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Husband dxd nsclc - I'm scared


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Hi. My/our world was turned upside down approx. 2 weeks ago, Dean, my husband of 19+ years got an xray at a little independent clinic that showed "gunk" - some type of fatty mass in his right lung (he had pnemonia for a month), Dean did not know all these years that he was eligiable for complete Veteran's medical benefits, so after 5 hours of tests at the VA; the woman MD said to Dean, me and everyone in the Emergency room that she was sure (90%) it was lung cancer and wanted to "do" (a real "battery" of tests for another 5 - 6 hours). Dean insisted we, as a couple need to go home and "digest" this information.

I was mad! How dare another disease enter our life! I screamed and yelled, totally freaked out in the car during the one and 1/2 hour journey of emotions home. (what a ride home) - I gave him a death sentence; he was going to "leave" me after all these years. 19 years ago, Dean had 5 years of sobriety (clean and sober 24 years on Nov 22, 2003) and I was just putting my life back together after two hospitalizations for Psychotic Episodes due to stress of a bad young marriage and I was dealing BiPolar Affective Disorder (manic-depessive; inheritated from my Father) as Dean and I met at San Diego CityCollege. So what do you get with a recovering Alcoholic and a recovering "nut" both studying Psychology: Lots of good times and "life's experiences".

Dean had a Bronscophopy last Tues and it's the "hurry up and wait" until next Tues to to discuss treatment options with the Oncologist and some sort of additional tests.

I don't know what else to say; Dean hooked me up to this board as I feel very alone in this world. My family lives in the Chicago area plus my (off and on again) sister is in MT (Dean and I recently moved to the very small town of Alpine, CA where two of my close neighbors moved out in the past 6 months) and I actually have one friend or two (?) who don't know what to say to me. Emotionally, I'm exhausted by continunally saying "I/we don't know". And if you think my family is in denial of my inhertied Mental Illness - Cancer? Total denial; let's talk about the weather: Absolutely NO support there - I was going to put Dean on the phone to my Mom, but she hesitated and then she e-mailed me "She's too busy to talk on the phone these days!"

Hey I earned 2 degrees in Psychology - but that did not prepare me for living life with a Cancer patient - I've also been able to work on and off and was just getting my "feet wet" in the working world again by volunteering at a Thrift Shop to hopefully go back to work in January to help out with our simple lifestyle. Dean is/was a Bus Driver with no paid sickleave (He worked in the Mental Health field for 15 years before "burn-out time) and to add to a horrible situation; I almost died twice in the last year and 1/2 from two Lithium toxicities and now have a touch of brain damage (mainly spelling, and memory problems).

So here I am - scared, "tough", fragile and mainly "not in control" of the situation but am getting support from an Art Board Dean's on, yet some of them talk around the "cancer". Any coping skills for a loving wife, please? Thanks for listening, Gay

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Sorry you had to find us but you will get a lot of support here. This board has been a lifesaver to me since my diagnosis back in February. We are real people going through this horrible journey together. You can come here and vent and no one will judge you. We cheer each other one with our little victories in this battle and cry together when we lose the battles. Right now I know you are going through the worst of it, right after diagnosis and there is no easy way to get though it. Right now your husband needs you more than you will ever know. No matter how difficult it is you have to try and be strong for him right now. I remember telling my family about my diagnosis and almost in the same breath told them that right now I cannot deal with anyone else's problems or fears and thank God they came through for me. I could not have handled anyone falling apart at that point. Just try and encourage him to fight this disease and take one day at a time. There are a lot of survivors out here and if you go back and read the message boards you will find a lot of them to tell him about. Will be praying for you

Bess B

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Of course you are scared---it's a terrifying time!!! This is when you sit, take a breath, and hold hands. You need each other. He needs to know that you will be all right. Do you have a therapist nearby? Can you alert him/her?

Many cancer centers already have social workers available. You need somewhere where you can yell and scream away from him.

We will listen.


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FIRST, take heart, your spelling looked pretty good to me! :wink:

Vent the anger, get it all out....and then let HIM talk. Listen to what your husband says and assure him he's not going to die (the more you say it, the more convincing it is to both of you). Let him know you're in it together, get your "friend support" here, but get the strength from your love for your husband. Discuss all the possible (and seemingly impossible) outcomes...

The news of lung cancer (be it early or late stage) is quite a blow, after you get your wind back, start finding out what you are dealing with and the treatment options. "A mass" isn't a real good description of the enemy you are fighting - get the facts.

Sounds like you've had 19+ years of a roller coaster ride - looks like you're switching cars! Sit down, pull the bar and hang on - the lows are real deep.

May your news be better than the previous doctor's proclamation and your ride more like a Tilt-A-Whirl than the full-scale theme park track terrors.

Hang on, we're pulling for you!


aka Snowflake

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I agree with what Becky said. Wisdom indeed.

Take each day as it comes, one step at a time. The whole is enormous, and very difficult to comprehend.

Cancer can be survivable. I am still here, and my x rays were a sight to behold!!

I used to sit in the bathtub and soak and weep, and then get out and get on with things.

You'll find a lot of good caring loving individuals on this board, and we are here for you when it's rough and when it isn't.

Appreciate your husband, love your husband, be there for your husband.

Cancer is a disease that has impacted your life, but it is NOT your life, merely a part of it at this time. Don't lose perspective on all the good things.

We're here for you.

Warm regards,



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