PREVIVOR: A person who is not diagnosed with cancer, but has survived the predisposition, or higher risk, of cancer due to a genetic mutation and/or strong family history. After being armed with this information, a previvor can make informed choices prior to a cancer diagnosis.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Always with me

There are days when I actually forget that I had a mastectomy. It won't cross my mind for days or even weeks now. I've gotten used to what they look like (even though I'm excited about getting my final touch up and tattoos!). So, all in all I'm very happy!

However, occasionally, something happens to trigger those weird feelings. Like there always there, but in a part of my mind I tend to shut of 99.5% of the time. But then the other .5% of the time, it gets open and I start to think. What triggered it this time?


I know I've briefly touched on the topic before. My common sense, smart self says that breastfeeding is not nearly as important as insuring my hypothetical children have a happy, healthy, cancer free mother. I even clearly remember Granny saying to me "Do not worry about breastfeeding. No child has ever died or gotten critically ill from being bottle fed." Which is true. I KNOW that there are ways to ensure having the healthiest, happiest baby possible without having to breastfeed.

But, then my womanly, emotional self comes out. And then I start to experience a feeling somewhat akin to jealousy.These women who are so passionate about breast feeding HAVE breasts. Nice, cancer risk free breasts. I hear women who are extremely pro breast feeding (which is fine by me. It's good to have a cause and I'm in no way knocking what these women do or support.) constantly hammering the benefits of breast feeding and how they get offended by someone saying they shouldn't do it in public. (Again, not knocking these women. I want to make that clear, lest someone begins to think I'm bashing breast feeding). Part of me really wants to say "At least you have breasts to pull out in public." or "At least you have the option to breastfeed." I guess I could pull my foobs out in public, but I'd probably horrify people and get arrested too. If people have a problem with public breast feeding, they'd probably have a problem with my bionic boobs flashing about.

Also, these passionate women who shout the health benefits of breastfeeding from the rooftops, also take it one step further in accusing people who don't breast feed of simply not understanding the benefits. I even heard one person say "Those who say they can't, often don't understand how or why." What? Yes, there are health benefits to breast feeding. But it's not the end all be all of good parenting. I want to sometimes say "Why thank you for saying I'll not be a good parent because I can't breast feed a child. I'm glad I'm starting that far behind on good parenting- better do a lot more to catch up!" And honestly, (thank you nursing school) some people say that breast feeding offers benefits that it really doesn't. But that's neither here nor there.

Do I say any of this? No. I don't even engage in these conversations. But I sit on the sidelines and observe. And at the end of the day I still know I made the right decision. I guess if it were going to be easy, everyone would be doing it :)

1 comment:

  1. I am not going to sugar coat it for you because having experienced it first hand, (I had a breast reduction that prevented me from successfully bfing) it is super hard not being able to do that for your child. But, I think it has mostly to do with the hormones and all and with time it gets easier and easier. Now, I have no worries about it at all. It just in the moment when they are so little. You are right, being alive for your hypothetical children is way more important than the chance to BF. Sometimes it doesn't even work out for the women with normal breasts anyway. It'll be ok in the longrun.