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Oct 15, 2019 09:53AM
Progress that has been made regarding breast cancer can sometimes be a mixed blessing. You know about your increased odds due to the gene mutation and while this may well save your life, it complicates your life in the short run as you weigh decisions such as this. I do not have any genetic factors for cancer and I did/do all the things that are said to protect me from cancer yet ... cancer showed up in 2016.
I have two grown children and breast fed both. My children bearing days were long before companies offered long paid maternity leave (my current employer provides 16 weeks at 100% pay; I had 6 weeks at 80%) or had special rooms for pumping (ladies’ room is not conducive). Consequently I breast fed for less than 12 weeks. My mother, who had children in the 60s, breast fed none of us. We all grew up reasonably well adjusted and as contributing members of society.
I tell you these things as I want you to know that breast feeding is not the be-all, end-all that some will have you believe. Yes, there are health benefits for your children. I firmly believe that how you feel about what you are doing has a greater impact on your children. If you don’t breast feed and every time you feed your child you feel guilty, that doesn’t seem healthy. Feeding your child with formula, holding him or her closely and knowing that you are providing sustenance and love is incredibly powerful. If you choose to delay your DMX until after child bearing but you are stressed about the potential of cancer every day, I believe that stress will be felt by your children.
I didn’t have to make this decision nor will my daughter (nothing in our genes) so my input is simply input. The decision is yours. I do believe that when you make it, you’ll know it is right when you don’t find yourself second guessing or revisiting it. Knowing what I know as a 58 year old mother of two, if my choice were breast feed or increase the likelihood I’d see them grow up, I would choose the latter.
All the best for the many decisions you have in your future.
6/27/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
6/27/2016, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
9/22/2016 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
2/9/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
4/23/2017 Aromasin (exemestane)
12/13/2017 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap