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When Newly Dx: Dealing with your new normal


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Looking back, how did the reality of your diagnosis change your life?

How did you deal with the uncertainty and fear?

What made you strong?

What can/did your families/caregivers do to help you thru such a difficult time?

Please share with us so that we can give practical advice to help others who may be just now experiencing this.

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I've been thinking about this for a while, and here's what I've got:

I truly was helped by finding LCSC and knowing other people survived this disease. Most people, including me, I guess, thought that lung cancer was a death sentence and when I saw people posting here who survived years (Connie B), I found hope.

I have always been a person who looked at others and thought, "If they can do it, so can I." So, when I actually was looking at posts of others who did it, I decided I could survive too. But, I also was informed enough to know that sometimes determination is not enough. I found the uncertainty of it all agonizing.

Information that I got from the LCSC site helped me know what recovery from surgery would be like, and what the side effects of chemo might be. Tips I got from fellow survivors helped immensely.

I learned that I am not the only one who goes into full anxiety mode before scans/x-rays/follow-up visits with surgeons, and, while I still get upset preceding these days, knowing my reaction is not uncommon helps me somehow.

My cancer incidents have changed my life forever. I have an intense awareness of time passing, and worry that life is blowing by much, much too quickly. I think that all comes from thoughts I had during my diagnosis and early days of treatment when I wondered if my life would be ending really, really soon.

I've also learned the value of being your own advocate when it comes to health care. I depend on no one else to keep track of test times, follow-ups, new treatments, things I should be doing, etc. I do it. My internist is very good and helps me, but in the end, I am responsible for my own health care.

So, there it is. Family is there, they care, they want to help, and they do everything they know how to do. It is very, very comforting to know they are there, and they visited me, encouraged me, and helped in any way they could.

I have also been on the caregiver, family member side of all this. Both of my sisters have had cancer. One had a great outcome, like me, and they other did not survive. It's a devastating position to be in--to watch someone who means everything to you--suffer from cancer.

So, those are my thoughts. I don't know if it helps at all. Diagnosis and treatment and trying to survive this disease is tough stuff, but I did find much comfort, valuable information, and hope from staying connected to the people on this site.


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