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What Works for You? (Ripping off Lisa O)


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Today an old post of Lisa O's was bumped up (an invitation!) and as I read it I noticed a part I hadn't seen before:

"I am asking that we each share any tips or methods that may help our friends on this board to find additional ways to garner strength to get through each day taking back a bit of the power that seems lost sometimes in this battle. "

So I thought it might help if we all posted ways we keep going (both caregivers and survivors), what helps get you through the day other than dietary ideas which was what the post became.

I'll start ok?...

For me I try to keep as busy as possible. I have become a home repair/remodeling queen this past year, planning one project after another. I think it helps both of us to focus on something other than the cancer and the results are very rewarding (as I write this two men are in my livingroom putting stone over our brick fireplace).

We keep active and try to do what we always did before cancer. We go to dinner every Saturday night either alone or with friends like we used to.

It helps me tremendously just belonging to this site and reading and getting close to members here. The knowledge I gain from the information and articles posted is not only empowering but has helped us with treatment issues.

Now I would like to tell you that I go to a counselor but I don't. In my position I would have to report that on a physical form that goes to the State of Michigan (no thanks). So I talk to my friends about things and try not to let things fester. Keeping things in I've found is not good.

There's more...but its your turn now...


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Thanks for the tips. The one thing I continue to struggle with is not thinking so much about the cancer and more about life. Some days it is hard to see through the trees. I will definetly try to institute a few of your tips into life to see if it helps!


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We try to stay in the present and not play "What if", taking each day at a time. We do set goals for ourselves and work towards them -- realistic goals, that maybe stretch us a little. We have a support community in our faith group. We both have friends we can talk to when we need. As caregiver, I try to keep myself healthy so I can help Lucie. We take breaks from cancer by doing some fun things -- dinner out either just the two of us or with special friends; watch movies; go get an ice cream; take a short trip, etc. We both have monthly support groups we go to, to help and to receive help. Lucie likes sewing so she creates quilts and table runners. We get together as family at THEIR places. We meditate and pray routinely. Those are some of the things we do. Don

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Excellent post I might add. Take it one step and one day at a time, the present is now. Staying positive, attitude plays a big roll. I walk (as many days as I can) an hour a day. Focus on living/not dying. Focus on what I can do/not what I cannot do like things around the house etc. Read, listen to music, and visit (do as much as I can with) family and friend(s). Long drives in the car/out to eat with Kathy etc. Watch a lot of comedy. Laugh and joke a lot, even at lung cancer. Live a normal and independent life as best as I can and tell everyone else (family/friend(s) to do the same. Don’t sweat the small stuff, not worth it. View Lung Cancer the same way I few my other health issues not the end of the world, it’s doable. Glad to be alive and under my own steam. Feel very lucky and fortunate (thanks to my family/friend(s)/doctors/nurses/this board) when I consider all things. Up to me to make the best of it. Bottom line, frig lung cancer and live life as best as one can with family and friend(s), keep moving, keep busy, always could be worse, works for me.


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I try to do normal things. My mom and I have our ritual of going to get our haircuts, color, and shopping every 5 weeks together :) She missed a few trips when her hair was shedding, but as soon as it stopped, she was there.

To be honest, I have not found what works for me yet. It is a struggle. I left my job (attorney) thinking I wanted to do nonprofit work. I interviewed with the American Cancer Society and realized it would be too hard emotionally on me. I went back to work as an attorney. And I left again. NOW I was asked back yet again, and am going back because as my mom said, sitting home and worrying is not doing me any good either. Some people have recommended taking my computer out so I can't read about medical issues :shock:

I think becoming part of the LCSC Board of Directors is really helpng me because it is a way I can participate in the fight against lung cancer without immersing myself in cancer 24 hours a day which I was considering by working with the American Cancer Society.

I look forward to hear what works for others!

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Boy this is a tough one for me.

I did see a therapist for about a year following my diagnosis. That was a really good thing. During most of that time I was taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. I don't currently take any of that, but would go back in a minute if I started feeling like I needed them again.

I think physical activity is helpful...it does take your mind off things to a certain extent and releases chemicals in your body that elevate your moods (endorphines, I think).

I think eating right is another thing you can do to try to feel a little in control and proactive.

Keeping busy is helpful, like Ry does. I am getting ready to start some fairly major home decorating/remodeling projects, and I love to do those. That should help a lot.

It's just always so scary to not have any confidence in your health anymore. I find it's worst at night too. Those monsters are hiding in corners everywhere just waiting to jump out.

It's also tough to keep your mind busy with other things when there are doctor's appointments looming out there soon all the time it seems. I'm currently on the every three months plan with my chest surgeon, and it seems like I only stay calm for about a month after every appointment, and then the tension starts building for the anxiety of the next appointment. And that's just him...there are all kinds of other docs in the meantime, you guys know all that.

One of the most helpful things I learned from all that counseling though is that we are very, very limited in the things over which we can control. And, we need to control what we can and take the appropriate steps to reach a positive outcome, but some things are just not in our power, and we need to accept that. After you've done everything you can, the rest is up to whatever higher power in which you believe.

Looking forward to some good tips here.....this is the worst part of all this for me.


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Wow that's a rough one. From the prespective of someone who is still in the throws of treatment aftermath........

I find that since it has been a few months, even though new problems from treatment seem to pop up every week, that humor has helped. I have a rather sick sense and will even joke about my own condition (when in the mood). I've noticed that it breaks the ice with people around me.

Going back to work 40+ hours a week has kept me busy. Although I didn't choose this as a distraction (had to pay the bills, no work no money), it has kept my mind occupied. Of course when I have a bad day I wonder what idiot thought she could go back to work when she can't even walk up the stairs. :?

Coming here has helped alot and just freaking out and getting it off my chest when it builds up....no sense hiding it or suppressing it....let her rip, have a meltdown and you'll feel slightly better.

Hopefully as my body settles down I will develop other ways of handling this. Maybe I'll find some ideas here!

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This is the one of the best posts ever! Thank you.

I haven't gotten My answer to work every day though. But I am working on it.

I was a workaholic before this DX. It really hurt to not have that to pour my heart and soul into, and pour I did.

I guess I was a postaholic for awhile, lol. It took me a long time to get my ability to concentrate back, and until then I couldn't do the writing I wanted. Heck, I Couldn't even watch a movie, really.

I was without electicity for 6 freezing cold days and nights last week.

For two of those days, I actually had partial power, but no heat or stove etc. So I watched like 8 movies and was really enjoying it and then a ton of sparks began flying on my wires and POOF no electic at all.

Then when it finally came on Sunday night, my cable is out. Go figure. Then I lost power again. This afternoon I have both.

Wonder how long it will last?

Anyway, the best for me is being with my kids and doing normal things. It just hasn't felt all that normal since Dx.

Kids are too far away, but knowing they have good lives is something I cherish. Not perfect lives, but very nice ones.


Dang, can I have the brickfireplace, pls? I miss mine.


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Once I realized I was not going to die tomorrow and that I was really pretty miserable feeling sorry for myself, I got on with my life...ever notice that being miserable isn't any fun?? We try to live each day as we did before DX, not worrying about tomorrow. I go to bed each night looking forward to the morning and another GREAT day. People often try to discuss current events and the misery in the world with me. I tell them "I don't have a clue"...I don't read the paper or watch the news. My days are to short to be bothered by outside problems, I concentrate on living each day to its "NORMAL" fullest. Is this a selfish way to ignore the world...maybe so....but we are as happy as we have ever been.....enjoying each other and the beauty around us. Cancer "WILL NOT" take my normalcy nor my fish'n time. It may win, but I'm gonna have a good ole time going out.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in

a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside,

thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- "WOW--What a

Ride!".......LIVE LIFE EACH DAY!!!!!


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One of the survival skills that I learned awhile ago and one that my life depended on getting through the cancer treatment has been knowing that one of the few things that I can depend upon is having little to no control.

I have very little control over anything at all that happens to me. I have used steps one two and three of the basic AA program to get me through this cancer. Briefly stated: Step one: "I can't" Step two: "He can" Step three: "I think I will let Him" Surrendering has helped me. Acceptance has helped me tremendously. I just substitute the words "lung cancer" in place of alcohol and these steps work for me.

What I do have control over is my attitude. I have a choice everyday how I am going to think. It is a constant battle between "poor me" and gratitude. When I catch myself in the whining state, I get my butt out of there as soon as possible. I do this by realizing my blessings. And though I have had an enormous amount of losses that do need to be acknowleged and mourned, I have at least as much gratitude or more for everything that remains. Like Rich said, focusing on what I do have and what I can do.

It's like that old song," You don't know what you've got til it's gone... the paved paradise, they put up a parking lot." With me, the more that goes, the more I appreciate what I have left. I am blessed. I know that I am.

And. Humor. You guys make me laugh everyday. I will be sitting here at the computer and you will say something that I will sit here and laugh over for sometimes minutes at a time. The windows are open and my neighbors know that I am all alone in here, and I am sure they are thinking cuckoo! Oh well. I can't help it. You guys are funny. I love to laugh and I need to laugh.

And prayer and meditation.

And friends.

And I attend a weekly support group that is amazingly wonderful and supportive. It is a group of people who are all dealing with serious illnesses like myself. We are all honest. We listen to each other. And we all get it. They are becoming my best friends. I am eternally grateful for them and for my commitment to the power of the group.

These are a few of the things that help me to get along.

I will listen here and learn from you.. Good thread Lisa and Ry.


Cindi o'h

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This IS a great thread... and great for those of us who are just at the beginning of the battle too... such wisdom.

I am focusing on little girl. I am focusing on her for mom. And I am focusing on her for me. I know that this year when her daddy has to be away and I will be able to blessed with being near mom that she will keep me positive and joyful. So... I think about her.

I also journal. I have a blog, but I couldn't put everything I really felt down there, mostly because most of the people reading just don't 'get all of it.' So... I go to this journal and I write it all out. Good, bad, or otherwise... Positive thinking, whining, or whatever. That helps some.

And, old Navy Wife trick of the trade--I try to stay busy too... That's going to be really important in the coming months. Navy wifeness has lots of transferrable skills I'm finding... Like focusing on time TOGETHER with people I love, and remembering also that being TOGETHER isn't dictated by distance.

So... I guess that's what I do so far.

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This is probably very strange to alot of people, but, I decided only to tell few people about my cancer, so I live much like I used to only I stay home now, instead of working. What makes this good for me, is no one except the few friends I told, ask me about my disease, or how I feel or wait to see if while I am gardening, if I am breathing and such, When I was outside in the 100 degree heat of summer in a full wig, or ball cap, they just figured like always I was crazy. I always did what I always did, I pushed myself, during treatment sometimes past where I should of... Now that I am through I just have shorter hair and I am still crazy . But I made it through... But the most impowering thing I first did after the initial DX, was memorable. I decided I had to be BOSS, over the disease and over the treatment. I researched as much as I could, still do most days, for a few hours sometimes, and sometimes I just take a break, calling it my spring break, and take" off time' from cancer. But the education has made me stronger. I feel like I took back what the disease took away. Although I will never be the same person I was.. I can say maybe I can be a little better than before. And the days when cancer is too strong, I give in a little, have a good cry, feel sorry for myself, and QUICKLY move on, Pity is no therapy, long term... I pray everyday that a cure is near, And who knows maybe it is.. I have always made a choice to look at things in a positive light, I love to smile and I look better when I do... :D

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This is a good topic. Thanks for starting it.

I guess I would say that I cope by talking to and listenting to all of you.

I don't know if anyone else here has ever taken any of the tests offered in Christian churches to evaluate your gifts as described in the New Testament. I have taken several of them, and every single time I score off the charts in "encouragement". I'm embarrassed to say that I score the lowest in "giving". Guess I didn't need to confess that, huh? My husband says I'm "honest to a fault". LOL! Oh, well, now you know.

I love to encourage others anytime I can, and I hope that I have accomplished that here, at least for some. When I read about one of you that is struggling, sad, or having a hard time, it just rips my heart apart, and the words just flow to try to say ANYTHING that might lift you up.

I love doing this also with the elderly. I love to hold their hands, hug them and tell them they are going to be around for at least another 30 years (even when they're 90! LOL).

My hubby was diagnosed in Aug. 2003 and I didn't find this site until March 2004. I was all over the internet and saw lots of links to support groups, but wasn't interested. I only wanted "information". I was seeking information when I stumbled onto this site. I was seeking anything that would tell me my husband wasn't going to die in 6 months.

I lurked for a while and after reading some of the posts, I couldn't believe how long people on here were surviving. That's what I was looking for. A place where the talk was about surviving and not dying. As I read posts, my fingers would just about be shake wanting to type something, but I was scared to death of a public forum, so I held back.

Well, this is too long, so to cut it off. Here I am and THIS is how I cope.

Love to all,


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I'll start ok?...

For me I try to keep as busy as possible. I have become a home repair/remodeling queen this past year, planning one project after another. I think it helps both of us to focus on something other than the cancer and the results are very rewarding (as I write this two men are in my livingroom putting stone over our brick fireplace).

I feel I need to make a few clarifications. First it has not been in the last year. I was dx 6/12/02. That summer I was being radiated every work day and low dose chemo once a week. Also that summer I took out all of our kitchen cabinets, tile on the floor, and reinstalled new cabinets and flooring. Moved the sink, put in new back splash, refinished the counter top twice. The reason for the second time, Tyler set a hot pan on the counter top and melted the 8 caoats of urethane and burned the counter top.

The stories go on and on. I just want to say that we do not sit around and letting the demons work on us. Yes, I did that kitchen when I was having my butt kicked by chemo and radiation. I just worked slower, took naps, and got help from friends and family.

Like others have said here we work with the positive. We keep trying new things when something else did not work. We use what we have and not worry about what we used to have. We are really happy when we gain back some of what we lost and find new things that help. Like this site.


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