After beating breast cancer, many women are left wondering if they will ever get their life back on track. After a tremendous amount of treatment, the first thing on your mind is getting back to normality. Despite this, the last day of your treatment isn’t necessarily the end of your journey.
It’s about re-adjusting to life as you once knew it and how you’re going to tackle the challenges that may be ahead. You may start to notice differences in your relationships, eating routines and your fitness and energy levels.
If you’re looking to live a normal life after breast cancer, these useful tips may be able to help you get back on track:
1. Care for your hair
After chemotherapy, your hair may not be as full and luscious as it once was and has perhaps even re-grown differently; but nevertheless, once some hair has grown, it’s a huge stepping stone for getting your confidence back. For many women who have overcome breast cancer, going to the hairdresser is the first stage in making them feel great again. Yet, it’s normal to feel uneasy about going back to your former hairdressers – especially if your hair isn’t yet back to its former glory. There are specific salons in the UK with trained hairdressers who deal with past breast cancer patients.
2. Managing worries
It’s extremely normal to feel overwhelming anxiety after breast cancer, with fears that the cancer may return. While these thoughts seem rational to begin with, any worries should reduce over time as you continue to go about your everyday life. One tip would be to keep checking yourself for any strange symptoms and book an appointment at the doctors immediately. Taking care of your own health can help manage your worries and give you the peace of mind that you’re in safe hands.
It may be an idea to jot down your worries as a form of ‘mindfulness’, Being mindful can help you to live in the present moment, rather than fretting about the past or what may happen in the future. You can also purchase mindfulness colouring books or download apps such as Headspace to help you gain more clarity and take control of your fears.
3. Getting back into exercise
Many women aim to get back into a good exercise regime after breast cancer to reduce tiredness and help boost positive feel-good endorphins in the brain. If you have recently recovered from treatment, it wouldn’t be wise to get too physical straight away – aim to ease into it slowly and go at your own pace. Here are a few exercises that may be suitable for you.
4. Expect mixed feelings
Many women feel both thrilled and apprehensive when treatment comes to an end – and that’s completely normal. Many people may expect you to be celebrating, feeling great in yourself and no longer need support after your treatment comes to an end. However, it goes without saying that they aren’t entirely aware of what you’ve been through and how you should be coping after treatment. Each response depends on the individual.
At times, you’ll be excited as to be cancer-free, but apprehensive about what may happen next. Take each day as it comes and lean on people you can rely on to help combat those negative thoughts.
Read up on the LFBC choir which is a great way to go out socialising and meeting other likeminded women who have been a breast cancer fighter themselves, or have been affected by breast cancer in some way.