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Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2008

I was diagnosed and had one lung removed about 11 months ago. I have finished chemo and actually feel ok. I was so well medicated after the surgery that I really do not remember my two weeks in the hospital. However, now I seem to be having flashbacks of things that happened during that time; if they really happened! Has anyone else experienced this? Did anyone else gain weight while they were on chemo? I thought the one perk of having cancer would be that I would get my figure back, instead, I gained.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I especially had lots of reoccuring thoughts, feelings, worries, nightmares and stuff the first two years after having been diagnosed with breast cancer (I have both breast cancer (5 years ago) and lung cancer (almost 2 years ago)). I talked to the social worker at the hospital about it. She said that I sounded pretty normal to her, though I was somewhat concerned. If the thoughts and stuff interfered with normal daily living then she said I could have a prescription medicine like an antidepressant to help out with it. I decided it wasn't quite bad enough for that. But I did find a support group in my community (The Wellness Community), make a regular effort to get daily exercise, and try to do other little non-medical things to reduce stress and increase the positives in my life(for example,eat right and go skiing in the wintertime with my son). The social worker noted that emotional problems go hand in hand with cancer diagnoses. Another I've read is that the size of the emotional reaction is not necessarily related to the size of the cancer. I can attest to the truth of that: when I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, I was totally freaked. When I was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer, I was much calmer. All I'm saying is that how you react is how you react and that's okay. If the flashbacks become bothersome, talk to your doctor about them. If you want some non-medical fixes, try exercise, journalling, good diet with plenty of veggies, whole grains, milk but no caffine, use support groups and your support network, make art/craft/music projects, and find things that make you laugh or that are just plain fun. Life is too short to be miserable.

Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2008

Thanks for the input. I am already doing what you suggested as far as diet and exercise. As far as the flashbacks, I'm not overly concerned or bothered, I was more curious. Thanks again

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

As always, cabbott provides an excellent response! You can probably take it to the bank.

I would add, re your disappointment with weight gain following chemotherapy, that you are typically provided a steroid as part of your chemo 'package' and that women, in particular, (and it may just be that they are more prone to notice, us guys not so self-observant) find that it causes appetite increases and weight gain. Not sure how much of this is from the appetite increase, and how much may be from other factors, but I have listened to the stories of many folks in here.

Re the flashbacks, I first had a 15 hour surgery for head/neck cancer in Oct of 05, followed by four days of induced coma. When they pulled me out, I had psychotic episodes related to IV ativan, or so I've been told, days in the hospital with my mind filled with conspiracies, holdovers from my time under 'deep cover' :).

When I was in the hospital more recently (almost all of Feb 08) for a lobectomy, I DID experience a recurrence of my fears from the previous episode.

I wouldn't call them flashbacks, though.

I have heard many stories, however, of people who claim to remember everything that happened to them while 'under'. So it is not so uncommon.

As cabbott suggests, if it becomes a hindrance to you, seek some help. Otherwise, cabbott is probably absolutely correct again: a good diet and quality exercise, along with staying busy, will do wonders for you.

Best wishes!

Take care,


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