British Lung Foundation
33,760 members41,217 posts

Just Diagnosed


I am 47 and have to say, I was terrified when I started to suffer from shortness of breath that I had lung cancer. Thankfully, that appears not to be the case and am just waiting for my spirometry to find out what stage my COPD is at.

I am now on day 6 of giving up smoking and I will not ever smoke again but do feel a bit like closing the stable door......................

I am trying to stay positive but in truth, I am devastated at my diagnosis. I am running up and down the stairs trying to improve my lung function and can do 5 rounds before I need to take a walking break to do the next round and am doing 20 up and down at least twice a day to try and help myself. I have to say, I am terrified I am going to be told I have grade 3, or even 4.

I have searched all over the place to try and work out what stage I am likely to be at. I can walk at a normal pace on flat and not suffer anything, trotting up the stairs, I am not breathless but breathe ever so slightly harder.

I see myself as lucky to have found this site, it really is the first that I have found really useful.

I am taking responsibility for my own health and I am committed to do whatever it takes to stay as well as I can for as long as I can but I have no idea what my lifespan could be if I continue to do everything I need to do.

I cant have my spirometry until week after next because I had anti biotics just after christmas but am thinking of investing in a treadmill to get as much exercise as I can

Thank you for reading

10 Replies

Hello Katlover and welcome to the Club :) so glad you found us x

First of all ........ don't panic that you're about to shuffle off this mortal coil because in all probability you are not :) and panic is not good for your breathing :)

I was diagnosed in the year 2000 and am still going strong even though I'm at the severe stage. Of course there are lots of things I cannot do now but I still manage quite well though I have to take things a little slower than normal.

You have very sensibly given up smoking and shouldn't look upon it as late closing the 'stable door'. It's never too late ! Plenty of exercise, which you are doing, combined with a healthy diett, good sleep and adhering to the advice and recommendations of your respiratory specialist should see you clear for many, many more years yet.

Good luck with the spirometry test and let us know the outcome, eh ?



i Katiover, from what you say I wouldn't worry, just lucky they have caught it good and early.

if you can run up and down stairs and walk normal you are doing well, I wish I could climb stairs.!..I can understand you feel apprehensive about it but giving up smoking is the best thing you can do. eat well keep fit and good luck with your spirometry test.



Thank you to both of you for your comments.

I can not tell you how much you have helped.

As soon as I get my results, I will post them and I will be staying with this fabulous community


Hi katlover. I reckon most of us on here wish we could do what you do running up and down stairs ! I'm at severe stage and can still go up and down stairs in one go. As for walking I do get short of breath and have to rest before carrying on. Whatever stage you are at shouldn't matter. It's how you yourself feel. You sound quite healthy to be honest.


I am feeling pretty ashamed of myself - and well deserved and your comment has done what I needed, not just a swift kick but a reality check and the truth that the psychological effect is probably what has made me feel like I was - yes, feeling sorry for myself.

You are absolutely spot on and in the back of my mind, I knew it, if I can run up the stairs and still actually breath pretty normally at the top, then I have little, if anything to complain about.

I used to be an RGN and nursed so many people with exacerbation of COPD so I should know better

Thank you



But your story, fears and realisation will be of help to others who only read the blogs, they don't take part. Had I been the first to post after your opening information I would have congratulated you for being able to run up the stairs, there are many who couldn't run down them.

Take a deep breath, while you can, and wait for the tests etc. It's sounds like you've a lot of years ahead of you yet and you should not need to panic ;)


Hello Katlover,

Like you I was diagnosed recently (6 weeks ago) and, like you, I was devastated - as this represented the first real inkling of my mortality! I'm a 61 yr. old female and gave up cigarettes straight away.

I too, was worried that it was a case of too little - too late and even tho' I vow I will NEVER smoke again I find that if I feel I'm weakening I just come on to this site, read some of the posts, and my resolve it strengthened again.

Hope this helps a little and Good Luck. asatrout


Hi Katlover,

I'm newly diagnosed too and still reasonably fit. We can be very grateful for that but I think its only natural to go through the shock of diagnosis, followed swiftly by the feeling sad and sorry for yourself stage. I did for sure! I'm sure that is a natural response to any shock.

I doubt I could run up and down stairs 20 times - ever! That is impressive. I've started making the dog take our walks a bit more seriously - its a rude shock to the dog to find she is having to run and catch up with me because I've got my stride on and refuse to stop - instead of hanging around waiting for her to finish her sniffing ;)


I must say I am surprised that you have copd if you can run up and down stairs, you sound really quite fit, I havn't been able to do that for years and was only diagnosed with copd 6 years ago, I think you have several years ahead of you so try not to worry too much. You are still young at 47 and lucky the drs have caught it so early, I am 62 and quite well but have my bad days the same as everyone else on this site but I count myself lucky compared to some.



Welcome. It took me 12 months or so to find this site, mainly because I was not actually looking, I found it via another community. I am quitting bit by bit but getting there. I have not had any more breathing tests done for a while though. I may look into it in the next few weeks once my daughters health is sorted out. But I wish you well and try not to panic. I have to admit my first thoughts were 'cancer' and although mine is Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis I was relieved. I wish you well and keep up the good work xxxxx


You may also like...