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'Adapting to life after confinement: I've been here before...' - Emily Hourican shares her experience of cancer

Following cancer treatment five years ago, Emily Hourican had to relearn how to deal with 'normal' life. She shares her experience ...

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Writer Emily Hourican. Photo: David Conachy

Writer Emily Hourican. Photo: David Conachy

Writer Emily Hourican. Photo: David Conachy

An end is in sight - not The End, that will take some time yet - but the beginning of an end; a loosening of restrictions, an increase in freedom.

We have looked forward to a return to some kind of normality for so long. But now, as it approaches, there's a faint edge to the anticipation, a shimmer of anxiety: How do we do it, this normal life we miss so much? How did we used to manage so many interactions, demands, engagements? The sheer volume of stuff we dealt with?

I've heard plenty of people admit that they are dreading emerging into full-throttle socialising again. That the last weeks have gradually stripped them of the habit of easy interaction; they have taken to avoiding acquaintances on their daily walks or deliberately cutting the chat short, because of no longer knowing what to say or how to behave. We're out of practise, and that is bothering us. The unfamiliar is always daunting.