The end of treatment can be such a positive, happy time. But it can be nerve-wracking too & that shouldn’t be ignored.
Just because you may look physically better than you did while on treatment, people may believe you’re feeling better mentally too. This is not always the case and you should certainly not be ashamed if you are finding things difficult after treatment.
You might become anxious about the idea that you will relapse and fear that your body will not be strong enough to cope with the demands of treatment for a second time. Or you might be paranoid that you may lose others since the whole experience will make you more aware of your mortality.
When fears like this kick in, they can be overwhelming. Look at them from a logical perspective – what are the chances that you might relapse? Have you spoken to your doctor about it? What can they tell you & what advice can they give you to keep your body as healthy as possible to potentially reduce the chances of this happening?
It can be hard to confront your fears but you must attempt to find an inner strength and acceptance. You cannot change what has already happened and you can only do so much in preventing what is to come. Keep telling yourself that.
Focus your mind on things that calm you down – therapeutic activities that you enjoy such as crafting, knitting, crocheting, writing and listening to or playing music may prove beneficial.
Or write a list of things that you want to achieve in the future – check out Greig Trout & his website ‘101 Things to do When You Survive’ (http://www.whenyousurvive.com/) – a fellow cancer survivor who made his list and chased his dreams!
Don’t be afraid to seek medical advice if you begin to suffer with severe anxiety, flashbacks or depression. These could be signs of PTSD which can kick in years after treatment and talking to a trained counsellor or psychologist can help you to manage it.
Let me just leave you with a little note, from me: You are strong. Don’t forget how far you have already come.