July 2022 UPDATE
This is the time of year when survivors of cancer are internationally recognised.
At Hummingbird Cancer Support Group we don’t think this needs a set date however it got us thinking about awareness and education.
When people survive cancer, they often face serious and persistent adverse outcomes. These can include physical, emotional, and psychosocial challenges, because of their disease and treatment regime. Family, friends, and caregivers are also impacted. Many people think that once someone finishes treatment, that’s it and their life is back to normal. However, often that is not the reality.
While most cancer survivors lead healthy, active lives, cancer and the treatments used to treat it can sometimes have long-lasting effects on the body, from chronic pain to changes in memory and sleep patterns.
Pain that persists after chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery can affect quality of life. Here are some ways chronic pain can be eliminated or reduced.
- heating pads
- hot or cold packs
- breathing exercises
- visualization/ guided imagery
One suggestion is to keep a pain diary. This can help define and better manage pain and make it easier to discuss with oncologists.
Some people also experience cancer-related fatigue. It interferes with ability to function normally. This can be managed by establishing a routine, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, taking short naps, and implementing an exercise regime.
Hummingbird Cancer Support Group offer support to local people at all stages of cancer from diagnosis to survivorship but also grief and loss when needed.