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Recover Making Sense of Breast Cancer What you Should Expect After Treatment

After all the surgeries, the chemotherapy, the radiation treatments and so on are over, you probably asked yourself, “What will my life be like after treatment ends?”  “Where do I go from here? What should I expect?”

Well, you can expect that some things in your life (and about you) will be different than before your diagnosis and treatment.  Whether you embrace the concept of being a survivor or not, your life, in some way, has been altered by your experience.

In moving forward with your life after treatment, it is important that you allow adequate time to recover. Be patient -- you won’t return to normal overnight. And, you should expect that your periodic follow up visits to your doctor(s) and all the diagnostic tests will continue indefinitely, or at least until otherwise instructed by your doctor.

It is easy to assume that you can pick up your life where you left off before your diagnosis, and you’re probably eager to do it.  This is possible to some extent, and some women are very successful in doing so. However, the reality is that you and your body, in some ways, will never be the same. 

You may experience physical changes resulting from surgery or or , or whatever treatment you have received. There could be a change in your appearance, your energy level and stamina or your capacity for work and play. 

All of these are treatable conditions, of course, and you can recover from most of them, but not all are reversible or curable.

For example, there is no known cure for , an abnormal buildup of fluid that causes swelling, most often in the arms or legs. This condition develops when lymph vessels or lymph nodes are removed, which commonly occurs during a or .  

According to a study conducted by researchers at the , while after breast cancer occurs in about 42 percent of survivors, only about 12 percent reported moderate/severe , and 2 percent reported chronically moderate/severe.

You may also experience emotional changes that result from transitioning from being under the full care of your medical team to being on your own, with periodic follow-up visits to the doctor, in managing your recovery.

It is possible that mentally you may experience some challenges, especially if you have chemotherapy.  is a common aftereffect. This is temporary, but in most cases it takes a few months to completely regain your .

And, spiritually, you may question why this happened to you. In some ways it could be a test of your faith, but figuring that out is all part of your personal journey.

Consequently, you may discover that taking a more holistic approach -- managing your , , and well being -- is even more critical to your life after treatment.

At Breast Cancer Partner, we know that recovery can often be a long, arduous journey, but you’re not alone in this process. We are here to help you navigate your way through recovery after treatment, and we offer tools and resources to help you make better choices about your health and wellness.

In addition, our website offers resources to assist you with issues related to:

To understand more about what you should expect after breast cancer treatment, the has very useful information on .

Breast Cancer Partner Events

September 29, 2012
'Pamper Me Pink' Breast Cancer Event, Floyd County, IN

September 22 – October 28, 2012
Shine Your Light Bright for the Cancer Fight, San Marcos, TX

September 29, 2012
Pink October Velvet Sessions with Bret Michaels, Hard Rock Hotel, Universal Orlando, Orlando, FL

September 30, October 3, 2012
American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference – “Treating the Cause”, Orlando, FL

September 30, 2012
Prevent Cancer Foundation 5K Race, Washington, D.C.

October 3, 2012
The Beauty of Caring Event, San Francisco, CA

October 11, 2012
Cancer and Careers Online Event Legal & Insurance Issues to Consider

October 13 – 14, 2012
Lance Armstrong Foundation Live Long Run, Walk, Ride Event, Hallandale Beach, FL

October20, 2012
SASS Foundation 18th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Uniondale, NY

October 27 – 30
AACR Cancer Health Disparities Conference, San Diego, CA

November 15, 2012
Cancer and Careers Online Event Re-Entering the Workforce After Short & Long Absences


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