Before I could even fit into a training bra, I’d feel my chest for lumps.
I was always fearful that I’d find a lump and get the same disease that killed mom when she was 40. For years after Mom died of breast cancer, I worried and saw boobs as nothing more than a breeding ground for death.
But then I became a mom.
When I began to nurse and pump for my daughter, and later for my son, I began to see breasts not as symbols of death but as sources of life. The body part that housed the disease that took my mom away from me became the body part that made my babies’ milk and drew me closer to them. It was, at least in the earlier part of their infancy, their lifeline.
When I started to donate breast milk earlier this year, I extended this lifeline to other infants.
I wrote about this experience, and the emotions that came with it, in an essay published this week in the Dallas Morning News. You can read it here.