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anyone stil smoking and taking chemo


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It is really hard to quit at the best of times and now you are under stress it is worse. My husband was diagnosed on October 2nd. He didn't quit til January 25th when rushed to hospital cause he couldn't breath....never had a breathing issue til then. He was in hospital for a week and is on oxygen so doesn't smoke now, however he is now very lazy and mopey. I am not an anti-smoker (I myself still smoke 5-6 per day and trying to quit) but I can tell you that although my husband cut back from 50 cigerettes a day to 8 a day when he was diagnosed I think he may have still had a better response rate with his 1st chemo had he have quit completely (I read a study the other day that said gemzar may not work for those who still smoke). Also I know as our house has been smoke free for years - that going out in the garage in the winter would not help him from getting chest infections either. I would recommend trying whatever you can to quit now. If you are told that there is no more treatment that you can ever be given then that would be debatable - but as long as there is something that the medical profession can do for you I would try to quit.

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Dear Robin,

My Dad never did quit smoking... I have two schools of thought on this issue some will hate me, and some might understand.

I feel very strongly that smoking is a nasty, dangerous habit. If you have never smoked - Don't start.

Now as for my Dad... he smoked from the time he was 13 years old.... diagnosed at the age of 76 and passed at the age of 79. Do I think quitting smoking at that point would have made a difference? No, I honestly don't. Now, let me just say... he was an older man. If he was in his 50's or 60's or younger, I would have done all in my power to get him to quit. The fact was he enjoyed smoking HE LOVED SMOKING... and I could not justify making him quit (not that I had that type of power over him anyway!!)

I have read recently that Chemo works more effectively if you are not smoking....

Whatever your decision... Don't punish yourself too much at this point for your decision to keep smoking... in the long run, you will make the decision that works best FOR YOU. Love, Sharon

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I guess for me when they took my left lung out was when I said ENOUGH! I have had breathing problems off and on over the last 12 years, but I have no doubt in my mind that if I would have continued to smoke I wouldn't be breathing today.

They (Doctors) encourage you to really try to quit smoking when doing chemo. I know how hard it is to quit, we have talked about it several times on the board here. Maybe you could go look up some old posts regrarding Quiting Smoking and see if anyone else had some good ideas.

Good luck to you.

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I totally agree with sharon. If I was in my 70s I would not have quit. I love to smoke and it if I did not have 2 little ones I do not know if I would have quit. The one thing that helped me was I was put in the hospital for 11 days. I figured if I could do it for 11 days that I would keep it up. It has now been 4 1/2 months but still want onw everyday. :D Do what you feel is right you will make the right decision.

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Robin I tried for years and then finally quit - twice. The first time it took me over a year to quit. I tried everything. When they started chemo - I stopped but I was down to 4 to 5 cigs a day so it wasn't too bad.

You're under a lot of stress right now and it will be hard for you to quit. However, I would encourage you to at least cut down. There are a number of web sites to help you when you are ready.

In the meantime, don't punish yourself. Do what you can. That's all you can do.

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Hi Robin,

I'm not a smoker, but my dad who was just recently diagnosed is. His tumor is inoperable and right now they can't even do chemo. He will begin radiation next week. Some are very surprised when I tell them he still smokes. As much as I have always wanted him to quit I can't really push him now (with everything he is going through). I agree with Sharon, my dad is going on 71 and he loves to smoke. He's always said if he couldn't live like he wanted to he didn't care to live. I just pray that the radiation still works. You are in my prayers. Take care and God Bless.

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