Recovering from surgery takes time. There is no fast tracking to a full recovery but when you’ve been fighting cancer, you can be forgiven for wanting things to get back to normal. There may be a long road ahead before it’s all behind you so it may be useful to know there are things you can do to help yourself.
Enjoy the Support
This means emotional and practical support. You will need both for some time after surgery. To build a support system, don’t be shy and ask for help or refuse it when it when it’s offered. Seriously consider joining a support group having a listening ear outside your usual support family and friends circle will help you vent and feel better. You get the chance to share your experience and find out how others managed to cope. As much as there is comfort gained from receiving support, there’s also comfort in being able to give it.
Learn to Manage Stress
Putting up a fight against cancer is extremely tiring, but even when you beat it, you still need help to keep down your stress levels. For this, you should use whatever relaxation techniques you find interesting. You can try meditation, use guided imagery or yoga to promote physical and mental well being. Being able to find time to reflect during the day can work wonders to improve your self-confidence and reduce stress. No matter how busy you are, set aside at least 20 minutes for stress management to live better with cancer.
Get Enough Sleep
Not taking at least 8 hours of quality shut-eye each night will increase stress levels and make post-surgery cancer care and recovery more difficult. Getting an adequate sleep will improve your overall health as well as mood, memory, weight and coping ability. To avoid sleep difficulties, work on developing a bedtime routine and settle down to sleep at the same time every night. Weekends too. Keeping your bedroom dark and cool will help you sleep better for longer.
You can benefit a lot by exercising during and after your cancer treatment. Not only will it help control weight gain, it will also reduce fatigue and improve strength in general. Start with an aerobic activity to increase your heart rate then move onto a strength exercise. Even if you don’t hit the gym, avoid long periods of inactivity. Taking the dog out or tackle some light gardening.
On any road to recovery, there are bad days and good but with care, you can quickly start to feel like your old self again. Until then, accept that your body needs this time to repair, to regain its strength and bounce back. Your mental well being also needs this time. Take up a hobby, watch daytime TV or catch up on a few good reads you’ve missed. This is one time in your life you’re meant to relax, eat well and take long after lunch naps.