For most people, the cancer experience doesn’t end on the last day of treatment. Life after cancer treatment can present its own challenges. You may have mixed feelings when treatment ends, and worry if every ache and pain means the cancer is coming back.
Some people say that they feel pressure to return to ‘normal life’, but they don’t want life to return to how it was before cancer. Take some time to adjust to the physical and emotional changes, and re‑establish a new daily routine at your own pace.
Cancer Council 13 11 20 can help you connect with other people who have had cancer, and provide you with information about the emotional and practical aspects of living well after cancer.
Learn more about:
- Sun exposure and vitamin D
- Changing body image
- Sexuality, intimacy and relationships
- Relationships with others
After treatment, you will need regular check-ups to confirm that the cancer hasn’t come back. Follow-up appointments will become less frequent if you have no further problems. Let your doctor know immediately of any health problems between appointments.
Follow-up will vary depending on the type of melanoma you have.
Your doctor will recommend regular skin checks, including the level of monitoring needed for your particular melanoma. Check with your doctor if you are unsure of your follow-up plan.
Dealing with feelings of sadness
If you have continued feelings of sadness, have trouble getting up in the morning or have lost motivation to do things that previously gave you pleasure, you may be experiencing depression. This is quite common among people who have had cancer.
Talk to your GP, as counselling or medication – even for a short time – may help. Some people are able to get a Medicare rebate for sessions with a psychologist. Ask your doctor if you are eligible. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to ask about counselling programs.
Visit Beyondblue to learn more about coping with depression and anxiety.