Post-traumatic growth, or in this case, post-cancer emotional growth, is “positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.” A relatively new concept in psychology and social work, post-traumatic growth has been a theme of ancient spiritual and religious traditions as well as literature and philosophy. People who have gone through life-changing traumatic events can emerge from the experience aware of opportunities that were not there before, such as:
- Feeling triumphant after the struggle is over.
- Change in relationships with other people, such as a new connection with those who suffer the same condition.
- Increased sense of inner strength.
- Deeper appreciation for life.
- A new religious or spiritual connection.
However, it is important to note that growth and suffering can happen at the same time. In addition, not every survivor will go through these life-changing events. (UNC)