In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of studies dedicated to female breast cancer survivors, especially regarding the complications that stem from cancer treatment, aiming to improve the quality of life of these women. If normalcy is taking a while for you and your family, or for you and your spouse, don’t despair. It takes a long time. Hang in there.
It’s surely hard to pull off when you feel you’ve been in Cancer-land for more than a year while the world busily moved on. It may be also hard for you to express yourself properly when the chemo brain still baffles. Even after months post-surgery, you may have to cope with lingering fatigue.
If you are undergoing all these then you should know about the variation in time to get back to normalcy. It usually differs from patient-to-patient. It might even take longer than you might expect. Knowing all these and being prepared beforehand have helped a lot of patients, and a lot of patients’ spouses, and a lot of patients’ families, to deal with it in a much more relaxed way. One must understand that it requires patience to let things unfold at its own speed.
“We need to know to give things time. At first, I thought I would have to just get through a couple months of depression after radiation ended. I battled through that, but then I had to face crippling stage fright about working again.
-Breast cancer surgery survivor
But there is no harm, if in such situation too, you try to live the normal life. It is only good if you do that – back to working like before, socialising, exercising with a reasonable amount of energy, and then take an honest look at yourself and the endless support you have been receiving from the friends and family. Realise that your family, kids, near and dear ones too suffer from their own kind of cancer Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they have been rather neglected since the diagnosis because it’s all about you then. But what about them – your spouse, kids, etc.? Kids are the most vulnerable and sensitive ones who might get into the risk of suffering from serious depression and loneliness. They may shy away from talking about their fears and feelings. In such situation, communication is the only key. When the family is trying to be the support system, you must also assure them in return that you are not losing yet now, and that you are ready to fight back all the negatives and come out with flying colours!
In the end, it is also good to be aware that we need to accept that normalcy does not mean that things will go back to exactly the way they were. We just have to accept the changes between the pre and the post-surgery circumstances!
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