Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I am 28 years old unmarried and going through breast cancer treatment. How will I ever be able to feel "normal" enough to date again?
Linda Jacobs, PhD, CRNP, AOCN, BC, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, responds:
You have many things to cope with during treatment and it is only natural to be concerned about the future. Since everyone's "normal" is a little different, it is really impossible to say when any one person undergoing cancer treatment is able to do certain things. Desire and ability to participate in certain activities during and after treatment for cancer really depend upon a number of personal and treatment related factors. If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or just want to have someone to speak to about the many, sometimes overwhelming concerns that arise during cancer treatment, ask the oncologist and advanced practice nurse caring for you to refer you to a counselor that specializes in working with cancer patients.
A counselor will be able to help you assess your situation and determine what is best for you regarding dating and other social activities.