Just because treatment ends doesn’t mean the cancer experience is over; some would argue it’s just begun. We’ve collected some of our most-viewed articles that discuss the transition from active treatment to post-treatment here. We hope these help….please share with your communities.
Lost in Transition After Cancer by Suleika Jaouad (Courtesy of: NY Times “Life Interrupted”)
Lost in Transition by Timothy Buckland
Transition: Cancer is a Catalyst by Sarah Isenberg
Moving On From “Patient” to “Person” by Dr. Anne Katz
Matters of the Heart by Timothy Buckland
Stepping Outside your Comfort Zone by Terri Wingham
by Anne Katz PhD, RN, FAAN
The transition from ‘patient’ to ‘person’ after cancer can be challenging. For the months of treatment, most patients are cared for, and aspects of their life controlled, by their oncology care team. For some this is comforting, for others it feels constricting and frustrating. But the treatment phase does end, and some patients find it difficult to transition back to life after treatment and what was once ‘normal’ life.
by Terri Wingham, breast cancer survivor
The moment after you rang the chemo bell to signify the end of treatment or you ate the last crumb on the “Congratulations – You Made It Through Cancer” cake, did you wonder if you could click your heels three times and be transported back into your pre-cancer life? Did you look around in open-mouthed amazement when you realized cancer had forever changed you and that the “end” of treatment signalled the beginning of a brand new post-cancer journey?
Perhaps, like me, the “after cancer” road came complete with some unexpected land-mines like fears of recurrence, lingering side effects, and a volcano of suppressed (because you were too busy battling through pain or nausea to recognize them) emotions. When I wrapped up my final reconstruction surgery (post chemo and double mastectomy), I waited for the streamers, noisemakers, and old-school renditions of Auld Lang Syne to filter through my consciousness as I embraced the brand new, ‘ready for anything because I’d been through cancer’, me.
by Stephanie Sliekers, Living with Cancer
Nobody ever told me how difficult my 20s were going to be. Throughout my teenage years, I imagined my 27-year-old self with a partner, a plan for a family and a stable future. I imagined I’d be mature, happy, responsible, and of course, financially independent.
Being diagnosed with cancer didn’t help my progress toward that vision. On July 16, 2010, my doctor gave me the devastating news that a large mass occupied my entire right chest cavity. A CT scan and eventual biopsy confirmed what I hadn’t even considered a possibility: I had cancer. I would spend my 26th birthday bald, bloated, and bummed out from undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatment.