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Quitting Smoking

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 449
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi all out there:

Same topic different verse. As I mentioned before my husband has finished chemo and radition for head and neck cancer and got a fabulous report on his CT scan June 5; does not go back to the radiation oncologist until August 25 and the regular oncologist on Sept. 17. It is eight months ago today we received his head and neck cancer diagnosis and unfortunately, we're both still smoking. He has cut back and I will be drastically cut back when I start back to school as I don't smoke at work. My husband has limited himself to taking only 3 cigarette with him to work; two for after he eats and one for on the way home. Both oncologists have told him he has to quit which he says he knows he has to; and the pharmacist where he work has told him the same thing. All say that right now he's probably not hurting himself too much because he's still cooking somewhat, but he will be if he doesn't quit. My problem is I cannot understand for the life of me after everything he went through and we've been handed this gift, why would he risk blowing it? I know it won't be any picnic quitting but it will be in the long run not to mention the price of these things now! I have read that Chantix should not be taken if you've been exposed to chemo. His oncologist has said try the OTC stuff first and if that doesn't work, call him, they have lots of medicines that can be used. I'm just wondering if in the back of his stubborn head (and he can be very stubborn, but then so am I!)he's afraid this will be like when he quit drinking over 12 years ago. He damn near killed himself not realizing the physical damage he was doing; but he's been alchol free for 12 1/2 years! Yeah! The radiation oncologist told him when we first met him that he'd quit one bad habit that causes this now he had to give up the other one! We've bought the gum CVS's brand but haven't started it yet. Also, his taste isn't back yet totally and I wonder if he gave up smoking; if that would help make a difference. And as I have told y'all before I'm a total basket case when it comes to all this. A lot has calmed down since his treatments were successful. I just want him doing everything and me too that can be done to increase the chances no recurrence. And I can't push him too much about this. He told me yesterday, believe it or not he was getting closer; we have to put them down; for the first time Sat. while at work he didn't want to smoke; but made up for it at home. He doesn't chain smoke. There are times when he smokes more than at other times. One thing is, with his resting/sleeping schedule; he may go to bed at 7:30 or 8 and get up at 2 for awhile, drink coffee, play on the computer, watch TV, etc. I've told him he can't go back to his radiation oncologist on Aug. 25 still smoking, and I don't mean he waits till Aug. 24 to quit! Thanks for the sounding board and if there's any suggestions anybody can give, we'd love to hear them. We've both been smoking since college and will be 56 and 57 on July 27. Yes we have the same birthday (he's a year older than me!) Thanks a lot.

Jan

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I smoked from the time I was 14 years old until I was being driven to the hospital for surgery, with just a couple of one-year hiatuses in there. This amounts to more than 30 years of smoking cigarettes.

I like to say that one guaranteed way to quit smoking is to have half of your tongue cut out, but apparently this doesn't work for everybody (in a general sense).

Quitting is a real problem, and anyone that makes light of it simply does not know the power of nicotine. I appreciate where you are coming from.

I will say this: I know that my surgery and other treatments helped me to quit, along with the patches they provided me (I'm surprised your husband's doctors aren't taking this more seriously, frankly). But I also know that after all that I went through, what kept going through my mind was that there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to pay exorbitant amounts of money to help these people kill me.

I refer to the cigarette companies, of course. Once I planted that in my mind, that every cigarette would be my way of feeding their greedy, corrupt, evil machine, quitting was not so tough.

Even so, I will admit, while cigarette smoke close up stinks now, if the smell comes from far away it reminds me of a sweet perfume, the perfume of some lovely woman I have given up for good. The temptation is there, if only for a moment.

I truly wish that I could help you. As far as I am concerned, however, it is all on you.

Good luck with it. You have my best wishes in this regard.

Take care,

Joe

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 449
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks Joe!

I always love hearing from you! I think my husband's doctors are taking this seriously, but both are like you said, it all lies within us. He did not have to have surgery. And his radiologist told him at the time he was taking radiation he would not recommend the patch as he didn't want him putting anything else foreign in his body and I guess he didn't want to run the risk of side effects from the patch possibly and the effects from radiation. Personally, I feel that we may just have to put them down and if we tear each other's hair out for a couple of weeks, so be it! My oldest brother and his wife quit about 7 years ago cold turkey after she was hospitalized with a bad case of pneumonia; so we know it can be done. Thanks so much again.

Jan

victor53's picture
victor53
Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2008

i quit( before chemo) with the Chantix it worked great for me and i had tried all the other patches gum and wellbutin etc.
So i dont know about using it after chemo. But just the other day i saw a friend using a digital cigarette it looked really cool.
And it has worked great for him. The end lights up and you exhale a steam it think. Its the same size as a cigarette, And is made to look just like one. I will email him for the brand name.

Jennifer48
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2009

Believe it or not I stopped smoking for a month and a half and then picked it up again when I was home for two weeks before the start of this nightmare called radiation. Now when I try to smoke it tastes nasty as all git out and if I manage two drags wow. I would like the name of the digital cigarette please- I think for me its the action of smoking that I'm missing not the smoke itself.

Sepanian
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm only 24 years old and I just became a member here for my dad; he was diagnosed with oral cancer.

I only smoked for 8 yrs until this occurred and that made me quit very easily. And now, seeing what he's going through, I don't even want to be near the smoke of a cigarette. It's been 6 months now that I've quit and I'm 100% sure that I will NEVER go back to it. It's not worth it at all and this is only coming from the perspective of someone who's got a loved one paying the consequences for smoking. I cannot imagine being the person who's going through it all. Please quit. I did it cold turkey and I understand it's very hard but you NEED to do it. Just like how you NEED to drink water and eat food to stay alive, make this something you NEED to do. Every time you crave a cigarette, just imagine what it would be like to lose your ability to speak (oral cancer; what my father is suffering currently) and having a tube in your stomach where you feed from as well as a tube in your trache where you breath from. It's not worth it AT ALL. Good luck and hope all works out well for you.

victor53's picture
victor53
Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2008

the brand name is Cigana my friend researched and tried them all . He says the Cigana ones are by far the best.

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 449
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi all out there:

Just thought I'd give an update. My husband has made it 48 hours without a cigarette. We started the gum on Tuesday. He's stuck to it. Of course, is irritable, tired feeling, trouble sleeping off and on. But, from what I hear that's part of it. I'm doing pretty good too. Wasn't too keen on the gum and figured my husband needed it more than I did. So, I'm on a step down weaning program. It's one I came up with for myself, but feel very strongly about weaning myself from them being the way for me to start with anyway! And I don't smoke in the house or around my husband; so we'll see. But, I'm very proud of my husband because I know this is hard for him, but also know he knows he has to quit; no ifs ands or butts!(pardon the pun!) Will keep y'all updated. Thanks for the prayers and concerns and keep them coming!

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I do not believe your weaning will work, Jan, regrettably. I tried that a number of times, and it never worked for me. Perhaps your mental makeup is difference. I AM rooting for you.

In my case, when I quit (before cancer) my most successful attempts occurred when I left a partial pack laying around and simply refused to have one. The best I ever did was a year, twice.

The trying, though, the knowing, is a huge part of the battle.

In the meantime, for those using these new non-cigarette cigarettes, please be advised that one of them, perhaps the most popular, has been cited as a carcinogen (cancer) provider in its own right. If I remember correctly, researchers likened it to inhaling antifreeze. So keep your heads up on that one.

Best wishes, Jan, to you and hub, and to all of you who are trying to quit the dirty deed.

(I may shortly ask ACS if I can post an ad on here of a short-sighted guy with hedge clippers guaranteeing to get people to quit smoking :)).

Take care,

Joe

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 449
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks Joe. As I've said before it is always so good to hear from you. My husband and I have just had a very emotional (for me) discussion tonight. As I said he's 48 hours plus w/o smoking and is trying the gum. But of course, his taste isn't all there yet and he's irritable, tired and tired of being tired. And of course when I remind him that it could be up to a year before he doesn't tire easily, he's heard all that before. He sees his radiation oncologist on Aug. 25 for his 3 month checkup and his regular oncologist on Sept. 17 for his 3 month checkup with him. He's just inpatient right now and wants to be able to taste food again and get his stamina back. He said he probably shouldn't have tried to quit smoking right now, but I reminded him that was just another stall tactic, which he did agree with me on that! His oncologist has told him to try the OTC first and if that didn't work, call him and they'd decide what prescription stuff to do. Anyway, thanks for letting me sound off and for your words of wisdom. Oh, you can rest assured, we won't be trying any of those non-cigarette cigarettes. Number one, they're pretty expensive and after what you just found out about them, doesn't sound too good an idea to me. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a safe cigarette. Thanks again.

Jan

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 449
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi everyone:

Just wanted to let everyone know that hubby has now made it 5 days w/o smoking. Not ready to call the Guinness Book of World Records, yet, but he is hanging in there. He's been using the gum, but he doesn't do it like it says to; he just does it when he really gets a craving and he had already cut down to just 3 when he was at work before he started the gum; so that's made it easier for him at work. He sees his radiation oncologist on the 25th so hopefully he'll walk in there as a non-smoker! Thanks for the encouragement.

Jan

TIM_WWJD
Posts: 38
Joined: Jan 2009

Jan
First off I know how hard it is to kick this habit. I have never smoked but both my parents did. Mom died a few years ago of pancriatic cancer and dad is still killing himself. Lucky me I am the one who ended up with tonsil cancer. First I will tell you how they stopped me from picking up the habit. I was caught at 7 pretending to smoke with a friend. My mom and hers made us smoke a pack of Camel filterless cigerettes and one cigar. I still remember how sick I was and to this day there is no way I will smoke. I have heard another way is to lace a horse hair in a cigarette. I know this is not how you will give these things up but you must do so for both of you. One person in the house smoking is the same as both. I am very convienced in second hand smoke being just as bad. Good luck and once you do this you will see how much better things taste and smell. God bless you and your husband in this battle with cancer also.
Tim

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 449
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Tim. Charlie is beginning day 6 today w/o smoking. He quit drinking 12 1/2 years ago so I believe he's going to make this too. His radiation oncologist told him the first time we met him, "You've quit one bad habit that caused this, so now you have to quit the other bad habit that caused this!" He's still a bit tired, but hanging in there! Thanks again.

Jan

Tricia02's picture
Tricia02
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Jan, tell hubby well done. I am a nose cancer survivor, 4 years cancer free. Prior to cancer I found it extremely difficult to quit smoking. But when I was diagnosed with cancer I was told to quit prior to treatment. My MDT explained to me that treatment would be less effective if I smoked. They also said after treatment if I took it up again it would make my risk "sky high" for a recurrence. So, for me it was a no-brainer, I had no choice and never gave it a second thought. When I left the hospital that day I sat outside with my partner and 2 friends and had my last ciggy. My partner still smokes Marlborough, but not usually in front of me. He goes to the garage and that's his choice. I lost my taste and smell, so I am very lucky I cannot smell cigarete smoke lol. I too gave up drinking in May 1989, so I was used to giving up an addiction. Quitting smoking was however more difficult than the booze. Not at first but about a year down the line I got the cravings back, but they were only cravings. I agree with soccer, there was no way on this planet I was going to fill the weed manufacturers coffers anymore with my hard earned money. Also, another reason I would not continue to smoke was this. I was relying on my team to cure me, so why on earth would I poke 2 fingers up at them and say well I find it too difficult to quit smoking, what a loser and sad person that would have made me feel. I just had to take some responsibility in my own recovery. And believe I did everything I was told to do and this is why I am in remission and a totally happy bunny today, life is fantastic. I wanted to live too much to continue smoking.
Good luck to you both in quitting and to your husband being cured of this disease.

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