A life-changing experience

Most people refer to cancer as a life-changing experience. Many people surprisingly find that there are positive aspects to having had cancer. Some people discover an inner strength they didn’t know they had. Others develop new friendships during their treatment or discover new sources of support.

Cancer may prompt you to re-examine your priorities in life. This shift is often gradual; even positive change can take time.

  • You may find you now place more value on your relationships with family or friends. You may choose to focus on the more meaningful relationships in your life.
  • Some people are motivated to travel or start new activities.
  • Other people reconsider their career goals and work values, and may decide to seek part-time work or a new role.
  • You may want to make changes to your lifestyle, such as reducing stress, starting exercise or quitting smoking.

After treatment, some people want to help improve the cancer experience for others through support groups, volunteer work, advocacy or fundraising. There is no hurry. Focus first on your recovery. It is important to look after yourself if you want to help others. If this interests you, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 when you are ready to find out what options are available in your area.

   — Pete

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This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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