This past weekend was National Cancer Survivor’s Day. June 7th is a day to celebrate life and to raise awareness about the issues that cancer survivors face. Thanks to advances in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment more people than ever are surviving this disease. In America alone, more than 14 million people are alive today after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Along with a shift in priorities and perspective, life after cancer can leave the survivor with numerous physical, emotional and financial challenges. National Cancer Survivor’s Day is about bringing awareness to the need for more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors as they transition from treatment to recovery.
There are many issues that cancer survivors face once cancer treatment comes to an end. Once treatment ends it is time to step into life “after treatment”, which can often times be uncertain territory. Aside from physical obstacles, there are an array emotional and financial hurdles as well. Some of them include:
- Less frequent contact with their cancer team to provide support and answer questions can leave survivors feeling alone and anxious
- Coping with the fear of recurrence of the cancer. Even mild ailments can bring about worries the cancer has returned
- Survivor’s guilt
- Relationships issues and dynamic changes
- Issues concerning employment discrimination and going back to work after an extended absence
- Difficulties obtaining health and life insurance after cancer
- Establishing a new “normal” and returning to the day-to-day
- Feeling uncertain about the future
Once treatment ends, ask your oncologist to provide a summary of treatments you received. This will be helpful when discussing your cancer experience with your healthcare team. And remember, you do not have to accept a different standard of beauty because you have had cancer. Dr. Potter will help you reach your reconstruction goals, whatever those may be. Contact her office here or call 512-324-2765 to schedule a consultation.
If you are a cancer survivor, please know that you are not alone. Often times you may find yourself feeling isolated, uncertain and perhaps even guilty. There are many resources available to help you in this next phase of your journey. You will find a link to a few of these below.