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Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

18 REPLIES 18
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

HI there. I have a wee boy of two ( three next week). There are lots of us with young kids- so you are not alone. I really wish you all the very best. Accept all offers of help. One of my neighbours offered to clean ,my bathroom and I didn;t say no! x
ohbaby
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hello
I've been thinking about you as I know you said that baby was due in May...any news yet? I'm very excited for you 🙂
Faye

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi,
I am in a similar situation to you - I was pregnant when diagnosed, I have a two year old and two older sons, 9 and 7 years old.

Just wanted to say "Hi" really! It's a bit of a shocker being in this situation when you are young, healthy and pregnant. Our baby had to be delivered 5 weeks early and was in neo-natal for a few weeks. This was a really horrible time as I was travelling from the neo-natal ward to biopsy appointments, scans and consultant appointments... The most important thing on my mind was my children, not me. My advice is always take someone with you to appointments as I didn't take anything in that anyone said. Also stay positive, you can get through anything if you cuddle your babies and cherish every moment with them.

Am just about to have my last FEC, which will be followed with surgery (dreading it!).

Stay strong and keep smiling X

dancing_girl
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hello,

Sorry to read all the problems you young ones with babies and toddlers have to face - it's hard enough anyway.

I'm just wondering if there is a WI near you. If so, there might well be some ladies who could make a rota to help you out.

If you don't know how to get in touch with them, let me know where you live and I'll try to find out if there is a WI near you and contact them.

Hope you manage to sort things out.

Stella xx

lorjema
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hiya Ladies,

Thanks for all your ideas, I have indeed looked at our options and even homestart isn't visable for us as the nearest one is too far away.

Ohbaby - I will ask my midwife about the nursery scheme, that could really help even if it's one day a week!

OH and I have decided that our only option is to get him signed off for a few months, I've run this past several people including our midwife and she can't see any reason why it would be refused, and said she would be happier knowing he was off to take care of us all, as I 100% hold my hands up to the fact that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to coping with everything, and if I do thatI know that i'll burn myself out and make myself worse!

xxx

ohbaby
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi Lon

I haven't visited this site for a very long time but I was in the same situation as you...my baby has just turned 2 years old 🙂

There is a 20 month age difference between my children and I was diagnosed at 12 weeks. I had 6 EC chemo's - 5 whilst pregnant and 1 afterwards.

When Eva arrived I had already made sure that anyone I needed to involve was fully up to speed on the situation and I asked (and in some cases stamped my feet) to get help if I needed it.

My health visitor told me about a scheme where a certain local nursery offered free places to families in need. I was offered the place but didn't take it as I have family close by who helped. My midwife was also very helpful and arranged that if I felt too exhausted I could admit myself to hospital 'for a rest'...obviously more so they could keep an eye on me and look after me but it was positioned as a rest which was nice of them. My BCN also offered advice.

My Mum and MIL did all of my cleaning and ironing. I used online shopping for everything. Friends dropped off meals for me and my family for a few days after each chemo and when baby arrived and I had loads of offers of people wanting to look after my eldest to give me chance of a rest.

I agree with pp - take the cuddles and snuggles - let other people do the poop!! Prioritise and deligate but don't feel guilty. There will be plenty of time to offer thanks and appreciation once you're well again.

Sending you love, strength and courage

Faye

laiw
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi Lon, I was diagnosed when I was 32 weeks pregnant and started chemo when my son was 2 weeks old, I have a 2 year old as well. First of all the healthcare professionals weren't really much help, we are luckily (or unluckily)in the minority so there isn't much info or help they could give me.

My friends and family were amazing and its important to know that those who have offered help mean it so take up any help. My husbands work have been amazing and he has been able to take as much time of as necessary without losing any pay. I appreciate we are really lucky and other employers may not be so generous.

I got a small amount of benefit money, ask Macmillan for advice, and this has paid for a cleaner to come and zap the place.

As someone else suggested, lie on the sofa and enjoy newborn cuddles whilst someone else changes bums, feeds or even takes baby out for a walk.

Good luck with your treatment.

x

lorjema
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi Newyork,

Sorry to hear that you're in the same boat as I am, as mentioned on here before, the Homestart people look to be about the best out there, I have not contacted them yet, but I will do when the time is right for me.

Here's a link to their website, and I hope that they can help us both

http://www.home-start.org.uk/needsupport/need_support

xx

Newyork
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Oh and both macmillian and my health visitor said there was no help out there for me...

Newyork
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi there

I have been in a similar situation as you I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 24 weeks of my pregnancy unfortunately it had already spread to my bones. I had EC chemo and then started taxol after the birth and been on some kind of treatment since diagnosis.

My daughter is just about to turn one cant believe what an amazing year we have had! It has however been extremely tough with no family nearby we have had to rely on friends to help out and like you I hate asking for help.

I havent found any sources of help so please let me know what you find. I am currently on my second round of radiation which lasts for 5 weeks as you can imagine childcare is a headache and being on maternity leave we have no spare income to pay for childcare so I too would be keen to know what support is out there.

I hope it goes okay for you and as much as a newborn is hard work it is a great distraction and the joy replaces the pain!!!!

Charlotte

lorjema
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Thank you too carolihne,

My Auntie did some research and came with these people as well, so will definatly be one to have a look at.

🙂

carolihne
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hello,
Gosh you have got a lot on your plate at the moment . There is an organisation called 'Homestart' that offer practical help to young families - might be worth googling them?
cheers
Caroline

lorjema
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Thanks Small1, hadn't thought of phoning the health visitor!

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Phone your health visitor, they should be able to point you at some places. Your bcn might know and also do a search for local hospices near you and check out their websites, they could possibly offer help or may know who could.

Sorry cant think of any others, best of luck,
Ali

lorjema
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hello All,

Thank you very much for all of your advice and support 🙂 It is so hard to find information on support service out there.

I will certainly look into your suggestions more, and will speak to my BCN when I get a chance.

I do try to accept offers of help when given...I'm just not so good at asking for help, the bane of my OH's life, lol.

Had my first dose of chemo yesterday, and aside from feeling quite tired and a little achey, I'm not too bad, even dragged myself into work today...I'll count this as a good day 🙂

Again thanks for your support and advice,

Lon xx

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Lon, I can't imagine what a horrible shock it was for you, and although my kids are a lot older than yours I hope I can come up with something you might find helpful.

Firstly, when the small one comes along, he/she really won't worry who it is that picks him/her up and feeds, cuddles and cleans him/her, as long as it happens. Attachments take a while to develop and your baby is already firmly attached to you and knows your heartbeat and your voice, and will feel happiest when resting with you. Even if you are flopped on the sofa and having cuddles during the easy bits and letting someone else do the changing/feeding/washing up after, your little one will still know who mummy is.

Your older one might find it all a bit more hard work, not only because of your illness but with the arrival of a new bro or sis. She has already become her own little person and has her own ideas on the world. That said, she has probably already formed attachments with other children and mums at whatever toddler group you attend, so I suggest that you try to arrange a regular routine for her to go and play with friends for an hour or two, or have your friends round so they can supervise while the kids do their thing, while you rest.

At this stage of your treatment you're going to have to bite the bullet and both accept help that is offered and ask for other help. I think that's about the hardest lesson we all have to learn, but if you are able to look at your situation dispassionately, you'll see that it's not such a big thing for the givers (they will also feel good for being able to help!) and it doesn't have to go on for ages. So if you can get your support network mobilised before small thing arrives, you will be doing a favour for all of you.

Sorry, rambling again, but I hope there is something in that lot that you can use.

CM
x

Louise_BCC
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi there Lon

You might find it helpful to give our Helpline a call, they can offer support and lots of information about other sources of help. They're on 0808 800 6000 and are open weekdays 9-5 and Saturday 9-2.

We also have a few publications which you might find useful to read, I've given the links here to the pages where they can be either downloaded or ordered:

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/diagnosed-breast-cancer/breast-cancer-during-pregna...

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/diagnosed-breast-cancer/younger-women-breast-cancer...

I hope you find this useful.

Best wishes.

Louise
Facilitator

mfb
Member

Re: Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi Lon,

Sorry to hear of your situation when you should be celebrating the imminent arrival of a new member to your family. How caring that you are looking to ease matters by planning ahead.

Hopefully others will come along with good advice soon.

What I wanted to share is that in some areas there are organisations that will offer support on a voluntary basis. There is one such organisation in my area called Breast Friends; a friend who was diagnosed and went through treatment after the birth of her son was offered support with housework, shopping, taking care of the baby in her house whilst she got some rest amongst other things and I know that she really appreciated this.

Your BCN should be able to help to connect you with anything that is available to you locally.

Good luck with your treatment and hpe that the support you need is there for you.

Sx

lorjema
Member

Practical Support whilst going thru Chemo with Newborn?

Hi All,

I may very well have missed this topic on another part of the site, so I apologise for that if I have.

Firstly let me explain my situation -

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on Jan 12th 2012, I am 28 years old with a 17 month old daughter and a baby due in May this year. I start my first cycle of FEC tomorrow and once baby is born I will start on 3 cycles of Taxotere followed by more surgery and radiotherapy, I do have an OH who is wonderfully supportive and who I know will do all he can to help, but we also know that he will have to remain working full time during all of this, so one of my biggest concerns is how I will cope in day to day life with 2 very small childre i.e so the practical aspects, cleaning, cooking, bottle feeding etc...

So does anybody know who, where or if this support even exists for people in my situation? Any advice is very gratefully recieved.

I know this is all a while off yet, but if I need to get things organized I want to get the ball rolling soonest really before I start feeling too lousy.

Hugs

Lon