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21st Century Oncology Blog

Apple A Day

21st Century Oncology Blog

Life After Cancer: Healthy Living and Cancer Remission

May 30, 2018

Partial or complete cancer remission is a reason to celebrate. Here at 21st Century Oncology, we want to help you live your best life after cancer. To avoid a recurring cancer diagnosis, it’s important to develop healthy habits. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help your body heal and hopefully prevent the cancer from returning.

This new chapter is yours to write. However you choose to begin, follow these tips to stay healthy during cancer remission.

Healthy Habits During Cancer Remission

Your body has gone through a lot, so it’s important to treat it with care and provide it with the time, rest and nutrition it needs to repair and rebuild itself. Just remember – you can’t expect to immediately return to the same lifestyle you led before your diagnosis, so give yourself grace and know that it’s going to be a slow start.

Nine Tips for Staying Healthy in Remission

Looking for concrete ways to improve your health during remission? Try to incorporate the following into your daily routine:

  • Avoid stress as much as possible.

If this means going on a trip or working fewer hours, make it a priority. Your quality of life depends on it.

  • Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

Getting plenty of sleep is one of the easiest and most important habits you can develop during cancer remission. Take whatever steps are necessary to get a good night’s sleep – every night.

  • Stay positive.

You don’t have to think positively all the time, but it’s helpful to be positive about your goals and expectations. It’s OK to have a bad day! Sometimes you can channel negativity by engaging in a healthy stress-relieving activity, such as making art or getting some exercise.  

  • Surround yourself with good people.

Make conscious decisions about the people you spend time with, and ask yourself if they’re making a positive impact on your life.

  • Communicate.

Tell people your thoughts and feelings so they know what you want or how you feel. The more your support system knows about you, the better they can support you.

  • Spend time outside.

Cancer treatment leaves most people feeling weak or low on energy. Try to muster some strength to take a short walk or just sit outside. Sunshine and fresh air will do wonders for your state of mind and overall well-being.

  • Eat a healthy diet.

Your doctor should recommend a diet that will provide your body with the nutrition it needs to heal. Try to stick to this diet as closely as possible, but never forget – occasional dessert never hurt anyone!

  • Exercise.

Just like spending time outside and eating healthy foods, exercise can boost both your energy level and your mood. Start with the amount or intensity of exercise you feel comfortable with, and try to work your way up to a half hour every day.

  • Be informed.

Sometimes the thought of cancer reoccurring brings doubt and dread, which can drag you down or stress you out. Ask your doctor all your questions, and get an informed opinion about if reoccurring cancer is likely enough to worry about. Never make assumptions and always ask questions.

  • Seek religious or spiritual connection.

Many cancer survivors find respite and motivation in higher powers. Whatever practice provides you with a sense of purpose and clarity, we encourage you to develop this connection and use it to help you throughout cancer remission.

You’re Not Alone

One of the best things a cancer survivor can do is seek a support group or a professional counselor to help them with this transition. Some people are more prepared than others for life after cancer; there’s no way to anticipate how you’ll feel after you’re in remission. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Do What You Love

During cancer treatment, you may have felt a twang of regret or remorse about things you did or didn’t do. Now that you’re healthier, use your time and energy to focus on what matters most to you – rebuild old friendships, get a dog, let go of grudges or learn that hobby. After all, many cancer survivors look back on cancer as the impetus they needed to pursue the life they’d always dreamed of. Nothing is holding you back anymore, so take that leap of faith and don’t look back!

Put Everything into Perspective

Remember: You’re one of millions of Americans who battled cancer and won. Never forget how lucky you are. You can lead a fulfilling life after cancer. For more tips about living your best life after cancer, visit the 21st Century Oncology blog.