A woman's peaceful expression is surrounded by a glowing shape that brightens the darkness around her.

Lung Cancer and Your Mental Health

Being diagnosed with lung cancer puts a severe mental strain on us on top of other issues going on with us. I often wonder how I am getting through all of this. I must be made out of steel because it’s not easy dealing with lung cancer and the effect it causes us mentally.

Sometimes, I want to run away and never look back. Go somewhere to not think about all my problems and issues and live my best life.

Battling storms and struggles

I know we all must go through storms in life, but sometimes, it’s too much for many people, and some people can’t handle it. I’ve sometimes felt that way, wanting to give up and say, “The heck with this.” It becomes too stressful, and other personal issues don’t help either.

I know there were times I wanted to stop treatments and just let lung cancer take over. There were many times I’ve said, “I wish I would just die,” because I was so sick and tired of being sick with side effects from the treatment.

So many times, I wished death upon myself, with tears in my eyes. We as humans get so tired of the bull we have to endure, so having lung cancer makes it a million times worse.

Empowerment through adversity

I remember what my sister told me when I felt overwhelmed and wanted to throw in the towel. She once said to me that I was the strongest woman she’d ever known and that there was no way in hell she would have made it this far with lung cancer. She brags about me to her friends and co-workers and tells them, “My sister has been living with lung cancer for almost ten years.”

In a way, she’s proud of me for fighting and never giving up. She says I show her so much strength and determination to fight. She tells me I love how you advocate for lung cancer, educating people and bringing awareness of this awful disease.

She always tells me she could never do what I do, so she, my older sister, looks up to me. I often tell her, “I’m tired of fighting; I just want it to end.” She gets mad at me and tells me not to speak that way and that I now have two beautiful grandchildren to live for.

My sister is right. I now have to continue the fight for my grandchildren.

But it’s so hard when we are not mentally stable. I try so hard to stay positive, speak affirmations to keep my mind strong and think of my grandchildren to help me continue moving forward. It’s not easy, but I will give it my best.

The mental toll of lung cancer

It’s worse when you see people you’ve met because of lung cancer, and they have passed. That is mentally stressful because then we start to wonder if we are next.

I know that’s not my story, but I just feel like I’m just waiting on the end. Yes, I know we all have an exit date, and we’ll never know when our time is up, but to me, it seems more stressful when living with lung cancer.

Living for today

That is why I live in the moment. I travel as much as I can. I buy what I want when I want. If I want to spend $300 on Christmas or Halloween decorations. If I want that $100 outfit, I’ll buy it.

I don’t care; I might not have that next time, so I do what I want when I want. By doing that, I’ve noticed it has helped me mentally in some way.

So, if you’re feeling somewhat like I am, find something to distract you and something that will help you mentally. Give yourself that; you deserve it!

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