Abi shares how cancer had an impact on her mental health

Abi was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump in her hand and had to have two surgeries. She says it wasn’t the diagnosis or the surgeries that she found difficult but it was once she was in remission. Here, Abi shares more about the impact facing cancer had on her mental health…

Abi had to have two surgeries on her hand

“People seem to think remission = back to normal and it really doesn’t. I think remission is when the hard part starts. Once I was in remission, everything stopped, the phone calls, the hospital appointments, the emails and the letters. That initial support was gone and that was incredibly difficult.  

“Because I initially handled my diagnosis so well, I declined any offer of help from anyone and everyone. I think I was too proud to ask for help or accept it and thought I could just brush it under the carpet and forget about it all and move on with my life.  

“My mental health really did spiral once I was given the all clear, it hit me like a train and it’s really made me realise that more support needs to be given to those after treatment.  

“I think remission is when the hard part starts. Yes, people go through horrific feelings and symptoms when they have treatment but the support is second to none. As soon as you are told “good news, you’re cancer free!” that’s when the support quickly stops, not only from medical professionals but also family and friends because they expect you to bounce back as if your life hasn’t been tipped on its head for the last however many weeks/months.  

“My advice to any young people who are recently diagnosed is don’t say “no”. Say yes to every bit of advice, support and help they offer because even if you don’t think you need it now, you will when you’re in remission and the majority of support stops.” 

Author: Emma

Posted on Thursday 9 May 2024

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