Treatment Has Ended - Now What?

Oct 13, 2020

There are certain moments throughout my breast cancer journey, where I will never forget how I felt in that moment. One for sure, when I got the call from the doctor to tell me that I had breast cancer. I don't think that's a call that many of us could forget!

Another one was when my active breast cancer treatment was over and my reconstructive surgeon had just said "I'll see you in 3 months"...that I suddenly felt this wave of panic overcome me and I burst out into tears...you know the ugly kind, from the gut!! And I said to her "but I'm not ready to break up with you yet!!" 

I was SO emotional, then anxious, then confused!

This was supposed to be a happy time, treatment is over (other than taking my medications), so then why am I feeling so scared, alone and unsupported??? Am I weird, because I see women all over social media jumping for joy, when they're done with active treatment.

I felt like I was on the high wire and my safety net had been taken down! After weekly or bi-weekly appointments for the past year, with a massively nurturing and supportive medical team...now what? 

So many thoughts were going through my head...

  • But what do I eat now?
  • Do I need to change my lifestyle, so that I don't get this again?
  • I don't feel ready to just jump back into my pre-cancer life!

What I knew immediately was, that if I was feeling like this, then I certainly wasn't alone.

It was over the following weeks, as I continued to feel blue, emotional at the drop of a hat, exhausted and still confused, that what I began to realize, as I researched this next stage...that EVERYTHING I was feeling and everything that you're feeling, is completely normal. Phew!

What really isn't talked about, is that the next stage of recovery actually STARTS after active treatment ends. This is when the true physical, emotional and mental healing begins.

Makes sense doesn't it? We've been running, running, running...not really having time to process. I know for me the focus was always on the next appointment, or next test and the worst, waiting for every result (UGH Scanxiety is so real!!)

Then my wheels started turning, and I knew exactly what I had to do...I had to help others, like you,  through this next stage and I was uniquely qualified to do this...in fact, I had every tool that I needed already.

I want you to know that you've definitely come to the right place, because I'm here to help support you through this next stage using my expertise as a bounce back specialist, my own experience with breast cancer and my in-depth education for healthy living as a health coach.

I'm here with you EVERY step of the way, I've even put together a short guide for you to help you navigate this next unknown stage of recovery, while keeping healthy and reducing your risk of recurrence! 

You can grab your guide here.

So you may be wondering, "How long does this next stage of recovery last?"

Well, as you've already learned on your breast cancer journey, there are no absolutes and no guarantees, but this formula gives you a good idea of what you can expect:

A = Date of Diagnosis

B = Date of Last Active Treatment

C = Number of months between A & B?

I'll use my dates to give you an example:

A = Date of diagnosis = July 2018

B = Date of Last Active Treatment = July 2019

C = Number of months between A & B = 12

12 months is the approximate amount of time for this stage of recovery for me.

Use the above formula to help give you an idea of what to expect.

It's not unusual during this time to feel...

  • Exhausted and run down
  • Have headaches 
  • Not sleep too well
  • Feel like you're stuck and just spinning
  • Feel like you don't belong
  • Feel alone (even with a great support system)
  • Have mood swings, weight gain, hot flashes, memory lapses
  • Lose your sex drive
  • Have muscle and joint pain
  • Changes in body odor
  • Suffer with anxiety, have difficulty focusing and can't escape the constant fear of IT coming back
  • Feel uncomfortable in your own skin, often not even wanting to be touched

Maybe you're feeling like your life just doesn't "fit" who you are today as so often our priorities change on this wild ride.

If any of the above resonate with you...I want you to know that you ARE NOT ALONE. All of these are VERY common side effects of treatment, medications and the stress that we've been under for a long period of time!

So, where do you go from here?

You get to choose...you can stay stuck, anxious, feeling like you're completely in the dark...

Or you can simply grab the guide below and start your journey to feeling well again, can you remember how that felt?

 

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