Many young people and families think that life will just go back to the way it was once cancer treatment ends. But you have just dealt with a life-threatening illness! Your life has seriously changed.
So rather than trying to go back to how it was before cancer you can start the next chapter in your life and create a ‘new normal’. That might mean changes to the things you do, your plans for the future and what you consider important, like:
Focusing on the present and hoping for a good future.
Embracing life and celebrating milestones like birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.
Acknowledging the emotions that come with survivorship through things like anniversaries of diagnosis, or the deaths of other cancer patients.
Joining a cancer support group or program so you can connect with other young people who understand what you’ve been through, and also share your experiences with others. You can join Canteen’s online community for young people affected by cancer.
Dealing with pressure to ‘move on’
You, your partner, your friends, your family or your boss may expect that life should just return to normal now. They might even say stuff like ‘You have to get over it’ or ‘It’s time to move on’. But it doesn’t work like that.
Tell them you need space and time to cope with it in your own way.
Take some time to acknowledge and cope with loss and change (get some tips for doing that here).
But if YOU feel like you’re not coping and thinking about cancer more than you want to, talk to someone in your YCS team or a counsellor who can help. Canteen also provides a free and confidential counselling service.