Jump to content

Dealing with ups and downs

Guest Mike K

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone , my first post.

Just wondering how people deal with the ups and downs of this disease. We had some good results starting out with the chemo which kept us hopeful and confident.

Now an MRI shows lesions on my brain. So I'm starting radiation. Naturally, my wife and I are little bit down with that news. I knew this was going to be a roller ooaster ride, but if anyone has any thoughts or advice on this we'd appreciate it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, Mike.

I'm sure you'll get as many answers to that question as there are people here! The ups and downs, the roller-coaster experience is a universal issue for folks with cancer these days.

My first two months were the worst. I didn't think I'd be able to stay sane while I constantly flip-flopped between feeling calm/optimistic and terrified/doomed about cancer. Time kind of leveled things. And coming here to see the big picture through wiser and more experienced eyes than mine.

When things seem to be going great, one tends to almost feel afraid to "curse it" by enjoying the good status. But enjoy it to the fullest! Don't waste a minute of it! When things seem to take a downward turn, one tries to adopt a more positive attitude, to research and gain all the knowledge on can to fight the new problem.

But, most of the time, I think, at least for me, life just goes on as a normal mix of good, bad, and indifferent experiences.

Anti-depressents are helpful for many (like me :wink: ) and reduce the extremes of the highs and lows somewhat. Get some good books from the library about coping skills. Pray. Take walks outside and feel part of life. Snuggle up on the couch with a funny movie and eat your favorite ice cream. Read, read, read the wealth of experiences all over this site! And come back often to tell us what you're discovering - it will help the rest of us!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mike; and welcome to probly the most helpful group u could have found. I havent had the radiation experience, but many here have, and Im sure theyll be along shortly to help answer ur question.

As for the ups and downs....we bring them here. People here will listen and offer info and support when ur down, (we even whine at times, its ok.), and when ur up...post it and folks will celebrate with you. Its a great group here, and it has probly saved me a fortune in shrink visits..hehe.

So, post away, youll see what I mean...welcome again...Rich B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,the ups and downs are a part of the new normal that goes along with cancer.

I haven't been able to figure out how to get rid of them yet.(since April 2003 everytime I think I'm making progress the bottom falls out).

After a while tho you kinda get used to putting the gloves back on and steppin back in the ring again and just keep on fighting and beating the POOP outta it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,

I understand what your wife is going thru...many, if not all, of us here understand. I have no advice for how to make it easier as I am still looking for those answers myself.

Hopefully the knowledge that there is a place such as LCSC where you can both come and find support, understanding, encouragement and HOPE will make this ride more bearable.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,

So sorry you had to come here. But as you see there are so many here who share your dilemma. :(

That is what LC is, a rollercoaster ride. But things will even out. You have to take the ups with the downs. Just know that when you are down, you have no place to go except up. :)

We are here to help you and support you. You can vent here anytime.

This must have been so scarey for you to find out you have LC and you are a non smoker. Not that it any easier if you did smoke, but unfortuntely most non smokers are diagnoised with stage IV as they would have no reason to get chest Xrays or scans.

Just remember and this is very important. LC is not a death sentence. There is so many new treatments out there. So many people have beaten the odds and continue to do so, as you will read on this site. There is so much hope.

Keep a positive attitude, and take one day at a time.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, ups and downs are the new way of life. When we are down, we try to look forward to the ups because we know we have had them before. My wife, Lucie, has been through three chemo regimens and numerous radiations. We have just learned to go with the flow. We try to keep as active as Lucie feels she can and we help others. This place is a good place to get info and support, so glad you are here. Welcome! Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites


There are ups and downs, it is a roller coaster ride. You have to take it as it comes, don't lock your knees, be ready to roll with the punches. Be sure to celebrate EVERY positive that comes along and spend a short time on the pity pot when the news isn't so good. It's not a sin to feel pity, but it isn't good to spend too much time wallowing in it.

Don't view it as a pity bath, keep thoughts on it being a pity pot, and flush when you're finished.

Humor helps, read about some of our members who are too sexy for their hair and others who discuss glowing in the dark, etc. You have to keep a sense of humor and laugh at it or you'll spend far too much time crying... Some things hurt and they hurt when you laugh, but laughing sure helps relieve some of the stress.

...and if you feel it's too much for you to handle, talk to your doctor about medication. It IS better living through chemistry, after all. You may just need a "Band-Aid" anti-anxiety medication like Xanax to take during the really rough stuff or you and your doctor may decide on a daily medication to help with the anxiety and/or depression. You're not crazy to take medication, you're crazy not to if it would help.

I would also suggest finding a good counselor, someone to help you explore your feelings and find a constructive outlet for some of the strong and negative ones.

The idea of the journey leaps right out and sucks, but you'll find that the traveling companions you'll meet here are pretty much first rate.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey Mike.

welcome to this group of optomistic fools!

Yes the roller coaster ride... wooooo it can be a scary one.

Everyone of us has different coping strategies, I am sure. And you will find yours, I just know it.

Ride the highs, as already suggested and the only thing, I have learned, I can control is my attitude. Attitude is everything. Without it, I am a sunk ship wreck. You will find "Addietude" around here more and more the longer you stay!

And try to keep the lows to a low minium. Feeling sorry for oneself is fine but set the clock and then get the heck out of there. It is a dangerous place to dwell!

There are bound to be plenty of those high highs and low lows. It is the gentleness in between that I have learned to savor. When those serene times come I just yum them up. I find many in nature. All gifts by my creator just for me!

Enjoy every minute of this. When you get so scared, remember that you are probably living in the future. Try to bring it to the present. Right now. This moment. They are perfect.

Well. You will get many thoughts on all of this. If I could give to you what I have got, I would love it. If I could give to you what many of our members have to get through this, I would love it even more. All I can do is trust that you will find your way, and rejoice that you do!

love, Cindi o'h

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mike. Welcome to this site. I guess you would have to be an accomplished zen master to go through the ups and downs and keep your balance.

I decided to use Zoloft and it helped. I remember there was a momemt after I found out I had a second cancer, that I felt overwhelmed with depression. I had never felt anything like it before. It lasted only a few minutes. Then, I lasped back to my mildly depressed state. I went on zoloft after that.

I try to practice living in the moment as Cindi mentioned. I practice it when I am taking my walks. I think it helps.

Don M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a lot of emotional problems with this diagnosis and sought the help of a therapist. It turned out to be essential to my recovery and living a "normal" life again.

I spent almost a year seeing her, first every couple of weeks and then later on a monthly basis. I also took some anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication for that amount of time, and weaned myself off of them with her knowledge.

It was one of the best decisions I made through this whole thing, and the other stroke of luck was finding the great people on this board with whom I could identify, empathize with, and talk to them about the things only we can understand.

Good luck, and don't be afraid to seek help.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi Mike. I know my mom goes through the ups and downs pretty much at every 'turn' in her LC treatment. I go with her, most of the time. I guess the best we hope for are short-lived downs and ups that have a lasting impact on our emotional lives, and her treatment. if that makes any sense.

how to deal? pray. laugh. cry. love. and do it all a day at a time.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mike, and welcome to our family. The ups and downs seem to come with the territory, but as the others have said, there are many things you can do to try to control the demons. For me, personally, what seemed to help was reading books -- and not just books on the disease itself, but books with an uplifting message. One of my favorites was "50 Essential Things To Do" by Greg Anderson (a lung cancer survivor as a matter of fact!) He puts you on a path to formulate a plan of action -- and a plan of action gives you a sense of control in a very out-of-control-situation. Here is a link for more info on the book:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... 0?v=glance

As some of the others have suggested, seeing a counselor that you can talk to (someone outside the family, who doesn't just want to hear that you are doing well) can certainly help too.

It's a tough road we are traveling but the further along the path you get, the more "ups" you will have, beating those "downs" back....day by day!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.