Youth Cancer

Leaving Hospital

It's the moment you've been waiting for. So why does it feel so scary?

Fear of leaving

  • As the long awaited moment approaches, you might yourself having feelings of anxiety.You've spent so long in hospital that you've become accustomed to the security of it.
  • You've been surrounded by other people who are in your situation and understand it; and you've had nurses and medical staff to care for you 24/7.
  • As annoying as it might have been at the time, the thought of not having them there can seem scary. What if something happens to you?

Don't worry, these feelings are normal. Any major changes are bound to bring some anxiety, plus you've just been dealing with a life threatening illness!

Know that you will be okay and, before you leave the hospital, sort out some things you can do at home to ensure you have all the support you need.

Things like:

  • Having the phone number of the hospital and your doctor somewhere everyone in the house can see it.
  • Forming a plan of action with everyone in the house so they know what to do if you get sick.
  • Arranging for a nurse or social worker from the hospital to come and check on you for the first couple of weeks.
  • Arranging your next follow up appointment with the doctor.
  • Being aware that you can call the doctor at any time if you're worried about something – they're just a phonecall away.

Settling in at home

  • This won't be easy for anyone involved. There are new routines to get used to, and living with other people again means dealing with all their moods and issues.
  • If you were sick, you might have to rely on them to help you do basic things like get dressed or go to the toilet. If it was your sibling or parent who was sick, you might find yourself with a lot more responsibility and a lot less independence.
  • Even when you're surrounded by others, you might feel isolated. Sometimes you will just want to be alone.

Try and be patient and honest with the people you share your space with. They are also dealing with a lot of change and after a while things will settle down as you all get used to the new situation.

Communicate your needs to them – you can't expect them to know what you want if you don't tell them.