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The other side of cancer

The other side of cancer

Posted by ashcon on Jun 3, 2019 5:57 pm

How are you coping after treatment is done, when your doctor says "you're OK"? 

Psychosocial symptoms have been called the sixth vital sign of cancer, after body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiration and pain. And, although it is increasingly recognized, gaps remain in treatment and support for the emotional and psychological impact of cancer.

This article is great (Ottawa Citizen - originally appeared in December 2018) 
The Other Side of Cancer: how survivors are dealing with the emotional toll of the disease

I love the Bootcamp concept! 

Re: The other side of cancer

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 12, 2019 12:15 pm

Thanks for sharing ashcon‍ 

Coping with life after treatment is such an important topic! 

Re: The other side of cancer

Posted by sflores on Jul 30, 2019 2:08 pm

I agree.
My peer support from Cancer care says afterwards that she was very cautious to tell me that the hardest part of cancer recovery is after chemo.
Finding a new normal
Still at home dealing w a very stubborn neuropathy.
Seeing a therapist to deal w my mental health. The feeling of guilt that I survived and others didn't.
And live moves on


Re: The other side of cancer

Posted by Elsie13 on Jul 30, 2019 5:31 pm

Hi sflores‍. I'm going to the gym 3 times a week and feeling mostly energetic.  However, my right leg is a bit swollen due to lymphedema. When I had my hystertectomy in 2016, I had many lymph nodes removed, which increases the risk of lymphedema.  So following the doctor's order, and the lymph therapist, I put on customized compression socks and store bought capri leggings before walking to the gym.  After the zumba or whatever class, I go for an iced capp and maybe a croissant, (putting on more calories than I burned?), then I buy a few groceries and walk home.  Then I cool down for 40 minutes or so, and change into customized compression stockings.  Then at 9:30 at night, I remove the stockings and bandage my right leg.  I have two sets of bandages.  I am always washing a set of bandages, hanging them to dry, and then rolling them up. 
Also, my downstairs neighbour has been in hospital for over 6 weeks, and I am watering all the plants on her terrace, and all our plants too. On weekends it's my job to water the front lawn and the flower pots on the front steps. So I feel a bit annoyed that there's so much I have to do, I mean I had surgery, chemo and radiation, so shouldn't I be able to relax a bit?   Then I feel guilty, as I'm doing mostly well and living in an air conditioned place!  Possibly, being busy is good for health? 

Re: The other side of cancer

Posted by Essjay on Sep 11, 2019 2:56 pm

I feel like I have made it to the other side...

im 3 months post treatment. I’ve been working really hard at my fitness - I’m lifting more weight than pre-diagnosis with breast cancer. I started running for the first time since high school and it’s going well so far although the limited daylight has made me rethink my strategy. And then just got back from a backpacking trip in Banff NP with my husband. 5 days unplugged in the mountains and four days driving together did us the world of good.

My energy levels are good - maybe 80% of before but I’m doing stuff I love even if I’m not as manic as before (might be a good thing). But I’m done in the evenings which is challenging when we get invited or want to do stuff then.

i took my wig plus some hats to donate to our cancer centre today. I found it harder to let go than I expected despite not even wearing the wig much. But really,I don’t need it.

i need to refocus and set goals, so I signed up for a yoga and meditation retreat where goal setting is part of the day. I’ve done similar before and found it a good way to reset the clock and start new things.

Mentally - I’m thinking less about having cancer, or more cancer than I was. I’m finding better explanations for aches and pains. I haven’t been through any rechecks like mammograms yet so I don’t know how these will affect me, but I know I’ve got friends here who will give advice, support or virtual hugs if I need it... 

Re: The other side of cancer

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Sep 11, 2019 6:08 pm


Welcome to "the other side"
It sounds like you have a great plan in place. Thanks for sharing


Re: The other side of cancer

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Sep 11, 2019 10:46 pm


Wonderful news! 

You've been through a lot to get to the other side. Thanks for sharing your journey with us and helping others.


Re: The other side of cancer

Posted by Kims1961 on Sep 11, 2019 10:51 pm

Essjay‍   WOW!!  you have such perspective and insight.  Even if there are days that take us back a little, your post offers such hope to all.  

I"m thinking of donating my prosthetic breast forms.  I got them as I thought I would like the option of having breasts or not - but so far, I haven't used them at all.  After reading your post, I think it might be therapeutic for me to let them go! 

Sounds like you had a great time in Banff  - nothing like the outdoors to help clear our mind.  There is a good book called "Escape: In Search of the Natural Soul of Canada"  by Roy MacGregor... it describes the ability to reconnect with the forests as a way to get our soul back on track.  Sounds like you are doing just that.

Thank you for posting!  Kim