A powerful picture of a breast cancer survivor nursing her son has gone viral and the emotion will grip you.
Mirelys Jimenez was diagnosed with breast cancer when her youngest son was just 22-months-old. The mom of three had to stop breastfeeding Alex, now two-years-old in order to begin chemotherapy and undergo a mastectomy.
In an interview with Popsugar, Jimenez said that the hardest part of starting chemotherapy was having to stop nursing her son. She found the abrupt ending to the intimate connection she and her son had painful.
Once she had the mastectomy, just a few days after, she continued to nurse him from her remaining right breast up to the week before she was to start chemotherapy. Even with the mastectomy, her left breast continued to produce milk–complete with leaks, letdowns and painful engorgements.
The hardest part of cancer treatment was having to stop breastfeeding before either of us were ready. One year ago today, on Thanksgiving morning, I nursed my youngest for the last time.
Mirelys bravely showed a picture this Thanksgiving on social media that has caught mothers everywhere right in the heart. It’s of the very last time she breastfed Alex, a year ago, and her telling the world that stopping nursing was the hardest part of her cancer grips us.
Mirelys said it was particularly difficult because neither was ready to give up nursing, but for Alex, it was hard since the bedshared. She said weaning him meant she slept in the guest bedroom, and she had to endure him crying for her. Insult to the injury of cancer, she calls those first few weeks of his weaning and looking for her the hardest of her life.
She’s endured several surgeries and rounds of medication and says that she’s learned it’s important to be her own advocate, particularly if something isn’t sitting right in one’s gut. She says you’re never too young for breast cancer, and cancer couldn’t care less about you being pregnant or nursing.
Photo: Next Chapter Photography