Breastfeeding and breastcancer

Options
lunalca
lunalca Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm 36 years old and was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. After my biopsy, no one from the cancer support staff where I had it done called me or anyone from my OBGYN doctors office. I had to place 2 calls to my doctor and she finally called me on Monday at 5PM and told me I had cancer but that she didn't know anything else. The main reason I'm writing today is because I have a 7month old girl which I have breastfed since birth, no one from my current 'medical team' (including the father of my children) is supportive of my breastfeeding and I have been pushed to stop and giving how little information there is about breastfeeding and breast cancer, I have given up and started to wean my daughter. The only person(s) that is supported of my continue to nurse my daughter is my pediatrician and her staff. I'm going to see another doctor next week and she has also advised me to stop and this was her reason: "Yes she should stop breast feeding on the diagnosed side” AS if having cancer wasn't bad enough, having to stop to breastfeed my daughter is beyond devastating!!!!!!!!!! To top it off, my daughter is allergic to dairy so I’m giving her a soy formula and she spits up all the time, she wants to nurse every time i pick her up even if she's just had a bottle and she is fussy at night. IN ADDITION, my dad also had cancer and from the moment I learned his news he became my hero because he was always so positive, cheery, happy and stood so strong regardless of how bad he felt. He passed away last week and this has put me in an even darker hole. I lost my strength, my inspiration! My DAD at 58! I'm sorry this is so long but I had to get it all out there.I'm looking for some much needed information on breastfeeding and breast cancer as well as some kind words other than 'I’m sorry' from someone that can not related to what I’m going through. Any ladies out there that had to stop breastfeeding because of breast cancer? Any help, information or support is much needed over here.

Comments

  • CarrWilson
    CarrWilson Member Posts: 111
    Options
    Breastfeeding
    Hi there -

    I am so sorry you are having to go thru all this with a 7 month old and the loss of your father. I am a RN that did labor and delivery for 9 years, I do know of women that were diagnosed with breast cancer and usually stopped or did not start when they delivered when they were diagnosed. However, there are also cultures where the women only breastfeed from one breast. I personally do not know of any information or support, but possibly contact the ACS or LeLeche league. It is possible to just lactate from one breast, and still provide complete nutrition for your baby, (it may take a while to up your milk supply).

    Here is a website that might be helpful: http://breastcancer.about.com/lw/Health-Medicine/Conditions-and-diseases/Breastfeeding-and-Breast-Cancer.htm

    I know this is scary, and sorry there is not much support. If you do need to have chemo you will need to re-evaluate breastfeeding, because you do not want to take the chance of the chemicals they use to cross into your milk. But pumping and dumping during that time is possible.

    Best of Luck - Carrie
  • greyhoundluvr
    greyhoundluvr Member Posts: 402
    Options
    I Can't Add Anything
    To what Carrie has said but just wanted to welcome you to the site although I know this is the last place you want to be. I can't imagine all of the emotions you have going on right now let alone having to deal with the diagnosis of breast cancer and notbeing able to get all of the answers you want. I'm not sure what kind of doctor you are seeing next week but you may want to consider seeing an oncologist early on. They are usually very good about taking the time to educate and answer your questions and likely have seen more breast-feeding mothers with this diagnosis than perhaps your OB/GYN has. Best wishes to you - you are always welcome here whether to ask questions or just vent....

    Chris
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
    Options

    I Can't Add Anything
    To what Carrie has said but just wanted to welcome you to the site although I know this is the last place you want to be. I can't imagine all of the emotions you have going on right now let alone having to deal with the diagnosis of breast cancer and notbeing able to get all of the answers you want. I'm not sure what kind of doctor you are seeing next week but you may want to consider seeing an oncologist early on. They are usually very good about taking the time to educate and answer your questions and likely have seen more breast-feeding mothers with this diagnosis than perhaps your OB/GYN has. Best wishes to you - you are always welcome here whether to ask questions or just vent....

    Chris

    The first time I got
    The first time I got diagnosed with cancer I was 34 my daughters were 3 years, and I was breastfeeding my 8 month old. I felt a lump while pumping. It saved my life. It is really an added layer when you get diagnosed during this time. You are in a "giving life" mode while yours is being threatend. I had to wean her over a weekend dropping a feed a day(lactation consultant advice) as I was preparing for surgery and chemo. The drugs that would have passed from the breast milk would not have been good for her. She was not allergic to milk so I did not have this complicating factor. I do know from weaning her so fast I had hormonal shifts and was very sad. although I had tough times it got better after this process had cleared. I remember for a few years after I would get very teary when I saw people breastfeeding, at a family reunion I started to break down crying watching my cousin breast feed her baby, and quietly left the room. It is hard and it stinks. better days are ahead, this all just adds more layers particulary with you dad's passing. Hugs and more hugs and extra ones. P,S, that baby is almost 17 now and just fine and I'm glad I got the treatment to see my kids grow, and now i am on my second primary and finished treatment so I can see their kids grow!!!!!
  • Mama G
    Mama G Member Posts: 762
    Options
    carkris said:

    The first time I got
    The first time I got diagnosed with cancer I was 34 my daughters were 3 years, and I was breastfeeding my 8 month old. I felt a lump while pumping. It saved my life. It is really an added layer when you get diagnosed during this time. You are in a "giving life" mode while yours is being threatend. I had to wean her over a weekend dropping a feed a day(lactation consultant advice) as I was preparing for surgery and chemo. The drugs that would have passed from the breast milk would not have been good for her. She was not allergic to milk so I did not have this complicating factor. I do know from weaning her so fast I had hormonal shifts and was very sad. although I had tough times it got better after this process had cleared. I remember for a few years after I would get very teary when I saw people breastfeeding, at a family reunion I started to break down crying watching my cousin breast feed her baby, and quietly left the room. It is hard and it stinks. better days are ahead, this all just adds more layers particulary with you dad's passing. Hugs and more hugs and extra ones. P,S, that baby is almost 17 now and just fine and I'm glad I got the treatment to see my kids grow, and now i am on my second primary and finished treatment so I can see their kids grow!!!!!

    I nursed all 4 of mine...
    and loved every tender moment of it. I do know what everyone else has said is correct. I was a La Leche League leader/volunteer for years and the cancer of course would not pass through the milk, but the chemicals could. You will most likely be going through lots of testing in the next few days/weeks and possibly surgery/chemo/radiation. If it were me I'd not even think about weaning until talking to a doctor, though. Get all the facts yourself and go in fully armed for whatever you want to do. Can you pump and freeze before the surgery? At least you could add that milk to the soy formula. Maybe your baby could handle that a little better. I'm so sorry. It sucks so bad to have to have this diagnosis, and then to have to stop nursing on top of it.... My prayers are with you.