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Just joined this morning.  I was diagnosed as stage 1A on May 16th.  In my  head, I have died several times and left my husband a widower and my daughter an orphan.  Any ideas on how to control these thoughts.  They are so disheartening and suck the joy out of living.

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Hi Marian, I also was diagnosed with 1A, last November. I had a VATS lobectomy and I'm doing well, pretty much back to normal.  I have had two other unrelated cancers, one of them stage 3, so I've had plenty of experience with "those thoughts".  I'm sure that all of us who've had cancer have had them. I think it's important to  know that they are normal. Here are some things I do to deal with them.  First, I don't think of it as "controlling" thoughts, which sounds like a struggle, and I'm not into struggling. So when one pops  up I acknowledge it as normal and let it go as in "Oh there you are, bye!" Sometimes I sing to myself "Let it go, Let it go, Let it go!" to the tune of "Let it snow" (if you're old enough to remember that!) . Then I do something else, like read something really engrossing, go for a walk, or, in a pinch, do a chore, continuing to let it go.  Also, espeially when letting it go, I do my gratitudes. I say to myself things big and little I'm grateful for. I say, for example: I'm grateful for my spouse, I'm grateful for my health insurance, I'm grateful for that beautiful tree, I'm grateful for my shoes, I'm grateful for the sunshine today.  I can just look around whereever I am and find things I'm grateful for.  I do this for a specific length of time, say 5 minutes or maybe the time it takes me to walk a couple of blocks. This keeps my mind busy with some positive thoughts and keeps those other thoughts from having free rent in my head. 

 These things have become habits for me and they work at least some of the time.  I have a lot of space for joy in my life. No matter how long my life turns out to be, I want it to be good..

Hang in there,


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Bridget's offered a fine approach to dealing with lung cancer doom and gloom symptoms.  I've had my share and they are indeed overwhelming.

You haven't communicated any of your treatment details nor your type of lung cancer but state IA is an early find and very often successfully treated curatively.  I'll highlight one of Bridget's thoughts -- the idea of discovering "space for joy."  If you've chosen treatment, then you've chosen life. Doing so means you should have an objective for the life treatment often yields.  My objective, like Bridget's, is finding joy.  I don't expect big joyous events, little things like a cloud-painted sky suffice.  I've learned to search out the little joyous things, recognize them, and revel in them.  Oddly, my lung cancer revealed this way to live.

You are most welcome here.  Tell us about your treatment if you feel up to it and of course, if you have questions, this is the place to ask.

Stay the course.


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Thanks Tom and Bridgette for your replies.  My prognosis is actually quite good.  There was one lonely lump in my RUL.  No nodes were involved and no cancer anywhere else.  My surgeon performed a VATS with 3 month CT scans for the next 2 years.  If the cancer does not return, I move to a scan every 6 months for 3 years.  No chemo or radiation at this point.  I went back to the gym 2 weeks after my surgery and even went ahead with a long planned face lift 1 month later.   I was, and still am, determined to remain in control of my life even though I must deal with a new normal.  So, I should be happy and relaxed.  Right?  Nope.  I think what bugs me the most is that I feel like I have lost all control over my life.  I can't fix this.  Which is hard cuz I am a "fixer".  I was a life long smoker who knew the risks of smoking, yet I continued.  Now, my poor spouse and child have to deal with all of this and I feel guilty.  So, these doom and gloom thoughts sneak in and won't go away.  Like Bridgette recommended, I list all the beautiful things in my life and I feel better for awhile.  Then...WHAM!!! There they are again.  I know some of this is because I am a teacher who happens to be off for the summer and I have way too much time on my hands, way too much time to think and ponder.  The more I think, the more dire my circumstances become.  I plan to attend a lung cancer support group next week and believe that will help.  This site also helps.  Thank you to all those folks who post their stories and reply to mine.  It helps more than you know.

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