Life After Cancer
After cancer treatment has ended, it is hard to not worry about cancer coming back. There’ll be reminders of your cancer experience when you have to see your doctor for follow ups. You may also have side effects from the treatments that bring back memories of what you went through. Some may find that it takes time to adjust to life after cancer, but there are resources out there to help cancer survivors live life to the fullest.
Some steps you can take to help move on after treatments include:
- Keep all of your medical information handy for when and if you need to see a new doctor. This will save you time in having to revisit the past in order to provide the important documentation. Some important paperwork to include are a copy of your “path report” from any biopsy or surgery, operative (surgical) report, discharge summary, radiation treatment summary, a list of medications prescribed, and copies of x-rays.
- Make healthy eating decisions. Your appetite and sense of taste may have changed from past treatments, but putting nutritious eating habits into place will bring about long-term positive benefits. If you struggle with your weight, whether it is not weighing enough or gaining too much weight, consider speaking with a nutritionist about your concerns. Simms/Mann UCLA Center offers consultations with our Integrative Oncology Specialist Carolyn Katzin, MS, CNS, MNT to discuss an individually tailored plan to optimize your wellness. For more information, click here: https://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/?p=344
- Stay active without making it overwhelming. For some people, fatigue lasts a long time after treatment. Your exercise program should fit your needs. It is okay to make a gradual increase in physical activity for your workout routine. An example of this could be starting with short walks to increasing the distance over time. Talk with your doctor or nurse before starting a new exercise routine. We also recommend finding an exercise buddy for motivation. But be sure to remember during your workouts that it is OK to rest when you need to.
Emotional health may also need some added care once your treatment ends. Focusing on survival during your cancer treatment may have taken your attention away from others that you care about. Your family and friends may not know how to act with you now that you are no longer being treated. Remember that you do not need to feel alone. Figure out your source of strength or comfort. This support can come from family, friends, support groups, or counselors.
Simms/Mann UCLA Center provides a support group specifically for those looking ahead after cancer. Need help in returning to “normal” when everything seems different? Join us and others in similar situations for guidance to help live your life and embrace all that it has to offer. For more information, go to: https://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/?p=1604
Additional details on how to move on after cancer treatment can be found on the American Cancer Society website at: http://ow.ly/LyVA0