June is National Cancer Survivor Month, and there are approximately 17 million such survivors in Marysville and elsewhere in the U.S. Congratulations to all these determined individuals, who have made it through all the treatments and all the therapy, to come out on the other side much healthier. The question now becomes – what do I do next? Many people who have undergone long, drawn-out treatments have virtually given up their regular daily routines, and after cancer treatment, they are faced with the issue of re-establishing a meaningful life that has value to themselves and others. Senior home care professionals often assist these survivors and help them get back on track so they can once again enjoy a significant quality of life.
Stand up on your own
During the weeks and months of your cancer treatment, you undoubtedly had a whole team of caregivers in your corner, cheering you on and providing all the support you needed to get from one week to the next. When you’ve completed treatment and you’ve been declared cancer-free, you’ll suddenly lose all that day-to-day support and guidance. It’s not like they disappear off the face of the earth, but their role in your life will be vastly diminished, and you’ll have to stand up and do more on your own.
Professional caregivers are obliged to work with patients who are working their way through cancer therapy, and those individuals will be a higher priority for them. Yes, they’ll still be there for you when you need them, but the daily help and guidance just won’t be there anymore. Having made it to this point, it now falls to you to do whatever is necessary to maintain your good health and to restore some semblance of order to your life. You’ve been given a great gift – the gift of Life – and you should to make the most of it.
Lingering side effects
Many people experience lingering side effects in the aftermath of cancer treatment. This could be in the form of lesions that have formed, you may have developed a sleep disorder, you may have lost a significant amount of weight, or it may just be that you haven’t been exercising and you are grossly out of condition. You can expect at least some type of side effect that may linger for quite a while, and in some cases, you may even have a permanent result from treatment. For instance, some people who undergo radiation to the head and neck area, do not recover their sense of taste, and most foods continue to taste the same.
When you do develop lingering side effects, keep in mind that your treatment center can probably help you recover from this. They will be well aware of the possible side effects of treatment, and they have a number of different programs which can help you cope and eventually recover from whatever it is you’re experiencing. You can hope for the best after cancer treatment, and maybe you won’t have any lingering conditions afterward, but the likelihood is that you will. After all, your body has been bombarded for weeks and months with either radiation treatments or chemotherapy, or both.
Strengthen your social network
While it’s important for you to stand up on your own and seek to re-establish your life, you don’t have to do it alone. You undoubtedly formed a team of support persons who helped you throughout your ordeal, whether that be family, friends, or medical personnel. Accept their friendly support when it’s offered, because that will smooth the path toward rehabilitation. Get in touch with your golf buddies, so you can gradually ease back into an active lifestyle. Have a big Cancer Free dinner and invite all your friends and relatives, and let them know you’re still counting on them as you transition back to a more normal life.
Healthy diet and weight
Expect to maintain a healthy diet and weight following your cancer therapy. That (and exercise) will be one of the best things you can do for yourself following treatment. It will keep you on solid ground, and allow you to maintain good health for the foreseeable future. If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight during treatment, you may need to discuss with your doctor the safest approach to re-gaining at least some of that weight. You may be experiencing continuing nausea after treatment, and your doctor can help you manage that as well.
You should also discuss with your doctor the possibility of taking some nutritional supplements that will help build your body back up. It’s never a good idea to just start consuming every supplement on the market because many of them won’t do you any good. Follow your doctor’s advice, and you should be able to expect a happy and healthy lifestyle for some years to come.