What defines life after breast cancer? The initial phase of a cancer journey is consumed with “solving the problem”. Once treatment ends, it’s common for those around you to say, “Great. You’re okay now. You can get back to normal.” The assumption is that life will quickly return to the “pre-cancer days”, but how is that possible? There are aspects of you that are changed.
After any great change, we adapt and create a “new normal”. What, exactly, does the new normal mean for a breast cancer survivor? We have a deeper appreciation for life, less time is spent at the office, and more time is focused on family and friends. We have a greater desire to help others in need. We have a heightened awareness of our mortality. This consciousness makes life sweeter and is also accompanied by occasional bouts of lingering worry. Healing takes time. Have realistic expectations for your recovery and encourage your family to do the same. Despite the worry, the physical scars, and emotional challenges, for many the new normal is a better normal.