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Cancer Support: Life After Treatment - Topic Overview

Your new normal continued...

Some of your relationships may be different now too. You may have new friends because of cancer. You may have grown closer to some of the people in your life. Or maybe you feel disappointed in people you thought you could count on.

Finding your new normal after cancer takes time. Everyone who goes through cancer has a time of adjustment afterward. Be patient with yourself, and remember that there's no right or wrong way to feel.

A sense of closure

Cancer isn't something you'll ever forget, but it's important to look to the future. You could have a party or other type of celebration to mark the end of your treatment. A ritual or celebration can help you feel some closure on this phase of your life. Or you may want some quiet time alone to think about what you've been through and how to move on from cancer.

Help with moving on

Even though your treatment is over, cancer may continue to affect the way you think and feel. You may worry a lot about the cancer coming back, feel stressed about medical bills, feel unhappy or depressed about how cancer changed your body, or feel lonely after the people in your support network go back to their regular routines.

You may just feel frustrated that you can't leave it all behind and move on. All of these feelings are normal. Everyone has different fears, emotions, and reactions after cancer.

Think about connecting with others during this stage of your recovery. Individual counseling can help you work though your fears and feelings. A cancer survivor group will connect you with people who understand what you're going through because they've been there too.

Your doctor can help you find counselors and support groups.

Where to learn more

The following booklets from the National Cancer Institute's website may be helpful:

  • Life After Cancer Treatment (www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/life-after-treatment)
  • When Someone You Love Has Completed Cancer Treatment (www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/someone-you-love-completed-cancer-treatment)

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 07, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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