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Lung Cancer Anxieties: Loss & Progression

Lung Cancer Anxieties: Loss & Progression

In this series, we discuss causes of anxiety for those facing physical illness and its side effects. Phrases in bold are the words of our community members across various conditions on what it’s like to deal with these anxieties.

You don’t feel like the same person you were before. You may wonder how long it will take to feel “normal” – or if you ever will.

“There’s nothing I can do to make it go away”

While you try to control what you can and prevent the worst of your condition, there’s a lot more that’s out of control. When it comes to progression and recurrence, you might wonder what will come in the next five, ten, fifteen years. It can be scary to imagine how symptoms and side effects might change or intensify with time.

“Not being able to do anything the way I used to do it”

This can be most obvious when it comes to being accountable to others. People mentioned missing work and being less able to care for their children, spouses, and aging family members. Day to day, there are the challenges of chores, the difficulties of continuing old hobbies, and pressure to be there for others the same way you used to be.

“I wish I could participate in life”

Most noticeable are often the social changes; not being available or spontaneous. Hopping in the car for a last minute road trip may be a thing of the past – or at least a lot trickier than it used to be.

“Resentful that your life has changed”

Going out to eat can become an ordeal. A day at the beach can be more stress than fun. Others may not understand the degree to which your life has changed, from exercise to intimacy to daily errands.

Community members also expressed feeling helpless and being concerned about their future, particularly when they saw no hope of a cure.

loss and progression anxieties

Seeking support

It can help to remember that you’re not alone in feeling this way. If your family and friends are supportive, consider sharing some of these anxieties with them. Sometimes they won’t be able to understand, in which case support groups and online forums can provide a place to vent. If your anxiety is interfering with daily life, you might find counseling or other therapies helpful.

Here are some ideas for coping when anxiety sets in:

What worries and fears do you experience? What are your tips and tricks for dealing with them? Share in the comments below:

Comments

  • Mindy?
    12 months ago

    Well I’m moving along in my care.Something new has occurred to which my Dr.will be discussing with me very soon.
    I had a full blown panic attack..I had never experienced one of these and suddenly out of nowhere ( Boom) it struck….of course it did scare me at first..until I realized afterwards that is what it was..
    Anyone else had any kind of occurances like this? Just really curious. As I didn’t think of anything like that would ever occur. Im almost 63 yrs old and for a first time I don’t think I like it too much…lol…. hopefully it won’t repeat..as I wasn’t stressed or worried. Maybe a wee tired but Wow.
    Enjoy Your Holidays..I’m going to!

  • Margot moderator
    12 months ago

    Hi Mindy, you’re not alone. I know others in the community have experienced panic attacks as well, and emotional complications affect a large percent of the community including anxiety and depression. In addition to comments from other community members, you mention discussing with your doctor – this is a good thing to bring up to your doctor / care team, especially if they continue! They may have helpful tips for if it occurs again in the future, and it’s important to get the care you deserve! And please do keep us updated. We’re thinking of you. Warmly, Margot, LungCancer.net Team

  • Trudyandme
    1 year ago

    this is so helpful to read. Dealing with so many losses of the things I used to do makes it very hard at this time of the year. I once was so involved in the community and in crafting gifts for others but don’t have the energy or ability to do it now. However, I managed to make a few Christmas crafts and it did make me feel better. This is all good advice and it does help.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    12 months ago

    @trudyandme – so happy you’re able to take part in just the small efforts. May you have a glorious Christmas holiday. Be well. Best!

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