The official blog of the Lung Institute.

How to Explain Your Lung Disease to Loved Ones

16 Dec 2015
| Under Disease Education, FAQs, Guides, Lung Disease, Medical, Resources | Posted by | 3 Comments
o Explain Your Lung Disease to Loved Ones

Essential Education

By now, you’ve probably done some research on your condition and what to expect. It might also be helpful for you to learn about common misconceptions about the care needed for chronic lung disease patients–your family may be misinformed about the realities of living with a degenerative lung condition. Having an idea of how to explain your lung disease to loved ones will help lower the anxiety level of everyone involved. 

Determining What Your Loved Ones Know

Before bringing up the subject of your medical prognosis, make sure your loved ones have a clear understanding of your health status. The first step in this process is understanding your COPD prognosis so that you can accurately explain how the disease will likely progresses over time.

People handle difficult information in different ways. If you’re worried that family members will not be accepting or understanding of your prognosis, it might be beneficial to have your physician, clergy or a trusted friend present, or even to speak with them on your behalf.

Your Goals for the Future, and Theirs

Your greatest concern as a patient might be to live without pain, or to stay at home or simply not to be a burden to your loved ones. Ask your family what their concerns are when they consider the coming weeks, months, and years. Explain your concerns for them, as well as for yourself. Let them know you want to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

Take the Initiative

It’s up to you to express your wishes. Sometimes, out of concern for your feelings, your family or loved ones might be reluctant to raise the issue of further care for you. If you’ve been diagnosed with a progressive lung disease, and are looking for a treatment option that goes beyond supplemental oxygen and medication, the Lung Institute might be able to help. If you or someone you love would like know more about stem cell therapy, please contact us online or call (800) 729-3065 to speak with one of our patient care coordinators.




  1. Name

    3 months ago

    Cathy, my heart goes out to you, I would give anything for you to have the stem cell treatment. my dear husband is in the same condition. and we pray every day for a miracle. Like you, every breath is a labered effort, We are retired and money is tight, we are blessed to have Hospic if needed. The stem cell treatment would give us some precious time with our grandchildren and each other. Prayers, hugs , and hope to you Cathy. Never give up and pray for Gods mercy and love. Your friend in South Carolina……..Sue GY

  2. Cameron Kennerly

    9 months ago

    Hello Cathy,

    First and foremost thank you so much for sharing your story. Our hearts go out to you and you have our deepest condolences for your recent losses. Your story is beyond heart-wrenching and you have our highest sympathies. Whether stem cell treatment is right for you, we care deeply about the quality of life of all who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory illnesses. Although you are going through an undoubtedly difficult struggle, we urge you to keep that hope alive and take whatever steps you can to improve your quality of life in any way you can manage. Whether it’s through better nutrition or simply improving the air quality of your environment, try to do what you can, even when it’s the only thing you can do.

    Please keep us updated on your health Cathy. Keep reading and we’ll keep writing!

    -The Lung Institute

  3. Cathy Hildreth

    9 months ago

    I want to have this treatment so badly it hurts. I have a progressive lung disease and the prognosis is severe . I can barely get to the bathroom or make a sandwich in the kitchen. I am on oxygen to help me expel the CO2 from my lungs. I was at 34.08 % of lung use in 2013. I was told ” do not worry I am putting you on a transplant list” I took that comment to say you are dying Cathy. Get your ducks in a row. However, my brother got murdered by drug dealers in Hawaii in the winter of 2012. He was just one year older than me. My two other brothers died in car accidents 4 years to the day apart. On Easter weekend. Then in 2015 my baby sister almost 7 yr. my junior, had been going to doctors over her severe pain issues was told all kinds of diagnosis to her ailment but no cure. She was having to go to a pain clinic some 80 miles from our neighborhood for pain control. They also demanded that we who suffer chronic pain must follow all their orders from different forms of pain relief beside pain medicine. They were going to shoot a cement into her l4 l5 level of her spine until I ask her if she had an MRI of this area, she said NO so I told her to get one before they did the cement thing, I knew others who had that procedure and it did no good. So she put her foot down and got the MRI low and behold my poor sister had stage 4 lung, bone , pancreatic cancer as well. They gave her 6 mos to live. She and the family were shocked. She lived for 45 more days and passed on my eldest child’s birthday July 20th. I am still grieving not being able to go to her funeral. I was too sick . This summer and fall I was knocking on Heaven’s door. I was about to meet my maker. When a cool state & federal government healthcare for seniors found me. I forced myself to go to the clinic but riding the bus and carrying the heavy oxygen tanks is killing me . It takes days to get over the trip there and back. If I make say cookies . From the exertion of that act I will sleep the entire next day. Last May I was mowing my own lawns. I did not get COPD from smoking but from a serious chemical spill and also sandblasting with silica sand ( very fine sand made from glass NOT SAND) without facial masks. I lost about 40% of my lungs from that accident. I then was exposed to Organophosphate pest control products for 10 yrs. It is the same stuff the Natzi used to kill the Jews in the showers where this product was sprayed on all the rooms where the innocent were sandwiched in like sardines . they would be dead like fish out of the water, flopping around but no where to sit down. those who did not die from the poison, were shot. What this poison does to the human body is it via neurological system shutting down organs that it overtakes. It causes shorting out of brain waves to tell the arms and hands or feet in walking to do its commands. So I fall alot. I am unsteady when I stand and tend to fall. I can barely walk and need assistance bathing cooking, shopping, all the things I use to do, back the end of May of 2015. I am so ill now yet was told my COPD was severe. I do maintain a level of oxygen 90 to 99% my problem is expelling the CO2 . I act like I am having a panic attack, but it is me trying to breath. the feeling of drowning or suffocating…to death is what I am thinking when I am having a episode. I am on morphine but have to be careful with this pain medicine for it tends to slow down my heart, it could kill me as well.
    I filled out the application for this service because it offered a treatment for those who can’t afford it to be put on a list or chosen to give treatment of my stem cells for my lungs with no cure but to breath better possible to fix the air sacs that are not totally destroyed. But I was contacted by the company for money only and I am on Medicare, Medicaid and also in a healthcare plan by our state. I know this surgery procedure with the cells would help me and I could live another 10 years as long as I have oxygen and do not play around but have a good solid life with out the struggle to breathe. I just could not afford the 7800 $ plus airfare & food. there are just 4 clinics and all are a real distance from me. I am 65 and I want to live. All my brothers and sister are dead, I want to live to see my grand children grow up. I so want to live. Right now I can no longer go to the day care center for seniors all but for the doctor and other appointments. I get my meds and meals on wheels if I need it. Things are ok but I am just existing the quality of life is below and kind of standard. I was so independent and now I am like a baby. thank you for your time and know this I would get the treatment if I could afford it.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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