Identifying What Your “New Normal” Is
Even though family, friends, and coworkers may want you to get back to your old self by resuming your previous activities, the process of identifying what your “new normal” is will take time. It is a good idea to make sure that those around you understand that just because your breast cancer treatments are over doesn't mean that you can just jump back into your previous activities and workload; resuming your eight-to ten- hour work day, carpooling, coaching games, etc. In fact, you may discover that in this stage after breast cancer treatment that you can only comfortably do one extracurricular activity a week in addition to your day-to-day responsibilities.
This stage of recuperation after breast cancer treatment is your chance to restructure your life and make choices that will have an impact on how you live the rest of your life. You may decide to slow down your pace, perhaps not work so hard, or spend more time with family and friends. Another important fact is that most breast cancer survivors are sensitive to what their body is telling them and every ache and pain may bring cause for concern. The feeling that your body failed you before promotes this hypersensitivity to anything that feels foreign to you.
After breast cancer treatment your body feels different, especially if you have had reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Also, chemo-induced menopause will most surely make you feel differently. Your hormonal makeup, if you have had antiestrogen therapy, will contribute to a foreign or “new normal” feeling of well-being. Identifying your “new normal” takes time and patience and is a long process that begins after your breast cancer treatments are over.