Advances in early diagnosis and treatment mean that more New Zealanders than ever before are surviving and living with cancer. Your end of treatment milestone is a time of celebration and excitement for you and your family, but it’s also normal to feel worried about the emotional, physical and practical challenges of life after cancer.
Life after cancer
It is normal to feel worried about the challenges of life after cancer. We will continue to be here for you whenever you need us.
During cancer treatment, it can feel like your life is on hold. You’re often kept busy with treatment appointments and managing your diagnosis for yourself and your family. When you reach the end of active treatment it’s common to experience a range of emotions, and you might be wondering – what now?
While your regular appointments with your care team will become less frequent, it’s important to know you still have a wide range of support to help make this transition easier. Your care team will take the time to go through what you’re feeling, and what you might benefit from.
Taking the time to consider how you’re feeling emotionally, physically, practically and socially can help you identify areas where you might need a bit more support to find your new normal.
The following areas are some common challenges that may be unexpected, but taking the time to work through these can help you regain a sense of control.
Physical – How are you coping with fatigue, nutrition, sleep, physical activity, pain, continence and management of other late or ongoing side effects?
Emotional – Are you feeling any sadness, anxiety or depression, or fear of the cancer returning?
Social wellbeing – Consider your relationships with your partner, family or friends and intimacy
Practical issues – Do you have any financial concerns, worries about returning to work or navigating transport?
Spiritual wellbeing – providing a sense of self, connectedness and purpose
Accessing the right support can help you manage your wellbeing and address the challenges you’re facing. This can include practical support and advice from agencies such as Cancer Society, or seeking lifestyle support from allied health providers to enhance your ongoing health and wellbeing.
We are always here for you
Talking to your doctor about your own cancer and any risk of recurrence can help you start to move forward, empowered knowing that you can seek advice when you think you need it. You can always contact us if you feel concerned or would just like some advice.