Recovery After Cancer
After undergoing cancer treatment, you will likely experience an enormous sense of relief. You may also feel excited that you can once again do the activities you love. However, it is important to remember that your body has been though a lot, both in terms of the cancer it is battling and the rigorous treatments it has received. Talk with your doctor about easing back into a normal schedule and the steps you can take to enhance your quality of life for the future.
Becoming Active Again
While it is important to stay as active as possible during cancer treatment, it is likely that you had to put certain activities or forms of exercise on hold. After getting your doctor’s approval, slowly ease your way back into a normal exercise routine without overexerting yourself. Activities like walking, hiking, swimming or easy cycling can help you to:
- Increase your strength
- Lower your anxiety
- Enhance your energy level
- Fight symptoms of depression
- Maintain a healthy body weight
Eating Healthy Foods & Maintaining Your Body Weight
Your nutritional goals may change after undergoing cancer treatment. During treatment, you may have gained or lost weight. Talk to your doctor and a dietician about adjusting your diet to accommodate your new nutritional needs and goals for weight management. If you used tobacco prior to cancer treatment, it is important that you do not resume this habit during your recovery process; similarly, alcohol should only be consumed in moderation, if at all.
Getting Follow-up Medical Care
It is essential for cancer survivors to get follow-up medical care, both to ensure that the cancer has not returned and to monitor any side effects that may persist after treatment. Follow-up appointments with your doctor may be necessary every few months in the first couple of years following treatment. Your doctor will likely:
- Perform a physical exam
- Review your medical history
- Ask you about any residual symptoms or side effects you are experiencing
- Conduct blood tests
- Order imaging scans or endoscopies
The Emotional Side of Recovery
Recovering from cancer isn’t just about helping your body to return to normal. It is also about healing emotionally and psychologically from the stress and pain of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Many patients choose to undergo therapy or counseling both during and after treatment so that they can talk about battling cancer. Survivor support groups are also a way for people recovering from cancer to come together and discuss their experiences.
To learn more, review the National Cancer Institute’s guide to Life After Treatment or explore the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivors Network.
Resources for Recovery at BayCare
In addition to offering state-of-the-art cancer treatment services to individuals throughout the Tampa Bay area, BayCare offers a wide variety of classes, events and support groups so that cancer patients, their families and caregivers can get the resources they need to make confident, informed decisions. In addition to our Cancer Survivors support group, we also offer cancer exercise programs, yoga classes, and many other opportunities to make the most of your life after cancer. Please register for an event near you, view our full list of support services or call (855) 314-8346 to learn more.
You can learn more by visiting the facilities listed below:
- Mease Dunedin Hospital
- Morton Plant Hospital
- Morton Plant North Bay Hospital
- St. Anthony's Hospital
- St. Joseph's Hospital
- St. Joseph's Children's Hospital
- St. Joseph's Women's Hospital
- St. Joseph's Hospital-North
- St. Joseph's Hospital-South
- South Florida Baptist Hospital
- Winter Haven Hospital