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How to Control Tears


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Hello,  My journey with lung cancer and its brain metastasis began April 24, 2019, when I had a 2-cm metastatic brain tumor removed and on May 13, 2019, started PDL1 for my stage IV lung ca.  My oncologist told me I had 20 months to live but also said he is usually wrong and no one knows how my system will react to the immunotherapy.  I am doing a lot of praying and keeping met fingers crossed on this one.  But, it seems I have a real hard time keeping things together (not allowing tears) when I am around a group of relatives or people I know.  Any advice on this?  Does it get better with time?  I have a few gatherings coming up this summer and would like to attend but also do not want to be a "puddle" when I am there.  After the first couple of weeks when I cried almost daily, now, for the most part, I am fine when I am at home, maybe a few tears but for the most part OK.  Does anyone else have issues with this?  Any and all comments would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance to all comments.  All are appreciated.  Susan Rae


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Hi Susanrae, it sounds like you have been through a lot in a short amount of time - tears are expected.  I'm sorry you are going through this diagnosis and ultimate treatment.  Although everyone deals differently with grief and drastic life changing events, most move on from the daily tears.  Some move on through time, others move on when they begin treatment and start focusing on recovery.  For my mom and I (I am the caregiver for her) it mainly took time and acceptance.  She accepted her lung cancer much faster than I did. She has been battling NSCLC since 2015, so we've had some time to come to grips with it, but there are still tough days.

Please know that we are here for you on your tough days.  These forums helped me a lot during my tough days.  Your doc is right when he says that no one knows how you will respond to treatment and how long any of us will live, lung cancer or not.  The good news is that you qualify for immunotherapy that works for thousands of lung cancer patients, including my mom, who was on Keytruda for about 1 year.  

My best advice to you is to attend your summer gatherings.  LIVE your life!

Take Care,


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Hi Susan Rae-

Yes this is totally normal. It’s important not to hold back the tears.  My hippie doctor calls this “a rinsing process”.  

We balled our eyes out every day for weeks- probably about a month maybe six weeks. Then something would trigger & sometimes out of nowhere the tear festival would commence.  I’d tell myself, I’m rinsing, I’m rinsing.  

This is seriously tough stuff we are facing.  I’ve been using the mind-body medicine approach listening to Candace Pert and Bellaruth Naperstack CDs.  They help me feel a better sense of control.  As you feel better you will have greater confidence in your survival.  With your high PDL-1 immunotherapy will be very efficient, on the path to No Evidence of Disease. If you don’t feel anything improvement please don’t hesitate to ask the doc for some meds.  With this roller coaster ride, it’s likely to mess with our seratonin levels  

I say that I’m a few months ahead of you and there will soon be better days ahead.  You will be able to enjoy the summer. 


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Susan Rae,

It does get easier - it really does. I started this process in 2016. The only time it really bothers me now is when I have to fill out some paperwork and recite the cancer history. Ugh. But....cry. Scream. Throw things. The diagnosis is scary and overwhelming. I was so in shock that I initially glossed over the grief part of the diagnosis. It wasn't until a second cancer diagnosis was made and the lung cancer mets was found that I acknowledged it. I was a mess and I finally asked Super Doc for prescription help. 

We understand where you are. We're here when you need us.

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Michelle, Steff, and Susan:  Thanks for your comments and understanding.  Very helpful.  Yes, Living Life is very important.  Thanks again.  I am optimistic that today will be a much better day thanks to all of you!!! Susan Rae





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Hi. It’s been almost 6 months and I still cry for no apparent reason. It’s like someone turns on a faucet. Not everyday anymore but a few times a week. I hate it  

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