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Update on me and APOLOGIES


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Greetings all! I was just getting ready to post an update, and read Ry's plea that we let *someone* know what's going on so the members of this board don't think the worst. MEA CULPA!

Since I've never been anything but brutally honest, both here and in real life, I'll state the obvious: I've been so busy trying to live my life as normally as possible, that I'm just not here very often. I'm truly blessed to not be debilitated at this point, and I just don't want to dwell on my condition. I hardly work, now collect Social Security Disability (THANK YOU NORME), and still haven't got out all the Thank You cards from my summer wedding.

Instead, I'm doing fun and meaningful things: Thanksgiving at my parents' house, with my sister and brother and sister-in-law, and their six adorable kids. The day after, I cooked dinner for hubby, my two stepsons and assorted others, including grandson (neat trick how I have a grandson without having been through labor! :wink: ) This past weekend, hubby and I made gingerbread houses and I started the Christmas decorating while we were snowed in.

As far as my attempt to quit smoking cigarettes, results have been lousy. While Welbutrin definitely curbed my physical cravings, my psychological cravings have been more difficult. To make a long story very short, I became severely depressed. I'm not sure whether it was the discontinuance of another anti-depressant, my mixed but *huge* struggle to *just stop*, or a host of environmental things, but hubby and I agreed one teary night that I should just go back to the other antidepressant.

Anyway, after another visit to the pulmonologist, she agreed that being severely depressed was not acceptable. She advised the patch, which I used diligently for another week. For me, the difficult sleeping, the vivid dreams, the being on the verge of tears most times, is not worth the trade-off. Right now, I'm trying to keep my terrible habit down to some acceptable level (there probably isn't one, I admit).

I share this knowing that there are people reading who still smoke. I sure as heck am not offering them any excuse to continue this awful and dangerous habit, but to share how difficult it can be to quit, especially when other underlying conditions like depression can haunt at every turn. All I can say is keep up the fight! I am.

Next CT scan was rescheduled from tomorrow to Friday, due to some insurance BS, and I fear the worst but hope for the best. And, instead of running for my copies of the scans and report, I'm off to Washington DC for a party and sightseeing this weekend. There will be plenty of time next week to discuss the results with onc.

Best wishes to all for the happiest, most joyous and most healthy holiday season,


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Hi Barbara, just wanted to let you know that I'm in your corner. I had a really hard time quitting smoking after diagnosis and surgery also. Quit for a while but went back about 2 months after surgery. I refused to stop trying to quit and finally have a successful quit going this time. I know about depression and it was one of the factors that led me back to picking up a cigarette the last time. I take antidepressants too and they help me. One of the biggest problems with smoking was that I was beating myself up all the time, and the depression got worse for awhile. The cravings are pretty much everyday, but not all day long. When they hit I chew on a piece of sugarless gum and it helps. I also joined the quitnet forum on the internet. I pledge not to smoke on a daily basis with others and so far that has helped me not to pick one up. But no matter what, keep enjoying your life. My best to you and thanks for the post. Nancy O.

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Barbara - no real help here, but my mom has the same problems with quitting. First time she tried, she went 9 months and everyone suffered. Now she can't smoke because coughing could make her bleed (she spent 4 days on a ventilator due to bleeding after bronchoscopy). Keep trying, get all the anti-depressant help you can. Best wishes.

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I can certainly identify with you on your efforts to quit. I tried and tried and tried! Couldn't make it. However what finally worked for me was Hypnotherapy. No, not one of those mass hypnosis seminars, a one on one session with a licenced hypnotherapist. Cost $150.00 and worth every penny of it. I have been off them for 2 months now and the cravings get less every day, but I bet I will still want a ciggarette 10 years from now!

It is so hard to beat! Just wanted to offer another avenue for you to try, good luck with it, and if you don't make it, go easy on yourself, you are only human!


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Barbara, I am glad to see your post, and that you are enjoying the holiday season. As far as the quitting smoking, you do what you can. Depression, I believe, can be just as harmful. I think that just wanting to stop is a big step in the right direction.

I wish you the best of luck with your CT results, and hope that you enjoy your party in D.C.. LIVE! LOVE! LAUGH! Enjoy...and try to keep us posted. Take care, Deb

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Just passing on what worked for me.....Have you tried Nicotine Anonoymous?

I was a chain smoker for 15 years and tried to quit at least 40 times. I could never do it because I got overwhelming cravings. I went to NA and after a few meetings, I quit. Pretty soon I had 30 days and had not had one single craving. None! I went to the meetings for about 3 months and by then the last thing I wanted to do was smoke. It's been 8 years now. I'm blessed that nicotine is out of my life.

I truly believe that if I could quit, ANYBODY CAN!!!! Trust me on that one!!!

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Hi Barb;

So very good to hear from you and yes we was a bit worried, but glad your enjoying life. :) After all, that is the point. 8)

Be praying for ya with the smoking, I know it's " tuff stuff" to quit, but your time will come. Also, good luck, and another prayer for your scan. Hoping all is OK. Enjoy your holiday! :)

God bless and be well

Bobmc- NSCLC- stage IIB- left pneumonectomy- 5/2/01

" absolutely insist on enjoying life today!"

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Keep trying. Something will work. I tried a hypnosis seminar (nada), Zyban (made me so anxious I smoked 3 times more), gum (made my heart race), and finally the patch which worked...now 2 years no smoking!!!!!! But the "patch dreams" were so vivid and soooooo interesting. My favorite: I was at a bus stop, underground in fabulous marble surroundings, waiting for Leanne Rimes to come entertain us all waiting for the bus. I requested "Blue" but she wouldn't comply and I became so mad at her. Woke up laughing. It was a very long, involved dream.

So, keep your priorities, enjoy the holidays, and you'll quit when you are ready!!!


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I wanted to let you know that I can relate with your struggles to quit smoking.

I know that alot of people write that they quit the minute they were diagnosed..hell..that was more reason to smoke for me. Talk about stress!!! I even smoked at the Cancer Treatment Center the night before my surgery...I sat in the lounge chainsmoking. The ONLY reason that I was able to quit is that I had the morphine epidural thing happening for 3 days after surgery and all the drugs going into my body helped me to "detox" from the nicotine. They tried to put the patch on me but I told them not to...I knew this was my only shot of getting the nicotine out of my system...going cold turkey while drugged!!

Alot of days it is real difficult for me not to smoke. Today, at work, I almost took a drag off someone's cigarette but stopped myself from asking. I have these bad moments but I really don't intend to start up again because if I do, I don't think I will ever be able to stop again. Smoking is a terrible addiction for me, and one that has been virtually impossible to stop in the past, even after I knew what it had most likely done to me. You have total empathy from me and I wish you luck in your future attempts to quit!

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I quit smoking in 1997. Quit overnight, June 14, 1997. I went on the gum and had good results. In less than one weeks my gravings were down to ZERO. I did get slightly addicted to the gum and chewed three pieces per day, up until I had my surgery, Oct 8, 2001. The day after surgery, I asked my wife to give me a piece of gum. Put it in my mouth, chewed it three times, and puked my guts out for the next hour. I haven't touched anything with nicotine since. So I am now 6-1/2 years as a non-smoker. It can be done. I did mine on the spur of the moment and didn't tell my wife that I had quit until the first part of August, 1997. (Since 1975, I have not been able to smoke in the house, therefore, I don't miss the cold nights, standing in my garage, with the garage door open, freezing my *ss off, trying to smoke one cigarette before going to bed.)

So here's another success story for you. You can do it. It is all attitude.

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Hi Barbara,

I'm glad to see your post. And oh so glad to hear that you were out enjoying life. That is what my goal is to do.

I've never smoked, but I've watched my father try and quit and fail for the past 40 years. Triple by-pass surgery and all, and he's still smoking. I watch the struggle Keith went through to quit years ago. He tried and gave up many times until one day he just made up his mind and did it. It wasn't pretty, and it was harder than anything I can imagine, but he did it. Go lightly on yourself. It is an addiction, and you are human. You can quit, but it needs to be at the right time, and with the right situation.

In the mean time, go out, enjoy life. Have a great time in DC and have a great holiday. We are here if and when you need us, but we rejoice for you during the times you don't.

God Bless you,


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