Moving Forward Together
If you’re undergoing cancer treatment and find your energy is bottomed out no matter how much rest you get, you may be suffering from cancer fatigue. This can last for weeks or even months after treatment ends.
- Not eating properly can make it worse. Make sure to nourish your body with the right foods to keep your energy levels up.
- Listen to your body when it says enough is enough. Don’t over do it and rest up when you need it. Everything else can wait!
- Talk to your doctor about your fatigue if you have symptoms, especially lingering long into recovery.
You’ve heard before that your attitude is everything, but the idea of having a positive outlook every day is completely unrealistic. However, an incredibly important part of coping and recovery is to recognize your feelings and emotions.
- Seek out therapy to deal with your emotions. Work closely with a professional with the goal of feeling more upbeat, seeing the positive and having a better quality of life.
- Sadness, depression, guilt, fear and anxiety are all normal parts of having cancer and recovering from cancer. If you need someone to talk to, email me or reach out to one of your fellow Joybooters who can relate. Find support wherever and however you’re comfortable.
- Acknowledge your feelings and then take control over them before they take control over you. When you’re in a slump, take a walk, watch funny videos online, look through family photos– whatever removes you from the present moment and propels you into a happier, more positive one.
- Too much downtime can lead to loss of function, muscle weakness, reduced range of motion, blood clots and fatigue, so do any amount of exercise you’re comfortable with that doesn’t cause too much pain or discomfort.
- Stay as active and as fit as possible by finding activities you enjoy or even trying new, lower impact ones like yoga, dancing or swimming.
- Just like before cancer, physical activity in your daily life is essential to your long term health. Staying active, even if you’re only able to take short walks, will help you in recovery and beyond when dealing with the lasting side effects.
Cancer will affect other people besides you. Your loved ones will likely experience much of the same fear and sadness as you. You may find yourself relying on others more than you’re comfortable out of necessity. Sometimes people may distance themselves from you.
- The stress of diagnosis, treatment and recovery can be hard on a marriage or committed relationship. Know that you are not alone in this. Consider reaching out for support from a marriage counselor or individual therapist.
- Some people may not have the capacity to be a friend to you during this time. This can be painful. Try not to blame yourself for this.
- You may find that people you barely knew become important parts of your life and that you are better for getting to know them. Be willing to risk connecting with new people through support groups and other healthy activities.
- Whether it’s a spouse, sibling, parent, friend, fellow Joybooter or professional– get support from those who care about your happiness and your mental wellbeing.
- Being disengaged from life and from the things that would typically bring you joy can manifest into depression if not treated. Talk to your doctor if you have feelings of depression that lasts for more than a few days.