Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer Blog

From breastfeeding to being diagnosed with breast cancer and then back to breastfeeding. This is an account of my experiences.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Becoming Pregnant

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer just over two years ago, I wondered if I would ever be pregnant again.  As treatment options became reality, it seemed less and less likely.  Now I am pregnant again and it seems so normal, yet so long ago that I felt like this.  It was a lifetime ago, but only 5 and a half years ago. 

Having a cancer grow inside your body feels so foreign and is something so unwelcome.  Becoming pregnant is taking back some of that control, though trying to get pregnant is another lesson in lack of control.

Feeling my remaining breast swell and do what it is supposed to do is so normal.  Growing a healthy, normal baby again is so fulfilling.  

I feel tremendously lucky that I have no evidence of disease and am able to be pregnant.  If I had had a hormone receptive cancer, I would likely still be taking Tamoxifen and not pregnant.

Even though I feel like a breastfeeding expert, I do have some concerns about nursing on only one side.  There isn't much information available for women who find themselves breastfeeding after a mastectomy.  What if my nipple becomes damaged?  What if she seems to need more?  Even though I know that through the perfect system of supply and demand, she will have just enough.

Being older and post cancer treatment certainly has made this pregnancy a bit harder than my others.  I started at a higher weight and did have some concerns about being 37 years old.

Already having a six year old and a ten year old brings many people to pause.  Why the big space in my family?  Do I really want to “start all over again?”  Watching a baby grow and develop is an awesome experience, seeing it through my older childrens’ eyes is even more so.  I know what to expect in some instances, but for them it’s like magic.

Ultimately choosing to have another baby and being able to was the best decision for me.  It has been healing to see my body function more normally.