Supportive Internet Community for Lung Cancer

I stumbled across a forum run by the National Lung Cancer Partnership that publishes the inspirational stories of survivors. In the comments, one sees that current patients are able to reach out to individual survivors based on the particulars of their story.

Sometimes forums like this tend not to see much traffic, so I thought this was worth sharing. Below, survivor Elayne Klein shares her tips to those in treatment:

  1. Stay informed. Contact the National Lung Cancer Partnership for information or for answers to personal questions.

  2. Take one day at a time.

  3. Think about reordering your priorities. Put yourself at the top of the list.

  4. Try acupuncture during chemotherapy for nausea.

  5. If you have had surgery, massage your scar tissue

  6. Get a prescription for physical therapy. We tend to hunch over after surgery or radiation. Physical therapist help with breathing exercises to expand our lungs and show us other exercises that help increase our self confidence in our bodies.

  7. Try energy therapy like Reiki or IET(Integrative Energy Therapy) from recommended, qualified practitioners as often as you can afford…up to 2x a week. It helped me tremendously.

  8. Listening to guided imagery and affirmation CDs such as those by Belleruth Naparstek. Try these to reduce stress. I even used Belleruth to fall asleep.

  9. Ask your doctor about inhalers if you have difficulty breathing.

  10. Talk to your doctor about your mood. I eventually sought psychological counseling. When my kind pulmonary doctor asked me how I was doing, and I started to cry, he prescribed medication for anxiety and/or depression (lexapro 10-15 mg).

  11. Even when nauseous, try to focus on nutrition. Try making healthy energy drinks with a good blender.  I made breakfast out of: organic Kefir; organic greens like kale, Swiss chard; organic frozen berries; bananas; and add a scoop of whey (for protein).  It was easier to get down than anything else when I was nauseous especially knowing it was so good for me. I continued drinking it long after my treatment.

  12. Consider consulting an integrative medical doctor who specializes in cancer patients. My doctor recommended 20mg of melatonin, and it helped with sleep. He can recommend other safe things to take that will not interfere with your treatment.

  13. Try consulting a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. I went To Dr. Wang when I had a recurrence scare two years ago. He mixed Chinese tea according to my symptoms. I still drink it twice a day.

  14. Avoid germs by carrying a hand sanitizer in your pocket or handbag and car.(A natural one is EOS without harsh chemicals). Wash your hands to keep germs away after touching counter, escalators, elevator buttons and the like. Use it after shaking hands to avoid catching colds/flu. You never know who has a cold and you don’t want one.

  15. Try to watch uplifting or comedy TV shows and listen to upbeat or relaxing music.  It fills your environment with positive energy.

  16. Exercise. In fact, my doctor gave me some good advice.  Get off the couch and get into the pool or walk or try restorative or gentle yoga. It’s good for your lungs and keeps up your strength and self-confidence.

  17. Let friends or family help with feeding and caring for you and your family. One friend planted flowers in my garden because I couldn’t. My daughter hired a personal chef over the internet so my husband could eat healthy meals when I couldn’t eat much or handle the smell of food.   As time goes on you will gain strength and be able to eat better and breathe more easily.

  18. Nap during the day when you can. Don’t forget purposeful rest periods.

  19. Ask your doctor or the National Lung Cancer Partnership about new treatment options and clinical trials now available.

  20. Consider connecting to your religious heritage and/pray if it feels right.

  21. Tell your doctor about any complimentary medicine approaches you choose. My doctor wasn’t always supportive but I explained that helped me feel hopeful and empowered.

  22. Make plans: enjoy a visit from friends, visit relatives, go to the movies, travel, find a pet.

  23. Begin dreaming of what you want to do or accomplish in your life.  It’s very important to move toward your dreams and believe in your future one day at a time.

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