Tina Bacon said one of the hardest things about battling breast cancer as a new mom was accepting outside help to take care of her family.
“I’m a fairly independent person and having someone come into my house was a bit of a deal,” said Bacon, 37, who was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after learning she was pregnant with her third baby.
She had a mastectomy and Nathan was born via c-section six weeks early so mom could start full chemotherapy treatments, at which point Bacon needed a night nanny to help care for him.
“The only thing I felt bad about was not being able to nurse,” Bacon said, adding that a friend who had also just had a baby donated breast milk.
Sixteen months after giving birth and a year after finishing radiation, Bacon is cancer-free, but she still needs a housekeeper once a week.
“I just can’t manage the way I used to,” she said, adding that going through chemo with a newborn baby and twin four-year-olds was overwhelming, and it’s affected her energy and ability to multi-task.
“You have to adjust your expectations of yourself and not feel bad about it,” Bacon said. “You can’t do it alone and that’s okay.”
She said her daughters are only just realizing that chemo and pregnancy don’t go together.
When a family friend became pregnant the first thing they asked was, “When’s she starting chemo?”
“Cancer is sort of a blip,” Bacon said. “It absolutely changes you, but I don’t want it to be what the focus is.”