For many children and youths with cancer, as well as their family and loved ones, the end of treatment is a milestone that they look forward to with much anticipation and excitement. However, it can also be a time of mixed emotions. They are happy at the prospect of not having to frequent the hospital or be on regular medication. However, they feel anxious about the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Such feelings are normal; they are present in every human experience, especially an experience that has such a great impact on one's life.
When you experience feelings, it is important to know that they belong to you, and you have control over them. Feelings are neither good nor bad, but certain reactions might be harmful if it affects your coping with daily life. It is good to find someone you trust that you can share and talk through your feelings. If you are in doubt, you might also approach an adult or social worker for help.Challenges
Being able to move forward with life is a huge priority for a child or youth who has completed treatment. This means being able to face challenges in education, employment and friendships/ relationships. Being able to participate in normal activities may signal a return to normalcy.
However, there may be additional challenges such as side-effects from treatment and medication and disabilities as a result of the cancer diagnosis that might create a 'new normal' which is difficult to adjust to. Some children and youths might have learning difficulties due to their cancer treatments and might find it difficult to catch up with school work as they have difficulties in concentration and memory.
For others, they might have certain physical conditions that could cause difficulties in mobility issues. A social worker can help with back-to-school issues, in terms of liaising with the school to enable the school to better support and accommodate the child's needs.
Sometimes, you might also find it harder to relate to your friends after you have gone through this cancer experience. They might not understand what you have gone through and might even offer unsympathetic and unhelpful advice. Perhaps it might help to discuss with them how you might want them to understand your cancer experience and how they could support you. If your friends continue to be unhelpful or judgemental, then perhaps it might be time to find new friends.
Survivors might also face employment issues and wonder whether they would be able to look for suitable employment. Again, social workers could be of service to help make referral to a suitable job matching agency or service, and even advocate for resources to help the survivor to be better prepared for work.
Tips to Reduce Severity of Long-Term Side-Effects However, survivors of childhood cancer can reduce the severity of long-term side-effects from cancer and reduce the risk of secondary cancers and other diseases by following the tips below:
Here are some useful websites which you can visit: