Resources for Survivors
Survivorship is a relatively new term used in the cancer sector. For some people, being a ‘survivor’ begins when they start cancer treatment. For others, it begins after treatment or when they are declared `cancer free’ by their medical team. One thing we are sure of, being a survivor has different meanings to different people. Although everyone’s experience of having experienced cancer is unique, we know that almost all survivors share common issues;
• I’m cancer free… why do I still feel miserable?
• Many survivors experience feelings of `survivor guilt’
• Being cancer free doesn’t make you feel back to `normal’. In fact, many survivors talk about their `new normal’, paying particular attention to changes in their bodies post treatment
• Almost all people who have survived cancer experience fear of cancer returning
• Family and emotional changes can also develop post treatment. Many survivors avoid talking about their fears and issues as they feel it is expected that they are grateful for `beating cancer’
• Many survivors experience anxiety and fear when approaching follow up appointments and check ups
• In some cases, survivors can experience symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Some survivors feel abandoned and frustrated after treatment. During cancer treatment, most weeks are filled with treatments, follow up appointments, allied health connections and other supports. Once treatment is over, most people are left feeling alone, as the focus on the immediate medical need is no longer present.
At The Warwick Cancer Foundation, we encourage survivors to participate in our Mates in My Shoes program to connect with other young adult survivors. We also offer assistance in seeking other avenues of support (e.g. support groups, financial assistance programs, emotional support, practical resources and much more…)
Download Survivors information Resources for Survivors