Five Things You Might Face After Recovering From Cancer
Recovering from cancer is a huge milestone in any person’s life. It means that it’s time to move on and get back to your real life. Right? Not so fast. While yes, recovering from cancer should be celebrated, there are plenty of life-altering changes that cancer may bring. Here are just a few things you might face after recovering from cancer:
Saying goodbye to your cancer team
One of the first (and sometimes, hardest) changes is saying goodbye to the people who have cared for you throughout your cancer treatment. A cancer care team becomes almost like a surrogate family, from the nurses who helped you get ready for chemotherapy or other treatments to the reassuring doctors who guided you through your treatments. Fortunately, you can often continue to see doctors from your cancer team for checkups to ensure that you’re healthy and doing well. You can take steps to make the transition easier, like writing a heartfelt letter to your favorite doctors and nurses or even purchasing a small gift, like a fruit basket (note that doctors are often unable to accept expensive personal gifts). Not only will this help you move forward, but your team will love to know how much they are appreciated.
One thing that many cancer patients face after their treatments are over and they’ve “graduated” back into real life is continued pain. Chronic pain can be severe or mild and may even continue for the rest of your life. Bone metastasis or peripheral neuropathy can both cause physical pain, as can steroids taken as part of a cancer treatment. You should discuss your pain with your doctors to ensure that it is treated appropriately.
Regular doctor visits
Sure, before you got cancer you may have visited the doctor once or twice a year. But after cancer, expect to see your doctors more often until they’ve determined otherwise. It’s not unusual to have monthly checkups at first, oftentimes for a year or more, to ensure that you’re healthy and that the cancer has not returned. Make sure you maintain an open line of communication with your doctor so that you can ask any questions about your health.
Battling with bills
Medical bills often haunt cancer survivors, sometimes for years following treatment. Even with insurance, cancer can often cause bills to stack up. Unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with them at some point. If you’re in serious medical debt and you’re not sure what your next steps are, it can be helpful to discuss your debt plan with a professional like Lexington Law, in order to ensure that you’re being treated fairly when it comes to repayment. For more information about debt relief and credit repair you can follow this link.
Learning to manage your emotions
Cancer can be emotional, but life after cancer can bring along a whole slew of new emotions, from depression to stress and beyond. If you feel that your emotions are becoming unmanageable, don’t be afraid to discuss your needs with your doctor. Many cancer survivors experience these types of negative emotions after treatment and they can be serious if not addressed early. You may need to see a therapist to talk about what is going on and improve your mental health.
Life after cancer can be hard, even while it brings a welcome return to your day to day life. Learning what you may deal with after cancer treatments are complete may help you mentally prepare yourself for changes in your life.