How are you feeling? Really.

4FE1E675-0268-41E8-A367-5AD20F5268EDA long-time friend stopped by yesterday to chat. Regardless of time, our rapport never skips a beat. She is someone I have no problem answering any question truthfully to and likewise I feel the same to someone taking the time to read my story. How am I mentally and physically?

“How are you feeling? Really.“ she asks.


I respond with tears in my eyes. Holding back tears…keeps the words at bay. It’s quiet and my friend patiently gives me a moment… “I’m doing really good”. She understands my tears as her life also has been deeply affected by cancer. My crying comes with tears of relief. Relief that the surgery is over but I will never forget how scared I was those two marathon months prior to the surgery. I was scared of the pain, the recovery, the restricted activity…I was scared of how it would change my body, of losing my fitness and most importantly I was scared for my family.

Surgery is over and so is the fear. Sure my future holds many more concerns that come with uncertainty. I’ve got a challenging road ahead of me. But no more fear.

”Fear is only as deep as the mind allows”

I have faith in my God, my oncology team, my friends and family…I have faith in myself.

Faith overcomes Fear.


My body is recovering. My surgery involved billateral mastectomy, lymphadenectomy and DIEP Breast Reconstruction (deep inferior epigastric perforator). DIEP, I’m told its likened to a tummy tuck whereas the ”tucked” tissue is micro-surgically grafted connecting the nerves and vessels between my breast and abdomen.

  • From day one I have had no feeling in my chest, looks a bit Frankenstein, but no pain. As the transplant tissue heals I’m told I may regain some feeling. Honestly there no pain.
  • I have discomfort in my armpits from the lymphadenectomy. the incisions are right where my arms (armpit) constantly move. My fear of lymphedema however is greater than the discomfort so I push through and move and reach and move and reach to keep swelling at bay.
  • My abdomen…I have to say has given me some pain. Quickly I discovered how my abdomen is involved in every little move I make. I have a 16 inch incision that is sewn super tight…my tummy is like a drum. Funny thing I didn’t even know they had made me a new belly button until a couple days later when I finally was granted the glory of a shower.
    This incision prevents me from lying flat, sitting straight, standing upright…basically discomfort in any position that normally would be restful or relaxed. Each day the pain has decreased considerably. I credit that to my daily yoga prior to the surgery and my inherent ability to not be able to sit still.
  • My Back. As the other pain lessens it seems my back hurts more. My back hurts because I am using muscles I haven’t had to use before to make up for the fact that I cant stand, sit, or lay flat. This will pass…but sooner would be better. I can’t stand in one spot for long, I use a cane to walk and I would do anything to feel the stretch of a Sun Salutation but that is for another day….far away aways.

Seven days after surgery I completely stopped taking the major pain meds and now only use Ibuprofen, Tylenol and Valium (muscle relaxer for my back).

This is a long post and I leave you with a quote given to me by yet another wonderful friend,

Why should you stop the tears if they want to fall? Sorrow, fear and anger is looking for a way out. Why not show them the exit? Then maybe things you need more, like Laughter, hope, and resilience can move in and live.

21 thoughts on “How are you feeling? Really.

  1. You inspire me every single day. I have so much to learn from you, my beautiful friend. I admire your strength, faith, and attitude. Love you exponentially, always.


  2. Sometimes I have wondered how a person can be so moved by people you meet because of the internet, people you’ll more than likely never meet in person. It has to be another of God’s gifts that you are blessed with. I’m very happy that I’ve “met” you, can read your words. Praying for your continued healing. ❤️


  3. Lisa, wow. I am speechless and thinking of you. It sounds like such a major surgery. I will say. Prayer for you!!!


  4. You are amazing, I have to keep saying you are one of the bravest women I know and privileged to call my friend. I am inspired by your strength, faith, honesty and I am humbled by your sharing heart. Know I am praying daily still. Like we say “this too shall pass” and it will! One day at a time … Love you bunches!!!


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