Cancer affects you psychologically as well as physically yet these side effects are often overlooked. Many patients find the psychological after effects harder to deal with that the actual treatment. We very often feel like we are on a rollercoaster.
Mixed emotions from anger, sadness and fear, right through to depression and sometimes thoughts of suicide. Yet the treatment we receive for cancer often overlooks these side effects and just focuses on the physical aspect of trying to get rid of the cancer.
Very often when treatment has ended, we are expected to “get back to normal” by friends and family, even by the people who are there to treat us, like our GPs’.
But what was normal before cancer is not normal after cancer – how can it be? Our whole world has been turned upside down and inside out! How can we ever go back to what we were before? This is often hard for family to understand and can cause a lot of friction and upset. Sadly, we know that many people are not getting the emotional support they need, either whilst going through cancer treatment or afterwards. This is an issue that the NHS needs to address, especially as it can lead to further ill health in the patient and even the possibility of a recurrence as we know that stress is a major factor in a cancer diagnosis
Support groups, either online ones or ones in the “real world” are a great way of sharing things and allow patients with similar experiences to come together and talk and share things. It really does help to know that you are not alone or going crazy!!
Please don’t try and go it alone. There is support out there but sometimes you have to go looking for it.
xx Kaz xx