Linking you to resources and support in the lung cancer community!

I was diagnosed with Stage 1a NSCLC in November 2011. I had Upper right lobectomy on Dec 5, 2011. 

There are times when I feel like I have a band around my right chest andit scares me.  The whole cancer thing is overwhelming and it is probably anxiety but sometimes I just dont feel strong and I  break down and cry.

Is this normal?  Because I dont have a clue what is normal anymore.

Thanks for listening.  Just having a rough day!

God Bless


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Cathy:  A little secret for're not alone in this!!  We have ALL hgad days like that, and even we tough guys have had comeaparts from time to time.  It is just normal to be confused and afraid of the unknown in which we find ourselves. 

Let it out...........even better if there is someone to share it with (we'll all listen).......

Normal...........who knows?  I don't think I ever knew what 'normal' was before cancer came a callin' what difference does it make now?  Just live your best and that can be your normal........really think it is an individual issue anyway.........who's to determine for you, but you?

Keep the faith and know you have friends here.



Thanks so much Sarge!  It is comforting to know I do have friends here.  Have a great day!

Hi Cathy,

I think everyone dealing with cancer has their ups and downs. Sometimes it may seem that there are more downs than ups. You are right - cancer IS overwhelming. Anxiety is common. Sometimes venting is all you need, but if you feel like you need more than venting, there is other help out there. Sometimes talking to a therapist or counselor can be helpful. Sometimes medication can just take the edge off a bit. Take a look here for information on support and you might ask your doctor if he/she thinks you might benefit from medication, even just occasionally just for a period while you are getting back on your feet. 

Hang in there, 


Hi Cathy, I just wanted to echo what Amy and Sarge said. It gets really hard sometimes. I had the problems with anxiety (which is very common with our disease) and didn't know that's what it was until I told my doctors about the symptoms. They prescribed xanax and it really helped a lot.  You hang in there and know that it will get better. Good luck, God bless and keep the faith...


btw: Love your name, it's my wife's name also. She even spells it with a C just like you do...


Thanks so much David!  It helps to know there are people here who understand.  Have a great St Patricks Day.


I am sorry that you are having a tough day.  I was diagnosed with Stage 4 two years ago.  I am doing great, but I can tell you that I have my ups and downs even though I am ok right now.  I feel is normal, but I give it a time limit for my pitty time.  As long as I cry it out talk to my husband about it them I am ok until my next episode.  I do feel is anxiety and I take xanax when I need it.  Thanks God there are not as often but thinking about the future is scary for me.  So I try to live in the present as much as I can and not think about the future.  But our brains have a mind of their own no matter how positive I try to be.

Hang in there.

Hi Cathy................I was diagnosed with the same thing and had my lobectomy in Nov. 2011.  That tightness is normal, I still feel that same thing.  It feels like you want to take off a tight bra but can't.  Yes it is overwhelming and stressful.  It consumes you.  I cry all the time for no reason or at some stupid commercial.  We have to believe that it will get better.  Being able to share it with everyone here helps more than you know.  No judging here, everyone understands.  All is here when you need to vent.  Definitely keep the faith.  You will be in prayers.  Day at a time!!!!

Fran  thank you for the description (tight bra)  thats exactlly what it   feels like... now I know how to explain it to my  mom.

Hi Cathy,


I am a guy.  In fact you might say I am a real roughie toughie, having been a worker on offshore oil rigs.  When I was diagnosed with inoperable NSCLC 3b five years ago I took it pretty well--until the weekly chemo and daily radiation treatments started.  All of a sudden I felt my life was totally surreal, unreal, topsy turvy.   My world definitely changed.  The feeling stayed with me for months after the treatments were over, even though the prognosis was more and more promising.  I didn't have an operation and I don't feel the pain you describe (although one of my lobes is permanently collapsed), but when I get a cough that lingers more than a day, I start worrying again.  Even a pain in my mouth or neck or stomach that I can't identify brings back that weird feeling that things aren't as they seem.  Also, I can't always "catch" my breath,, which is very scary.


What I am saying is that I identify with your feeling of unease, and think it is something that happens to all of us.  Being diagnosed with lung cancer is not what we expected in our lives, and the threat it brings, even though we are treated and are NED, changes us for ever.  But whatever you do, don't worry about worrying, it's the most natural thing in the world!  :-)

Hi Cathy

Your rough day was a few days ago and I sincerely pray that you are feeling better. If you are or if not - it is normal. The anxiety is the new normal - although the frequency begins to spread out as time passes. I am 6 years from my stage IA and almost 5 years from my IIIA recurrence. I still get anxious when I am due for my follow-up CT scan - or any pain, cough, or shortness of breath that is new and unknown.

That tight band should relax a little over time - I remember it well. May I suggest finding a relaxing yoga class? It will help with stretching out the tightness. Also, walking is great exercise and will help with your breathing.

We are all here for you - and each other. Enjoy life! Live life!

God Bless!


Dear Cathy:  So very sorry to hear of your maladies.  I too had a lobectomy (upper right lung) in March 2011 for NSCLC Stage II.  It's been a year and while my right rib cage still feels "stuck," and I have less energy and strength, the pain is gone though it took close to nine months. I found sleeping with an extra two, very flat pillows that I could tuck into either armpit if I slept on my side helped a lot and provided support.  At post-op three months I asked my oncologist about the escalating pain, and he said there are thousands of nerve endings at the surgical site that had been traumatized in surgery, and they were coming "back to life".  We're all so used to relatively small surgeries (removal of appendix, hysterectomy) that we expect to bounce back after a few weeks.  This is serious surgery and I had to learn to be patient and not expect so much of myself.  I wish you great luck and hope your suffering eases.  It does get easier every week.  Best - Marilyn

Hi Cathy,

             I had a upper right lobectomy in Oct 2008,this tightness you feel following the surgery is absolutely normal,I did think after a while,this feeling would remain with me as a permanant reminder of my surgery,but imperceptively over the passing months even that disapeared.Your cancer has been caught really early,so you have an excellent chance of having had a complete cure from this disease.Anxiety,yes,it does come with the territory,but I can promise you that with the support of friends and the passage of time this will subside,and you begin to regain confidence that you actually have a future you can look forward to.As one previous suggestion here from a buddy mentions ,try yoga,I do this twice a week,as well as my gymming and swimming Mon-Fri.I now feel really fit,relaxed,probably more so now, than my years prior to my dx.There is life post cancer dx,get out and enjoy it.Best Wishes.


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