Your cancer treatments are nearing their end, or maybe they’ve already finished. After this gruelling journey, you’re probably starting to feel better. Finally, you can breathe easier! You may, however, still have doubts, questions and fears regarding the future, which is completely normal. It’s also normal to begin deeply reflecting on what’s next.
Life after cancer, also known as the “new normal,” is often synonymous with change for many. It can also be an occasion to give your life new meaning. Living with cancer looks differently for everyone, so you should live your cancer remission at your own speed…
What if you took advantage of the end of your treatments by defining what relaxes you and what brings you joy? This is vital for preserving your well-being and maintaining good mental health.
Improving your quality of life
Treating cancer isn’t only about combating the illness itself; it’s about healing the whole patient. In concrete terms, this means accessing complementary care to improve your quality of life, both during and after your oncology treatments. You could, for example, attend workshops for accepting your new body image or learning proper nutrition, pain management or an adapted physical activity. You could discover the benefits of acupuncture or aromatherapy. Don’t forget about recommendations from healthcare professionals to learn about and use dermocosmetic products, notably those that limit skin toxicities caused by some medication.
There are no downsides to seeking complementary care! Especially since we know that 80% of cancer patients consider it as essential for improving their quality of life as traditional medical care during and after cancer treatments. Inquire at your hospital or cancer clinic about their offering of complementary services.
Taking care of your body after cancer
How do you find inner peace, energy or a zest for life after cancer? Here are a few expert recommendations to get you on your way.
Go at your own pace.
Resting is good, but moving your body is better. Science tells us that engaging in adapted physical activity as soon you begin oncology treatments helps reduce fatigue, alleviate side effects like muscle and joint pain, and even prevent relapses. The goal is to engage in a physical activity that you enjoy. Maybe you’d like swimming, tai chi, walking or biking. Or perhaps you’d prefer group activities for more interaction and a boost to your motivation. Whatever the case may be, remember that a good rhythm to adopt is two to five times a week, progressively prolonging each session from 10 to 20 minutes to 40 to 60 minutes.
Ensure you engage in an activity that suits your health, even if this means seeking recommendations or supervision from a health specialist, such as a sports kinesitherapist. If you have any doubts whatsoever, consult your oncologist, care team or family doctor.
Regaining your vitality.
Acupuncture, tai chi, meditation, hypnosis, yoga, massage therapy, aromatherapy: complementary therapies can be instrumental in helping you let go, regain your physical vitality and preserving your mental equilibrium. What’s more, regularly practice can help alleviate post-treatment side effects, such as fatigue and anxiety.
Don’t hesitate to consult your care team to learn more about complementary therapies offered by your hospital or cancer clinic, or for help developing a personalized program that will go a long way for your wellness.