Survivorship: Recovering from Cancer

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SurvivorshipSurvivorship: Recovering from Cancer

After treatment is complete, you will begin a new plan for follow-up care. Your new plan of care could include periodic blood work, radiology scans and tests, and physical exams. Some may not see their oncologist but once or twice a year. This may leave you feeling scared and you may be surprised at the emotional reaction at this time. Be assured that your oncologist team is always a phone call away.

You will begin to settle into¬†your “new normal”. Things have changed and so has the definition of “normal”. Some say they look at life differently and don’t take things for granted or sweat the small stuff. Your family and friends may not understand how you’re feeling and it may be helpful to join a group of local survivors to turn to for support. Finding a local support group can be simple. You can contact the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345. You can also find free professional counseling and support groups over the phone or online by visiting www.CancerCare.org/patients_and_survivors

Completing treatment can also present other challenges. For example, your employer might expect things to pick up right where they left off. For some survivors, this may be achievable but others may suffer from fatigue or limited energy. It’s important for you to balance and prioritize your energy. Save some of your energy for when you have something special to do in the evening. You will find that by doing this, your amount of energy will continue to get bigger and bigger each day.

The issues discussed will generally resolve in the months following treatment. Some survivors may also benefit from a visit to a survivorship clinic. These clinics review your treatment history and develop recommendations for you and your primary care team. To find a local survivorship clinic, visit http://www.oncolink.org/survivor/clinics/clinic_results.cfm

Source: http://www.oncolink.org/coping/article.cfm?c=7&aid=1491&id=1240