Rehab after Cancer
Recovery after cancer is one of my favorite topics. We have all learned that physical and emotional healing takes quite a while--the rule of thumb is that it takes at least as long as the total duration of your treatment--and sometimes there are complications that make it even harder.
Cancer impacts every single part of our lives, so it makes sense that we may need some assistance in physical, psychological, professional, and practical spheres. If you signed up for our conversation yesterday on http://www.cancercommunity.bidmc.org/, you have read about some of these problems. There are two poignant entries about losing jobs after cancer.
Physically there can be a wide range of issues: fatigue, recovery from radiation and chemotherapy, scars and maybe chronic pain from surgery. Sometimes the surgery has been huge, and there are major body changes requiring slow psychological and physical healing. There is a growing interest in cancer rehabilitation, help from specialists who know about these problems.
This is an excellent article from Cure Today:
Rehabilitating Cancer Care
In 1997 Paula Einaudi served as the
development director for the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in
Baltimore where she met with donors, held events and garnered corporate support for
As a swimmer and a runner, she says she was “smug” when her dentist found a
lump in her neck and suggested she have it checked out. But good health didn’t deter
the diagnosis of cancer.
“The primary site was the base of my tongue,” she adds. “Two days later I
underwent neck dissection to remove the cancerous secondary site, including 22 lymph nodes. Then I started 35 radiation, which just about did me in.”
Einaudi had a hard time accepting that the surgery and treatment made her look as though she had had a stroke. "I had no smile on the right side; I couldn’t open my mouth very far, and had a scar from my Adam’s apple to halfway up my ear. I also couldn’t raise my arm.”