Coping with coming back to the hospital
Some people enjoy seeing old friends back at the hospital, but quite a lot of young people dread going back once they’ve finished treatment.
It’s natural to feel frightened that the doctors will find a problem with your health, but remember that at most follow up appointments there are no problems found at all.
The hospital can be a reminder of all the tough times you had during treatment. It can be hard too seeing other children and young people going through their treatment. It’s especially hard if you find out that someone you know from the hospital has been ill again.
Lots of young people say that they get a mixture of feelings if this happens. It’s natural to feel relieved that you’re healthy when you hear bad news – that’s something everyone feels, but it’s common too to feel guilty that you’re well when others aren’t.
Feeling guilty can be hard work. It’s usually better to find a way to do something practical instead. You could send a card if you know the person who is ill again, or how about getting involved in some fundraising or another activity?
Remember, for every person you see at the hospital whose cancer has come back there will be another three at home doing well – and of course they hardly ever come to the hospital, so it’s no wonder that you don’t see them. It’s hard not to compare yourself with other patients, but remember that no two cancers are the same and no two people are the same.
“I felt upset and moody. I don't like talking about what has happened to me.”
© CCLG 2007 This information has been provided by the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group. It is aimed at 10 – 16 year olds although it may be of interest to other young people.
Authors: Katherine Green, Moira Bradwell and Annie Griffiths on behalf of the CCLG Publications Committee. All quotations have been supplied by 10-16 year olds.