Do You Still Smoke?
Last updated: August 2022
And I mean cigarettes. I'm sure you heard from everyone non-stop that you needed to quit smoking or have you quit? I am here to discuss the harsh realities of this topic for lung cancer patients. I was diagnosed in February 2014 with Adenocarcinoma and had both lobes of my left lung removed. Upon discharge from the hospital, I was not smoking for the first time in over 40 years. It was fantastic. Then one horrible night I woke up and if there had been a person between myself and my sister's cigarettes on the coffee table, I would have killed someone for them. That was the day I started smoking again.
My relationship with cigarettes
Three years later, I was the closet smoker. Only in my home, armed myself with plenty of mints and body spray before doctor appointments. Anything you could think of. At this time I was smoking a pack a day. Then approximately 6 months ago I was introduced to Chantix. I had heard bad things about this drug but wanted to try it anyway. I have been on it every day for 3 months and today at 5:00 pm, I realized I had only had one cigarette today.
Part of it was the heat outside. It was 85 and I didn't want to go out into that heat. So here it is 8 pm and I still have had only 1 cigarette today. I know there are those of you who say, one is too many, but there are things that never-smokers don't understand.
At this moment in my life, I almost feel as nicotine addiction is a disease such as alcoholism.
To the closet smokers
I know there are many of you closet smoking as I did. First and foremost, don't feel guilty. Yes, this is a bad habit we latched onto but once that happened, we were totally addicted. Then when we are told we are expected to quit smoking as easily as I could quit going out without a coat. Stress. Stress from having cancer. Stress from still smoking. Stress from your emotions. Stress from everywhere.
Take your time
Now I am NOT telling you to NOT quit smoking. Medically, it is the best thing we could do for ourselves. What I am telling you is that it takes time. It takes long talks with your doctor to determine which product worked best for them. There are so many valuables in asking these questions and then making your decision.
I recommend taking your time. Adjust to having cancer. Then begin on the road to be a non-smoker. Here are a few links for you to gather information:
Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.
What healthy habits do you use to improve the quality of your life?