Tackling with shortness of breath
Many people with lung cancer suffer at some point in the course of the disease. There are treatments such as supplemental oxygen and medications that help you feel more comfortable, but these are not always enough.
It can help you to cope with the shortness of breath below:
Try to relax. It can be frightening to feel breathless. But fear and anxiety make it difficult to breathe. As you begin to breathe, try to control fear by choosing an activity that helps you relax. Listen to music, imagine your favorite holiday destination, meditate or write a prayer.
Find a comfortable location. It can help you lean forward when your breath is exhausted.
Focus on your breath. When you feel short of breath, focus your mind on your breath. Instead of trying to fill your lungs with air, concentrate on moving the muscles that control your diaphragm. Breathe with sprayed lips and experiment with your breathing activity.
Protect your important energy. If your breath is weak, you will easily tire. Cut off unnecessary tasks for your day so you can save your energy for what needs to be done.
If you experience shortness of breath or if your symptoms worsen, report it to your doctor, because there are other treatments that can be used to alleviate breathlessness.
Start-up and support
Cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Over time, you will find ways to deal with the distress and uncertainty of cancer. Until then you can help with the following:
Learn enough about lung cancer to make decisions about your care. Ask your doctor about your lung cancer, your treatment options, and your prognosis. As you learn more about lung cancer, you can count on yourself to make treatment decisions.
Keep your friends and family close. Strengthening your close relationships will help you cope with your lung cancer. Your friends and family can provide practical support if you are at the hospital and need to look after your home to help. And if you are disturbed by the cancer, you can see emotional support.
Find someone to talk to. Find a good listener who is willing to listen to your hopes and talks about your fears. This could be a friend or family member. Concern and understanding can also be helpful for counselor, medical social worker, member of the clergy or member of the cancer support group.
Ask your doctor about the support groups in your area. Or check your phone book, your library, or a cancer organization like the National Cancer Institute or the American Cancer Society.