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Hi, I am an 82 year old new lung cancer patient.  The mass was discovered by an x-ray on Dec. 7, 2019.  Then I was sent to the Pulmonary doctor who sent me for breathing tests, biopsy on 1/6/2020, then to an oncologist, who in turn introduced me to the radiology doctor.  Phew!

I am also a diabetic (have been for 37 years) using an insulin pump.  My blood glucose is in good shape.  I also feel just fine, except for a horrible cough which the doctors say is caused by the lung mass pressing on my trachea.  Oh, yeah, the cancer has also infected 4 of the lymph nodes near the trachea. 

I am now undergoing radiation therapy daily for 33 days.  I am about a fourth of the way through those 33 days and the mass has shrunk about 20%.  The shrinkage has not helped with the cough.  I am already so sick and tired of the coughing.  I know there are so many worse symptoms and many of us are going through so much more...but this is my introduction and for now it is all about me, me, me.  There does not seem to be any place where we can vent our anger, frustration, fear, lonliness, and just plain self-pity.  I have enrolled in this forum to find out if anyone has managed to find a way to decrease the coughing.  And how do you handle the self-pity?

Thanks for listening.  Any thoughts?



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Hi Judy,

Welcome to the club no one ever wants to join. This is the right place to express anything in a supportive environment. Each and every one of has has been where you are right now.  
As a practical matter- that cough. Yes we know that cough.  The members will chime in with their tips. For me nothing really worked all that well except the opiate based cough syrup taken every four hours.   For others a prescription of Tesselon Pears might do the trick. Limiting the amount of talking will help as well as very hot showers. 
The cough will go away as the treatment takes hold.  

As for the pity party- this isn’t pity.  Lung cancer is such a shock and we all have to adapt to a new normal.  It takes time and you will need to allow for some time to mourn, its “normal”.  As the treatment takes hold you will feel better and then a greater sense of control will come.  

We tell everyone to stay off the internet which is just loaded with bad data.  There have been more treatment advances in the last five years than in the last fifty.  Science is on our side.  

You’ll meet some pretty amazing people here.  We can all say with confidence, your amongst family here.  Brighter days are coming. 


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Hi Judyp and welsome. I second everything Michelle has to say. She's a gem! Feel free to vent all you want here. We've all done it! Those long courses of radiation are a big drag. Just the amount of time it takes, not to mention any side effects you may have. Fotrtunately, my lung cancer was found early, so surgery was the only treatment needed. However, I did have two o those long courses for two prior non-lung cancers, one of which was advanced and aggressive. The good news is that i'm NED (no evidence of disease) on all three cancers, so all of that treatment was worth it. I wish you all the best. Keep posting!

Bridget O


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I also had a large tumor and endured 30 sessions of fractional radiation along with Taxol and Carboplatin as my first treatment. My coughing symptom prompting my visit to a hospital emergency room. My doctors prescribed a narcotic cough medicine but in between doses, I lived on Hall's cough drops.  Just keeping my throat moist with cough drops was helpful.  Around week four, my productive coughing morphed into non productive coughing caused mainly by the radiation. About two weeks after treatment, my coughing and irritation disappeared. 

I also agree with Michelle's suggestions, especially a hot steamy shower.  

How does one counter unhappiness and despair associated associated with lung cancer? That is the difficult question. I wallowed in despair and self pity for a long time. I went through cycles of treatment that would shrink tumors and have an extended period of time where I could live a near normal life. Instead of enjoying this gift of life, I worried and fretted about recurrence. Then I found a unique website founded by a radiologist with lung cancer but instead of wasting his periods of no evidence of disease (NED), he lived life to the fullest. I learned from his example the purpose of lung cancer treatment---extended life. 

Here is a collection of my ideas for coping with lung cancer and treatments. You are no longer alone. We understand what you are dealing with.

Stay the course.


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Hi Judyp ..  

The fact that your mass shrunk 20% so fast is great progress in a very short time. This the place to  vent anything, I tried to do that at home but my wife says I'm lucky to be able to get treatment that was not here 26 months ago.   This is a re-post I made before.. I had radiation next to my esophagus for 30 days and I ate a spoon full of Manuka Honey on the way to treatment and another later in the day. I did not get esophagitis or have any problem with my throat. If you can't get Manuka honey any honey should help. It may help with your cough..

Good luck on your journey with usimage.png.57e2818c8ceef43a9b014486c2d71be9.png


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