Have you tried to quit smoking while undergoing treatment?

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?

Noreheenbeth- I so agree with you. Congratulations for quitting smoking after forty years. Twenty-one years ago I quit smoking after 35 years of two packs a day. I think that it takes the equivalent of a town to help as a support system. There really is no advice you can give someone on how to avoid the waves of craving for more nicotine. I had a mantra- "If you smoke you die". I said that every time a wave of desire hit me until I noticed that I wasn't saying it to myself again. I haven't picked up another cigarette since but the last time I was told that I had cancer that urge came back- briefly. I said to myself, "Yup, that's what this feeling is…" and marched on. But for those people who, for whatever reason slip, the feeling of shame is compounded by guilt. No one should pass judgment, make snide remarks, or in anyway attempt to shame a person who is trying to quit smoking- that will just backfire. Keep up the good work, and it is tough work.

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Wow, @merpreb, you came up with a great mantra. Congratulations on being so successful after a long history of smoking. You are a great example for others.

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@teresa– It really helped me. It brings you down to earth and sometimes even gets rid of the craving.

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@merpreb
I'm sure it would, Merry. That mantra would work for anyone. It would be very hard to keep smoking if you said that very often.

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I quit smoking because I couldn't have surgery while smoking due to impaired healing. Several months after surgery I started again. Then my dad died of lung cancer. He wasn't a smoker or exposed to second hand smoke. With genetics like that, the writing is on the wall. I quit again. After three years, my doctor didn't tell me but put it in my medical record that I had spinal stenosis. When another practitioner told me what she couldn't tell me to my face, I didn't cope well. I was angry that she wouldn't tell me, sad because of the diagnosis because I knew disability was very near, fearful over concerns of how to support myself and my family. I started smoking in June and now I'm quitting again. Chantix is my drug of choice. I think I've tried everything on the market and that's just what works for me.

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@harleymama

I quit smoking because I couldn't have surgery while smoking due to impaired healing. Several months after surgery I started again. Then my dad died of lung cancer. He wasn't a smoker or exposed to second hand smoke. With genetics like that, the writing is on the wall. I quit again. After three years, my doctor didn't tell me but put it in my medical record that I had spinal stenosis. When another practitioner told me what she couldn't tell me to my face, I didn't cope well. I was angry that she wouldn't tell me, sad because of the diagnosis because I knew disability was very near, fearful over concerns of how to support myself and my family. I started smoking in June and now I'm quitting again. Chantix is my drug of choice. I think I've tried everything on the market and that's just what works for me.

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Hi Harley mama! Fun name. You must have a wonderful sense of humor. But seriously, it wasn't until I was diagnosed with
lung cancer, that I realized nicotine is the #1 addiction, and the stigma is very unfair. In my journey with this disease, I have
learned that even research about lung cancer suffers from the stigma.

Because insurance made me go thru nicotine rehab, even though I 'never smoked', I learned a lot about smoking. There are
some excellent programs that compliment what you are doing. It takes some people 7 times before they can quit. You can't
do this alone. Have you looked in to the Team Approaches available to Quit?

I am sorry that your physician, was not helpful. For two years, I was told, 'Your cough is in your head"! It took two years of pain
and a choking cough before I found physicians who listened, properly diagnosed my lung cancer and saved my life. My Mayo Clinic team has been amazing and wonderful. So the moral of this story is get another opinion. You know your body best.

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I have a friend who had spinal stenosis, twice. Each time he had an operation and was out of the hospital the next day with no pain. We hike very rough terrain so it was a really great result. I understand the surgeon uses a tool to free the nerves in the spinal column. I don't know if you have the same problem but in his case, it was really excellent results.

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I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. However, I had NO spine or bone pain issues, until a Prolia injection… which took me down for 7 days. I thought I
had the worst flu of my entire life and a respiratory infection that almost killed me. I questioned the Prolia and was told, the second time shouldn't be
as bad! I was very concerned, but was told not to worry. The second shot was as bad as the first. When I returned for follow up bone scan, I was then
told about a report that recently came out of Europe about Prolia! Shocking! Scary! Concerning! No antidote!
Oh by the way, I am an avid runner! Mountain bicyclist, healthy eater, no alcohol and no smoking. Fighting the bone pain, headaches, and all the evil
things that Prolia can do to a body. I never dreamed I would be in the same class as a test rodent!
My questions has been…so what did our grandmothers do about osteoporosis?

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I gave up smoking on New Year's Eve, 1979. I was smoking at least two packs a day, but that's misleading because many of them just burned out in the ashtray if I got busy on something in work.
I have to admit, I had a great motivation so that made it much easier. I was pregnant. When my son was younger he loved taking credit for being the person who made me give up cigarettes.
Unfortunately, I do still sometimes crave one, particularly if I am around a person who is smoking. I read a long time ago that it is more difficult for women to give up smoking than it is for men because women are not just physically addicted, they really enjoy it more than men do! I believe it.
JK

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@llwortman

I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. However, I had NO spine or bone pain issues, until a Prolia injection… which took me down for 7 days. I thought I
had the worst flu of my entire life and a respiratory infection that almost killed me. I questioned the Prolia and was told, the second time shouldn't be
as bad! I was very concerned, but was told not to worry. The second shot was as bad as the first. When I returned for follow up bone scan, I was then
told about a report that recently came out of Europe about Prolia! Shocking! Scary! Concerning! No antidote!
Oh by the way, I am an avid runner! Mountain bicyclist, healthy eater, no alcohol and no smoking. Fighting the bone pain, headaches, and all the evil
things that Prolia can do to a body. I never dreamed I would be in the same class as a test rodent!
My questions has been…so what did our grandmothers do about osteoporosis?

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@llwortman I don't think our mothers/grandmothers did anything about osteoporosis, what could they do? My mother had it and leaning over the meat counter to get a piece at the back she broke a number of ribs! She just lived it with, no other options.
JK

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@llwortman

I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. However, I had NO spine or bone pain issues, until a Prolia injection… which took me down for 7 days. I thought I
had the worst flu of my entire life and a respiratory infection that almost killed me. I questioned the Prolia and was told, the second time shouldn't be
as bad! I was very concerned, but was told not to worry. The second shot was as bad as the first. When I returned for follow up bone scan, I was then
told about a report that recently came out of Europe about Prolia! Shocking! Scary! Concerning! No antidote!
Oh by the way, I am an avid runner! Mountain bicyclist, healthy eater, no alcohol and no smoking. Fighting the bone pain, headaches, and all the evil
things that Prolia can do to a body. I never dreamed I would be in the same class as a test rodent!
My questions has been…so what did our grandmothers do about osteoporosis?

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@llwortman I have often wondered the same thing about past relatives. Sorry you have experienced this with the Prolia. Does leave one feeling much like an experimental critter.

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@contentandwell

@llwortman I don't think our mothers/grandmothers did anything about osteoporosis, what could they do? My mother had it and leaning over the meat counter to get a piece at the back she broke a number of ribs! She just lived it with, no other options.
JK

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@contentandwell The relatives I had with these types of issues seemed to just deal. They never complained and knew it was old age and nothing could be done other than keep going. I need to quit my whining and just keep going as best I can.

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@llwortman

I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. However, I had NO spine or bone pain issues, until a Prolia injection… which took me down for 7 days. I thought I
had the worst flu of my entire life and a respiratory infection that almost killed me. I questioned the Prolia and was told, the second time shouldn't be
as bad! I was very concerned, but was told not to worry. The second shot was as bad as the first. When I returned for follow up bone scan, I was then
told about a report that recently came out of Europe about Prolia! Shocking! Scary! Concerning! No antidote!
Oh by the way, I am an avid runner! Mountain bicyclist, healthy eater, no alcohol and no smoking. Fighting the bone pain, headaches, and all the evil
things that Prolia can do to a body. I never dreamed I would be in the same class as a test rodent!
My questions has been…so what did our grandmothers do about osteoporosis?

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@llwortman – I think our sisters of yore had very tough times after menopause. A lot of them died and probably suffered a lot of broken bones. Right now I'm facing a quandary because I might be having a reaction to Fosamax and the shot and it's affects scare the h… out of me.
I also have no pain and have no idea what to do. Needless to say I am very worried about this. And I quit smoking 21 years ago!

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@parus

@contentandwell The relatives I had with these types of issues seemed to just deal. They never complained and knew it was old age and nothing could be done other than keep going. I need to quit my whining and just keep going as best I can.

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Parus- That's an excellent point- they had no choice to just tolerate things. When my mom had Parkinson's disease, even if we were standing right next to her she would just fall or collapse. There has to be someone, somewhere who has a better answer for osteoporosis!

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@parus

@contentandwell The relatives I had with these types of issues seemed to just deal. They never complained and knew it was old age and nothing could be done other than keep going. I need to quit my whining and just keep going as best I can.

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@parus You're right, they did just deal with it. My mother passed away when she was 67 though, had she lived longer her osteoporosis probably gotten much worse.
I think at our ages a certain amount of "whining" is OK, as long as we don't let it become too much and too frequent. Some of the conditions that we have are simply a pain in the butt.
JK

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