Survivorship for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Survivorship can have different meanings for different people. But commonly, it refers to;

  • Having no signs of cancer post-treatment
  • Cancer survivorship initiates from the moment of diagnosis and continues during treatment and throughout a person’s life.

Survivorship is the most complicated part of cancer as it is different for each person. Some people get cancer treatment for a long time to cure and prevent a recurrence, While some treat cancer as a chronic disease.

Survivors usually experience a mixture of strong feelings, joy, guilt, concern and fear. Some people start to appreciate life after cancer diagnosis and accept themselves, while others become uncertain about their health and vitality.

Support groups are present for people with CML. This provides you with an opportunity to talk with people who have had similar first-hand experiences. 

Relationships formed with the cancer care team impart a sense of security during treatment, and people miss this source of support. This can be especially true when new worries and challenges surface over time, such as late treatment effects, emotional challenges including fear of recurrence, sexual health and fertility concerns, and financial and workplace issues. Every survivor has individual problems and challenges. An excellent first step is recognising your fears and talking about them with any challenge.

Effective coping requires the following:

  • Thinking through solutions
  • Understanding the challenge you are facing
  • Feeling comfortable with the action you choose
  • Asking for the support of others

People with CML can improve the quality of their future by following instructions for good health into and through adulthood, such as 

  • Limiting alcohol
  • Not smoking
  • Managing stress
  • Eating well

Regular physical activity can help reconstruct your strength and energy level. The health care team can provide an appropriate exercise plan based upon your needs, physical abilities, and fitness level.