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Grief and life after cancer 
Started by karolinka
10 Dec 2017, 2:19 PM

I am a breast cancer survivor from May 2017. How do you cope with grief after your lost health and adjust to your nwew normal. I also feel I ost my marriage as I changed and communication is an issue. Struggling with low moods. I also lost my father in May. Feels as  I have not delt with my feelings when I was in a survivor mode but now everything comes to the surface. I am trying support groups and talked with  social worker. I feel as we survivors speak a different language. Any ideas of inspirational books etc? Went back to work for 3 months and I am back on ltd until better and that was stressful enough. I had to listen to my body for once.
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Reply by MikeGold_admin
17 Dec 2017, 7:09 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us karolinka. I think you've touched on so many important points in your post that deserve to be fleshed out. 

To the outside world, your survival of cancer is viewed as a perseverance and a resiliency; but there are so many aspects of your identity lost along the way that it's so difficult to be that same person again. Creating that new normal that you speak of often means dealing with the disenfranchised grief you experience from society and their perception of your strength. Then compound that loss of identity with the loss of your father and the adjustment to life after cancer seems even more daunting. 

I think you are doing the right things for yourself to begin to heal and form your new identity. You're pursuing support in multiple forms including this forum. You're being realistic with your ability to cope with getting back to work and understanding that you might need more time for introspection. 

The two books that I have become quite fond of that I often recommend to people are:

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande - https://www.amazon.ca/Being-Mortal-Medicine-What-Matters/dp/0805095152 


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - https://www.amazon.ca/When-Breath-Becomes-Paul-Kalanithi/dp/081298840X/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_img_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=1JHGD6CBAGG06D2JBPRF

Two fairly quick reads by remarkable physicians that I hope you enjoy. 

Also, if you're looking for other mediums of support; I would recommend checking out MyGrief.ca. It is an online, modular program that allows you to work through grief of any kind in your own unique way. 

Thanks again for sharing with us karolinka and welcome to the forum!
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Reply by keromil
22 Oct 2018, 6:57 AM

Thanks for the review and suggestion.
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