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British Lung Foundation
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What should I expect?

I have just found out I have emphysema. I am 35 years old. I have been smoking most off my life, since age 12. Coughed and spit out blood so went to see dr, he sent me for CT scan and I did not hear back for almist a week. I called and finally nurse called me back with results but then that was it. Not sure what to do next. My dad died when I was around 15 from lung cancer and I have not been able to think about anything else. I have 7 kids and it scares the hell out of me that I will be leaving them half grown and ready for life... I have now gone 24hrs without a cigarette(not solely to blame for my condition since I am a contractor) now but its hard with the stress and anxiety. Just dont know how to fix it. Or atleast prolong the enevitable. I have a future wife(as long as I can out wait my devorce papers from previous marriage)My youngest child is 5, my oldest is 18. I hate that I hurt them like this and not sure what to do about it because atleast half my kids dont understand what is really going to happen. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you for accepting me inti your group!!

13 Replies

Welcome to this group. It is very supportive and full of people who are very well-informed. And there are a lot here who have given up smoking and have seen the benefits of that. You have a huge incentive to give up now and I am glad you have done that. Hang on, and others will respond.

All the best



Hi and welcome. I'm no expert but I can understand how worried you are, it's a scary time when you are first diagnosed. We are all the same, we hear the words and imagine the worst but as my doctor said, it's good news, it's not cancer.

you have taken the right first step in stopping smoking, and imagine how good that is for your children and the next thing is to look at your diet and start exercising, both things that will also benefit your kids. You can get them involved with it too, that way it encourages you and takes the fear away from your children and partner.

Allow yourself some time to get your head around things, ask away with any questions you have and the guys on here will support and advise you (they have/do me).

You don't say what stage you are but if you do the right things you can really slow down any progress of copd and there are people on here who have had it for years and are still at the same stage they were when diagnosed.

One of your challenges with children, will be to try and reduce the amount of chest infections you get, so anti bac, hand washing etc. need to be thought about but you can only do so much as kids get colds - fact.

Overall, don't worry too much, do the right thing about smoking (stop or e cig) healthy eating and exercise, exercise, exercise. (walking is exercise).

We are always around so if you are feeling worried or just need to chat with some one who "gets" copd just drop in, oh and we enjoy jokes and laughs too.

Take care x


Welcome to you and keep being a non smoker. Well done and lots of help out there for that. You will have support on here and also need it from your doctor.

Take good care of yourself, try and remain infection free, get a flu and pneumonia jab and do any exercise you can without overdoing things. Take care xxxx

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welcome to the group you have had some good advice in the replies you have received , I was diagnosed at 36 im 41 now , I have got very slightly worse than when diagnosed not enough to notice only know by the number from tests , well done on trying to stop the smoking ,because you are so young have the doctor done a test for alpha 1- antitrypsin deficiency if they haven't ask them about it , you may find its not all from smoking , I had the test but it was negative but doctors said I shouldn't have been like I was from smoking at my age even if I was a heavey smoker I started age 12 , easy to say but try not to worry there are members on here had it 20 /30 years , if you have any question always some one on to help you out


Do take the advice given by your friends on here. Start to make exercise a part of your new life. Stopping smoking will be beneficial, not only for you but also for your children, cleaner air and a good example. By being diagnosed early you have been given a chance to help yourself, don't waste it.

Looking forward to hearing from you and wishing you all the best. iris x


Welcome to the group, it must be so confusing for you, but go see your gp and explain how you are feeling. You need answers and your gp should be giving them to you. Take each day as it comes, and try to keep smiling. As others have said this site and the people on it are very supportive. We are all in the same boat. So please never think you are alone. Keep us all up to date. Take care xx😊

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You've already been given some excellent advice and I can't add to it so I just want to say welcome to the group and well done on stopping smoking and for seeking out advice on what you can do to help yourself, you're going in the right direction :) x


Hello and a warm welcome. You've had some really good replies and you're obviously well-motivated to look after yourself. Many people on here have lived with this for years, and there's no reason why you shouldn't too.

One other thing I'd suggest is that you see your GP, ask for a spirometry test which will give you a bit more information and talk through whether you should be having treatment, such as inhalers. To put it another way, to make a plan to manage your emphysema in the best way.

It can be managed. The anxiety and stress are things most of us go through - you'll feel so much better when you're more in control of this. Probably still get anxious from time to time but living can make us anxious!!

Take care, Sue x

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Hi and welcome to the forum. It is natural to feel shocked when diagnosed, especially at such a young age. The panicky feeling does subside considerably.

Please don't feel guilty about letting your kids down, it's not as if you've gone and got COPD deliberately.

Your young and with you stopping smoking, you have years ahead of you.

Also, the medical profession, are coming out with new treatments all the time and you are young enough to benefit from them all in the future, so, try not to stress, I know it's hard, but, it doesn't help, mentally.

Stay on here, at least until you have a better understanding of the disease.

Some people, don't progress for many many years. Just try your best to keep off the cigs, it's the most important change that must be made. xx


Hi and welcome , kids are very resilient , well done with not smoking , i foundnicorette quick mist spray they only thing that helped me to stop andvi spent a fortune over the years with alternative therapies and different substitutes but different types help different people , i used to havea packet of cigarettes and my spray so I would decide whether a dprsy would be fine or did I really want a cigarette , someof the smoking nurses say that you can have a cigarette or use other substitutes together to help you cut it down , my problem was i didn't want to stop and the more people got on at me the more I smoked but eventually I did stop myself without actually telling anyone that way no on got on at me ,

A lot of people are using the e cigs but I found that I was still inhaling and it stillmafe me cough but well done ifbyou can do it on yor own but thereare loads of thingsthat you can try freeto see if they help speek to your doctor or smoking nurse , my mum just finally stopped using the tablet champex or something like that i forget the nsme of it, i still use my spray when im stressed as I dont have much will power, minf you im on oxygen constantly now so i would blow myself up ifvi smoked lol.

Things will get easiet try writeing down things that are worrying you so that you remember when you see your consultant or doctor .

Sometimes it is trial and error with medication but things do get easier . .

Good luck ,

Loraine x


Of course you inhale with an e-cig Loraine, that's the whole point - it's identical to smoking but without the smoke from combusted tobacco which is the killer! The vapour contains fewer chemicals than a nicorette and it has nothing which might give you suicidal thoughts as do many of the drugs. Public Health England have stated that e-cigs are at least 95% safer than cigs and in the 7 years I've been using one I have experienced nothing but huge improvement in both COPD and asthma. I'd advise Stressed2max to quit pronto - 24 hours without a ciggie cannot be dismissed because it shows the will to give up, but I know from bitter experience that smokers are much like alcoholics - even after 2 years smoke-free I fell off the wagon because the need is always there. With an e-cig the need is satisfied.


Hi i totally agree that the need is always there , that is why I always have a supply of nicorette quick mist as I dont have any will power , i could not take the inhaling of the vapour as it did make me cough, my daughter uses one and had done for over a year , my mum stopped with the tablets different types work for different people but if it works great ,

My partner has really good will power he just stop , I could never have done that ,

My dad has been stop over 15 years and he says that he could still smoke sometimes but he wouldnt but he say that you still get cravings.

Every winter i used to start smoking again as I couldn't get out very much but now that I am on oxygen i will just have to keep my spray close by .


Thank You all very much for the support! I have tried to smoke a cig to help wirh craving/stress bit after I lit it and inhaled the first drag I was so disapointed in myself I chucked it out the truck window, now chewing gum to the point that my tongue is sore! I have not heard from my drs office since I had to call for the results of CT scan and his nurse broke the news to me... was not even told which stage i am in. I called back on wed last week and was supposed to hear from specialist but not yet! I will be asking about tests to see if cigs were main cause or from work. Not that it matters, whats done is done! Only looking forward from here. I am a very fit person (other than copd) work everyday as contractor, cut and split firewood to heat our home and walk 2 miles atleast twice a week. Dr did call in 2 inhalers, ventolin and incruse(powder?). could not figure out how to get back to this forum is why i havent been back since original post. Thank you all again for the kind, supportive words! Will try finding my way back when I speak with pulmonoligist hope today 12-13-16.


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