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Old 01-24-2008, 01:44 PM   #1
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linda1962 HB User
Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Hi All,

I think I've posted here a few times regarding my mother and her nsclc. She was doing good in that her tumors were not growing. She was a stage 2 for 1 1/2 years and now has been diagnosed at stage 3. All of a sudden her tumor started growing again. I can't understand why? Does anyone know why? She'd stopped treatment 3 months into her original diagnosis and we thought she'd live longer than the original 2 year diagnosis - she'll pass that mark in March - but it has grown 3CM in the last 3 months. She's starting Chemo again - she's just been so brave and matter of fact about her illness. Doctor says that may have contributed to her longevity so far - but I feel so guilty because now I'm terrified. Not about her dying but about myself. I know it sounds horrible. I have thought to not write this but then I need to get this off my chest. My dad died 4 1/2 years ago from lung cancer. Now my mother's dying from it. If she passes this year she'll be the same age as dad was - 67 - and I can't stop thinking when will my diagnosis be? I remember sitting in a smoke filled car while my parents puffed away - choking and coughing at home because of the smoke. Then, dumb as I was, I started smoking at 14 and didn't stop until I was 41, after my dad told me he had lung cancer. Can I do anything to prevent myself from getting this now? I wake at night worrying about it - I know I shouldn't but tell my brain that - I'm so scared. What would you do if you were me? I can't talk to my mom about it - she'd just feel bad and I can't do that to her. She's so brave - I want to be brave too but I just can't seem to. Anyone know what to do?

 
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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SherryAnne HB User
Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Hi Linda...I see you are really stressing over the possibility of getting lung cancer. Since your mom is so positive about her diagnosis...I probably wouldn't decide to talk to her about this. I would tend to just let her be happy! I am kind of in the same situation, my father died 9 years ago today of acute myleoid lukemia and my mom is currently in the extensive stage of small cell lung cancer. Sometimes I think about when I will get diagnosed with lung cancer as I have smoked as well for about twenty some years. (I quit 5 years ago). I am certainly not going to borrow trouble now though as I already have enough issues on my plate with mom. I am at a very high risk but there is really nothing I can do about that now. Stressing about it will not do me any good either. I will deal with it IF or WHEN the time should come. So try and relax and not BORROW any more problems than you already have. I know that is easier said than done. But you've got to at least try or you will drive yourself nuts. If it helps any....you are not alone....there are a lot of us out there worried about the same thing. I am sorry for your dad passing and for your mom with her current diagnosis. But hang in there and take care....I wish you and your mom well.

 
Old 01-29-2008, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

You're right Sherry - thanks for the reply. I try not to stress over it too much but it is a difficult thing to do. Mom was in the hospital on Saturday with pneumonia. We all thought this might be it for her because that's what happened with Dad. It was an infection in his lung that compromised his life - he never was able to breath on his own after that so was taken off support. He died 3 weeks after his diagnosis. Mom got sent home yesterday and was told that she had to excersize her lungs more to keep fluids from building up. She has the best attitude. We even joke about her running laps around the block! Thanks again for listening to me - Linda

 
Old 01-29-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

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Originally Posted by linda1962 View Post
You're right Sherry - thanks for the reply. I try not to stress over it too much but it is a difficult thing to do. Mom was in the hospital on Saturday with pneumonia. We all thought this might be it for her because that's what happened with Dad. It was an infection in his lung that compromised his life - he never was able to breath on his own after that so was taken off support. He died 3 weeks after his diagnosis. Mom got sent home yesterday and was told that she had to excersize her lungs more to keep fluids from building up. She has the best attitude. We even joke about her running laps around the block! Thanks again for listening to me - Linda


I need to say this for you...but more for me...I still smoke...i have picked quit date...my birthday next month...I have responded to people who were mad at loved ones for still smoking...asking them to understand...and not get angry at them...it is because I understood...When my dad was passing from lung cancer...it will be 10 years ago march 1st....a day before he passed he looked at my mom and reached for a puff...she looked at me and said...what should I do?...i told her "give him a puff"...he wanted it....wouldn't change the outcome...he was happy at that moment...when he passed in front of me...the first thing i wanted to do ...was go have a cigerette....and for those of you have never chosen this vice (congrats)...but it makes you feel better in stressful situations...I was going thru a divorce at the time...had to buy a house on my own...started working FT to pay bills...so my stress level went up...so thus never quit...my mom when she was diagnosed...My sister was hell bent on her stopping smoking...but i understood...she cut way down from 2-3 packs a day to about 10 cigerettes a day...( I have never gone over a pack...still bad...but better) but she still enjoyed those cigerettes...it was part of her quality of life...and it helped her thru the stress that i know she was feeling...but being a good mom...wouldn't let on her inner fears of dying....I know she knew I smoked...but i would never admit...even at 46...as i know she would be disappointed...but she always wanted me to drive her places...as she knew she could smoke with me...It was just an unspoken truth fact...that worked for both of us...Sitting w/ her waiting for the chemo treatments..you get to know the "regulars"...and heard people who have lung cancer tho they quit 20, 30, 40 years ago...so it almost made you feel ...what's the use...but i am quitting now...so if it gives me a chance not to die like I watched my mom or Dad...for my kids sake...it's worth the shot...if God forbid...I get this horrible disease...I will not regret the choices I made...as I probably wouldn't have changed my choices...only people who smoke will understand...but it was a quality of life decision to continue smoking...as it would be for someone with cardiac issues or diabetes to continue eating foods that adds their life enjoyment even tho it could hurt them and their life expectancy down the road.

I take care of seniors in my life's work...and I will tell you that there are very few that go to sleep and never wake up due to natural end of their lives...we will all go from something....everything in moderation...as almost everything could kill you...but do what you can that will help you live a long life when it is right for you...without sacraficing what makes your quality of life at that time...such a personal decision...that should never be judged....it is personal...Both my mom and dad were exposed to TB in their younger years...but I know it was their smoking that probably did them in...but I know...that both would not have changed their life choices...I believe that when it is your time..it is your time...not that you can totally ignore health choices and their importance...but there are people who smoke like smokestacks who never die from cancer..and people who do everything right...and die at a young age...so there is no cheat sheet for long life...just live every day as it is your last...and enjoy...I am not there yet...but I believe in the saying...and am working towards that...

I needed to vent...I needed to share...and i hope all of you reading this post understand that I am not promoting smoking in any way (there is no positive physical affect from it)...but just looking to share some understanding on why some people smoke...wish me well on quitting and allowing me to admit to you that. I miss my mom and wish she was still here...but glad she was able to live her life the way she wanted to ...love...C


PS I have now read this...5x...before sending...afraid of being judged for smoking...I hope you understand the insight.....take care...c

 
Old 01-30-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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linda1962 HB User
Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Hi Carol,

I do understand - I never thought I could quit - I did quit when I was pregnant and marveled at how easy it was but after my son was born I stupidly thought 1 or 2 here and there won't hurt - but by the time my son was nearly a year old I was smoking 5 a day and a pack on the weekend! I was so surprised at how difficult it was to let go of just the 5 a day - clearly I was addicted. When my Father told me he had Lung Cancer it scared the ****** out of me and I swear I have never smoked since that day and it was very easy. Smoking IS an addiction and quiting is NOT easy but it is mostly in your head. You can quit, anyone can, it isn't easy for most but it's doable if you really put your mind to it. I realize that some people smoke all their lives and never develop lung cancer, however, do you really want to play Russian Roulette? My cousin passed away last year from lung cancer - she was 48. Will I get cancer - maybe - with both parents having had it - more likely than not but still I will always remain a non-smoker for the rest of my life in the off chance that I prevented it from happening because I quit. My son - 5 years old - will not know me as a smoker and will never have to worry about it. I hope to keep him from ever smoking.

You can do this Carol - I think it was a year before I stopped thinking about it all the time. Now I never crave it - everyone's different in that regard but hang in there. I'll be thinking about you. Thanks for sharing your story.

 
Old 01-30-2008, 06:43 PM   #6
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carol1961 HB User
Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Quote:
Originally Posted by linda1962 View Post
Hi Carol,

I do understand - I never thought I could quit - I did quit when I was pregnant and marveled at how easy it was but after my son was born I stupidly thought 1 or 2 here and there won't hurt - but by the time my son was nearly a year old I was smoking 5 a day and a pack on the weekend! I was so surprised at how difficult it was to let go of just the 5 a day - clearly I was addicted. When my Father told me he had Lung Cancer it scared the ****** out of me and I swear I have never smoked since that day and it was very easy. Smoking IS an addiction and quiting is NOT easy but it is mostly in your head. You can quit, anyone can, it isn't easy for most but it's doable if you really put your mind to it. I realize that some people smoke all their lives and never develop lung cancer, however, do you really want to play Russian Roulette? My cousin passed away last year from lung cancer - she was 48. Will I get cancer - maybe - with both parents having had it - more likely than not but still I will always remain a non-smoker for the rest of my life in the off chance that I prevented it from happening because I quit. My son - 5 years old - will not know me as a smoker and will never have to worry about it. I hope to keep him from ever smoking.

You can do this Carol - I think it was a year before I stopped thinking about it all the time. Now I never crave it - everyone's different in that regard but hang in there. I'll be thinking about you. Thanks for sharing your story.

Thanks for the support...I was so afraid to sign in tonight to possibly find people who misread my intent...or didn't understand how i could be smoking...i actually quit for 3 years...but life stressors...work...former marriage...and 3 kids under the age of 4...I succumbed to the stress and went back that was 16 years ago....I WILL be doing this ...I have picked a date about 6 weeks out...i have my husband and friends quitting w/ me...so that will help as well...thanks again for understanding my post...and the support...Carol

 
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:22 AM   #7
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Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Carol, I can relate to your still smoking. Robert and I both had quit for 6 months and then March 1, 2007 our house was hit by a tornado. The first thing I said when we came out of the house and knew that we were both ok was "I reallly need a cigarette!". Robert never quit after that and I smoked when really stressed out. I quit on his b'day 1-20-08. But I will admit I tore the house apart looking for cigarettes last night and even asked Robert if he had any hidden anywhere! How sad is that? You can get through this.....but there will be times as you know where that 1 smoke would just smooth things out. Good luck with quitting. We are here for you. Teresa

Last edited by teresa22; 02-01-2008 at 07:24 AM.

 
Old 02-01-2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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SherryAnne HB User
Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Hi everyone....I also know the awful addition to cigarette smoking as I smoked for about 22 years. I quit five years ago...the day my husband had lost his job for the second time in five years. I figured it was either feed my children or smoke cigarettes...not even a choice there! It took me a good year to really get over smoking as I really enjoyed it and it was my ultimate stress reliever. I absolutely understand how hard it is to quit and am glad I did (even though I gained 50 pounds because I shoved everything in my mouth I could except cigarettes!). Now all I have to do is lose 50 lbs.!!!!!
Carol and Teresa, I wish you strong willpower to be able to quit smoking...remember, you can do anything you put your mind to.
Linda, congrats for quiting...besides taking care of my mother dying of lung cancer...quitting smoking (and losing weight) are the second hardest things I've had (and have) to do.
Positive thoughts to all of you..take care

 
Old 02-01-2008, 01:34 PM   #9
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Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryAnne View Post
Hi everyone....I also know the awful addition to cigarette smoking as I smoked for about 22 years. I quit five years ago...the day my husband had lost his job for the second time in five years. I figured it was either feed my children or smoke cigarettes...not even a choice there! It took me a good year to really get over smoking as I really enjoyed it and it was my ultimate stress reliever. I absolutely understand how hard it is to quit and am glad I did (even though I gained 50 pounds because I shoved everything in my mouth I could except cigarettes!). Now all I have to do is lose 50 lbs.!!!!!
Carol and Teresa, I wish you strong willpower to be able to quit smoking...remember, you can do anything you put your mind to.
Linda, congrats for quiting...besides taking care of my mother dying of lung cancer...quitting smoking (and losing weight) are the second hardest things I've had (and have) to do.
Positive thoughts to all of you..take care

Thanks for all the support...AS ALWAYS!.....C

 
Old 02-01-2008, 02:11 PM   #10
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Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

Carol,

I have posted a few times about my Mom, she has nsclc, and could not withstand the chemo but is doing radiation as we speak. She has smoked for 50 years and would still be if it was not for the oxygen, and when she gains her strength she will surley go and get them herself. But for now she is using commit and doing will. On the other hand she drinks beer and has used that for years to cope with all that has went on in her life. When she was diag. she used the smokes and the beer of numb her so she would not have to deal with all that she was facing. There were a few months when she did not drink and we were very proud of her, but she hated being so emotional about things. The last few weeks she has been drinking, more than just one but 4 & 5 each night, she stays will my sister out of town to be close to the hosp. for radiation treatments. She is no longer drinking the ensure or anything and usually does not eat. She weighs 100# and of course we can not force her to do anything she is not willing to do. We are very worried that she will slowly decline because she needs to gain weight and stay strong physically to make it through these treatments which end the 22nd of this month. I am at my wits end about it, something inside is like you let her do as she pleases but on the other hand I want her to think of her health and what this drinking will do if it progresses, and weakends her condition. God is in contol and I keep reminding myself of that. And all through this, yes I do continue to smoke, 1/2 pack a day. I agree with you and I do not judge, my family thinks I quit last January, that guilt in itself is driving me mad, I am going to quit, I am sick of it and I am sick of lying to my family even though they do not have a clue. God Bless you Carol,Linda and Sherry. My mother is still alive and we do not know the prognosis as of yet she is 75 and very very independent, I hate to see her loose that. Pray for me and my mom. God Bless, Denise

 
Old 02-01-2008, 06:38 PM   #11
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Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

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Carol,

I have posted a few times about my Mom, she has nsclc, and could not withstand the chemo but is doing radiation as we speak. She has smoked for 50 years and would still be if it was not for the oxygen, and when she gains her strength she will surley go and get them herself. But for now she is using commit and doing will. On the other hand she drinks beer and has used that for years to cope with all that has went on in her life. When she was diag. she used the smokes and the beer of numb her so she would not have to deal with all that she was facing. There were a few months when she did not drink and we were very proud of her, but she hated being so emotional about things. The last few weeks she has been drinking, more than just one but 4 & 5 each night, she stays will my sister out of town to be close to the hosp. for radiation treatments. She is no longer drinking the ensure or anything and usually does not eat. She weighs 100# and of course we can not force her to do anything she is not willing to do. We are very worried that she will slowly decline because she needs to gain weight and stay strong physically to make it through these treatments which end the 22nd of this month. I am at my wits end about it, something inside is like you let her do as she pleases but on the other hand I want her to think of her health and what this drinking will do if it progresses, and weakends her condition. God is in contol and I keep reminding myself of that. And all through this, yes I do continue to smoke, 1/2 pack a day. I agree with you and I do not judge, my family thinks I quit last January, that guilt in itself is driving me mad, I am going to quit, I am sick of it and I am sick of lying to my family even though they do not have a clue. God Bless you Carol,Linda and Sherry. My mother is still alive and we do not know the prognosis as of yet she is 75 and very very independent, I hate to see her loose that. Pray for me and my mom. God Bless, Denise

thanks for your honesty around your smoking.....and whether it is smoking...drinking......etc...my sister and i took different roads....i was always looking at my Mom as an adult...who could make her own decisions...good or bad...her right...it was her life....and her decisions to make...my sister...took on more of a "mothering" role....tried to tell her what she could and not do....all with loving intentions...wanting her around....but she drove my mom crazy at times...my mom decided she wanted to stop taking the pill that would stop her smoking...Chantix(?)...my sister told me later that she crushed the pill and put it into a drink for her....i would never condone that....I respected my mom enough to let her make her own decisions around life and daily life decisions...as she was still more than capable to make them for herself....even if we didn't agree with all of them It was ultimately HER life..her decisions affected us...but still HER life...and i hope i still can decide how i want to spend my final days....when I get there...Quality of life is such a personal description....just some thoughts...C

 
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:50 AM   #12
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Re: Feeling guilty and selfish.....but trying to be strong

C,

I have a sister like that also, and it does drive my Mom mad at times. I have never showed my disappointment to my Mom and never will, you are right....It is her right to do as she pleases. This weekend she asked for her car keys, I gave them to her, knowing that she would drive to the nearest liqure store and she did. I took her supper and dinner the next day which was not touched, she is very weak and at 1:00 in the afternoon is just having breakfast. The Dr's will see her decline I am sure of that. But I love her and respect her so much, it does break my heart but it is her choices all of them. She goes back today to spend another week of radiation, her life her choice and God hears our prayers.
What would I do in her situation, be the same or worse....I love her, You stay strong Carol and God Bless, Denise

 
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