Cancer, chemo, radiation, steroids, surgeries, the whole speal of this journey can leave your body in a wreck, a train wreck; a wreck that can take time to recover, maybe never even fully recover. ‘New normal' is what us in the cancer world call this. Finding your new normal is but another segment to the cancer journey. This can be incredibly challenging, even intimidating for many. Post-chemo can leave cancer survivors left hanging alone, an untraveled road, one that can lead into post-traumatic stress (PTSD). Yes,
post-traumatic stress is real and an entire topic alone (outside soldiers’ stories). Post-cancer treatment is often left unaddressed leaving cancer patients to find this new normal alone through trial and error. This can be dangerous, bringing frustrations to the added learning to live out the new normal of everything all
while leaving survivors feeling failure and inadequateness to this common, yet serious issue at the same time.
Chemo and other cancer treatments likely leave side-effects; unfortunately, some of these side effects can turn into long term side-effects (see my blog, 21 Chemo Side Effects Everyone Should Know About). The main and first one appears to be FATIGUE. Good ole’ fatigue. That can override everything within you, clouding into days after days, months into months. This chemo-fatigue is not as simple as going to take a nap and be over it. No. This fatigue is a dark cloud that knows no hour, place, or event. This chemo-fatigue knows the face of cancer all to well because this has been the biggest complaint or concern from survivors that I know, all including myself. This bottomless pit can be draining, even frightening as one scrambles to fight it off daily and grasp how to live with it. Fatigue is understandable while going through cancer treatments but not as easily accepted when in the healing post-treatment stages.
Sickness. Another unforeseen circumstance brought on by cancer and its treatments. We all know that low immune systems bring on SICKNESS. However, what about cancer survivors that have had treatments which have played havoc on their immune system? This can lead to long-term side effects, anywhere from getting sick more often or being sick for longer periods of time. Yikes! Again, being sick while undergoing cancer treatments is all more acceptable, nonetheless, not post-treatment stages.
So what is to be done to address these two specific issues? Let’s take a look below: