• If you were asked to describe your "life after cancer" what would you say?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Sunday, December 15, 2019

    If you were asked to describe your "life after cancer" what would you say?

    Remember that those of us that are still in treatment are still considered a survivor. So how has your life changed, how can you describe it in a way a non-cancer person would understand?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      Life after cancer means that life is different now and will always be. At the same time some of it is better because I am more grateful for each day, feel deeper love for family, friends and even strangers. It means that I will always be a cancer patient and have frequent follow ups to catch any new problems. I’ve had 3 rounds of cancer, lost some parts through surgeries, but had enough spare parts to get through them. I enjoy life more and don’t take things for granted like before. I feel like there is so much more I need to do before I go. I’m working on it!

      about 1 month ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      You face your mortality big time when you hear the words, “ you have cancer.” The scariest part of having cancer is that no matter how hard you fight, no matter what stage you are and no matter how good your medical team is, there are no guarantees with this disease. The fear of recurrence upon reaching remission, or the reality of being on maintenance therapy the rest of your life ,changes all of us. I am currently 5 1/2 years into remission. The cloud of recurrence still follows me , I am more focused on everyday life since my diagnosis and attuned to helping others still actively fighting this disease. I actively encourage people ( women especially ) to listen to their bodies. I do not think anyone who is not a survivor, can wholly understand the change that occurs at diagnosis, at treatment or survivorship , that is why sites like WhatNext are so important.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I don't know how many times I've said (or screaned) "I just want my life back!" only to be told that I need to stop being "negative" and just be grateful. I am grateful my cancer was found early. I am grateful that it was treatable. I am grateful that statistics for recurrence are in my favor. I am grateful for many things. I am not grateful that I got cancer in the first place. I am not grateful that it will be with me for the rest of my life with never-ending scans and bloodwork and follow-ups. I am not grateful for the debilitating side effects of treatments and medication. I am not grateful for having been afflicted with PTSD. I struggle every day to try and redefine who I am. Treatment has stolen my strength and endurance, left me with brittle bones, aching bones and joints, a brain that doesn't always work and diminished eyesight. I have been changed from a rugged outdoors person to someone who spends way too much time riding the sofa because I tire so easily. The final stage of grief is acceptance. I am not there yet.

      about 1 month ago
    • Coloman's Avatar
      Coloman

      I can't say "life after cancer" but I will say "life after diagnosis". All of our long terms plans, on hold. All of our short term plans, on hold. New short term plans are a priority and all of them revolve around surviving. Every day's priority is to just get through it and make it to the next day. Get through this week and make it to the next week. Make it through this month and get into the next month, and hopefully make it to "life after cancer". I'll let you know how I will describe it when I get there!

      about 1 month ago
    • Jayne's Avatar
      Jayne

      Like others above, life is not ..and never will be the same. Some parts are intensely better like appreciation of family, love and nature...better understanding of how precious life is and not to take things for granted. But other parts are definitely worse. Having survived Stage IV colon cancer has taken it's toll. Especially when the parts you were born with get rearranged and altered. For me, that's the hardest part. Unable to plan without the caveat of perhaps having to cancel, explaining why I don't feel comfortable staying over at a friend's house or just trying to get the body to work like it used to are all very frustrating and take a lot of emotional cycles. But, I am here and on my worst days, that is a blessing. I guess just putting things in perspective every day, sometimes every hour or minute is the mantra of surviving.

      about 1 month ago
    • BugsBunny's Avatar
      BugsBunny

      For me, life before was what I need to do throughout the day. My schedule was always so full of different things that I thought were so important. Clean house, go to the store, figure out supper, run a handful of errands. Now, all of that means nothing and my next appointment is all that matters. Get treatment done and deal with the side effects. Priorities changed almost overnight.

      about 1 month ago

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