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The Nicotine Monkey is back...


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Was it debbie who once asked if anyone else was still smoking after diagnosis? Anyway I replied that I had, and in fact smoked right up to the hosp. door the morning of my pneumonectomy. Well, thats one thing...this is another...

I came home from hospital, one lung gone...no spares if the other gets diseased...and started smoking again!! Phased down the ;nicotine patch doses and now the craving is back big time. Dr. and relatives just shaking their heads in disbelief. Am I crazy, or is the addiction just so powerful., dunno...

Well, Im single, live alone...family was here supporting during surgery, (I was able to hide my cig nibbling from them)...and cigs were, I guess, my only companion for 46 yrs. Tougher than I thought to say no to the habit, even after the nightmare of surgery/hospitalization/pain, etc.

Anyone have a similar smoking addiction and beat it?? HOW?? Would appreciate any tips, advice. My brother related how he quit with hypnosis for 9 months...as he puffed on a cig. Seems it wasnt very permanent...sigh Dunno if I can get this monkey off my back, and I can no longer afford to play russian roulette with my lungs...another thing there's no magic bullet for, Im sure...anyone go thru this same dilemna?

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I used hypnosis and it worked or at least it is working, 10 months later I would give anything to light up. I want one that bad. I think all you can do is just get to the point and say thats it. No matter How bad I want it I will not do it. That is how I am doing it and I will keep on as long as I can. But I know if I allow it, 1 puff will become 2 packs a day again in a matter of a week. Good luck sweetie. Do your best. We're rooting for you. But it really is that addictive and hard to give up.

Blessings

Betty

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Wish I had the answer for you. My mom was a smoker for 51 years and

after learning she had lung cancer. Was still not enough for her to kick

the habbit. I will never forget two days before she passed away on her

final ride to hospice she wanted the one last smoke. On the other hand my

mother -n- law also smoked near 50 years and just quit cold turkey about

15 months ago. I dont know why some people can quit and others just

can not kick the habbit. I wish you the best of luck. Haylee

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I think there's got to be an addiction gene. Your brother can't quit either, so that makes me really think so.

My husband Dave quit cold turkey upon diagnoses. he'd quit in the time period leading up to diagnoses as he would feel bad, then when he'd start feeling a little better he'd start again. but diagnoses did it for him. I know he still craves them very bad, but he also said he can't stand the smell of 'em any more which is good, at least he can understand why I hated it so much. But he'd rather live than die and the oncologist told him he didn't have a chance if he continued to smoke.

I never ever in my wildest dreams ever thought he'd get lung cancer at age 38, though.

Don't know what to tell you, I'd love for you to quit, but I sure don't have the magic bullet.

Hang in there and God Bless,

Karen C.

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I certainly can understand the struggle that you are going through. I also started smoking again after my surgery and beat myself terribly because of it. Yes it is that much of an addiction. I finally, after many, many quits was able to stop. I used every method except accupuncture to try and put the cigarettes down. I was successful for periods of time and then the cravings seemed to win out. The last quit (so far) has been over a year. I used the patch and used it according to the directions as far as dose and time to step down and I prayed my butt off also. I finally realized that by myself I could not stop, so I asked the Big Guy for help each and every day. I also went on the quitnet website and pledged not to smoke one day at a time. Some days I really, really want to light up and have to fight for my quit. Somedays I don't even think about it too much. Is it hard to stay quit? For me I'd have to say yes. Just keep trying over and over again and eventually you'll be able to put some time together without a smoke. Good luck to you and you are not alone with your smoking issue. Love Nancy O.

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Rich,

I was a smoker from 15 years old to 47 years old. I have tried to quit ever since I started at 15. I tried cold turkey several times. I tried the patch. I tried group therapy. I quit by using Zyban. I was given the prescription. I took it for a week while I continued to smoke. I quit on the 7th day. I measured my cigarettes on the last day so I would run out of cigarettes just before bed. When I got up in the morning I did not have one to smoke. I went with the idea that every bit of time I had gone with out smoking was a mark. I knew that even one puff would send me back, as it has before to two packs a day. The Zyban help me when the urges came on. When I felt the need for a cigarette. I would just sit back and relax and day dream for what ever time it took to get over the urge. I had to quit taking the Zyban after the first two weeks because of a allergic reaction. I took the week of not smoking and kept adding to it. It was one of the biggest challenges in my life. So I had thought. I had quit smoking four years before my dx.

One word of caution. Rochelle and I had tried for years to have children. we gave up and adopted two kids. Later my Dr. warned me that if we did not want children I should have a vasectomy. I said why fix what is all ready broken. The week I had quit Rochelle conceived. We call Jillian our Zyban baby.

Best of luck John.

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I kinda did as DaveC did....I quit the day of my biopsy...simply because I figured it was cancer....altho my doc was leaning towards lymphoma. Still...I had wanted to quit anyway...just never had worked very hard at it because I LIKED to smoke!

I'd dodged a bullet the year before when I had a CT scan and two little nodules were picked up in one lung. My doc said they were "nothing"...and he was right...because 8 mos. later a rescan showed those two nodules unchanged....AND there was a new, 1.5 cm. patchy area and enlarged lymph nodes which were NOT nothing...but which turned out to be sclc!!

Effectively, I went cold turkey the day of my biopsy. For four days prior, I'd cut down. I went from 2.5 packs on Sunday...to a pack on Monday, 15 cigs on Tues, 13 on Wed. and just 2 on Thursday....the last one at noon. I had my biopsy that evening about 6:30.

I have to tell you.....it's been a lot easier than I thought! And like Bets said.....there still are times I sort of crave a smoke...or even go to reach for my pack (which, BTW, is not there anymore!!) :shock: But then I tell myself, treatment works better if I DON'T smoke. My onc told me that and common sense confirms it....or vice versa~! :wink:

Whatever it takes. Take every cigarette you've got and put them out in your car....so if you want a smoke, you have to walk out to the garage to get it. Only bring one in the house to smoke. Or hide them out in the yard...or up in the attic. ANYWHERE other than in your pocket or on the table beside you.

Decide you WON'T smoke in certain places....like in your car. If you spend much time in your car...this will help a lot. And when you go to reach for a smoke....tell yourself, "I'll wait a half hour"....or an hour....or even 10 minutes if that's all you can do. Or only smoke out on the porch...not in the house! Make it HARD to smoke...instead of easy.

You have to sort of play tricks on your addicted self to cut down or get away from them altogether. Believe me...I smoked for 40 years. The longest I ever quit....totally quit.....was for 10 days. I only did it once and was such a raving maniac my hubby literally BEGGED me to either divorce him or just freakin' light up again. :?

I lit up. :roll: Even from his perspective, that was cheaper than a divorce! :D:wink:

It's one of the hardest habits to kick...as addictive as heroin, they say. I guess for me, the true motivator this time was fear. I want to stick around to see my kids marry and have kids of their own. I've got piles of yarn that need to be knit into something and an equally large stack of books I want to read before I die. :) I've got friends I want to spend more time with.

We're building a house in Arizona and it is our plan to move out there and enjoy our golden years in the sunshine, the pool and playing golf. That's a plan I'd like to carry out!!! And I'd like to be around long enough to enjoy it for more than a couple of months!

To me, kicking the cigarette habit seemed as important as keeping a positive attitude, taking chemo and radiation and yet to come, the PCI....and otherwise doing the things that will give me the best shot at beating the beast and keeping my health long enough to REALLY start collecting some wrinkles on my face! :wink:

Do whatever it takes, Rich...and keep trying. I think there are several here who still smoke...who've had an equally hard time kicking it. But I bet most of them would say they wish they could quit. Believe me...as addicted as I was, I always used to joke and say, "I'd have to be in a coma for three months to quit"....but let me tell you, having to find it in myself to quit because I now have lung cancer...ain't my recommended way to quit either! :roll:

Still...I did quit. I miss it...but again, like Betty....I know if I ever pick one up again and light it....I'm hooked. I could never be one of those people who only smoked three a day....after meals. Wish I could...but I know it's not me.

I wish you luck with your efforts...and just keep trying. My hubby, who has quit I cannot COUNT how many times.....could NOT kick the habit this time. He was under so much stress with my diagnosis...that although he cut back a little bit...he still was smoking at least a pack a day IN THE HOUSE...and wasn't cutting down from that.

So....I had to be harridan. One day I asked him to pass me a cigarette. He looked at me in shock. And I said, "Well, I gave them up so that I've got the best shot at getting well...and yet every day I'm inhaling YOUR smoke....so I might as well just smoke myself!!!"

That was 11:30 in the morning....and the cigarette he stubbed out in the ashtray when I said this....was his last one.

He's chewing the gum, and just got some of the patches...doing anything and everything to cope. He's having a tough time. I never so much as chewed a piece of the gum and I'm telling you...I was MUCH more addicted than he was!

Well, enough of my rambling reply...but again...best of luck in beating the smokes AND the cancer. Look at it as a proactive thing to do for yourself....and keep trying! If I could quit...I swear, anyone can! :roll:

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Earl and I both quit 3 months before he was dx'd. He used the patch, I went cold turkey. Never thought I could do it so therefore I really never tried.

I will tell you it was hard, but not as hard as I thought and trust me, I never was without a cigarette in the house. Smoked 1 1/2 a day. Never walked up the stairs without them. I think Earl always missed them because when they told him it had metastized to his liver, he went down to his hidden stash in his car and had one. He smoked one a day for about 3 months. Then when he went into hospice he had 1-3 cigarettes a day, why not, it was the only thing he seemed to enjoy.

But I would not even light them for him since I know I have only one quit in me and I will never smoke another cigarette.

I don't think anything works except your mind to do it. When that happens you will quit.

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Rich,

Oh, boy, do whatever in the world you can to quit and stay quit this time! I smoked about a pack a day for 27 years, and I thought I'd never be able to quit, but that phone call from the doc about my CT results when he said I needed to see a surgeon was terrifying enough to make me throw 6 unopened packs in the trash and never pick up another one. My husband quit the next morning and neither one of us have had one since. That's been since May 21, 2003.

Please think about this--why did you go through all that pain of surgery and lose an entire lung to that awful disease if you were going to put yourself right back in the position of causing the same problem with your other lung? Also, I think you said you were going for additional treatment--that's a lot of agony to just go right back to it.

I think a lot of the suggestions on this thread are great and you need to try anything--accupuncture, hypnosis, counseling, zyban, nicotine gum, anything to get this out of your life.

The very best chance of a cure is surgical removal of the diseased tissue, and then chemo and radiation if recommended for your particular case. Don't handicap your chances by smoking again. I think that is the thought that helped me through the hard times with my quit.

I also went to silkquit.com and downloaded their counter. It tells me how many years, months, days, weeks, minutes, and seconds since I've smoked, how many I haven't smoked, how much money I've saved, and how much life I've gained. When I wavered, I went to the computer and looked at that ticking away better numbers. I also had actual nightmares about starting again and then having to face my surgeon and tell him I was smoking again--he always asks. That was another motivator. Now, when I see him, I always check my stats and tell him something about how much money I've saved, or how many cigs, or something.

Please consider all this--give yourself a chance. I know how tough it is--I've gained weight and my clothes are too tight and I'm still vain enough to have that bother me big time, but you know what? I can exercise, I can cut back on food, I can lose the weight or, if not I can buy new clothes, all because I'm ALIVE!!!!!!!

Sorry for the lecture--I don't have mean intentions, I just want you to be healthy after all you've been through......good luck

Cindy

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My husband is also unable to quit. It breaks my heart. The dr told him it would would probally not make any difference at this point. I disagree with that!! I don't belive their statics, just read the many posts here on this site to find that out! He and my son both went for hypnosis 4 times. It made no difference at all. I wish I could tell you something encouraging to help you. I will be praying!

cathy

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I just wanted to add that Ry had a good point. My mother-n-law when she

quit did the same as John. Saved all the money that would of been spent

on cigarettes and uses the money to play bingo several nights a week.

Think of something you really want and think about it when you have the

urge to smoke. Again wishing you the very best of luck. Haylee

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Been there...."IT IS NOT EASY" I smoked for 40 years, up to 3 packs a day and as you see it is going to kill me!! I quit cold turkey one year prior to my diagnosis. Maybe I was stronger than most people..NAH!! I just finally made the commitment. You will only quit when you truely want to and when you stop making excuses as to why you cant. :evil: These words are harsh but I firmly believe them. We're just like the alcoholic and the druggie....until we truely accept our addiction, truely want to quit and stop looking for crutches/excuses, we will fail.

luv

:D jim

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If I can quit, anybody can. I was so hooked 1-2 packs a day for 20 years. I quit 12 years before my first diagnosis. I chewed the Nicorette gum for a year. The cravings will go away and you will hate the smell of it. Fortunately in California the restaurants are smoke free, even some of the beaches. I have become very protective of what is left of my lungs and refuse to be around smoke. Don't give up trying, it will happen. Just remember, if I can quit, YOU CAN TOO! I never had another cigarette because quitting was so hard, I just didn't think I could do it again. JUST DO IT! Prayers coming your way and I am pulling for you.

Hugs and prayers,

Nancy B

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Wow, I know it's hard. I used the patch and quit a week and a half before surgery. Oh did I want a cigarette! It took two surgeries, 33 radiation treatments, 6 chemo treatments and a collapsed lung to make me realize that I will NEVER want another cigarette as long as I live! Aversion therapy works! haha

My Mother has been through all my LC journey with me, she has emphysema (sp?), is on oxygen and has smoked for 30+ years. Everyday she wakes up and trys to quit and can't. I tell her and I'll tell you.....one of these days you'll quit, just keep trying!

Good luck to you and try to put them DOWN! You can do it!

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Rich,

I wish you luck in your attempts to quit smoking and really don't have anything to add to what others have suggested. I know, for myself, some days I would give my right arm to be able to have a cigarette (I have already given most of my right lung! :shock: ). But I am like the people above who have said they only have one quit in them.

I smoked up until the night before my surgery and the only thing that helped me quit WAS my surgery. I know, as sure as I am typing this, that if I light up just ONE cigarette, that is going to be it for me and I will most likely not stop. SO the one thing I do know, is to stop before I buy a pack and think it through. And I guess that would be my suggestion to you... just think your cigarettes through. Instead of mindlessly lighting them, think about it and maybe that will help. I wish I could help you more, but my secret of quitting was an epidural drip of morphine, chest tubes, and the inability to walk outside to smoke. They wanted to give me nicotine patches in the hospital but I fought them off, because I knew I had to get the damn nicotine out of my body.

Well, I guess I'm really not that good at quitting and don't have much to offer.. but I do understand...

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WowRich,

Everyone here has said some really powerful things. Just remember, Its up to you. Look what brought you here in the first place. You are stronger than those darn cigarettes! My husband quit ironically on the same day he was confirmed cancer. It was a coincidence? I knew he smoked 2-3 packs a day before I married him. That was a chance I took. God had already told me to quit, I did 3 months before he was diagnosed. I don't know, I assume God was telling me, one of us was going to get lung cancer. It was Rob, and believe me he had the addiction bad. When I first met him, he was single (sounds so much like your story) and had been all of his life. No one to tell him not to smoke, so he smoked. His ashtrays were running over, literally, all over the house. He had no one to tell him to stop! BUT, on that day he was diagnosed he quit, he was on Zyban for two weeks and had to quit taking it, because it kept him awake. His mom remembers Rob asking her to count out the "camel dollars" for him so he could get a free movie camera. She has never smoked a day in her life. she remembers counting out 2000 of them! And I'll never forget looking in his desk drawer, it was full of camel dollars, and all I could think of was, " look how many packs of cigarettes he's smoked!" Man, I never smoked like that but I still had a hard time quitting for good. Cutting down and being aware of the amount seemed to work for me.

If Rob could've changed something in his life, he would've stopped smoking a long time ago. He realized, that if you put your mind to it, you can do ANYTHING. He did, but it was too late. :cry:

The greatest web site on the planet is www.whyquit.com and it has helped so many people. Its a lot like this site, many people there to encourage you to keep your quit. All you have to do is commit to 3 days smoke free and "Never take another puff" and you will be amazed at the grace of God how with the help of others, YOU CAN QUIT. God Bless and please go there and READ,READ,READ! It worked for me, all I did was tell Rob everything that I learned from reading at Whyquit, and it helped him too. Why let the Devil win in the end? (Not to mention the stinking tobacco companies) :roll:

Let Go and Let GOD!

Tess

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Rich, you have got to believe and know that you CAN live without cigarettes. Periodically , something will trigger your addiction, the smell, watching a commercial, "doing your taxes" but during those moments when you hear from inside your head that you must have a cigarette to get through the moment, you have to believe that it is a lie, it is the addiction, it is not real, it is not the truth, and try to just get busy doing something else. Gradually these "feelings" will get less and less often. They say the addiction to nicotine is stronger than cocaine but it is NOT stronger than your will to live. Donna G

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This is to John (Mr. Ry) - interesting about conceiving after you quit.

Dave and I suffered from infertility as well. I read all kinds of things about smoking affecting a man's fertility. But I had so many problems of my own I didn't think his issue was much of a factor. He did have some abnormalities which could be due to smoking but it wasn't severe . . .

Anyway, we got the child God intended for us.

Interesting, though.

And yes, the money thing is big.

Karen C.

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Hi Rich,

It is a very powerful addiction. I know it is very hard to quit. I smoked from the time I was about 13-14 yrs. old until I was 43, thats 30 yrs., I got sick in June of 2002. I came down with pleurisy. I was perfectly fine on moment and the next I had pain shooting in my right side. After they took an x-ray they told me they saw a spot. I knew that was not good news. I quit a couple of days after that. I was very sick. It was so strange, sometimes when I received to most awful news is when I wanted a cigarette the most. So when the urge hit me I asked myself do you want to die, and the answer of course is no. There are times I still want one, and it has been two years. I know I can never pick up one again. There is no such thing as one drag. I have even dreamed about them. The other day I reached for a pack that wasn't even there. I think you really need to quit for yourself and no one else. Take one hour at a time. Also you need to keep yourself busy. When the urge hits you get busy doing something, the urge will pass.

Best wishes,

Dee

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I smoked 2 packs a day for 35 years. My wife and I decided to buy a new home and I did not want to stink it up with smoke. Just kidding myself tho cause I knew I might quit for a few weeks (at least not in the house). I got the pill to quit. Forgot the name now but simaler to Zyaban. Took it for 2 weeks and developed a hoarsness in voice. Was coaxed to go to dr. Result was x-ray, CT, Biopsy then NSCLC. Smoked last cig outside dr office when told results of biopsy. Have not smoked one since. Sure have wanted one tho but I know 1 will lead to 2, and 2 will lead to a pack. Only have 1 lung now and got to take care of it.

When ask how I quit, my reply is .....I took a look at chest x-ray from 2001 and 2003, put them side by side and QUIT.

BTW, the pic you see of me, that is NOT a pack of cig in my pocket. It was a pack of batteries for camera. Had someone PM me that question the other day.

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Thanx to all again for the support and encouragement. You reminded me of a lot of quitting methods, ideas, tricks that I had forgotten about. And the motivation, of course. Gonna keep tryin...(put the cigs in the basement, use delay tactics,(like my Dr. does when I ask for pain meds), and find some other way to reward myself. That means a lot of ice cream, but need to gain back the weight anyway.

I guess the knowledge that the next cig wont necessarily give me cancer again is the excuse I use to nibble a few. But I also know that it COULD, and dunno why that dont scare me enuff to quit playing russian roulette. Oh, well....dont change lifetime habits overnite, Ill just keep tryin, slippin, tryin again...but thanx again for your reponses, they are great to refer back to, if I forget some things.

Hmmm..just occurred to me we might cure some 80% of L. cancers, if we had a cure for smoking. (Of course we do, inside of us, I guess.)

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