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Guest diana

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Guest diana

I was directed to this site by another member- went to an online support group looking for...guess what? ...support! And I found it. I was dxd 12/02 with adenocarcinoma of left upper lobe. Had chemo and radiation and had the left lung removed on3/5/03. Have to have 3 more chemo rxs starting in 3 wks. Have been home now for 2 1/2 weeks- so far the biggest problem is this emotional roller coaster I find myself on- I have always been a very active and positive person- now I want to cry all the time. Have others been affected the same way? My poor husband is at his wit's end he is so frustrated- wants so badly to help but does not know what to do, and I am at a loss. I get so angry at myself for being so weak and giving in to this depression- Dr has me on Paxil anyway. I would appreciate any help. I am also anxious re what I will and will not be able to do- breathing is fine and pain is minimal so those are good signs. How long does it take most peopleto recuperate from this surgery?

Thanks- Diana

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Guest DaveG


It is unfortunate that you have the need to find us. You are very welcome here.

First, I would like to address your issues. As you see by my signature, i have been through surgery twice. Thoracic surgery certainly, has to be the worst possible surgery and the hardest to recover from. I am now over 6 months out from my second surgery and still have discomfort in my ribs and numbness in my upper abdomen. The numbness is caused by unadvoidable damage to the nerves going to my upper abdomen. I have been told that may continue for years. For me it is a reminder of what could have been and if this is what I have to content with, it is certainly much better than the alternative.

In reference to the depression, it is normal for one to become depressed as they learn how to live with cancer, especially lung cancer, when one considers the fact that lung cancer does not have the best record in the world. If the Paxil does not seem to be taking care of the depression, talk to your doctor about Celexa. You will find a vast majority of the people at this website are on Celexa for depression. Depression is probably the easiest emotion for the doctors to contend with, as it is treatable.

If you have not already done so, you will experience denial, why me's, self blame, withdrawal, and other emotions as you continue this journey. All of us, who are survivors "have been there and done that". All these emotions are very familar to us.

As our name, Lung Cancer Survivors for Change, implies, we are about survival. With that in mind you have come to the right place. You will find LOVE, FAITH, and SUPPORT here. We give out very generous helpings of SUPPORT. All of us are very familar with the emotions you mention. (If you run out of tears, and need more, I'll gladly send you one of the many gallon containers of tears that I have shed since my diagnosis of lung cancer. )

You are very welcome here and you are among the very best friends in the world, when it comes to lung cancer. Draw from our experience.

If you have not already done so, please take a moment and register. Return as often as you wish. As you get to know us, please tell us about yourself and your journey with lung cancer. When you do register, please indicate where you are from. By indicating where you are from can be helpful, especially if you ever want or need another opinion. We are then able to tell you about different clinics or hospitals in your area.

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Dave G. addressed your concerns very thoroughly and supportively, as always. I can't add to his advice, really, but want to assure you of your welcome to this board and reiterate that this is a great place to find support, vent, laugh, cry, sound off, share information, and offer help to others as you feel able. Sending positive vibes your way to help you and your loving husband cope.

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Hello again Diana;

I was just thinking about you, I'm so very glad you found us. I remember after my surgery how comforting it was to have a friend who was a lung cancer survivor. She let me know what it was like for her and it helped to realize that we really can get through this. That there is hope! So first of all know that.! :roll:

I also identify with the rollercoaster ride as you put it. I can't say that I was up & down with the emotions as much as you. I was just afraid and anxious that I couldn't or wouldn't be able to do the things I could before. I n the first few months everything seems so difficult. I remember having to be so slow and meticulous. You know, things like, showering, getting dressed and tieing my shoes, ( really used to pis_ me off - tie one then take 6 breaths then the other - 6 more breaths ) - get the picture; THIS TO SHALL PASS;

Anyway the message is that it will take some time but you'll ge through it.

At 3 months after the operation, I was able to start playing golf again, which was such a lift for me. It was just something that I loved to do and it helped tremendously with my attitude. At 5 months I went back to work which was a bit scary but I had allot of support. Now, it's just about 2 years and things have smoothed out, I'm not the way I was but thats OK. :) I'm learning how to become a survivor and get on with my life.

God Bless & be well ; and hope to here more from you

Bobmc - NSCLC - stage IIB - left pneumonectomy 5/2/01

" absolutely insist on enjoying lif today "

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Hi Diana,

Well, you have had some warm welcomes to our family already, however, I to wish to say WELCOME! Your in a very safe place here.

I also had my left lung removed along with chemo and radiation treatments after my surgery. I was a Stage IIIA-B, Adenocarcinoma. I was 43 years old at the time I started my journey, and the depression was very overwhelming. However, I toughed it out on my own like a dummy!!

(and I don't mind saying I wouldn't do that ever again!) Drugs are a GOOD THING!!! :):wink: But, I would like to add that Chemo DOES add to the tears we tend to shed. When I went through chemo I would cry at the drop of a pin. And I have heard others express that same problem with the chemo. But, like Bobmc Says: This to shall pass! And it does.

As for recovery, I was pretty much up and going very normal about 12 months after I completed all my treatments and surgery. The chemo and radiation can be a slow down on our recovery, but it's only temporary!

I was back to cutting grass, doing yard work, and pretty much everything else 12 to 14 months after I completed everything. The one thing I DIDN'T do very much is exersise. Shame on me! I bought a Treadmill after 2 years and boy did that make the difference. So trust me when people say excersise, by all means do it the best you can.

I hope you will find as much comfort and support here as I have and please feel free to ask anything you feel is important to you on this journey. We're here to help, and support one another.

Oh, My hubby was at his wits ends with me too, but, just assure him this will get better. Your husband may even have some questions he might want to ask of the Caregivers on this board. This is a family disease and he needs just as much support on this journey as you do my dear. So, maybe you would like to get him involved here. Can't hurt!

Take care, and stay with us. We'll walk the walk with you and in time you'll be offering a new member the same support and love we are offering to you. :)

Warm and Gentle Hugs,

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Dear Diana,

They all have said it so well. I can only add that my husband too had surgery on 12/3/02 (upper right lobe removed). This was after a craniotomy and whole brain radiation - now mid way through chest radiation.

He has had no ongoing pain or discomfort from his surgery. He has some other problems from the brain treatments and the total exhaustion from the current radiation, but other than the first 4/5 weeks, the surgery was a breeze. Each patient is different.

Good luck, join us whenever you have a question, want to share or vent. We welcome you.

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Diana, Don't feel bad for needing meds. As DuPont used to say, "better living thru chemistry." And if the Paxil doesn't work, try Elavil, a much older antidespressant and it works for nerve pain. And most importantly---IT'S CHEAP (generic: Amyltriptoyline). Less expensive than using a co-pay! About $11.00 for 100. In the past I've used Prozac and Paxil, so I know how costly they are. I've always had cyclical depressions, but cancer seemed to have cured that. Go figure.

Everyone has a different rate of healing from that awful surgery. You'll find your natural path. Good luck to you. Sending positive vibes your way. JudyB

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Guest canuckwebgrrl


Welcome to this wonderful support group! I'm new to it as well, but I've learned that no matter what your question or concern, someone here shares it, and you're bound to find some answers.

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