Myths about the end of treatment

I should be back to normal

Some people expect life to return to the way it was before the cancer diagnosis. The reality is often more emotionally and physically complex. Some cancer survivors find they can’t or don’t want to go back to how life was before their treatment. Others need time to recover from the turmoil of cancer.

I should feel well

Many cancer survivors have ongoing health concerns because of the cancer or treatment side effects. The after-effects of treatment may make everyday life difficult.

I should not need any more support 

Some survivors are surprised to feel that they need more support than ever after treatment ends.

I should feel grateful 

Survivors can sometimes feel pressured to be grateful. However, the impact of cancer and its treatment on your life and future may make you feel upset, angry or resentful.

I should feel positive

Survivors can feel a great deal of pressure from friends and family to think positively all the time. Although this is unrealistic, it can be a source of worry and guilt.

I should be celebrating

Some survivors feel they should be happy and full of wisdom because they survived, and may feel guilty or confused if they’re not.

I should be the person I was before cancer

Many survivors say that cancer changes them. Some need time to adjust to physical changes. Others feel different, even though they look the same. Many survivors feel a sense of loss for the person they once were or thought they’d be.


This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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