So, your treatment has completed and you’ve joined the ranks of over 12 million cancer survivors in the country. Now what? As a survivor you will face a number of significant changes to your lifestyle and your physical, emotional and spiritual state. Everyone responds to adversity in their own way, but Cedar Lake Oncology pledges to be there for each of our patients throughout their treatment and beyond to comfort, provide resources and support in whatever way we can.
Finishing treatment can bring about feelings of relief, excitement and joy, but some survivors also identify with emotions of sadness, confusion and fear. This rollercoaster of emotion is understandable, but it is important to remember to keep open lines of communication with your loved ones and take the appropriate steps to help you get back to your “normal” life.
Here is a list of topics you can consider and discuss with your family, friends and doctors to help make a smooth transition:
- Treatment Summary: Keep a complete record of your diagnosis, treatment and follow-up plan for the future.
- Ongoing Recovery & Effects: Consider long-term side effects of your treatments and develop a plan for healthy activity and diet in coordination with any necessary rehabilitation.
- Emotional Changes: Some things that can help are survivor support groups, speaking with a psychosocial oncology professional or even just exploring online resources.
- Re-Entering Life Roles: It’s hard to move back into old roles, but redefining your “new normal” with the help of advocacy groups and the support of loved ones will help with the transition.
- Living With Uncertainty: Some survivors put their experience in the past and do not ever think about it, some let the fearful thoughts of reoccurrence overwhelm them and some look back on the way cancer created positive changes in their lives. The style in which you cope is sometimes reflective of your personality, but how you deal with survivorship can be all your own.