What can you do to improve your mental health after cancer treatment?
● Discuss the feelings and concerns with your closest family members and/or friends. Together you can decide what can be done to help you feel better.
● Choose 1 or 2 things at a time that you can start to work on to relieve some of the stress. These should be issues you have control over such as your work situation, or getting back to a healthy weight.
● At your next appointment, be sure to tell your cancer care team or your general practitioner how you’ve been feeling. They may be able to offer medications that can help you if necessary.
● Determine whether you might benefit from talking to other survivors. Support groups are available as well as other support services for patients and survivors such as art therapy, journaling, meditation or yoga classes, etc.
Things to keep in mind if you’re post treatment
1. Moving on and being healthy after treatment
2. Understanding recurrence
3. Survivorship care plans
4. Supporting others
Common Concerns and Feelings After Cancer Treatment
● Physical changes to your body that occurred as a result of cancer treatment. Your body may look different with the loss or gaining of weight or from surgery.
● You may not have your previous ability to remember things which can be frightening. This can be a lingering side effect of chemo called “chemobrain.”
● It can be difficult to jump back into your pre-cancer social life, especially if you were active in large groups where people may want to talk about how you’re feeling when you return
● You may feel stressed out about your financial situation which can include going back to work.
● It’s very common to be worried about cancer coming back. Will it? Where might it reappear, etc.?
● There can also be a feeling of being deserted after treatment. While you were being treated for cancer, you may have been surrounded by helpers – doctors, nurses, friends and family who drove you places, cooked for you, ran errands for you, and helped you maintain your home. Returning to doing things on your own can leave a cancer survivor feeling overwhelmed and even depressed that the support system may have taken a step back.
While you’re no doubt relieved to have survived cancer, you may not have a lot of happiness for a while. That’s OK. It is entirely normal and very common for survivors to experience negative feelings and emotions after cancer.
Fun and Functional Mental health activities
● 8 Hours of sleep challenge
● 30 Days of gratitude
● Peaceful planting project
● Painting day
● Meditation month
● Daily Yoga
Tags: Cancer survivor, mental health, cancer, meditation, activities, supportive groups, cancer treatment, post cancer, healing, recovery process, cancer journey, survivor story, yoga, quality of life