How do we get our old lives back after we’ve been to Cancer World?

It’s a question that came up the other day and I’m not sure about the answer.  It came from a cancer patient,  some one who had gone through the cancer gates, lived the ordeal of difficult treatments, and has come out the other side.  He was wondering how he could get back to being “himself” again.  He wanted to know if it’s possible to find that old life.  He called it the “good old days.”

Are those days gone forever?  Can you ever go back? 

Speaking from a caregiver’s corner and the fact that cancer took the love of my life, I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I did B.C. .  My world shifted permanently.  That’s not to say that I try every day to find a little piece of normal again.  The smiles and the laughs are a little more measured than they used to be, but at least I’m trying.

Other caregivers who had better luck with their loved ones and find themselves back to daily tasks that don’t include all those trips to the doctor and to treatments, say some of the old habits do return. They also say the fear of the cancer coming back is always on their mind.  Once the beast finds a way in, it’s never too far away. 

So I guess it just depends on the individual.  Some can’t wait to shake the cancer stigma while others wear the scars as a reminder of courage and stamina. 

And  just maybe, the lessons we all learned from our cancer experiences created a ‘new normal.’

We can see clearly now…right?

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