How to find support as a cancer survivor.
Cancer is one of the most challenging diseases to fight, cancer can create lasting lifestyle shifts and painful emotional, mental, and physical scars that are difficult to heal.
As a survivor, there are several challenges you may face. You may feel a dark uncertainty about the future and face emotions and thoughts you’ve never dealt with before. You may also experience changes in relationships, intense anxiety, and physical limitations that prevent you from doing things that used to come easily to you. One of the most challenging things you may deal with is fear of recurrence.
You’ll need additional support beyond your last treatment to get you through this next stage of your life.
Cancer support gatherings.
One way you can find help as a survivor is through support gatherings. Cancer support gatherings are meetings for individuals experiencing cancer and loved ones who have been impacted by it.
These gatherings can help survivors feel less alone, give them the opportunity to talk openly about their feelings and experiences, and offer help for practical problems they might face, such as issues at work or home. Support gatherings can also help family members of survivors know how to meet the needs of their loved ones.
Research shows that joining a support group improves both quality of life and survival, according to cancer.gov. There are many groups to choose from — including groups for youth, groups for individuals experiencing a specific kind of cancer, and groups for survivors who share the same sex, culture, or religion.
Find a local support gathering that fits your needs through Arizona Oncology and by asking your doctor for recommendations.
Cancer Care Teams.
Beyond the emotional solidarity and compassion that you can receive through a support group, there are mental and physical needs you might have as a survivor that can best be addressed by a cancer care team.
A team of physicians and resources for cancer survivors can help you get the physical and mental support you need after your treatments.
When dealing with fear of recurrence, your care team can answer questions and work with you to pinpoint the signs. For example, at Arizona Oncology, one of the largest cancer center groups in the state, specialists meet with you to outline a specific follow-up plan with actions you can take at home as you begin transitioning into your new normal after treatment.
As a survivor, you may also face physical changes to your body that may alter how you look or what you’re capable of doing. Changes to your eating habits, memory loss, and fatigue are just a few examples. Your care team can help you adjust to these changes and offer you complementary and integrative therapy options you might need moving forward, as well as additional resources that may be beneficial to you.
Arizona Oncology’s state-of-the-art compassionate care programs help you to get both your mental and physical health in the best shape possible following your cancer care treatments, so you can move forward with the support and confidence you need.
For more information about where you can get support as a cancer survivor, visit arizonaoncology.com or call 888-972-CURE.