Managing Feelings After Cancer Treatment

Cancer is, without a doubt, the battle of your life. With each day that passes by, your sense of worry and anxiety rises in anticipation of good news. While many survivors find themselves with renewed energy and appreciation once their cancer treatment has concluded, some individuals find themselves angry, depressed, anxiety-ridden and confused as to what they did wrong.

If you fall into the latter category, here's what you need to know about post-cancer emotional regulation and gaining a sense of normality once more.

Embrace the Uncertainty and Weather the Storm

Managing Feelings After Cancer Treatment

While your emotional state may throw you curveballs and unexpected setbacks from time to time, learning to accept your post-cancer feelings is the first step toward a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the common experiences and emotions that cancer survivors deal with regularly:

  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Confusion
  • Melancholy
  • Manic-like episodes
  • Guilt

All of these feelings form a complex psychological blanket that shrouds survivors and removes their ability to remain hopeful. But before you think there's no hope left, here's how you can reclaim your waking hours and lead a noteworthy lifestyle that inspires other survivors.

step 1

Express Your Feelings - Good or Bad

Whether you're feeling elated or furious, expressing your emotions is a brilliant way to remove the power they have over your psyche. Emotions, when manifested in their physical form, release the tight grip they have around your internal state and outward behavior.

A productive way to address this is by developing a rigorous exercise regimen and staying active. Not only will being fit and healthy assist with keeping cancer at bay, but it's highly efficient at clearing negative emotions.

Jennifer Carter, PhD, is a counselor that utilizes exercise-based therapy for her patients. According to Carter, the act of performing physical tasks while exploring emotional states helps patients understand themselves with greater efficacy. Once these patients learn why they feel the way they do, they can process their negative emotions and move forward.

step 2

Maintain Social Connections With Former Cancer Patients and Close Friends

With new data showing that cancer patients who interacted with other patients while undergoing chemotherapy live longer lives, there has never been a better time to spread your social wings and fly.

A great way to process your feelings and return to a productive lifestyle is to strengthen the relationships you've formed over your life. Do you have a high-school friend that you haven't spoken to in years? Good, call them up! Did you interact with other patients receiving treatment when you had cancer? Reach out to them and see how're they're doing!

While these tactics may seem overly simplistic, blossoming friendships and relationships flood our brain with 'feel-good' chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. Living within these mental states will boost your immune system and keep you healthy in the years to come!