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Have you tried to quit smoking while undergoing treatment?

Posted by @colleenyoung, Thu, Jun 7 4:13pm

The decision to quit smoking is a very personal one. Everyone has his or her own reason that helps start the journey to quit smoking. The diagnosis of a serious illness or chronic condition, like cancer, a heart condition, lung condition, diabetes, might be one reason to quit smoking as part of treatment and recovery.

Are you currently undergoing treatment for a serious illness or chronic condition, or are you a survivor of a serious illness who made the decision to quit smoking while undergoing treatment? If yes, and you feel comfortable doing so, please share the experience of your journey to quit smoking.

Thank you for sharing your experiences anonymously in the online survey. The survey is now closed.

However you can continue to share your experiences here in an open discussion with other members. Your story can help others on their journey to quit smoking.

  • Did you decide to quit while undergoing treatment? Why or why not?
  • What uncertainties or challenges did you face?
  • How did your care providers support you to quit smoking? How could they have supported you differently or better?

REPLY

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Reported

Hello- I was more worried about how and when to stop smoking than my cancer. It had me in a panic. I finally came up with a mantra, "if you smoke you'll die." I stopped a week before my lobectomy. I came close only once to starting again but never did.

You asked about quitting smoking- Well here is my story. I was a 71-year-old man smoking about 35 cigarettes a day and had been smoking for over 50 years. I had tried giving up cigarettes a few times using patches and pills but had never taken it that seriously. I did noticed pains in my feet and lower legs, hands and arms and in my chin but had not been overly concerned about these. Then I noticed problems with my toes in that the ends of my big and adjacent toes were turning black on both feet and the toe nails looked bad. Now I live in Australia and on our cigarette packets we have harassing pictures of the various problems caused by smoking. Hence, it was obvious to me that I had Buerger’s disease. As far as I knew you either stopped smoking or had your limbs amputated. Some choice. My guess was that I had only about six months more to live unless I gave up smoking. Convinced that I should give up smoking my mind strongly supported me. I just stopped cold turkey. At no stage did I have any cravings for another cigarette. Note I did not tell my Medical Practitioner about the problem or my wife who is a Specialist Histopathologist. I was going to solve this problem myself and I have.  I decide to increase my exercise load and improve my already excellent diet. We had a Treadmill and I spent about 30 to 45 minutes a day walking at about 6 to 7 kilometres per hour for six months. Treadmills get very boring, so I bought a titanium road racing bike and slowly increased my riding distance to about 60 kilometres a day or 300 kilometres (188 miles) a week (had a couple of no ride days). Over a year I was riding about 12, 000 kilometres (7,500 miles) or a greater distance than I drove my car.I did this for about 3.5 years, but all did not seem to be quite right. This ended up with me being sent to a heart specialist who diagnosed that I had a non-clinical form of Atrial Fibrillation. He put me on the blood thinner Xarelto just in case. Being on a blood thinner that could not be easily reversed I gave up cycling as the thought of falling from a bike at 40 kph and having internal bleeding did not inspire me. I now walk about 30 kilometres a week, have 5 yoga lessons and a single Pilates lesson. Diet wise I have just about given up meat and have not used added sugar for 30 years and have not had any fast food in that period. I am appalled at the Super Market when I read the nutritional facts on manufactured food products. I recently had my second visit to the heart specialist who told me I am still non-clinical and have been so for a long time as the shape of my heart has changed to accommodate the AFib problem. My blood lipids are excellent with a Coronary Risk Ratio of 2.5 against an Australian average of 4.9. I have never had a heart operation and have no AFib problems that are observable to me without using an instrument like the heart rate monitor on my watch.People who see me bare footed have trouble in believing that I ever had Buerger’s disease.  Dr Ian Dunlop PhD Finance and BSc Physics  

@iandunlop

You asked about quitting smoking- Well here is my story. I was a 71-year-old man smoking about 35 cigarettes a day and had been smoking for over 50 years. I had tried giving up cigarettes a few times using patches and pills but had never taken it that seriously. I did noticed pains in my feet and lower legs, hands and arms and in my chin but had not been overly concerned about these. Then I noticed problems with my toes in that the ends of my big and adjacent toes were turning black on both feet and the toe nails looked bad. Now I live in Australia and on our cigarette packets we have harassing pictures of the various problems caused by smoking. Hence, it was obvious to me that I had Buerger’s disease. As far as I knew you either stopped smoking or had your limbs amputated. Some choice. My guess was that I had only about six months more to live unless I gave up smoking. Convinced that I should give up smoking my mind strongly supported me. I just stopped cold turkey. At no stage did I have any cravings for another cigarette. Note I did not tell my Medical Practitioner about the problem or my wife who is a Specialist Histopathologist. I was going to solve this problem myself and I have.  I decide to increase my exercise load and improve my already excellent diet. We had a Treadmill and I spent about 30 to 45 minutes a day walking at about 6 to 7 kilometres per hour for six months. Treadmills get very boring, so I bought a titanium road racing bike and slowly increased my riding distance to about 60 kilometres a day or 300 kilometres (188 miles) a week (had a couple of no ride days). Over a year I was riding about 12, 000 kilometres (7,500 miles) or a greater distance than I drove my car.I did this for about 3.5 years, but all did not seem to be quite right. This ended up with me being sent to a heart specialist who diagnosed that I had a non-clinical form of Atrial Fibrillation. He put me on the blood thinner Xarelto just in case. Being on a blood thinner that could not be easily reversed I gave up cycling as the thought of falling from a bike at 40 kph and having internal bleeding did not inspire me. I now walk about 30 kilometres a week, have 5 yoga lessons and a single Pilates lesson. Diet wise I have just about given up meat and have not used added sugar for 30 years and have not had any fast food in that period. I am appalled at the Super Market when I read the nutritional facts on manufactured food products. I recently had my second visit to the heart specialist who told me I am still non-clinical and have been so for a long time as the shape of my heart has changed to accommodate the AFib problem. My blood lipids are excellent with a Coronary Risk Ratio of 2.5 against an Australian average of 4.9. I have never had a heart operation and have no AFib problems that are observable to me without using an instrument like the heart rate monitor on my watch.People who see me bare footed have trouble in believing that I ever had Buerger’s disease.  Dr Ian Dunlop PhD Finance and BSc Physics  

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@iandunlop you are an inspiration. Congratulations

Hi
My husband started, quitting smoking the day he found out he has Stage IIA lung cancer. He started on a nicotine patch right away. He never slipped, but wanted one to be sure. He has been smoke free for 143 days now!! He says he would still like to have one, but won't. 🙂

Give your husband a big hug

Liked by beckyjohnson

I quit 26 months before my diagnosis and therefore wasn't going to jump in. But, I used Chantix and like dntsass01's husband, I still wanted a cigarette for quite a while. Fortunately, my dentist had also tipped me off to this book that helped another of her patients quit: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. What helped was it made me realize how hypnotized I was to be smoking, rather than needing hypnosis to quit. For me, it gave me that mental edge I needed to hang on past the physical cravings.

@dntsass01

Hi
My husband started, quitting smoking the day he found out he has Stage IIA lung cancer. He started on a nicotine patch right away. He never slipped, but wanted one to be sure. He has been smoke free for 143 days now!! He says he would still like to have one, but won't. 🙂

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@dntsass01 That is awsome. What a great example of making it happen.

@bluelagoon Mind over matter is scientifically proven to be powerful

Yes mindfulness is powerful and I am living proof. I never smoked, and I got lung cancer. However it was the unfair stigma, blame and lack of others education that has driven me to help and try to change the face of lung cancer and help save lungs and lives.
Our honest if not raw patient stories about our disease needs to be told so we can shake others into reality about living with the ugly side of cancer. It is the platform of Connect that affords us to share our real unsexey stories (the stories that many can’t address) that truly help everyone begin, to heal!
Keep up your hard work. You can beat this addiction!
Best

@beckyjohnson

@bluelagoon Mind over matter is scientifically proven to be powerful

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I haven’t smoked for 32 years, but can still remember how hard it was to give up.  I chewed Nicotine Gum and then cut it down to 1/2.  Finally, after about a year, I quit with the Nicorette because my jaws were hurting so much with all the chewing.  Have not smoked again since then.  MaryLou 

We, COPD PATIENTS, go through the samething…especially alphas.

@llwortman

Yes mindfulness is powerful and I am living proof. I never smoked, and I got lung cancer. However it was the unfair stigma, blame and lack of others education that has driven me to help and try to change the face of lung cancer and help save lungs and lives.
Our honest if not raw patient stories about our disease needs to be told so we can shake others into reality about living with the ugly side of cancer. It is the platform of Connect that affords us to share our real unsexey stories (the stories that many can’t address) that truly help everyone begin, to heal!
Keep up your hard work. You can beat this addiction!
Best

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@llwortman How profound! Direct to the point and oh so true. It echoes a philosophy that one doesn't know who they truly are until they hit rock bottom. Many people have no clue what rock bottom is in the general world. In Mayo Cnnnect I would venture to say most people get it – we understand rock bottom & because of that our eyes have been open.

@llwortman

Yes mindfulness is powerful and I am living proof. I never smoked, and I got lung cancer. However it was the unfair stigma, blame and lack of others education that has driven me to help and try to change the face of lung cancer and help save lungs and lives.
Our honest if not raw patient stories about our disease needs to be told so we can shake others into reality about living with the ugly side of cancer. It is the platform of Connect that affords us to share our real unsexey stories (the stories that many can’t address) that truly help everyone begin, to heal!
Keep up your hard work. You can beat this addiction!
Best

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The goal of being in the pit is to continue being a caring and giving person. No matter how bad it seems to be I know someone else needs my smile.

Did any of you have quit smoking buddies? By buddy, I mean someone who quit smoking before you or with you and supported you along the way. Or did you go it alone?

The urge to want a cigarette never ends. Right now almost 3 yrs later I am craving a cigarette. I do not think they ever stop.. Just had to pull out my bag of ginger chews to get me through the urge. sighing…

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