A Surgery Date, a Marathon, and My Big Secret Revealed!

Happy, happy Friday, my friends!!! I’ve had some things I wanted to share with you, but I didn’t know how to work them in to one of my regular tutorial-type posts, so I decided to just throw together a little “life update” post to let you know what’s going on around here! So, first on the docket…

1. A Surgery Date

Surgery, Marathon, eBook | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Waaaaaaaayyy back in October, I kind of spilled my soul all over the pages of my blog in this post where I talked about being a carrier of the BRCA1 genetic mutation, which puts me at extremely high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Also in that post I shared that I would be having a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction this summer to reduce my risk of breast cancer to almost nothing. Well, a few weeks ago, we set a date. My surgery will be on July 21st, 10 years almost to the day from when I found out about being a carrier of the gene. While I’m nervous about the surgery and recovery process, I’m mostly relieved that this chapter will finally be over with after thinking about it for the last 10 years! I will have some fabulous guest posters lined up while I’m recovering, and I’m so excited to be able to share the talents of some of my favorite bloggy buddies during that time. You all have been so encouraging about this genetic thing/surgery ever since I first posted about it, and I am SO thankful for your support!! <3

2. A Marathon

Surgery, Marathon, eBook | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

No, I didn’t run a whole marathon. I did finish a marathon, though! 😀 This past weekend some of my friends and I teamed up to do the relay portion of the Pittsburgh Marathon, and since I was the last runner in our group, technically I can say I’ve finished a marathon, lol! It was such a blast spending the day with my team, Moms on the Run, and running through the city with everyone cheering us on! We finished in 4 hours, 8 minutes and placed 49th out of 229 relay teams. We were ecstatic!

3. My Big Secret Revealed!

Surgery, Marathon, eBook | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

If you are one of my fabulous newsletter subscribers, you already know this, but the big secret I’ve been hinting around about on social media for a few months now has finally been revealed…

I’m writing an eBook!!!

Eeeeeeeek!!! I have to admit, I get kind of nervous even just saying that! Several months ago I started getting a steady stream of emails asking for blogging advice, to which my first reaction was, “Me?! You’re asking me?!” The emails kept rolling in, though, and as I answered each one, I started to realize that maybe I actually had learned a thing or two about this whole blogging deal after all. So I decided to write an eBook detailing everything I learned in my first year of blogging. Now, I certainly don’t know everything there is to know about blogging, but I know a ton more than I did just over a year ago, so I thought it would be helpful to share the knowledge I’ve gained in case there are people out there just like I was: interested in starting a blog, but just not knowing where to start. I also think the eBook may be interesting to people who are already blogging; I know I’d love a backstage pass into another blogger’s world to see how they do things! I’ll be talking about everything from how I set up my blog initially to how I’ve grown my social media numbers, worked with brands, and even made some money from this thing. The plan is to launch the eBook on June 10th, my 30th birthday– yes, I totally joked with my newsletter subscribers about this being my way of going through a midlife crisis! 😉 And speaking of my newsletter subscribers– they will be the first ones to know details about the book like the table of contents, any sample chapters I release, etc., so if you’re not signed up for my newsletter list, be sure to sign up here so you don’t miss any info!!

If you’re already on the newsletter list but you didn’t receive my announcement email, I’m sad to report that many people found them in their spam folders. What?!! Craziness. So check your spam folder, un-spam me, and if you use gmail, move me over from the “promotions” tab to your primary email so you get all of the updates! I want you to be the first to know everything!!

Whew! So I think that’s all of my announcements for today. What exciting things are going on in your life these days? I really do want to know, so be sure to tell me in the comments! And if you have questions you want me to answer in the eBook, leave those too– I’d love to hear them! Thanks so much, friends! You all are the best! Have a wonderful weekend!

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65 Comments

  1. Karen @ a house full of sunshine says:

    Ok, I’m a pretty new follower, so I just clicked over to read your original post about all this… and now I’m crying. (Thanks for that, Abby.) 🙂

    Seriously, girl – you are amazing!! Your faith in God is such a beautiful, shining testimony. Who knows… maybe that’s one of the reasons God has allowed you to go through all this… so that your words could impact one of your readers. You never know how God is going to use you, even (and sometimes especially) through the most difficult and heartbreaking things of your life.

    Your parents and that pearl necklace – there are no words. I’m crying again just thinking about what they did for you. So much wisdom and love in the way they’ve guided you through this. I’m thinking of what it must have been like for them to hear that news about BOTH their daughters, after everything they’d been through with your mom. What brave, strong and courageous parents they are. You are truly blessed!

    We’ve just recently been through a similarly scary situation with our daughter that honestly freaked me out more than anything I’ve ever experienced. She’s only 1 year old. And yet, even when it felt like the roof of our world was caving in on us, God’s faithfulness stood firm. Too much to reflect on here… I’ll link up the post I wrote about it, below. But basically, he gave us a miracle, and that miracle was what he did inside of us.

    So, so glad I found your blog. I will be praying for you as your surgery date approaches! For a peace so overwhelming you can’t even understand it. ((((hugs)))

    1. Karen @ a house full of sunshine says:

      Oh, AND – congratulations on the e-book!! I got a little distracted what with all the weeping going on around here. 😉

    2. justagirlabby says:

      I just left a comment on your post, which also left me in tears. We just need to get together and have a big cry-fest, my friend! I will tell you, I would take a surgery for myself over one for my kids any day– you are such an inspiration to me with your strength and your amazing outlook and your testimony. Little Allegra is so blessed to have you as her mommy! I hope you have (or are having… it’s Sunday in Australia, right?) the most wonderful Mother’s Day with your family. I’m sure it’s a little sweeter this year. You will be in my prayers, Miss Karen! Hugs! <3

      ~Abby =)

      1. Karen @ a house full of sunshine says:

        Oh hon, thank you so much for those truly beautiful words! I did have a wonderful day today – and I hope yours is full to overflowing as well! Now no more making each other cry, ‘kay? 😉 We’re even!! LOL 🙂 Big hugs!!

        1. justagirlabby says:

          Good plan. No more crying, lol! Have a wonderful week, my friend!

          ~Abby =)

  2. Holly @ Coconutheadsurvivalguide says:

    Abby – July 21st is on my calendar for extra prayers. Open ended offer to help with anything you need, but you know I’m here for you girl, and will continue the fight on behalf of you and everyone else who has to go through this. Love and hugs, Holly

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Holly! You are always such a rock for me with this! I appreciate your prayers!! Hugs!

      ~Abby =)

  3. (30 better not be your midlife, cousin!!!) So excited for you and this news! Go, girl!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Lol, true! Maybe 1/3 life crisis would have been more accurate… at least I hope so! I’m going for Great Grandad’s endurance! 🙂 Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks for your show! Hugs, cousin!!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Kim {Pinspired Home} says:

    Way to go finishing the marathon! 😉
    We’ll be praying for your surgery date. I’m sure it is a relief to know your risk for cancer will go down, though it’s still a bit scary. You are so brave, girl! 🙂
    And as for the e-book, I can’t wait! I’ve been saving up some questions for you, and it sounds like the e-book will answer it. 🙂
    Blessings to you, Donnie, and the C’s!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Kim!! You know I’m always willing to answer questions, so feel free to send them my way! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend– Happy Mother’s Day!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Will be praying for you and your surgery! Such an amazing story you share that I know touches many. Very excited for you ebook! You are an inspiration to me as a newer blogger!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Keri!! Your encouragement means a lot!! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend– Happy Mother’s Day!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Emily @ My Love for Words says:

    I’ll definitely be praying for you and your family, a successful surgery, and an easy recovery. *hugs*

    Congrats on finishing a marathon 😉 and the ebook! I can’t wait to read it 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! You are the best! Thanks for always being such an encouragement to me! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend– Happy Mother’s Day!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Samantha @ Five Heart Home says:

    What an eventful few months you have coming up, Abby. I’ll be saying prayers that your surgery and recovery go smoothly, and I’m very excited to hear about your e-book! Congrats, too, on finishing a marathon! 😉 You never cease to impress me with how much you’ve accomplished and how many connections you’ve made in such a relatively short time blogging. Thanks for keeping your readers in the loop on all of your big changes. Hugs, and happy Friday!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, my friend! You are the sweetest!! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother’s Day!!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Selene Galindo says:

    Hi Abby! I will be lifting you up in prayer; that all will go well and that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, cover you.
    I’m so excited about your e-book!! Way to go!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! I appreciate the prayers and encouragement! You are the best!

      ~Abby =)

  9. It’s so exciting about your ebook! Prayers to you for your surgery.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Julie! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  10. I will be praying for you and your surgery. I know God will be with you through the whole process. Way to go on doing the marathon! I’ve don 5K’s , but the word “marathon” just makes me have leg cramps immediately. Also, I can’t wait until your ebook comes out. I’ve been blogging a year, but haven’t done everything I need to do to get it to grow. Frankly I’m not sure what I really need to do. I just keep blogging and linking up. It’s grown, but I’d like to do more. I can’t wait to see your advise.

    Shannon ~ bohemianjunktion.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Shannon! Your encouragement really means so much! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother’s Day!

      ~Abby =)

  11. Angela, blue i style says:

    You have such an amazing attitude about your surgery, and I can only begin to imagine the weight that will be lifted from your shoulders once your recovery is complete and you can know that your cancer risk is so greatly reduced! What an amazing gift you are giving to yourself and your husband and kids!

    And congrats on the eBook! I can’t wait to read it! You clearly learned MUCH more in your first year than I did based on your amazing success, so I look forward to learning from you!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Um, first of all, can we just talk about your son’s AMAZING room?! I just popped over to sneak a peek on your blog and was totally and completely blown away. I mean, that may be the most awesome little boy room that I have ever seen in my entire life. Now I want to re-do the Cs’ room again! Seriously, amazing, amazing job, Angela! Wow!! Pinned for sure!
      Thank you so much for your sweet words and encouragement, friend! They really mean so much! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother’s Day!!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Angela, blue i style says:

        Wow! Thank you so, so much for your kind words, Abby! I am so flattered!!

  12. Wow, that’s a lot going on, girl! Wishing you all the best for your surgery/recovery, and am excited you can move past this!

    CONGRATS on the marathon – 49th is fabulous! I bet it was a lot of fun with your friends!

    I seriously can’t wait for your ebook, I bet it’ll be great!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, friend! You are the best! Happy Mother’s Day! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  13. Hi Abby,

    I just stumbled upon your blog after googling bunting templates. My oldest daughter is graduating this year and I am looking for ideas to decorate for her party. But I digress. I felt compelled to write because of your breast cancer story. Specifically because you are having surgery. Two weeks ago to today I had the final surgery for my own breast reconstruction. Last November I found out I had breast cancer during a routine mammogram. A series of tests began and when it was all said and done I discovered I had not only breast cancer, but uterine cancer AND lung cancer! Fortunately for me the 3 cancers were each different vs. one malignant cancer. They were all very small, stage 1 cancers and after 3 surgeries I am cancer free without having had to endure chemo or radiation. Because I had 3 cancers I also had genetic testing but none of the predisposing genes for cancer were present, at least that are known of today. So that was good news as well. I am back to my normal routines and trying to get back into shape which has been my biggest complaint through the whole ordeal. Recovering from surgery restricted my active lifestyle. However, I know the fitness will come back and am grateful that such a trivial complaint is the worst I can say about the whole thing.

    Specifically I wanted to tell you, based on this experience, that plastic surgeons can do unbelievable work. In my case the pain was minimal. And the results were better than I could have hoped for. Good luck with your surgery and thanks for sharing your story. Now, back to party decorations…….

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Amy! Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story with me! I am so thankful that they were able to catch you cancers early and that you didn’t have to go through chemo or radiation! Thanks so much for your encouragement about the plastic surgery, too– it’s good to know that I may just come out of this thing looking normal, lol! Have fun with the party decorations, and Happy Mother’s Day!!

      ~Abby =)

  14. Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says:

    So glad for you Abby to have this season of your life soon behind you! I admire your courageous heart 🙂 So excited for your new ebook … As a new blogger, I’d love to see the details of how you’ve gotten where you are! Hugs!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Kendra! You are the sweetest!! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says:

    Wow, girl! You are seriously superwoman with these three updates you had to share with us. Will be praying for those nerves about the surgery to vanish with a surreal sense of God’s peace (which surpasses all understanding). And for a smooth recovery process (so excited to be guest posting!). Way to go on that marathon achievement! That’s SO impressive to me as I loathe running…but wish I didn’t. And the eBook you’re writing?! Eeeeep! This is super duper exciting. I’m working on an eBook of my own, so I look forward to hearing how your process is and any tips and tricks you have to offer on that front. (Maybe a topic for your next eBook? Ha ha. How to write an eBook!)

    Hugs and love,
    Lauren

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I had seen a little snippet on IG that said you were thinking about writing an eBook, and I’m so excited! I will be first in line to buy it when it comes out! Thank you so much for your encouragement– it really means so much! I am so thrilled to have your talents being displayed on my blog while I’m out– my readers may not want me back, lol! 😉 Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  16. Krista @the happy housie says:

    So much big news!! So impressed how you meet all those challenges head on, and can’t wait to read your ebook!! Have an amazing Mother’s Day weekend friend!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! Your support means a lot! Hope you’re getting spoiled this Mother’s Day weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  17. Hi, Abby. I just wanted you to know I think you are a pretty amazing girl and I feel blessed to know you. Congratulations on completing the marathon relay (and did I recognize some other familiar MOPS faces on your team? Congrats to them too!). I know you have a lot of support, but I just want you to know I’m praying for you and your sweet family as you face your surgery this summer. HUGS to you, friend!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! It will be good to finally have it behind me, I think. I appreciate your support! And you’re right– it was all MOPS girls on our relay team– so fun! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! Happy Mother’s Day!!

      ~Abby =)

  18. Marie @ The Interior Frugalista says:

    Abby you sound like a very positive and courageous woman! It takes guts to voluntarily subject yourself to this kind of surgery…it takes courage to run a marathon regardless of it being a team relay…and it takes guts to write a book….and to do it all before turning 30…commendable! You will be in my thoughts on July 21st. Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Marie! Your encouragement means a lot!! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  19. femmefrugality says:

    My friend did the relay portion, as well! He said the biggest thing he learned was that he never wanted to run a full marathon. :p Congrats on finishing! And the ebook! Too exciting!

    I hope all goes well with the surgery. You’ll be in my thoughts. Kudos for being so brave through this entire process.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Lol– truth!! The relay was plenty for me!

      Thanks so much for your encouraging words, friend! Happy Mother’s Day!

      ~Abby =)

  20. Abby,
    I will be praying for you, from this moment until you are fully recovered. Congrats on your eBook. You must be so excited.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Kathleen! I appreciate the prayers! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  21. Mindie Hilton says:

    Awesome about the book and marathon. I
    Was so nervous about the lumpectomy surgery, and it turned out to be the best nap of my life lol. I still don’t know if surgery or radiation is coming next. You will be in my thoughts. I joked with my husband if it’s surgery, I am going big or going home, ha ha. You are an amazing woman.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hey, friend! I’m so glad the lumpectomy went smoothly! So have you decided to do the surgery for sure then? If they do the surgery do they still have to do radiation? My memory is fuzzy, but I feel like my mom was going to have chemo and radiation and then they found out about the gene, so the scrapped radiation and just did chemo and then her surgeries. When do you get your genetic results? Soon, right?
      Oh men! We had the appointment a few weeks ago where I had to “try on” new sizes, and let’s just say that my husband’s pick was different than mine. 😉 At least ours will be perky, right? Praying for you and thinking of you often! Keep me updated! Hugs and Happy Mother’s Day!!!

      ~Abby =)

  22. Karen Marie Kedzuch says:

    Abby,
    I am so happy that you have made such progress in your life? It seems a short time ago I was in my late 20’s facing those what if, or how questions in my life. Years later they seem like a blip on the radar of life. Congratulations on the new book, I hope it come t, you quickly because I am in my first year and am always asking questions. I am glad you have received great support form your Blog family and I am sure your private community too. If I can help in any way please ask away. I would be happy to help such a kind loving person as yourself. Happy Mother’s Day to you!
    I will be praying for a quick recovery,
    Karen Marie
    Dragonfly & Lily Pads Blogspot

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words and encouragement, Karen! They really mean so much! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  23. Hi Abby,
    I’m new to your blog and hope all goes well with your health and can’t wait for the ebook. So exciting. I just subscribed to the newsletter and was wondering about the PDF and when I should receive it, I look forward to reading it, I’ve been reading your post for hours now:)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Chanel! I’m so sorry you didn’t get the PDF yet. It should come within an hour of subscribing, but sometimes the spam folder nabs it, sadly. 🙁 I just emailed you another one, so let me know if you don’t get it! Thanks again for your encouraging words! Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  24. Danielle S says:

    Congratulations on the ebook! It might be something I put on my “need to read list” as I have been more of the causal lifestyle blogger! I love my blog and I would love to learn something new and worthwhile about the whole “blogging at the next level” thing.

    God bless you and your journey with your surgery. “Be strong and courageous. Don’t not be terrified for The Lord God is with you wherever you go.”

    https://www.mysimplesignificance.blogspot.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Danielle! You are the sweetest. That verse is so encouraging! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  25. As scary as this surgery is, it will be such a huge weight lifted of your should. You are a very brave and strong woman. The healing process I’m sure, will be trying but in the end you will be at peace and can relax, Leaving in fear every day is not good for anyone.

    You did more than I would of with that marathon. Even though I can’t run anymore I never enjoyed it period.

    Congrats on the book writing and good luck!!!

    Cynthia

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Cynthia! Your encouragement really means a lot! <3 Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

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  27. Carrie @ Kenarry: Ideas for the Home says:

    Abby, I’ve been following your story and want to thank you for being brave enough to share your journey. May your strength give strength to others diagnosed with that awful gene. And may the surgery this summer eradicate your chances of ever getting cancer.

    Congrats on completing the marathon and starting your eBook. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.

    Cheering for you from Michigan!
    Carrie

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Carrie! Your encouragement means a lot! <3 Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  28. Alexis @ Persia Lou says:

    Congratulations on the race and the book, Abby! You moms are fast! Way to go! And I will be praying that all goes smoothly with the surgery. I love your attitude, and I am so glad that the surgery will help you move past this difficult stage. Hugs!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Alexis! You encouragement means the world to me! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

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  31. indah nuria Savitri says:

    you’re such a great example for all cancer survivor..My surgery is coming in three days and I’m trying to so cool about it, while digging up all the necessary information that I need to know regarding my mastectomy and the recovery. Thanks for sharing and showing the encouragement for all Abby..cheers and wish you all the best for your health…

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, Indah! I will be praying for you, my friend! If you ever want to talk or need anything, please let me know. And keep me updated on how everything goes! Hugs!!

      ~Abby =)

  32. Hi Abby, I am brand new to your blog but I love it and will be getting your ebook next week! You are very brave and good to talk all about this; my niece was about 35 when she decided to have a double mastectomy and then a hysterectomy. She is glowing and happy, and did it for her family because she wanted to live. She has a great attitude. I think I was a little shocked at first by her decision but that was before she educated me as to the hows and whys of cancer. Going public is going to help so many women in the future who have to make this choice, and I know if I have to do it I will think of you and my niece and know that there is light and life later on! God bless!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Corene! Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement– they really mean so much! And how encouraging to hear about how well your niece is doing too. Hope you have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

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