Cancer is a life-threatening condition. The patient diagnosed with cancer is in utter shock and is unable to accept the disease. The complete life of the patient is changed, and the patients are physically and mentally exhausted during the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
What to expect after cancer
You can expect several things after cancer. You need to know these things to prepare yourself for facing them well in advance. Cancer can be defeated, and there are several examples of people who have been completely cured of cancer. The outcome could be in your favor if you fight cancer with a positive attitude and learn to adjust to the altered life after cancer.
- Multiple visits: There are several diagnostic and treatment options for cancer. All of them are different and may not be done simultaneously. Similarly, cancer treatment is chronic and is done in multiple sessions. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are performed in multiple sessions to avoid side effects. Further, reconstruction surgery, for example, after the jaw or breast removal, can be done after the treatment. Thus, you may have multiple visits to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
- Different diagnostic procedures: Most tests are performed one after the other. For example, on one visit, you may have an x-ray; on the other, you may have an MRI or CT scan. Some patients may also have multiple testing with the same methods. The tests may also be performed to determine the stages of the disease.
- Side effects: Several side effects occur during all the treatment options, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The side effects of treatment include hyperacidity, nausea, vomiting, anemia, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, infertility, skin burn (due to radiation therapy), and mental issues, such as poor concentration, delirium, sleeping problems, and peripheral neuropathy. The side effects especially related to surgery are infection, bleeding, blood clotting, scarring, and disfigurement. Your doctor may prescribe you several medications that relieve some of these symptoms.
- Treatment response: You may also undergo an imaging test or blood test during the treatment to determine the treatment response. It is important to determine the response to treatment to make adequate alterations in the treatment strategy. Many patients may require multiple treatments. Radiation therapy is generally used with both chemotherapy and surgery. You may expect frequent hospital visits for demining treatment responses.
- Financial strain: Besides the physical, emotional, and mental strain, cancer treatment is relatively costly and may cause a financial strain. You may sigh a little relief if you already have medical insurance. You may expect a significant cost-factor involvement with the disease treatment.
- Support group: You should also join the support groups that are made for patients with cancer. It will help you understand how they managed their life after cancer. You may also learn the new therapeutic options available for your condition in different parts of the world. You may expect to seek support from friends, family members, healthcare professionals, and support groups.
What to accept after cancer
You have to accept the disease as early as possible to improve the response to treatment and early treatment and recovery. Excessive thinking, depression, and anxiety have a negative impact on physical and emotional health.
- Accepting disease: Many people fail to accept the disease and think about why it happened to them. Accepting the disease after diagnosis will allow you to adjust early and ensure immediate treatment initiation. You need to accept the disease before giving it a tough fight.
- Fatigue: Multiple visits to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment result in significant fatigue and weakness. You need to accept that you may not be as active as before, at least during the treatment. It is important to take a rest and conserve your energy.
- Mental state: When the disease is diagnosed, it may come as a shocker to you. Your mental health may be at an all-time low, and you may fear much about your future. You may expect anxiety, depression, confusion, and reduced concentration during c cancer treatment.
- Emotional state: The diagnosis and treatment of cancer take a toll on your emotional health. You may feel lonely as the family members are unaware of how to help you, and some people may be afraid because you have cancer. However, prevent yourself from being lonely and discuss with people how they can help you.
- Physical appearances: The preference of the doctor is to save the life of the patient. Cancer in advanced stages may result in disfigurement after surgery. For example, surgery may lead to facial disfigurement in oral cancer that spreads deeper into the tissues. Some patients with breast cancer require the removal of breast cancer, and such women may undergo breast reconstruction surgery.
- Fear: Fear is real for cancer patients. It involves fear of death, fear of financial arrangement for treatment, and fear of treatment that causes significant side effects. Fear is not good for the outcome of treatment. You should prevent your fear by performing yoga, meditation, and prayers.
- Prognosis: You should accept the prognosis. If there is no hope of survival in advanced cancer, the doctor offers palliative care to the patients. Thus, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer are important for a favorable prognosis.