Ilana’s 3rd Birthday Corona-Style

Any parents out there will agree that this Pandemic has proven to be challenging in many ways. I think each age poses it’s own difficulties so no matter what, y’all are superheroes for managing…ESPECIALLY if you have multiples. LAWD it’s not easy!

Taking care of kids at home with nowhere to go and no one to see poses totally new obstacles than pre-pandemic conditions. There’s no entertaining kids by going to Disney, popping over to the Aquarium, library, playdates etc. Although wow, if we can do this we can do ANYTHING. #amIright? And honestly when all is said and done, we are going to look back and be thankful we had this bonding time as a family. Especially now that Ilana has just started back at daycare a few weeks ago, I feel accomplished that we did it!! 

Ilana just turned 3 years old!! 

We celebrated it in a different sort of way this year, given the circumstances obviously. Our friends and family showered her with SO much love, in a drive-by parade (SHOUT OUT to them for making it so special for her), and we rented a BOUNCE HOUSE!! (GUYS…I HIGHLY recommend this for quarantine birthdays). For the memories, it’s worth the money (it’s actually not as expensive as you’d think), and since we can’t throw a birthday party with all the bells and whistles that maybe you might normally do, this was a great alternative to make her feel like a Princess!

We used DPbounce.com (Darrin is AWESOME!!!! We couldn’t have had a more positive experience using his company). So if you’re planning a quarantine birthday, check him out!

We also decided to splurge on Ilana’s birthday cake!! Because hey, memories need to be made…and let’s face it. I LOVE DESSERT!! If we’re gonna do a birthday quarantine style, we need a killer cake!! We used Jillycakesorlando.com … We were beyond impressed with how this custom cake came out. It’s exactly what I wanted, and more!

Ilana had an amazing birthday, Coronavirus or not!! If you’re throwing a socially distanced event for kids (or adults),  check these guys out!!

http://www.DPbounce.com

http://www.JillyCakesOrlando.com

Mentally Preparing for the Double Mastectomy

A few days ago, I made it public via my social media that I had tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation.

My post read:

“Warning: Long post ahead

What a blessing it is to be able to save my life before it needs saving.

I’m going public with this now because I want to share my story for people who want/need to hear it. I am going to document this process…

The last 4 weeks have been a little nuts.In the midst of the craziness of Coronavirus, I tested positive for a gene mutation called BRCA2. It’s a mutation that is associated with high risk for breast and ovarian cancers.

Getting the phone call from the genetic counselor with my results was shocking. My first reaction was “no!” I called my husband to tell him my results, obviously a little shaken up.He came home from work early (which he NEVER ever does) and told me “If you have it, I have it”. It’s a hard pill to swallow. You feel like a ticking time bomb.

It’s a scary thing no doubt, but I have two beautiful babies who need me. I knew immediately I was going to be aggressively proactive.I made my phone calls RIGHT away, and met with all my respective doctors. Bam Bam Bam…went to doctors almost every day and got all my ducks in a row.

After a mammogram, ultrasounds, blood tests and MRIs, I can say, Thank GOD, that I am healthy and no Cancer anywhere. I’m so thankful to now have the opportunity that my ancestors didn’t have, who died too soon. I can have prophylactic surgery to prevent breast cancer!

SO In a little less than a month, on July 29th, I will be undergoing a double mastectomy followed by reconstruction (hey, I’ll have perky boobs for life right?? There’s the silver lining)

Bye Bye Boobies!

Am I nervous? Ummm…YES… but for me it’s far scarier to monitor and wait for the inevitable doom instead.

Recovery is going to be TOUGH with 2 little ones (3 years old and 10 month old now). My 10 month old is particularly attached to my hip, and I won’t be able to lift anything for at least a month post op. If you have kids or have been around kids… that sounds impossible right?? But hey people have done it and I will get through it too!

Then there are the ovaries, and Fallopian tubes…in the not too distant future I will be getting them removed as well to take those scary cancer risks out, especially having been diagnosed with PCOS.

But one step at a time…I want to write about my journey, in case there are other women out there who want/need to hear it and gain confidence and feel empowered so that they can move forward and be proactive!

It’s all going to be okay! Scary? Yes, but I am just so LUCKY to have this opportunity and ability to get ahead of this thing so it doesn’t ever bite me! If you’re still here, thanks for listening. Love to you all!”

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SO that is the backstory, and here I am to start sharing!

I have begun preparing and researching things I need for recovery.

I have written my 5 pages of instructions for taking care of my kids (YES I’m a little type A, but YES it is necessary). I’m nervous about changing our routine (let’s be real…I LOVE a routine, and I don’t want to change it for the kiddos). That actually gives me a lot of anxiety and I’m praying we can make this as smooth as possible for them.

I’ve tried to organize help for them and make sure everything is taken care of ahead of time.

It’s going to be the MOST challenging not to pick up my little one. No lifting in and out of the crib, high chair, dancing around with him etc. I’m taking solace in knowing, and reminding myself that he won’t remember this recovery period. It will not scar him (even though I’m sure I will still feel that way when the time comes).

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I was blown away by the overwhelming love I received when I went public with this news. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful support system around me! I feel blessed to have such an amazing team of Doctors, whom I trust! I feel blessed for this chance I get to take charge of my own health!

This featured picture on this blog is my Grandma, on my Dad’s side, Maria Giron, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 40. I never got a chance to meet her. I am going to HONOR her by taking this opportunity that she didn’t have.

I plan on being around for a long long time and seeing my gorgeous children get married. This is a scary thing but it is also the RIGHT choice for me!

I’m blogging and using this platform to inform and empower other women, share my story, and truthfully, it’s a great outlet for me to let it all out there as well!

Thank you so much for reading my very first post! I look forward to writing more soon!

I’m a Previvor!!

Lots more to come as I embark on this journey that is just beginning…

#previvor #IbelieveinScience #BRCA #BRCA2 #DoubleMastectomy

Welcome to My World

Hi My name is Johannah Katz, and I’m brand new to this whole blogging world, but I’m here to share my journey with you!

Why am I here?

I feel it’s important to connect and share my story so others can feel empowered and gain confidence to be proactive and take control of their health! I believe in science, and that knowledge is power!

I want to connect with and empower women and allow them to gain confidence. I feel it’s important to share our stories. Knowledge is power!

I’m a mom of two amazing little humans! I have a 3 year old girl and an almost 1 year old boy. Life is crazy, but beautiful! We all have our “stuff” and I’m here to share mine.

Check it out and I would love to hear from you!