Anointed’s Story

My mother passed in 2009 with COPD. I was her sole caregiver 24/7. At the time I didn’t know I had lung cancer. Anyway, in 2013 I had a chest X-ray for my annual checkup and the X-ray said I was clear. Then I started getting a pain in my right lower side so they ran a CT Scan which picked up I had three nodules on my left lower lobe in my lung. I was put on high doses of antibiotics and it cleared the two nodules but one module remained. So the doctor wanted to wait and watch. Every three months the nodule was getting bigger. Finally, in Feb, 2015 I went to a Thoracic Surgeon who did Vats Surgery. I was in the hospital for four days. I was diagnosed with Stage l Adenocarcinoma in my LLL and they removed it.

So far, I’ve been in remission for over a year. I was told I had asthma. Found out its COPD. Recently I had to go to the ER because I was gasping for air. The ER put a steroid shot in my IV. Sent me home with predisone and dual neb treatment every two hours. Now I’m told I have COPD. I still gasp for air. I can’t walk to the bathroom without feeling exhausted. Sometimes my throat closes up on me when I drink or eat something and I can’t get air in or out. With that happening, I have to relax my mind and not panic or it will be worse. It’s a terrible feeling of fear and panic not being able to breathe. I’ve been on so many inhalers and neb medication but nothing helps. If this is the early stage of COPD, I don’t want to see stage four. My mother’s COPD was not like this. She had moments of feeling like it was hard for her but she was in her last stages. I smoked for over fifty years plus cancer and COPD runs high on both sides of the family. I know what to expect with lung cancer but to me, COPD is worse than cancer. Plus a year ago I found out I have diabetes ll. Does anything I’ve said sound like what you have gone through? I’m open for help in this journey!

Thanks for letting me vent.

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Comments

View Comments (5)
  • Kpullen0401
    3 years ago

    Dear Annointed : Your inability to breathe symptoms sound exactly like what I was just recently diagnosed with – laryngospasm. It literally scared me so badly I was taken by ambulance from work. It can reoccur, even during sleep. You definitely need to read up on it. The official technique to get through it is: 1. Lean your head back 2. Breathe in very slowly through your nose and 3. Purselip exhale quickly out of your mouth. Do this through the entire episode, which they say should only last 2-5 minutes. Seemed like an eternity when it hit me! Steroids help fend these off, so they tell me. They are not fatal – unless you are under anesthesia when you have one. Which means I can no longer get my pain shots in my back without the pain! I hope this helps you. God bless.

  • Anointed author
    3 years ago

    Thank you Lyn Harper for accepting my story. I failed to say when I was caregiver to my mother, at the same time I was 24/7 caregiver to my dad who had prostate cancer.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    G’morning, Anointed, and thanks for sharing your experience. Although we cannot give medical advice on the website (for your own safety), I can comment on your situation. First, I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I know your circumstances are challenging and can be difficult for you from day to day.
    It sounds like after having your lung’s left lower lobe (LLL) surgically removed (VATS – video assisted thoracic surgery), your actual lung capacity is now diminished. Thankfully, you have been in remission for one year and that is very good to hear!
    Add to the diminished lung capacity the diagnosis of COPD, and its associated breathing difficulties, and it is a lot to contend with. I would suggest you seek out a genuine expert in lung disease; a reputable and capable pulmonologist in your area. This type of physician should be able to provide you with a comprehensive physical exam and testing to determine how best to get your COPD symptoms under control so that you can be made to feel more comfortable. Our online community can provide you with positive support, scientific information, anecdotal experiences from community members, and a forum for you to discuss what’s on your mind. We’re glad you found our website and appreciate your candor in sharing your own personal experience. We will look forward to interacting with you more as you feel suitable. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Dear Anointed,
    It sounds like you’ve been through a lot in the last few years! I’m so happy to hear you’ve been in remission for the last year…that’s certainly a bright side.
    I know you’ve seen a number of doctors; do you have a Pulmonologist? I ask because you’d be surprised how many people see only their GP and don’t see a specialist. In this case it’s very important since they have insight into the pulmonary/respiratory system that other physicians don’t always. They also keep up to date on all the current and latest treatments that you may benefit from.
    It also sounds like you could benefit from something to lessen the panic when you’re going through a period of being unable to breathe well. You shouldn’t be shy about asking your doctor for something to ease that. It’s perfectly normal to panic if you can’t breathe! Sometimes we need something to help us get throught that.
    Although you may not have the energy to even consider it – you may find Pulmonary Rehab to be somehting that would help. It starts our very slow, so you don’t need to worry about being overtaxed. They’ll work with you and go at the pace that fits you. I highly recommend it!
    Keep investigating this site as well….I know you’ll find a ton of useful information.
    Regards,
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Again, thanks for sharing your story. I have to say I agree completely with the advice Lyn and Leon provided above. I hope things get better soon for you.

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