Moving forward after cancer
Those who have gone through cancer treatment describe the first few months as a time of change. Patients often say that life has a new meaning or that they look at things differently now.
Your new 'normal' may include making changes in the way you eat and the things you do.
Getting follow-up medical care
All cancer patients should have follow-up medical care. Knowing what to expect after cancer treatment can help you and your family make plans, lifestyle changes and important decisions.
Follow-up care and getting involved in making decisions about your medical care and lifestyle can be a good way to regain some of the control you felt you lost during cancer treatment. Research has shown that patients who feel more in control feel and function better than those who do not.
Follow-up medical care may include;
- Regular visits to your doctor/specialist
- Physical exams
- Blood tests
- MRI or CT scans
A Survivor's Wellness Plan
Many survivor's want to find ways to reduce the chances of their cancer coming back. It is a time when you can take a good look at how to take care of yourself. This is an important start to living a healthy life. Ask you doctor about developing a wellness plan that includes ways you can take care of your physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
Changes you may want to think about making:
- Quit smoking
- Cut down on how much alcohol you drink
- Eat well
- Exercise and stay active
Carve out time to feed your emotional spirit. Read inspirational books or keep a journal. Express yourself through creative outlets like drawing, painting or music.
Give yourself what you need. Take a nap in the middle of the day.
Learn to say 'no' when it just doesn't feel right and say 'yes' when it does.
Enjoy yourself. Watch a funny movie, spend time with family and friends. Consider trying a new hobby or activity.
Surround yourself with support. Talk to friends, get together with family.
Join a support group with other survivors to establish a connection with others who've had similar experiences.