BREASTFEEDING IS THE CURE
The top kitchen drawer is where I kept the white envelope that contained money I had earned to help find a cure for breast cancer. One might think that an odd goal for a little of of eight years old, but that’s how determined and desperate I was to save my mama.
Seems like I’d been a dancer since the day I slipped from her body into her arms. So it was dancing that helped me earn most of that money; dance recitals I performed in the backyard, twenty five cents per lawn chair. I danced while singing to songs like Moon River and Little Grass Skirt. When I wasn’t dancing for the cause, I was going door-to-door selling my toys, and I rode my pink Schwinn bicycle to every church, every Sunday within a five mile radius pleading for prayers to heal my mom. None of the churches took kindly to this skinny red-haired firecracker of a child who dared to lead the Sunday School kids in songs like I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND and any other song by the Beatles that came to my mind.
Ostracized by the religious, I learned quick that my mother’s salvation from this deadly disease was not going to come from groups of people who wouldn’t even give me the time of day.
So I started gathering up literature from those churches to bring home for my mom to read. I truly appreciated her honesty when she said that it was fine for me to attend these church services, but she – an athiest – was not interested in their pamphlets. With enough judgment and ridicule by church-goers, I concurred that it was a waste of my time. I would stick with dancing for the neighborhood and selling my toys to raise money enough to help find a cure.
As the white envelope grew thicker, my mother kept wasting away. I was running against the clock, as I watched her hair fall out, her face break out, and her fingers push down on her typewriter keys as she valiantly worked on her book, NO TIME FOR TEARS: How to Live While You’re Dying of Cancer.
This is how she lived while dying of cancer; she nurtured her two young daughters, tended to her rose bushes, re-painted the patio furniture and deck, finished the bedroom suite in antique white, made olive green and pastel pink book covers for her large literature collection, sang to Andy Williams albums, and kept homemade spaghetti on simmer on the back-burner of our stove. When I was hungry, all I had to do was grab a plate, slap a couple pieces of bread on it then ladle that yummy red sauce on top. She used real tomatoes, so I had fun picking out the tomato skins. To this day, the sight, smell, and taste of spaghetti sauce becomes no less than my mama’s bright smile, loving arms, warm hands, and sweet brown eyes.
To this day…
Four years and five major surgeries later, her sixty five pound frame wouldn’t give up ’til the last breath. She died on December 7, 1966 with a typewriter on her lap. Twelve years old, my world came to an end. Gone was my best friend and the most beautiful woman in the world. Gone were those daily games of Scrabble, reading from the Book of Famous Quotes, laughing through sessions of Password, learning new words from our big red dictionary, going to thrift stores, enjoying chocolate malts at Woolworths, eating deep-fried burritos at Taco Tico, picnicking at the Woodland Zoo, swimming laps in our pool, cutting roses for our flower vases, dancing to the Percy Faith Orchestra, watching Ed Sullivan, going every Wednesday to the Hostess Bakery where we filled the huge trunk of our 1960 dusty blue Cadillac with Twinkies, Coconut Snowballs, and sweet white bread.
My mother was a victim of the “breastfeeding failure” conspiracy. Were doctors really that stupid to not see a problem with yanking babies out of women, removing them from mamas, sticking a bottle in their mouths then diagnosing women with breastfeeding failure when, in fact, the newborn could not latch on due to nipple confusion?
Nearly fifty years later, the verdict is in. Women who do not breastfeed in the first years of their child’s life have a nearly fifty percent increased risk of breast cancer.
So, where’s all the colorful breastfeeding posters what should be printed and distributed by the millions, compliments of breast cancer research? In 1979, Paavo Airola’s EVERY WOMAN’S BOOK reported the following:
“Breast cancer is the deadliest and most prevalent of female cancers. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the U.S. and it is increasing at an alarming rate. Breast cancer is expected to strike one of every fourteen women. Almost 100,000 new cases are reported, and almost 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year. Numbers are growing with every new year. The number one cause of breast cancer is failure to breastfeed baby.”
Obviously, breastfeeding is the cure.
Obviously, breast cancer research is avoiding the truth.
What researcher, in their right mind, would not celebrate the discovery that one specific action can bring about a near 50% cure-rate? Researchers with their eye on a continuing paycheck far larger than any of us could possibly fatham.
Wake up Women!
These are YOUR breasts,
use them or lose them.
Hygeia Lee Halfmoon
Please share for the sake of all women!