When you were diagnosed with cancer, the only thoughts in your mind revolved around the biopsy, the treatment, the chemotherapy, the surgery.
You went through all that and the interminable hospital stays. And then one fine day the verdict is a positive one and you have been given a clean chit. This then is where it all begins again.
What is it that you are expecting life to bring you? Do you want everything to be as it was before?
That may not be possible, given the changes in your body and all the stresses that you have coped with mentally and emotionally. You may feel different from the way you were before, you may not be able to do things that you found easy earlier all these are changes you have to deal with.
At the back of your mind you are still concerned about the recurrence of the cancer but you plough on knowing you’ll cope with whatever life throws at you because yes, you are a cancer survivor.
You have to be consistent with your follow-up care and report any unusual symptoms to your doctor. This will help you to regain a measure of control over your life control over functioning that you may have had to give up during your treatment.
Follow-up is very important so that you can check if your cancer has reappeared, perhaps in some other part of your body, or if some other cancer has developed. Or the symptoms may just relate to some other health problem that has nothing to do with your cancer and the physician can treat it easily.
1- Take a look at how you are living your life are you eating right?
2- Are you still stressed out?
3- Are you depressed after the treatment and are afraid of the cancer returning?
4- Are you afraid of the side effects of chemotherapy?
It’s important that you address these issues. Start eating right, exercise well, and make health your top priority. If you are stressed out or depressed talk to your doctor about it and take his advice on how to deal with it.
If you are smoking or drinking too much alcohol you may want to quit one and reduce the other to prevent the cancer returning to the same part of the body or some other part. If you want to try alternative treatments to increase your well-being, discuss it with your physician first.
Ask for help from family and friends, and professionals such as your doctor, nurses, and priest.
Talk to people about what you are going through and reduce the emotional and mental burden you might be carrying. Seek spiritual support. Then, help other people with their problems and that will make you feel needed and useful.
Try acquiring a new hobby or a new skill so that you stay mentally alert.
Go back to work if you can it will offer you something to concentrate on and give you a new lease on life.
And remember, these are all valuable insights that you can pass on to other cancer sufferers. Tell them your story and help them to be survivors too.