Life after a cervical cancer diagnosis is never the same—even after remission. It can be better, more meaningful, challenging, stressful, and different. But if you are standing on greener grass, meaning you are a caregiver, wife, husband, child or friend, there are a few things you need to know.
Babies and bundles of joy are sensitive topics.
The choice of whether or not have children is a delicate issue for women. Sadly, as cervical cancer survivors, most of us don’t have a decision to make. After enduring conventional treatment for cervical cancer, we may not be able to conceive because of one or more reasons, including:
- getting surgery to remove the womb (a radical hysterectomy)
- undergoing radiotherapy, which affects the uterus and may stop the ovaries from functioning
- ingesting chemotherapy drugs that may lead to early menopause
Finding out we may no longer get pregnant can be distressing. As our friend or family member, we will need your help and unconditional support.
We want to enjoy good food, too.
As cancer survivors, we must eat nutritiously to boost our immune system against cervical cancer recurrence and other diseases. And depending on where we are with treatment, we may have stringent dietary restrictions. However, “healthy” isn’t always equals “bland and tasteless.” Support us in our search for the best food choices possible. Eat healthy and delicious with us by cooking homemade dishes and picking good restaurants.
We can sometimes be extra emotional, tired, and sick.
There will be days when we have an abundance of energy. We might want to go for a walk or do something exciting. Unfortunately, our immune system is not at 100 percent, meaning we may catch every virus out in the world.
Also, some cancer treatments and maintenance drugs, including cancer itself, can activate the immune system to release inflammatory cytokines. Inflammatory cytokines can infiltrate the brain and affect the circuits and chemicals associated with depression, anxiety, fear, fatigue, and impairment in concentration and memory.
If we suddenly don’t feel like going to the mall or park, helping clean around the house, or even sit up for too long, it’s because our body isn’t functioning at its former capacity.
We appreciate it when you lend us a hand, even if we never ask for it.
Many of us cancer survivors have a hard time asking for help, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need it. If you want to tend the garden, do a bit of cleaning around the house, cook or bring a tasty dinner (ask about food restrictions first), or drive us to our next doctor’s appointment—you have our sincerest gratitude.
When we spend too many days indoors, get us out. Help us live to the fullest.
A cervical cancer diagnosis, especially surviving it, is a life-changing experience. It’s easy to become sedentary and feel afraid of the outside world’s potential cancer triggers. If you know someone who isolates themselves and finds refuge in their home, do your best to get them outside. Do something fun and rekindle their love for life.
Consider Your Options
The majority of people believe that alternative or mainstream medicine is the only option they have to treat cervical cancer symptoms and side effects. But there are many safe complementary treatments you can use, right along with your medical treatment. Read our articles on alternative medicine to learn more.