Why “Normal” Life Can Feel Unfamiliar Once Treatment Ends

Posted: October 14, 2020







Mental Health

Warning: “Normal” life can feel pretty alien once treatment ends. 

Balancing the pressures of your day-to-day routine on TOP of a health crisis? It’s more than anyone is equipped to handle without slipping into a constant state of flight or fight. During treatment, the sheer will to make it through the day can keep you going. 

But what happens once there’s no evidence of disease and that adrenaline stops pumping? Well, it can be tough to move forward! 

Nobody misses cancer, but you might find yourself missing the support of your healthcare team.  Reintegrating into your “old” life isn’t easy. For such a long time, your only mission was “Beat cancer.” Everything else fell second to that goal, and you had a team of professionals cheering you on to reach it. Now, the cheering section feels more distant... there is no doctor outlining exactly what steps you need to take and in which order.

You’re “free”, but you might not feel like it. 

Over and over you ask yourself, “Is this normal? Does everyone feel this way? Will I ever feel like myself again?” Take it from us: YES! You’ll need a support system to get there though. Having someone to lean on who is equipped to understand your struggle and help you through it is so important. That’s what we’re here for, bud!

Even when you think you feel as normal as you ever will again, issues can creep up out of the blue. Maybe you lose your everloving SH*T at not being able to find the TV remote, or you start to find that even things you used to find fun inexplicably put you into a cold sweat. Post-traumatic stress disorder, intimacy issues, or depression don’t always show themselves right after you leave the hospital. Healing isn’t linear that way.  Having someone or a group of people to lean on in the months or even years to come is so important. 

Whether you need advice, encouragement, or just to vent, a support system will be crucial to your healing process.

Peer mentors, support groups, and cancer-specific social networks can be helpful to connect with someone. We’re not saying that “has had cancer” should be a new requirement to be your friend, but it sure helps to have someone to talk to who knows what it’s like. 

Imerman Angels 

Imerman Angels is a free one-on-one cancer support community that matches you with a Mentor Angel. Typically, your angel will be the same age and gender as you, and have faced the same type of cancer, too. (They even match caregivers, too!) You’ll connect with your Mentor Angel online, over the phone, and maybe even in person! 

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