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Topic: My fiance smokes

Forum: Sex & Relationship Matters —

A safe place to talk candidly about how your romantic relationships and/or your sex life has changed following your diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Mar 25, 2020 12:22PM

toria1212 wrote:

I was diagnosed last week with IDC, and after BS appt yesterday, most of the info so far is positive towards a good outcome for me. My fiance said when we met over five years ago that he was "trying to quit". Never have I seen him "try" to quit , although he took a medication once that definitely reduced his smoking. I always have felt a little 'bait and switch' as I truly believed in the beginning that he had a conscious desire and plan to stop smoking.

He smokes organic cigarettes, and although it has always bothered me, I fell in love with HIM, and understand that it is his addiction and struggle. That being said, now with a BC diagnosis, I have asked him to quit. He is a bit flippant about it, and now I refuse to kiss his lips when he comes inside from having a smoke, as somehow I feel like it could hurt ME(or has hurt me). I do not know if there is any information that suggests that a smoker's partner is more likely to get C, even though he NEVER smokes around/near me. Our relationship has had some major ups and downs, as many do from people who have been married and divorced. But this is becoming an "issue" for me, even though my fiance is a kind and loving partner. Any thoughts or suggestions for me?

Dx 3/19/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 25, 2020 05:54PM Georgia1 wrote:

Oh Toria, I'm sorry. This is a hard one. I can tell you that when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was after 20 years of living with a husband who smoked. With no other risk factors her doctor essentially blamed it on the second-hand smoke and it really caused some tough times in their marriage. He did quit, and they are still together. But now her son smokes! Addiction is hard for sure, but if he's been telling you he'd try to quit now is the time.

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 25, 2020 06:28PM toria1212 wrote:

Thank you so much for sharing, Georgia1. I so appreciate your perspective and input. It's not that I feel he's being a bit selfish, or insensitive. I TRULY IN MY HEART worry that HIS smoking may affect(or already has affected MY HEALTH). He poo poos that idea vehemently, and he's the nicest, sweetest guy, but this may be my dealbreaker. I dunno....

Thank you and may I ask you a radiation question? My diagnosis is very similar to yours, except mine is grade 1. Of course I haven't had surgery yet, but why did you elect to have radiation of your entire breast, and just not the area affected? I am curious, and of course will not know for certain what is to come until pathology post surgery in May. I appreciate your support xx

Dx 3/19/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 25, 2020 06:48PM illimae wrote:

I quit soon after being diagnosed. It was really hard and I still enjoy vaping occasionally but as far as a connection to BC is concerned, I never found one. In fact, the list of risk factors for smoking and BC has smoking way at the bottom of the list with working night shift hours. He’ll quit when he’s ready, or not. I’m sorry but I think you’ll have to take or leave it.

Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 1/1/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 1/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (IHC) Radiation Therapy 10/19/2017 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 5/23/2019 External: Brain Surgery 1/22/2020 Radiation Therapy 2/16/2020 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 7/20/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 25, 2020 07:08PM AliceBastable wrote:

I still smoked when I was diagnosed. I asked the BS and MO about it and they both said there's no connection between smoking and breast cancer. But then I got diagnosed with kidney cancer and the urologist said I HAD to quit because smoking was one of the causes for that cancer (along with years of using ibuprofen). So a week before I had my left kidney cut out, I slapped on a patch and I haven't smoked since. That was in September 2018 and I haven't had a cigarette since, nor have I been tempted. I smoked about a pack and a half or more for nearly 50 years. Show this to your fiance and ask him what organs he's willing to lose.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 25, 2020 07:33PM - edited Mar 25, 2020 07:34PM by katej128

He is not respecting your boundaries. You need to own your part in not making them more clear.

With love in your heart, follow these steps that worked for me:

  1. Don't get emotional or vague – get your facts right.
  2. Choose calm time – explain why you feel bad about his smoking.
  3. Be very clear – this has to change.
  4. Acknowledge response and offer support –thank them for being open to change. OR
  5. Stand firm and decide if this is a deal breaker for you. (It was for me so out he went - married a new guy 22 years ago


Tough situations call for tough measures.
Sounds like he is pretty great otherwise, so I hope it goes well.

Dx 10/21/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/19/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/28/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/13/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 26, 2020 05:36PM MinusTwo wrote:

toria - do I understand that he never smokes around you? and he never smokes in the house or the car? If you don't like the taste, then quit kissing him - but it's unlikely that his smoking will aggravate your cancer if he never smokes around you. And Illiemae is correct - there really aren't any direct links.

As a former smoker, it's a nasty, expensive habit. But as I said in the smoking thread - I will always be a smoker, just one who hasn't smoked for 9 years. You can't make or guilt someone into changing. Well, you can try, but unless someone really wants to make a change it won't work very well. You'll have to make a decision whether you're willing to give him up or put up with it, but try not to nag. It will just mess up your relationship.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Mar 26, 2020 06:06PM edwards750 wrote:

I agree with MinusTwo. Giving him an ultimatum is not the way to go. If he wants to quit he will. It’s a very strong addiction. I smoked but my husband never did. My doctors told me smoking did not cause my DX. Of course it’s not good for you but only he can decide what he’s willing to risk/live with. If you Truly believe it’s he quits or else there’s your answer.

Diane

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Mar 27, 2020 05:05PM toria1212 wrote:

illimae, AliceBastable, katej128, MinusTwo, edwards750

Thank you all for your thoughtful perspectives. I *know* that his smoking has not caused my BC, but it feels invasive to my health-him smoking. I appreciate all of the input, and I just don't know....xx

Dx 3/19/2020, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 28, 2020 10:50AM Nana2-8 wrote:

As you said, he doesn't smoke around you or near you, and is going outdoors to smoke. And, as said above, there is no direct correlation to your dx. My MO even said "maybe we can address this issue after we have taken care of BC".....no urgency to me. Also remember that while you are going thru digesting your dx, so is HE. I know that now would not be the time I would issue an ultimatum....unless you are looking for a reason to change direction with him.

Dx 9/23/2015, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/13/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Dx 2/21/2020, ILC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 28, 2020 01:21PM - edited Mar 28, 2020 01:21PM by Georgia1

Hi Toria and sorry for the delayed response. I had full breast radiation because it's standard and I didn't fit the strict guidelines for partial breast radiation or IORT. One factor in my case was that I had two small spots, both IDC and ILC. So even tho it was a small area and classified 1A my BC was technically multifocal. I was able to skip boosts tho, since my surgical margins were clear, so the series of radiation treatments was short.

Hope that helps. Finding an RO you communicate well with is so important - wishing you the best with that.

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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