After going through the difficult stages of diagnosis and treatment, you finally arrive at a long-awaited step: the end of treatment! But it’s not all over yet. There’s still the recovery phase. It’s important to know that this emotional stage also comes with its share of difficulties. You can prepare for these challenges by learning what to expect and seeking support if you feel the need.
Give yourself time to recover from this ordeal, both physically and psychologically.
A period of recovery is essential after cancer treatment. The body has been put to the test and needs time to heal. Additionally, you’ve also been through a lot of emotions during treatment. Take time to find your footing. It’s important to know that recovery can take up to a year.
Be patient and take care of yourself!
Psychologically, you’ll probably experience a lot of emotions. You may be happy and relieved to have completed treatment, but you may also be very anxious, scared and lost about what comes next. In brief, post-treatment involves a transition and adaptation phase. Accept that you may not feel good emotionally. This is normal. Be patient: take the time to understand what you’ve been through and let the dust settle.
It is normal to feel disoriented after cancer treatment. Here are some examples of feelings that you may have:
- Worry, and even fear, that the cancer will come back
- Loneliness and isolation since you are no longer seeing your healthcare team
- Anger for various reasons and situations related to the illness and treatment
- Grief for what you have lost
You may be unsettled by the state of your body and general health. Spending time with family and friends is very beneficial to support you during this period of recovery. Psychological support is very important.
In the following sections, you will find information on various topics to consider during the post-treatment phase.
Pathways for Success for Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Guide for Educators, Counsellors and Families (Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario)