Now What? Adjusting to Life after Breast Cancer

The moment you’ve beaten breast cancer often comes with an enormous sigh of relief. Though even after your final breast cancer treatment is complete, the journey is far from over. The truth is that adjusting to life as a breast cancer survivor can come with its own unique set of day-to-day challenges. Your new life post-breast cancer will be a lot like the life you had before, but there will definitely be some new things to get used to. We call this “the new normal after breast cancer.”

Even after breast cancer treatment is complete your doctors will want to keep an eye on your condition to prevent your risk of breast cancer recurrence. Follow-up appointments are extremely important. During these visits, alert your doctors immediately if you feel like you are having any problems. Follow-ups can also be used to run exams and lab tests to look for signs of cancer recurrence or treatment side effects. We definitely recommend speaking to your doctors and other survivors about how you can fight off the lingering fatigue that is common among breast cancer survivors.

Once your breast cancer treatments have concluded, this can be the perfect time to evaluate certain lifestyle habits like diet and exercise in order to improve your overall health and reduce your chances of breast cancer recurrence in the future. To help you get a clearer picture of the road that may lie ahead, we have invited one of our Pink Ribbon Story Foundation breast cancer ambassadors to share her first-hand experience of how she adjusted to life after breast cancer:

“Recovery is a process not an event.” – PRSF Breast Cancer Ambassador Sandi T.

“I honestly thought that I could do anything. I was really surprised at how vulnerable I was. I even went to a therapist to help me. And when I was sitting in her office waiting to see her one day, there was a book beside the chair. And I just opened the book in the middle and the first passage was, ‘Recovery is a process not an event’. And that note is still sticking on my mirror at home and I read it every day. Doctors kept telling me it’ll be about a year before you feel normal, and they were right.”

Each patient’s breast cancer journey is different, but we hope this has been helpful for anyone making the transition from breast cancer patient to breast cancer survivor. Remember, recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. So don’t push yourself too hard too fast. Adjusting to your new normal may not happen overnight, but the sooner you get used to your new routine the smoother your transition into survivorship will be. For more breast cancer information or if you would like to share your personal breast cancer story with the world, please contact Pink Ribbon story Foundation today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more news, tips, and updates.

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