Turkey's Triumphs: Page 4
Messages from Cold Turkey Ex-smokers Who Quit Smoking for at Least 1 Year
Did you stop cold turkey?
Nicotine-free for a year?
My name is Amy, and I am a nicotine addict.
A recovering addict, but an addict nevertheless.
I started smoking as a rebellious 18-year-old brat in the summer of 1990. I kept smoking because I was addicted. My parents have been nagging me for *years* about quitting. Dad quit in 1982, and Mom never smoked.
In what I now see as a last ditch effort to get me to at least think about quitting, my mom told me about her best friend from high school who had died from complications due to breast cancer, mostly smoking-related. She was in her early 50's, and left behind her mother, two brothers, and a daughter to pick up the pieces. This conversation took place on January 2nd, 2005.
I had been toying with the idea of quitting for a while, but clearly wasn't going anywhere. Previous quits fueled by NRT and Zyban had only resulted in relapse. Each time, I started my relapse with clove cigarettes, managing to convince myself that they weren't as bad as "real" cigarettes. (Later research on my part revealed that they're actually much worse, and contain nearly as much tobacco as mainstream cigarettes!) I continued thinking about the conversation with my mom. Did I really want my *parents* to plan my funeral simply because I was too stubborn to quit committing slow suicide?
Ultimately, the answer was (and still is) a resounding NO. I smoked my last cigarette on January 3rd, 2005 at 6:00 AM. I decided not to stop for cigarettes that morning on my way to work, and I have repeated that action for the last 365 days. I plan on continuing this way of life, as it really, truly beats the alternative.
Thanks to all of the volunteers that make Why Quit possible. This is the best website for cold turkey quitting, bar none. Education is what made this, my final quit, stick good and hard. Not only do I not have the urge to smoke, at times I almost forget that I used to smoke. What a great feeling!
Someone once asked me..."What is your biggest personal burden?"
"I smoke cigarettes."
"I don't want to yet."
"They relax me."
"But, Annette - how can your biggest burden be relaxing?"
Blank stare......"I don't know"
That was 2 years before I quit. After 27 years of barbecuing my lungs, I began a trek into my mental smoking area..and discovered.. I'm just a dumb for smoking. Nothing else to it. I had chosen to smoke and it was in direct conflict with the fact that I am a survivor to be killing myself. After all the years that I had no choice in my abuse...I'm the one that's gonna do me in.
In the end, all quitting amounted to was putting them in the dumpster and never picking them back up. I had a physical, afraid...and my lungs showed to be clear...and I felt almost brand new...
So many things have happened this year, relationship and lifestyle change issues, brother's death, stepfathers death, brother moving in, kids moving out and on...and through it all...I have remained smoke free. And because I truly began believing in the fact that I can accomplish and do anything I want to....today I celebrate my one year anniversary of nicotine freedom.
I quit cold turkey January 21, 2004 and have been nicotine and smoke-free ever since. I owe my success to my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. Because of him I did not go through withdrawal symptoms. It took only three days for the craving to go away. I drank lots of water and juices, especially cranberry. I did experience sleeping a lot which was good for me. I am so happy and proud that I will be celebrating two years of "turkey triumph".
Hi, I quit smoking on the 23rd June 2004! So it has nearly been 18 months for me without a puff. I found the WhyQuit site and although I didn't join the forum, I lurked there for hours for the first days, weeks and months. All the information kept me inspired and on track.
I am so pleased with myself. I now jog and exercise regularly. I am planning a 8 day trek carrying a 17kg backpack in mountainous terrain! I can't believe I am doing these things (and can afford to do them now I don't waste my money on an addiction!). Life is great. Thanks to this site I will never take another puff.
My 14 year old daughter and her friends are experimenting with smoking. I showed them this website but I don't know if it will help. What do you do? I can only provide her with all the information I can and hope she quits before it is too late. I wish she would remember how she used to plead with me to quit.
Regards to All, Congratulations!!!
I quit 1 year and 2 days ago. I have been 100% free from nicotine since then. I am so proud of me I could cry. It took me longer than this 1 year and 2 days to get my head round the fact I couldn't smoke, I couldn't have just one and that lozengers and patches and anything containing nicotine doesn't work. It just keeps you addicted. Words are not enough. WhyQuit kept me going. Thank You
Quit smoking?? Me??? Never!!!
You can't imagine how happy I am to report that I did exactly that and can today celebrate having completed my 365th nicotine free day.
Like so many others, I could never imagine a life without my cigarettes and I am no longer surprised about this at all. I started smoking when I was about 13 and went on to do it for more than 30 years. I don't exactly know when I became addicted to nicotine but it can't have been very long into my smoking career. It is safe to say that cigarettes accompanied me simply everywhere - to school, to uni, to work, to restaurants, to play basket ball, to concerts ... - well, you know what it's like as I guess you are reading this because you either have quit using nicotine yourself and remember what it was like when you were still actively using or you are still feeding your body nicotine and are thinking about stopping it.
As you have found your way to the whyquit.com-website, you might have read a link from its homepage to a "story" that really touched me immensely when I read it for the first time a little over a year ago: the one of Kim's missing lung - age 44. I remember that, after having read all the sad "stories" under the headline of "We Died Young", I moved on to read the "Our Living Nightmare" section. I was so glad to have found an account of a very serious health issue, which was going to have a 'happy ending.' You will be able to guess what happened when I came to the end of it: I was sitting in front of my computer crying my eyes out. I know I am just one of those people who were inspired by Kim, Bryan, Noni and Sean. They are still reaching out to so many thinking about taking the first step into a life that will no longer be ruled by the need for the next nicotine fix.
Never in a million years did I think this time last year that I would still be not smoking today. I had quit a number of times before and always relapsed. I must admit that I never had real problems with the physical side of withdrawal - my problem was of a psychological nature. The part of me which will always be addicted to nicotine and which I call "my inner junkie" nearly drove me mad in the beginning of my journey home: it was not easy but also always do-able. For the first time in my adult life (if you don't count the 9 months when leaving school before relapsing then) I have learnt and am still learning to deal with all sorts of life issues and emotions without having a cigarette (=nicotine) to numb or influence my reactions. Life does indeed go on without smoking and it doesn't care at all whether we are using nicotine or not.
To this day, it makes me furious when I hear people who should know better saying that quitting smoking is like "kicking a habit". We don't have a habit. Fighting nicotine addiction, as fighting any other kind of addiction, can in no way be compared to "kicking a habit". It has helped me so much to learn as much as I wanted to know (and much more besides) about our shared addiction and what really is going on in our bodies and minds - not only while I using but also while getting off our chosen drug. I don't remember how often I have read Nicodemon's Lies? or "The Smokers Vow". A big "THANK YOU" to the Whyquit-Team who care enough about all of us to make all this information so freely available to anybody who is looking for it!!!
As I am celebrating my first year of living without any form of nicotine, I can tell you that it has passed so much faster than I ever thought possible. I honestly wish I could somehow magically show everybody still smoking or going through the initial stages of their quits that this journey is so worth it.
Please, don't think you cannot do this should you still be feeding your body nicotine and should you be thinking about quitting. What are you waiting for? You most certainly CAN and there is really nothing to be afraid or scared of if you do it the Cold-Turkey-way. Don't let anybody tell you that you need NRT-products to replace nicotine with nicotine. You are the one person who can take your life back. You honestly don't have to wait for that magic moment when you know it is time - you can just go ahead, do it, cherish the one and only life you have got and give yourself and all those who love you the best gift anybody could possibly think of!
nicotine free and a proud Ex-smoker for 1 year and a bit
Quit Date: 25 November 2004
I began my educated cold turkey quit here at Freedom on November 16, 2004. I have to say that it has not felt like "a year without smoking," like I thought it would. In fact I really don't think about smoking at all and when I do it's because someone's smoke is annoying me. Then I think about how nice it is that I don't have to do that anymore.
This site and board has been the perfect quit haven for me. I stumbled around with the strict posting rules at first, but I know now how important they were for me to stay focused. I understand why we don't have quit buddies here, especially in that first month. That said, it is wonderful to see so many of those fantastic people who went through that first month with me celebrate (or will soon) their 1 year of freedom from nicotine. I will not lose my quit if they do, but I have a feeling my November crew is here to stay.
We are here to stay because it is so easy to stay smoke free. I know I may have a trigger and craving once in a very blue moon, but I have the knowledge and skills to overcome the craving within seconds. I know I can't just have one puff because one = all and then I'd be back to battling nicotine withdrawal by smoking or finding a way to smoke. Blah, it makes me nauseous just writing about smoking.
The things I was worried about in the beginning was talking on the phone and drinking wine without smoking. Wow, I have not thought about smoking while talking on the phone or drinking in such a long time. I talk on the phone with my friends and drink wine occasionally and thoughts of smoking never enter into my head. Honestly, I can't remember when and where I had my last craving.
I can meet up with people who smoke and have no desire to join them (or sit by them). Quitting smoking did not stop me from doing things I like to do. It helped me start doing things I've always wanted to do. Like become a National Champion in butterfly. Yah, y'all better watch out!
I am truly grateful for this wonderful site, Joel, the moderators, and all of Freedoms new and old members. Quitting smoking cold turkey at Freedom was the best decision I have ever made for myself and for everyone who loves me (or even just likes me). NTAP.
Hello. My name is Rachel Meyers and I quit smoking with the WhyQuit.com website. I am 24 years old and started smoking at the age of 15. I smoked a pack a day and never would have thought I could have quit so easy or made it this far as easily as I have done it.
My sister Sarah and her husband Eric have also quit for over a year and have been smoking for years longer than I. So, I was shocked when Sarah told me about the site and how it helped them and they had quit for a month. So, I thought there is no way I'm quitting. I'll humor her and check it out.
Then when I was looking around something had hit me before the 72 hours and the nicotine was out and the rest was mental. I thought I'm not that weak I can do this and it turned my life around. I started saving money and using that money for a gym membership and buying new perfumes and feeling great. It even motivated a friend at work who will hit her year in January. I felt it was time to let you know. Anytime a friend asks me about quitting I recommend this site. Thanks!
I must tell you I have not touched any nicotine product since October 2004! I am so proud of myself. I had smoked since I was 13 years old and am now 31. My husband and I both decided to quit "cold turkey" after "pretending" to quit for a couple of years. We'd quit for a day or two, decide we just weren't ready and start all over again. What got us through it this final time? Well, during our first day nicotine free my husband found this wonderful website. He told me how it said that if we could survive the first 72 hours that it was all mental after that. Well, I certainly didn't like that fact, but it really hit home. He told me I should peruse this website while I thought, "I don't need a goofy website to tell me what I can and can't do".
Silly me, I forgot that quitting tobacco is really, really hard. My first day back at work without a cigarette break almost killed me so I thought, "why not," I'll look at the website during my break. I started reading and couldn't stop. It was so inspiring and gave me hope. I found that I wasn't alone out there and even though my pride didn't want to admit it, I needed that extra boost. From then on if I ever felt the urge, I logged on to WhyQuit and read a few articles. The urge passed quickly after that!
Now over a year later my husband and I are completely nicotine free. We are healthier and happier. We were actually trying to have a child with the thought that we would both quit smoking as soon as the test was positive. We had no luck other than a miscarriage during a two-year time frame. Now our baby is due in May and I am so happy that I was not smoking during those first few critical weeks of the unknown! I also know that quitting nicotine also greatly increased our ability to conceive. To all those women out there who are trying to become a mother, the best thing you can do is to quit. Quit for you, quit for your family and quit for your unborn baby! If I did it, so can you!
I want to thank you personally with all my heart for trying to make this world a better place. Its people like you that truly make a difference.
One year ago today, I had a phone call that changed my life. At precisely 9:12 a.m., a nurse called my home to inform me that the lump I had removed from my breast was not cancer. I had another chance at life, and now I had to keep the promise I made to God to stop smoking. That was our deal we made, me and God. So, I destroyed an entire carton of cigarettes; threw them in the garbage and then lasted all of about 24 hours when I no longer could go on.
Then, I sat down at my computer and made a random plea for help and....up came this website WhyQuit.com. I spent the good part of the day ready, looking, thinking and mostly educating myself and ultimately came to two conclusions -
Either die quitting
Or die from smoking
Pick your poison
A twenty year big-time serious smoker, I made up my mind that I have to die quitting cause this was one battle I wasn't going to go down without a fight.
I started exercising (for all you ladies, in twelve months I've only gained 4 pounds of MUSCLE!) up to running five miles a day, visited this website constantly and fought each day as if it was my last. I put my family through utter hell, especially my best girlfriend, and never, ever realized in all my life just how strong I truly was. I am strong. Stronger than I ever imagined and now I can look in the mirror and say, "I won".
I've quit smoking, one year today - and that makes me the coolest person in the world.
You can be the coolest too.
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF
Thanks Joel for saving my life.
Thanks girlfriend for chasing me around with the picture of the little man (The smoker's body). He's so ugly.
I quit for #1 myself and my future and # 2, this site's story on Bryan Lee Curtis. I still can not get the two photos of him out of my head.
I quit on August 1 2004, my boyfriend's birthday. I have actually had an extremely hard time with my weight. I think I have gained at least 15 pounds. I hit my 30's, quit smoking and found a boyfriend I love and am extremely comfortable with, apparently a bit TOO comfortable.
I know these three changes have all contributed to my eating habits and to the weight gain. I just feel obsessed with food since I quit smoking. My boyfriend and I joined a gym together. He has never smoked, but understands my battle and supports me.
As disappointed as I am with my self image over the past year, I really do not regret quitting smoking. If all I have to deal with is a weight gain, then I just need to realize (and act upon) the fact that I can now be more physically active because I do not smoke, to work out more and lose the weight. Easier said then done, but I am not giving up!!!
I am proud of myself, every day I wake up and every day I see someone else light a cigarette..... I am proud of myself!
I stopped smoking on August 22nd 2004. I had been smoking for almost 20 years by the time that I succeeded in quitting, and like many others on this site, I had tried several other methods in the past without success including patches. In the past I had found that within 24 hours I was at fever pitch and the longest that I'd ever lasted was 3 days. I have to say that the main difference this time was that I really wanted to quit, where as in the past I'd been trying to do it because other people wanted me to.
During the early days I searched for sites about quitting smoking and came across this one, and I've lurked in the background regularly since.The thing that has really helped me stay stopped is the true stories, I was particularly touched by Noni's story as I at the time was also 33 and that really hit home. That could be me!
I have to say that the actual quit was much easier than previous attempts with NRT. I can't say that to start with I was supremely confident that I'd never smoke again, and I didn't tell my parents that I'd stopped for a few days, in case I fell at the first hurdle. But after the first few days it did get easier. I found that taking it day by day was easier to handle than thinking about the implications of never smoking again. In a strange way I did feel like I'd lost some part of my identity for a while, after all I had been smoking since I was 14 and every major event in my adult life had involved me trying to work out when I could have my next cigarette. But now I'm free and you can be too!
Just remember, "NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF"! Believe me, you will think about it. You will tell yourself that just one won't do any harm, but do you really want to go back there again? I know that I don't! I deserve better than that and so do you!
I really thought that I was one of those smokers who would never quit because it was too hard. Even some of my friends have said that they didn't think I'd do it. But over twelve months later I can say with pride, that although I will always be a Nicotine Addict, I am no longer a smoker.
So please, if you are in the process of quitting, stick with it, it really is worth it. And if you're just thinking about quitting, read all the good stuff here and go for it! What have you got to lose????
Truth be told, I had long since given up on being able to quit smoking when I ran out of money and found myself forced to quit until payday. To me, it seemed ridiculous to go back to smoking after getting the nicotine out of my system for a day or so, but on the other hand, I had tried and failed to quit so many times before, it seemed hopeless.
Well, common sense won out and I decided to give quitting one more try. Since my heart wasn't really in it at the start, I figured I should search the internet to find some support. Luckily for me, I found this site. I read every article WhyQuit had to offer in the first 72 hours. Joel's Library was a sanctuary for me, a safe place to go whenever a craving hit. Every excuse I could think of could be countered with cold, hard facts there.
I wrote this to tell those of you who have been fed the lie that you can't quit cold turkey that the coping skills I've gained from this site have served me far better than any NRT ever has. I've tried cutting back in every form you can think of. Nothing short of eliminating nicotine from your system and addressing the behaviour responses addiction has ingrained in your consciousness will end your suffering.
It's so hard for me to believe it's been more than one year already. I quit cold turkey on August 20, 2004. Back then, I couldn't imagine myself still being smoke free on August 23, 2004. It is now Oct. 12, 2005, and I watch months fly by without so much as a thought given to smoking. There is a light at the end of the tunnel when you quit cold turkey. When you quit with NRT, that light you see is another train coming to derail your quit.
My name is Debbie and I smoked close to a pack a day for 20 years. In Dec 2003 I made the decision to stop smoking, not to try to quit, but to stop. The thought of not smoking absolutely terrified me, but what scared me more was to suffer a death brought on literally by my own hands. I sobbed knowing the position I put myself in, I sobbed at the thought of not having cigarettes as a crutch. I was actually mourning a "loss" that would soon be upon me. I went to the computer and found a program at the American Lung Association site called "Freedom from Smoking". I began faithfully following the program and I saw WhyQuit.com mentioned on one of the message boards.
WhyQuit completely changed the way I regarded my need for cigarettes. I was forced to come face to face to what I was doing to myself every time I took a puff. I was forced to look at my own addiction and quite probably my own early mortality because of the choice I made to smoke. I was forced to take responsibility for a dependency that I also had the choice to stop. WhyQuit provided me no excuses, no easy way out. It was the "truth" it provided that allowed me the courage to begin, quite possibly, the toughest challenge ever before me.
My official quit date was Jan. 27, 2004. I completed the "Freedom from Smoking" course and visited WhyQuit daily while quitting. I've never picked up a cigarette since and I can say without hesitation that I never will. Although living without the need for nicotine has increased the quality of my life beyond what I had ever imagined, the power I gained knowing I kicked the "devil" on his butt is immeasurable.
Thank you, WhyQuit. No matter how cliche, the truth really does set you free.
I'm very happy to be posting this message to the Turkey's Triumphs page for being smokefree for a whole year (!) NOT ONE PUFF.
Thanks to the education I've received at Whyquit, I've come to understand how insidious an ADDICTION nicotine really is. I never understood this before and I lost many quits due to my lack of understanding. I now understand that my lack of education could cost me an appreciable percentage of the years God gave me. I'll never be able to return to the ignorance and denial that helped keep me addicted to cigarettes for 27 years. I know too much now. This is a good thing.
However, even after a year quit, I still need to remind myself daily how precious my freedom is and how easily it could be lost. I'm still challenged to remain smokefree: my mother passed away two weeks ago (from heart problems caused by smoking and diabetes) and my husband, who quit with me, relapsed a month ago. He continues to smoke.
I tell of these challenges to say: they have not and will not be allowed to affect my quit. I quit for me and no one else except myself can make me lose this quit. I've been quit for a year because I nurtured my quit and put it at the forefront of my mind. I've read and re-read all the materials available on the Whyquit site several times and I read on the Freedom boards often. I will continue to do whatever it takes to keep this quit because I truly believe my life depends on it.
People who have never smoked sometimes say "You're still talking/thinking about quitting? Aren't you 'over it' by now?" They don't really understand that I will never be 'over it' in the sense that I could ever be a 'casual' or any other kind of smoker or user of nicotine. We say Never Take Another Puff because we know that one puff means relapse. Staying quit means I can never be complacent and I can never drop my guard.
This quit has NOT been particularly easy for me (and this is a good thing too), but it also has not been as hard as I had built it up to be. I HAVE achieved a measure of comfort. I'm so grateful for it; it's an incredible improvement on the stress and worry I had every day as a smoker. I used smoking as a way of dealing with my emotions for so long, I had to relearn how to deal with my own feelings. But what I feel now, more than any other emotion, is CALM. My mind and emotions had been hijacked by smoking. I'm so glad I took them back! My whole body thanks me everyday for quitting; my lungs say they are especially grateful :-) For anyone who may be lurking and wondering whether the time is right for them to take the plunge, it is. In fact, the time doesn't get any better than right now J
Thanks so much Whyquit and Freedom for all you do...
I have been quit for 1 Year, 23 hours, 23 minutes and 57 seconds (365 days). I have saved $1,829.87 by not smoking 7,319 cigarettes. I have saved 3 Weeks, 4 Days, 9 hours and 55 minutes of my life.
Hello! I started smoking at 20 years old.....so stupid, as I knew that nicotine was addictive, and I hear that if people do smoke, they usually start in their teens. But of course, I was "different"....I started smoking after my daughter was born to "lose weight"... yes, I did lose the weight, and gained an addiction. Cigarette smoking slowly but surely worked its way into every aspect of my life - I would sneak cigarettes carrying my second and third child, just terrible. Fast forward 12 years of nicotine bondage...I stumbled across the WhyQuit.com website and began reading. I probably lurked at WhyQuit for about 4 months, educating myself on my addiction. Finally, on January 1st, at 3 o'clock in the morning, I smoked my last cigarette. And that was it.
I visited everyday at WhyQuit and educated myself and applied its teachings to my own recovery. Every day as I awoke I said to myself, "I will be free from nicotine, just for today"...and at first, it was very challenging. Sometimes I would have to stop myself and say, "I will be free from nicotine, just for 5 minutes" and before the five minutes were up, the craving for nicotine was gone.
Nicotine was losing the battle with my will, and my mind. Every day got a little bit easier, as my body was ridding itself of nicotine, nicotine was physically losing its grip over me. The only grip left was in my own mind. That is where education and support here at Freedom is really key. Its great to have a no nonsense place to come to that doesn't cater to ridiculousness...it caters to truth. And the truth is that one puff from a cigarette has me quickly on the road to active nicotine addiction once again. Its that powerful ...one single puff. NRT's do NOT work. Would you give an alcoholic whiskey? I don't think so.
It's been 2 years and 9 months...and not one single puff. It's ironic, I started smoking at 20 to lose weight and look good, but now I have 3 kids and am 35 years old and look better than I ever have in my entire adult life. This is because now that I am no longer chained in bondage to my addiction to nicotine, I have the lung power to enjoy inline skating (which I love!!!). I can skate for two hours and feel great! Plus, I work out with weights 4 mornings a week. I actually am in a gym at 6 o'clock in the morning 4 days a week...something I NEVER HAD THE STRENGTH OR ENERGY TO DO WHEN I WAS SMOKING!!!!
My advice to you - look into yourself, find that little special something (its in there, don't tell me it isn't!) inside of yourself and believe. See yourself free. See yourself waking up in the morning, eyes bright, lungs clear, and not even thinking about smoking.....and GO FOR IT! You are one-of-a-kind, with all your own gifts unique to you. Come, leap off the cliff and soar with us in Freedom!
I chose to be free from nicotine for 2 years and 9 months
Five years ago today I threw away my last cigarettes and quit for the upmteenth time. However, this time became different because within a week I stumbled across www.whyquit.com and read everything on the site. Knowledge is power and at Freedom there is plenty of knowledge to be gained.
I started sneaking a few cigarettes before the Russians put up Sputnik. As time progressed my addiction became full blown and of course when you are young and dumb nothing can harm you. The first time I seriously tried to quit was in the early '70's and after a few months I was back at it. As a pilot in Vietnam I remember shutting off the oxygen and pulling the mask off my face and lighting up...not only hard to light but when you did get it lit you had to suck like crazy and then in the thin air would almost pull the fire right into your mouth....what a dummy! But I was an addict and addicts are not known to do well thought out actions.
For those of you who are still smoking....STOP. Not tomorrow but right now and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. You can do it because I did after being stupid for 40+ years. We were just like you a few short years ago....you can do it.....
You have taken the first step or you wouldn't be reading this. Now be brutally honest with yourself and admit you are an addict and then get involved with Freedom. Oh, I know that real men handle their problems without outside help. All my life I thought that way, fancying myself as macho as they come. Then 5 years ago I swallowed my pride and found FREEDOM and the wonderful folks there. Joel, John and crew are world class and I owe them my life. Be like me and owe your life to them as well. Good Quitting and Best Regards,
Forever smokeless in Dallas, TX
My first foray into the world of tobacco was in junior high. I found them nauseating, and like anyone with good sense I never tried them again until college. I would eventually become a pack a day smoker for twenty years. I knew from very early that it was one of the worst addictions.
Shortly after law school I was defending Big Tobacco, and as a result read all the literature in the mid-eighties. I learned how 20 years was the incubation period for lung cancer and many other diseases, so I vowed to myself I would quit long before then. Nevertheless, I had two children and kept on puffing.
I contracted a rare form of bone cancer in my thirties, convinced my wife to stop, only to relapse myself in nine short months. I never paid heed to all the warnings from loved ones. Instead, I would smoke late into the night. As I spent much of my time at work in office buildings in which smoking had been banned, I was downstairs in the street, writing or reading legal papers. Needless to say, I recognized how addicted I was. I didn't like it one bit.
Anyway, it was the constant encouragement of a law partner, who did his prodding in the nicest of ways, and this website that were the combined catalyst for my giving up smoking just after Thanksgiving 2001. Thus, I'm nearly four years finished with this dependency, and there's been no relapse this time. I gained fifteen pounds initially, but now I've lost that and another fifteen. I've never felt better.
It's been 5 years and five months today. I was 44 at the time. I smoked two packs a day but was thin and very active. Anyway I always had a bit of a cough, you know the kind. I really didn't feel sick but the cough got worse and I knew I should see a doctor, but I knew he would tell me to quit smoking and lecture me etc.
Well that night I just didn't feel good and my lower right back hurt terribly. My husband had already gone to bed and I was going to have one more cigarette and then try to lay down and sleep and hopefully feel better. I don't know if it was my guardian angel or what but something made me know I had to get to the hospital and now. I practically crawled up the stairs and got my husband up and my daughter who was 7 at the time. We got to the hospital and I just knew I had pneumonia. They took a chest x-ray and it was worse. With pneumonia your lung fills with fluid, well somehow the fluid had perforated my lung and was filling my chest cavity.
I had to have a thorencotomy where they opened me up from my back to ribs beneath my armpit and then they sucked a gallon of thick horrible fluid out and taped my right lung to my chest cavity. I was in the hospital for twelve days and in lots of pain. The lung doctor, an older man, said he had never seen a worse lung infection and that I was very lucky to be alive. My right lung will never be 100%. The doctor also told me now would be a good time to quit smoking and that if he ever saw me again he would not treat me if I smoked.
I quit. My husband still smokes and it makes me mad off but I still love him. I took up running again and have run 5 half marathons and next week will be my fourth marathon. If I can quit anyone can, but it's not easy.
I had tried quitting several times in the past using the patches and cutting back. The patches worked but they where so expensive I couldn't afford them and when I ran out of patches I would start back again.
I was diagnosed with lung cancer in June of 2001. On August 9th of the same year they removed my right lung - the upper and middle lobes. I had cancer in two places right on top of each other. I was told that I had to quit smoking for 30 days prior to surgery. This time I decided that the only way to quit was to do it cold turkey. I'll bet I ate a ton of candy.
Seriously people, if you want to continue breathing you have got to quit smoking. It has been four years since my surgery. I go back in December for a CT scan. Hopefully I will be free of cancer. To quit cold turkey sounds like it would be awful but I promise you that awful is what likely awaits you if you don't.
Imagine not being able to walk five feet after surgery without tiring. Imagine having extreme difficulty breathing for the rest of your life. Imagine your remaining lung capacity not being able to handle getting upset, lifting, and curtailing romance. Physically I'm shot to heck. I just wish I'd never picked up that first smoke.
You can do it. It's easy to quit smoking. What's hard is what happens when you don't quit. Good luck and I do hope you decide to quit.