Hearing from the doctor that you got cancer makes your world turn upside down. For a moment, you can’t breathe, you feel dizzy, your vision gets blurred, and you can’t hear anything. Everything stops. Slowly, you’re coming back, but you think it’s not you anymore. It’s no longer the life you had. All the hope is gone. It’s the end.
Treating cancer is a grueling process. If one therapy does not work, there are more options to consider that are just as physically, emotionally and mentally draining as the other. The only thing that kept me going back then apart from my desire to live was the hope that my doctor would come to say, “Congratulations, your cancer is in remission.”
Life after cancer is not as easy and as simple as just going back to your usual ordinary life. Many things will change because many things have changed. Changes will be seen in the people you want to be with and the people who want to be with you. Additionally, your outlook on life and the things you want to do will also change. Face it, so much will definitely change from the moment you were rushed to the hospital emergency room and now that you’re walking out of those doors.
Psychological and Emotional Challenges
Who wouldn’t be happy surviving cancer? But there’s a dilemma attached to it. You get worried when it’s time to visit your doctor. The bad news that might one day come to you saying you got a recurrence is like a nightmare that makes you anxious.
The guilty feeling that you survived while others didn’t is like a dark shadow that always follows you and keeps you awake in deep thoughts at night.
A positive attitude and outlook will help you cope with the stress. Let go of your guilt feeling because it’s not your fault. Move on and take the chance to reinvent yourself. You deserve it!
Where Do I Go From Here? Is There a Future Waiting For Me?
Surviving cancer means you’ve been through a lot of pains and aches. Continuing your life outside of the hospital facility will never be easy, but surely you will thrive. There may be some discrimination in your workplace, school environment, and even in your very home. Be prepared and just be patient.
Talk Therapy Survivor Support Group
To lessen psychological and emotional stress, it is of importance that you join support groups. Talking to people who experienced the things you’re experiencing now is very important. They can efficiently guide you through and give you advice because they used to have the same dilemma as you, and they thrived and survived. Having someone to talk to makes a big difference. It lightens the burden.
Be Productive, Stay Healthy
The boredom of staying in the hospital for months or years gives you the chance to re-think about your life. It might have made you shift your point of view. You may have written a list of things you wanted to do once you get healed and discharged from the hospital.
Here it is!
Now is the time to check that list. It may include quitting your old job, learning new things, meeting people, going on vacation, becoming more adventurous, eating authentic foods, eating foods that you missed, bonding with family, going swimming, and more. There are so many things you can do to be productive and feel accomplished. Doing the things you love and enjoy while avoiding the ones that will fuel your worries can help you stay healthy.
Be In Touch
You may be feeling okay, but still, it is essential that you keep in touch with your doctor by going to your regular checkups and having your follow-up tests. Seeing your oncologist and primary physician regularly will keep both you and your doctor updated on your progress. You may have questions that only they can answer. Always remember that maintaining your health is not done by you alone. You and your doctors should work as a team so that you may enjoy the quality life.
Don’t Stay Stagnant
Surviving cancer is a blessing – a hope you can give to others who were in the same situation as you were in. Many challenges await you but don’t let those negativities make you stagnant. You endured a lot of trials. It’s time to be positive about things. Your life now is no longer about cancer. It’s a chance to reinvent yourself. Not everyone has that second chance.
At a glance, it may look like simply exercising to lose weight and be fit, but not after you finish reading this.
There are groups of people who exercise to keep their body fit or to attain their desired body figure. There are also those who exercise for long-term benefits. The former can easily give up exercising especially when they get frustrated when they don’t achieve their goal. The latter will make exercise a habit because they know that besides losing weight, there are more benefits to it.
There are many people who have actually survived cancer. Statistics have shown that all cancers combined, 67% of those diagnosed with cancer survived five years or more from 2007 to 2013. Early detection played an important role in surviving cancer because of higher chances of successful treatment.
Importance of Early Detection
Being diagnosed and receiving proper treatment early on can definitely save the cancer patient’s life. Once it spreads, treatment is much more difficult and complicated.
Stop Being Cancerphobic
Cancer is considered one of the most feared disease. Its emotional impact is too distressing. Why? Because of the idea that we will die. But come to think of it, there are many things other than cancer that can cause a more dreadful death, not to discount the fact that some types of cancer can now be treated successfully. It is important to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of cancer and being aware of your family history and other risk factors. Low awareness and denial can lead to late diagnosis which could mean a low survival rate.
The Big “C” may not yet stand for a cure, but remission gives cancer patients a chance for a longer quality life. Staying cancer-free for 5 years after the diagnosis has greater chances for recovery. It’s not an assurance, but a good sign, a big HOPE.
Here are some types of cancers that can be cured with early detection and proper treatment.
- Prostate Cancer. There is almost a 100% 5-year survival rate with local and regional prostate cancers. Survival can also depend on the type of cancer and the stage of the disease.
- Thyroid Cancer. Thyroid cancer is not a common cancer. It is usually treated with surgery and radioactive iodine. Type of treatment depends on age, type of cancer and the stage of cancer.
- Testicular Cancer. Stage 1 of this type of cancer means that it hasn’t spread beyond the testicles and have a 99% survival rate. To those whose testicular cancers have metastasized, there is a 96% survival rate.
- Melanoma. This cancer that starts in the skin has 91.7% chance of survival. This can easily be seen by the naked eye even in its early stage. Melanoma can be removed surgically.
- Breast Cancer. Early stages of 0 and 1 have 99 to 100% chances of survival. The earlier it is detected, the easier to treat compared to when it had already spread.
- Lung Cancer. Screening helps greatly. Lung cancer is a very common type of cancer and if detected early on can effectively be treated with surgery. There’s also a chance of getting cured.
- Bowel Cancer. Nine out of ten bowel cancer patients can survive the disease for more than 5 years if diagnosed at an early stage.
Cancer can happen to anyone. It’s a serious disease that we must not ignore. Education and early diagnosis can tremendously give you a greater advantage for a successful treatment. Some cancers can still be prevented by avoiding the risk factors. There are some types of cancers that, when detected early on, can give you a chance of cure with screening, surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Sometimes it is our fear that worsens the situation. Instead of feeling fearful, it is more important to understand cancer and how effective treatment can be. It may be one of the deadliest diseases according to WHO, but with early detection, surviving cancer is possible.
To find out that someone has cancer can be truly heartbreaking. The pain can become more extreme when the person inflicted with this kind of sickness is someone close to your heart. Many questions would soon enter your mind. The primary issue would be: What are the chances of survival? A lot of people would probably answer in the negative. As we probably know, there is still no existing antidote or cure for cancer on its terminal stage.