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My name is Cathy and I am in London Ontario Canada... I was just told I have lung cancer. So far I have not been staged. Have had several tests and am having bone scan next week. I am terrified. I have joined 2 other lung cancer support groups. Unfortunately I need help to get through this mess. It will take a bit to learn my way around your site. Thats ok. I am trying to learn to accept this is happening to me and adopt a positive attitude to fight back with. I will not die from lung cancer without one hell of a fight. That may sound like a strong attitude, but please believe me, I am terrified and still somewhat in shock and maybe denial having just been told a few days ago. I lost my dad to cancer 8 years ago and my sister last June. My dad fought for 2 years and then gave up. My sister had had pancreatic cancer 5 years ago and it was removed. She did no follow ups and got more cancer. This time breast cancer, but by the time they found it it had already spread into her spine. I have no intentions of going anywhere. I am only 51 years old. Well that's a start of an introduction.


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Glad to meet you, sorry it had to be here.

This is the place to be for care, support, knowledge and answers to your questions. Keep us posted to what's happening and we will be here to support you.

Yep, the first few months are scary as he!!. But things do settle down a bit and your attitude of fight, fight, fight will take you far.


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Hello Cathy,

So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Try to find some of the strength and courage you need from the survivors here on the board. You will find them to be a great source of comfort and an excellent resource for information that you'll be looking for.

Keep up the fight.


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I sure do like your attitude! Welcome to the site . . . you just won't believe what you'll gain from this most wonderful group of folks. I just don't know what my brother and sisters and I would've done without them in the last few months. Keep us posted on your scans . . . you're part of this family now, so you've GOT to keep us informed!



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You have all been so kind. I seem to give the impression that I have a strong attitude with this fight, when in reality I am so scared. Most times I just want to sleep. I don't want to be awake and feel this reality. I am amazed by the courage you all are showing. Each day I feel a little more depressed and that scares me as you all say one needs a positive attitude to fight back. I was sick with pneamonia for about 4 weeks and spent most of the summer in bed. The infection seems to be pretty much cleared up but I still spend most of my time in bed. I guess I am isolating, trying to hide from this reality. Lorezapam helps. Insanity also is that I am still smoking. I have cut down from 2 paks a day to 1 pak a day. Every time I light a cigarette I am terrified, but light it I do. How the he!! does this happen to good people. I am so angry. Does any of this sound normal to anyone?


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Sounds perfectly normal to me. I was scared witless, and I am only now uneasily accepting my NED status as something that could vanish at any moment. Wanting to sleep-- I did a lot of that, then I'd wake up and find out the nightmare was a reality. Stinks. If you aren't seeing someone I might recommend counseling, as well as considering an antidepressant. The more armament you have, the better, in my book. I just focused on the next thing, the next test, the next procedure... read a lot of mysteries, rented a lot of movies. Didn't want to talk a whole lot, if I remember right, just one friend who was pretty much my anchor through the beginning.

Hon, we've all been scared, but it's either hide under the bed where every minute is 500 years long and WAIT.... or else get up and deal with it.

Don't get the impression that the people you are reading about are false -- they are scared, or worried sick, and go about business anyway. THAT is the choice they made that makes them brave.

We are here to listen to you, to help you find answers about your cancer, and to prop you up when you feel like falling down. Those of us, like me, who did a share of taking then give now. That's fair.

As for smoking -- well, an anonymous study on this board about six months ago revealed that one in four smokers (note most of those here posting are not smokers) still smokes. Think about maintaining your addiction through patches, or gum, or losenges -- feed the nicotine addiction but don't put any more crap in your lungs. It will help the outcome whether it's surgery or chemo or radiation or a combination.

It's blasted hard to do, but think about it.

Do you have someone to go with you , to keep track of things, to be an advocate for you? Read Snowflake's Advice for the newly diagnosed at the top of this column. Sound advice. Take notes. and bubble baths.....

Anything at all, just pm.


Prayers always,


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I can't speak for the smoking...but the rest sounds pretty normal.

I have some questions for you:

Do you live alone? If not, how come someone isn't "forcing" you to get out of bed? My doctor gave my husband his orders - I was NOT allowed to lay in bed, I had to get up and dressed EVERY morning (this for mental health)

We all SEEM to be doing well, as a joint effort, WE are doing well, but everyone of us has those moments where the monsters crawl out and beat us severely...it's getting back up and going another round that's important. Don't think you are any less strong than any one here, we've had more time to "adjust". You WILL get to where you have more control than the voices in your head, but you will never be able to completely turn them off...

So, take inventory...remember the things you used to do that you ENJOYED, that made you feel relaxed, refreshed...at peace with the world. Find time to do those things - MAKE time to do those things. This will help you center...

You need to find who YOU are, you need to find where you keep your strength and start to draw on it. You also need to know the point where you can no longer do it all alone and reach out for help. That was the hardest part for me, admitting I couldn't do it alone.

Take time to relax, take the time to cry...and then, wipe your eyes, roll up your sleeves and get back into the fray.

You'll be fine, it IS a big scary thing, you aren't imagining that. Your thought process is normal, you're doing well. Allow us to give you a helping hand, but don't think you aren't strong on your own, either.



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Cathy,Welcome to our family.You will find there are lots of caring and knowing people here.Your attitude is great,the fear is normal(we all have it),I hate to say it but your cigarettes really need to go away somehow.I was told that even if the cancer is cured the smokes will bring it right back again.(easy to say but hard to do).Please keep us informed as you find out more.(type,stage,& battle plan to beat it).We are all here for you to cry to,vent on,ask questions of,(one of us has been there or done it).

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Hi, Cathy,

First off, I am truly sorry that you have been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

What we have to do is to make a conscious decision to live. We have to decide if the life we are trying to save is worth the fight we must engage in order to do so. And we have to decide if we are going to spend that life-no matter if it is days or months of years-in bed, or at home, or out in the world. And the biggest thing we have to accept is that WE make the decisions. Not making a decision is in and of itself a decision to let things happen as they will.

I personally hope you will get out of bed.

I hope you will ask your doc for help to stop the smoking, because doing so will help you to tolerate the treatments much better, and improve your lung function (drug called Zyban helped me a lot).

But mostly I hope you will decide to do what you need to do to live, and I hope you will keep coming back here. You don't have to face this alone. And we genuinely care for the members of our not so little anymore group.

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I am so sorry we had to meet this way, but I am glad you found us! Everything you wrote sounds so normal. You got lots of advice, all of it good. It's really is a hard thing we are going through, and it makes it somewhat easier to go through it with others here on the board. Most of us wish we lived closer to each other so we could actually be in the physical presence of our new friends, but for now this is what we have and without it many of us would feel a great deal more isolated.

love and fortitude


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First thing I did this morning was coming here. Got my cup of tea and reading all your posts. I have an appt today with family doc, re: ultra sound on liver. When they did the ct scan they saw a spot on the liver, so my fam doc sent me for ultra sound. Hopefully it is the same spot they found when I had my gall bladder situation 4 years ago. Hemengiona (spelled wrong), but it's not cancer.

I woke up today and decided to live today. we never used to have to make such a profound decision first thing in the morning. I am so happy I found you people. Unfortanately it took this horrible disease to bring us together. I am going to have a conversation with my doc today about this cancer stuff... there will be no hiding anything from me. There will be no discussing things with my husband because it might be too much for me to hear. I saw my sisters people do that to her, they had meetings with her husband and 3 eldest kids. she wasn't at the meetings. Exuse me... her life, her cancer and not her meeting. that will not happen with me.

Someone asked me if I am alone. I am married but my husband works all day. He takes time off to go to appointments with me, except my fam. doc appt. We can't afford that. But as for all other appointments , he goes with me. His work is being really good about it. Not paying him for the time off, but not letting his position go either. Thank you for all your responses to my shares, I hope you all have a great day.


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Cathy -- welcome! This is a good place to be if you have to be here, but we all wish we had something else in common besides cancer!

From your last post, I picked on one thing -- about people having discussions with your physicians behind your back. NO NO NO!! There are privacy laws, yanno! Each and every time I've been to see a doctor or gone to a new place, they give me one of those and make me sign something that says I received it. (And yes, I DO read it before I sign.) Also, the doctors offices had me fill out a form that told them exactly who they could/could not discuss my case with. If yours don't have that, then make one up for yourself and take it to them, and then insist that it be a part of your record, and insist that they abide by your wishes. If you don't already have a durable POA/living will, get one and give them a copy of that too, so there is no doubt who they are to be in contact with, based on what YOU want.

As to smoking? Well, on the day the Pulmonologist told me I had a tumor, I had the thought later in the day that I could go home, just smoke one or 2 "last" cigarettes, then quit. Yeahright. It's like alcoholism -- I didn't want 1 or 2, I wanted 20 or 25 or more. Once that little speck of truth caught hold in my brain, I called the neighbor who was taking care of my cats while I was in the hospital, told her where all the cigarettes were in my house, and asked her to just pitch them all so it wouldn't even be an issue.

Once we knew what I had for sure, the Pulmonologist said that if I wanted to smoke when I got home, it probably would have no effect on what I have now, but my body had just told us that it is genetically predisposed to react to smoking in a certain way -- cancer. He said his concern would be that to continue smoking would just mean that my body would be working on another tumor, and did I want to go through this again? NO WAY! The Radiation Oncologist said later on that smoking impedes healing and people often suffer from bronchitis and other infections that slow down the treatment process. Not to mention that I spent 5 days in the hospital and had all the chemical residue from smoking mostly out of my system, so why go home and just put in back in there again? Besides, it was difficult enough to breathe until the pneumonia went away, I couldn't even imagine trying to inhale a cigarette. DUH!

Finally, the thought I put into my mind at that time and the one that has remained there through today is this:

I chose to commit to treatment. If I choose to smoke, then that means I can no longer keep my commitment to treatment. It means that I will just be wasting my time with all the chemo and radiation and nutrition, etc., not to mention a heck of a lot of money & energy. It means, in short, that I will have chosen to die rather than try to live.

I never smoked again after leaving the hospital, have not had cravings or urges to smoke because of that thought that comes into my head whenever I even think of smoking. I walk through crowds and smell cigarettes, and they smell good to me still, but to me, they mean nothing but death. Continuing treatment means life, smoking means death.

Maybe you can formulate your own thoughts to replace mine -- it helped me a great deal.


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Welcome, Cathy :)

Love your attitude.....you can't have too much "fight" in you when it comes to this nasty disease.

This site is the best thing that happened to me after my dx. It is filled with support, humor, kindness.....anything and everything.

If you need to vent and rant....come here

If you need to ask a question......come here

If you need a good cry........come here

If you need to share good news or bad......come here

I don't post nearly as often as I should.....darn computer keeps going into self-induced comas at will......but I try to get here at least once or twice a week to at least read the latest posts.

These are some of the nicest, most caring and down-to-earth people I've ever had the pleasure of "meeting". Glad you found us!!

Mary :)

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thank you for you response to my posts. thank you for your honesty about smoking. I will quit and I will fight and I will live. And I will not work on a new tumour to go through this again.

I admire your courage and self will to do this cold turkey. My compulsion is becoming stronger and stronger each day and I know I will beat this addictiion.

I saw my family doctor today re ultra sound on my liver and it is good. I love good news, don't you. I was in tears the whole time I was at his office and I made him promise to always be honest with me about everything and to hold nothing back. He did say the words I promise. I have been with him for 30 years so I trust him. :)

Well it's Friday afternoon, nothing to be done now until Wed. morning when I have bone scan..so I will try to stay in the now from here til then.

When I woke up this morning I said aloud, this is a good day to be alive.

and it is. These support message boards are a blessing, I belong to 2. Plus a live chat group.

Take care ... have a great week end. and thanks again for the support


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Cathy, Welcome! I love your attitude, you've won half the battle. You will do just fine and we are all here to support and help you as much as we can. Please come here often and keep us posted on how you are doing and what your doctors are suggesting and let us help you. Ask a LOT of questions here. I would say 99% of the time someone has an answer to our questions. Adding you to my prayers...

God Bless,


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Welcome, Cathy.

My mom was about as addicted to cigs as anyone can be. She's had 2 heart attacks already. The first time she quit, she made it for 9 months. But the terrible depression made her start again. She quit after each of her 2 heart attacks, only to face panic attacks, weight gain, and more depression.

But when she was diagnosed with sclc, she was having problems with coughing up blood. The possibility of coughing and having a fatal bleeding episode (a 50% likelyhood, she was told) was enough to make her quit for good. Paxil is her new best friend - and at a high dosage.

Bottom line? It's really, really hard for some people to quit. Make sure you get the support you need - and that means medications. Nicotine is a powerful, highly addictive drug. You CAN do it, but make sure your doctors give you all the help you need.

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