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international breastfeeding symbol: toddler version

the motherwear breastfeeding blog: international breastfeeding symbol: toddler version

mary jessica hammes has been working on my story for

it’s finally up.  go over and have a read, even if you think you already know it by heart.

click here to read pumping through chemotherapy at

tanya’s got another excellent post up at the motherwear breastfeeding blog.  today, she writes about the value of breastmilk in cancer treatment.

it’s been known for some time that a component of breastmilk, called human alpha-lactalbubin made lethal to tumor cells (HAMLET for short!) causes cancer cells to die.

you can read more of tanya’s post here and read what i did with my own breastmilk during my battle with cancer here.  tanya also ran a piece on my journey here.

town square, magic kingdom, walt disney world, february 2010

(but not) to do what i want any ol’ time. i’m just unhooked momentarily from tubes, which i have to say, is in fact,  heavenly.  i’m also really tired a can’t feel my way to type.  so here’s the round ‘up you’ve all been eagerly awaiting and hoping against hope for.

november 15,  a sunday, i checked into casa doyle for some amazing fun, food and frivolity.  seriously, i could totally live there as the non-participating sister wife.  dude, everyone needs a housewife and my dearest of friends does not disappoint.  there was coffee ready every morning.  we cooked breakfast, went out to lunches, ordered in for fun and made some spectacular dinners.  mostly i just stood there when the spectacular dinners were emerging.  there were two mammas, two nurslings, and (eventually two) very happy daddies with ex-disney girls for wives. 

monday, november 16th through wednesday, november 18th my amazing friend drove me to the pathology lab that does stem cell harvesting.  thursday, november 19th i was admitted here to the bmt (bone marrow transplant) unit.  all bmt units are generally still referred to as such since autologous and donor stem cell transplants are relatively new.  well, new enough not rename the units havest days were uneventful.  so was my check-in day.then day -5 (11/20) i started high-dose ICE chemo.  that lasted through the weekend and finished up on the early pat of day-2 (11/24).  the days -2 and -1 were mostly fluids and resting, and let me tell you, plenty of barfing.  nasty!

i got my stem cells back on wednesday, november 25, day 0.

we’re at day +3, and it’s saturday, november 28th.  i spiked a high fever last night, as was expected at some point.  i got all of my lines, blood and urine cultures right away.  then i woke up after a few hours of iv antibiotics and needed some benadryl to combat the red man syndrome i was suffering.

so there it is, my life in a nutshell so far.  i’m sure i missed plenty and didn’t talk any about the hospital drama with nugget visiting, but they’ve already beaten me back to a half slumber with the benadryl and reconnected me while i typed.

more to come, i promise!

prepared for life
it’s world breastfeeding week!  hooray!  my lactation consultant and i prepared for it by taking these ridiculous photos while i was in the hospital last week. 

one of the labor & delivery nurses knitted her these amazing caps.  i would so wear them this week!  wouldn’t you?  and i have to point out the meticulous, anatomical correctness of the “ethnic” boob with its montgomery glands.  awesome.

ethnic boob caucasian boob

tomorrow, we visit with the local oncologist and discuss what national cancer center my case will go to for review.  i am terrified.  i do not want tomorrow.  i do not want to be any closer to the hell that is going to rain down on my family for yet a second time.

the past few days i’ve spent with my head in the sand, as far as it will go, coming up for air only when someone insists on asking about tomorrow.


i’ve also invested a good bit of time in starting my own standup2cancer team.  you can join it here.  our first goal will be to raise $1500 by my 36th birthday on august 15th.  this will be my second birthday spent fighting this disease.

now, i’m asking you, dear reader, to do whatever you can.  joindonate.  buy an awesome t-shirtinvite everyone you know.

i had a PET scan monday afternoon. this evening i got the results from my uncle, since he’s the chief of radiology at the hospital i go to now in richmond. the initial report concludes that the disease is back.

i called my oncologist’s answering service and he called me right away. he’ll be reviewing the scan with his radiologist first thing tomorrow and then we’ll have another call by 11am.

i coincidentally have an appointment with my gp tomorrow for what we thought was a lingering sinus infection. nope, that’s just the cancer giving me the fever.

my uncle is setting me up with an oncologist down here. assuming this is the real deal, i’ll have to start chemo asap. they’re also talking stem cell harvest.

i’m posting this update via crackberry from bed with nugget happily draped across me, asleep, nursing and clutching the other boob in her little fist.

i asked her if she remembered having to stop nursing before. i sobbed and tried my best to reassure her that we will try so very hard to make it back to where we are now.

this is beyond horrifying. i can’t believe we have to go through this again. i can’t believe i have to force my baby girl to stop nursing again. the chemo, that’s nothing.

fuck you, cancer. fuck you very, very much.

nursing at the san diego zoo                                                  photo by candice eley photography,

nursing on main street while waiting for parade at disneyland

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