You’re in remission. These are four words every cancer patient hopes to hear. Though there’s no cure for cancer, it’s the next best thing. The end of cancer treatment should be a time for celebration, however many people experience difficulty acclimating to life after cancer.
Cancer survivors are both relieved and ready to put the experience behind them. They are happy to be finished with the physical, mental and emotional demands of treatment, but they still have mental and emotional hurdles to cross. The main hurdle is the worry and fear that their cancer may return.
There are nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today and many agree there’s a lot of information about what to do after a cancer diagnosis. There is a wealth of information about coping with the demands and effects of treatment, but when it comes to moving past treatment, there isn’t much information available.
Life after cancer treatment
After radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments end, patients need to focus on regaining full mobility, accepting limitations and healing from the trauma that its caused. Many find it much more difficult than they imagined. If you find yourself wondering what to do now that your treatment has ended, you’re not alone. This can be one of the most unsettling and difficult things to deal with after treatment.
Coping with life after cancer
- Get detailed information from your physician about your after care
- Learn ways to manage any temporary physical changes like fatigue, pain, bladder or bowel issues, or memory problems
- Learn to love the new you and never let it limit your connections with other people
- Know that you are not your cancer
- Talk to your doctor about how to manage depression, anxiety or stress following treatment
If you are celebrating your final treatment, congratulations! Now it is time to understand and accept your new self. You’re not the same person you were when you first received your diagnosis and in time you will understand you are stronger than you were before. It’s so important to love yourself, so you can get back to living a full and satisfying life.
If you’d like additional information about your cancer diagnosis, or help finding ways to cope with life after cancer, contact the START Center for Cancer Care at (210) 745-6841. We’re here to give you the treatment, support and hope you need in your battle against cancer.