By Kelly Knee of My Unexpected Journey
As I hold the newest addition to my family, I am bursting with love and contentment. I know I can do at least one thing right; I can make some pretty amazing children, and despite the challenges, I feel that I have been rewarded. Cancer has given me the greatest miracle there is: a perfect, healthy, handsome baby boy.
Of course, having my fifth child has not been easy since. It has been difficult and trying, and I may lose my “cool” the same as the next mother. What can I say, I’m human — a not so perfect human — but it is worth every second is worth it. He is worth every second. I am worth every second.
I have had two years to accept this mutulated body.
I’m not saying I am bursting with joy with my new image, but it surely wins against the alternative: of dying. There are people who wonder what it looks like to have a mastectomy, and there are people who think it’s disgusting and never want to see it. I remember having a discussion with someone and they said something along the lines of “that’s gross, I would never want to see it”. I thought to myself “well, that’s OK; they can’t help the way they feel.” But after thinking about it for a while longer I realized that wasn’t true; it wasn’t OK, and I said “I am deeply offended. This is my body we are talking about and if you think my mastectomy is gross, then you are saying I am gross and that hurts my feelings deeply!”
And in that moment, that moment of defending myself, I realized I have nothing to be ashamed of. I had cancer, Ny breast tried to kill me, now my other breast is feeding and aiding in the life of another human being.
Make no mistake: I have a love/hate relationship with my breasts. I hate that they tried to kill me, but I love that I am able to feed my baby. My children don’t care that I only have one breast. They don’t care about the way I look, and they aren’t bothered by my scars. They care that I am here. They care that I am alive.
I have formula fed and I have breastfed, there is something good to be said about both. I feel a very strong connection with my newest little one while breastfeeding. I may have felt unwanted before, but now I am needed more than ever and that brings me great comfort.
There are people who are unaware that someone who had breast cancer and a single mastectomy is able to breastfeed. Life is a miraculous thing, we are capable of so much as humans, if we put our minds to it. I am not an outcast because I had cancer, I am still a fully functional human with many possibilities and I plan to push myself each and everyday until I cannot push any longer!
So when you are looking at someone who looks different, think about the struggles that person may have faced — that they are probably still are facing — think twice before you speak. We all have feelings, so let’s just share love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Kelly Knee and my life has drastically changed over the last 2.5 years. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at age 35 and recently divorced. I have five children, all boys. Life since cancer has not been easy, but it has taken me places I never imagined it would. I currently blog about my journey with cancer and beyond. Check out my blog at www.myunexpectedjourney2016.