After treatment

Following treatment, you will find your energy will gradually come back. You may need to have extra rest for a while. Increase your exercise and general activities as you feel able.

After the completion of your treatment, you may need to have regular check-ups. Your doctor will decide how often you will need these check-ups as everyone is different. This can make it difficult to put the experience of a cancer diagnosis and treatment behind you. For family and friends, your cancer may be a thing of the past, but check-ups may well bring it into the present for you. Finding ways of supporting yourself and taking care of yourself when a check-up is due is a part of living with cancer. Check-ups will gradually become less frequent if you have no further problems.

Many people worry that any pain or illness is a sign that the cancer is coming back. If you are worried, ask your doctor what to look for.

If your cancer returns, you will most likely be offered further treatment. It is important to report any new symptoms to your doctor without delay.

You might feel worried or depressed when your treatment is over and have time to realise what has happened to you. You may find it helpful to continue in or join a cancer support group to help you through the months ahead.

Some people feel pressure from their family and friends to get back to their "normal life". Everyone will eventually re-establish a daily routine, but it will be at their own pace and may be different from how things were in the past. Some people call this a 'new normal".

Give yourself time to adjust to physical and emotional changes. You may not be fit enough to do your usual activities around the house. If you"re returning to work, ease back into it slowly, rather than rushing back the week after leaving hospital.

"Cancer brings an appreciation of life into sharp focus. While still planning for the future, our family now has a greater appreciation of what we have and consciously 'create memories' by sharing opportunities as they arise rather than leaving them for another time." Brian

Some people say that, after cancer, they have different priorities and see life with a new clarity. For example, you may decide to spend more time with family, start a new hobby, travel or get involved in advocacy or voluntary work.

Most side effects of cancer treatment get better within a few weeks or months after finishing treatment. For some people, these effects carry on longer (long-term effects) or may develop after treatment is finished (late effects).

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