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Taboo subject--smoking


Eileen

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Just wondering--If you or your loved ones smoked, did you quit?

God it took me 7 years to really quit--I quit, went back, quit, went back etc.

and God help me I still crave--does anyone else?

I did not quit to prevent cancer --(cause it had already occurred)

I quit to help my breathing

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Eileen, I smoked for thirty-four years. I quit seventten years ago. I did a taper of and was very successful for seven or eight years. I started "playing" with it again when my daughter married the criminal. But I didn't go back to being a regular smoker and was off them again until four years ago when she took my grandson (they lived across the road from us and she was divorced from the criminal who was dead) and moved to Port St Lucie. See a pattern here LOL. Again, I didn't become a daily smoker but smoked mostly with her when we visited. In December 05 or 06, I can't remember which, I told her we weren't doing it anymore because every time I saw her I wanted a smoke. I added that if we kept it up, one of us was going to get cancer and the other was going to feel awful. She remembers me saying it. Pretty creepy, huh. No matter how it sounds, I don't blame anyone but myself for toying with the devil or getting cancer. And to answer your question, yes, on rare occasions I think I would really like a cigarette. In fact, I was stretched out in a quasi-sleep state recently and had a little image: My daughter and I are on a porch in rocking chairs, each of us smoking a cigarette. I'm 87 yrs old! I told her about it and said if I live to be 87 and want a cigarette, she'd better give me one. I know--sick humor.

Judy in Key West

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Eileen,

I smoked for 42 years. I just quit this past April 17th - 2 weeks after I was told I had lung cancer. I don't crave them at all but I know that if I ever smoked just one I'd probably be back to smoking again so therefore I will NEVER smoke again.

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quit after 30? some years over 7 years ago. Walked out of a surgeons office when deb was told she had LC went cold turkey and have not looked back!!

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Yes, I smoked for 40 plus years. I just quit the day I was hospitalized for my heart 2 weeks ago. My husband and I have tried for 2 years now to quit. He made it for 6 months the last time. We both quit cold turkey 2 weeks ago. We both struggle and at times want one badly. But most of the time I am too angry about the cancer it gave me to let it win. Hope that makes sense.

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I smoked for 6 years after college, and quit in 1963 (43 years before I was diagnosed with lung cancer). I'm not convinced smoking is what did it, since I was dealing with some rather toxic chemicals in a printing business for the 20 years immediately preceding my diagnosis, and I have adenocarcinoma, which is not as closely linked to smoking as some other cancer types. Apparently my addiction was not as strong as it is with many people, as I didn't have a significant problem quitting and have never seriously considered starting again. I believe addiction has a lot to do with genetics and body chemistry, because I know my willpower and self control are not particularly strong compared to some family members who have not been able to stop.

Thread moved to General as requested. Aloha,

Ned

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Not a taboo subject- but a very real subject about addiction and support in quitting.

Don't ever stop trying to quit and when you do surround yourself in support. It's normal to still crave cigarettes. Plan beforehand what you will do when you crave....do a crossword, crochet or knit, call a friend, eat (which is not the best thing to do- but you can drink water, eat carrots and healthly snacks, etc..)

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Eileen,

Bill and I smoked for over forty years. He began when they dropped them out of planes over in Korea at the age of 19.

I began in order to be "sophisticated" 8) at the age of 17, and a senior in high school.

We thought we were enjoying them. Actually, we were chained to them. We both quit sometime around ten years plus ago.

As was described about the adenocarcinoma not being closely linked, Bill was also a NYFD fireman for 22 years, and many toxic chemicals were breathed into his lungs. He went into buildings where people were running out to avoid the fumes and worse.

Back to the subject of quitting. I can only speak for myself. I quit by using a nicotine gum, and joined an online support group. We used to praise each others' efforts in posts, and give big cheers for the time built up at not smoking. They even had a meter where you could see how much money you saved, and how much time was involved in being "smober" (as they called it).

I was smoke free in a matter of weeks. Bill had quit cold turkey the first time he quit (years before I did, but had gone back to them) but the second time, he tried the gum.

It was difficult for him because he would actually keep chewing it. He couldn't get the knack that it was to be chewed, and placed in a "pocket" in the inside of his mouth.

The full urge did not leave for two years for me, but lessened as time progressed. After that, it had faded. Never did the urges become a threat to my "Quit."

Of course, with Bill's dx, I cannot see myself ever smoking. I have been to too many chemo regimens, and have seen how Bill has had no problem (thankfully) with breathing. Neither one of us has breathing problems, and would like to keep it that way, if we can.

Also, we don't experience the stress of needing one when we have to spend hours in the infusion room and hospital environs, where smoking is verboten.

Last, but certainly not least, we have saved thousands of dollars over the last decade.

Katie's suggestion about planning for a craving is excellent. Whatever motivates you, go for it. You are worth it.

Barbara

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I quit so many times I cant remember. I was a chain smoker for 35 years,sometimes I think it was more a compulsive thing more than an addiction. The only way I was able to quit was by using skoal chewing tobaccoo. I was smoke free about 3 years when dxed with lc but still very much addicted to skoal. Then when I was in the hospital I gave up the chew by using nicotine lozengers which I still use on a daily basis. My onc doesnt seem to worry about my lozenger use as long as I dont smoke.I find it silly that after 7 or 8 years of not smoking I am still addicted and using nicotine. Is that additive behavor or what? :oops:

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I think the best move for us addictive types is to try to replace bad addictions with good ones.

I gave up cigarettes in 1983 when I noticed the cough they had given me, but I kept smoking cigars. My father died of a heart attack at 54, and his father died of a heart attack at 48, and I always just assumed I would have no old age.

After I passed 50 with no sign of heart trouble, I decided that I'd like to stick around a bit longer, so maybe I should be living healthier. I had also reached the point where any kind of smoke really bothered me a lot. I quit cigars cold turkey 6 years ago, and after a couple of months, never had the urge for another.

I put on weight so quickly that I ended up looking for some kind of exercise I liked and thought I could stick with, and after I bought a bicycle, I had found my good addiction.

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Well, both my husband and I quit is 07 with accupuncture. We had to put our family friend and buddy to sleep and we both started back. The doc gave us another treatment and it worked for my husband. My husband kept having seizures that the docs couldn't figure out why. Each one was worse than the one before. I know there should be no excuse but it did seem to calm my nerves. We lost both my brother and father in the last part of 07, kept smoking. Was told they found a spot on my lung (first part of feb 08) started chantix and quit on Feb 16th. Yes, I still desire a smoke and at times want to go up to a smoker and slap them in the head and steal their smoke, but most of the times I can't stand the smell and try to avoid them. My husband is going on 3 years.

Sarah

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Hi Eileen,

Not taboo. I started smoking when I was 13 and quit 37 years later when they removed my upper left lobe. I kept telling myself over the years to quit but just never did. When they found the spot my doc prescribed Chantix, which I had no problem with. I was supposed to quit smoking after being on it after the first week but kept smoking up until my surgery. I have it firmly embedded in my head that if I smoke again I will die, that seems to help with any thoughts of smoking again. I also give the Chantix a lot of credit because I had no cravings at all, when previous attempts I would lose my mind after a few hours. Another thing that keeps me smoke free is the fact that I have gone this long not smoking why would I mess that up? Why not make a list of all the reasons you don't want to smoke and carry that with you? You can take it out and read it when the urge strikes. I also know that with most people the cravings will taper off. Good Luck!

Dana

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Like Eileen, I started at 13 (a friend convinced me it was cool), and basically chain smoked until I was 50. Quit a week before my pneumonectomy in 1998. Tried everything to quit numerous times over the years, but was just plain too addicted to the nicotine.

I am an only child and my folks were married for 62 years when my Dad died just three weeks before my diagnosis. (I already knew I had cancer, was just waiting on the doctor to confirm it). I am not sure I would have quit then but for the fact that I had to go tell my mother, just three weeks after burying my Dad, that her only child had lung cancer. In her mind that was a death sentence, no matter how much I assured her they had found it early. There was no way I could drop that news and then excuse myself to go smoke a cigarette on the back porch. Fortunately no one else in my family smoked (my Dad quit in 1960), so I didn't have to deal with being around smokers. But for the week prior to my surgery, I both chewed the nicotine gum and wore the strongest patch you could get. Amazed I didn't die from nicotine poisoning. Once out of the hospital I was able to drop the gum and just wear the patch --- but I wore the strongest patch for 4 years. Might still be wearing it, but I got mad and decided I did not want to die addicted to that stuff, got down to the middle patch, and then off for good. For the first few years I would smell someone else's smoke and have a real craving, but eventually that went away and now the smell just makes me sick. It was a long haul, but I can't even imagine wanting a cigarette now.

I remember years ago my obstetrician telling me he had been a heavy smoker and also an alcoholic. He said he had joined AA and been sober for some years, but giving up the cigarettes had been much harder. For some, smoking can really be an insidious addiction.

I guess that old saying "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" is especially true when it comes to kicking an addiction. In the end it is worth it.

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I did not mean to mislead---I am actually 2 years and 2 months quit--but still do have cravings and I know if I just had one it would be all over and I would be one a day , then 2 a day, etc. It took many many tries before I finally said this is it!

Nothing but good reasons to have quit--my breathing is better, my skin is clearer, I have more money (to spend on food (lol) --but sometimes I see a social smoker (smokes 1 every month or so) and I want to smack them (lol) because I am so jealous :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

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I smoked for 20+ years, made many false attempts to quit but was never really serious about it.

Was diagnosed with L/C, and smoked until my surgery. After my surgery I went in to a coma for 18 days. When I woke up I was cigarette free, no cravings, no yearning for another smoke.

Had to be the easiest way to quit, other than that whole losing part of a lung, chemo, radiation part.

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Guest Windsongs

My sister's husband called me up after dinner to explain she had some bad medical news to share. He revealed her extremely 'leukemia' like blood issues, which at this time was just in it's testing stage for a disease classification. We were all just devastated and totally shocked as this was completely out of the blue. Her life span from here on in was unknown and not looking the greatest as per her specialists. Year...2001.

Once I got off the phone, which was three days before Christmas, I could barely tell my hubby because of the intense chest pressure and tears like Niagara Falls that were rushing down my face. None of us parents included had been sick before and I am the oldest of eight. At this time I had no idea lung cancer was in the works for me at all.

Regardless, there and then I made a pact with God. A rather unfair pact on God's behalf because I prayed, "I will NEVER have another cigarette as long as you keep my sister here with us". Cold turkey right there and then. I stayed in bed for three days because if I did not I would have killed someone with the stress and nicotine withdrawal doing its thing. Horrible I must say as quitting is such a hard chore anyway.

I did it. I have not had a cigarette since that night and God will vouch for that. My sister, who has gone through a lot of medical storms since, is still with us! What more can we ask? I am ecstatic!

There is more though, she smokes and has not even thought of quitting in a serious fashion. We chuckle about that every once in a while as she does know about my pact. Year...2009. Gotta love it. True story.

:wink:

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My sister made that pact when I had lung cancer and said she would quit if i were ok--well it took her several years--but better late than never. She actually ended up quitting for good before me!! And she was a 3 pack a day smoker. She ended up with lung cancer too (about 3-4 years ago ) and also had lung surgery. She was stage 3A but all is ok thank god

However, I did not make a pact with god when she came down with cancer--I was too afraid of the ramifications (lol)

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You people amaze me with your strength and willpower. Even with the patches and gum, that has got to be one of the hardest things you have ever done.

My husband smoked up until the day Hospice came and he was too medicated to smoke.

Our daughter smoked for 10 years, to almost 28 yrs. old, and quit when she found out about her dad's cancer. She did it cold turkey

with a lot of support from her wonderful boyfriend. She wanted to cheat but he wouldn't let her. I will always love him for that.

Barb

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I also started smoking at age 13 and chain smoked for 27 years. I quit smoking about two weeks after the doctors figured out there was something wrong with me and I potentially had cancer. I chewed nicotine gum and wore a patch at the same time for a little while eventually stopping the gum I kept the patch for about 3 months until I read that any nicotine either smoking, gum, patch etc lessens the effect of radiation. Well I wanted my radiation to work so I pulled the patch off and never put another one. For about a year or so after that I would occasionally crave them but then I also went into a coma after a surgery (two weeks). When I woke up I no longer had any cravings. I never ever think about it and cannot stand to smell smoke. That hospital stay also got rid of the bad coffee habit I had. I don't drink American coffee either anymore, just a morning expresso.

Lilly

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I just happened to stop in here and saw this post. Funny because lately I have been really craving a cigarette, have been enjoying the ocassional whiffs of smoke that come from other people's cigarettes (better known as second hand smoke lol). One day I came real close to actually asking for a cigarette from someone, but I know that as soon as I light one up, there will be many more to follow. And I know that if I wait, the craving passes. Other than the most obvious - I really don't miss the inconvenience of them - the sitting on a plane literally jonesing for a cigarette, excusing myself from dinner so I can go outside and smoke because I can't make it through and the hundreds of other scenarios..

The only way I could quit was by having my surgery and not being able to get out to smoke afterwards. I don't want to have to do THAT again! :shock: I never could stop on my own so I know if I light one up, its for good.

I'm not going to smoke again, but sometimes even after everything, I wish that I could.

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Hi Eileeen

My dad smoked for many years and then quit around 18 years before diagnosis.

I smoked for 24 of my 34 years of life and quit 10 months ago today : :D I tried several times over the years but only ever managed for a maximum of 8 weeks. I would become very angry and cry lots and then use that as an excuse to smoke because it wasn't fair on my husband and children to see me that way. You get the picture?

Finding out that my dad had end stage LC really gave me the kick up the *ss and the determination I needed to quit. I smoked my last one on 3rd October '08 and haven't looked back since.

Even when I lost my dad and really wanted 'just one'. I willed myself not to.

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Thank you for this thread and the honesty it contains.

I am a real 'case'.

Brian and I quit together shortly after we married in 1995.

We stayed quit.

He died.

I started smoking about a year after he died. I had gained so much weight by eating through my grief I was desparate to lose some and foolishly thought smoking would help. It didn't.

Now I comfort myself w/ both food and smokes.

He would NOT be proud of me.

I have managed to stop smoking for a month at a time in the last two years 4 times......................I am miserable and guilty and angry with myself.

Everyday I beat myself up. But I am still smoking.

I am just not adjusting to life alone.

I would be grateful if you would add me to your prayer concerns.

I am not sure why anyone who did full care for 10 months for someone actively dying of LC would even think about lighting up. I lost my husband and my sister as a result of smoking.................I am so ashamed of myself.

This thread provided much comfort and for thought.

Thank you, again.

Love

Pat

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Pat

Smoking is an addiction and a very hard one to break. You will know this from quitting in the past. Be gentle on yourself and when the time is right for you to put them down again you will do just fine without them.

Your husband may not be proud of you for lighting up after his death but I am sure that there are many, many things that you do each day to make him very proud of you. So again, please be gentle on yourself.

Beating yourself up over this will only make you feel worse and in turn smoke and eat more.

You'll get there in the end. Be strong (((HUGS)))

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Pat, Please do not be ashamed of yourself!!! Hell I had lung cancer and lit up for years afterwards--

everyone says how can you? But many of those people also still actively smoked. I used to say well you should quit to prevent it--I already had it

I know the shame you feel, I felt it many times--

Please do not beat yourself up over it--

You are human. You have to do what you have to do to get through life.

To be honest, if I were told I had terminal cancer, I would be up the store buying cartons

Much love to you and be gentle with yourself

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