You’ve finished active treatment. Congratulations! Your medical team will guide you in your post-treatment care. That may include a survivorship plan which may be a detailed record of your cancer history and treatment that you can share with your current and future healthcare providers, as well as include information about screenings, follow up test schedules, genetic testing, long-term medications schedules and side effects, risk information regarding second or recurring cancers, and health and quality of life issues such as exercise, strength building, sleep, nutrition, sexual health, and general well-being.
You are relieved to be this far along, but still unsure about what the future holds and how to fully embrace your “new normal.” Some women describe the early post-treatment months as some of the most challenging. You’ve been surrounded by your medical team, supported by family and friends, and have had the structure of your treatment schedule. Many women are surprised to find post-treatment is when some of the most difficult feelings arise. There is finally time and space to feel what may have been pushed to the back as you focused on navigating your diagnosis and treatment. Well-meaning family, friends and colleagues celebrate that things are “back to normal.” They may not understand things can never be exactly as they were before. Life has changed. Your perspective has changed. You’ve been through something that has forever changed you. This includes many positives, but the cancer experience may also make you feel somewhat lonely or “different” from those around you who have not been through what you have. You may experience physical side effects you weren’t expecting, post-traumatic stress, feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and fear. The post-treatment period is sometimes where the real work of facing those feelings and working through them, begins.
Don’t hesitate to speak to your medical team about this, to reach out for counseling, and know that To Life! has your back. We are not licensed therapists, but we offer support groups, compassionate listening, supportive (non-clinical) counseling, and have a board certified coach on staff, with a background in wellness, mindfulness and cancer coaching if you are seeking support to bridge the time just after active treatment.
To Life! will continue to be here for you with our wide range of available services. Please contact us for any additional information.
Your treatment may include surgery, treatments, medications that will affect your physical appearance. Let the To Life! boutique and fitting services assist you. We provide a private atmosphere for fittings in both our Wig boutiques and our Mastectomy boutiques.
Support groups provide a safe place to share feelings and information that remains confidential. Group facilitators guide women through thoughtful discussion. Surround yourself with women who understand.
Educational Programs (need copy here)
Metastatic (need copy here)
Younger Women (need copy here)
Here are some additional resources about post-treatment:
- Breast Cancer: Follow-up Care and Monitoring, Cancer.net
- Follow-up Care after Cancer Treatment, Cancer.net
- Living with a History of Breast Cancer, Living Beyond Breast Cancer
- Post-Treatment Care, Young Survival Coalition
- Living after Cancer: What is a Cancer Survivorship Care Plan?, University of Rochester Medical Center