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Happy with fear


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Hello everybody! It has been 9 week post op vats surgery lower lobe removed stage 1 Aden no nodes clean margins .I thank god every day and feel very lucky I also feel great since I don't smoke any more. I just wish I could feel safe. Like today I had a minor pain under ribs out of no where and the first thing I thought of was hope I'm not having recurrence. Last week it was a different pain .the fear of cancer is horrible. Especially since I'm pretty much cured.will the fear and deep down depression ever go away or does it stay with u until your past your 5 year mark.? I'm back to work I am a stylist. Barber. Has any one caught a cold after surgery? I try not to think about it but it feels like its a deep rooted thought.my scan after surgery is in June.. Thank you for listening. Good night

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Well, I'm a 13 year survivor and still fear recurrence of lung cancer.  In fact, I see my oncologist on February 28th and have a CT scan on the 24th so I'm deep into scanziety.  I don't think the fear ever departs because cancer is persistant and often reoccurs.  

Nine weeks post-op and a cold are about the worse things I could imagine.  I was exposed to visiting children 5 days after I returned from having my right lung removed.  Five days later, I was back in the hospital with a fever of 105 and connected to all kinds of tubes and devices.  Try and stay away from folks that have cold symptoms and children.  Don't be afraid to wear one of those medical masks in public.  You can get them at a pharmacy.  Wash your hands all the time and carry alcohol solution to sanitize your hands when you can't wash.

Stay connected with us and don't hesitate to ask further questions.

(Yes - I had all kinds of aches and pains that I thought were a recurrence, but they were phantom symptoms.)

Stay the course.


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 Michele, your diagnosis and surgery was the same as mine! I'm now 3 months post-surgery. About 7 weeks out I had a cold with a lot of coughing and some mucus. I was a bit worried because when my coughing was at its worst, we were in the midst of the worst snow and ice storm in years and I couldn't get to the doctor. When I finally got in it was diagnosed as bronchitis--a chest xray showed it wasn't pneumonia or worse. Not pleasant, but I'm almost entirely recovered.  I agree with Tom's thoughts about handwashing and hand sanitizer. I used to have a job where I made a lot of home visits to group homes and foster homes. I caught a lot of colds until I got in the habit of sanitizing my hands every time I left a home and got into my car. then I stayed pretty healthy.  

Hang in there, Michele!

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Hi Michele,

I'm so happy for you that you found the cancer early.

I can totally relate to the anxiety. It can be both positive and negative. As people with serious health problems we need to pay attention to changes in our bodies and follow up with a visit to our health provider if indicated. The other type of anxiety/fear is the type that happens when we let our imaginations go to all the bad possibilities. That type just wears you down for no good purpose.

I was a psychotherapist before I had to stop because of the cancer. I helped people to develop a variety of skills to manage anxiety. Thought stopping is very helpful when dealing with One's imagination. After awareness of the negative thoughts and images one can stop them and replace them with positive images. It's like making a "movie" of your positive future. See yourself doing something you love, as a healthy person in the future. The more sensory aspects you can add, the better. See yourself, hear the related sounds, notice the smells, your bodies position and how it feels to touching the objects around you etc...

It takes a little practice but can be vey helpful. The practicing is best done when your not anxious as it's difficult to learn something new once anxiety is activated. If it's too difficult to do on your own there are lots of recorded guided imagery that can be down loaded.

Hope that helps.

Enjoy your happiness.


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I'm so glad that your cancer was caught early and that you were able to have the VATS surgery.  My first cancerversary is this week.  I've had (knock on wood) good scans but the fear, worry, and anxiety are always with me.  Both the week leading up to my scan and the time between scan and results is terrible; I'm deep in scanziety.  I go through the "what if" scenarios in my mind.  I've learned to find tasks that keep me busy.  But, yes, each new pain or twitch makes me wonder.    You'll have to find what keeps you centered and focus on that when you find your mind wandering.  


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