Before you enter the recovery phase after cancer treatment, you may not know what to expect. Although treatment most likely was physically demanding, recovery provides its own set of challenges. Here are four things you should expect after fighting cancer and how to plan accordingly.
Lesson 1: Transitioning to recovery is stressful.
Although active treatment for cancer is physically tough, survivorship can be mentally and emotionally taxing. You may become concerned about ongoing monitoring, losing a structured and supportive environment, or reentering society with a lessened feeling of physical well-being due to the side effects of treatment. Your greatest fear may be that the cancer will return or you may develop a new cancer.
Lesson 2: Cancer is not truly over when it’s over.
The post-treatment/survivorship phase brings its own physical, mental, social, economic, and spiritual changes. Whether they are positive or negative, they need to be accepted as your new normal.
Lesson 3: Planning for recovery needs to be a priority.
Although going through active treatment involves minute-by-minute planning by your medical team, entering the recovery phase means the meticulously planned care typically stops. You need to seek out resources in advance to make plans for how to handle your recovery.
Lesson 4: Cancer may provide an opportunity for life-affirming changes.
Many positive life changes can result from battling cancer. You may decide to make fitness and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk for cancer in general. Or, you could participate in activities that you always wanted to do but never took the time to, such as traveling the world. Make the most of your recovery by doing the things that make you happy.
If you or someone you know is fighting cancer, reach out to Chix 4 a Cause. Learn more about our Gifts of Love program at chix4acause.org today.