Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyBCTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyBCTeam

Finding a New Normal: Living With Breast Cancer

Posted on June 01, 2017

If a breast cancer diagnosis is like falling off a cliff, then grappling with this new reality is like going through the stages of grief. The concept of the five stages of grief was introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969. The stages represent difficult feelings experienced during hardships and traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, a breakup, or confronting an addiction. Grief is experienced by women with breast cancer, too.

Stages of Grief
The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The stages rarely happen in order, and many women revisit some or all of the stages over and over after diagnosis and during treatment.

Anger sets in when we acknowledge what we’ve lost – suddenly there are new realities because of breast cancer: missing work for treatment, being too sick for family dinners, worrying about pill schedules, running to endless doctor’s appointments, losing friends because they don’t understand, and constantly worrying about the next scan. Some days begin with bargaining and trying to live perfectly in hopes that it will go away. The frustration and disappointment can lead to depression and sadness.


Relief (The New Normal)
An official diagnosis can be the catalyst we need to move us past denial. Relief slowly begins to creep in when this new normal is shared with others. Social support, from friends and family and from fellow members on myBCTeam, helps you slowly climb the staircase of grief into a more predictable plateau – the “new normal.” Forging social support from others with breast cancer can bring perspective and validation. Any predictability is a relief. Walking through life with breast cancer isn’t easy or what any of us asked for, but it makes all the difference to walk this new path with others who understand. Have you found your new normal?

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Related articles

Feelings of stress are common among people living with metastatic breast cancer.Managing stress...

Stress-Reduction Techniques for People Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer

Feelings of stress are common among people living with metastatic breast cancer.Managing stress...
Because the physical impact of breast cancer can be all-consuming, you may be dealing with...

How Breast Cancer Can Affect Your Mental Health

Because the physical impact of breast cancer can be all-consuming, you may be dealing with...
Having any type of cancer can be tough, but working through those challenges with others can...

The Power of Mentoring Others With Breast Cancer

Having any type of cancer can be tough, but working through those challenges with others can...
According to Harvard Medical School, those of us living with cancer or receiving cancer...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Breast Cancer

According to Harvard Medical School, those of us living with cancer or receiving cancer...
This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...

Practicing Gratitude With Breast Cancer

This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...
Living with breast cancer can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find...

Tap Into the Power of Directness: Use "I"

Living with breast cancer can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find...

Recent articles

Following a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s natural to wonder about your prognosis. “Prognosis”...

Breast Cancer Prognosis: Fear, Hope, and Understanding Survival Rates

Following a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s natural to wonder about your prognosis. “Prognosis”...
The term “palliative care” is often thought of as end-of-life care. However, it’s a common...

Palliative Care: Improving Quality of Life With Breast Cancer at Any Stage

The term “palliative care” is often thought of as end-of-life care. However, it’s a common...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a second COVID-19 booster shot of...

What People With Breast Cancer Should Know About Getting a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a second COVID-19 booster shot of...
Diabetes is a major public health concern, as is breast cancer. Combined, their threat is...

Diabetes and Breast Cancer: What Is the Link?

Diabetes is a major public health concern, as is breast cancer. Combined, their threat is...
A rash on the breast does not necessarily signal breast cancer. Many breast rashes are related to...

Breast Cancer Rash: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A rash on the breast does not necessarily signal breast cancer. Many breast rashes are related to...
There are many misconceptions about what factors raise the risk of breast cancer. Although...

Reducing Breast Cancer Risk Through Everyday Habits

There are many misconceptions about what factors raise the risk of breast cancer. Although...
MyBCTeam My breast cancer Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close