Breastfeeding After Cancer {A Spiritual Journey of A Mother}

by Krystal Cleaver on May 23, 2014

My name is Angel, I have four equally amazing children, I am so blessed. I’ve experienced hospital birth, birth center birth, a home birth overseas and a home birth at home, all wonderful experiences! My children are my biggest teachers and I have learned a lot.


Kids, babies, birth and breastfeeding is my life! Our family had a big year last year. Just one week after my youngest son turned big number one I was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer that was spreading. I had my check up every two years and it was missed, this came as a huge shock.  Everything that I had defined myself as a mother and as a woman I felt was going to change. I was given two choices a terminal diagnosis or a radical hysterectomy to save my life and unfortunately bitter sweetly lose my fertility (yes, we still wanted to have two more children!) This was the most confronting thing that I have ever experienced in my life.

I found an amazing oncologist who was happy to help me beat my cancer, but also equally as happy to honor my breastfeeding relationship with my baby, we were very blessed. After a three and a half hour surgery to remove all of the connective tissue in my pelvis, my fallopian tubes, my uterus, my cervix, my ovaries relocated to my abdomen to be safe from chemo which I thankfully have not had to have, my pelvic lymph nodes removed, even the top two cm of my vagina removed, I took minimal pain relief and only medication that would not have harmful side effects on my baby, it was tough but it was worth it. And now a year after my diagnosis, we are still breastfeeding and we both love it.

I need to mention here my husband who is my super hero, my soul mate, my love, he has stood by my side, held my hand and my heart throughout this whole journey, supporting every decision that I made. He always made me feel safe and never left my side and always made me feel whole. And our supersonic, awesome little children, our four little beings of hope that helped us get through this. My room was and still is filled with sunny pictures, flowers and poems, treasured gifts from my strong babies.

I took spiritual counseling before going in for my surgery to be in an emotional position to offer my womb to the universe as a gift of life for my family, to not hold on or feel bitter about the experience. I was surrounded by so much love, light and support. I am using yoga, qi gong, meditation and green juices daily to keep my body healthy. I have a precious human life. My family and dear friends held me and my children when I could not and coming up to the anniversary of this experience I wanted to share a little of my journey, I’m still breastfeeding, I’m still learning, I’m still a mother, I’m cancer free and my fertility lies now not within my womb but within my heart.

angel breastfeeding after cancer 2

angel story pic 1

family and cancer

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth May 27, 2014 at 8:42 am

You are so incredibly strong and inspirational. Your family is beautiful ♥

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Eliza Love June 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

This is incredible. YOU are incredible. So beautiful!

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