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I think Mom's smoking again


rmm17

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I found out from my little brothers today that they caught my mom smoking in the garage. I asked my mom about it and she denies it. Im not sure i believe it. My dad says he thinks she is too. I know that it may not matter now that she already has cancer, but i am still sooo angry. I am also angry that she lied to me about it. I think its very selfish of her. She just finished her treatment and all her scans came back clear...and now she's smoking again. I think its also terrible since so many people lose their lives to lc and they've never smoked in their lives. I know its very hard to kick the habit, but i wish she could be honest with me so i could help her. What should i do? How can i talk to her about it?

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She may have lied because she felt guilty, because she knew how angry you and others would be with her?

Unless those that love her can talk with her and help and support her in an unconditional way, she may not feel like she can open up about what is going on with her emotionally, why she may be smoking again, or accept any help from anyone without feeling like she is being judged or blamed.

I am sure she loves her family very much and just doesn't want to let any of you down, make any of you angry or dissapointed in her if in fact her addiction has control over her again.

Be open with her, let her know how much you love her and how you will always be there for her and help her in any way you can no matter what, maybe then she will open up to you?

Then again, to smoke or not to smoke is her choice alone and her addiction and she is the only one who can make the decision whether to smoke or seek help in stopping.

If she is smoking again, it isn't because she doesn't love you or doesn't care about living- if only it was that simple! Smoking is a horrible addiction and sometimes it takes many many tries to quit for good.

Love each other and support each other like you're doing. I am saying lots of prayers for your family.

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I am praying that your mom will have the strength to quit smoking for good. In the meantime, I too agree with Katie, do try and be patient. Prayers for you also.

Prayers & Patience

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Well I know I will get a big slam dunk for this but as you read this remember, we all have our right to our own opinion. I think you mother is stupid for smoking after the doctors have given her all of the treatment and time to help try and cure her. She has a better chance than most SCLC patients and to continue smoking is a slap on the face to them. Maybe her doctor should refuse to treat her and then what would she say. Yes I smoke for 35 years and quit 3 weeks before I was told I had cancer and both my wife and I are smoke free for 3 1/2 years. Why, because we figured out we as people are smarter than the smokes. Your mother needs to be reminded daily of those that have died fighting and not given any slack. Well now that I have had my say go ahead and slam me for this comment but as a previous smoker, a SCLC patient and a survivor I will not change my mind. The question I have for your mother is if the cancer comes back and it will, who will she depend on then when she threw her chance away?

Don

PS: Yes I was stupid for smoking and I wish someone had talked to me this way and told me how damn fool I was for smoking. There is no excuse.

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Well I can only say if you want a relationship with your mom, accept her as she is.

I am one of those who smoked for yrs. I quit the week I was diagnosed. I started again 2 yrs later -quit for awhile-started again-quit-started-------

I wish it was as easy for me as some here makes it sound

Your mom is under a lot of pressure, she is the only one to do this. If she is made to feel less than human, she will avoid being around those people.

Katie hit it right on the head. Re-read her post.

Love, Cindy

P.S. I went thru this in the early 90's with my mom-she hid her smoking after the diagnosis because she felt guilty. It took away time we could of spent with her. She came out of the closet after we told her we knew and it was OK. If you want to quit you will, if not, we still want to be with you.

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I too am in agreement with Katie and as one who smoked for 40 year's and a wife who smoked for 45 year's we were able to quit when we decided it was best and never looked back. But everyone's mental and physical make up is different and i for one would not be so judgemental as smoking i've been told is the most addictive thing for far to many people one can do. You might try this and that is let your Mother know that if she feel's the need to smoke now and then you will understand. One last thought on this and that is your Mother may have read or been told by other's that she has a very extreme small chance of beating this desease and she may feel inside also that she might as well do what she enjoy's while she can. Hope i've helped on this and Pray for your Mother.......

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Well now am happy to see I started some reaction here. Its ok Cindy so say its not as easy as DON says it is. Its ok Larry to say I am being judgemental because I am. Does this upset me, no. I see on so many of stories or under someones name, believe in Christ, trust in the Lord, Only God makes it possible. They are all correct. When my wife and I quit we made a promise to the Lord that we would quit. Why, because we believe in the faith of the Lord and we dont want to break that promise. I will not have to answer why I broke my promise because my faith carries me each and every day. What about the moriphine that I lived on 24/7 for over 4 months. Do you think that was easy to stop. Or the sleeping pills, or flexeril, or the patches for pain. Yep was easy to do because I let the Lord have it. By some of the statements it ok to smoke or break down for a cancer patient is kinda like a junkie. Is it ok for them to have a relapse. No. Would we be so easy on our kids for doing drugs, NO.

If we want to change how people feel about Lung Cancer and we as smokers did it to ourself, then we need to show people we are fighting and changing the world not telling someone it is ok. rmm17 sent me a email saying she was not offended by my words and she felt the same way I do. She has 2 17yo brothers and they all need their mom now more than ever. The mom needs to set the example here for them to remember.

In closing, I am sorry if I offended anyone but if you smoke then am not sorry, I will stand by this, but I will pray for you and if you need me I will call you and try to help you. But will I listen to you light up a smoke while we are talking, hell no I will hang up in your ear.

God Bless all of you and please remember, God makes all things possible.

Don

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I want to thanks everyone for their suggestions and support. I understand i need to be supportive of my Mom and not accusatory. Thank you very much, Don, for your spirited posts. I agree with you 100%. I feel like my Mom has been given a second chance at life (unlike many wonderful people diagnosed with this disease). I will not just ACCEPT that my Mom is a smoker. I am not going to be mean to her or unsupportive. I am going to be caring,loving, and firm with her about this issue. Again, thank you for your posts.

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I smoked for many years, from 13 years old until I was almost 44. I quit when I got sick 3 1/2 years ago. Was it easy NO WAY. Sometimes when the news was the worse is when I wanted a cig. the most. Did I pick one up no way. I asked myself everytime that urge came over me DO YOU WANT TO DIE and of coarse the answer was NO. I feel very lucky to be here. Do I think I would have done as well as I have if I had not quit. I don't think I would have.

Best Wishes,

Dee

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OK ~ I was gonna leave this one alone but I just can't! Rochelle's mom and & are the same age (within 1 year), same DX, and are only like 2 days apart with our treatments...basically mirror images at this point in our lives. I, like Rochelle's mom, had smoked ever since I was a teenager...and quit the day I was told there was a "shadow" on my xray ~ Oct 24, 2005 11am! I could not imagine EVER putting a cigarette up to my mouth again ~ I'm so focused on living, that there is just no way I could ever smoke again. My mom also quit when I was diagnosed, 6 weeks ago I found out she is smoking again (and was hiding it from me)...I'm with you Rochelle, totally unacceptable! Even though she doen't have LC, I should be a constant reminder of what can happen ~ I just don't get it! I believe Don and I were just as addicted as anyone out there...you just have to want to live bad enough! I, like Don, handed it over to the Lord...my faith (and special friends like Don and his wife Letty)is what has kept me going! Stand your ground (in a loving way) with your mom Rochelle, I'm doing the same with my mom!

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This is a good exchange!

I don't think anyone is saying that smoking is ok. It's NOT.

What the previous posts emphasize is understanding and love to truely support someone thru their quitting process.

Some people are strong enough to quit cold turkey, or the first time around. Others, "even with the lord in their hearts", cannot. It may take them a little longer or a failure or two.

I am not going to be mean to her or unsupportive. I am going to be caring,loving, and firm with her about this issue.

I think that is a great decision and my prayers continue to be with your family.

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I used to be soooo angry about this with my FIL--smoked until the end (who was also battling LC at the same time as my dad). The anger was making me bitter. I finally let go when I found a quote from one of the members of this board; "Love the addict, hate the addiction".

Kathi

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Well I know I will get a big slam dunk for this but as you read this remember, we all have our right to our own opinion.

Yes, we do!

I think you mother is stupid for smoking

No, she isn't. She's addicted. SLAM DUNK!

. . and to continue smoking is a slap on the face to them.

Their job is to treat the sick - not judge the sick! SLAM DUNK!

Maybe her doctor should refuse to treat her and then what would she say.

I don't know what SHE would say, but I would say any doctor that did say that (or anyone else) was a self-righteous, pompous a**! SLAM DUNK!

The question I have for your mother is if the cancer comes back and it will, who will she depend on then when she threw her chance away?

Like you, she will hopefully depend on the Lord! He died for our sins - ALL OF THEM, understands our weaknesses, didn't even turn his back on David for his incredible weaknesses, and even forgave the sinner beside him on a cross. SLAM DUNK!

I wish someone had talked to me this way and told me how damn fool I was for smoking. There is no excuse.

Maybe they did and you didn't listen. Even if someone did tell you, you would have been annoyed and not done it until you were ready. Even if someone did not "tell you", you knew for 35 years it was harmful and could cause cancer, but it took you 35 years to stop.

How dare you sit in judgment of others! That's God's job and you're not God!

SLAM DUNK! SLAM DUNK! SLAM DUNK!

Peggy

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Peggy

Dont wait for me to be upset with your reply because am not. Got a laugh out of it.

You're not really giving your opinion to discuss this issue your just being argumentative.

People are alot more educated today about smoking and if you smoke yes I think you are stupid. Only replying to being stupid about smoking and just smoking. I along with many others did not know it was that harmful when I started. The govt US Army even gave us cigarrettes with our meals.

When it comes to treating a patient even the doctor has a choice who he treats and does not treat. If you dont think that is fair talk with the insurance compaines and when they dont pay enough the doctor transfers them to another doctor. Most doctors will not have the enthusiam to treat you for cancer if your gonna sit there and continue to smoke. I believe that is their right.

And for your last comment about me judging I was not doing that I was giving my opinion. Maybe I have stronger feelings about this because I am a patient and not a caregiver. You will never truely understand or anyone else for that matter the feelings of a cancer patient until you are a cancer patient. I am very sorry that you lost your husband to cancer.

Now if you still have a problem with me you can PM me and blast me all you want but please stay with the issues and don't judge me for my OPINION.

Don

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Dear Don,

I had to laugh, too, because you're right. I criticized you for judging a "person", and you are justified in criticizing me for judging your "opinion". Judging is judging - no matter how it's done. I apologize for being judgmental of your opinion. I just became engulfed in rage when you called this young lady's mother stupid. My strong opinion is that she is absolutely NOT stupid.

In addition, my opinion is this: If you had said "smoking is stupid", I would have agreed with you, but you said "she is stupid." With that, I do not agree.

And to the author of this post, I see her name is Rochelle, I say this:

Dear Rochelle,

I understand that you do not understand why your mom is smoking again. Nobody really understands it. My opinion is that your mother is probably as intelligent as every other person on this website, knows the consequences of smoking, and is smoking either because she chooses to or doesn't believe that she can quit because she is addicted.

In my opinion, your mom knows you don't understand, and to avoid conflict, criticism or judgment, she hides her smoking. I believe that most smokers have strong feelings of guilt about smoking, whether they are sick or not. To know that others condemn them or criticize them INCREASES those feelings of guilt, which in turn increases the very behavior that needs to change.

There are no guarantees that loving someone and accepting them like they are will change their behavior, either, BUT there is almost assuredly a guarantee that pushing them will drive them further into the behavior you so much want to stop.

In Al-Anon you are taught, like Kathi said, to love the addict but hate the addiction. You are taught to let the person suffer the consequences of their behavior, no matter how much it hurts you. You are taught that you should not do anything to enable their behavior and taught to get away from the situation if it is more than you can bear. But most importantly, you are taught to keep your mouth shut and not try to change the person. The person already knows how you feel, knows they need to change and when (or if) they are ready, they will change. Any nagging, hinting, brochures, using other people, etc., etc. will not help.

Positive encouragement, MOSTLY ACCEPTANCE, could help. If the subject of smoking comes up, if you "catch" her smoking or know she has been smoking, an encouraging comment might go something like this: "Mom, I know you're smoking and you don't have to hide it from me. I love you just the way you are - smoking or not. I don't understand it, and I'm afraid, but only because I want you to live and be in my life for a very long time. But, Mom, I really do love you just like you are, and I know that when you're ready to quit, you can do it!"

Love and hugs,

Peggy

P.S. Don, thank you for your words of sympathy. I'm sorry I lost my husband, too. He, too, thought smoking was stupid and hated the smell of it, but he never stopped loving the smokers in his life, and he never thought they were stupid.

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I hope i do not sound to uneducated but what i do know is number one there is not unanimous agreement between Science and Doctor's that smoking causes cancer but as for number 2 there is almost unanimous agreement that there are better thing's for your body than smoking.

It is very hard to tell the difference between a opinion and Judgementalism. One thing i feel has happened is Smoking has become a political statement that make's money for some(goverment charging higher taxes) and win's election's for some(remember Al Gore using his sister's death). I think far to many people have taken stand's over thing's they normally would not have had the politician's not interfered. I for one strongly believe in the old saying that say's "ONE MAN'S MEAT IS ANOTHER MAN'S POISON".

I do not encourage smoking and also at time's get caught up in the strong anti smoking behaviour. I personally feel and believe if as much effort went into changing people's thinking on alcohol consumption that we as a nation would be far better off than we are with the anti smoking thinking that is going on. We would spend a whole lot less on law enforcement, auto accident's,jail housing and divorce's and the list can go on and on. There is more i can say but better stop here as we all know Alcohol will never be politically incorrect as most politician's drink in which TED KEnnedy come's to mind, and most judges drink and it's just plain a part of our social life's here in our country and of course other's.Just look at the positive comment's made here on LCSC about having a drink in which that along support's my point's.. OK I've said enough Byeeee for now.....

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Guess I feel like I need to get my opinion or lack there of, into this very good discussion. I totally agree with all of you, okay? One thing that I do have my own opinion about, is that in spite of all the money spent & earned, the enormous amount of education, so very many years of research etc; still nobody knows a damn thing for sure. Information gets changed daily on the 6:00 news. I personally don't completely trust what anyone says and that anyone is capable of doing anything, given the right or wrong circumstances. All the political mumbo jumbo just makes me sicker.

Okay, now back to the issue at hand...smoking. As somebody that was unable to completely stop smoking and stay stopped for 30+ years, I have completely stopped, since the day I was told "that it looks like" lung cancer. I still feel guilty and ashamed of all those years of smoking, yet I still want a cigarette, and yes, I miss those days of when it was "okay" to smoke, and no, nothing in the world gives you the mental & physical pleasure/relief that a cigarette does. However, after having a lobe removed, just the thought of drawing that smoke down into my lungs completely disgusts me. No one has stopped smoking because of my lung cancer, not even my husband. As previously said, it is very much a personal decision and has nothing to do with how much someone loves someone. I do not doubt my DH's love for me for one minute. I just personally feel that after all I have been through to cure this cancer, that I have to do whatever is in my power to keep this cancer from returning. I can't/won't return to my last job because of the second-hand smoke I would get. If I was not given a chance for a complete cure, I really don't know how I would feel about not smoking. So, yeah, be real nice to your Mom.

I am thankful that I am able to write all this and thankful for any listeners, and hope that it somehow helps somebody.

Patty

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On the news they said some study found that it is not healthy to keep secrets. People keep secrets because they fear if any one knew they would be rejected. Keeping the secret they also in the end feel rejected. Our emotions affect our health and immune system.

Most important is that your Mom knows no matter what you love her and would never reject her.

Donna G

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