1st July was my birthday! Some people may think that getting older comes with its challenges. Fair enough…Some, like me, see it as another win. Win against the odds. 13 years ago, just after my breast cancer diagnosis, it hit me: I may not see my next birthday. Yet I’ve been able to celebrate plenty 😊. So today I take my courage with both hands and offer some thoughts on post-cancer life in the hope that it will serve many of you.
The impact of cancer and how it affects us is unique to each of us, and it’s well known that it will challenge us physically, mentally and emotionally.
What is less talked about is the emotional aftermath of cancer. It doesn’t go away the day we hear the words that we were waiting for: “your treatment is over”. For many cancer survivors and those around them, what happens after the treatment ends might feel even more confusing or stressful. A feeling that they should be able to move on with their life, but instead they’re still experiencing many different emotions. These struggles may be invisible to others, but they’re very real to us. I know. I’ve been there! And it is normal! A LifeStrong survey showed that 96% of cancer survivors indicated that they had experienced one or more emotional concerns since their treatment was completed.
Recovering from cancer treatment isn’t just about our body — it’s also about healing our mind. And although life might not always seem fair, the way you face challenges and setbacks will define your happiness and wellbeing. Implementing positive change in your life and adopting an optimist mindset can make a significant difference. Realising that I might not be able to do it on my own and seeking support of a coach at the end of my treatment greatly helped me move beyond the cancer and feel positive about my personal and professional future.
13 year on, I’m still grateful for this second chance life gave me. Grateful that I made the choice to grab it. Grateful that I can now assist others who had cancer in moving beyond cancer and regaining control of their life and happiness!
Remember that the end of the treatment is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. And that it’s ok to seek help when you need it!