Follow-up after treatment for stomach cancer
After your treatment has finished, you will be asked to go back to the hospital for regular check-ups. To begin with, these may be every three months or so and will include a physical examination and possibly scans or x-rays. Over time the appointments will gradually become less frequent but will probably continue for several years. If you have any problems, or notice any new symptoms in between these times, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Our booklet on adjusting to life after cancer treatment gives useful advice on how to keep healthy and adjust to life after cancer.
What you can do
One of the hardest things to cope with can be the feeling that the cancer and its treatment have taken over your life and that you have lost control. This is a common feeling and is partly true, but over time people usually find things they can do that help them to cope.
There may be times when you feel too tired and helpless even to think about what could help. It is not unusual to feel like this when you have cancer. You'll have good and bad days, and it's important for you and your family to realise this.
If you are overwhelmed by these feelings let your doctor or nurse know. It may be that you have depression, and this is very treatable so they should be able to help.
For some people it is important to try to live life as normally as possible. Staying in contact with friends and trying to carry on with your usual activities can reassure you that life has not changed too much.
An experience of cancer may help some people decide on new priorities in their lives. This may mean spending more time with their family, going on the holiday they have long dreamed about, or taking up a new hobby. Just thinking about these things and making plans can help you realise that you still have choices.
Understanding the cancer and its treatment helps many people to cope. It means that they can discuss plans for treatment, tests and check-ups with their doctors and nurses, and play a real part in the decisions that are made. Being involved in these choices builds confidence and can help give you back control of your life.
Finding ways to cope
Some people may decide to improve their general health by eating a more healthy diet or by getting fitter. Finding a complementary therapy which helps you to relax can be a very positive way of becoming involved in your illness. You may find our booklet on complementary therapies useful.