Q. My husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. He finished treatment and is cancer free, but he continues to act like he still has cancer and is dwelling on it instead of getting on with his life. Is this normal?
When a person with cancer has completed treatment and shifts from life as a patient to life as a survivor, the transition period can bring up mixed feelings and often takes time to process. Each person is unique, and it is common to have an adjustment period. Life after cancer is often referred to as the “new normal,” which can be challenging for caregivers.
As you know, cancer affects not only the person with cancer, but also caregivers who must adapt after their loved ones complete treatment. CancerCare offers helpful tools that address survivorship issues, including our publication, After Treatment Ends: Tools for the Adult Cancer Survivor.
CancerCare’s Connect Education Workshops, which are accessible both by phone and online, offer a wealth of information about coping with survivorship issues. Past workshops are available through our website and you and your husband may find the following workshops helpful:
- Survivors Too: Family, Friends and Loved Ones – Managing the Fatigue of Caregiving
- Living With, Through and Beyond Cancer, Part I: Managing the Stress of Survivorship
- Support for the Caregiver: Balancing Your Needs and Your Role as a Caregiver
- My Treatment is Over: Why Do I Feel So Alone and Sad?
Stress Management for Caregivers: Taking Care of Yourself Physically and Emotionally is an workshop that might also find helpful.