Lessons from Cecil

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Fear and Anxiety
The major problem with any disease is not the effects of the disease, but the fear and uncertainty. Especially if it is a disease like emphysema or COPD.

If you are afflicted with heart disease you worry about chest pains, if you have stomach problems you worry about stomach pains.

With our illness we are naturally afraid of everything.  Our illness can manifest itself in any form or fashion and sometimes we never even realize it ourselves because it can play games with your mind.

On an average we take more medications and treatments with emphysema and COPD than any other form of illness, the exception possibly being cancer.

My point is that the best medication for this illness is easily obtained. It doesn't take a prescription, nor a trip to the pharmacy. It is the education and understanding of the illness, the willingness to work hard and control it and eliminate the fear of it.

It is an incurable disease but when that fact is accepted and you instill the determination in your mind to overcome the fear and fight it on a full-time basis with every fiber of your being, it is no worse than any other. More death comes from lack of understanding than the disease itself.

Lastly, the most important factor that I have not touched on is the support system that we get from each other. When you have to break a new trail it can be scary, and can mentally debilitate you because of the unknown. However, if you have someone that has walked that trail before and is willing to educate and lead you down that trail, it is just a road like any other. As the saying goes "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."  

I hope that maybe it will help someone since I have just learned this lesson myself, and I have had this illness for fifteen years.