Emotional pain lingers after breast cancer battle

6:16 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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(NEWS CENTER) - A battle with breast cancer leaves physical and emotional scars.

Both need attention if a survivor is going to make a full recovery.

Sharon Grass was surprised by all of the emotions stirred up after finishing treatment.

"Through the year, I was just focused on what I was going through," Sharon explains, "but it was in the aftermath that the emotional piece kicked in."

Therapist Susan Haskell says she sees many survivors who are shocked by the state the battle leaves them in.

She says she commonly sees lingering anxiety, fear and depression.

Haskell encourages survivors to seek support. Her method uses the four As:

  • ASK - How are you feeling? How can I help?
  • ASSUME NOTHING - Cancer has changed you, everyone will feel and cope in different ways.
  • ANTICIPATE - Resolving these feelings will take time
  • ACCEPT - Own your emotions and express them.

For Sharon, volunteering with the Susan G. Komen foundation in Maine has helped.

"You're not going to go back to your old normal self," Sharon says, "There's going to be a new normal. And you need to slowly process that and learn who your new normal is."


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