You have had a whole team getting through your diagnosis and treatment and now that that is completed, many patients feel a loss and confusion as what to do next and how to do it and what the expectations are. Check your insurance as well as some insurers may pay for follow up care only with certain physicians or limit the number of follow up care visits or tests. Testing will continue and may include: Blood tests, mammogram, endoscopic examination, ultrasound, echocardiography, bone marrow biopsy, bone density, x-ray, PET, MRI, CT/CAT scan, and tumor marker tests. Some of you once finishing active treatment may actually be on maintenance therapy and although that may give you a sense of security it may also make you feel like you have not crossed over to normal yet either. This is a life long management and you are the lead person in following and checking what you need to be doing. It is also important to know if there are any long term side effects to your treatment. Knowing they may occur, you also need to know how to manage them if they do so.
All of these things may lead you to revise your expectations and you may need to allow yourself more time to start feeling healthy again. I know that I completed my chemo and then finished my radiation and at that point it seemed like everything caught up to me and I was just exhausted and needed to time to build back up again. You might look to support groups that may also address the same issues that you are currently facing or even individual help to get back on your feet.
If you do experience symptoms that are new and different than what is normal for you, go to your health care team and discuss what is happening and what is normal and what is not and how to deal with those discrepancies. I still read and explore what people have said and done through their own personal journey and am often finding out new information and different mechanisms to deal with what is happening now in my life.
I reiterate over and over, to stay positive and find that sense of humor. You have come through a battle and give yourself that pat on the back that you have. Stay positive and don't always second guess and say what if. Enjoy each day and all that is in it and reach for tomorrow.
Making it a great day! S