and that He has things to teach me in the process. So though it may not be how I would have written my own story, I know that the story will be so much better with Him as the author. And though I may still feel nervous and scared because of so many unknowns, I’m also excited to see what the future holds.

Abby Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

So for now I’m going to work on cramming in as many projects as possible between now and the end of March. And we’re in the process of figuring out what things will look like while I’m recovering and not able to do much. Hopefully we’ll be able to work ahead and not even miss a beat. But if things around here are a little quieter than usual, this would be why. 🙂

So that’s life lately. 2017 is already turning out quite differently than what I had expected, but I think it’s going to be a great year nonetheless!

If you’ve missed the other parts of my BRCA story, you can catch up in these posts:

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: My Story

Real Life: A Health Update

Final Thoughts Before My (1st) Surgery

Life Lately (2nd Surgery) – You’re here!

Signing Off for Now (2nd Surgery)

Post-Surgery Update (And Ramblings About Things I’ve Learned 😉

Have a wonderful weekend!

364 Comments

  1. May God be with you and your family through this unknown time. I think it’s brave and beautiful of you to share your story, and I pray that you remain healthy and strong!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet girl! <3

      ~Abby =)

      1. Susan Kirby says:

        Sorry to read of your BRCA journey. As a word of encouragement, I had my ovaries removed prophylacticly a couple of years ago with a tiny incision through my belly button. Outpatient surgery and absolutely NO down time for recovery. Of course I am twice you age, but at the time I was caring for my wheelchair ridden Mother. That required a lot of lifting and I was able to do everything we needed to do. Being thrown into menopause will be your biggest challenge but is manageable and you will do fine!!!

        1. justagirlabby says:

          Truly appreciate your encouragement, Susan! Thank you! Have a wonderful week! <3

          ~Abby =)

          1. Frances Baker says:

            Abby, You are fulling God’s purpose for yourself. You are helping people in ways that you just can’t imagine. If you felt it in your heart to have the surgery earlier than planned, then that was our precious Lord speaking to you, follow your heart, my sweet girl, take your time and get the rest and care that you so richly deserve. You will be in all our hearts and prayers, and don’t worry about us lol, we will be fine as long as you get better. Have a wonderful week.

      2. I was just 32 when I had to have a total hysterectomy and am now turning 59. It was the best decision of my life and I have not regretted it for an instant. I experienced absolutely no health or other related problems of any sort then or later and for me it was like having my appendix out. I pray you will have the same experience.

        1. justagirlabby says:

          Thanks so much for the encouragement, Fioni! I truly appreciate it! <3

          ~Abby =)

    2. I wish you the best in the upcoming months. I enjoy reading your stories and free projects. Stay well and may God bless

  2. I commend you for being proactive! What a scary process for you. I’m glad you’re walking alongside Christ through it all. Thanks for sharing.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Emily! Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Wow! I am in awe of women who can just take charge like that and make the scary decoys that need to be made. I remember when Angelina Jolie first came out with her story and wondering if I would make the same decision and like you ( and her!), I am sure that I would. I have seen my mom die of cancer (not a heriditaty/genetic one) and I would do anything not to have my kids go though that.
    You are one strong lady and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom, Sharon! Thank you so much for your encouraging words! <3

      ~Abby =)

  4. suzi whitford says:

    Oh dear I’m in tears over here!

    You can do this, with God’s help He will give you the strength you need. His body was broken so we could live, and you’re following in His footsteps for your little ones.

    Hugs and hugs and hugs!
    Suzi

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much for your sweet words, friend! Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Sending you love ? and big hugs Abby! As the daughter of a mother who is currently battling a genetic/heredity cancer, I understand the fears. I can be a scary and sometimes lonely place.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Heather! Hugs and prayers to you and your mom!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts…truly edifying for,the body of Christ and a privilege to lift you and your family up in prayer. Gid’s plan will prevail, and as you said, it is better than any we could have for ourselves.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Cindy! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Cathy Baker says:

    I appreciate your transparency, Abby. I’m thankful there are ways to detect the gene and it sounds like you made the wisest decision for yourself/family. Surrounding you in prayer!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for your sweet words, Cathy! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Ingrid Beukers says:

    You are so brave! I wish everything will go well!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Ingrid! Have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Sarah | The Teacher's Wife says:

    Abby, thanks so much for sharing your journey with your readers. I will certainly be praying for you and your entire family as you look ahead to this surgery – that God would give you the grace you need to endure this next step and that your faith would continue to deepen as He carries you through. You are such a shining light for him!! Sending my love and prayers!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Sarah! That really means a lot! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Terryn Winfield says:

    Abby, you are so strong! I am sure you didn’t come to that decision lightly. I can’t imagine what it feels like to think about you not being with your boys. I have 6 children and worry all the time about leaving them, even though I shouldn’t. It is so hard being a mama. I will be praying for you and your sweet family, for sure. Thank you for always being so real. <3

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are so right– being a mama is a tough job! Bless you and your 6 little ones! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  11. Carrie Willard says:

    I love Esther and the whole story too. You have an amazing attitude. I had to remind myself after a health crisis a couple of years ago that it’s normal and okay to grieve the loss of normal, and God understands that. There is a “time to cry”. Anger, fear and sadness are all part of that. Please allow yourself to feel all the feelings and pour out your heart to the one who comforts us in our tribulations. And thanks for being brave enough to share your story!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for those encouraging and wise words, Carrie! I hope all is well now with your health! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  12. Teri Sortzi says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a breast cancer survivor. It is a diagnosis that is frightening to say the least.. I will pray for you and your little family!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad to hear that you have beaten cancer, Teri! Thank you so much for your prayers!

      ~Abby =)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you , Sarah! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  13. You are so strong Abby and I know God will lead you through this surgery and the road ahead. Cast your cares on Him and rest in the assurance that He’s the one in control!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Sarah! You are so right! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  14. You are a remarkable young woman. I will be praying for you, Donnie and your sweet boys. Praying that He will use you and this post to touch another woman’s life. Thank you for being willing to share your story ❤

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Susan! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Brittany Wise says:

    You deserve to feel relief and have this surgery! I’m so happy that you are proactive about it (and the boys have to be too!)…. I’m wishing you a peaceful recovery. You can do this!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Brittany!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  16. I wish you and your family all the best and a speedy recovery from surgery. You can do this! And good on you for taking care of your health and making decisions to assure that you are around for yourself and your family in the future. If you amass two months worth of blog posts you will be smiling when it comes to organizing life and having time to recuperate.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So true, Ari! 🙂 Thanks so much for the encouragement! Have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I’ll be watching your progress, Abby. I had one ovary removed 2.5 years ago because of a cyst. About six months ago we found a cyst on my remaining ovary. The doctor recommended surgery, but I didn’t want to go into early menopause at 39, so I am taking meds to reduce the size of the cyst. So far it’s working, but there’s no guarantee. Honestly, I’m just trying to get to 40. I wish you well and hope everything goes smoothly.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh so sorry that you’ve had to go through all of this, Elizabeth! Praying that you are able to make it a while longer. Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  18. Abby, you are a brave and strong woman! We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! Hope you guys are doing well! Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Maury!

      ~Abby =)

  19. Lisa @peekoutsidethebox says:

    I wish you the best of luck! Cancer is a very scary thing. Even without cancer, I think about what would happen to my daughter without me around so I understand your fear. Take care!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Funny what all changes when you become a mom, right?! Those kiddos are so very special! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Lisa!

      ~Abby =)

  20. Good for you! I would have made the same decision you did! Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Andres! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  21. Sending you prayers, hugs, and love your way Abby! <3 <3 <3

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Ashley! Have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  22. Meg @ Green With Decor says:

    Oh Abby, thoughts and prayers headed your way!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, friend! Have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  23. I am so glad that I found my way to your blog. You are a beautiful person inside and out so I was not really surprised to find out that you are also a Christian. I will keep you in my prayers. You can do all things thru Christ…God Bless.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Pat! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  24. Hi Abby . I am sorry you are going through this. I lost a lovely Mother in law & sisterin law to ovarian cancer & Im fearful for my daughter. It is a very brave decision to have elective surgery but you are young & have to think of your children.
    I wish you a speedy recovery. Look on it as a time to catch up on all those books you meant to read.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your MIL and SIL, Shirley! Cancer is the worst. Prayers for your daughter and hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  25. Katie Jones says:

    Thank you for sharing this Abby. It is a great reminder that you never know what another person is going through, and to always be kind and reserve judgment! I will keep you in my prayers.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet girl! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  26. Lots and lots of hugs and love being sent your way from Canada! xo

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Lidia! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  27. Christene Holder says:

    I’m praying for you Abby! I’ve read your story and each time you have an update I can’t believe how brave you are! It’s definitely a scary topic but you are strong. God will be with you and right by your side.

    >> Christene

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much for your sweet words, Christene! They really mean so much! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  28. Rita C. at Panoply says:

    Abby, I am 110% behind you and your decision process in advocating for yourself! The medical protocol of waiting between testing, only to experience the trajectory results you have, would leave me wanting to act on those results too. I have been on the receiving end of that type situation and, looking back, I would have advocataed sooner for myself, knowing what I know now. May God bless yours and your family’s path, and the hands that work to keep your body healthy.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Rita! That means a lot! Hope you have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  29. Just wanted to say how amazing you are! What a blessing you are to so many readers, and who knows, maybe your transparent testimony will be the nudge that someone needs to go see their doctor and make the best choices for their life too. Thanks for always being so real in your blogging!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging words, Katy! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  30. Bless you, sweet girl! God and His angels are all around you. Thank you for sharing – I would worry if I didn’t hear from you! Sending prayers, love and hugs…and a kiss on your forehead.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Meg! You are the sweetest!! <3

      ~Abby =)

  31. Leslie @ Lamberts Lately says:

    Oh Abby – I’ll be praying for you in the coming weeks. I know this can be scary, but you’ve got this! I’ve always been concerned that the BRCA gene might run in my family too – my maternal grandmother had breast cancer at an early age, and my mother has had a few scares. She’s never been tested though (and my grandmother passed away before the testing was around). Who was the first in your family to have the test?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      My mom’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33 and died at 35, so when my mom was diagnosed at age 43 (she’s fine now :), they tested her for the gene. And then when she had it, my sister and I were then tested as well. It would have been 2004 when we were tested, so it was a fairly new thing back then and I know some people were having trouble getting insurance to cover it. I know the test is a lot more prevalent now, so it should be much easier to get if you decide you want to go that route. Hugs to you, sweet girl!

      ~Abby =)

  32. Thank you so much for your transparency Abby I know you sorry has touched many. I will be praying for God’s healing arms to wrap around you for a fast recovery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Alli! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  33. Oh Abby, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having all this health worry. I hope now you’ve made your proactive decision it makes you feel happier and more in control. Sending love and prayers your way for your best possible health and peace of mind. Thank you for sharing xxx

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet Emma! I hope you are doing well! Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  34. Thanks for sharing this update, Abby. It’s inspiring to see how you are educating yourself, working with your healthcare team, and making courageous decisions for your health. Wishing you the very best in the coming months!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for your sweet words, Tiffany! Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  35. You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your journey. You and family are in my prayers!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for the prayers, Briana! Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  36. Abby, I can’t imagine how hard this decision was for you. Thank you for sharing this with us because your readers
    care for you and we will be backing you up with prayer power. You should make sure you take the time you need to heal
    and don’t be rushing back to work. We will still be here no matter how long it takes for you.
    Be great for you to pop in and just say Hi once in awhile. Maybe Brittany can do that for you.
    You have always been a brave girl so you will be up for it.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are so sweet, Barbara! Thank you so much for the encouragement! I’m sure Brittany will be on top of it! 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  37. Abby, you are now in my prayers. My son and husband both have genetic mutations. It made it almost impossible to have a baby. I know in my heart that you will be fine. The Lord doesn’t give us knowledge unless it is for our own good. I would also like to thank you for how much I have learned from your book. We have struggled getting our blog up and running because we had to deal with a little bout of kidney cancer my husband had in the fall. God is good. He has been Cancer FREE since his October 7 surgery. I couldn’t lose him after 30 years of marriage. You will be fine. We will all be praying and prayer works. Bless you…

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, LuAnn, I’m so thrilled to hear that your husband is now cancer free! And congratulations on 30 years of marriage– that is incredible! Thank you so much for your prayers!

      ~Abby =)

  38. Thank you so much for sharing your story, which certainly will be a help and support to others.

    You’ve clearly made a big and difficult decision. As someone who is uncomfortable with uncertaintly, I would’ve made exactly the same decision.

    Best wishes, and I look forward to reading about your recovery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Amy! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  39. Hi Abby,
    What a difficult time. You are being so strong and brave. Hang in there – do what you need to do. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Neena! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  40. Tiff | 18thAvenueMom says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Abby. This was much needed today. I recently received an abnormal PET scan result, and have been facing those same fears about my own two little boys, so I know how terrifying it can be. But the Lord has a plan in all of this. Like you said, He knit together every single fiber of our beings, and He knew exactly what He was doing. Hold fast to Deuteronomy 20:3-4 “Do not be faint hearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before the enemy, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight against your enemies, to save you.” This battle is the Lord’s, and He’s got you safely in His hands. I’ll be praying for you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, sweet girl. Praying for you as well! Those test results can certainly be scary. Thank you so much for the encouragement! Hugs!!

      ~Abby =)

  41. Thank you for sharing. Sending prayers and positive thoughts to you and your family. May God grant you continued strength and courage throughout this process.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Mirna!! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  42. Sahvana Stapleton says:

    Wow Abby! You are so strong, thank you for sharing. I would be a mess! Being a mom just changes the way we think, and prioritize things doesn’t it?? I would opt for the surgery too. My thoughts and prayers will be with you for a speedy recovery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Sahvana! Yes, it’s amazing how becoming a mom changes you, right?! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  43. Lecy | A Simpler Grace says:

    Oh, Abby, I’m so sorry to hear these tests haven’t come back favorable but given the circumstances, I would be making the same decision. I’ll be covering you and your family in prayer as you prepare for your surgery and will pray that you have a full and speedy recovery. God bless you guys! <3.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet girl! <3 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  44. Wishing you the best of luck and sending prayers for a quick recovery! <3 <3

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Michelle! Have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  45. You are such an inspiration to so many. Keeping you & your men in my prayers for a quick and speedy recovery. You never know what the future holds, and I’m sure that yours is bright. 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Heather– that means a lot! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  46. Thank you for sharing Abby! I wish you good luck and very-very quick recovery!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Nadia! <3

      ~Abby =)

  47. Thank you Abby for sharing something so personal and scary for you. You are brave and I know God will get you through it. I had to have a partial hysterectomy when I was 38 and know what it’s like to face surgery that was not exactly the way you thought things would go. But my surgery went fine and I recovered rather quickly. That has been several years ago and although hormones are sometimes challenging to stabilize. It can be done. The upside is that not having a period anymore is awesome. I wish you the very best and pray that you have a super quick recovery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So sorry that you had to go through all of that, Carolyn! It is encouraging to hear that it can be managed and that there are upsides to this whole thing! 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  48. Beth Anne says:

    Oh Abby, praying for you! Living with the unknown has to be so tough. Proud of you for making such a brave decision, and feeling grateful for genetic testing and preventative measures (even though I am sure they totally stink…) because we need to have you around for a LONG time!

    Thanks for being so honest and brave!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, BA!! Hugs to you guys! <3

      ~Abby =)

  49. Praying for you, Abby! Praying for the Lord’s peace and assurance. I love how you encourage yourself with Scripture. Keep on giving your burdens to the Lord.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Julie!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  50. Hi Abby, the women in my family have gone through similar choices with another genetic condition that causes endometrial, ovarian, bowel and other cancers. I feel grateful to live in a time when we have access to health care that can provide genetic testing and the chance to head off this disease before it can even start. Even 30/40 years ago our fate would have been different.

    Best wishes for your surgery and for peace of mind once you can put this behind you. :))

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh so sorry to hear that you all have had to face so much, Danielle. I totally agree with you– so thankful for all of the medical advances and technology that allow for screening and prevention! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  51. Elizabeth says:

    This post hits close to home. When my mom was 44, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had chemo and radiation and a double mastectomy. A few years later, it came back in her lympnodes. She fought again. And a few years later it came back in her lungs, and then doctors said there was nothing they could do. She passed away when I was 18. Her mother also had breast cancer and died before my parents were even married. Needless to say, I am TERRIFIED of the same thing happening to me and leaving behind my young son. In 2010, I had the BRCA test and it came back negative. I was SHOCKED. Then just last year, I saw a genetic councilor and did it again, but this time tested for EVERYTHING and it came back negative. I was shocked again. But I don’t just leave it at that. I’m 32 and going to start getting mammograms in 2 years and I’ve already had a MRI done. Anything I can do, I will do to not leave my family behind all too early. I would even have preventive surgery if all those tests didn’t come back negative (and still might, but it’s not as high of a priority right now). So I fully support you and know you are making the right decision for you and your family!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh Elizabeth, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Cancer really is the worst. 🙁 I am so glad that you were able to avoid BRCA. Sounds like you got that particular gene from your dad, which is really a blessing! Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  52. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Abby. You’re very brave, and you know what’s best for you. This will be behind you before you know it.;)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Shar! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  53. I totally know what u are going through, I had a full hysterectomy which included removal of both my ovaries when I was 30 , just turned 30 and not long had by second and last child. It was hard and it’s hard to describe what u go through emotionally so u are so brave to be so open. I have not looked back and love being free of the worry and have great health. It is a challenge managing the menopausal symptoms sometimes but with a good specialist u should will be fine. To be honest Abby for me it was the loss of my perceived womanhood that I struggled with, u do grieve so allow that to happen. But don’t regret it, it’s the best decision to make . All my love and thoughts go out to you, reach out if you ever want to talk about it.❤❤

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh Tania, I am so sorry that you have had to go through all of that. Thank you so much for being willing to share your story and your wisdom. Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  54. Barb Sturrock says:

    My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing your story, if just one person takes the initiative to have her genes tested and as a result manages to keep herself from falling prey to this horrible disease you will have more than served God’s purpose.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Barb! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  55. Your faith inspires me. Thank you for sharing your experience. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sweet family.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your prayers, Kim! Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  56. I admire your courage……wishing you nothing but continuous strength on your journey xo

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Robyn! <3

      ~Abby =)

  57. Abby, I had an abdominal hysterectomy last September. The hystersisters.Com site was very helpful and is full of supportive women.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Ooh I had not found that site yet. Thank you so much for the recommendation– I will definitely check it out. Hugs to you, Dayna!!

      ~Abby =)

  58. Wow. I am somewhat new to your blog and didn’t know this about you. Such a blessing you have had your children though. Thank you for sharing.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Holly! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  59. Not dramatic at all, Abby. Maybe this IS the purpose? You have such a great base of followers…you very well could inspire someone with your story to get an annual exam or to be tested themselves for the mutation. I don’t think it would be reaching at all to say that by using your platform, you could be helping save someone else. Best of luck and prayers for a speedy recovery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much for your encouraging words, Lyndsi! They really mean so much! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  60. I’ll be praying for you, Abby! I’m adding you to my prayer journal right now. xoxo

    ~Sarah

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Sarah! I appreciate it! Hope you have a wonderful weekend with your crew!

      ~Abby =)

  61. Abby, thank you for sharing your story. I always read your articles whenever I received your emails. So I consider you as my cyber friend even though you don’t know me (yet :). I agree with what Katie Jones said above. Sending you lots of love and prayers all the way from Malaysia. You will be alright and you are healthy.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Erina! I’m grateful that the internet can bring us all together even though we may live so far apart! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  62. Jenn-yourstrulyjenn says:

    Abby,
    You have prayed about your decision and discussed it with your family and made the right choice for your family. Be confident in that choice and know that God will guide your surgeons and be with you throughout your recovery. Personally I would have a hard time thinking about what is going on in my body year after year and I too would want to be proactive. Thanks for sharing your story with us. It might make someone else’s decision easier. I pray that the time leading up to the surgery will be productive and peaceful for you and your family.
    Jenn

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Jenn! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  63. It sounds like you’ve done everything you can do in making this decision. Prayed about it, researched it, etc. I’m proud of you (don’t even know you IRL), but it couldn’t have been an easy choice. I’ll be praying for you, in your time leading up to the surgery, during and after, while you recover. I wish I could make some meals and bring them over for you and your family post-surgery. Thanks for sharing with your readers so we can be praying for you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words and your prayers, Kathy! They really mean a lot! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  64. Thanks for sharing your story. Life isn’t always about decorating and organizing. Most of the time it’s about living life that isn’t always easy. I’m so glad that you were born in an age where this test was possible and proactive treatment is an option. None the less surgery is scary so I will be praying for you to have peace about your decision, a very successful procedure and a very speedy recovery. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So true, Lynn! Thank you so much for your prayers! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  65. I commend you for thinking of your children’s lives over your own. You are a dear mother! I also commend you for trusting in the Lord. He will carry you. When we keep our eyes focused on him as you are doing now, he will carry you. He did carry me. Thank you for sharing your health issues with us. That may help many people who are facing similar problems. God Bless you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Cheryl! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  66. Wow Abby, I’m sorry that you have had to go through all of this. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your faith in the midst of the storm. I will be praying for you and your family as you approach the surgery date.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your prayers and sweet words, Sandy! Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  67. Thank you for sharing your story. I just recently found your blog and will definitely go back and read your previous posts on the subject. Best wishes for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. My MIL just had a mastectomy this week after being diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time. She has a new oncologist and will be doing the genetic testing. She has no daughters, but it does make me concerned for my daughter.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, saying prayers for your MIL as she recovers! That is tough stuff. One positive thing about the BRCA stuff is that it doesn’t skip a generation. So if your MIL has it but your husband doesn’t, your daughter won’t have it. My mother’s brother was tested and didn’t have the gene, so his kids didn’t need to be tested for it. Hopefully that will be the case with your daughter as well. Hugs to you, Jen!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Good point. We’ll take it one test at a time. 🙂

  68. Candy Walsh says:

    Abby~Wow! You have no idea how many women’s lives you may have just impacted and possibly saved by being strong and brace enough to share your story. I’m so glad you’re listening to your instincts and relying on your faith. God will carry you they. I’m not sure if you’re talking about a hysterectomy, but I had to have a complete hysto at 44 yrs old and go on disability retirement not long after. I don’t have the gene that you carry, I simply started out with severe endometriosis that would not go away even after my hysto. This has left me with 4 autoimmune chronic pain diseases that are all incurable and I’m having my 11th surgery in 10 years in two weeks.
    I guess my point is I never gave up on my faith and I know God has a reason for all of this, just as he has for you.
    I will be praying for you and I know that you do just fine. And thank you ?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh Candy, I am so sorry that you have had to go through so much! I am praying for you as you approach yet another surgery! Thank you so much for your encouraging words– hugs!!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Candy Walsh says:

        Abby,
        I have to totally apologize, I’ve been in serious pity party mode for a while. My comment was completely intended to lift you up and give you strength and know that YOU CAN DO THIS. I did not mean to turn it around and make it about my medical issues by any means.
        But thank you for your prayers and graciousness.
        Blessings and Hugs,
        Candy

  69. Abby , I also have BRCA 1 mutation, which I found out after I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer at age 39yrs. I had double mastectomy, reconstruction, chemo, then had my ovaries & fallopian tubes removed & radiation , all in a 9 month period of time . I never regret for a minute removing my ovaries & f. tubes Some doctors said I should wait for a few years, but that never sat well with me. I take a hormone blocker now daily, I have osteopenia , & mild arm lymphdema., but 6 1/2 years later , I am happy & healthy & watching my 2 boys grow up. God bless you , you have made the right decision & you will do amazing . Sending you positive & healing thoughts .

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh Ruth, I am so sorry that you have had to go through all that! Thank you so much for sharing your story and for the encouragement that it really is possible to be happy and healthy (and there for our kiddos!) after all of these surgeries. Hugs to you!

      ~Abby =)

  70. My prayers are with you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Angie!!

      ~Abby =)

  71. Valerie | One Happy Housewife says:

    I loved reading this post, and like you, am convinced that though we may not see it at the time, God has a reason for everything! You and your beautiful family will be in my prayers!! Stay strong!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Valerie!! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  72. Little Glass Jar says:

    Abby, you are so brave and I will be thinking of you as you go through this journey! Sending so many prayers and positive thoughts your way girl 🙂 You got this!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet girl!! <3 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  73. Abby!! My sweet beautiful friend. I’m in tears! I look up to you in so many ways and am so sorry you have to go through this. You and your darling family will be in my prayers and just remember that you could take a year off and all of your readers/friends would still be here anxiously awaiting your return. Sending a huge hug your way! ❤❤❤

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest, my friend! Thank you so much for your kind words– they are greatly appreciated! Hope you and your crew have a wonderful weekend! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  74. Abby watching you overcome your fear with faith is such a beautiful testimony to your faith walk with Jesus! You are a true inspiration to me and so many other people around you and I hope you know that so many of us will be praying for you and your family ! “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind. ” 2Timothy 1:7
    Prayers and blessings to you,
    Christie ??

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Love that verse! Thank you so much for the powerful reminder, Christie! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  75. Rome Aguila says:

    Thank youfor sharing Abby. Like Esther in the story, dont let fear eat your faith. Keep the faith that God will never let any sickness near you. And ofcourse I will pray with you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and the prayers! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  76. May God bless you, dearest Abby. Your sweet, honest voice from your blog, newsletter, and Instagram, where I just learned of your decision to move forward, are a generous blessing to all of us who follow you. My hope is that you don’t worry about us- your loyal reader base- we will be here. May God’s infinite love surround and heal you and your family, beginning right now, so that you know in your heart that the art of extreme self-care is all you really have to do. You have given us enough to go on for a lifetime.May all peace be yours, Susan

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging words, Susan! They truly mean so much! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  77. you are brave, strong & beautiful. praying His peace guards your heart & mind in Christ Jesus & that your surgery/recovery is successful. ??❤️

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Sarah! <3 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  78. You are so brave to share! Thinking of you and praying for you. Xoxo

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Jennifer!! <3 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  79. Sending lots of prayers. It will be fine. God will be with you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Monica! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  80. Proverbs 22:3

    how very wise, courageous and brave. Your family have a very special person in there lives!

    I Hope and pray all goes well I. The coming months

    Xx

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Jolene! <3

      ~Abby =)

  81. Ruth Robbins says:

    I’m a 3 year cancer survivor – you’ve got this 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yay! So glad to year that you’ve beaten it and are doing well, Ruth! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

      ~Abby =)

  82. Brittany McVey says:

    Oh sweet sister,
    You are so brave. You are also loved by this community of bloggers & readers alike. I admire your tenacity to trust God even in the midst of what may seem like a very dark valley. I’m praying that you would continue to serve God in this season trusting that he’s doing a new thing.

    Blessings!
    “”Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:18-19‬ ‭

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words and verse! They really mean a lot! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Brittany!

      ~Abby =)

  83. Prayers are with you and your family. I do believe everything happens for a reason and your faith will carry you through. I wish you peace of mind between now and March. A successful surgery in March. A speedy recovery. xo

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Bev! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  84. What incredible comments!

    I respect you so much as a mom and wife and for putting Jesus first in your family. Thank you for sharing. My prayers for you are for peace and courage as you face surgery day!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Caroline!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  85. Hi Abby, three years ago, at the age of 39, I had a hysterectomy because it was discovered our family was a carrier of the Lynch Syndrome MSH6 gene mutation. My sister’s cancer alerted everyone in our large family to this gene mutation and so many of us have taken the step to have a hysterectomy. I am so thankful for having the knowledge of this gene and it allowed me to choose to be proactive – a choice my sister Danielle didn’t have. For me personally, it has brought such peace of mind and I no longer live with a deep sense of fear. I hope it brings you the same peace of mind – I am almost certain it will! I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery…

    P.S – I was pleasantly surprised by the stages of the recovery and I am a real baby where pain is concerned, so this is really saying something.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, Claire! I am thankful for the medical and advancements and technology that allow us to be proactive! I am also a baby when it comes to pain, so it’s good to know that it’s not all that bad, lol! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  86. Hi, Abby. Hoping everything goes well. Such hard decisions. My mom died of ovarian cancer, and I always wonder if there is a way to monitor it as a preventative measure. I had a doctor who used to give me yearly ultrasounds to check, but my new doctor doesn’t believe any of the preventative tests are reliable, so has done nothing. Will continue thinking of you and your family.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It is a tough call with the monitoring for ovarian! Your doctor is right that the tests aren’t incredibly reliable. There are a lot of false positives and a lot of times it’s hard to detect in the early stages, so you can end up in a situation like mine, where there is lots of stress and worry, and it could all be nothing. But if it ends up being something, then I’ll be glad I did all of the monitoring. So it really can be a catch 22! Ugh! I told my docs they need to invent a “pee on a stick” test for ovarian cancer like we have for pregnancy– it would make things so much easier, lol! Hugs to you, Lauren!

      ~Abby =)

  87. Amanda - Life at Cloverhill says:

    Oh Abby! What a weight to carry around with you all these years. I hope everything goes well with the surgery. You’ve got this! Best of luck and we’ll all be thinking of you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  88. Carrie at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home says:

    Abby, you are a strong and brave woman! I’m praying for extra love and peace to surround you now that you’ve made the decision — and especially as you prepare your family, home and blog for the time when you’ll be recovering. You can do this!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet friend!! <3

      ~Abby =)

  89. Hi Abby, thank you for sharing all your personal stories. I believe you are a strong woman and a true inspiration for many of us. I hope your surgery goes well, and your recovery good and quick. Keep up with your amazing work and keep positive thoughts in your mind. You are so lucky to have an amazing family like yours to support you in everything. We will be praying for you from Greece dear. You will be fine, you’ll see!!
    Sending love and hugs and prayers!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Eleni! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  90. Abby- Your courage in this decision and to just be yourself inspire me. Know I am with you in prayer. God’s got this.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Lisa!! <3

      ~Abby =)

  91. Hi, Abby! Thanks so much for your comment. I wish there were a pee on a stick test! Ovarian cancer is so scary since there are no really good preventative tests/measures.

    I will be thinking of you — you are going through a lot, but are so brave. That’s great that you have a good head on your shoulders and are taking preventative steps and aren’t just putting your head in the sand.

  92. Abby, I’m new to your blog but already feel a kinship. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts…both scary and hopeful…by doing so you have like Esther helped “your people”. I too have a strong family history of breast cancer (mother, 3 aunts, 3 cousins) and just celebrated my first year anniversary of completing breast cancer treatment and it’s been 10 years since treatment for endometrial cancer. Always having those thoughts of when is it going to strike, how will I handle it, what happens to my family in the back of your mind can be stressful but you have shown such grace, courage, honesty and faith that I know you will get through this next chapter in strong fashion. As a dear friend told me about handling these life situations: “you have this and God has you” I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Wishing you peaceful days in the weeks ahead.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and for your words of encouragement! Congratulations on hitting the one year mark! I pray that you will be happy and healthy far, far into the future!!

      ~Abby =)

  93. Abby, I applaud you for sharing your story because you never know who or how you may impact the lives of others. My mother passed away from ovarian cancer when she was 57. I was a young mother of three at the time, and this was far and away one of the most impactful events I had experienced. I feel as though I have been making deals with God ever since then. (Please let me live to see my youngest turn 10, then it was see my daughter be married… so on and so on. Well I’ve been blessed to see all that and more, 3 beautiful grand babies! Tomorrow is one of the biggest milestones yet. I will turn 57, the age I have been sure my whole life I would never see. I too chose to take control in my own way over my health by having a total hysterectomy at 47. It was not an easy decision or one without some serious repercussions, but for my peace of mind it was the best choice. You are so young to have to make these serious decisions and I wish you didn’t have to do so, however I believe you are doing what’s right for you and that will make all the difference. My prayers are for you to have a full and speedy recovery. I will be checking in to see how things are going. God bless❤️

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, Nancy! I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. Cancer really is the worst. 🙁 Like you, I find myself comparing my age milestones to those of my mother and grandmother. For example, right now my boys are the ages that my mom and her brother were when their mom passed away; it really makes the fear hit closer to home for me. I am so glad that you have made it to 57 (Happy Birthday!!!) and have gotten to experience so many wonderful milestones with your children and grandchildren! Thanks again for your encouraging words. Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  94. I’m sad to read about those results, and I’m sorry you have to take that difficult choice but you are strong, and you will be fine. Thank you for sharing your experience. Our prayers are with you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Esther! <3

      ~Abby =)

  95. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are incredibly brave and inspiring! My family and I will be praying for you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Cheryl! <3

      ~Abby =)

  96. I have only been following you for maybe three months, and I feel like I’ve known you for quite sometime. Especially since I recently found out that we share the same faith. As I was reading this post I couldn’t help but wonder how you managed your life and this blog, though we don’t see the backend stuff, it’s amazing to see you pressing forward.

    I’m praying for your healing and that your work in the kingdom continues to touch hearts around the world. I look forward to a praise report post. ?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Takia! They really mean so much! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  97. Victoria Wilson says:

    Thank you for sharing so openly Abby, so we all can know how to pray for you! <3 Love your blog and watching your family. Will be praying!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Victoria!! <3

      ~Abby =)

  98. Praying for you and the family to have peace in this time! Love you guys!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks, Mel!! <3

      ~Abby =)

  99. Abby, my heart goes out to you! I will certainly be praying for you and your family through this process. I pray for Peace , you are so very brave! I’m thankful you have shared this tough journey with us.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Jessica! I hope you have a great weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  100. My visiting teacher just sent me this post, and how very uplifting. I have no family history of breast cancer and no BRACA mutation, but I was diagnosed six months ago at age 29 with breast cancer. Each person’s journey is different–and I’m glad you’re at peace with the decisions you’ve made. Good luck as your prepare for surgery–I’ve heard that the hormonal changes aren’t too bad as long as you advocate for yourself. And I’ve also heard other surgeries pale in comparison to a mastectomy (I only had chemo, a lumpectomy, and am currently doing radiation). Good luck!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh McKenzie, I am so sorry you are having to battle this, especially at such a young age! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. You will be in my prayers! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  101. Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World says:

    You are so incredibly brave for doing this. I would do the exact same thing if I were in your shoes. You are going to make it through and come out even stronger on the other side! You are in my prayers.

  102. Oh my heavens Abby! I am so sorry to hear about all this, but it is so impressive for you to be sharing it with all of us. I will be praying that all goes well in this very brave undertaking. I believe you will come thru this with the same joie de vivre we have seen from you with your business, and this will further your standing as one simply beautiful outstanding young woman! Take care, and breathe deep!

  103. Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom says:

    Abby, I really think you are making the right choice. Your boys need you and why risk it? Especially when ovarian cancer is so hard to diagnose… you don’t want to wait around when you can do something now. I think doing it a few years early is nothing compared to all the worrying you’d do in that time if you didn’t!! Hugs and I’ll be sure to keep you in my prayers! I love how you brought up the story of Esther. So perfect.

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

  104. Mirline K says:

    Dear Abby, Wow I’m so amazed by your courageous and beautiful spirit. To share something so personal is so brave of you and very inspiring. Thank You!! I will keep you and your family in my deepest thoughts and prayers. May the almighty keep you in His loving arms. Much Love!

  105. Designing Vibes says:

    Abby,
    I cannot imagine the stress you must be facing over your health. I am sending love and prayers your way.

    Much Love,
    Erica

  106. Oh, Abby, I’m so sorry you’ve been going through all of this. Know that my own and SO many other prayers are with you! Thanks for all you do for us, and now let it be time that we do this for YOU.

  107. God Bless you, Abby. You are a brave lady! May you be fully healthy.

  108. Nicole | The Professional Mom Project says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure it will help other women who are faced with similar choices to make. I have a friend who is in a similar situation and has also had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk. It’s such a difficult choice but only you and your family know the right answer. I also understand personally about the fear and test results etc as I’m living with thyroid cancer. I’ve had surgery and radiation but my numbers still aren’t quite right. All I can do is keep moving forward and have confidence that I’m working with some of the best doctors in Canada. Hope your surgery goes well and that you have a quick and easy recovery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with me, Nicole! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement and will be praying for you on your journey as well! <3

      ~Abby =)

  109. Oh my sweet, sweet Abby, I hate seeing that you have to go through this again, especially after what you went through. But you are so correct in that it is all for a greater purpose. Whether it’s for your own life or to help someone else through your blog, it’s all in God’s plan. After my breast cancer, despite not having the gene, I wanted EVERYTHING “down there”… OUT, As in… get it out, it’s a ticking time bomb! After much time and prayer (my doctors were similar to yours in that they wanted me to wait until I turned 45 to make my decision)… I found that despite my better feelings, I went the other way and my peace landed on not to not have the surgery. I know that God speaks to us in a very personal way and to find that peace and to know His will for you is all that matters. He created you, He loves you, and YOU are your best doctor in terms of knowing what is best for your body. Hit me up when the menopause hits… love to share some stories and be a shoulder to lean on! Maybe even a joint blog post WOO HOO!!! Big hugs and prayers my love and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. XOXO Hugs, Holly

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest, my friend! Thank you so much for the encouragement! I’m sure I will be hitting you up for some tips! 🙂 Hugs! <3

      ~Abby =)

  110. May the good Lord continue to bless you with Health.
    I will have you and your family in my prayers for a speedy and
    fast recovery

  111. Julie Goltermann says:

    Dear Abby Thanks for sharing your story in such an inspiring way. I was blessed. By your words as they encouraged me now. I had the surgery you will be having at age 39 for a different reason. Let me encourage you that the anticipation is a lot worse than the recovery or life afterward!?You will be in my prayers.

  112. Hi. Thank you for sharing your story. So encouraged by your bravery and decision. Just felt to say don’t be afraid or too busy to take time out for yourself, to process everything and (as someone else said) grieve your losses. I pray the surgery goes well and that the recovery time is minimal. God bless you.

  113. Joyce Dunlap says:

    Praying for you Abby! Love you Aunt Joyce

  114. Many hugs for you Abby and your family!! I know this can’t have been an easy decision to make. Thanks for sharing your story as your bringing awareness to others who may need it. I would have made the same decision. Prayers for you!!

  115. marie watson says:

    May the Lord bless you and keep you during this time of preparation. I pray that He gives you the peace that passes ALL understanding with your decisions and allows you to be productive, proactive, and prepared so your mind will be settled as March approaches. I will remember you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Keep the Faith,
    Marie

  116. Amy Carter says:

    Abby, my heart goes out to you for having to endure the thoughts of what your boys would go through. That is anmothers worst nightmare. My prayers will be with you as you go through this journey. Stay strong.

  117. Prayers for you and the family. When I was 38 I had open heart surgery that was elective, to patch a hole in my heart. It was basically a choice similar to yours. Have surgery now or wait till symptoms occur and symptoms could be a heart attack. So I elected to have surgery and went in with my heart knowing I would be fine and it would all work out, lots of prayers, and a picture of my 2 year old son. I wanted everyone in the OR to know they were working for my little guy. Having a positive picture in your mind and heart is one of the best things you can do. Prayers are the best! I do not know you but I read your blog and I wish you so much health through this, and am praying for all of you. You will get through it with that wonderful, positive attitude.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest, Kathleen! Thank you for sharing your story with me and for your kind words of encouragement! Have a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  118. Remember the footprints poem… Prayers sent your way! Thank God we have these tests available to us nowadays. Will be thinking of you..

  119. Hi, Abby. I will like to take this opportunity to wish you well and long life.. I am moved by your story and want to thank God for preserving your life.. I am amazed at the messages pouring in from all your subscribers, On my own behalf, i wish to express gratitude to everyone for their encouraging words, You are not alone on this journey. You have a cloud of witness cheering you to victory
    Stay bless.

  120. Just when I think you and Donnie have this fairytale life with 2 beautiful boys, a crazy-successful blog, and your gorgeous new home, I get gobsmacked by a huge dose of reality. I read and admired for posts of your breast cancer surgery. As someone mentioned above, with your influence, I have to believe you will definitely help someone else out there to make their health a priority, even with difficult decisions like the ones you have faced. Please do keep us posted – we will all be cheering for you and your lovely family!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Kristine! It really means a lot! Have a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  121. Abby, Thank you for telling us your story. I know you must be scared, but you are such a brave woman. We will all be praying for you and you just take care of yourself.

  122. Karen Joyce says:

    I’m so glad I read this post . . you made today better. You are so courageous going into this surgery. I did an emergency partial hysterectomy years ago and don’t regret it.

  123. Hi, Abby-
    Esther is my favorite book of the Bible! I see the similarities between her courage and yours. It takes courage to share your health history with the world. It takes courage to share your belief in God to the world. I think it is awesome that you put it all out there because you never know who needed to hear exactly what you said. My dad has multiple myeloma (an incurable blood cancer) and he blogs about his journey. He hears from people all over the country who are grateful to have him share his journey. I’ll pray for you and your family that you feel God’s peace leading up to the surgery and that you have a speedy recovery afterward.
    Good luck and God bless!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Jennifer! <3

      ~Abby =)

  124. Ronda Petrin says:

    Hi Abby, prayers and blessing to you and your family.

    I think you are doing a brave and smart thing. And you have a great outlook on it.

    I had stage 1 breast cancer 3 years ago and I was just very matter of fact about it all until right before my surgery (I had a bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction). I ended up having 11 surgeries over 3 years due to complications etc. I think I am finally done. But right before the surgery I was just panicked and upset, I just knew no one would want to date me because of my body, etc. I had a pretty good pity party going, and I just said, God, I need your help I can’t do this alone. I opened up my Facebook and found where a friend of mine had just gone through the very same thing. I definitely think that was my moment of God saying, “you are not alone, a lot of people are going through this and I’ve got your back”.

    So, you know God has your back too! Just remember that when you aren’t feeling so great!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, Ronda. Thank you for sharing your story with me. Sounds like you’ve had quite the journey. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement so much. Hugs to you, friend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  125. Abby-
    I am a long-term lurker here on your website. And a fellow PA girl!
    It sounds like you are doing the right thing for you and your family. I agree that this is all part of your journey. Seeing how much you give to others assures me that you have the ability to use your experiences to help women going through similar things. You seem like a wonderful person and I wish you all the best. Don’t pressure yourself about what happen in March-April-May. Things have a way of working out as they should.

  126. Terry Ellen Cross says:

    Oh Abby bless your heart & good for you to move right ahead and be proactive and get this taken care of! This will be such a blessing, I’m sure of it, you can stop dreading the tests and results, so draining and the rollercoaster is terrible. I’ve been there with things similar and it can be just awful, what a relief to put this behind you and it just makes sense. You have your sweet babies and praise the Lord for his leading. How BRAVE you are and yes, like Esther the Lord will use your journey to show other women that making smart choices with their health is scary but SMART!
    Fondest Hugs & Love you sweetie, prayers sent your way~!
    Terry & Agatha
    (Hey email me your address, my FIRST TWO BOOKS just arrived and I want to send you copies!!!
    THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME TAKE THE LEAP AND WRITE WRITE WRITE!

  127. Christy @theharperhouse says:

    Oh Abby, I’m so sorry you are faced with this. But your strength and faith in Jesus is a true testament and your willingness to share your personal story will bring encouragement to so many others! I had a partial hysterectomy at the age of 34 after finding pre-cancerous cells during a PAP. I was scared, but thankfully we were done having our 3 precious kiddos. The recovery process was not bad at all, and thankfully my follow up tests have all been cancer free. I’ll be praying for you & your family! ((hugs))

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story with me and for the encouragement! Hugs to you, friend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  128. Your faith and acceptance of God’s overall plan for your life are inspiring. My mom passed away this Nov from ovarian cancer. I’ve been tested even though hers was not hereditary. She really struggled with the why. So many get angry, confused, and upset by adversity in life. It takes a strong faith to keep your chin up and stay the course not doubting God’s love or plan for you. Major spiritual milestone! Ill pray for a safe surgery, speedy recovery, and clean bill of health. God sent you a supportive hubby so I’m sure he will keep your readers entertained while your on the mend. I like his blogging articles and he is very insightful on the behind the scenes stuff. God bless!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, hugs to you, Deanna. So sorry to hear about your mom. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement so much! <3

      ~Abby =)

  129. Abby, as a survivor of melanoma, I understand the range of emotions that go through our minds. The best advice I was ever given was, ‘make an appointment to worry’. I was encouraged to live my best life without constant worry by making that time or appointment and leaving it there. Not saying it’s easy but it has been an excellent tool in my life toolbox! There is so much I could say but I will leave it with letting you know you are in my prayers!

  130. Patti Waldfogel says:

    Thank you Abby for being so vulnerable! I am facing a surgery within a few weeks and have been experiencing some fears. Even tho’ I am new to your blog, I have felt a closeness to you that I have not understood until now. I pray the Lord will surround you with His Holy Spirit and grace with with the peace only He can provide! May He bless and prosper you & your family as your souls prosper in Him! HUGS!!! patti

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest. Thank you, Patti! Hugs and prayers for you and your upcoming surgery! <3

      ~Abby =)

  131. Kiki Daniels says:

    My prayer is that your family will be a constant source of strength and a reminder that, yes, God indeed loves you. Will be thinking of you sweet lady.

  132. Christina Muller says:

    Oh Abby, what a hard and courageous decision. I pray your story will encourage others. Also I will be praying for your surgery and the doctors. Sending you virtual hugs.

  133. Noreen Keesey says:

    Sending love, light, and healing energy your way, Abby!

  134. Lucy Brummett says:

    You are so brave to do all that you have done. Continue having faith and God will do the rest. He certainly does love you:;)

  135. Sweet, strong Abby —
    I echo all the wonderful comments and prayers above. An additional thought: Perhaps this is a chance for you to not only make a difference in the health of many women, but also to provide some practical guidance about how to prepare for and then deal with the limitations during recovery — and by extension, for anyone facing decreased mobility and capability as they age. Last summer, my husband and I sustained injuries in separate accidents (we have subsequently recovered fully). Between the two of us, there were a lot of things around the house and yard-and-garden (essentially our whole spring-summer-fall was affected) that we couldn’t do. We had thought that our home is well-thought-out to be lived on just one floor as we get older, but we found there were many things that would need to be re-organized for that to be truly effective. So in addition to all the “usual” preparations like cooking ahead and freezing meals, try to “live in your mind” what it would be like to do (or have your family do) all the daily activities that keep your home running, make the changes now that you can think of, tell us about those — and then tell us afterwards what worked, what wasn’t needed, and what other things you wish you had done. One of my “for examples” — once I was mobile enough to do a bit of housekeeping, I couldn’t access my vacuum or cleaning supplies because they were on the lower level and I couldn’t “do” stairs. At some time in the future, I will probably clear out a pantry cupboard (by then I probably won’t be canning and freezing a year’s worth of fruits and vegetables) and move cleaning equipment and supplies to this more accessible location.

  136. You are a strong woman Abby! You have love and support around you! I am sending lots of positive and healing energy 🙂 take care !
    Demi x

  137. Norma Estevez says:

    You’re a very brave lady and I applaud you. Your health is in God’s hands and he will make all things possible for you to live a very long and healthy life.

    Will keep you and your family in my prayers
    Norma

  138. I had a hysterectomy when I was in my 30,s due to other reasons, and it was the BEST thing I ever did! I mourned, the fact that I never had any biological children and what could have been.

    If your getting it done endoscopic, as I did… follow the post op instructions (lifting). It was an easy recovery and I have no regrets!

    Good luck to you!

    Take a look at hystersister.com for support and info (not an affiliate, just a suggestion)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the info, Chelle! I’ll check it out! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  139. Dagmar - Dagmar's Home says:

    Dear Abby, thanks for telling your story. I’m wishing you strength and a ton of support and a quick recovery.

    You got this. And going with your instinct about the best decision for you is always wise.

    Love,
    Dagmar

  140. Thank you for sharing your story! I have been receiving your e-mail’s for over a year now.
    You are a brave and strong woman!
    It takes a courageous person to make the hard decisions that you have had to face. Your boys are lucky to have you as a mom!
    I lost my mother to breast cancer in 2008, and because of that I am at high risk. I faithfully get checked every 6 months.
    I’m sure that there are many women that will be helped by you sharing your story.
    Continue to write about your journey.
    God bless you, and best of luck with your surgery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Debbie! Hugs and prayers for you on your journey, as well! <3

      ~Abby =)

  141. Sweetie, you have made a brave decision! This next surgery will be a breeze compared to what you’ve been through. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing. I send prayers up for you and fully trust that God has you in his very capable hands.

  142. Abby, I too will be praying for you as you face this surgery. Your forthrightness will encourage many who read your story. I have a friend who is in chemo right now with stage 4 cancer. She still works and attends church. May all come out right for you.

  143. Hi Abby,

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re facing this surgery.

    I wish you all the best as you prepare for it and for your speedy recovery.

    I, too, am regularly monitored but for pancreatic cancer, which runs in my family. It’s no fun waiting for those results but I figure it’s better than finding out something is wrong when you’re already at stage 4.

    Sending you cyber hugs!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I totally agree. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Diane! Hugs! <3

      ~Abby =)

  144. Praying for you and yours, Abby. By Jesus’ Stripes…

  145. Hey Abby, such powerful words. For the mere fact that you have opened up your heart to let God’s will be done, He will glorify Himself in you. I pray that His presence, grace and completeness remains with you. In Jesus precious name. Amen!

  146. Robin Brunson says:

    You totally have the right attitude! I’m sorry that you have to go through all of this, but you are doing what you feel is best for you and your family; that’s all that matters. You know God has this and will not give you more than you can handle. He is awesome and will work his plan in your life for His good, in His time. I can tell from your writing that you are completely trusting in Him and just because you’re scared or nervous does not change that. I think God expects us to have these feelings, otherwise we would make some really crazy decisions on a regular basis. Because of our faith in Him, we only let these natural feelings guide us to His ultimate decision knowing He will be there to make sure everything turns out the way He intended. You are truly blessed to be part of His family and to have your earthly family and friends for support. Stay strong and faithful You and your family will be in my prayers.

  147. Karen @ a house full of sunshine says:

    Oh Abby, my sweet friend. I’m so sorry for all the fear and uncertainty you’ve had to face. I think you’re amazing to keep soldiering on with everything you do when life behind the scenes must feel so very heavy at times. Girl, I hate that you have to go through this. Life can be so brutal. I wish it were different, but I know you have everything you need to not just survive the tough times but flourish through them. You are so brave and such a beautiful person inside and out. Your faith is a wonderful testimony. God will be your rock and your comfort. I’ll be praying for you my friend. Much much love to you ❤️❤️❤️

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest, my friend! Thanks so much for the encouragement! <3

      ~Abby =)

  148. Stephaney says:

    You are brave and inspirational. Thank you for sharing your heart and life with us. I will be praying for smooth surgery and quick recovery and many blessings to come for your family. God Bless You Abby!
    – Stephaney @ Meflyingfree.com

  149. Christine says:

    Abby,

    As someone who has too had family with Breast and Uterine cancer, I have yet to have gene testing. I’m scared and reading this post it is reassuring gimme that God knows the way. He knows exactly what we need to hear and when we need to hear it. Thank you for sharing your story. Who knows how many of your “people” you’re saving or helping by doing so. I’ll be praying for you!

  150. Ann Apolito says:

    Dear Abby,
    I’m so sorry to hear that you have had to face these difficult issues- cancer/death, at a time when your whole life should be stretching out before you and you should be enjoying your family and life in general. Only you can make such a difficult decision and if you are comfortable with it, thats the only thing that matters. As a medical researcher working in the are of ovarian biology for more than 20 years, I can tell you that ovarian cancer is an insidious disease that is more destructive and has significantly worse outcomes than breast cancer, because it is difficult to detect in the early stages when treatment is most effective. Unfortunately ovarian cancer is not as well known as its counterpart breast cancer and so many women are caught by surprise when they have an ovarian cancer diagnosis. I wish you all the best for your surgery and recovery and will be sending good,positive thoughts your way. I hope this will be the last health crisis you have to deal with. Cheers Ann xx

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for sharing with me, Ann! I truly appreciate your encouragement and kind words! <3

      ~Abby =)

  151. Anne Cartwright says:

    Abby you are so right … you are where and who you are for a reason. I am a cancer survivor (nearly 40 years) but now I need a new knee, and I’m scared of going under the knife yet again. Also, over the past two years, I sort of lost God although I know he didn’t lose me … all due to some so-called Christians who are very judgmental and superior. Because of your messages I’m going back into the pulpit to preach to tell others of the hope there still is in our world. People in the UK are dying through hunger and despair so there has never been a better time to bring them God’s love. My prayers are with you together with my heartfelt thanks for bringing me back to the light. Bless you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hugs to you, Anne! So glad it was helpful for you! You will certainly be in my prayers! <3

      ~Abby =)

  152. Oh, Abby, I teared up as I read this. I don’t think that you are being dramatic when your mind wanders to your kids while worrying about your health–I think that is a real concern, and it sounds like you are being very proactive and aggressive to make sure your family will have you around for many, many decades.

    This really goes to show that no one’s life ever goes as planned, but some lives take bigger zigs and zags than others, perhaps. I hope and pray that this goes perfectly for you and I wish you a good long life! Thank you for being brave and sharing your story. I’m sure that at many women who need your story will find it.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet Amy! I appreciate the encouragement! <3

      ~Abby =)

  153. Wow, I have only been following you for a short time, so had no idea. I believe you are a very strong woman, and I admire your for your strong faith. I will definitely be thinking about you and praying for you and your family!

  154. Karen Spencer says:

    Hi sweet Abby, I will be praying for you! I have the BRCA 2 gene and had the total hysterectomy 4 years ago (I am older than you and did that one first) and put off the double mastectomy but started having questionable results with my every 6 month mammo/MRI results and having to keep going back in with questionable results… so had my double mastectomy and am glad I did. The recoveries are different but I felt the hysterectomy recovery was easier than the mastectomy (not to downplay it, so give yourself lots of grace!!!) Hugs! And if I could help you in any way I gladly would. Karen

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, Karen! I truly appreciate the encouragement! <3

      ~Abby =)

  155. Wow Abby, it must have been hard for you to write about your story. At the same time, I hope it was therapeutic for you. I was so touched by your story and
    I hope that the support of your readers is a comfort to you. Stay strong. Your young family needs you! I pray for you and your family.

  156. Oh Abbey, I am honored to pray for you and your family. I pray especially for the “peace that passes all understanding.”

  157. Abby,
    Thank you for sharing this most personal time in your life. I’m praying for you, sister-in-Christ. May our great God comfort you as only He can & may His peace flood your heart. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 105:4, “Seek the Lord & His strength; seek His face continually.” As you mentioned the story of Esther, it made me think of how many women you will impact with your honesty, and what an encouragement you will be to those finding themselves in difficult situations. May Christ be glorified!

  158. Sending prayers your way. Try not to cram so much into the next few weeks that you neglect yourself in an effort to “forget” what is ahead. Rest, take your vitamins, and continue to work out. It will make your recovery so much easier. Extra cuddles and hugs from children help too. Thank you for sharing you with us.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for your encouragement, Heide! <3

      ~Abby =)

  159. Karen L Ploransky says:

    I’m sorry that you have to even worry about all of this, but I know it will all work out fine. God knows what he’s doing as you said and he’s got this! I’m sending up prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. I was recommended to get the BRACA test too, but my insurance denied it. It’s a great thing to be able to be proactive when it comes to your health. I wish you the best sweet girl!

  160. Thanks for sharing your journey Abby! I also have the BRCA 1 mutation. Both my mom and sister have had breast cancer. My Gma died of ovarian cancer. I also opted to have a preventative double mastectomy as well as an oophorectomy. Although there are some adjustments with the changes menopause brings, I felt like it was such a small price to pay for the peace of mind it brought me! It was a much easier emotional and physical recovery than the mastectomy. Praying for you as you walk this road.? You are not alone.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Wow, thanks so much for sharing with me, Jen! I SO appreciate your kind words and encouragement! Hugs! <3

      ~Abby =)

  161. Karen Marie Kedzuch says:

    Abby,
    As I read your post today I have empathy. Decisions we make for ourselves and family are extremely difficult when our life is just started. I feel happy for you that you are comfortable with your choice. Looking at your boys and husband while trying to manage your own mortality is nothing I ever expected to face in my 20s
    It is overwhelming, scary, and quite honestly bigger than a person can imagine. You have handled your life with the grace God has gifted you. May God continue to bless you as you face this next surgery and healing..
    Sending love filled hugs,
    Karen Marie

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for your sweet words and encouragement, Karen! <3

      ~Abby =)

  162. Candace Cadle says:

    Bless your heart, Abby…prayers for a safe and successful surgery

  163. Prayers for you! I’ve been reading for a few years and feel like I know you. 🙂 I’m glad you are making a choice to have more peace of mind. God bless – enjoy your time of rest.

  164. Thank you so much for sharing your story (and your talents:). I have silently enjoyed your posts for a couple of years. I rarely comment on blogs but I felt compelled to do so today. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  165. Kelly Harris Graham says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, what a scary thing for you to continue to go through year after year. God has a plan and is in control, he will guide you through this.

  166. Denise Ross says:

    Hi Abby, thank you for being so honest in your journey. It means a lot to me. I’m looking into gene testing as breast cancer runs in both sides of my family. This week I see my specialist for my Mri results and see a genetic counsellor the day after. I’m so very thankful that you ar sharing your story because it is helping me with going through this process too. Much love snd prayers for you

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, so glad it has been helpful for you, Denise! I know how stressful that process can be. Hugs and prayers to you, friend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  167. Angi Wilson says:

    Abby-
    I will keep you & your family in my thoughts & prayers! As a mom of 3 boys I empathize with you in regards to this chapter of your life & how it affects so many loved ones!

    May He bless you & give u peace though it all!
    Angi

  168. Congratulations for making a SMART decision! I have never had cancer, but I did make the decision to have a hysterectomy. Never felt better, no periods, no PMS, no worries, etc. Hope you will see this as a positive spin and know you will be feeling better soon!
    I am 66 and my mother died from breast cancer. I know all about the worry you can have and besides getting a yearly check-up, I go back every six months for a “feel only” appt. with my dr.

    Your faith will sustain you through all of this. My faith has done amazing things for me. One of my favorite quotes from the Bible is “through God all things are possible.”

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story with me, Tricia! I truly appreciate your kind words and encouragement! <3

      ~Abby =)

  169. Emotional for your reading this. My thoughts are and will be with you.

    Nicola

  170. Prayers for you and your family. I have several friends and my Mother in law who are all breast cancer survivors. 2 of my friends had mastectomies, one in her early 30s and anther had the hysterectomy and double mastectomy in her mid-30s. (she had the BRCA1 gene as well). Both have been cancer free for 10+ years now, both as active as they ever were. They did have lots of tough days with treatment, but both had very strong support networks, a very strong faith, and allowed others to help and support them through their journeys. They also both found support groups that they found helpful. Keep the faith, and lean on those who offer to help you through this journey. Will hold you in prayer!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks for sharing with me, Sherrie! I appredciate your enouragement so much! <3

      ~Abby =)

  171. You seem like an incredible person, Abby. I am sorry you have to go through this. God has a much bigger plan for you. In the end, I know you’ll come out stronger and better. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Life has its ups and downs, but staying positive is the best thing you can do, which you seem to have already mastered!

  172. Abby, I am proud of you, for you have made an extremely tough decision and you are not being selfish. Do not second guess yourself at any point as your decisions are just that they are yours and no one can say otherwise.
    Yes there are going to be days and times when you are feeling low and scared, but that is OK you are allowed to feel like that, as long as you focus on the end result (being there for your family) then you will get through it. A positive attitude is the best thing you can have. chin up and keep going your on the right track.

  173. Your honesty, bravery and faith are incredible and so admirable. You are the definition of a strong, positive woman that we need to hear about in the media right now. I am keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

    XOXO Rachael
    https://aduchessandablog.blogspot.com/

  174. Abby, I will keep you and your family in my prayers. You have made a tough decision, but it’s the one you believe to be best for you and your family. That means it’s the right decision. Stay strong.

  175. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it will help others. Also, you have permission to be mope from us but you need to give yourself permission and continue to forgive yourself, we as women, mothers, wives, friends, are so hard on ourselves. God Bless, be strong.

    Stephanie

  176. Holly Sams says:

    Abby, I am new to your blog, but this really hits home for me. I have undergone multiple tests over the last year because I was completely preparing myself for a full hysterectomy after Christmas. I lost my grandmother and an aunt to ovarian cancer several years ago. At the time BRCA wasn’t as popular and my mother and her other sister were advised to each have a hysterectomy as a preventative measure. I have two boys (10 & 8) and am done having kids, so I was fully prepared to do the same. I had several tests including the BRCA tests ran this past year per my doctor’s suggestion. I luckily tested negative for the gene, but I want you to know I completely understand the scares. I have had two benign breast tumors removed as well so I was fully prepared to be positive. I commend you for taking the steps to be there for your boys. You’re a brave momma and you should be so proud that you are taking this step. I will pray for you and hope you can find peace in this decision.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story with me and for your sweet words of encouragement! Have a wonderful week, Holly! <3

      ~Abby =)

  177. Lindsay Koach says:

    Abby, I will certainly be praying for you as you move forward. I give you so much credit for sharing your story, and for helping us understand your situation. You’re much stronger than you realize! 🙂

    My good friend’s aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and her doctor (UPMC) told her that sitting for long periods of time have been connected to female cancers. She works at a desk for about 10 hours each day, and has been encouraged to get up and move in any way she can every couple hours. I’m a holistic health coach, and I’ve read about this too…which is concerning because I sit at the computer or in meetings A LOT. I guess all of us bloggers/online business girls do! Let’s all try to remember to keep moving throughout the day….and pray!

    Lots of love to you and your family,
    Lindsay Koach

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Lindsay! <3

      ~Abby =)

  178. Sending you all love and prayers Abby. What a difficult decision you’ve been tasked with and I support you all the way.

  179. I will keep you in my prayers. I had a complete hysterectomy 9 years ago (everything gone). It was a tough decision to make, and I prayed that I was making the right decision (after all, it was such a FINAL decision as there was no going back!). At my follow-up appt after the surgery, my doctor confirmed that I had made the right choice as the tests performed on my parts after the surgery had shown up with icky results and the only way they would of found the real issue, was by having the hysterectomy. God answered my prayers and confirmed my choice was right. My surgery was easy peezy and recovery was easy, (just no heavy lifting was really my only restriction). I was amazed at how well it all went. I pray that you have an easy recovery from your surgery also. God knows our families depend on us moms and sometimes gives us a break.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Julie! I really appreciate it! <3

      ~Abby =)

  180. I will say a few prayers for you during this time! Prayer is the best thing anyone can do for anyone.

    Just know you’re not alone, there are so many of us who follow your blog and have enjoyed everything you’ve posted. I just started my blog and I owe you a great deal of thanks, as I enrolled in book boss when you first launched the program with Laura.

    If you ever need a friendly ear, please reach out to me. I haven’t been in your shoes, but I have a very worn pair of my own. I’m a wife, mother of 5 amazing children, and I’ve been battling stage 4 melanoma since March of 2012. I’m blessed every day the Lord grants me and I’m using my struggles to show his glory. This is what I’ve based my blog on, looking to help others. I’m also in the process of writing a book to help those in their cancer journeys and their loved ones know how to truly help. I’ve had a complete hysterectomy and I don’t regret having the procedure in any way, shape, or form. There is an amazing life post-surgery!

    Good luck & God Bless!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, Michelle. Thank you so much for the encouragement! I admire your attitude so much and will be praying for complete healing for you, my friend! Hugs! <3

      ~Abby =)

  181. Jeannie Strohoff-Bourassa says:

    Abby,

    Thank you for sharing and allowing us to walk alongside you as you go through this difficult time. While it was difficult to make this decision on one hand, I believe that you have made the right decision. Your husband and sons, need you in their lives for many years to come. When you are in bed or on the couch recovering, be sure that you take in all of the little boy hugs that you possible can. They will warm your heart and soul and ease your mind when you are feeling blue. Then take a moment more and reflect on how many of us “followers” are thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way. Hugs my friend. Stay strong and carry on!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are too sweet, Jeannie! Thanks so much for the encouragement! <3

      ~Abby =)

  182. Mahesh Kumar says:

    Hi Abby, I was just browsing the Pinterest and found your blog. I wish to God for you to have a good and healthy life. I loved reading this article. It should be a true inspiration to moms. I am going to pass it along on my Pinterest and other social channels. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  183. Lori Posey says:

    Abby, Thanks so much for bravely sharing your real-life ups and downs. I will be praying for you and your family as you go into this next phase. Never lose that confidence in God’s plan. He will never lose confidence in you and will hold you through everything.

  184. WisdomSeeker says:

    Dear Abby,
    Thank you for sharing your personal history, challenges and concerns in regard to your genetics and the BRCA1 gene. The women in my husbands family have had this same struggle and, sadly, some of them were unable to be saved from the ravages of the Ovarian Cancer which took their lives, my husband’s mother included.
    Conversely, there are several who, because of advances in Medicine (Praise God!), were able to take the necessary steps to save their lives because of the knowledge now available.
    God bless you for sharing your story that others, if ignorant of this potentially deadly gene, may gain knowledge and be encouraged by your bravery.
    “…tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.”
    ~ Philippians 4:7
    God Bless and Keep You, Abby!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement! Have a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  185. Benjamin Davis says:

    I know what it is like to carry a gene mutation. May God be with you.

    I hope you remain healthy and strong!

  186. Prayers for you as you go through this surgery. May you feel the love and peace of God surround you during this time. Hugs!

  187. Thank you for sharing your story – and for all that you and Donnie do to encourage us little bloggers 🙂

  188. Prayers for you and your family! I followed all of your tutorials to start my blog, and I am SO grateful that you shared your knowledge with the world. We understand if it will be quiet around here, just take care of yourself!

  189. Lynda Thomasson says:

    I will keep you in prayer, you are very brave. I just had a hysterectomy, the recovery was not too bad. You just have to be careful. I look forward to updates. Thank you

  190. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this with all of us.

    God is watching over you and your family every step of the way. I will pray for your speedy recovery!

  191. Thanks for sharing Abby!! Esther’s story is a huge inspiration to me as well. Yes, God has a plan all of us and His plan is always best left to run it’s course, no matter HOW much we wish and want it to be different. As a cancer survivor myself each March I have a prayerful celebration thanking God for another year cancer free. Have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, and God will move this mountain too. Prayers for good surgery results and recovery!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for the sweet encouragement, Lisa! I truly appreciate it! <3

      ~Abby =)

  192. Stephanie Dulgarian says:

    So sorry Abby! You are so brave!!! I love how proactive you are – definitely inspiring!!!!! xoxo, Stephanie

  193. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I am sure that our Lord and Saviour will sustain you and your family in the coming months, may you feel His loving arms around you. God bless

  194. Katherine says:

    BRCA1+ also. I got my test results at age 45, so the decision to get a hysterectomy immediately was easy for me. I also found the hystersisters web site very helpful. I wore an estrogen patch immediately after surgery & weaned off over 5-6 months & never had one symptom. (I mention this because of all the horror stories out there!)

    I appreciate that you are publicly sharing your health care decisions. Hopefully, more people will come to understand the difficult decisions required of pre-vivors and how far we have to go with diagnostics

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Katherine! <3

      ~Abby =)

  195. Debbie Gartner says:

    Smart move. Who needs all that extra stress. The stress can hurt your immunity system and then it becomes a self fulfilled prophecy. Way to be proactive. I know it will be a huge relief when it’s all done. And, you have a strong family.

  196. Sending prayers from Texas

  197. Wowie, Abby!
    Good for you in sharing your experience, strength and hope with everyone because so many walk thru it and God uses EVERY BIT of our testimony so that our tests are not in vain. Cancer affects most all of our families but not everyone has heard positive from it. Yes, you are Esther for your time, for your blog….he gives you his power and authority, made you the head and not the tail, calls you his child who he has chosen and adopted, his masterpiece, the apple of his eye. You are loved and nothing can separate you from his love. You ate treaured, you are adored, and he tells you over 365 times not to be afraid because WE FORGET…He called you out by name and you are his. The enemy has no power over you, cannot touch you, and you have his authority to tread on snakes and serpents. And on…. I pray that you have a list of hod’s promises so you can speak them over yourself and repeat them as God’s truth. PraYing for you…
    -Siobhan

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, Siobhan! I really appreciate it! <3

      ~Abby =)

  198. Thank you for this real and raw post updating us on what’s going on in your life. I just want you to know how inspiring your story is and that you are NOT being dramatic! Those scary thoughts are real and even scarier when it comes to thinking about your boys. Wishing you all the best and will be sending positive energy your way!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Steffani! <3

      ~Abby =)

  199. Jennifer Thoe says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! Your health and family come first. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

  200. The Lord our God is with you. His love, mercy and grace and never ending. His timing and purpose are perfect. He is your strength, your fortress, and your shield. Prayers for you and your family! <3

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words and prayers, Estrella!

      ~Abby =)

  201. Ok, you made me tear up a little over here. Especially the Esther reference. Love that book. I think of her often when I face my own struggles. There are no accidents. And I’m sure you feeling prompted to be so open about your journey is part of your purpose as well. Best of luck and blessings to you as you take this step. xo

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, Wendy! <3

      ~Abby =)

  202. Abby,
    I have been following your blog for a while now (I want my blog to be just like yours when I grow up :). I have read ab out your gene mutation in your About Me page before but had no idea how much it has impacted your life. Thank you for sharing your story. I love your perspective and your faith in God to take the worst things and transform them into the best. He has done that for me too. Thank you for your candor, honesty, and kindness that is reflected in all your posts.
    Blessings!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement, Jessica! Have a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  203. Wow, very inspiring!

    I am new to your blog and I just purchased your blogging class and am learning so much.

    I am so grateful to have met you. God bless you and I pray your recovery is much better than predicted. I think you are wise to in your decision.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Laura! I truly appreciate your prayers! <3

      ~Abby =)

  204. Wow, Abby! I’m really sorry you’re dealing with this. My mom had breast cancer when I was in high school and I know how scary that is. The doctors never did mention having us tested for this gene, though. I’ve never heard of it!

    I’m hoping for a speedy recovery for you, and a lot of peace of mind once it’s done. I’ll be thinking about you! <3

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Angie! I really appreciate it! <3

      ~Abby =)

  205. Sending you well wishes and lots of love and luck. I hope your recovery is quick and that you are back to your normal routine soon!! Kick butt mama!! You’ve got this.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You’re too sweet! Thank you, Gabby! <3

      ~Abby =)

  206. Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor says:

    Thank you for being so brave to share your story! I pray the God will continue to cover and carry both you and your family through this time. I know your story and your strength has blessed more people than you will ever know. God Bless!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thank you so much, Ayanna! <3

      ~Abby =)

  207. Jennifer @ Happy Teacher Mama says:

    I underwent a prophylactic double mastectomy and hysterectomy when I was 29 because of a ridiculously high family history. I had a 3 yr. old and an 18 mo. old at the time and I was so unsure about what to expect. But God provided the love and support that I needed, and through my family and friends I was so greatly blessed! While I would not have picked this path for my life, God has used it for his glory! Thank you for your transparency and honesty. I am praying for you and your family, and I want to thank you for sharing your faith through this process. Hugs and prayers! Jennifer

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for sharing with me, Jennifer! I truly appreciate your prayers this week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  208. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing! You are so loved, and we will be praying for you!

    Elizabeth

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet girl! <3

      ~Abby =)

  209. Just found your blog today. Read your post from Jan 2017. Needed to read this today…truly God put this in front of me. Thank you for your encouraging words . God holds our hands.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Lorraine! Hugs and prayers for you! <3

      ~Abby =)

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