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I have been checking this site 3-5 times daily for the past 8 months. I have only posted a few times. You peeps are my "silent family" you don't know that I am here an crying,laughing,and WOO HOOing in my own mind. You have no idea what a help you have been to me. SHe had chemo and radiation and they said 12-15 months. They were wrong!!!! By the grace of our lord she has lived to see her great grandaughter born and buried her father. She is awesome. She is unable to work due to O2 dep and severe SOB other that her rib rebreaking shortly after surgery she has had no hospitalization or problems. She does have alot of heart damage d/t the radiation.

Ok so I am in the medical field and have made it a point to get very knowledgeable about the disease process, its symptoms and the course as it runs. I have lists of who to call, what to do when etc. I have even had contact with Hospice about how they work. She has put my name on all accounts (I am an only child) and has told me she wants to be creamated and where to put her ashes. Without going on any longer I have everything ready.

So here is the problem. A coworker of my husbands died and we went to the visitation this pm. When I saw tears in my hummy's eyes it gave me tears that he was in pain but, when we went to watch the video (with Alan Jackson's REMEMBER WHEN playing in the background) I lost it!!! Cried till I threw up!

With all my planning and being practical I forgot that my mom, even though she has by far beat the statistics(I know, I know how you hate stats)is going to lose this battle and I will have to deal with it.

How do I prepare for that. I have thought alot about after she is gone I will have a huge void like not talking to her every single day but now feel like this is a whole new thing...how do I prepare for this? I was being practical getting everything ready but this is new. I will be greiving and there will be people there and I suddenly feel out of control. Does anyone have any advice? I really am overwhelmed with grief that hasnt happen and feel like I am losing control over the situation I have tried to be soooo prepared for.

Please any advice will help

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How do I prepare for that.

You don't. You can't.

Preparing by having your name on her accounts and knowing her wishes are all practical aspects, nothing to do with the emotional issues. Bottom line is that you cannot prepare for the hole that is going to be ripped in your very soul.

My suggestion? Make more memories, make plans for her life, not just for her death. Do things together, go out for coffee, spend time doing the fun things you remember from growing up, things she likes to do. Work on family photo albums together, write out the old stories of people she remembers who are no longer here - stories that if you don't know them will be lost when she is gone.

When she is gone, all you will have is memories, make sure you have lots of 'em. You'll never have enough...

...and don't be so sure that she will succumb to this disease or that beyond all doubt you will outlive her. No one knows exactly what is written for themselves or anyone else in the Big Book of Life. The beginning is a given, the end will be a mystery until it unfolds. Fill in the chapters, don't leave empty pages.

...and don't mourn before she's gone, it's truly a waste of time, and time is precious.

My best to you,


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I have to say I began grieving the moment my Brother was dx stage 4 LC. I also made sure I made as many memories as I could with him until his passing. It was not something I chose to do ( grieve) before he was gone but my heart just ached. I know thats not the way it's suppose to be done or should be done but it is how it happened to me. I was in a severe depression for a long time after and am just coming out of it now. I think Becki gave you great advise, it just doesnt work that way for all of us. I hope you will be different than I was and will praise God for everyday you have together and will be able to enjoy her without you're thoughts always turning to losing her. My prayers are with you and you're Mom

God Bless you both,


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I do so love Ms. Becky and her wisdom. :)

This is what I will say: You cannot prepare yourself emotionally or mentally for that aspect. It just doesn't happen. Even if you think that if it happens you will be able to wrap your mind around it, you won't be able to.

But you're not there yet. Your Mom needs you to be in the NOW with her. You need to be in the NOW.

Am I saying that it's bad that you are thinking of it? No... I think anyone who embarks on this LC journey as a patient or a caregiver things about that dark possibility. And I think our thoughts flitting there every so often IS our mind's one little way of preparing us.

But if we entertain those thoughts. If we go down that road before we're ready, then we lose the time that we have with our loved ones...

LIVE with your Mom. And do what you can to help her do the same. Focus on that. Get through what now brings, and if the end of this battle doesn't go in your favor you will deal with that then.

Keep posting! We're here for you!


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I think many of us actually begin the grieving process when one of our loved ones are diagnosed with lung cancer. This can be both good and bad. It does help us to be somewhat prepared for the loss processs, as we have already gone through some of the first stages of grieving. On the other hand, we sometimes miss out on some really good moments of living because we are so busy preparing for the dying. I think you should take Becky's advice. Now is the time to make a lot of good memories.

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Thank you all soooo much. I feel so much better because you DO know where I am coming from. I know that I need to concentrate of present but somehow feel like I am waiting for a time bomb. That when I look at her I wonder how long will things be this good and I try to memorize her face in case its the last time I see her. I think alot of my problem is a control issue. I have done everything I can and the rest is out of my hands. I will soon need to be encouraging her to get her six month ck up. Her onc wants an chest X-ray before her dec appt but mom says why? First she says the x-rays dont show anything and if it did there is nothing more she is going to do in fact she may not go back to the onc. So not only am I out of control. I have to respect her wishes. What if she is still stable? that would be good news. She doesnt care either way. I want to make it all better and for this whole two years to be over and just a dream. Take away the dark cloud that follows me and is in my head every second. Who has the quote" if we are waiting for the other shoe to fall, then we will have a new pair of shoes" that is so true but when that other shoe does drop with it comes a whole new mess of **it to walk through. I hope the new pair help more than the current ones. And hope fully they dont stray uphill or down. I cant thank you enough for the "shame on you" You folks are truly ALL I HAVE.

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Thanks so much for posting your feelings about your moms illness and how you are dealing with it, because, of course, you are. I have been thinking and doing exactly the same thing. I also know that when my husband dies, i will not be able to get my mind around it. I have been grieving for a year and will have a handle on nothing , no matter how much I plan. I am so afraid of grief and grieving, maybe I just need to accept that I will do what I have to do and will be really sad for a while and then go on with my life the way the one who loves me would want me to. WE are doing everyday, everything we can as normally as we can and hoping for more and more months and years together. WE have been blessed with 18 months or so since diagnosis.

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Thanks, it easy to say just enjoy the present but sometimes it is darn right hard. Everything revolves around, "Ok today is good" the next day "still good" then we have a conversation and she says she is getting tierd of the tierd and she has no life and her new motto is I want to go home. Or quality of life now not quanity. Then I spiral down again.It is hard and being an only child I bear it all. I HATE to watch her slip away. I am glad it is slowly. I too feel like I have been grieving all this time. How could we not. I had a stillborn baby. I grieved for years and years over losing my future with that little girl. Now I will lose my past with my mom. The only person who has known me this long. How long will I grieve? .. Forever!

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It is definitely time to get off the pity pot. Be sure you flush.

Everyone deals with adversity in life. Some people are taken quickly, by car accidents, tornadoes, hurricanes, random violence, etc. They leave behind parents, families, children - other people deal with pain. Pain is not just for those surrounding a person with cancer.

My mother had two stillborns, one before me and one after. The year her daughter was diagnosed with lung cancer, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and so was her father. She was diagnosed with diabetes, buried her mother-in-law and then her father. Her mother had a triple bypass. Her brother-in-law died of lung cancer... Now dammit, if my mother could still get up every morning and get going, so can you!

You are not the only person to walk this walk. You need to make a conscious effort to pull yourself up and take care of business. Of course it's easy to simply say to someone to "move on" - but you need to understand, most of us have been there! It is IMPERATIVE that for your own mental health you pull your butt up out of this slump and not allow yourself to sink into the mire of despair. The longer you wallow, the harder it is to get out! YOU have to decide that today is going to be a good day, and YOU have the power to make it so.

In the words of Maxine, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it." You CAN do this, but you have to be the one to do it. Quitting is easy - that's exactly what you are getting pissed at your mother for! One foot in front of the other, it's not the speed, it's the forward motion. If it's only one step a day, focus on making it a forward step.

C'mon now, off that pot...temporary pity parties only!

Take care,


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No one who has spent any real time as a Lung Cancer Survivor or as a Caregiver or Loved One to a Lung Cancer Survivor thinks that it is easy to say "...enjoy the present...". We all know better, Dede.

And very few of us are strangers to grief. I know that it is difficult for loved ones to watch us go through the things we go through. But when we are in the midst of the treatments or recovery from the treatments we can get oh so down sometimes, physically and mentally. And you know something? We're allowed to do that.

I know I upset folks sometimes when I say this, but it isn't about YOU right now. It is about your Mom and what she needs right now. Please believe me when I tell you that the things that tear my siblings and I up over our Mother's life and death with Lung Cancer are not the things we did or how hard it was on us. The things that still get to us after all these years are the things we didn't do for her. I have one sibling who still beats himself up because he couldn't let her talk about how bad she felt.

This time is about her...Period.

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Becky you should write a book on wisdom. I learn so much from you. :wink:

DeDe take one day at at time. Enjoy the present and like what was said before, make those wonderful memories together. As that is PRICELESS!!

Live for today, as tomorrow may never come.

Maryanne :wink:

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