Some people find that there is a heightened level of emotion when treatment is finished. For some, they may have many weeks to months of chemo, radiotherapy, or both. As well as have surgery before or after other treatments. There is a level of comfort associated with treatment, a safety net so to speak, and once finished, it can sometimes cause anxiety. This may seem quite strange for some people to feel or even hear, but can be quite common.
It is important to find someone who you can talk to honestly and openly to about how you are coping after treatment. This could be a family member, friend, someone who has gone through a similar experience to you, or a paid professional. Discussing your feelings, expressing your emotions and identifying your needs can help you cope once treatment has finished and readjust after treatment.
Everyone’s cancer journey is unique to them. People also express their feelings differently, so don’t feel like you need to act or feel a certain way because that is what you feel you should do.
Physically, once treatment is over you may not instantly feel better. It can take time to fully recovery from treatments such as surgery, chemo or radiotherapy. For some people, they may never fully return to their fitness level and mobility before treatment. To ensure you don’t over exert yourself, setting expectations on how you should feel can help transition post treatment.
Treatment specific side effects, such as cancer induced nausea and vomiting, peripheral neuropathy, chemo brain, fatigue and skin problems should start resolving once treatment has finished; for some treatment-related side effects, you may only start seeing improvements are few weeks to months after treatment stops. However, side effects such as chemo brain and peripheral neuropathy can last for many years after treatment. Some people will live with permanent side effects.