Getting a cancer diagnostic report from your doctor can be heart-wrenching, with many patients thinking of it as a death sentence. However, with medical research still at its peak, this has reduced with more patients developing a positive attitude towards battling cancer.
Oncologists are spending countless hours coming up with different treatment plans and discovering new medication to combat cancerous cells. With this constant research, the medical field has been yielding an increased number of patients who have been completely cured, with others going into remission.
However, with this breakthrough comes another challenge, mental health. People have been seeking forums where they can express their emotions regarding the battles and eventually defeat of cancer. This article focuses on some of the steps a cancer survivor can follow to address their mental issues regarding their journey.
Managing Mental Health after Cancer
Many people are usually hopeful during their treatment plan but fail to anticipate the future. After surviving cancer, most people find themselves asking what next? Aside from that, most fall into depression, afraid of recurrence. Patients usually have lots of questions regarding the course of their lives that, if they go unchecked, can result in a full-blown depression. Patients need coping mechanisms to reintroduce themselves back to their normal lives. Here are a few guidelines you can follow:
Attend all follow-up appointments
After completing treatment and beating cancer, most patients develop cold feet during their follow up visits to the oncologists. Having a specialist cancer treatment usually involves going to these follow-ups to allow your healthcare giver to monitor your progress. Take a positive approach to these visits and ask your doctor about any symptoms worrying you.
Consulting with your doctor helps you to know more about fighting cancer and the things to look out for in case of a recurrence.
Take all your follow up tests.
Follow-up tests are necessary to monitor your progress after the treatment. Consult with your oncologist on the best follow up plan that works for you within your specific needs. Keep in mind that not all cancer survivors need to carry out constant scans and blood tests.
With the help of your doctor, you need to formulate a plan to help with identifying and treatment possible side effects that may arise from the cancer treatment.
Care for your body
Shift your attention toward leading a healthier lifestyle. Take a closer look at your nutritional needs by eating a well-balanced diet consisting of more fruits and vegetables. Eating alone is not enough. You need to fix a workout routine into your daily schedule. Having completed your treatment plan, you may need to take it easy at the initial stages, building rhythm and endurance.
Do not exert your body too much, take time to rest periodically, and don’t forget to get enough sleep. This way, you will be able to wake up relaxed and refreshed. Taking care of your body allows you to recover from the rigorous cancer treatment plan and concentrate more on taking control of your life.
Recognize how you feel
Taking the situations by the reigns and admitting how you feel is an integral part of maintaining mental stability. Do not be afraid to admit to yourself that you are going through a tough time and need help.
Talk about your fears.
There are several support groups you can subscribe to. Do not be afraid to talk about what you’re going through. You can always share with close family, friends, or even with a therapist. Some people may be conservative about sharing their thoughts. Hence, they are advised to keep a journal. With a journal, they are able to keep track of their emotions.
Engage in activities
Instead of sticking to your residence thinking about your condition, it is best to leave the house from time to time. Find something to do that helps you focus your mental energy on something other than your condition. Channel your energies into something productive.