How to Cope with Sadness When Cancer Treatment Ends
People battling cancer often find themselves looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. It is easy to assume that when everything’s all finished, life will be perfect. No more hospitals, no more chemotherapy; normal life will return.
However, for most patients, this is not quite how it goes. Sadness can follow those who have fought cancer even after treatment ends, and it is important to know how to cope. It might seem overwhelming, but there are measures you can take to cope with your new life after cancer.
You might want to feel better as soon as you walk out of that hospital, and expect that depression and sadness will automatically be gone from your life. However, thinking only in the short term can be detrimental. It is important to recognize that you have just been through a huge ordeal, and there will be lingering feelings. However, that does not mean that the sadness will never go away, so be patient and kind to yourself.
Don't be upset about confusion
Many people feel as if completing cancer treatment can be compared to just having been through a war. The two are, of course, entirely different, but it can be hard to readjust into your new life afterwards. You will be confused about the past, present, and future. However, that does not mean that the confusion is necessarily all bad. You can use this as a time of reflection to try to gain some understanding.
You will never be certain
After going through cancer, it is inevitable to have feelings of "I never want to go through that again." However, this desire to avoid the situation can result in debilitating habits, such as constantly worrying about whether the cancer will come back, and what your exact risk for recurrence is.
Of course, it is important to track your progress, see your doctor regularly, get tested, and be aware of the fact that it is very possible that the cancer will come back. But do not let these thoughts be all-consuming. You will never be able to have complete certainty of whether the cancer will come back or not, so try not to overthink it too often. Accept that there is no way to know whether you will have to face the situation again, and try to live with the uncertainty without letting it get you down.
It's difficult to avoid feeling down after fighting a cancer battle, but it isn't impossible. Read on for more suggestions on how to cope and thrive after cancer.