“Recuperation is just physical.[…] But recovery means wholeness: mind, body and spirit.” This distinction, made by prostate cancer survivor Dana Jennings in his latest New York Times Well Blog post, “Healing Physically, Yet Still Not Whole,” is an important one for cancer survivors. In so many instances cancer patiets receive treatment for their disease, but their psychological, psychosocial, spiritual and other needs remain largely unmet – not only by healthcare professionals but also by their own family and friends.
The end of cancer treatment can be one of the most uncertain times during a person’s cancer journey, when they are expected to heal physically and return to some sort of normalcy. But so many people don’t realize that cancer is much more than a physical disease, and all of the issues that accompany a cancer diagnosis should be addressed so that a patient can truly recover in the best way possible.
Cancer care planning can ensure that the transition from treatment to post-treatment is a smooth one by encouraging doctors and patients to work together to monitor a patient’s health throughout their survivorship – especially for late and long-term effects of cancer treatment such as depression. You can learn more about cancer care planning and free programs like Journey Forward that help cancer survivors manage and maintain their health. The Cancer Survival Toolbox also features a program about Living Beyond Cancer, and several NCCS publications offer information and support.