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I just read a story somewhere today that Paul Newman is battling lung cancer. I've always liked him as an actor. But the story angered me ... this is an exact quote: "Paul Newman -- an exsmoker -- is battling lung cancer".

OK, let's try a couple other scenarios: Jane Doe -- someone who was promiscuous in her sex life -- is battling ovarian cancer. John Smith -- who ignored repeated suggestions of adding fiber to his diet -- is now battling colon cancer. Mary Jones -- who refused to eat a healthy diet -- is now battling the side effects of diabetes. John Baker -- who insisted on getting a tatoo once in his youth -- now is diagnosed with Hepatitis.

Must we use lung cancer like it's a justified end result of having smoked in your life?


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I am right there with you. Although I have to say I have a terrible time still with the guilt from being a smoker. But hate it when people ask me if I was...not fair, lots of other people do things that aren't healthy for them as well. LC and smokers have a tough road to haul and it isn't fair. Like cancer ain't enough!!! Don't get me going.

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quite aggravated on a related instance of lung cancer in the media. I'm a golf fanatic and during the US Open there was an event in which three celebrity golfers and one additional decently skilled civillian golferwere selected to play the US Open course to see just how difficult the course would be for an average player.

So they guy they chose was this really inspiring guy who has stage 4 lung cancer. Every single time the disease was brought up they said he has "non-smokers" lung cancer. Of course there are many "never smokers" who have lung cancer, but I found it annoying that they kept on referring to it as if that were a clinical category of lung cancer, distinct both treatment wise and morally from the rest of lung cancer sufferers. Like we should feel compassion for this guy but not for the ex smoker and even the current smoker who brought this on themselves . . . I think it would be interesting to gauge people's reactions if they knew that the clinical dividing threshold of being a never-smoker is 100 cigarettes in a lifetime.

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This also angers me too. My Dad was an ex smoker had quit for about 10rys before diagnosis, he had sclc and when he was diagnosed i can remember the oncologist saying/explaining to me and Mom that this is the kind that smokers ususal get VS, NCSLC. Well Buddy, I was thinking, do you know that my Dad worked in a factory for 10 plus years that was shut down because of the caustic fumes or do you know that my dad is an ex-Marine who was in Vietnam and was exposed to agent orange and according to the government that is what probably caused his LC?

there are so many different things in this world that a person comes in contact with that could cause you to get LC. ITs not just smoking. MAN!!!

ok, that is my story... Im sticking to it!


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In the 17 months since my dx, only one person (a relative stranger) has ever said anything negative to me regarding lung cancer and that was a woman who asked me what kind of cancer I had. When I told her lung cancer, she asked, "Did you do anything to deserve it?"

I was so stunned by her response that I couldn't even answer her, just sat there with my eyes bugged and my mouth agape.

Good Gawd.

NO ONE "deserves" to get any kind of cancer.


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The insesitivity of some people. I am often in awe of how people can just blurt of thngs without thinking, or for that matter truely mean what they are saying. I just would never think to ask such a question, yet think it.

On the other hand, I always braced myself for some sort of reaction when I told people what type of cancer my Dad had. I cant really remember any one person specificaly asking, Did your Dad smoke, but I know that some one once did. Why is it that a person should feel ashamed of this diagnosis? Its hard enough to handle without adding the pressure of society on top of it.

I am having a Rummage Sale with procedes going to LUNGevity, I think that at the sale I will have postings about this site and the statistics about LC and LOTS of info on how its not always smoking that causes LC. Just doing my part to educate the ill-informed!

Any Ideas where I can find some info to print off


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One of the things I love about this site is the lack of "judgmentalism" regarding smoking (who needs that on top of everything else!).

On the other hand, I unabashedly admit to educating others about the fact that lung cancer research is massively underfunded due to the stigma of smoking, but that the fastest growing category of newly-diagnosed lung cancer patients is never-smoker females whose deaths are already greater in number than breast cancer patients (my motto is: Whatever it takes!).

I was just reading an article about Christopher and Dana Reeves (posted by Randy on the "Lung Cancer in the News" forum), which refers to her having lung cancer despite being a "never smoker." What the article did not mention is that many are now claiming that it's due to her having worked in a "smokers" bar in her younger years.

They just don't get it. :cry:


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Not too many people have asked me the smoking question...as most were aware I did anyways. Some "acquaintances" and "strangers" have though. And in my advocacy work the reporters "always" ask and boy do I have a reponse for them.

Before I was diagnosed, 2 other women at my workplace had very recently died from LC. They left work and never came back. And neither smoked! I felt so "guilty" being the one that actually came back. Nobody begrudged me certainly, everyone was and is just so thrilled to see me. But you certainly think "why me" for being so lucky and I am sure others wonder as well...

I mostly feel guilty about having done this to my kids. I know that I simply would not have this if I hadn't smoked. Others have tried to convince that is not necessary the case, but the odds of it are pretty high. I do know a few things though. One that I was exposed to major significant second hand smoke from the time I was out of the womb. So that probably contributed to my youngness in getting the disease. The other thing is that I started as a teenager, as many of us do, and I read that it is extremely to break any habits developed when a teen because of the brain development at that time. So, for example, if you picked up smoking later in life, like in your twenties, you are able to quit much more easily.

So I know this board doesn't dwell on the smoking thing and I appreciate that. But I am sure I am not the only continuing to experience guilt. I say I have forgiven myself but I haven't. When my kids asked me if I have this becasue of smoking I say a resounding YES.

I have also noticed that ex smokers obits rarely mention LC. Non smokers almost always mention it in their obit.

How the heck have others got though this and moved on? I don't dwell on it and have moved on but could sure use some help in feeling better about it.

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Carole's story about being asked if "she did anything to deserve getting cancer" reminds me of an episode of sex and the City where Samantha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She tells her Dr. she doesn't understand why she got it and he mentions that it is more common in women who never have children. She hears that as blame being as she brought it on by her lifestyle (no marriage, multiple sexual partners). As she is searning for a dr who won't "blame" her for her disease, she meets a nun with breast cancer and realizes that "saints" and "sinners" both get the disease.

Of course, those with lung cancer don't have to infer blame for their disease into remarks people make. They are quite pointed at casting blame, as Carole and the article about Paul Newman point out. It is simply too frightening for them to consider the possibility that lung cancer can afflict anyone--smoker or not. There HAS to be a reason that Paul Newman or Dana Reeve got the disease, otherwise--they may get it too! I believe it is the fear making them stupid.


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If I were to blame anyone for my lung cancer, it would be the tobacco company execs who began adding supplemental nicotine in 1963 upon learning it was addictive, that being the same year I started smoking. :(

Of course, most of those execs are already dead--from lung cancer, it being a prerequisite of their jobs that they chain smoke, a visible sign of their belief that cigarette smoking was not harmful to one's health.


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I know this is politically unwise for me to write, but here goes. :)

Every time I go to work or the store or on vacation, I can count on a inhaling second hand smoke. Even with the new smoking laws, you simply can not leave home without inhaling second hand smoke.

I work hard to keep up my breathing. Eight years of yoga, miles and miles on the exercise bike and I panic every time I get a bad scan. I can't even walk down a city sidewalk on vacation without inhaling second hand smoke. SMOKERS JUST DON'T GET IT. There are people all around them who have breathing problems, kids with asthma and little babies, but smokers don't care about anyone else but themselves and their smokes.

Smokers don't worry about their own lungs, and they certainly don't care about other people's lungs. So why should the non-smoking public care about smokers who get LC?

As a LC survivor, I understand that nobody deserves LC, but smokers need to understand they when they smoke in public they are offending and threatening the health of most non-smokers.


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I understand where you are coming from and am trying to be sensitive to your point, but that's an awfully broad brush you are using to paint a whole group of mostly decent, polite people. We don't have little horns sticking out of our heads, or at least I didn't the last time I looked.

Do you close your car windows when passing lawn service companies at work? How about construction sites? Done a check on radon levels in your basement? Do you avoid travel on roads populated by diesel trucks? Have you installed a whole house air filtration system on your furnace? I could go on and on about pollutant's in the air, but you will encounter them wherever you go. Unless you are willing to mask up, a whiff or two of second hand smoke is pretty minuscule in comparison to other environmental toxins for a non-smoker.

Bottom line? Post-diagnosis, it doesn't matter. You're all lung cancer patients. Divisiveness and a lack of understanding within the LC community does nothing to advance awareness for our cause. This community is comprised of never smokers, former smokers, and current smokers. You are a part of the LC community regardless of your smoking status. In light of that, I find some of your comments very disheartening.

Smoking is an addiction. Smokers are addicts -- by design of the tobacco companies. Your perceptions need to include all people and their varying sicknesses, including addiction. No one is purposely trying to hurt anyone when they are standing outdoors smoking

You are probably more politically correct than I am, but I'm also not going to be thrown to the wolves through our ever increasing P.C. ways.

Welthy -- :twisted: Oh, maybe I do! :wink:

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All smokers are not rude. As a former smoker (polite as possible), I am as repelled by rude smokers as a never smoker.

On a semi-humorous note:

I was recently standing outside a restaurant with 40-50 others, all of us waiting for tables, when a rude smoker lit up right in the middle of us all.

He was asked politely by one of the 40-50 to step further away if he were going to smoke, and he responded rudely.

I happened to be the only one of the 40-50 who was on portable oxygen, so I stepped right up to him (in his face) and said, "Unless you want the two of us to blow up within the next ten seconds, I'd suggest you get the hell out of here right now."

Would you believe the man RAN AWAY FROM ME? :lol::lol::lol:


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If they believe that only smokers get LC, then they think they are safe from this disease. I remember years ago (and I do mean YEARS) when if you heard or knew someone with cancer, that was it. No one went to visit because you were afraid you would get it. In fact you didn't even say the whole word, you just said that they have the big"C". When aids first hit the airwaves remember the panic. Being in the same room with an aids patient..no way. The more will learn and the more we educate the better we become. I had Gallbladder cancer, does that mean I got it because I had a lot of Gall, or do women and men get breast cancer because they have breasts, give me a frigging break. Cancer of any kind is a disease that no one deserves...ever, period.


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Well I knew this was going to be an interesting thread when it started. Had been holding off posting one myself on all my continued guilt re smoking. Carole, I wouldn't want to mess with you girl! Would like to hang with you though and mess with people's minds. Good clean fun.

Barb, I can't let this go without responding to your post. I assume you are a non-smoker. And trust me I TOTALLY GET your perspective despite being an ex-smoker myself. How could non-smokers NOT have those feelings. I am surprised more don't come up to people and say something. Non-smokers are obviously a very tolerant group of people I have found. No stranger ever came up to me and said anything. I have similar feelings about smokers as I do about many people who don't have cancer.

The fact is smokers simply DO NOT GET IT and neither did I when I smoked. If they did really get it do you honestly think there would be any smokers in the world?? If anybody ever really thought doing anything would end up killing them do you honestly think they would do it?? If anybody really thought they were having such a harmful effect on others do you think they could live with themselves??. The answer is OF COURSE NOT!

Smoking is a terrible terrible terrible addiction. And like other addictions, can even beat the smartest, strongest people going. I consider myself to be pretty smart and very strong. Anything I have put my mind to in life, I have accomplished except for one thing. Quitting smoking successfully much earlier on. It absolutely boggles your mind how that can be, despite us all knowing and hearing for many many years in our lives how harmful it is to our health and others. I can not now stop beating myself up over it. The first thing I thought of when I was diagnosed was the guilt of smoking, and what I have absolutely done to my kids. I even smoked when I was pregnant for heavens sakes. I was a somewhat considerate smoker in later years though so will give myself some credit. Hadn't smoked inside for many years or in the car obviously, and even outside tried to find a place away from others.

Very sad to say I cannot pull myself through the guilt of being a smoker. At least I am demonstrating some intelligence now hey.I am in awe and have great respect for people who have managed to quit. Much stronger people than I am obviously.

I have yet to go up to a stranger who is smoking and say anything. Sorely tempted but I know it will not do any good given the addiction. I will absolutely say something now to colleagues and friends. What I find even more hard to believe,is that people will continue to smoke in front of me or when they see me coming...knowing full well I have lung cancer!! I have told many of them they absolutely do not want to be in my shoes. Trouble is, they really have no idea about what it is to have cancer...and how could they. I have managed to have some people quit though as a result of me...and even then I know a few who have returned to smoking. And that doesn't surprise me one little bit.

I am so glad that the laws are finally getting to where they need to be. It will make it less easy for people to get addicted to begin with and will help in some people quitting. I absolutely know my kids will NEVER pick up the habit. You should hear their opinions on smokers.

Finally, as others have difficulty putting themselves in others shoes. I have to say that I have trouble imagining how non smokers who get this disease must feel given it's nasty profile. My heart goes out to all of you who even given that, show great empathy for us ex-smokers who have this disease. I think that is absolutely amazing.

So I hear you Barb and totally get your perspective. Hopefully this helps you understand a little...although I know that is a very difficult thing to do.


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My take. I am a non-smoker whose mother smoked for 55 years and has SCLC.

It's tragic when there's a terrible car accident and a person dies. It's doubly-tragic if the person who died was not wearing a seatbelt. They might have died anyway, but they'd have had a better shot.

It's tragic that my mom has SCLC. It's doubly-tragic that she ever smoked and that she didn't stop any of the times we begged her to. She might have gotten it anyway, but she'd have had a shot.

I think some people mean this (above) sort of analogy, but it comes out crudely as "Were you a smoker?" Know what I mean?

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Keith never smoked And some may remember Carleen and Keith. I do

Benny parsons quit 30 years ago. He even avoided smokers on the race circuit and on golf courses. He is gone

My Deb smoked and I am also an exsmoker.

Bottom line is no one deserves this irregardless of wether or not!

Probably off track but just had to put it out there anyways! :wink::shock:

So for your perusement is the LATEST on Mr Newman!

Dying or not, Paul Newman deserves some privacy

Is Paul Newman still alive?

You might wonder after watching the TV tabloid magazines recently.

They kept reporting that he's dying of terminal lung cancer.

But is he?

Is it anybody's business if he is?

This isn't a new story. A couple weeks ago the media, especially the TV tabloid and entertainment magazines, along with that great grist mill called the Internet, pounced on Newman like ravenous tigers.

The first reports didn't mince words or beat around the bush. Intrepid investigating teams revealed the movie star was definitely-probably dying of cancer. Rev up the death-watch monitor and clear the decks, at least until Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan does something dumb again.

So what was the source of this latest expose? I say expose because the stories were presented as if Newman were trying to cover up something. But never fear, the meddling media forced him out of his hiding place like a fox run down by the gossip hounds. Quick! Someone shoot the poor devil, at least with a TV camera, for the 7 o'clock show!

Well, the source turned out to be a business associate and friend of Newman. So his friend talked to reporters about his health problems, probably without consulting Newman himself.

So the friend says Newman has "a form of cancer." Within hours he says he was misquoted and says, "I have no knowledge of a diagnosis. …" It would be interesting to know if Newman phoned his friend and perhaps called him some names for messing in his private life.

Next a racing-car buddy was quoted as saying, "As far as I can tell he's doing well. I think he looks great."

No, he didn't look great. We know that because there was a photo of Newman taken at the Indy 500. He looked terrible, but at 83 a lot of people don't look so great. The trouble is everybody still has a mental portrait of Newman in a slew of movies like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" when he was so young and handsome.

And wait a media minute! Wasn't Newman always smoking a cigarette in all those old films? Quick! Run up the terminal lung cancer warning flag again and wave it for everybody to gawk at.

Another picture of a haggard-looking Newman at a charity event was plastered on the Web by Martha Stewart, apparently another friend. Some friends Newman has , but it looks like he posed for it, so what are you going to do?

It was surprising that we didn't have those tabloids running tape of a lung cancer operation and interviewing medical experts, who have never seen him professionally, offering a death diagnosis. One of the leading causes of cancer is probably age, unfortunately.

Bulletin! A reporter standing in front of the famous New York cancer hospital is saying Newman might have been treated here. Or he might not have. Hospital officials won't say, which is, of course, interpreted by the reporter to mean they removed his lungs, his heart and probably his big toe.

Obviously there was a little problem of a federal law about disclosing patient information that does not unfortunately cover crusading journalists on tabloid mags.

The "media," of course, isn't a monolith. They don't get together in some news central headquarters to decide to go after someone or something. However, they do indulge in a lot of lemming-like behavior on stories like this.

So far, nothing much from Newman himself. That's explained by disclosures that he has always been an "intensely" and even "fiercely" private man. Translated that may mean he doesn't want to tell you what he and his doctor talk about. Does anyone?

Well, some stars and public figures do. Patrick Swayze has issued a few statements about his pancreatic cancer diagnosis as he works at continuing his career. Sen. Edward Kennedy obviously felt he had to tell his constituents and congressional colleagues what was happening with his brain cancer.

Newman apparently doesn't want to talk about whatever is, or isn't, happening to him. He's not in the public domain anymore, even if his movies kind of are.

He's going on 84, which is four or five years older than the average male lives. In any case, it ought to be his call what to say or not to say -- not "Inside Edition's" or "Entertainment Tonight" or anybody else.

Dying is the most personal thing we ever have to do, and Paul Newman certainly ought to be able to do it with a little peace and privacy if he wants to, or even needs to.

Tom Dorsey's column runs Monday through Saturday. Call him at (502) 582-4474 or e-mail him at tdorsey@courier-journal.com.


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Smoking is an addiction--one so strong that smokers who are also heroin addicts claim that it's easier to stop using heroin than it is to stop smoking.

So I say to all of you who have ever smoked:

(1) Give yourselves a break.

(2) Crying over spilt milk is a waste of time you don't have.

(3) If you have lung cancer and are still smoking, you might as well stop any treatments and live for the day because most research studies show that smoking while undergoing chemo or radiation actually exacerbates your condition.

(4) If you're a caregiver to a lung cancer patient and you smoke around them, you might as well stop the caregiving, buy a gun and shoot them because you're killing them.

And now, I'm going to try to climb off this soapbox without tripping and giving myself another stress fracture! :lol::lol::lol:


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I have never smoked and yet I have this horrible disease - stage 4.

I tell people who ask - and EVERYONE does - that no - I never smoked. I tell them this, not to distance myself from those of you who do smoke, I tell them this so that they will understand that this is anyone's disease - they can get it - their spouse, children, parents, friends can get it - whether they smoke or not. Hopefully by getting more people to understand this - more people will care and there will be as many clear ribbons flying someday as pink.

And - unfortunately - I feel that I am still looked at differently - not because I have cancer - but because of the kind of cancer I have.

People just don't get it.

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For those of you who are interested, a series of articles regarding smoking and lung cancer appeared in the latest edition of The Lancet Oncology as well as a recent article on factors affecting never smokers who develop lung cancer.

These have all been posted in the Lung Cancer in the News forum at http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewforum.php?f=8

Sandra: Like you, I have warned all my friends, relatives and colleagues of the dangers of smoking. Also like you, I have been loath to confront strangers--with one exception:

When I was at Disneyland last summer with my grandchildren, I noticed a woman in the "smoking area" who was smoking with a baby in a stroller at her side (and at least half a dozen other smokers were within 10 feet of the baby).

Needless to say, I was APPALLED. I walked up to her and said: "You put that cigarette out right this minute or I am calling the police to demand that they arrest you for child endangerment!"

She was furious with me and immediately began berating me. I interrupted her and said: You put that cigarette out NOW and get that baby out of here NOW or you are toast!"

She paid no attention to me at all, but the others all stubbed out their cigarettes and began disappearing from the area quickly. We then engaged in a thirty second stare down, at the end of which she ground out her cigarette and took off so quickly that child endangerment (reckless stroller driving) was still an issue.

I'm still ashamed of the fact that I never got around to contacting Disneyland to urge them to add a sign to their smoking area that no children were alllowed. :(


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"(4) If you're a caregiver to a lung cancer patient and you smoke around them, you might as well stop the caregiving, buy a gun and shoot them because you're killing them".

Whoa! Hang on a second .........

I was going to keep my opinion to myself about this thread, BUT, let's put it all on the table in an honest fashion, although it apparently isn't a very popular topic.

When my husband was given the diagnosis of small cell lung cancer, he was, at that moment, handed a death sentence.

Yes, there are people that survive for quite some time. Most don't, as hard as that is to accept.

To say that if my husband was exposed to cigarette smoke by other's, (which he wasn't, but he kept smoking himself), that I should just get a gun and shoot him, is a little much, don't you think?

I don't think most caregiver's appreciate that thought...... We spend 24 hours a day, doing the best we can, for those we love.

You can't sterilize the entire world. As Welthy stated, you would have to avoid food, water, air, the contaminated soil that we walk on, the chemicals in the furniture we sit on, etc., etc.

When I smoke, I do it outside, away from everyone. I'm not rude, nor am I selfish to the feelings of others.

Am I harming my body?- probably. Just like the person that eats too many donuts, drinks too much alcohol, abuses drugs, or has a nasty disposition. <(Stroke and heart attack potential).

From the time we, as newborns, take our first breath, we're on the road to dying.

Blaming this, that and the other thing, is useless.

Saying that someone who has lung cancer should be shot by their caregiver, because they might possibly be exposed to more toxins, is too much.

Should we keep them from getting chemo because it's toxic?

Oh well, I'm done. Just wanted to state the fact that I don't think Harry would have appreciated me using him as target practice with our shotgun, regardless of whether someone was smoking near him or not.

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