Breastfeeding from leukemia to breast cancer: until the last drop (part 2 of 2)

Written by :
Marianne Simard

You can find the first part of this post right here.


Unfortunately, on July of 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Another challenge was then being added to our lives and onto our breastfeeding journey.

When I found out about my cancer, one of my first questions to the doctor was: “Will I be able to keep on breastfeeding my daughter?”

I was very sad to hear that I would have to stop breastfeeding her as soon as I would start chemotherapy and start my medication. Even though my daughter was getting better day after day, I felt like this milk of mine was my only way to help her fight with leukemia. I made sure to enjoy every single breastfeeding moment we had together. I was sad to know that these precious bonding moments were coming to an end


And then my medication began. It was there, my last feeding moment with her. That was it.

I still remember as if it was yesterday. I got ready and then I hold my daughter as close as possible to me. Greedily, she latched onto my breast. Looking down at her, I cried every single tear I had left inside of me. My precious daughter, she had no clue that this was the last one.

I then understood I was losing all the power I had over her health. I was now going to leave my daughter alone, with her very weak immune system, trying to fight thousands of bacterias on her own. For a moment, I was panicking, then I took a deep breath and I picked myself up. While looking down at her, I enjoyed every single minute we had together until the last drop.

Today, I find comfort in knowing that I have accomplished and successfully completed one of my biggest duty. During the storm, I protected my daughter to the maximum of my capacities. Now she had to learn to fight on her own, just like I had too.

The days that followed were filled with tears, screams, and misunderstanding coming from my daughter. All I could do was hold her tightly and whispered to her how sorry I was. I kept on telling her that I couldn’t give her my milk because I was taking medications and that I was doing it all to stay with her as long as possible and as healthy as possible.

While she was weaning, I caressed her, I rocked her, and I sang to her the sweetest songs. Slowly, we were both learning to live again.

Leya is now 3 years old. It has been over a year now that I had to stop breastfeeding her due to my breast cancer. Sometimes, she tries to reach out to my breasts and other times she just brings everything to her mouth.

I know that deep inside of her, this wild weaning left its mark. I feel very lucky to still be there by her side and that’s worth way more than a feeding. Since the first feeding I was there and now I know that I will be her fountain of happiness until my last drop of life.

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