What Do I Do Now? - 134

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AFTER /// CHAPTER 85
Relationships
After Cancer
Boyfriends and Girlfriends
Family
Many families expect everything to return to " normal " when
your treatment ends. But be prepared - your family may
have changed permanently.
Try to be patient with your family as they adjust. It may be
hard for them to give you back your independence - or to
know how to talk about your cancer.
Spend some time experimenting with new routines and
finding out what works for the whole family. Continue to
work together and find ways to support each other. You will
find a new " normal " .
Friends
You may feel disconnected from your old friends and that
you can't relate to them as much anymore. Maybe you feel
like you have been forced to grow up faster than them and
now feel more mature. Or maybe you have missed out on a
lot of opportunities to socialize with people your age and
you feel like your friends have moved on and left you behind.
As you try to return to " normal " life, you may find that you
need to rethink and even end some friendships. This may
have happened anyway - cancer or no cancer.
As you begin to realize what is important and interesting to
you, give yourself opportunities to meet people who have
similar values. Maybe you could consider joining a club or a
team or connecting with people online.
Over time, you will develop your own unique identity and
group of friends. Try to be as honest with yourself as you
can about what kind of person you want to be and what kind
of people you want to be around.
Dating and exploring your sexuality is a really important part
of being a teenager and young adult.
Cancer may have affected your confidence, self-esteem and
appearance. Some people worry that they are less attractive
and will find it difficult to form new relationships. Many
wonder whether - and how - they will tell future partners
about their cancer, particularly if their fertility has been
affected.
If you do want to begin a new relationship, consider:
» Getting involved in activities where you can meet people
and practice your social skills.
» Connect with other survivors to talk about their
experiences with dating.
» Talk to your friends, family or counselor about your
emotional and body-image concerns.
» Try to focus on positive outcomes of your cancer
experience - maybe you feel stronger and wiser, or that
you appreciate time and people more.
Pressure from others to " get over it "
You, your friends, your family or your employer may expect
that life should just return to normal now that cancer has
been treated. You may hear statements such as " it's time to
move on " . We know that this just isn't how things work.
When cancer is gone from the body, its repercussions still
remain. If you feel like others are pushing you, explain to
them that this isn't something that's over for you. It's still
there and you need some space and time to cope with it in
your own way.
If you feel like you aren't coping, understand that this is OK
and get yourself some help.
https://fwaya.org/

What Do I Do Now?

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of What Do I Do Now?

Contents
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What Do I Do Now? - Contents
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