Dr. Anne Katz, author of Surviving after Cancer, equips survivors to overcome relationship challenges couples often face and helps us to embrace a ‘new normal’ after cancer.
The fear of cancer recurrence is the number one issue survivors face.
How to cope after surviving cancer
- Own your discomfort
- You may need antianxiety or antidepressant
- Reset priorities
- Recognize good things will come after cancer
- Recognize you may have long-term effects after treatment
- Let families and friends know there may be long-term effects after treatment
Surviving cancer can be similar to having post traumatic stress disorder. Mindfulness can encourages you to face your anxiety.
Myth: the day you finish treatment is the day you are back to ‘normal.’ Dr. Anne Katz
Lessen the impact of cognitive changes after treatment
- Write things down
- Make lists
- Use timers
- Enlist family and friends to remind us
- Accept changes
- Accept that you need a little help
Moderate daily exercise can help relieve fatigue, depression and lessen the development of certain cancers.
Focused counseling to help you cope with changes
Returning back to work after cancer
- Going back to work is important
- Work helps us contribute meaningfully
- Planning is very important
- You may need a gradual return
- Pace yourself
- An occupational therapist will help assess work and expectations
- Have an honest and transparent conversation about your needs and the needs of organization
When treatment is over and the survivor is feeling the full effect of treatment, family and friends can restart with casseroles and cut the survivor some slack.
Remember the caregiver
- Think about little things that may make a difference
- Take them for a coffee
- Go for a walk with them
- Listen to their frustration while acknowledging that you’ve heard them
Dr. Katz’s book: Surviving After Cancer