Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Best of Breast: A Fair Fight Against Cancer

It's breast cancer awareness month.  A good timing for me to start the first entry of the series The Best of the Breast.

Breastmilk is best for babies.  That, we all know.  What many don't know is the act of giving breastmilk to babies - that is - breastfeeding also benefits mommies.  It helps mommies fight breast cancer.  According to this study, breastfeeding for 2 years or more gives a woman 50% less chance of having breast cancer.  Another study says a woman with family history of breast cancer, breastfeeding for just 3 months is already an equivalent of taking breast cancer preventing medication for.... wait for it... a resonating FIVE YEARS! Holy smokes! Not only that it gives free food to the baby, but the act also protects itself from notorious cancer.  That's pure nature, baby!

But wait, it doesn't end there.  Studies also confirm that breastfeeding also helps fight other types of cancer such as uterine, ovarian and endometrical cancer.

This reminds me of the big ordeal our family had faced before.  My youngest sister was diagnosed with chronic liver disease and histiocytosis x when she was about 1yr old.  She and my mom spent like a yr in the hospital while doctors tried to diagnose and treat my sister.  It was a very difficult struggle for the whole family both emotional and economical.  I was in high school back then and I remember going to the hospital form time to time to visit my sister.  She loved getting visitors.  She'd smile and play with us inspite of her very sickly appearance.  She lost her hair, she's very thin - really thin like skeleton thin, and she got her tummy really, really big. Even her skin color has changed - pale dark.  Her veins in her arms are all bruised up with many tests and blood transfusion.  She had undergone skin biopsy and liver biopsy.  At a tender age of 1.  I remember seeing my mom nursing her no matter how much my sister would bite her.  My mom would cry with pain.  She'd cry with pain.  But she'd even say that  if she can take all my sister's pain, she'd do it.  My sister tends to bite my mom because of the pain and the stress she was also suffering from.  My mom suck it all up.  All she had in mind back then is that she wants to give the best for my sister.  The nourishment, care and warmth only a mom can give her.  She wanted to tell my sister that mama is there for her always and that she will get better.  The hardest part was when the doctor told my mom that she can bring home my sister... for the family to enjoy the remaining days that she has.    With a broken heart, my mom accepted the fact and just let God's Will be done.  She went home with my sister.  My siblings and I were very happy to see them back home.  I had no idea about the doctor's revelation to my mom.  My parents hid the fact to us for a time as they didn't want us to get affected by the truth.  I discovered about it later and I too was heart broken... so are my siblings.

We tried to make every day of my sister the happiest as we could.  My mom continued to breastfeed her, my dad passed by Quiapo Church in Manila and pray to Nazareno.  He would wipe Nazareno's feet with a hanky and put it in my sister's tummy when he got home.  We played with our sister everyday and she enjoyed it a lot.  All this, while she continued to take her medications - basically to ease her from the pain.  Surprisingly, she seemed to get better day by day.  The remaining days that the doctor told us? It still goes on until now.  My sister? She's 18 yrs old now.  We call her our miracle baby.

I know this is not breast cancer, nor uterine nor ovarian nor endometrical cancer.  I know it can't be proven that my mom's breastmilk helped her get cured, but I believe this has helped my sister somehow.   The warmth and care and love she felt everytime my mom held her in her arms to nurse her, gave her the will to fight and strength to continue.  Together with the faith in God my family, especially my father has, my sister won over these sickness that almost took her from us.

Just thought I'd share.

1 comment:

  1. this is really moving hon... loved every part of it, and the miracle girl is pretty now all over, if you get to know her.
    This has to be mom's doings somehow I'm sure, with the help of the Nazareno.
    Like I read yesterday, we don't only walk with our legs, the strength within comes from the heart and miracles are facts to the believer.


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