The survival rate for some adult cancers is now as high as 70%. This means more people than ever are given a chance to move on after a battle with the disease. This was not true even as recently as twenty years ago when the survival rate was much lower.
But moving on after such a traumatic event is a challenge.
Here are a few suggestions to help you move on with life:
Don’t expect things to go back to exactly how they were before. Both your physical body and emotional health have been through a hard battle. Understand that though life will be good again – it will also be different. Your outlook on life will never be the same.
Join groups where you can meet with others who are going through the same situation. Talk to the American Cancer Society to find local groups.
Cancer is caused by many factors. But there’s no doubt that that a diet packed with preservatives and chemicals affects health in many negative ways. To maintain your health pack your diet with nutritious foods such as protein and fresh veggies and fruit.
As soon as your doctor says it safe, an exercise program is good way to improve both your physical and mental health. Start with walking three or four times a week. Movement will help release endorphins that work as natural anti-depressants.
Some people find that writing about their journey and chronicling their feelings helps them get through tough times.
Find ways to channel emotions by taking on creative projects. Consider learning to play an instrument, write poetry, or learn to paint or sketch. This can help occupy your mind with something positive while releasing emotions into your work.
It may be hard to understand why you survived and so many others who battle cancer do not. Survivor’s guilt is a very true syndrome and you may need professional help you work through all the feelings and emotions.
Understand others confusion
When friends and family seeing you returning to everyday life – your hair growing back – they’ll assume everything is “back to normal”. Don’t expect them to understand how you’re feeling or what you’re going through. For close family members, it may be a good idea for them to seek counseling as well so they’ll know how to help you during this time of readjustment.
Don’t push too hard
Both your physical body and your mental health have been through a major ordeal. Give yourself time to heal and don’t try to “get back to normal” too quickly.
Spend time each day writing down three things you’re thankful for. This is a simple thing, but it changes your focus from the bad things to the positive things in life.
Seek professional help if needed. There is no shame in needing help during this challenging transition time. Talking to a trained counselor can help you work through all the thoughts and emotions churning through your mind and help you move forward.