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. Marc Romano, PsyD says, “Focus on yourself and your own happiness and do not compare yourself to others.”
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. “You know the ones—these are the people you know you can always call, text, or email when you need to feel a connection.” David Klow, a licensed therapist said.
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. “Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, the evidence is strong that getting outside just for a little bit can be very helpful,” says Andrea Bonior, PhD, clinical psychologist. 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.