Advice on finding your new normal
Practical steps you may find help
Don't doubt that living through ovarian cancer has an impact on you and those closest to you, but you will regain a sense of ordinary life if you can try some of the following:-
Find a daily routine - set your alarm clock, get up, eat breakfast, tidy up, go and buy a paper, make some arrangements. If you have a dog - you have an advantage here! Walking them has never had such purpose before!
Try to get out of the house at least once a day.
Pick up the phone - arrange to see family and friends. Even a little window shopping and a cuppa can help to pick up your spirits.
- A bit of pampering never does us any harm, and now more than ever it will help you. This may mean getting someone to cook you a meal, or perhaps taking a long relaxing bath with candles
- Or why not get a magazine and a bar of chocolate once in a while and put your feet up whilst listening to music that makes you feel good.
- Talk to others who have been through a similar experience either through local support groups or by phone. Don't be shy about giving it a go - these women know what it's like.
- Try picking up hobbies and interests again - but take it at a pace that is right for you.
- Look after yourself by eating a good balanced diet - lots of fresh food with fruit and veg. If you don't' feel like cooking much, just doing something simple like a jacket potato with beans and cheese or scrambled egg with tomatoes will be really good for you. Your specialist nurse can help you find out more information about any particular dietary needs.
- Some women find benefit from complementary therapies. The best source of information on this in relation to cancer is via Cancer Research UK's website. You can also visit Penny Brohn Cancer Care to find about tailored courses available at their centre.
Talking to people
Telling someone in your life about ovarian cancer can feel daunting, but only you can decide when and how to do this. Some professionals encourage survivors of cancer to talk openly. After all, it is now part of your 'story' and who you are. That is nothing to feel ashamed of. You have much to contribute to the world and all those around you.
Don't forget cancer affects everyone. There won't be one person in your life that has not in some way been touched by cancer either directly, or through someone else.
Sometimes others are wary of raising the subject with you, whilst others will want to talk about nothing but your condition. Don't be afraid in either case to let people know when you do, or don't want to talk about how things are going! You may find that people around you attribute labels such as 'brave' and 'courageous'. They may tell you they could never cope as you have. The reality is we all cope in our own way with what life throws at us.
However you feel about this, be kind to yourself, There are no right or wrongs to anything in this, and each woman will feel differently.
After finishing treatment, it will take time before you begin to find your way. If you have the odd 'duvet day' when you feel weepy and miserable don't be too hard on yourself or worry too much. Try some of the practical steps above. However if this persists and you cannot motivate yourself, or you begin to feel out of control with your feelings, you may need a bit of help. Information on this can be found on our Still feeling down? page.
Last review: January 2012
Next Review: January 2014