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need input and advice from experienced souls

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All, Any input will be welcomed. I am having a really odd reaction to Brian's DX................

In 1993 I was widowed. My then husband had a massive heart attack w/ no warning and died in our living room on a Saturday night.....It was traumatic. I focused on the needs of the children and taking care of all the things that needed taking care of..............I don't think I really realized what happened for years. Then I noticed that I was living w/ a feeling of dread..............every ache or pain or twitch or catch........became a warning of immenent death...........It took a long time to move beyond that..............I never wanted to marry again, but then I met Brian..............He is so optomistic and loving and gentle..........I could only love him.........so I denied my fears and agreed to marry him. He promised he would stay healthy.

Well, we all know the way that went.........

Anyway. Today (just a couple weeks into this whole journey) I am starting those old patterns of thinking I am going to die-soon. I can't shake it. I smoked as long as Brian did (we are the same age and quit at the same time), and cancer is in my family, not his..................Now I am convinced I have cancer, too and that I have just not gotten a DX. I have kept these feelings to myself as Brian is being so brave and determined and positive....................I WILL NOT let him know how I am worried.

Did anyone else have these feelings? I wonder if it is like med students who think they have every disease they learn about........or maybe I am just nuts or.........maybe I am right?

Thanks for listening and I welcome any help or advice, input or opinion. Thank you for being here.


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Hi T or Pat ..

I have lots of thoughts about your post. And I can completely relate. When brother, Dick, was diagnosed with lung cancer, I was 32 years old. He told us (his sibs) that we should all get a lung xray. He said that if he would have had one, that his cancer would not have been so advanced. I think I am the only one out of 8 sibs who followed through. It was clear. The internist gave me a "funny" look and agreed to the xray, but not without making me feel crazy as part of the payment first.

Do you think that I would have ever asked for another screening xray after that experience? Not on your life. (nor on mine) Brother, John, diagnosed with lc. I was 45 years old. No screening xray ever even entered my mind. I had chest xrays for other things..spine injury, gall bladder sx, asthma, heart.. I had chest xrays often. Did not even think that a tumor could be missed on one of these xrays. But, it was.

After my dx with lc, sister started to freak out. She could not be around me because of the guilt that she felt about worrying whether or not she had lc too. She had gone in for a CT and there was found one or two indeterminate lung nodules. She already had panic attacks from previous years in her life, so this added to her already precarious mental health situation. She started on anti anxiety meds and switched to an anti-depressant that was working for me.

This is serious stuff you are talking about.

Number one is to get yourself checked out. Go ahead and get screened for lc. You are at risk.

When that comes back clean, then, if you are still having problems with panic or anxiety, my sound advice is to pay attention to that and get treated for it just as you would any other illness. It is quite painful living with these fears and thoughts. To do this for any period of time and not getting it taken care of would be pure self torture.

There are people who can help you to take the edge off. There are people who specialize in PTSD who have techniques that provide rapid success in removing unwanted fears.

Darling woman...best to you for getting all the help that you need.

Cindi o'h

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Yes, I vaguely remember feeling this way in the early stages of my husband's illness.

I am really not surprized that you should be going through this problem either, considering your tragic history and present circumstances. I am sure you are just fine, but, the only way you can put your mind at rest is to talk to your own doctor. I am sure he/she will understand why you should feel as you do. Please don't leave it, you have enough to worry about without worrying about your own health. Good luck to you! You and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers. Paddy

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I don't think what you are experiencing is odd either -- it sounds like a normal reaction to me! After my diagnosed hit my family like a ton of bricks, my "kid brother" (29 at the time I was diagnosed at 33) went right to his GP and asked for a chest x-ray...yes, she looked at him like he was crazy, considering that he was a lifelong non-smoker, BUT -- after he told her my story, she agreed to the x-ray, but would you believe she said they would have to say he was having chest pains in order for his insurance company to pay for it? :roll:

Do what you need to do to ease your fears -- and if part of that is getting routine checkups, and having an outlet to discuss your concerns/worries about Brian -- so be it! You need to keep yourself strong and well so you can be there for Brian!

I wish you both some peace as you travel through this journey together


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I'd say you are being visited by the ghosts of past and present. You have had so much trauma with two sick spouses that you are taking the disease on for yourself emotionally. It is normal. Take some deep breaths and focus on your husband and getting him well. Blessings to you both. Don

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oh. I forgot to tell you this part.

It was after my sister had the CT scan that she finally confided in me that she had gone for a test. She said that she wanted to be supportive of me, but she couldn't keep from thinking about herself. Well. I am her sister. Of course I wanted her to get checked out!!! We have lc in our family strongly! I did not tell her to get checked out.. I only strongly hinted at it.

I did not want her to feel guilty about thinking of her own health. That would be absurd. When she needed a PET, she came to stay with me and I took her to the place where I went because they are so good there. But, her feelings of fear were overwhelming to her. Me? The fear was overwhelming for about ten minutes. I breezed through treatment virtually clear headed and unscathed compared to many.

My sadness is that there is nothing that I can do to help my sister with her fears. This is something that she must face and work through. She has tried some forms of counseling, but when it comes down to it, she is afraid that the counselor won't take her health fears seriously and will think that she is crazy. She isn't crazy, she just has irrational fears. So, anyway, then she quits the couseling because it is too painful for her and it upsets her so much and then she is back to looking in medical books and worrying on lumps and bumps and doctors appointments etc.

She can go to all the doctors she wants. This gives her some kind of relief for her anxiety. But, it is temporary and eventually only adds to her stress and anxiety. It is a visious cycle. No amount of xrays, blood work, or urine samples will be able to set her mind to peace.

I hope that this is not how you are suffering. I hope that yours can be fixed with a simple chest xray.

What I wanted to say when I started out here was don't have any guilt feelings about getting checked out. I just know that if you were indeed ill, that Brian would want you to find cancer and be treated for it. Think about it, if the tables were turned, don't you think that is what you would want for him? Because you love him. Because he loves you.

Cindi o'h

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Patkid....What you are feleling is perfectly normal, at least from my prospective. I didn't dwell on this much after Dennis was diagnosed, as I was too busy caring for him, praying and "willing" him to beat this monster. After his death is when this all set in with me. I have been so sure that every little thing with me is a major illness.

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I agree with the above posters this is a normal feeling. I also have a

a strong fear of death and I could be next. In the past five years I lost

my mother to lung cancer, my brother to a massive heart attack, a uncle

do to complications from surgery, uncle to a heart attack, aunt to bladder

cancer, aunt to heart attack, aunt in a terrible car accident, my dog.

Then my sister learned she had bladder cancer in Aug. That has all been

in less than a 5 year span. I started getting a feeling am I next? I went

to a therapist who told me I was selfish for feeling this way. This left me

feeling very guilty for having feelings I may be next. I did not go back to

see him anymore. With the help of my husband I am getting alittle better

with coping with my losses and trying to convince myself I am not next.

Besides the losses of family members in the past 5 years I have lost a

really good friend , two close neighbors , Two suicides of friends of my

kids and the hardest was my son Keith his best friend Josh { like a son to

me} his 4 year old little brother was struck and killed by lightning.

I do understand how you are feeling and my heart goes out to you.


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Hi Patkid,

As one who has traveled this journey from both sides of the street, I hope I can be of a little help. I remember so well when Mom was sick & there were days when I really didn't feel up to taking care of her. I didn't know that I had the same beast. There were times when I would be so angry at myself thinking "Here is my brave & courageous Mother in the battle of a lifetime & I just feel a little icky of tired & just don't have the guts to do this!" YOU MUST LISTEN TO YOURSELF! Here all that time I thought I was just having a pity party but that wasn't all it was.

I pray for you that it's just nothing - being worn out or whatever but please - DO NOT IGNORE IT! The best that can happen is to have your fears alleviated. The worst is that it would be found sooner. Sounds sensible, right?

Please take care of yourself. You are no good to anyone with yourself all in a dither so take the time to ease your soul.

My prayers are with you,


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add me to the group. Since both parents died in last 16 months from LC and sister now has breast cancer. I too am convinced I have cancer that just has not been diagonosed.

I have ached and pains and I am sure they are tumors and won't tell my husband because he will think I am crazy.

Just yeaturday I confided in a co-worker that a pain I have had for a while that is behind my right shoulder and radiates through to my right chest must be a huge tumor that is probably LC and I am terrified.

I go to the dr. 3/23 and I am bringing it up and maybe he will order a chest x-ray.

could be a pulled muscle but I need to know.

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Hello Patkid,

After reading all of the postings I realized that I'm not alone. Ron who is 8 years older than me quit smoking almost seven years ago. I kept it up even after his diagnosis last March. In September I developed an annoying dry cough that got on everyone's nerves. It hung on but I wouldn't have it checked out. Finally, Ron convinced me to go to the emergency department. When the doctor listened to my chest he said that I probably have the beginning of "lung disease." He sent me for a chest x-ray and let me tell you I was scared to death. When he read the xray he said it was fine but that I had gotten a chance that many people don't get. He gave me two puffers and within a few days I was back to normal. I threw the cigarettes away for one week. On day eight (a Sunday), while Ron was sleeping - he was still having chemo and was tired and depressed I bolted to the store and picked up a pack of cigs. I was almost out of my mind before I took that first puff. I was crying uncontrollably and just couldn't shake it. I hid my "failure" from Ron for sometime because I knew he'd be so disappointed. I got "caught" though when I inadvertently left a butt in the car ashtray. I continued on with the smoking always having the excuse that I can't quit because it helps me get through this whole thing. Stupid, I guess but ..... I started Zyban 2 weeks ago and had my last cigarette last Saturday night. On Monday night I was unable to catch my breath. This continued on Tuesday and yesterday. Ron and my boss insisted that I go to checked out. Well I bit the bullet and saw an MD last night. He just listened to my chest and said that the lungs were clear. He thought that the rapid withdrawal from nicotine and the anxiety I'm feeling with Ron's upcoming consult on March 16 could be causing the shortness of breath. Today this seems to be calming down. I am scared to death that I'll be someday diagnosed with lung cancer - I've smoked for almost thirty years - I think the damage is done - it's just a matter of time. My dad smoked until he was in his late fifties and was fortunate not to have gotten lung cancer. He'll be celebrating his 82nd birthday on March 17 and his name is Paddy and he's Irish. I hope I have his luck!!!

Sorry to babble but I can certainly identify with the feelings you are experiencing. I feel like I've finally coming out of the closet! Hopefully, that closet door won't be slammed on me as I exit.

I hope that the replies you've gotten have helped you know that you're not alone and your feelings are normal.

Do take care of yourself and try not to be so hard on yourself. The anxiety of worrying that something might be wrong is terrible. Maybe you can get the strength to get checked for your piece of mind. So much stress will drain you.


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