Topic: Stop Smoking Support Thread

Forum: Share Your Experiences Of Life After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis — A place to talk about how your diagnosis has affected you after active treatment ends. Discuss long-term side effects, fears and joys, silver linings and other ways your diagnosis has impacted your life.

Posted on: Jan 14, 2009 12:12AM

Posted on: Jan 14, 2009 12:12AM

webwriter wrote:

Some of us will, some of us won't, but it's an ugly beast to try to tackle alone. I think I'd rather have cancer than quit. Sadly, I can't quit cancer. Dunno if I can quit smoking or not, but I just read a study that says smoking (nicotine) interferes with and blocks chemo by 61%.

If I'm gonna have to go through this crap, it darned well better work. I've come to terms with every other aspect of this mess I've been presented with so far. Sometimes with tears, sometimes with humor, sometimes with quiet hugs from hubby. Smoking not so much. I like it. It's my friend, my crutch, my safe harbor in a crazy world. It's killing me. It's time to say good-bye.

My quit date is 1/19/09. My husband will be joining me. Cold turkey for me, patches for him. (I am avoiding more nicotine just as much as I am sugar.) 

Anyone out there care to join us? Dx 11/24/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2009 12:44AM NervousKnitter wrote:

I am SO in. I just started a smoking cessation class tonight and our quit date is January 27. There are only 3 gals and one is 3 years out from her treatment. It was nice to talk to someone else who still smokes in spite of what we've gone through. I'll take support from any and all sources. Great idea!


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Jan 14, 2009 01:11AM webwriter wrote:

Welcome NervousKnitter!

 Sorry you have to join the group, but boy am I glad you're here! 

Like you, I'll take it wherever I can get it. I ain't skeered of chemo. Being without my crutch is terrifying!

So you're going a week behind me. Got any nails I can bite? Cry Dx 11/24/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2009 01:42AM sftfemme65 wrote:

I think its awesome that you guys are going to give it a try!  I was a smoker.  In fact, I was smoking a cig when my doctor called and told me in was cancer.  I hung up the phone, finished my cig, lit another and smoked that.  Then I throw away the pack and never touched another one.  Nov 28, 2007.  I would like to say it was real hard, but for was the easiest thing I did.  I figured if I was going to do everything I could to kick this things ass that had to include giving up smoking.

You guys can do this and believe it or not you will feel better.  I still miss it once in a while but Im glad I quit.


Dx 11/28/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/20 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2009 06:48AM Snowbird wrote:

Hey there. Just stopping by to give you all some encouragement from a former smoker to let you know that you CAN do it. I did, and although it took some work and some physical and mental gymnastics, you can do it too. FWIW, here are some tips that helped me kick the habit 15 years ago now...

1: Focus on ridding your body of nicotine. Realize that the cravings you'll feel are your body's reaction to the drop in nicotine and, while they can be intense at first, they DO pass and they DO become less intense over time. Once the nicotine is out of your body (3-7 days??? can't remember now), cravings become less frequent and less intense until, gradually, they go away completely.

2. Mentally separate your mind from your body. Let your mind become the "parent", and your body the "child" that must be told "no, you can't have that, even though I know you really really want it and will throw a temper tantrum to try to get it." Then, let your mind wait out your body's "temper tantrum" and, like a child, your body will eventually realize it's not going to get what it wants and will quit throwing those "tantrums"...  It worked for me, anyway!

3. SLOW DEEP BREATHING! It truly works both mentailly and physically to get through a "craving".

4. EXERCISE! It too really helped, both mentally and physically. At times you may feel like your heart rate is high (cravings? anxiety?) and I found that by exercising up to the level I felt my heart rate was at already helped "match" my level of activity to what I was "feeling", and then was able to bring BOTH back down gradually and together. (I was lucky to have a health club/treadmill in my office building).

5. THINK and ACT like a non-smoker. Hang around with non-smokers. Ask for the "non-smoking" section in restaurants (where they still have them). It may sound cruel, but ditch your still smoking friends, at least for a while until you get through and feel you can manage.

6. Don't get discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Most everyone does, but just remember that if you do, it doesn't mean you've become a "smoker" again (unless you want to be, of course).

7. Eventually, I PROMISE, you'll get to a place where you'll feel better, breathe better, smell better (to others, that is!) and won't be tempted to smoke again because the taste does become quite "distasteful". (Yeah, I've had a couple in weak moments (my SIL still smokes), but they've each been really nasty!)

You're doing a good thing for yourself and those around you, those who care for you, and those who'd like to be around you but can't. Hang in there. Carry on. Don't give up. It's worth it! Good luck all.

DX 10/15/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- OncotypDX=26(17%) BiLat DIEP (1-delayed, 1-immediate) 12/8/09, Stage 2 10/22/10 w/Craigie/Charleston COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR, IT'S ACTING IN SPITE OF IT!
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Jan 14, 2009 02:40PM webwriter wrote:

Thanx for the tips, Snowbird!

I'm slowly cutting back this week, tho all hell broke loose this morning and I did a hefty backslide. Tomorrow is another day, right! 

Stocked up on Quart Shaker Jars for water. Gonna need those anyway for chemo. I like lemon juice in my water, so I'm hoping that will kick start the taste buds too. Will pick up some sugar free hard candies too. Between the two that should keep both mouth and hands busy for a bit. 

I'm not so much worried about my body's reaction as my mind. I tend to give in to myself when I'm overwhelmed. You know the old excuse, "I've got enough on my plate. Shouldn't have to go through this too." Yes, I was the kind of kid that searched the house for Christmas presents. Yes, I was the kind of kid that snuck chocolate after every one went to bed. I'm a bad, bad Webbie and I know it. Too bad it's my mind that has both parent and child in it! haha!

sftfemme65, glad to hear it was easy for you. I feel the same way you do about it, but I can't say I've embraced the knowledge. I hope I can be as strong and as dedicated as you have been. Thanx for chiming in! Dx 11/24/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2009 03:18PM glendag wrote:

Good for you!   I quit years ago and it was tough.  The hardest part was the fear of what would happen without my cigarettes - the unknown.  Smoking was so comforting.  I did the deep breathing - and drank everything through a straw.  Also sucked on alot of hard candy.  And I used the patch.  It really help physically - the other stuff was more mental.  Don't give up -- the first couple of days are the hardest.

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Jan 14, 2009 05:45PM lexislove wrote:

This is a good thread.

I started smoking when I was 15. I was never a heavy smoker maybe 5 a day. Since I was 20 I had tried to quit numerous times. 1 month, 7 months but I always ended up starting again.I made a joke to my friend one day that the only way I would stop is if I was told I had cancer.

Well...Sep 14 2007 I was told. Sep 17 2007 I started chemo and quit. I met a 47 year old woman while I was doing my chemo. She was from the Philippines and so nice. Showed me pictures of her children and brought us coffee / tea. I was being treated for breast cancer, her lung cancer. She told me don't ever smoke, I told her I did but quit. She said good. In March 2008, she found out she was not responding to chemo. June 1 2008 she went to hospice. I visited June 3. She asked why me? I cried and held her hand. June 12 2008 shorty after noon she passed.

* Chiet, I miss you thank you for your kind words and wonderful tea*

Dx:2007, 2B, Triple+, June 2008:Lupron,Zometa,Tamox.Jan 2010:Poor metabolizer of Tamox switch to Femara.Feb 2010: cyp2d6 test reliable? Back to Tamox. Ooph soon.
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Jan 14, 2009 10:23PM nobleanna007 wrote:


      I am on board with ya, and will give it my all on the 19th. I have my patches, commit lozengers ( mocha flavor). Smokeless ciggs I thinnk thats it. Oh yeah the duct tape for my mouth, and maybe a new brain thought! LOL. We can do this! I am glad someone started this thread and hopefully more people will come out and join us. Its so hard to admit this nasty habit on this board where so many wonderful women are fighting for their lifes and here I am along with them but still feel the need to put that poisen in my body!! It is crazy. But I feel like I am losing my silent best friend who has always gotten me through those stressful times, and I must now think of that friend as my enemy! But I need to do this not for others who despertly want me to quit but for me and getting my body healthy!



Dx 11/11/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 5/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 14, 2009 11:58PM EleanorJ wrote:

webwriter, you can do this! I used to be a heavy smoker, than quit cold turkey. Then started again 1-2 year later just 1 every once in a while, then more and more... When I was diagnosed back in October, I picked up big time, hubby wasn't too happy about it, but I said I would quit the day before I started chemo and would quit for good, I'm obvisly not able to be a social smoker. So I went at it and enjoyed it while it lasted. I started chemo on December 8th, had my last cigarette late on December 7th :) I won't lie, chemo day was rough. I was sitting in that chair panicking over the chemo and ALL I wanted was run out of there and light a cigarette! But I made it through, that night I told my MIL that I couldn't see her, she's a heavy smoker and I knew better. Hubby said I didn't pick a good day, he's probably right, but I had picked it and I was going to stick by it. No patch or anything. I did it, you can do it :)

You've got 5 days, enjoy it while you can then ditch it. Good luck.

Didn't know about those studies, wow!

Caroline --- --- TC#1 12/08/08, TC#2 12/29/08, TC#3 01/19/09, TC#4 02/09/09, TC#5 03/02/09, TC#6 03/23/09 Dx 10/9/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 15, 2009 06:47PM babyc wrote:

Hello all, aren't we a group....  I had promised myself that I would quit the first day of chemo which was this past Mon. (1/12).  As a smoker for 40 years, I think that was a little naive.  My biggest fear during chemo is the development of mouth ulcers, etc. from the chemo.  I've been a 1/2 pack smoker for a number of years; so far I've been doing about three a day.  Stress and not smoking:  not a good combo.  Best of luck to us all!

babyc Dx 11/10/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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