Survivorship and cancer
From diagnosis, to treatment and post treatment, the journey at each part brings up different issues for different people. As a broad stroke, the whole experience is akin to trauma – there is a before and after diagnosis – the initial period is marked by shock.
During treatment phase, depending on the treatment, the physical responses to treatment brings another layer of experiences that people can find disconcerting at times.
Post treatment often brings up existential questions: “What now?” “How do I move forward?” “What if I get it again?” People who have had psychosocial support often come through with a stronger sense of who they are, what they are made of and a renewed sense of meaning and purpose that brings value and connection to life and relationships.
Regardless of which phase of the cancer journey – as a patient, or carer, a common reflection from our participants is a sense of isolation of what they go through. Group settings are friendly and supportive, it encompasses a sense of camaraderie, shared lived experiences and knowledge that brings a togetherness that expands a positive outlook to live and community.
Wellness approach to living with cancer
Along with all the ups and downs of the cancer experience, many people do report feeling remarkably well. Regardless of the outcome of the disease, it is possible to live well, and potentially thrive during and after a cancer diagnosis. Finding small but significant ways to enjoy life can be as simple as practicing gratitude, savouring the small pleasures, and embracing your strengths.