By: Ina Joseph
Our mothers are heroes. Our mothers epitomize strength and love and abundance just by nature of the weight they carry bringing our lives into the world. Every mother deserves the utmost celebration not only on Mother’s Day, but every day after. In continuation of our Mother’s Day tribute, we wanted to continue giving special recognition to mothers in the breast cancer community.
Enduring, let alone surviving, breast cancer is a feat in and of itself. Surviving breast cancer and experiencing motherhood – no matter what the chronology - is an unimaginable and remarkable journey which often goes overlooked. We spoke to some survivor moms about the dual reality of motherhood and breast cancer; the lessons they’ve learned, the graces they’ve gained, and all of the love and hardship in between. This week, we Fashion, Travel, and Motherhood blogger Ceta Walters.
We continue to wish a Happy Mother’s Day every day to women like Ceta, who’ve braved breast cancer and motherhood.
Name: Ceta Walters
Interests: Travel, Fashion, and Food. I use to love foreign films but haven’t watched any in the last few years.
Amour Caché (AC): Tell us a bit about your story and background.
Ceta (C): I am a mom of two boys, Clark (9) and Stone (8). Born and raised in Chicago, IL. I was a bit of a gypsy before getting married and having children. I’ve lived in Miami, Atlanta, Milan, Iowa, and Los Angeles.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer six months after I filed for divorce. I was married for 13 years prior to filing for divorce. I began my blog as a creative outlet to being a stay-at-home mom. I had lost my sense of self. I’ve faced more than my fair share of adversity and still choose happiness over pain. I struggled with infertility for two years trying to conceive with Clark. Stone came naturally after we discovered my husband was using Propecia for his hair loss which lowers sperm count. My “wusband” and I are very amicable. Clark and Stone’s happiness is my top priority.
AC: How has breast cancer impacted your experience with motherhood (or vice versa)?
C: Absolutely! Breast cancer made me patient and sad. I am an extremely impatient person and my children changed that. Breast cancer allowed me to allow them to be human. It was the little things with them that made life worth living. Gratitude for sure changed me. For everything that breast cancer took away, I’m grateful that I got to experience pregnancy, breast feeding, childbirth, and being a mother.
Breast cancer treatment was tough and oftentimes compromised my energy level so I couldn’t show up for them one hundred percent of the time.
That’s when it was hard for me. I never wanted them to see me “sick”. I wanted to protect them and shield them from my pain. I was sad with the thought of not being there for them. They are my biggest accomplishments in my life.
AC: What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned from experiencing both motherhood and breast cancer?
C: The biggest lesson was learning not to sweat the small stuff. I learned to let so much go for the sake of my peace and happiness. I also learned to give myself and others grace. Coming from a recovering perfectionist, it’s key. I have learned to allow myself and others to be human. People you love will let you down but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Mistakes are part of life.
AC: Describe the most rewarding aspect of being a “survivor mom” in 15 words or less.
C: The most rewarding aspect of being a “survivor mom” is having my life back with my boys. I get to continue watching them grow up. I stare at them for hours on end. I never say no to a sleepover. I love to watch them sleep. They are my pride and joy.
AC: What advice would you give to survivor soon-to-be moms or moms who have just received a diagnosis?
C: If you are recently diagnosed- Give yourself time to process the pain. It’s not a pity party. You are allowed to feel the pain of your life not being the same after cancer.
For soon-to-be survivor moms- You deserve it all. Don’t guilt yourself out of anything that you want post treatment. I recently had revision surgery for my breast reconstruction. I went back and forth on if I should do it.
I told myself - I get to live and I should be grateful. Then, I thought - I am grateful but I should also get to have boobs that make me feel good about myself. It’s because of cancer that I deserve both. I fought to live for a full life, not an okay one.