Aftercare for cancer patients is something I’ve felt strongly about for a long time now. The message is being heard and people are waking up to the fact that post cancer is as difficult as diagnosis or for some, worse.
But progress is slow and there is still little understanding about the trauma and devestatation one can feel and the level of care needed.
Is the argument and perhaps defensive “you can’t understand it unless you’ve been there” still valid? Mental health and psychological illness is better understood on its own and people are generally treated and rehabilitated but apparently you can’t have cancer and psychological problems together or mental illness is not recognised worldwide as an after effect of cancer. Why?
We know cancer numbers are on the up. We know that people are lonely and struggle emotionally but there’s little in place to enable us to get better mentally. It helps if you have friends and family but they can’t heal your mind for you they can’t take the fear away.
Not everyone will want rehabilitation or after care but it should be available and there needs to be a choice.
Cancer patients dont just lose their breasts their hair and their dignity they lose their way in life. They need help to find their feet again.
When the chemo is over and you are given the all clear everyone expects you to be over the moon. You feel like a dissapointment. There’s all these expectations on you that you can’t meet.
But All I ask- just give us time, be patient and kind and don’t expect too much from people too soon. we are probably just finding our feet again..