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

Sometimes shifts in our personal relationships happen as we enter, endure or end treatment. How have your relationships changed, if at all?

I found that after my diagnosis, I noticed some friends beginning to distance themselves from me, as if I were contagious. I felt alot of guilt and shame, feeling I caused my own cancer because I was a smoker, and then believing that people felt that way about me too. For awhile, my hurt and anger resulted in my cutting these folks off from any contact w/me.  Once I was able to process my own grief and shame, I was better able to understand my friends' anxieties about illness, death etc and was much more forgiving and welcoming.


Cancer is truly a "systems" disease. Everyone in our life is affected for many different reasons, some of which are hard to sift out during a complicated and vulnerable time.  Am wondering about your own experiences with your relationships...tonie

Views: 84

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Bravo, mekbride! I use the AIDS parallel quite often, too. I don't know how that community turned that around? I wish the LC community would follow suit, and soon. Bravo!
I have had a different experience. First of all, the shock of being told I had cancer wore off very quickly and in a twisted way i was relieved when I was told in an incredibly supportive way by my surgeon. You see, I had three bouts of pneumonia with the first bout this past March 1st, the second at the end of March and then the final bout which was by far the worse of all the bouts on May 1st. That last bout landed me in the hosipital for 17 days in which I had fevers as high as 106 degrees and had such a tough time breathing that I was on five liters of oxygen! The biopsy actually helped in my breathing as a lot of the junk in my lungs came out via a tube that was attached to the lung through my side. I truly thought I was going to die and my pulmonologist who ordered the biopsy came to visit me before my release from the hospital and told me in that first week she feared for my life as well. So being told that a tumor was causing my pneumonia was almost a relief and thank goodness for the pneumonia as who knows when the tumor would have been discovered
. I had the tumor removed at the end of June(9.6cm) and am on chemo and starting radiation next week.
I have always been a very open person and have openly talked and joked about my cancer as I know it makes some people uncomfortable to talk about it or they just don't know how to approach you. I have approached some of them to make them comfortable. I don't have to tell you what it is like personally to go through the diagnosis and then the treatment. It takes a terrible toll on us. However, many people don't truly understand what we go through unless they have had a loved one go through it. I have opened up on Facebook to my friends as well as started a blog which a friend suggested and has been incredibly therapeutic. People can be strange at times concerning death, serious illness, etc. I have actually reached out to my friends who I realized had a hard time with my illness and tried to make them comfortable. That has worked for me. I have also discovered who my true friends are and those who claimed to be and were actually not. My relationship with my wife has gained a strength especially while I was hospitalized. But I think sometimes she is not seeing reality that she thinks I will be totally cured and that is it. As I said, I am a very positve person, have been told my prognosis is good, but there is always a chance something could go wrong. Sometimes she acts as if nothing is really wrong. So that is one thing I am trying to work on.
Lobsterman, I am humbled by your approach to loved ones who were (are) struggling w/the diagnosis you've been given. I am so sure that that offered you peace as well so that your energies focused on your healing could remain intact. We have much to learn from your experience, my friend.

I've had similar experiences w/my husband who's the best all around: very loving and supportive, but he was struggling w/his own anxiety re the possiblity of my dying and it was his way of coping, ie, I'm going to live forever.Eventually we got to a point we could talk about it and that's been good.

It's wonderful to have a place where we can review these issues without worrying about upsetting others isn't it? Talk soon...Tonie
Hi Tonie,
I am forever grateful for finding lunglovelink and connecting with so many. How I act may be my own defense mechanism to avoiding the thoughts of death. But avoiding that keeps me positive in my approach dealing with this dreaded disease and helping others. Should the time come and G-d forbid, I am told I will die from this, I will deal with it then. I am glad you and your husband got to the point to talk about it. As I said, my way is to just focus on the positives right now, which does give me strength. We each have a way with dealing with these issues. I have two children, one in high school and one in middle school and I just have to be there to see all their successes! Do I fear death? I don't think so, I just don't want to die! LOL! I have found laughing and joking a way to cope as well. Please stay in touch, as I have said in other postings we are a family now who can support one another. ....Dave
I too am grateful for this site. When I was first diagnosed with nsc lung cancer I was in a state of shock. I knew smoking was bad for you but cancer was always going to happen to the other person. I also had quit smoking for around 8 yrs before being diagnosed. My relationship problems was that everyone said you will be fine. Noone cried with me and I felt guilty if I felt depressed. I felt like I always had to be positive around people.. We all feel the shame and guilt, but I got mad and over that fast. I am now 3 yrs 5 months post surgery and again I feel like I can never voice any concerns about my cancer returning because I will be told that I am being too negative. but I am still scared it will come back.......Joyce
Hi Joyce,
I can see what you mean about feeling you can't be negative or voice your fears. As a caregiver, though, I feel I have to be upbeat and if if my mom says something like "I can't beat this", I do kind of run over her comments with my own comments of "no, we're fighting this" etc. I don't want her to give up hope so I tend to dismiss anything negative she says. I also don't know what to say when she says things like "my tumors have come back" because well, what do you say? I can't say "it's going to be alright, because, frankly, I don't know that and it's probably not going to be. As her caregiver, I don't want my mom to think I've ever given up hope and as her daughter, it breaks my heart to hear her concerns and fears and it scares me, too. I find that it's a hard line between being realistic/voicing fears, and being hopeful/optimistic without one intruding on the other. Another part of this disease that's hard to negotiate.
Joyce, it is only natural to be scared it can come back. And quite honestly, if you can't open up and voice concerns screw them! You have survive for almost three and a half years since surgery, G-d Bless you! On the day they released me at the hospital after 17 days that was my tenth year anniversary cigarette free! Ironic huh? You can be scared, don't let it control you. You are a surviver and be proud!..........Dave


© 2015   Created by AmyLCA.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service