Sudden Weaning - HELP! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 39 Old 01-17-2007, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 2 years 7 months. Neither of us is ready to wean, and I can barely type the word without crying. However, I found out today that I might have to undergo chemotherapy/radiation treatment. If my biopsy tomorrow comes back positive, then the treatment will start next week at the latest. I work full time so Audrey only nurses really after I get home and a LOT at night - to get to sleep and about 1/2 dozen times every night. She is very, very strongwilled and has only fallen asleep a handful of times without the magic boob. I have Hale's book and have been using it, but I can't poison my child or risk killing myself by refusing to wean.

Please, I need some support and advice. How do you get a little one back to sleep without the boob when they have never had to? How do you cope with your heartbreaking at the very thought of the end of your nursing relationship?
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#2 of 39 Old 01-17-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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I don't have any advice for you but I didn't want to read and not offer support, it sounds like a rough time all around...
sending you good thoughts
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#3 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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No advice really... Imagine my horror when my milk dried up due to a then-unknown pregnancy and I weaned my 6 month old. If I knew then what I know now, I would have dry nursed him through the pregnancy, but I had no support or knowledge of such things. Post weaning depression set in immediately and I was an emotional disaster. Be aware of that and make sure you have someone you can talk to during all of this. I wish you the best and hope your test is negative!!!
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#4 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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I had to wean my DS just before he turned two because of a series of medical procedures that I had to have. Every few days, I had to have radioactive dye pumped through my blood to track the healing of a hemorage. The Dr. told me to not nurse DS for 48 hours each time I had the dye.

I did not get the support I needed since I was caught up in the drama of the procedures (the were unexpected). I weaned cold turkey, did not have a breast pump, manual expression didn't work, and I spent several weeks HORRIBLY engorged. I am amazed that I didn't end up with an infection.

Make a plan for weaning now, and have support lined up. If you can pump and store milk until the treatments start then you have something to offer your kiddo until weaning is done.

As for night, my DH slept snuggled with our DS (until comforting him when he cried) while I slept in another room. After about a week, I could spend at least part of the night snuggling. We slowly got to a routine that did not include nursing at night but maintained the family bed.

The worst part was DS - "Mommy, please I nurse? I so sorry, I be good! Please I nurse?"

He thought I was punishing him! I could not make him understand that I would NEVER punish him that way. Broke my heart!

Joanna - wife to Mike, mamachicken to Cub(8/98), Kitten (4/07), Dew-man, and Woe-boy(twins, 10/08)
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#5 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaChicken View Post
The worst part was DS - "Mommy, please I nurse? I so sorry, I be good! Please I nurse?"

He thought I was punishing him! I could not make him understand that I would NEVER punish him that way. Broke my heart!
That and the OP made me cry.



Don't worry, mommy. Your test will come back negative, and everything will be just fine.
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#6 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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Oh, you sound so sad! This must be so hard for you.

How long are the treatments? Can you nurse in between, if you feel like it? If you can, and wish to, then I would.

Gently, I should remind you of the amazing mama you are. You have nursed your daughter for more than 2.5 YEARS!

Can you enlist the help of someone else for bedtimes? If you can, then do. Your partner, or friend, can put her to sleep. Sometimes it's much easier for both of you that way. I'd also suggest the car, if she falls asleep to in the car.

I hope your test is negative.
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#7 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 02:53 AM
 
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i have no experience or thoughts to share, mama, but i wish you peace and wisdom and love and healing...

~claudia
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#8 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 03:00 AM
 
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I am going to be thinking of you and : that the tests come back negative.

 
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#9 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to thank all of you for your kind words, support, and encouragement. Luckily (?) I work for a pathology group and they are going to rush my results through so I may even get an answer today or at least they can start ordering special stains and give me an answer tomorrow.

I keep teling my daughter that mommy is sick and my milka might make her sick very soon. She just continues to play like she's ignoring me. I've given up on trying to put on a brave face around her. Maybe it will help her know that I hate this too and am also angry if she sees me crying when I talk about how we have to stop. Either way, it doesn't seem like I have much of a choice in the matter - it's like I've sprung a leak or something.

Her grandpa lives with us and she's been spending more time with him over the past few days. Daddy is ready for whatever night time brings, or so he thinks, but I have decided to stick around instead of hiding in another room. It might make it harder for her because why couldn't she milka if momma is around, but my heart would just hurt too much to hear her screaming for me. I really hope that she doesn't think I'm punishing her like MommaChicken's little one. How horrible for you! I guess we will see.

My husband keeps reminding me that at least this didn't happen last year or two years ago. I know it should help that we have had a breastfeeding relationship for 2 1/2 years, and I guess it does a bit, but we just got over a few months of cracked nipples and extreme pain while nursing and all was getting better again. That and I really think that she wouldn't have self weaned until after her 4th birthday.

Thanks again. And thanks for letting me ramble. It helps.
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#10 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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Oh, mama. I'm so sorry that you're going through such a frightening time! I will be sending lots of positive thoughts your way. Hang in there!
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#11 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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Just some more love sent your way. Take care, and just know that you have given her something most others do not, over 2 1/2 yrs of wonderful momma milk!
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#12 of 39 Old 01-18-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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So sorry to hear you are going through this! I can only imagine how difficult it must be -- to be forced to wean. DD self-weaned at 2 years and I was okay with it because I was pregnant and very sick. But it was still hard. And I know it would have been really hard if I had been forced to wean. I have to say however that you will find new ways to be affectionate and close. DD and I had increased physical contact after she weaned. I was pleasantly surprised by this. We re-invented our relationship. And even though you are being "forced" to do this, I bet you two will find a way too. It is a great idea to ask for help and support too as you do so. You will get through this.

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#13 of 39 Old 01-19-2007, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry for being quiet for a few days. I was reading posts, but just not responding. I was kind of out of it yesterday after the biopsy. It was at 11, they finished at 12 and wouldn't let me go until 3 because the mass is so big (around 3 1/2 inches with dead spots inside).

The final diagnosis is lymphoma. I haven't talked to an oncologist yet, but my pathologist (I think of him as Papa Bear) called me early this morning with the answer. He said that this type is highly treatable and curable at about 95% cure rate. However, I'm fairly sure that I will be told that I need both chemo and radiation (I could continue to breastfeed if it was only radiation).

I'm very relieved that I have Papa Bear. He made some calls around 4 pm today and was able to get me an appointment with an oncologist early Monday afternoon. This was after being told by my doctor's office that it might be up to a week before the referral center makes me an appointment. Just knowing that I will be talking very soon about treatment makes this weekend much, much easier.

I also haven't had to wean quite as soon as I thought. The drugs they used for the biopsy cleared out of my system very quick (while I was still in the hospital). Audrey has been okay so far today with not being able to nurse during the day. I have told her that my milkies are sick (the bandage over the biopsy site caused her to make that conculsion on her own) and we will have to stop sharing milkie soon. She seeeems okay, but then again she is wide awake right now. I have been telling her that she can milkie to sleep another couple of nights, but that I will hold her and rub her back if she wants when she wakes up at night. We'll see. She nursed to sleep at 4 pm last night and woke up screaming. I saw no reason to force weaning at that point so I enjoyed her being latched on for well over an hour. She's been extra sweet. Either she has picked up on something being bad or it is having me at home or both. I don't think I've gotten as many hugs and kisses and "I love you momma for ever and ever and always" as I have the past few days.

So I guess that is all. Thank you all for your love, support, and encouragement. I'll let you know when I know more.
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#14 of 39 Old 01-19-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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b2manatees, you have a wonderful daughter, and a wonderful relationship with her. Weaning will change an aspect of your relationship, but will not diminish the closeness you share at all.
I "weaned" for a mammogram a year ago, for 6 weeks. After the mammogram, we started up again, and my milk was still there, without pumping or anything. It may not be relevant to your situation, but you never know.
I am SO glad that the lymphona treatment has a great success rate, that is fantastic.
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#15 of 39 Old 01-20-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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here are some hugs
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#16 of 39 Old 01-20-2007, 02:52 AM
 
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b2manatees, sending you more love and healing and peace...

i will be thinking of you as you begin your journey to healing your body.

~claudia
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#17 of 39 Old 01-20-2007, 02:56 AM
 
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#18 of 39 Old 01-20-2007, 03:15 AM
 
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I'm a hospital pharmacist, I do a lot of chemo work, and I'd like to help. Let us know when you know what the medication regimen will be: Drugs, doses, frequencies. I will do research and see if there will be breaks long enough for you to feed in between cycles based on how each drug leaves the body.

If it's not possible to nurse in between cycles, I would pump and dump throughout chemo so you can restart nursing when chemo is done. It will also help keep you focused on the future.

I am so sorry that you are going through this, it's terrifying for you, and you worry so about your child. You are in my prayers, and I know you will do well.
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#19 of 39 Old 01-23-2007, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we went in with great odds and came out with bleh odds.

My lymphoma is causing a mass 13 cm in greatest size. It is pushing against the big artery coming out of my heart and partially compressing the big vein draining blood from my upper body - hence the lightheadedness, weak hands, and pain in my elbows/shoulders. Luckily the mass is positive for a certain marker that makes it susceptable to a chemo agent, which is a good thing.

This week should see me finishing up staging how advanced my disease is. It doesn't matter as much for lymphoma in terms of treatment, although I'm sure the less tumor mass I have the better in terms of survivial. The doctor didn't want to say anything until he had the scans back. I'll get to have a bone marrow biopsy - something that was high on my list of things to never ever have done.

Monday I start chemo. Every 3 weeks I will get another round for at least 6 cycles and no more than 8 for fear of heart damage.

My chances went from 95% cure rate that I was told initially to 50/50, which is also where my fertility chances lie after all is said and done. This whole thing really, really sucks.

Audrey is completely day weaned. She seems to ask more now during the day than she ever nursed during the day before. It's always so cute with a little "pleeeeasse just a little milky?" Allan does his best to distract her onto something else. Sometimes my crying distracts her. She also hugs and kisses each milkie at night after she hugs and kisses me goodnight. She says that she understands that she won't have milkies much longer, but I guess we will see very soon.

I'm not sure what drugs are involved in a PET scan, but I have a feeling that they will be a big no-no nursing type of situation. I have at least tonight and tomorrow night to enjoy her.

I usually don't ask things like this, but if you believe in any energy/force/higher being, please ask them to help me get through this and be one of the lucky 50%.

Sheri


Laura- they are putting me on the CHOP protocol with Rituxon. One treatment every 3 weeks for 6 to 8 treatments (so 18 to 24 weeks...6 months!). However, the anti-nausea meds are already pretty not good. They are L3, but the write up makes me nervous - Compazine and Ativan). Anything you might come up with would be nice. I KNOW that she is old 'enough' but it is just such a comfort for me and she really loves it to based on the smiles and giggles and songs....oh the songs are the best.
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#20 of 39 Old 01-23-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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Sending you love and prayers for healing. I'm sorry you're going through this.
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#21 of 39 Old 01-24-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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Sheri -- thank you for sharing with us. I was thinking about you and wondering how things were going. I am sending LOTS of positive energy your way and definitely envisioning that positive 50% cure rate. It sounds like you have done everything for Audrey and that you are making the best of an incredibly difficult time. You are so strong! I belive you can do this! Hang in there, hold on, and fight like hell!

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#22 of 39 Old 01-24-2007, 03:27 AM
 
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I'm not sure what drugs are involved in a PET scan, but I have a feeling that they will be a big no-no nursing type of situation. I have at least tonight and tomorrow night to enjoy her.

I usually don't ask things like this, but if you believe in any energy/force/higher being, please ask them to help me get through this and be one of the lucky 50%.

Sheri


Laura- they are putting me on the CHOP protocol with Rituxon. One treatment every 3 weeks for 6 to 8 treatments (so 18 to 24 weeks...6 months!). However, the anti-nausea meds are already pretty not good. They are L3, but the write up makes me nervous - Compazine and Ativan). Anything you might come up with would be nice. I KNOW that she is old 'enough' but it is just such a comfort for me and she really loves it to based on the smiles and giggles and songs....oh the songs are the best.
I have some ideas now, and I need to do some research for later.

The milky songs must not be silenced.

For premeds, we use Zofran 32 mg IV with Decadon 20mg IV, and Pepcid 20mg iv with benadryl 50mg iv. None of these are contraindicated for nursing. The benadryl may be a little drying, but you're not taking it every day. The Ativan is sedating to the baby, but we often don't use it. If you do need it, just don't feed for a few hours after it. And the chemo will create larger "don't feed" times. I'll figure out how long these are.

I take Remicade for an autoimmune disorder called Behcet's Disease, I also take prednisone. These medication are safer for nursing. Rituxan, like Remicade, is a big fat protein that is not orally available. If you swallow it, the stomach will chop it up and render it useless. That is why it must be give IV. Little babies less than 6 months have a more permeable GI tract. This in theory could present a problem for someone with an immature digestive system, but I am not aware of any case report of trouble.

I wish you a smooth surgery with a rapid and complete recovery. I hope that the remaining tissue responds excellently to the chemo, and that you are soon back to regular nursing and songs.

As for fertility, depending on insurance, can you have some eggs stowed away for later just in case?

I have a nuke med technician husband. He and I will look into the safety of nursing post-pet. I'll ask tomorrow morning when he wakes up!

Hugs and love to you,
Laura
I have seen GREAT success with CHOP + Rituxan. I would ask my doctor about Zinecard, to protect your heart from the doxorubicin: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...di/203662.html
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#23 of 39 Old 01-24-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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sheri: i am sending you love and peace and wisdom and healing...

~claudia
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#24 of 39 Old 01-25-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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Good news and bad news:

If you wait 12 hours after your PET scan, you can breastfeed again without having to worry about giving your DD radioactive milk. My husband tells me that the half-life on that is 110 minutes, so 12 hours ought to make the "dose" negligible.

The Bad news is the Rituxan. There's no published breastfeeding data, I will call the company, but I am not encouraged. The half-life is very long - half of the drug is still in the body after 18.5 days. While with some monoclonal antibodies, we can assume that the drug is broken up by the GI tract and not absorbed in a baby over the age of 6 months, this drug is more toxic, and so it's more risky to even experiment and try to find out. I would not recommend it, but I will keep searching.

You are at the top of my thoughts and prayers,
Laura
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#25 of 39 Old 01-25-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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I can't even imagine what you are going through. My mother in law had stage 3b cervical cancer that metastisized and was given 5 months to live a little more than 3 years ago. So I wouldn't take the percentages they give you to heart. Get well. Be well and keep being the great mom that you are!
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#26 of 39 Old 01-25-2007, 03:03 AM
 
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So I wouldn't take the percentages they give you to heart.
If you remember nothing else in this thread, remember what Bellejar said.

1. You're an individual person, not a percentage.

2. The protocol you'll be on has only been around for a few years. These survival percentages are based on 5 year and 10 year data - there is no data like that for your protocol - it's too new and advanced!

3. There's a lot of people out here praying for you. That also makes a difference.
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#27 of 39 Old 01-25-2007, 06:09 AM
 
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I just wanted to post some

Hang in there.
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#28 of 39 Old 01-25-2007, 09:59 AM
 
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I keep teling my daughter that mommy is sick and my milka might make her sick very soon.
Oh mama, hang in there! Laura is right in her last post (& what a fountain of knowledge too.)

I had to abruptly wean Dd2 over the summer. She was 3 years & 5 months old, with no end to "dushing" in sight. I was also nursing Ds who was 3 months old at the time (long story, but I decided that the risks for him to continue outweighed the risks of weaning, but not for Dd2.) I didn't sit down *at all* for 3 weeks. Fortunately your Dd is day-weaned, so that's in your favor. Nightweaning seems to be tougher. Dd2 wasn't night-nursing after Ds came along, so that's not a battle I had to deal with.
I did try to nightwean her at 20 months & I sang a song like this when she'd ask, "In the morning when the sun comes up..." Perhaps you could change a few words & respond with a song?

Oh mama, you'll be in my thoughts, you sound so courageous. Tons & tons of love & light heading your way, heal quickly.

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#29 of 39 Old 01-25-2007, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all sooooo much for your continued information, love, and support. I'm going to ask about the Zinecard to protect my heart. I figured that they dose the chemo as close together as possible so that nursing between the breaks wouldn't happen. If there was even the slightest tiniest of risk that I could pass some of that poison onto her I would never ever even think of it. I don't think I'm going to pump and dump. 6 months of chemo is a long time and she might forget how to nurse properly - heck she did it every day for 2 1/2 years and I still had to remind her that I'm not a straw or sippy cup way too often!

Last night was our last time. We had a lovely bubble bath together and played until the water got cool. Then Daddy and I put her in her jammies and she nursed off to dream land. I told her that this was it and she nodded her head. Because she wasn't overly tired we got to watch that little eye roll back in her head and then go side to side a couple of extra times. I swear a latched on nurseling with sleepy eyes has got to be the most beautiful site in the world.

I offered her one last milky this morning after her diaper change and she just asked for a hug and ran off to play. So we are done. She nursed two more times last night after falling asleep. Very very sweet. She's been extra loving today. She's using my 'big fat belly' as a comfy pillow and asking me to hold her in my arms like I'm going to nurse her but only resting her head on the milky. Maybe she really is more ready for this than I was? I hope so.

Thank you again for your help. I'm going to ask about the Zinecard on Monday before they start the chemo. Just a few more days and I can start kicking this lymphoma to the curb, so to speak.
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#30 of 39 Old 01-25-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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Best wishes sweet mama, keep us posted. And what an angel your Dd is.

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