Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My doctor says I am done treatment and can get back to normal! I don’t feel normal at all! When will I feel like my old self again?
Neal Niznan, MSW, LCSW, Social Worker in the Radiation Oncology Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, responds:
This is a very common feeling for many women after treatment, “When will my life get back to normal?” The breast cancer experience is a life changing event both physically and emotionally. You may not feel that you will ever be ‘normal’ again. It might benefit you to realistically look at what has changed about your life and try to incorporate these changes into a ‘new’ view of how you see yourself. A difficult part of this process is to see possible positive things about your life that have come as a result of breast cancer. Maybe you learned something new about yourself, a strength you never new you had. Give yourself time with this process. Talking with a counselor is always helpful in processing your thoughts and feelings.
The End of the Journey article may also be helpful to you.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Understanding Breast Cancer Supportive Care Issues View the entire transcript.