When is Treatment Done
Many people affected by cancer consider treatment done after the last scheduled chemotherapy or radiation appointment. However, sometimes people must then continue some form of ongoing treatment, such as hormonal therapy.
Some people are very satisfied to know that they take some form of ongoing cancer treatment. They may feel “protected” or safer since this may feel like an enduring way to keep the disease from coming back. Others may have conflicting thoughts about ongoing therapy. Some people feel distressed about taking hormonal therapy because it is a daily reminder of cancer. Also, some of these hormonal treatments may have side effects that are unpleasant or uncomfortable.
As a caregiver, you should ask your loved one or friend how he or she is feeling from time to time. There is a delicate balance between asking occasionally, and asking too much. Still, offering the opportunity to talk is usually helpful.
Moving Beyond Treatment
The period after treatment ends can open many doors. Most people begin to explore what their “new normal” will be. This can bring a sense of closing one chapter and beginning a new chapter. Life-altering situations such as cancer can give survivors and those around them opportunities to pause, learn, grow and appreciate life differently.
Bottom line: Life is different after cancer. If cancer is a part of your loved one’s life, it brings the potential for positive growth for everyone involved.