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Fear of what lies ahead

I am entering year 3 with stage 1 lung cancer. I also have severe COPD. Because of the emphysema they have been unable to biopsy the nodules so don't even know what type of lung cancer I have. Surgical resection was not a treatment option so I underwent SBRT radiation therapy within weeks of my diagnosis. I watched my mom die from lung cancer so I know where this journey I am on may eventually lead me. But feel my husband and adult children are not capable of helping me if things get rough. They have already demonstrated that in their failure to maintain our home in an orderly manner and clean already. My daughter, her boyfriend and their 3 year old granddaughter live with me and my husband. Yet my husband will simply stand there watching me struggle to do routine housekeeping with many rest breaks. I don't want to be a burden but feel I already am. I am to the point of moving out on my own as the lack of support is taking a huge toll on my mental well being. I feel I am better off alone as only 1 person typically does not create a lot of messines and hiring someone to come in to clean would be a solution. I can't hire help now as 2 of the 3 adults have issues with hoarding. They get very territorial about all their stuff cluttering a once clean and tidy home. Asking for options or suggestions but do not want to be directed to an assisted living facility or senior independent living community. I have seen the set ups thru my father and his wife (both now deceased) and it is a lot of money for a whole lot of nothing.

  1. Congratulations for 3-year "clean" of stage 1 lung cancer. I think you are considered cured, but you are right that you have to watch because of your mother's lung cancer. I'm sorry for you struggling due to your family issues.

    1. I have not yet heard "clean" or cured by my radiation onocologist or pulmomary doctor as the one nodule continues on PET Scans to show activity. And still having CT scans and alternating PET scans every 4 months. So not sure your assessment of my medical situation is correct. I would be less anxious if either of my specialist were using clean or cured. But it's all been related to me as stable and no evidence of metasasis. And non consistent family support in ensuring house is a safe and healthy environment for me has left me lacking the criticical support of my mental health aspect of cancer care. I do see a therapist but I am at a point talking about my home situation has resulted in no changes and counseling is a temporary fix. Something has to give as I find myself drifting to just giving up as cancer sucks and my surroundings are making it even worse.
      I am looking for making peace with the cancer and myself and live the remaining years of my life with people who are more capable of supporting my overall well being. To motivate me.and cheer me on to beat this demon. Perhaps this is not the right forum to look for others who dealt with this personally in their cancer journeys and knowing I am not alone in how I feel right now. Thank you for your kind words.

      1. Hi Susan,
        I am so sorry to hear your story. Getting a lung cancer diagnosis can be stressful and a lot of the time our family members do not know how to handle it. Having a stable scan with no evidence of metastasis is a good thing. Monitoring with a CT and PET scan is important but I know it can also be stressful. We call that scanxiety.
        I would not be afraid to use the "cancer card" if needed. (COPD and emphysema are also beasts on their own). If you are having a particularly bad day be honest with your family, you need help making dinner or cleaning the living areas.
        Is it possible to see if you can speak with someone at your cancer center in regard to your family issues? I know you said you are seeing a therapist but I would assume they cannot do much to change things in the home.
        Many of us are patients ourselves, so we cannot give medical advice. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

        1. @susanburnworth, Hi Susan, I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. This is not an easy journey and having to deal with it on your own is extra challenging. May I suggest reaching out to an organization that can match you with a buddy/mentor who is going through the same? has a mentor program, as well as virtual zooms for support 4x a week. You can sign up on their website if you choose to do so. Please know that we are also here for you at this site, reach out anytime. Warmly, Alisa, Team

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