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Daughter Smokes

fishmuney
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2005

Today I caught my 14 year old daughter smoking. I know that she does not fully understand the consequences of her actions. If anyone here can give their testimony as to what they have been through, I think it might paint a more vivid picture in her mind of how terrible lung cancer is. Thank you so much for your help!

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

I was a heavy smoker since I was a kid. It was the cool thing to do. Everyone smoked. In May, 2001, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was thought to be incurable and inoperable. That meant that they figured I didn't have a prayer. I was given "aggressive" treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation in large doses. Chemotherapy is given to kill the cancer cells. Chemo was administered intravenously, on three consecutive days. The first day was 6 1/2 hours. The next two days were about 1 1/2 hours of treatment. After the treatments, I would just go home and be very sick and very tired. After the first cycle of chemo, I was given three weeks off, and then it started all over again. The chemo also caused my hair to fall out. At the same time that I started chemo, I also started radiation therapy. Treatments were every day, five days a week, with weekends off, for about seven weeks. Radiation doesn't take long, - about ten minutes, or so, start to finish. It doesn't hurt either. But boy, does it beat you up! Radiation is given to destroy the cancer by burning it with something like x-rays. Unfortunately, it can't just pick out the cancer and leave everything else alone. It damages surrounding tissue also. I had damage to my vocal cords and my esophagus. The result of that was that I lost my voice and I couldn't swallow. So........... off to the hospital for three weeks so that I could be hooked up to intravenous tubes which would keep me alive with medicine and nourishment. The damage to my throat caused severe pain, so I was given morphine. The problem with that was that I was so nauseous that I couldn't keep it down, so it was no help. After the three weeks, I was allowed to go home, and to resume my treatments. By this time, I am bald and have lost 50 pounds. From 215 down to 165. (Imagine what that would do to a young girl!) I was not a pretty sight. During all this, I was also taken from hospital to hospital for more tests than I thought possible. My life was not my own. Finally, my treatments and tests were over, - in October, - and I was prepared for surgery. The surgeon told me that I had "been through the worst", and that the surgery would be a "walk in the park". Wrong!!!
I was kept unconscious for two days after the surgery, and when I awoke, I had an incision about twelve inches long across my back, and two drainage tubes sticking out of my back just below the incision. And I was minus about 40% of my right lung. Try finding a comfortable position with all that! After ten days, the tubes came out and I was released from the hospital. We had to rent a hospital bed and set it up in our family room, because I couldn't climb the stairs to my bedroom. This raised a whole other set of inconveniences for my family. They had to care for me as though I were an infant. After about a month, I was able to get upstairs, and start to function as a real human being again. I was on the road to recovery, and I was, for the time being, cancer free.
After two months, I had ten more radiation treatments, and three months of additional chemotherapy.
Now that the cancer was taken care of, I was able to begin the process of repairing the damage that had been done. I had two surgical procedures on my throat to repair the vocal cords. That left a scar on my neck, just above my collar. I have permanent damage to my throat, that gives me problems swallowing. "Live with it", they tell me. And, of course,I have the nasty scar across my back, with what look like two bullet holes under that, from the drainage tubes. (glad I don't wear a bikini!)
My breathing is pretty good, considering... I have partial hearing loss and some memory loss, caused by the treatments. But overall, I guess I'm in pretty good shape, - for the shape that I'm in.
As anyone who has/has had cancer will tell you - this doesn't affect only the patient. It affects everyone around him/her. In my case, the stress brought on a heart attackfor my wife. It nearly killed her. She's fine, now, but it was close.
I have purposely tried to make this as graphic as possible, so that a 14 year old girl can consider what she might be doing to herself. Other cancer patients and survivors will understand. Cancer is a terrible disease. IF you are lucky enough to survive it, it does a great deal of damage, both physically and mentally, - and not only to the patient, but to family and friends, also.
To the "Daughter who smokes", - please stop now, before any damage is done. You have every reason to expect a long, healthy life. Don't invite cancer into your life!

bobennett
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2004

I have a response for your daughter but if she isn't going to see it I don't want to make the smokers mad for nothing. Are you still there.
Bo

bobennett
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2004

I have a response for your daughter but if she isn't going to see it I don't want to make the smokers mad for nothing. Are you still there?
Bo

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