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.


At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Erin said...

I've been following both of your blogs for a while but I've never posted. I just wanted you to know that you've been on my mind since you mentioned the lump. I'm wishing you nothing but the best....healthy thoughts are coming your way. Please take care.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Shelli said...

thinking positive thoughts to you, Em.

And hoping it's nothing.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, Emilin, I am sending very, very, very positive thoughts your way. Don't let the scariness get you down. Your baby needs you and you will be there for her for a long time, I just know it.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Trudi said...

You're honest.
And only one more day to fret. How long to get the results back? I had my first mammo appt in December and I carry my results in my wallet and look at it occassionally. It says there is nothing suspicious and not to come back until I'm 40 unless I show symptoms. I'm 35 now. I'm doing self breast exams daily. I hate fear.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because you're not alone. Ever. Try not to get ahead of yourself. You're young and healthy and live in a great community for medical care and...... don't get ahead of yourself. Just get through today.

Thinking of you...

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Dee G. said...

A perfect stranger who has recently stumbled across your blog, wishing you well and hoping your silence for the past month is due to you rejoicing and living your life.

Best wishes.

At 1:09 AM, Blogger Samsara said...

Hope all is well.


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