In reality, cancer treatment is like a part time job with multiple treatment-related appointments, prescription refills, and managing any side effects that may show up. Many people continue to work and must find a balance between treatment, work, and a social life.
And all of this is added to an already full calendar of life events.
Adjusting to a new normal might involve conserving energy during the day in order enjoy a night out with family and friends, playing only the back 4 holes on the golf course, or not hosting that New Years Eve party every year.
Here are 3 tried and true life balancing strategies that can help when adjusting to changes brought on by cancer treatment.
- Keep a log of your treatment side effects. What time of day do you have the most energy? Are there activities in your day that drain or stimulate energy? Over time, it is likely that you will see a pattern and be able to plan events like shopping or going out to lunch during times when you typically feel the best.
- Throughout cancer treatment, do your best to remain optimistic and keep doing the things you enjoy. Remember, you don’t have to give up an entire activity just because you aren’t quite able to function at your former level; or this may be just the time to try something new that better suits your energy level, mental acuity, and physical ability.
- Consider attending a support group. Learn from people who have been in your shoes and understand the emotional, physical, and financial challenges that can go along with a cancer diagnosis. Giving and receiving support can be healing on many levels.
Without a doubt, adjusting to life changing events takes time and patience. A common theme heard from people living with cancer is a newfound ability to determine what is truly important. Interestingly, post cancer diagnosis priorities shift and people actually find that they are enjoying life more because of the ability to discriminate what is just busywork from what truly brings satisfaction.