Six Self-Help Tips to Deal with Life After Cancer
Image: National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure here.
With over 145,000 new cases diagnosed in the country, cancer is a disease that plagues our communities. While undergoing your cancer treatment, you probably waited for it to end so you could go back to your normal life. It’s a day that every cancer patient looks forward to. You expect to feel renewed, hopeful, and ready to take on the world. Your family and friends are probably eager to have you back too.
Unfortunately, people often struggle to deal with their emotions and return to life as cancer survivors. It can be difficult to resume everyday life and fall back to your usual routine, away from the protection of the cancer care unit and the nurses you bonded with.
You should know that feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what lies ahead is entirely normal, and you aren’t the only one. Most cancer survivors face difficulty in returning to their lives. Moreover, there is always some fear of recurrence to make matters worse.
Don’t worry, though; we have you covered! Here are some of the best self-help tips offered by oncology experts to help you get resettled into your life.
Keep Yourself Physically Fit
Taking care of your body is the best place to start. You may feel too weak or unmotivated to work out or go running, and that’s okay! Try to focus on a healthy diet and ensure that you eat plenty of fruit and veggies. Once you feel ready for it, you can start exercising or even just taking a nice evening stroll around the neighborhood.
Keeping yourself fit will allow you to feel refreshed and alive. It is also an excellent way of putting your mind at ease and taking back some control of your life.
Never Miss a Follow-Up Appointment
As the time for your next follow-up appointment comes by, you might feel anxious or even afraid of the cancer returning. Please don’t let this worry keep you from going to the appointment!
It is okay to be scared, but remember that blissful ignorance doesn’t work very well with cancer. Use this appointment to ask your doctor’s questions about your recovery and discuss any unusual symptoms that you may have noticed. Try to gain as much knowledge as possible, so you know what to look out for.
You can also use this appointment as an opportunity to meet the nurses and attendants in your cancer care team. It’ll be a wonderful reunion and give you something to look forward to!
Joining support groups allows you to meet people dealing with the same challenges as you. It creates a wonderful sense of community and shows you that you aren’t alone.
The emotional support offered by cancer support groups can help survivors and their families. It helps ease feelings of loneliness, and you might even discover better coping mechanisms for your troubles.
Discuss Your Fears and Worries
Cancer survivors often feel ungrateful or pessimistic by focusing on their worries. This isn’t the case at all! Battling cancer is incredibly difficult, and you’re bound to have reservations.
Try to express your concerns and fears to your family and loved ones. Talking them out will help you manage your concerns better and offer you support to get through this confusing time. You can even try journaling your experiences to provide yourself with some clarity.
Get Professional Help
If you feel like the emotional turmoil is getting too much, it is always a good idea to seek professional help. The sadness, anxiety, and fear of cancer remission can leave the best of us overwhelmed. Seeing a therapist will help you make sense of your emotions. They will also help you find productive ways of easing your mind and returning to your normal life. This is why most oncology specialists recommend their patients consider counseling.
Show Yourself Some Kindness
Lastly, it is important to be patient and kind to yourself. You’ve made it through one of the most challenging things that people can ever face with strength and success! Pat yourself on the back and give yourself time to go back to your normal life slowly. Try not to rush the process and show some much-needed empathy to yourself.
If you’re a cancer survivor, firstly, congratulations! Your strength and resilience are truly admirable, and you should remember that. Try to take things slow when adjusting to your everyday life and pay close attention to your mental health. Keep in mind that it’s okay to ask for help and support from others as you make this transition.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.