The New Normal
You really should take that experience and bring it forward in your life in as positive of a way as you can.

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.

I'm on the other side of it now. There is an end. I think about it. I think about it every day. I don't talk about it every day but something related to this experience, something tied to it, crosses my mind. I don't know if that will ever go away. -- Jeanna B.

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.

"'Recovery is a process not an event.' Doctors kept telling me it would be about a year before you feel normal again. They were right."
"We knew that there was a finite end to the cancer treatment and the surgery and the routine doctor's appointments."
"I think it leaves you with holes and ruts in your life that don't get closed up. It becomes part of the terrain of who you are."
"A year down the road, I don't remember so much of the bad."
"That's a chapter of my life and I'm ready to move on to another chapter now."
"I had a really great life and I just want to get back to it. I want to do even more of what I was doing before I was diagnosed with breast cancer."
"The radiation is fading and it's been a year since I did chemotherapy. I have all of this hair. We're moving on."
"I went from where I was thinking about it every hour of the day to thinking about it occasionally in a day. It just takes time."
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