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Two years ago my mother had one lung and some ribs removed.

She was told by the surgeon that if she quit smoking she had about a 70% chance of living 10 years or more, and more importantly, living them feeling good. If she decided to keep smoking then the chances of her surviving even two years were small.

Well it has been two years and she is still smoking, in fact, it seems more then ever.

She is 54 years old. I am 31 years old and smoked for 11 years, almost two packs a say. In September I had my fist asthma attack. It was the scariest most awful thing I have been through. While the Dr. in the emergency room was hooking me up to IV steroids and the nebulizer she told me that if I choose to keep smoking I will develop emphysema and what I was feeling, the gasping for air, the feeling that I was going to die, would be there all the time.

I felt terrible for days after and to be honest, I tried to smoke and I could not get any smoke in . I just coughed it up. I kept thinking of what it felt like, being in the hospital and the Dr. telling me that emphysema feels like that, and I made my decision. I quit on September 11 for good. never tried to touch another one. I bought some nicotine gum and have been chewing it and have not looked back.

It is very hard for me to look at my mother smoking and not get angry at her. Especially since I have quit and it just makes it seem more possible for her to do it, I tell her how much better I feel every day. I tell her she will feel better too and that she cannot even imagine the difference. but she does not even try. She seems to be very sick again to me. She wakes up with terrible coughing fits again and she wheezes all day long. She gets out of breath walking from the driveway to our front door.

I feel terrible about it because I actually am starting to resent her for not trying to quit. Does anyone else have their loved on refusing to quit? How do you deal with it? I am so torn on do I be firm with her and tell her I cannot be a part of her life if she is going to self destruct right in fornt of me?

I feel like if she were killing herself with drugs or alcohol people would tell me to cut her out of my life until she hit rock bottom. why should it be different if she is killing herself with cigarettes?

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First of all, congratulations on your quit! I just gave up smoking on Jan 1st, 30 days before my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer.

You are in a very tough position and as much as I understand how badly you want your mom to quit smoking, from my experience, to nag her or threaten to stay away from her until she does so will not make much of a difference. Your mom is an addict, and until she makes that decision to quit, there is not much more anyone can do. She has to want it for herself!

Emphysema had ebbed away at the life of my mother since 1990, but I continued to smoke anyway, even though I always felt guilty. Nothing could make me quit except ME.

You are so right, your mom does have it in her to quit, like so many before her, and as much as she probably wants to quit, she does not yet have the willpower or desire. You can try and force it on her but but to do so will probably put a real strain on your relationship with her. I bet that by your not smoking anymore is sending her more of a message than words could ever do. Perhaps you can just give her some supportive literature, which might motivate her?

I do understand the resentment though because my partner is a smoker and often times I want to scream "don't you see what smoking has done to mom" but I have learned that forcing someone to quit does not work, at least from my experience. Your mom might be different - maybe she would respond to some hard love?

Either way, I'm sorry that you have to watch your mom doing this to herself - it's very hard.

Congrats again though to you on your quit!!!

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Hello, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to watch your mother continue smoking. I suppose she has heard the facts about the benefits of quitting, even after a diagnosis of lung cancer?

My best guess is that you are doing all the right things: trying to be supportive, showing her how much better you feel now that you are a non-smoker, etc. Just continue being positive about the benefits of not smoking and perhaps she will see your point of view. But remember that everyone makes their own decisions in their own time, and of course you cannot control that.

You know better than most people how hard it is to stop smoking. Smoking releases endorphins, making the smoker feel better, albeit temporarily. Nicotine substitutes help, but they do not cause this "rush" of endorphin release, so for some people there is little appeal to the gum or the patch. She might benefit from the medication used to help people kick addiction. Maybe you could convince her to give the medication a try? (The name is bupropion; brand names are Wellbutrin and Zyban.)

Best wishes to you and her, Teresa

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I've read it here and I think it is very good advice; hate the addiction not the addict, maybe thinking that way can help you feel a little less frustrated with your Mom when you see her smoking. We can only control ourselves and as sad as it might make you feel that your Mom hasn't quit, she will have to come to the decision to stop by herself. Best you can do I think is lead by example. Let it be known with subtle words how good you feel since quitting but I don't think ultimatums or taking yourself from your Mom's life will accomplish what you want but rather, would more likely cause her additional stress and the vicious cycle would then continue.


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You might want to check out the thread posted by MnMom called LC pt living with a smoker (just a few topics down in this caregiver forum at the moment). There are some useful links to info. that might help you with your mom at some point.

Wish I really had some answers for you, but I am working on this one as a future reality potential in my family too. I don't know whether my mom will decide to re-start smoking once she is home and that is a big concern of mine -- you'll find out about the particulars of my history in MnMom's thread. Mom has already let me know about her "wanting to" a few times and, also in the mix is that I still smoke as well. I am hoping that somehow we will end up both quitting for good as our lives move forward.

During my past quit attempts, I also began the resentment thing with my mom. But, you made a key point in your post here: even you tried to smoke after the ER experience, but something clicked in you and you made your decision -- that "inner something" kept going for you to quit for good. Hopefully the links will provide the info. to help your mom "click" too so she can make her own decision like you did.

Congrats on your success with quitting!!


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You are not alone in your anger! As Linda pointed out, I posted something similar except it is my dad who won't quit smoking around my mom who has lung cancer. Others gave me some good links and they will help you out as well.

With my dad, he claims (and now I wonder if my mom didn't perpetuate it) that the damage is done and it doesn't matter. Have you talked to her doctor about it? Sometimes when we are too close, we tend to get 'harpy' and drive them further into their stubborness. Have you had a chance to tell her how scared you were when she was diagnosed and what you went through at that time and are afraid of what will happen if it recurs?

I don't think it is any different with alcohol/drugs or tobacco, they are all addictive and destructive. I would seriously think about walking out each time she lights up. Don't say anything derogatory or demeaning, just let her know that you cannot be around it for your own health and leave.

I wish you luck and just know you are not alone.


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It must be so difficult watching her smoke, especially since you were able to quit under less dire circumstances than hers. But, everyone is different, and as already said, she has to want to quit and she just doesn't want to right now for whatever reason.

I think it's good advice to just walk out of the room without saying anything whenever she lights up. By not smoking yourself, and by not being around when she is smoking, you will make more of a statement than if you were to actually speak. And it will be a statement that she is more likely to hear. Many people get defensive when they feel like they are being told what to do, and they stop listening. They may even smoke more to make some kind of a point!

I wish I could tell you what it would take to get her to quit, but I don't know. It's something different for everyone. When Rick went into the hospital with pneumonia, I quit smoking and haven't touched it since. And we didn't even know that he had lung cancer until 6 days later. Not smoking hasn't been hard for me, either. If I ever think about it, I just remember what it did to Rick, then it makes me mad at cigarettes and I know I won't touch another one ever again even if I wanted to.

I hope your mom decides to follow your example and quit smoking. But if she doesn't, you won't stop loving her. Your love for her is the reason this is so upsetting to you. I wish you both well.

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Congratulations on quitting. I guess you had the ultimate shcok therapy to help you make up your mind to quit.

I quit smoking 22 years ago. I had tried to quit several times before that. Looking back on it, I think I did not really have my mind made up to quit like I did at the final attempt.

I suppose the best thing for you to do is just to ecourage you mom to quit without ticking her off...I suppose...if it were me though, I would tell her I can't stand to be around cigarette smoke, because I can't. I would have to have my contact with any family member or friend when they were not smoking.

Don M

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Thanks everyone. I know its hard and I know everyone is different, I jsut need to vent.

And when I said she sounded very bad lately, I am guessing I am not the only one who thinks so,

She had an appointment with her primary care physician yesterday. she sees him evey 6 months.

He is making her see a Pulmonory specialist. She said "because of my breathing" when I asked her why.

I am guessing that he did not like the way she sounds or somehting on the Xrays he took. I do not know, she will never tell us. Has anyone else had experinece with one of these Dr.'s. this is the first time she has seen one.

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I have often thought about you and your Mom over all these months. Remember me? I am glad to see you and that you have quit smoking........................sorry about your Mom. I have no advice on getting her to quit. You already have received great tips here.

A pulmonologist was the doctor who really coordinated all my tests and tx here. He did the bronchoscopy and all the tests dealing with O2 levels and breathing issues. It does sound as if that is who your Mom should be seeing.

Let us know how things progress....................don't stay away so long. BTW............my niece is currently being treated at Mass General................just and FYI.


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I read every day almost, I jsut have not posted in a long time. I go through stages I guess when I don't want to think about it.

I wonder why my mother never saw one of these Dr's before? She was dealing with her surgeon for everything. Weird . He set up all of her scans and tests and did the surgery, she sees him once a year and her primary care once every 6 months and no one else. So now that her dr. wants her to see another Dr. two and a half years after her diagnosis makes me a little worried.

Thanks for thinking about us.

Please tell me your niece is not being treated for LC?

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