Unfortunately, it sometimes takes something horrific like a cancer diagnosis to invoke living a healthful lifestyle. That was the case with my mom, who lived her whole life not really paying attention to how destructive she was to her mind and body. By the time she did “wake up”, it was too late, cancer had progressed too far to beat it with treatment and lifestyle improvements. This is one reason I post so many articles about health and the importance of self-care. Don’t wait till you’re sick to do the right things for health. If you or a loved one is a survivor, here are some healthful ways to move forward after beating cancer.
Step 1: Attend Regular check-up and Screenings
Because cancer is highly treatable, it’s important to be aware of everything that’s going on in your body. Early detection always gives the best prognosis whether you are dealing with new cancer or something that has shown up before. Of course, the goal is to abolish it forever, but treatment and remission don’t always guarantee that. It’s imperative to attend regular check-ups and screenings as prescribed by your doctor. I know this can be scary, but it’s better to know what’s happening in your body than risk missing a threat.
Step 2: Stay in Touch with Support System
Staying in touch with doctors, counselors, and caregivers gives the opportunity to share fears, feelings, and to ask questions about health matters. Post-cancer is also a time to reconnect with those who were the primary caregivers during treatment. For some cancer survivors, having this continued professional support gives comfort, even when nothing is wrong physically. It’s also important to take care of your emotional needs as you pass the critical treatment stage. Many patients develop what’s called survivors guilt, which can linger for years after winning the battle.
Step 3: Practice Self-Care
During treatment and after, self-care is vitally important to maintain good mental and physical health. This includes committing to regular exercise and a healthful diet, which can both trim the risk of cancer returning and improve your emotional state. These health homerun hitters also keep weight in check and help you to regain energy that has dwindled during treatment protocols. Additionally, returning to past hobbies is also a positive way to celebrate your life and victory.
Step 4: Stay Connected with Others
After months of cancer treatment, and having doctors, nurses, friends, and other cancer patients available for support and care, returning to normal life can be quite a jarring experience. Loneliness and isolation is a real possibility, as the level of care and support drops significantly. Just because someone beats cancer doesn’t mean they are suddenly “alright”.
It’s important to reach out to loved ones for companionship and continued emotional support. This includes scheduling time to see family and friends, going to survivor support groups, and becoming a part of groups online, such as the cancer discussion community at Inspire. Share feelings and concerns with people you trust.
One of the most important things to do after any health battle is to realize that your experience didn’t happen “to” you but was a part of your life journey. Everything that you’ve gone through makes you who you are. Be you through every bit of it. Find what helps you to be the best version of yourself. This might be something silly, whacky, and downright crazy to others. No worries, do what you must to find your new life and joy. Be well. Be happy. Be YOU!
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, it’s owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.