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The Smoker's Memorial - WhyQuit's Wall of Remembrance


Page Three

Memorials 21 - 30


Here we memorialize, remember and pay tribute to wonderful lives cut short by chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine. May remembrance of our friends and loved ones inspire youth to never start, smokers to quit, quitters to stay the course, and ex-smokers to relish life.

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Date
Our Memorial Remembrance
30 12/02/06

My dad called to inform me a childhood friend George had died the night prior. George and I were the same age 39. My father did not have the details of his death. So in the next couple of days I hopped in my car and drove to Georgia for the funeral. Once I got there I was told George was on the toilet and fell over and died from a heart attack. I also found out that George had a heart attack a couple of years prior. What was sad about the situation, even after his first heart attack he kept smoking cigarettes. My biggest fear of my addiction to cigarettes was not being able to stop smoking on my death bed. I did not want to be George. Here this guy knows he is truly killing himself and he still smoked.

While I was attending George's funeral I got a call from work. One of the guys that works for me had died in a motorcycle accident. He had just returned from Iraq and went home to West Virginia. So now on my way back to New Jersey I had to stop off at another funeral. On my way to the second funeral, I thought about ORM (Operational Risk Management). I thought about the unnecessary risk I was taking by smoking cigarettes. I might as well have been on that motorcycle doing 150 mph. I decided on that drive from Georgia to West Virginia I was going to quit once I got home to New Jersey.

I got home to New Jersey at 0400 in the morning on 15 May 05. I smoked my last cigarette at 1200 in the afternoon. Two days into my quit I could not take it anymore. I was about to smoke a cigarette. I needed outside support. Luckily, I got on the Internet and I found WhyQuit.com. I started to educate myself on nicotine addiction. WhyQuit saved my quit! Getting educated on nicotine addiction save me from smoking another cigarette.

The one thing that I did initiate on my own was cutting out lifestyle triggers to help my quit. I stopped drinking alcohol and coffee. I started going to the gym and working out.

Rob Crawley

29 10/26/06

Sue Ann McAdams-Loveday

A beautiful 34 year old woman with the ultimate life dream. A wonderful husband of 17 years and two gorgeous children, a son 14 and a daughter 8. For years they had been inseperable. The PERFECT family!

That was us. My momma, daddy and brother were the ultimate dream family! She loved us with all of her heart. Her and my dad smoked a few years when they were younger, but quit in their 20's. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29. The surgeon not having her X-rays decided to go ahead and operate. Well, he operated on the typical area where breast cancer appears, the outside of the breast. Awakening in recovery my mother stated that they performed the surgery in the wrong place. The doctor said it was the anthesia talking.

Her and my father went back to him several times and he kept telling them that it was just swollen tissue from the surgery. Needless to say, a couple of months later they wised up and went to an oncologist whose first words were "Oh My God". My mother died 5 years later as she bravely fought this horrid disease that the cigarette companies claim no responsibility for! My grandmother and father tell me that she prayed to God to please let her last 5 years so that her children would remember her. Thank you God. She Lived until my older brother was 14 and I was 8. I have wonderful memories of my mother meeting me after school in front of the tv with apple slices and peanut butter which was followed by a tickling session and visiting about the day.

My father and grandmother shielded my brother and I from the gruesome experiences of chemo, radiation, losing hair, throwing up blood. I remember the final words my mother spoke to me. She was in the hospital for her last day. My brother and I were at grandma's house with grandpa, as grandma and dad were at the hospital with mom. With me on one phone and my brother on another her cracking voice struggled on the other end to hold back the wails, "You two be good for your daddy. I love you both very much." As the phone was handed to my grandma you could hear her sobbing. 8 years old I went to the bathroom, locked myself in and cried. I cried so hard I couldn't breathe and was so confused because I didn't understand why mom was so upset. A few days later my father, grandmother and uncle got to tell my brother and I that our mommy was gone to be in heaven. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if for no other reason quit smoking for your family! Not only should you not have to go thru the intolerable suffering, but your family shouldn't have to go thru the life long heartache!

Sincerely,

Pam

28 10/25/06

My mom was 59. I know to some that isn't young but to us her family it was. I am her 33 year old daughter. My mother had difficulty breathing. It was treated with a variety of different antibiotics and allergy meds at first until the x-ray was taken. A huge mass in the center of her lungs. Prior to the x-ray we had decided to start to quit. I had been smoking since I was around 14 years old. My mother and myself were the last two smokers. Standing on our right to smoke! I had decided to do this to help her. I had no desire to quit I can honestly tell you I had never seen fear in my mothers eyes like I did then. Back to the mass.

I believe 7x7cm. Huge, the size of a man's fist. Small cell lung cancer. Devastation continued to run through our lives, our hearts, our evey breath. She was an awesome wife, mother and believed in this daughter. My mom's mother, 90 years young this year, had the, shall I say honor, of holding her hand when she went to the Lord. Ninety and watching your only child die! My heart breaks for my grandmother. My mom would look at me and say "I am so sorry, I never meant to hurt you. I am making my family cry, heart breaking tears because of stupid cigarettes." I would hate it when she would say, "At least something good is coming out of this, Beckie quit smoking."

No one could believe I continued to quit in the mist of this horrible time of our lives. I had quit exactly one week before we found out about my mom's tumor. Two weeks approximately, from when we found out it was small cell, the short and deadly kind. I made a promise not to my maker, to my mother. I promised her I would never again. After I had gained some weight I would kid with her and say, you would rather the skinnier daughter back, right..... She would smile and say "you promised baby".

I don't have the same right my mother had now. She could honestly sit there and say, I didn't realize. You don't realize it will be you. It is always someone else. Not ME.. Not MY life.... Yes ME, Yes MY life. I will not be able to look at my family and say I am so sorry, I didn't think it would be me. I know it can be and I made a promise to the best lady I will ever know in my life! I won't let her down! I will never smoke again. That is my story leaving all the real emotional parts out.

My father loves her, heart broken into pieces. Two daughters, myself included, who find it hard to breath in the am and pm, while we are at it. A mother who you really can't look at and not cry for her. Grandchildren who will never really get the full impact of having Carol Katona as their grandmother. Her life was her grandchildren as soon as she got them in her hands, they were loved more in that moment than most are in a life time....

My mom was selfless in a selfish world. The only thing she did for herself was smoke. She would tell me that it was something that she used as a crutch. She said she would count on it, was always there. All emotions could handle smoking! All except one. Her fear was realized and absolute terror captured my family for almost 1 year. We enjoyed her and fought hard to keep her forever. Tried to stay positive, things looked good, then looked bad, a rollercoaster that none of us enjoyed.

The ride stopped July 21st, 2006 at 3:31 pm, Friday afternoon. Our lives forever changed, their is no more normal for us. The center of our family is gone not for a moment but forever. We must restructure but anyone knows once it changes it is never as strong. It is never as good as it once was. We are a close loving family and we shall feel the loss of my mom for the rest of our lives. Smoking equals pain really. Pain because when you smoke, you cough all the time, get sickness dealing with the lungs. It hurts the people around us literally. We could be killing the ones we love and then it may take your life. It is just PAIN. Not to mention the cost! We are now paying for our own death that is very intelligent right? Okay that is our story!

Rebecca Mastroddi

27 10/15/06

My Mom smoked for as long as I can remember. My mother had breast cancer and went through hell with chemo and radiation. After that she told me she quit smoking... I was so proud! She was at the 5 year mark of being considered cancer free when she found out she had lung cancer and cancer of the bones in her back.

She went to the doctor for years with back pain and they kept telling her it was arthritis. She began to have trouble breathing and finally was diagnosed with lung cancer and during the MRI they also found the bone cancer. My mother did not tell me right away because it was Christmas and I was pregnant. She didn't want to ruin the holidays or stress me out.

She finally told me when she was rushed to the hospital with congestive heart failure and I think it really scared her. Less than 3 weeks after she told me, as I held her hand while she lay in a hospital bed fighting for each and every breath. She passed away on January 10th 2006 and never got to meet the wonderful grandson I was 8 months pregnant with.....

I suspected she had been smoking all along and hiding it from my sister and I because she knew that although we both smoke, we'd lecture her. There was a pack of cigerattes on her coffee table and an ashtry hidden when I went to clean out her apartment. The day my sister and I went to the funeral home we swore to each other we would quit smoking for good to spare our children the pain we were going through. My sister still smokes. I started back up after I had my son. God give us strength to quit!!!

Melinda Shinlever

26 10/03/06

My wife, Linda, and I both were heavy smokers for about 40 years. In late December of 2004, she told me that she had quit smoking the week before. I hadn't even noticed. This was coming from a lady who had always been adamant about continuing smoking, no matter what anyone "preached to her" about. I told her that I would also quit, just as soon as I finished the carton that I had just bought.

She had been having back pains since about October, 2004, had been to the doctor, and the chiropractor for 'adjustments' which didn't help much with the pain.

On January 18, 2005, I had taken her, yet again, to our primary care physician and she told him that she had coughed up blood the day before. He ordered a chest x-ray. A short while after she had her chest x-rayed in another room of his office, he came into the small exam room we were both in and said the words I'll never forget as long as I live: "You have a growth on your lung and you need to have it checked out." He set us up with a pulmonologist, who, over the next few days, looked at her x-rays and told us that "I can't give you any hope. These cases are ALWAYS lung cancer." When she started crying, he left the exam room --end of office visit.

A few days later, he did a broncoscopy and a biopsy. Then he did something that I'll never forgive him for: He called her on the phone when she was at home, alone, at 5pm on a Friday, knowing that nothing could, or would, be done, at the very least, until the following Monday, and told her, officially, that she had lung cancer..... She called me at work and I immediately went home. He had deprived her of two full, so very, very precious days, of hope.

LindaDuring the next month, I watched her go from about 132 pounds, after being hospitalized for 5 days, beginning radiation treatments on her chest, seeing the cancer spread to her brain, having radiation treatments on her head, losing her hair, down to below 100 lbs.

On March 23, 2005, a Wednesday, she finished 6 weeks of radiation. She had lost her hair, had lost weight, become increasingly weak and frail, and she was scheduled to begin chemotherapy the following Monday, the day after Easter.

On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005, she woke up at 4:30am and I helped her to the bathroom. I then helped her back to the bed, where she was standing when I went back to the bathroom to turn off the light. Our bathroom is just a few feet from our bedroom, but while in there, I heard a sound I'll never forget. She had fallen on the hardwood floor of the bedroom. I helped her into bed and called an ambulance. At the hospital, we learned she had broken her hip.

It was Tuesday night before a doctor could operate on her hip. Wednesday, she would just "come and go" in and out of conciousness. I thought it was just from the anasthetic. Very late, on Thursday night/early Friday morning... April 1, 2005, the nurses were working on her feverishly. They said her blood sugar had gone way down. Then her blood pressure went down as well. They took her to the cardiac unit but it was full and then to the E.R.

I was outside the E.R in a small waiting room when the doctor came to me and said that she had some bad news. She said that as we spoke, Linda was "actively dying." That was about 6 am April 1, 2005.

She was put into a hospice unit at the hospital where relatives and friends came all day long to see her. She was unconcious (thank God) and was just breathing with the aid of a C-Pap machine--no life support, and an IV of morphine for pain.

At about 11:30 that night, the only people there besides myself was my mom and my sister. Linda's blood pressure was 48 over 0....

They left me alone with her for a few minutes while I held her hand and talked to her unconcious body and prayed.

I commended her soul to God and asked him to forgive her for her sins. I told her that I would be along behind her before too much longer and that I loved her. I also told her that it was okay to "let go". When I said that, her eyes opened, she looked at me, first in one eye, then the other, and then her eyes just lowered, not fully closed, and I knew she had passed. It was 11:44Pm, Friday, April 1, 2005.

Looking back over the last years of her life, and, all in all, they were very good years for us both, I firmly believe with everything in me, that had she quit smoking years before, or, better still, never smoked, she would still be alive...still be here with me...and still be my sweetie....

I loved her so much....

I know this is a long e-mail. But if it will stop some person from smoking, or help some person quit smoking, it will be worth it. It is definitely NOT fiction. It all happened just like I said it did. On October 1, it will be l8 months, a year and a half, since I lost the love of my life, my sweetie!

In the ensuing 18 months, I have suffered from, not only severe grief, sorrow and depression, but I've also contracted arthritis in almost every joint in my body. So, smoking not only causes misery to the smoker, but to the survivors as well. My advice to anyone would be, simply, do not smoke!

Chester Baldwin

25 08/23/06

My Mother, my best friend, passed away recently with 2 masses in her brain, 1 in her liver and 2 in her lungs. She lasted 21 days after we found out. I also smoke and I am trying to quit for myself and my mother. I miss her so very much.

Wanda

24 08/16/06

My grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer in early fall of 1991. He had smoked since he was about 14. When he became ill, at first heart problems like angina were suspected. I was 11 almost 12, at the time. I heard from my mother that my grandfather actually cried when the scope went into his nose and down into his lung, and my grandfather had never been known to cry before.

I was told that he had lung cancer in the car on the way to a cheerleading practice. I didn't handle it well, and became very moody with my parents. I slammed the car door, went over to where my team was practicing and bursted into tears. At the end, he was moved home into a hospital bed, then his own bed. I remember my mother was telling me that if I had a cold that I needed to stay away from Grandpa because it could kill him if he caught it. Well, I felt a cold coming on, so I did not kiss him goodbye one night. He died the next day. He was 59.

Our family was a family of smokers and when grandfather became ill he made the whole family promise to quit. So my grandmother quit, my mother quit, my father quit and an uncle quit. One uncle is still smoking to my knowledge. When grandfather acquired the lung cancer he said if he could go back he would never have gone fishing because he knew what a fish out of water must have felt like - not being able to breathe. I hope other kids will keep their grandfathers.

A picture of Holly, her brother and two cousins sharing grandpa's embraceI saw my grandfather several times per week, and so did my cousins. Us grandkids meant everything to him and now my brother doesn't remember him too well, and my cousins have trouble remembering as well. I remember him the most because I was the oldest. He wasn't at my wedding. My grandmother has a horrible time just living life without him. This impacted our lives in so many ways, and even today, I remember his dying as being the hardest thing I've had to go through in my life.

Holly Briggs

23 06/27/06

My Dermpa was my stepfather for as long as I could remember. I never called him Dad although that is what he was to me. When he became a Grandpa I started calling him Dermpa because he had a skin condition called dermatitis. Anyway he smoked at least a pack a day.

He only had grandsons until I got pregnant and we knew it was a girl. Dermpa was already very sick and on Hospice. We had to hire someone to come in and change his diapers. He had congestive heart failure and a host of other problems. He loved animals and slept with our little chihuahua until he accidently rolled over and smothered her. It was so sad.

Dermpa only lived a few months after my daughter was born. I remember him saying he wished she was two years old. She is 2 and a half now, and now I know why he said that. Although newborns are delightful you can't really get to see their personality for a few months and then by 2 years they are a blast! I have a one year old and a two year old now. I still can't believe Dermpa is gone.

My Mother smokes and it causes me so much anxiety. Sometimes I feel like I am distancing myself from her so it won't hurt so bad when she gets sick. Doesn't she want to see my girls grow up? Just Quit. Stop it, cigarettes will not jump in your mouth and catch on fire.

Tamara Rager

22 06/25/06

Two pictures of Tonya's dad five months apart showing how cancer changed his appearance I read all the stories of those who have lost loved ones and wanted to share my story. My Dad was a wonderful man and I have always been a Daddy's girl. Needless to say I followed him around all the time. Our favorite thing to do was go to yard sales and flea markets. We were always on the go, until that day in June 2004. That day would slow us down forever.

My Dad had smoked since he was 13 and never thought about quitting. He was too busy with life. He had a terrible cough for the longest time and until his chest pains grew unbearable, he wouldn't go to the doctor. But when he finally did, they had terrible news, lung cancer, due to years of smoking.

The doctors were quick to say there wasn't much they could do. So from that day on we were living on the edge. It was a rough trip. Daddy didn't get really down until Sept. 2004 and from that point on he would never walk again. He was bedridden and cared for by Hospice nurses, my Mother and me. Until he got sick, my Dad was full of jokes and laughter, but the cancer took that all away and replaced it with pain and tears.

In the last week of my Daddy's life he couldn't even speak and was nonresponsive. Nov. 12, 2004, the night my Daddy died, he was at the hospice. The nurse asked my Mom if she would like to lay next to him. She hadn't been able to sleep next to him in months. She was overwhelmed when the nurse said this to her. My Dad reached up to her and wrapped his arms around her. He died in the early morning with my Mom in his arms. We do consider this a blessing. Others have died in such a more terrible and upsetting way. We know the Lord was with us throughout my Daddy's fight.

Please if you are a parent who smokes, know that when my Daddy died, I was changed forever. I don't have that sense of security a Father gives. My heart was broken. I've seen things throughout my Father's fight that no child should have to endure. It's not fair and could have been prevented. Show your kids you love them, quit smoking.

Tonya Church
North Carolina

21 06/14/06

On Wednaesday May 31, 2006 my grandmother died of lung cancer. She always knew she had it and she never quit smoking. The day she was admited into the hospital she knew that it was time for her to go, but she kept pulling through. My granmother was in the hospital for a little over six months and it was hard to visit her because I hated seeing her like that.

My grandmother was a very loving and kind women. She was honored and cared about very dearly. She had many friends and was a very memorable women. She had a great personality and had great potential. I loved her so much ....we had the best of times together. We would stay up late and watch t.v. till we couldn't take it anymore.

And that is all gone now just because as she was young, there was a thing called peer pressure and she started smoking. She has smoked ever since. She had to smoke a least one pack every 2 to 3 days, it was horrible. But I just want everyone to know that smoking is horrible because it ruins your life and it takes the ones you care about deeply. My name is Becka, I'm 14 and from the bottom of my heart ......it hurts.

Becka



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