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Ask the Advocate!

Do you have a question about living with lung cancer that you would like to ask our team of advocates? Feel free to enter a question below! These can be about diagnosis or treatment experiences, conversations with loved ones or healthcare providers, daily living with lung cancer, or anything you are unsure about. Once you submit, some of our advocates will respond.

Note: The advocate team is comprised of patient and caregiver advocates. While they cannot provide specific medical advice, they can offer their personal experiences with lung cancer.

  1. Small Cell Lung Cancer. I find myself feeling less empathetic more angry and pushing loved ones away. Anyone else? Also, going to my oncologist for every lump bump sniffle other abnormal things, felt like she dismissed me a bit. Had the 1st dose of Moderna COVID1 vaccine some side effects but minor. I just feel like my emotions have plunged into being very negative. Depression increased and pretty much feel ok being totally alone and not seeing anyone (and that was pre-pandemic). I had a bad car accident 1/3/2021 that did not help. My car got totaled no insurance to cover anyway just having a difficult time

    1. I know with cancer alone it is depressing. I went through depression as well. Now the pandemic then to top it with a car accident is a lot. I am glad you reached out to us. I hope things are getting better. Thinking of you, Sandy

  2. Hi VIKKR.

    I completely understand you. I didn't realize how dismissive my oncologist was until I got a new one. I had to change for insurance reasons, but it put me in a much better environment.

    As far as the depression. My therapist handles all of my psychological medications. When my oncologist first suggested I visit with a psychiatrist, i poo pooed it. Once I finally went to her, I wish I had gone long before. She got me out of the rabbit hole. She helped me find purpose in life again. I see her usually once a month. That was definitely a lung cancer survivor life changing move.

    I just realized you are SMALL cell lung cancer. I am non small cell lung cancer. I get frustrated watching TV. Every other commercial is cancer related. I have found a few new shows on Netflix. I get half way through the season and BAM! Someone is diagnosed with lung cancer. Really? And of course what the character is faced with is no where close to the real deal.

    I discussed this issue with my psychiatrist. I learned that it is completely normal for me to feel this way. It is completely OK to not be OK. That was a big eye opener session with my psychiatrist. I highly encourage you to add a psychiatrist or psychologist to your medical team. If your Oncologist can't suggest one, back to first scenario, find a new Oncologist!

    You should never feel dismissed by anyone on your medical team.

    I'm so sorry about your car. I read another response whom uses a transit service. I am in small town Ohio. Our transit service runs the same as she described. Pick you up, take you to your appointment, sometimes waits for you or plan a pick up time. Take you home or to another appointment or grocery, etc. 2 bucks. I agree with Lisa. Look into finding your local transit service.

    Definitely, don't be hard on yourself. Time on earth is too short for that. Surround yourself with happiness.


    1. Thank you for your kindness. I really appreciate the advice.

  3. I have a history of 23+ years of lung cancer. My last cancer type is Multi-focal adenocarcinoma. Why aren't there more advances in research so see why a person's lungs grow these lesions and maybe how to prevent them from growing once they appear so that they don't become cancer.

    Thank you

    1. Hi merpreb. The desire to see more and faster advances in lung cancer research is certainly understandable. Funding levels on the federal level do not match the lung cancer overall or mortality rates. That said, there are research advances. This article from the Journal of Thoracic Disease is an annual review of advances in lung cancer clinical research: In addition, this article looks at the latest research in non-small cell lung cancer: More directly addressing your question on preventing tumors, this article looks at diagnostic biomarkers for lung cancer prevention: Hopefully it will not be long for some of this research to reach actual patients. Wishing you the best. Richard ( Team)

    2. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

  4. Can you send me her blog or a link to the research that she is doing? It sounds wonderful!

    1. She doesn't have a blog or website, she is known for advocating for expanding the screening program and all she does is follow nodules to decipher what they are. I cannot offer anything that resembles medical advice, but you can google her, Dr. Claudia Henschke, I-ELCAP (International - Early Lung and Cardiac Action Program), NYC (Icahn Center, Mount Sinai). Many hospitals now follow her protocol so you can always check with your treatment center, they should be familiar with ELCAP. All the best! ~ Alisa

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