For many moms, breastfeeding is complicated. For one mom, it’s especially complicated. Kelly Knee underwent a mastectomy after having breast cancer–and showed everyone it’s still possible to breastfeed.
After surviving a cancer battle and welcoming her fifth child, Knee shared her story as a way to de-stigmatize mastectomies. She wrote on Scary Mommy how her journey to accepting her own body hasn’t been easy:
“I have had two years to accept this mutilated body. I’m not saying I am bursting with joy about my new image, but it surely wins against the alternative of dying.”
She went on to say that other people have told her that her mastectomy is disgusting–which is absolutely insane to me. It’s a life-saving procedure–how could that ever be gross? She said:
“I think that in that moment of defending myself, I realized I have nothing to be ashamed of. I had cancer, my breast tried to kill me, and now my other breast is feeding and aiding in the life of another human being.”
Having any kind of major illness is traumatizing, especially as you feel helpless and not in control of your own body–it’s literally as if your body has betrayed you. And that is hard to reconcile, but Knee is working hard to see the positives. That being said, she still has a love-hate relationship with her breasts:
“I have a love-hate relationship with my breasts. I hate that they tried to kill me, but I love that I am able to feed my baby. My children don’t care that I only have one breast. They don’t care about the way I look, and they don’t care that my chest has scars. What they do care about is the fact that I am alive, that I am able to provide food for them, and that they are deeply loved by so many.
I am not an outcast because I had cancer. I am still a fully functional human with many possibilities ahead, and I plan to push myself each and every day.”
No matter what our struggles are, we can look to Knee for inspiration–and overcome our hardships as best as we can.