by Diane Townsend, MSW, Department of Social Service, Adult Sites McGill University Health Centre
Now that your treatment has ended, you may find yourself flooded with a range of emotions from relief and joy to guilt, fear and anxiety. You may experience all these feelings at the same time. This is normal as each individual’s experience is unique to them. Life after cancer involves many physical and emotional changes as you adjust to a “new normal” way of life. You may find that different things are more important to you now as your priorities may have changed after having cancer. Some people may wish to return to their jobs soon after completing treatment in order to feel that they are resuming the way of life they had before the cancer diagnosis. Others may wish to not return to work right away, preferring to take some time to rest and reflect on how they wish to spend their time. Family, friends and colleagues may not understand that you will likely not be able to immediately “bounce back” to former routines and activities, as you may continue to experience fatigue and temporary cognitive changes during your recovery.