Finding your 'new normal' after cancer

July 18, 2016

You’ve survived cancer and now you want to get back to your old life. Yet at the same time, you’re struggling with physical and emotional changes. And now that your treatment is over, many of the people and support systems you came to depend on have fallen away.

If you feel lost, you are not alone. For some patients, this can be a particularly difficult time of transition. Often, it’s called finding your “new normal.”

Some of the most common issues that patients face after cancer treatment are:

• Changes in body image and functioning
• Lingering fatigue
• Persistent pain
• Memory problems and other cognitive changes
• Exercise needs
• Nutrition and dietary advice for optimum health
• Intimacy and sexual concerns
• Situational depression, grief and loss
• Emotional and spiritual issues
• Living with uncertainty, fears of recurring cancer and facing mortality for the first time.

The Survivorship Clinic at the Swedish Cancer Institute can help patients address these issues. The clinic doesn’t replace physician visits, but it can empower survivors to find their “new normal” by:

• Providing resources and referrals
• Helping coordinate care between oncology and primary care
• Providing a treatment summary and a care plan going forward

If you or a loved one is struggling with life changes after cancer treatment, call 1-855-XCANCER to make an appointment with our Survivorship Clinic.

The Swedish Cancer Institute also offers six-week support groups for cancer survivors. Learn more and how to register here.

Patients also can sign up for “Life to the Fullest,” our newsletter on survivorship. Check out the latest issue.

Topics: Cancer