The road to recovery

Although you may feel ready to get on with life after treatment, it’s also common to have mixed feelings. You may have days when you feel anxious or less positive about the future or less positive about your health.

Recovery is often a gradual process. You may find you need time to regain and rebuild your physical and emotional health. If you think about everything you’ve been through, this isn’t surprising.

The time after treatment is often a period of change. You’re finding out what’s now normal for you or what some people call their ‘new normal’. Give yourself time to discover and adjust to what this means for you. You’ll find out any changes to what you can and cannot do.

Things that can help

  • Pace yourself so you spend energy on what you want to do and what’s important.
  • Let your family and friends know how they can help.
  • Try to eat healthily to help you recover.
  • Think about ways to reduce stress.
  • Get the right balance of resting and being active – too much time sitting or lying down can make you feel tired for longer.
  • Talk about how you feel and if you need extra support contact a support group or ask your hospital team or GP to refer you to someone who can help.

How quickly it takes to get back to doing everyday things depends on your type of cancer, your treatments and your general health.

Try not to rush things. See your recovery as small achievable goals that you can manage and slowly build up. For example, a goal could be going for a short walk most days or trying to eat healthily most days. You can be flexible with yourself. Setting goals, whether big or small, and working towards achieving them can bring different benefits and help you to feel more in control.

You may find you need to push yourself to do things you’re less confident about doing – for example, going out. Start with simple outings like a short walk with family or friends, or going out to a cafe.

Over time you’ll gradually find yourself getting back into the routine of everyday life. Other things start taking over and cancer becomes less of a focus for you. You may get out more and see friends, go on holiday, get back into sport or hobbies, or go back to work.

Your cancer experience may change your outlook on life. Or you may think about things differently than you did before. Some people decide on what’s important to them and make new priorities. You may discover new interests, make lifestyle changes to improve your long term health or lead a less stressful life.

The time after treatment is a good time to get back some control over your life and think about where you want to go from here.

‘I had to find a new ‘normal’ rather than trying to get my own life back just as it was.’ Christine


Back to Beginning to recover

Lifestyle and well-being

Looking after yourself and doing some physical activity can be an important part of your recovery.