Survivorship

Nutrition, family, work and many other topics to adjust to when living with CRC.

Introduction

“Very few things compare to the message that you are now “free of cancer”. It’s exhilarating and brings a sigh of relief to the whole family. It’s behind you, you hope but somehow it is not. Your follow-up scans and colonoscopy are already in your calendar, as it will be for the next five years or longer.

You have to pick up your life again but now with a different view on your own vulnerability. Cancer will stay with you as a continued presence in the background. And that should not be negative. It’s good to be survivor. It gives a different perspective of what you appreciate. Life has more value when you’re a survivor.”

– Stefan Gijssels

Thanks to advances in medical research the effectiveness of cancer treatment continues to improve. As more people are surviving cancer how long a person lives is no longer the only focus. It is however also important to take into consideration how well they are able to live following treatment.

As you complete your cancer treatment you may be wondering: what happens next?

The transition to survivorship is unique for each person and it is full of challenges.

One of these challenges is being able to return to everyday life while adjusting to the changes that result from the disease and its treatment. Recognising these changes and knowing how and when to ask for support can help you through this period of transition. In that respect is good to also get back to work if you were employed before. There are a number of things you can do to make sure that you keep your options open with regard to employment. (REFER TO SECTION “BACK TO WORK”)

You may find that your life may be forever changed by cancer. Some people talk about appreciating life more and gaining a greater acceptance of self after their cancer treatment ends. Others become anxious about their health and unsure of how to cope with life’s demands.

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