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Still smoking with Lung Cancer question

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

My Mother has smoked for 60 years. On April 17th-09 she was diagnoised with lung cancer by CAT scan. We had several pulmonary docs look at it and they said the same thing. No treatment- no cure- one week to six months to live. She also has alzheimers. My Dad made her quit prior to cancer dx by about 1 month. She forgot she smoked most of the time. It was great. 10 weeks later she was crazy for a cigarette. She bugged us every hour of the day. The doctors say the damage has been done. My Dad and I feel if she smokes it will cut days off that six months or less. Does anyone have any experience with this? Plus we do not miss the second hand smoke. But we hate to have what time she has left just fighting over cigarettes all the time.

MichelleP's picture
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

It sounds like at this stage of her prognosis it wouldn't matter if she smoked or not. I know many would not agree with me, but at the final stages if the doctors say it's terminal then how should it matter?

Posts: 37
Joined: Jul 2008

my barbara got dx sclc july 07, upped to ed nov 07 and still smokes just shy of a pack a day.Im speachless, as shes young(43) and we have two small kids...but like you said, i dont need to be fighting with her about this

Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2009

just wondering did she receive any treatment has she survived with just smoking, i will never understand this disease I quit 23 years ago and I am 2 1/2 weeks out of surgery yet my husband keeps smoking you would think that after seeing what I have gone threw he would quit

stayingcalm's picture
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

kidsrn9165 -

Thats a tough call and I'm not sure what I would do in your place. Maybe you could try something like the patch, which would still give her the nicotine she craves without the damage from smoking. There is also the electronic cigarette (Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-cigarette) though I have a feeling thats kind of pricey. Good luck.

MadelynJoe's picture
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

Dear KidsRN:

I am very blessed to be a 4 year NSCLC survivor (Stage 1a) and I was a smoker for 27 years. I stopped smoking 3 days AFTER my diagnosis using nicotine gum. That was not easy believe me; I have read that nicotine addiction is harder to treat than heroin addiction!

My Dad also has dementia. You cannot argue with a patient with any type of dementia because they are not capable of rational thinking to make competent decisions for themselves. I like the idea of the patch which was suggested by someone else. If you put it on her upper back I would be willing to bet that she would forget it is there within 5 minutes (i.e. her short term memory is gone). If she continues to fight you and you do give her a smoke, please be sure that she is closely supervised. Lighters, stoves, knives, guns, etc. to not mix well with dementia patients.

Well, that's my "two cents worth" on that subject ...

I truly am sorry about your mother's illness. I lost my Mother to lung cancer almost 20 years ago and I know the pain you must be feeling. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.


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