I’m 38 years old; I have 5 yo twins and a 10 month old; I’m a Certified Lactation Counselor and an advocate for equitable and accessible lactation support; and I have breast cancer.
In late January my husband felt a lump in my breast.
On Friday, February 9th, pathology confirmed that I have triple negative breast cancer.
In 2 days, I start chemo. That’s 41 hours until I can never nurse this baby — any baby — ever again. Today I’m laying around soaking up every last second, with our bodies curled into one another.
As the clock ticks down and the details fall into place so there’s nothing left to arrange and no tasks to focus on, I’m left to sit with terrible grief and anxiety.
Nursing my 10 month old has not been very pleasant the last several days. My chemo port site is still sore; he’s jet lagged and fussy and out of his routine; he’s started standing on his head and waving his behind around to fight sleep at the breast. A few times a dark and ugly part of myself has thought, at least this will be over in a few days. But at my core — the part that’s not worn down by terror and exhaustion — I’m devastated that this stage of our relationship is coming to a screeching halt and that there will be no last-minute reprieve. This is happening. It’s real.
Never again will I comfort him at the breast. Never again will I feed him from my own body. Yes, we’ll still be bonded and of course he’ll still be nurtured and nourished, but I’ve never *not* mothered through breastfeeding and nothing short of an actual life or death crisis could have made me stop before he was at least two years old. Neither one of us is ready.
Ready or not, here it comes. 💔