I breastfed all my babies. You don't even want to know for how long.
Once, in the locker room, a woman criticized me for bringing my little boy in to change, accusing him of staring at her breasts.
I was polite, of course, but I did point out that as a breastfeeding mother, with many breastfeeding friends, my son saw breasts all the time. To him, breasts were for feeding babies. That this woman thought a six year old boy would be looking at breasts in a sexual way is just sad.
"Breast" is not a "bad word" in our home. Even after I stopped nursing my kids, I volunteered as a breastfeeding counselor. (I still do, though I am far less active than I once was.)
I talked about breasts ALL the time.
So, when I learned that I had breast cancer, I felt betrayed by my body.
Breastfeeding lowers the incidence of breast cancer, both in mothers and their babies. I breastfed ALL my babies, for a LONG time. How could my breasts betray me like this??
My breasts were a source of life. My children lived on breast milk alone for anywhere between 6 months to a year (depending on the kid). Even after my kids started eating solids, breast milk was their primary source of nutrition. Later, it was a valuable supplement for them. When they were breastfeeding, my children almost never got sick. Breast milk was the elixir of life!
How could my breasts turn from a source of life to a threat of death??
How could they contain cancer???
I did not know how to look at my body anymore.
My body had betrayed me.
My breasts had betrayed me.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
First Joint Jewish Blog Carnival, HH-KCC of 5775
12 hours ago