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What is with the tears??


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Let me get this straight...you think you should just "get over" having a cancer diagnosis, then major surgery and the anxiety that follows it after?  Wow, you have put high expectations on yourself and not fair ones either.  This is a terrible disease, but when I look across this board I am always full of hope from learning the stories of others and my own blessing of NED.  If you read "10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer" I believe one of them is about "toughing it out alone".  You don't have to do that.  You have all of us that you can unload to at anytime on any topic.  We've all done it at one time or another.  And don't hesitate one minute to get some professional help if you find yourself in a sustained state of anxiety and/or depression.  You don't want these symptoms getting in the way of you working on your recovery.  There are also Zoom meetings where you can meet many of us and I've heard that the open discussions are quite helpful.  Don't suffer through this...try some of what is available (i.e., zoom meetings, professional help, family and/or friends).  
There is nothing "weak" about being frustrated, depressed and anxious about having lung cancer.  Let us know any way we can help.


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Thank you Lou. I did read the 10 things and I did reconnect with a therapist.  I often have high expectations of myself as my Profession demands it.  Joining this group should be good for me.  And give my husband a break.  He’s absolutely exhausted.  This definitely a couples disease. Thanks for posting. I’ll read more posts for insight.  It is a terrible disease.  I’m still reeling.  I thought I’d get breast cancer like my mother.  Never lung cancer. 

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Is crying a lot normal? In my time of active treatment, I didn't know what normal was. This disease and its implications completely unseats normal. Fear and anxiety rise and these emotions often complicate treatment. I recall a time in pre-surgical chemo-radiation when I got very angry and lashed out at my family. I even refused to go for treatment. And I was a soldier, trained to remain level headed in a crisis and battle-tested in doing so. I was undone!

In that time, there was no Lungevity Forum, Facebook or social media connection. The Internet was crammed with information about scam cancer cures. Friends were calling advocating purchasing high-powered magnets, taking mega doses of vitamin C, and even re-thinking surgery because tumor exposure to Oxygen during surgery would cause massive metastatic spread throughout the body.  Even in-person cancer support groups were hostile. One woman told me: "you don't belong here. You gave this to yourself!" Her scolding demeanor made me feel like a little boy who'd done something very wrong. Is crying normal? I think it is expected--perhaps required!

Don't do what I did. Don't bottle feelings and anxiety up and put on a happy face. Lung cancer treatment is a team sport. We are one element of your support team; find others. If you are going to do this thing, don't do it alone. Is crying normal? Absolutely!

Stay the course.


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Is crying a lot normal?  I'm not sure what normal is when it comes receiving earth shattering news.  I'm not a survivor, just a caregiver. I want to share with you what I learned along the way with my mom's nearly 6 year lung cancer journey.

1. It's okay to cry or show any other emotion - let it out!  You are grieving.  Lots of people cry when they are grieving.  I cried for a looooong time after my mom was diagnosed.  Just like with any other type of grief, you need to process those thoughts and feelings so you can move onto acceptance.  There is no timeline for how long this process takes. You have to take it one step at a time, making an active decision to move forward.  My mom and I firmly believe that your state of mind when going thru any type of health issue is just as important as the treatment itself.  While it's impossible to stay positive all of the time, working toward being positive at least some of the time is a great help.  And honestly, sometimes you just have to fake it - that's okay too.  Lou mentioned reaching out for professional help and/or attending Zoom "meetups".  My mom attended a few sessions with a counselor, after her parents died and just before her lung cancer diagnosis.  The counselor said a few very important things to her and she was able to use those tools to help in her grief related to the life changes that accompanies a cancer diagnosis.  She also benefitted from talking with others who are living with a lung cancer diagnosis.  She learned she wasn't alone - that was a relief in and of itself.  

2. You mentioned giving your husband a break.  Now, I'm not a guy so I am giving a female's perspective on this.  I would imagine that our husbands can handle a lot more than we (well at least I) give them credit for.  Yes, it's nice for caregivers to have a break, but as folks who support their loved ones thru thick and thin, we know that these breaks don't happen very often (and honestly, I felt guilty when I had a break!).  While it's important for you to have a reliable support "team" of people you can reach out to, I would imagine your husband will probably be your main "go-to" person.  I would suggest having the conversation with your husband and let him know how you are feeling about his exhaustion and not wanting to put too much on him.  Then let him decide what is too much.  My mom always worried she was putting too much on me (I am an only child and my dad had dementia the final years of his life) and didn't want to overburden me.  I told her that I would be the one to judge how much was too much and to please not worry about that.  Now that both my parents have passed and I am cleaning out their home to sell, I am finding evidence that my mom was sicker and in more pain than she let on (the sickness and pain were from leukemia, NOT lung cancer).  I'm heartbroken all over again.  So, my message to you is:  If your husband is willing to take on the job as primary caregiver, please give him the honor of doing so on his terms -as much or as little as he wants.  We can handle it.  

3. Please remember we are here for you...many of us use the LUNGevity Support Forums as our release.  That is one of the reasons why we are here - to support one another!  In fact, I am here because my grief counselor suggested for me to get back involved with these forums to help in my processing my own grief regarding my parent's deaths.  Well - she told me to get back involved in my community and these forums are my "community"!

I wish you all of the best with your lung cancer journey.

Take Care,


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Crying is absolutely normal and it may come and go for months.   If you feel extremely depressed, please reach out  to our Oncology Team as most centers have counselors on staff that you can meet with.

LUNGEvity also hosts Virutal MeetUP several times a week, which are wonderful -- they are all full of Lung Cancer Survivors !  You can sign up at think link - https://www.lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/support-services/virtual-meetups

I HIGHLY recommend them and have been attending them several times a week since they first started.

I am sorry you have had to join a group that NONE of us ever wanted to, but you will find an amazing amount of support with LUNGevity.    I am a Stage IV NSCLC Patient who was diagnosed in early 2015, which a brain met, lung tumors and a pulmonary embolism.    I was very ill and and had a grim prognosis.  Today, now almost 7 years later, I am (NED) NO Evidence of Disease, and doing well, thanks to various treatments.

I also live in MA -- I'm on the North Shore in Rockport MA and am treated through the Lahey Heathcare System.

Please know you are NOT alone, we ALL have felt how you do now!  I wish you the very best and hope you'll come see us on zoom.


     ~ Lisa


NOTE:   This Friday at the 1:30 PM EST Lunch Bunch Meet-Up we will have a special guest, Julie Larson, LCSW who will be discussing  (Coping with Cancer)  If you think this would be of interest, please be sure to register for the Meet-ups to that Nikole can forward along the Zoom Link to you!   We do not have experts every week, but but seeing we are this week I thought it might be the perfect week for your join us.  You can also sign up to be connect with a Patient Mentor and they will match you with a patient who has a diagnose similar to yours -- You can do that with Nikole (LUNGevity) at this link - https://www.lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/support-services/peer-to-peer-mentoring/lifeline-support-partners/lungevity    

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