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Finishing your treatment may bring with it mixed emotions.
You're probably pleased and relieved that months of treatment are now over. You may be looking forward to going back to work, taking a holiday or having more energy to do things with your family and friends.
On the other hand, you may be worried that your cancer will return. You may fear you will never again be as carefree as you were before your illness.
Some people who have been affected by cancer have to learn to live with physical changes. You may have had a breast removed, for instance - or treatment may have left you with a stoma, or a change in your facial appearance. You may be happy that you cancer seems to have gone - but sad that you can't be exactly as you were before.
Other people find that what they have been through has made them see things differently. This can often lead them to make big changes in their lives.
This part of our website includes further reading ideas for those who have finished their cancer treatment and are now ready to move forward with their lives.
If this applies to you, you may find these suggestions helpful:
Other parts of this web site:
There are other parts of this website that may be useful to you.
For instance, other parts of this living with cancer section includes information and further reading ideas on such subjects as feelings and communication.
In our section on specific cancers you will find further reading suggestions on the after-effects of treatments - for example the bladder and bowel cancer sections have links to sources of information about living with stomas.
The Greater Manchester Expert Patient programme aims to improve quality of life by helping people living with a health condition to manage their illness more positively. Click on the link above if you would like more information.
National and local support groups:
For many cancer patients, support groups offer valuable friendship, advice and help - from diagnosis onwards.
Many of these groups can continue to help you even after your treatment has finished.
They may offer practical advice as you adjust to a new lifestyle, for instance… or emotional support from people who know how you are feeling.
Support may be offered in many ways… regular local meetings for instance, or telephone support, newsletters or perhaps even penfriend schemes. Many national organisations can offer free expert advice, leaflets and booklets on a range of cancer topics.
To find groups that may be of interest to you, visit our Support Groups & Useful Organisations directory.
Booklets and web links:
The Royal Marsden Hospital produces an on-line booklet, 'After Treatment', that covers many topics including: side-effects; eating; sex; work and study; and emotional well-being.
Adjusting to life after cancer treatment
Macmillan Cancerbackup booklet. Topics include leaving hospital, your relationships with others, helping yourself, returning to work, coping with negative feelings, and what happens if cancer comes back. You can view the booklet online by clicking the link above, or contact Macmillan for a printed copy (free of charge).
"Cancer survivors guide" & "Working through cancer"
Booklet from Macmillan Cancer Support. For free copies contact Macmillan Cancer Support.
A healthy eating guide
Macmillan Cancerbackup website section. Contains sound nutritional advice for people with cancer who have no weight loss or eating problems. It is also for anyone without eating problems who wants to follow a diet to keep as healthy as possible and feel better. You can view this on-line by clicking the link above.
Livestrong resource for cancer survivors
The Lance Armstrong foundation is based in the USA and has created Livestrong to offer information and support to literally help people to 'live strong' through the physical, emotional and practical challenges of cancer survivorship.
Facing forward - a guide for cancer survivors
An on-line booklet that looks at some of the issues facing cancer survivors and gives practical advice for looking ahead. Part of the US's National Cancer Institute website.