Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I just ordered a dress from Motherwear. The customer service was great, as always, and the dress arrived lickety-split. I don’t normally like nursing clothes in practice—in theory, they’re great. The only nursing clothes I like for myself are nursing tanks, and those give me plugged ducts. It’s all around a bad thing, so I’ve abandoned any hope of nursing modestly. See my belly, what do I care? But we’re going to at least one wedding this summer, and I don’t have wedding-nice clothes in which I can also nurse Sanna. I bought a dress; it arrived; I’m wearing it right now.

Wearing it makes me feel like I’m missing something. I have this mammogram on June 29, and part of me is terrified that I won’t be able to keep nursing as a result. I don’t plan to be bullied into weaning because of her age or because it might be inconvenient for the doctors who have to treat this lump. I’m terrified that it’s more than a benign lump, that I’ll need treatment, that “treatment” means chemotherapy.

Breastfeeding is the ultimate detox. I have pollutants my mother consumed up to the time I was born because she breastfed me for 13 months. I’m now giving those pollutants—and everything I’ve consumed—to Sanna. I now know why my mother was so terrified, so saddened and angry to tell me that she had cancer. I can’t leave my daughter now.

I cannot leave her. I don’t want to wean her. I want her to remember me.

The lump, which based on all odds is a milk cyst and not malignant, is growing. I have eight more days until the mammogram. My coping is subtle. I am scared.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I have a non-routine, diagnostic mammogram on June 29. I'll be back when I have more to say about that.

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