Ending cancer treatment is a complex phase of the cancer journey and will be unique to different families.
This nine-minute podcast created by the Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) explores what you might expect at the end of treatment. Podcast author Lena speaks with mother Bridget and family therapist Maria about navigating the end of childhood cancer treatment.
“End of treatment is an important milestone and a time that families look forward to with participation,” says Lena. She says there can be a mix of different thoughts and feelings from different family members.
Bridget says while she was happy and relieved she was also really scared and apprehensive about what the plan is. “As soon as the treatment stops, you start worrying about the cancer coming back,” she says.
“We don’t talk about life getting back to normal,” explains Maria, “We talk about adjusting to life after cancer.”
Bridget’s son Leo was treated for three and a half years and she wonders if it will take her three and half years to adjust to their life after cancer. “The first three or four months were really difficult,” she says. “We were really tired … certainly we celebrated, but we were exhausted.”
Maria says this can be a very common response to long frequent hospital treatments and visits.