After treatment is over, your family and friends may also need time to adjust.
Your cancer diagnosis may make people around you question their own priorities and goals. And, like you, they may be concerned about the cancer coming back.
People close to you can have a range of reactions when your cancer treatment ends. They may feel happy and relieved, exhausted, confused or worried about what the future holds.
When treatment finishes your family and friends may expect you to act the same as before the cancer. If you have changed, people close to you may be disappointed, worried or frustrated.
Friends and family may say things like “but you look fine”, “your treatment has finished now” and “the cancer has gone, hasn’t it?” They may have difficulty accepting that some symptoms—like fatigue—can persist for a long time and that adjustments may need to be made. You may feel you’re expected to be grateful you’re still alive no matter the side effects.
It’s natural for family and friends to want the distress and disruption of cancer to be behind you. They care for you and want you to be well, but you may need to tell them that your recovery is ongoing and you need time to recover after what you’ve been through. You might not be able to just ‘get on with it’ as quickly as they might want you to.