08 July 2019
The cancer journey doesn’t necessarily end when treatment does.
You’re not alone if you’re finding it challenging to adjust to life after cancer. Perhaps it’s the first time you’ve had the space to step back and reflect on what has happened. Maybe you’re concerned that the cancer might come back, or you’re worried about rebuilding your finances after treatment expenses have hit home. As time passes, most people find that these concerns and frustrations ease.
In the meantime, you can try the following:
- Take your time. Recovery is another part of the cancer experience, and it can take longer than you expect sometimes. Remember, it’s normal to feel frustration, sadness and fear from time to time.
- Recognise your stressors. Are you sleeping poorly, feeling tense or finding it difficult to manage your emotions? When you can recognise your own signs, you can start managing stress sooner.
- Do things you enjoy. During treatment, the things you enjoy are often put on hold. Take time to reconnect with what makes you happy. Make a list of activities you enjoy and plan to do one each day.
- Focus on your goals. You may want to ask yourself, what is important to me? Cancer may cause you to re-examine your life choices and may motivate you to travel, taking up new activities or make lifestyle changes (e.g. starting exercise or quitting smoking).
Talk to someone who understands
When you call 13 11 20, an experienced cancer nurse like Polly will answer. You can talk through what you’re feeling and discuss practical ways to work through challenges. Connecting with other cancer survivors may help you cope and feel more positive about the future.