Finding a “new normal”

Having cancer is often described as an experience that starts at diagnosis. During treatment, some people feel that their life is on hold or in limbo.

When treatment ends, you may want life to return to normal as soon as possible, but you may not know how. Or you may want or need to make changes to your life. Over time, survivors often find a new way of living. This process is commonly called finding a new normal and it may take months or years.

Learn more about:


Adjusting to the new normal

  • You may feel both excited and anxious when treatment ends. You may need time to stop and reflect on what has happened before you can think about the future.
  • You may feel a sense of loss or abandonment as you engage less with the treatment team, and support from family and friends becomes less intense.
  • On the outside, you may look normal and healthy. But on the inside you may still be recovering physically and emotionally.
  • You may have thought you would just resume your life exactly where you left off before cancer. This can take longer than you expect.
  • Your family and friends may not fully understand what you’ve been through, or realise that the cancer experience doesn’t stop when treatment ends.
  • It may help to allow yourself time to adjust to your life after treatment. Ask your friends and family for their support and patience during this period.

This information was last reviewed in April 2018
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Life after cancer treatment
Programs and support for people who have finished treatment

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

ENRICH – a free healthy lifestyle program
A face-to-face exercise and nutrition program for cancer survivors

Cancer information

Nutrition and cancer
How to eat well during and after cancer treatment

Staying healthy after treatment
Lifestyle changes that can help keep you in good health

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends

SHARE
TOP BACK TO TOP