When pregnant with my son, my goal was to nurse him for an entire year. In the beginning, this was harder than I anticipated but we persevered. When J turned 1 in July, we began to wean and only nursed at night. I was so excited that we had made it! Although I planned to continue weaning, I wasn’t in a rush.
When I went for a breast biopsy, the doctor told me to wean faster because she was “very concerned”. That night was the last time I nursed my son. I cried. A lot. I thought we had time to keep weaning. I thought the middle of the night nursing would continue for a few more weeks. I wasn’t ready to stop. But I did. I think that has been one of the hardest parts of the last few weeks; stopping breastfeeding before I was ready.
The day that my son turned 13 months old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast and lymph nodes. As I sat in the chair holding my husband’s hand and listening to the doctor explain what this meant, what the treatment would be and what the next steps were, my head spun. It didn’t make sense. How does this happen? I am young, nursing and healthy. I have no known risk factors. Why? I struggled with trying to understand throughout the appointment as the nurse scheduled my follow ups, gave me directions for blood work and handed me tissues.
By the time my appointment ended, my mind had shifted. I knew what needed to be done and had a plan to make it happen. I focused immediately on accomplishing these tasks. All I could think was, I have to beat this. I will beat this.
The coming months will be challenging. The most challenging of my life and my family’s life. I am scared, terrified, really. But I know that I can – will – beat this. I don’t know what this blog will bring but my intent is to share my story. This journey. That’s all for now.