Tuesday, 7 June 2011

So here I am....

Where do I start?  I am a midwife in Northland, NZ.  I live in the most beautiful country in the world with an amazing husband and 3 gorgeous children.  I have been breastfeeding continuously for almost the last four years, through two pregnancies.  Tandem feeding my older two - Charlie and Raife - until Charlie weaned himself during my next pregnancy, at about 2 3/4years old.  Then tandem feeding Raife and Bastian, still!

Then a couple of months ago I got a sore lump that seemed to come and go with the feeds and for all the world was a blocked duct.  I waited for mastitis (had that once already) but I never felt unwell, but this lump was, and still is, really sore.  So I speak to a lactation consultant and my GP who both thinks it's likely to be a galactacele, but my GP sends me to the breast clinic anyway - just to check it out.

I have a mammogram, an ultrasound, a consult with the surgeon and a core biopsy.  The mammogram lady and the radiologist both tell me that breastfeeding breasts can be tricky.  Also there are a few other funny looking lumps. The surgeon tells me that if the results are negative it means she missed the lump as there is no way this is benign.  Kind of a shock when you're busy thinking its just a blocked duct.  She is also unsure about these lactating breasts, what to do with them, how to manage things etc.

So the results are negative and back I go for an ultrasound biopsy.  The radiologist and her underling both tell me again how hard breastfeeding breasts are to do anything with, but they are wonderful ladies and they manage - with a lot of poking and prodding - to get some good samples.

"Invasive breast carcinoma".  So I have breast cancer.

Next app surgeon says she wants to investigate a 'suspicious' looking lymph node and one of the other lumps to see what they are.  She admits she has had no experience with lactating breasts - but neither has anyone else there - but she is going away to a world breast conference and wanted to 'present' me.  So this way she will have more info than anyone else, and she is one of their top 2 breast surgeons.  I am confident in her skills and everyone learns somewhere.  She is also able to give us a vague timeline - surgery end of July and chemo starting end of August.  They want to give me everything and as much of it as they can.  This I am struggling with as I am a long time nettle tea drinking, non-vaccinating, home birthing, kind of gluten free, vege growing, anti-salt or sugar, playcentr type of a girl.  So chemo makes me uneasy.

So back we went today for a biopsy on the lymph and a biopsy on another of the small lumps (the biggest is 19mm), and I am sore a bit more. 

That's that out of the way.


  1. Crap! This is new technology for me! I will try to post my comment again.... ANYWAYS.... Thanks so much for sharing with us ~ you are an awesome lady.

  2. Jaynie, Thank-you for sharing this journey with us. I want to help you in anyways that I can - you let me know and I will do what I can. Arohanui x

  3. Hi,

    Not sure on your views but another option - lovelighthealing.co.nz. He has helped ladies with breastcancer and it might not be too late to talk to him. have a read and see what you think. just another option if you are interested.

  4. Your story makes me so sad :( I have some milk in the freezer if you would like it - but I didn't sterilise between each pumping and it's just in snaplock bags so if that bothers you I won't be offended! Also, since you said you were not-so-mainstream-medicine, this might interest you: http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2011/06/13/beautiful-truth-about-outlawed-cancer-treatment.aspx. There's lots of stuff about alternative cancer therapies on the mercola site. I have no idea whether I'd be willing to try them but thought the info might possibly be helpful! and so sorry to hear about your mastectomy :( you are amazing and your kids are really blessed to have a mum so willing to do what's best for them!

  5. Oh I forgot to say I'm on a low-gluten diet (lots of dairy though), no smoking, no alcohol, fairly low iron but normal for my situation I guess, pretty much never sick. Can get hold of blood information if needed.

  6. I am so sad to hear about this!My mum's just been through the same thing (minus having babies to think about!!). She's all clear now after a hard year. It's amazing what they can do these day's and there are a lot of success stories out there. I would love to help if I can! Either with breast milk or just to chat or help out with the kids. I hope it all goes well today. We'll be thinking of you. I'll be following your blog and please get in touch if you want. lots of love Karin, Peter, Ruben and Frey.

  7. My thoughts and best of everything good I can throw to you is coming your way Jaynie. I was so shocked to hear from Amy (Marley's mum; you delivered him on 23rd November last year)of this terrible thing. I too belief the Universe is a great way to allow feelings to traverse to kin and kind alike. I wish for your journey to be brief with only the best result you deserve. Lots of love Carol-Anne and Larea XXXXX

  8. Belle Wolstenholme30 June 2011 at 21:13

    Hey Janie, we were at GGHS together, Belinda. I went through Breast Cancer in 2009 (Double Mastectomy, Chemo & Radiation) So shocked to read your story. If you ever need an ear or shoulder contact me (we have a few fb friends in common). You will be in my thoughts, it's a bitch but we can beat it!!!