Life as a cancer survivor can mean different things. Some people may proudly declare that they are cancer survivors while others may experience feelings of shame for living. It is important to know that there is no right or wrong response. There is only what you feel in any given moment.
After you have completed your treatment, life changes again. You may have been surrounded by a supportive team of doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. There was a routine and you knew what to expect but, as you transition away from your treatment, you may begin to have feelings of loss. It is okay to take some time to stop and reflect on what has happened to you.
When you feel ready to move forward you might want to consider:
What fulfills you?
What is important to you?
What gives your life meaning and purpose?
Life after cancer is an opportunity for self-discovery. Is this the time to take that vacation and visit far-off lands? Do you have a book in you that you have always wanted to write? Perhaps you want to volunteer to help others. Whatever your focus, allow yourself the time to process your feelings including any worries you may have about cancer returning.
It is perfectly natural to worry about the recurrence of your cancer but it should not stop you from making plans for your future. As you move through your maintenance program, you should discuss any concerns with your doctor. Draw on the support of friends and family, especially on those days that challenge you, and don’t be afraid to talk about your fears.
This process of acceptance and self-discovery will take time. Some may move quickly through the steps; others may take a little longer. It is perfectly reasonable to move at your own pace to find your equilibrium and pick up your life after cancer.
About Out Author
I am a successful lawyer and writer whose own mother battled cancer of the cervix for most of my childhood. She suffered three further relapses but I am pleased to say that she is still with us today. My experience growing up through this, losing five aunts and uncles to cancer as well as my mother-in-law, propels me to help others and join in the fight against cancer.