Share your experiences of life after a breast cancer diagnosis and offer advice on how you cope with life's daily challenges, including how you develop a new daily/weekly routine while you deal with breast cancer.
Posted on: Jan 14, 2009 12:12AM
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?
Posts 121 - 150 (13,192 total)
Feb 7, 2009 01:32AM jancie wrote:
Thanks NK - aren't you the one that is at 8 days of non-smoking - probably 9 days by today? I get people confused! If so..... I think YOU are the one that is doing so great.
My relapse days the past 7 times I tried to quit was between the 7th and 10th day of non-smoking so I won't consider myself anywhere near home free until I go two weeks straight.
Next Saturday I am getting my hair cut VERY SHORT in anticipation of chemo and my friends are having a party for me which means lots of wine and beer. I might have to abstain from drinking because I really want to smoke when I drink. The good thing is that NONE of my friends that will be there smokes so at least I won't have that temptation. That is also why I haven't had a beer in days now because I get weak. BTW - I brew my own beer and this stuff kicks some butt - better than what you can get in any liquor store.
Feb 7, 2009 07:38AM flfish wrote:
Good luck with the hair cut Jancie. That is a very emotional thing. You may want some of your home made beers (which sound awesome) before you go in. If it makes you feel any better, I had long hair for 20 years, and when I cut mine short, it was somewhat freeing. I cut mine before I knew I had cancer, and I had donated it to "Locks for Love"....ironically. Best of luck. Mark each day off on the calender so you can see your progress!
Best wishes to you from South Florida!
Feb 7, 2009 12:26PM jancie wrote:
flfish - thanks for the support - I need all the help I can get. This morning was really rough - Saturday morning coffee - got to have that smoke but I refrained and I still want that smoke as I am typing. I hate the withdrawals even though mine are 90% mental. Need to go start drinking water!
I am donating my hair to Locks of Love because it does go down to my bra strap right now. I hate the idea of short hair but I like the idea of living a heck of a lot more. I did get some LONG wigs to make up for losing my hair. I even went and got a red one that really looks good on my skin tone along with a blonde that has strawberry blonde highlights. The straight blonde wig I got is too light - too blonde and the owner has agreed to let me bring it back and exchange it for another since I haven't worn it yet. I am having such a difficult time finding a wig that closely matches my existing blonde color. I think it is because I have all of these natural highlights in it from the sun so it is so many different shades of blonde.
Tonight my dh and I are going to a big Gala that all the ladies are wearing ball gowns. The men don't have to wear tuxedos but they do have to wear suits. I am getting my hair done in a half up-do for the event. Told my hairdresser that there is no need to trim it since it is coming off anyways - LOL. However, I will have her trim the bangs on my new wigs that I got sometime next week. Took me 8 years but I finally found a hairdresser here in Salt Lake and I love her because she is from Fort Worth, TX and so she totally understands the term "big hair" Have yet to meet a Utahn that knows what big hair means.
Gosh it feels good to come here and talk to you ladies because that little hissy fit I just went through to have a smoke suddenly disappeared!
Feb 7, 2009 04:19PM NervousKnitter wrote:
Good going, Jancie!! I have purposely not been around anyone who is having a cocktail as well, because I know that will be a giant trigger. I have a wine & cheese event to attend tomorrow but it's a school function so there wouldn't be anyone smoking anyway. Today is day 11 for me. When I think about having one I remind myself that I've made it this far and certainly the beginning has to be harder than after more time elapses.
Silly of me, but when I got my hair cut really short before chemo I kept a piece of it so I could compare it with whatever would grow back. It wasn't my "born with" color, but it made me feel good to keep it. My hair had been long as well. I so enjoyed short hair I've kept it super-short ever since. I can relate to Texas and big hair--I went to college there (UTEP). Frankly, I wish big hair and shoulder pads would come back into style. Big hair and big shoulders balance out my bum as far as I'm concerned!!
Have fun at your to-do tonight. How are you other gals doing? Remember, even the one you cut out is less than you would have had--so you are a success.
Sending smoke-free good thoughts to all. Have a great weekend!
Feb 7, 2009 05:00PM flfish wrote:
BAHAHA! I don't know too much about "big hair" except for what I remember from high school in the 80's. And then Jill mentions the shoulder pads.....that cracked me up. I get some parachute pants and we are good to go. Have a great time at your events. Be sure to take a ton of photos and enjoy yourself. Try not to smoke, and if you do, remember to hop right back on the wagon. (Easy for me to say, I am dying for one right now, so I will just keep surfing the web to keep me busy...here is to making it another day, week etc).
Feb 7, 2009 06:24PM jancie wrote:
Lucky for me this is a total 100% non-smoking event!! I just got back from getting my hair done - love it!
I will check in with ya'll tomorrow!
Feb 7, 2009 07:23PM nobleanna007 wrote:
First and forth most congrats to you all that are hanging in there!!!!! I am so proud of you guys.
Welcome to all who are joining us in our battel. Some of you are doing awsome 5 weeks thats so great. And I know I would definatly would want one going to the dentist.
Janzin- I was unable to go to my Drs. for the chantix due to illness but I was rescheduled for next Thursday. I am going to do this. Because----------------------------------------
#2 My family
#3 So I can get my Diep
#4 So I don't have to sneek so people won't see me
#5 Even though I smoke outside I can still smell it.
#6 I want everyone to be proud of me
#7 For all my friends
#8 Most important my HEALTH!!!!!
I am sure I could go on and on cause there is so many reasons including the cost of those stupid things drive me crazy. I am just feeling lucky that we have this thread whether we make it 1 day or 10 days or for the rest of our lives knowone will be judged cause all of us knows how hard this habit is to break.
Anyone heard from Webbie???? I see Nervousknitter has checked in and doing great. I hope webbie is doing okay going thru her chemo.
Janzin- If you want to start ahead of me go for it but I will be taking my first Chantiax on Friday.
Take care all!!!!!!
Feb 7, 2009 08:26PM jancie wrote:
NervousKnitter - I still have those outfits with the big shoulder pads - you are welcome to a couple of them if you want!! Of course we styled everything from the Dallas tv series so shoulder pads were in along with very tight clothes, etc. I have so many suits, etc. that are close to 20 years old so that goes back to when Dallas was a hit tv series. I miss that show!
Feb 7, 2009 09:27PM - edited Oct 19, 2010 12:41AM by Pat634
Feb 7, 2009 10:06PM Janzin wrote:Hi Ladies,
Feb 7, 2009 11:45PM malleme wrote:
I feel the same way you do thank you for your honesty. I just had a bi lateral mas and waiting for path report. It's crazy but the only thing I have control of right now is my smoking and I enjoy it. I did have the implants put it so I am very nervous about that and how they will be affected. I just when on the site of am Lung cancer and am using Ann Landers "it only for a day"
Feb 8, 2009 12:45AM jancie wrote:
After failing 7 attempts to quit smoking - this time I took my Chantrix but still smoked although I cut down my cigarettes to 5 per day for a couple of days, down to 3 a day for a couple of days and then down to 2 a day for 2 days and then quit. Then entire time I was on Chantrix as I was cutting down. I found out that cigarettes (I smoke menthol) didn't really taste good while on Chantrix so I wasn't enjoying the flavor so much - another incentive to quit.
So I wasted one week of Chantrix but that is ok - so far it is working. I was out tonight and didn't even think of having a smoke. I will wake up at 6 am, take my Chantrix and go back to bed so at 8 am which is my normal wake up time I won't have that craving for the first morning cigarette. By trial and error I found out what was working for me.
My mindset now is that I made it this far (although not as far as NKnitter) that I don't want to pick up a cigarette and start all over again. My mind is made up. I am done with them. I was hooked for 30 years and it is about time I took back control. I have to take some control back of my body since cancer invaded me without permission so this is my way of getting back at that damm cancer - ok....it sounds good anyways doesn't it?
Feb 8, 2009 12:57AM malleme wrote:
Good for you. I am thinking I better take on your mind set. Get my control back from my unvited guest( that my cancer name) by quitting. Chantix worked before the surgery I will just start takin it again. But I was getting sick on it so I stopped...... that is great. You have got to be so proud of yourself remember first 3 day nictine is out after that it is psy. Your on your way
Feb 8, 2009 01:45PM nobleanna007 wrote:
Janzin- You crack me up!!!!! What type of Biz do you have??? Monday huh!!! good for you its a start. I have tried chantrix before and smoked right through that gross taste, guess I was not ready. I am now I am motivated!!!!!!
Jancie- Your doing awsome!!!! We have talked before on another thread I remember cause we are both into horses, I should have put that down as another motivation I really want to buy another horse for my daughter and were looking to have one shipped to Maine for a trial month, I sure could use the extra cash for funding this. Keep up the good work!! We are so very proud of you!!!
Malleme- Welcome to this wonderful support group. Did you get real sick on the chantrix? I as I said above smoked right through!!! Janzin and I our starting next week she is starting on Monday and I am starting on Friday your welcome to join our wagon!!!!
NervousKnitter- Hope your still doing well check in with us, we miss you!!!!
Webbie- Honey we miss you let us know your okay!!!!!
HUGS TO ALL!!!!!
Feb 8, 2009 03:04PM NervousKnitter wrote:
Fellow Butt Fondlers (I mean that in a cig sort of way, since you can't hear the humor in my voice) you all need to know that you give me strength. As we all join in the non-smoking battle we become The Little Engine That Could. "I think I can quit". "I know I can quit". "Dang, quitting is hard". "Help me while I quit". And all done without a single puff!!
Jancie, the control is a big thing and I remind myself of it often. When I was taking Chantix and still smoking it didn't make cigs taste bad but it gave me a KILLER headache. Which of course wasn't enough to stop me. The two days before my quit date I chain smoked. No way was I going to throw away half a carton.
So today is day 12. I do think the physical urge part is past and it is SO nice to wake up in the morning without any hacking. But the habit/trigger part is definitely still there. I have done some SERIOUS knitting, though!!
I'm pretending that the wrinkles around my mouth from smoking all these years are disappearing daily. I am enjoying how clean my desk is around my computer. I'm excited to open my little can and see that it has money in it (replacement of what I would have spent on cigs). And I am really, really grateful to have you gals along this journey.
Today is day 12. I can't screw up now because it's almost 2 weeks. My thoughts are with all of you as we face our demon (all 20 of them in the pack). Think white teeth, fresh breath, heck--whatever it takes--more sex?
Feb 8, 2009 04:16PM webwriter wrote:
Hey All! I'm alive!
It was a rough week, but I'm here. I'm alive and I'm still kickin. One of my "trigger" times is the computer tho, so I'm trying really hard to break that one. No ashtray at my desk anymore! The cleaning is going to be SO much easier from here on out! The only smoking sanctuary left on the property is outside the shop door. No chairs. No nothing. NO SMOKING AT THE COMPUTERS ever again.
It's making me neglect you all. But it's making me neglect my habit too. ;)
Oh, and I survived the first round of chemo...that was a wild ride!
Hang in there Butt (Fondlers, Puffers, um, there is no unfunny way to do that one Jill!) I'm still here and if I can survive it, you can too!
Feb 8, 2009 06:02PM NervousKnitter wrote:
Web, on behalf of all of us, we're so happy to hear from you! We understand being neglected--since you and I are triggered by the computer, especially. Hope you are feeling okay and congrats for making it through your first chemo. Now you can start counting down. Our thoughts are with you--
Feb 8, 2009 06:39PM jancie wrote:
Web - too funny - here you have to stay away from the computer as it is a "trigger" for you whereas I have to stay on the computer as I never once smoked inside my house so being stuck here in my office in the basement of my house is the best place for me. That explains why I have to stay so active in this thread because it helps me to be here talking to ya'll as much as possible. So glad you survived your first round of chemo - I will join you over in the chemo thread here at the end of this week coming up.
NKnitter - I need to start knitting again. I also love to crochet so maybe that is something I can pick up again since I am not working. Is it possible to knit or crochet while you are getting chemo? I am just wondering because I haven't started yet and I am visualizing that I have to keep that arm and hand very still while the drugs are going through.
Noble - let me know how the horse works out! I am so thankful I have a good amount of savings or I wouldn't be able to afford to take off a year and also keep my horse - of course it is going to totally deplete my savings but I will never sell my horse as she is one of my motivators to get through this cancer crap and the fact that I love her so much. I know I will save $100 a month on cigarettes and that is going to be a huge deal for this year as I don't plan going back to work until the fall and at that time I will just take a teacher's aid position and then look for a full time position come January 2010 - hopefully the economy will have picked up by then.
Malleme - You said the Chantrix made you sick after surgery - could it have been the mix of pain meds and Chantrix? Just wondering because I didn't start taking Chantrix until I was off the pain meds if I remember correctly but then again I am having a lot of blonde moments - frustrating as heck that I can't remember Jack! In any case, glad you came over to this thread - hope to hear from you on a regular basis!
I am now on Day 5 - Yippeee - still haven't gotten to my critical time of day 7 through day 10 when I always relapsed in the past but I am determined to not smoke and besides I couldn't bear the thought of disappointing ya'll and my husband. I only had one hissy fit today so far so that is good!
Feb 8, 2009 08:34PM jancie wrote:
I am so blonde at times!
I had my schedule down to where I took my evening Chantrix at the time I prepare dinner. Tonight I forgot to take it then until after dinner so I ended up having another hissy fit wanting a cigarette!
Note to self - don't forget to take the pills on schedule!
Feb 8, 2009 10:58PM NervousKnitter wrote:
Jancie--yes, I knitted constantly during chemo infusions. The nurses knew my needles were my "crutch" and that I HAD to knit, so they always made sure the needle was taped down enough so it didn't flop while I moved my hand. I can't imagine what else I would have done. The room where I was always had a full crowd and lots of activity so it would have been hard for me to concentrate on reading. I can mindlessly knit! Good for you for day 5. It does feel good, doesn't it? It sure helps me having all of you out there to check in with and check on your progress.
Let's keep it going, gals!! Sending a cyber hug to each of you--for cutting back or cutting out, you deserve a hug!
Feb 8, 2009 11:08PM jancie wrote:
Nknitter wrote: It sure helps me having all of you out there to check in with and check on your progress
And it helps me tremendously to be here also! I look at you NKnitter as being the mentor of the group! Heck you are 12 days out! What an accomplishment! You are an inspiration to me to continue fighting this battle with smoking.
I keep telling myself "deep breaths, chantrix, deep breaths, drink water instead, don't drive if at all possible and if so do NOT stop at any store unless it is a store that does not sell cigarettes"
One day I will get past the driving issue but what would help is if I could get the smell of cigarette odor out of my car. It is a reminder to me. So far also I haven't hung around anybody that smokes so I know that has helped.
Yesterday when I got my hair done there was a guy smoking outside near my car and I could tell so as I walked by I held my breath. I was afraid the smell would get to me and I would ask to bum a smoke. I made it to my car and I had this chit eating grin on my face for being strong enough to not ask him for a cigarette.
Feb 9, 2009 07:33AM flfish wrote:
Listen, did you hear that crash? That is me falling off the smoking wagon after quitting for 5 weeks. UGH! I just couldn't do it and I broke down yesterday. I was unusually cranky and upset all weekend. (Maybe it is the quitting smoking and maybe it is the tamox....I am not sure). Anyway, while sitting out by the pool enjoying a beautiful south Florida day, my husband pulls out a pack of smokes and states that "he wants his wife back". Well, I smoked one, then another, then another. Then at 5:00 last night, I threw the pack away, scolded my DH and told him to NEVER do that again and once again began "quitting". So, now it is Monday, February 9th and I am on Day 1.
I hope you all have luck with the Chantix. I wish it would have worked for me. It did make the cigarettes taste bad, but it gave me such bad headaches I couldn't keep up with it. At least the weekend is over. I find it easier to quit during the week. Best of luck to all this week!
Feb 9, 2009 10:16AM - edited Feb 9, 2009 11:34AM by JanzinWelcome Malleme! Just kick it with us you will find your mind set! I know about the nervous thing while recovery with cigs. One less cig is one less stress. I have been smoking more so I worry more now than when I was smoking 4-5 a day.
Feb 9, 2009 01:54PM jancie wrote:
Flfish - I didn't realize that you had quit for 5 weeks. - shame on your husband! He can buck up and deal with your bitchiness if needed! You can do this! You did it for 5 weeks so you know you can quit again. Don't get down on yourself for one second. It took me 7 times to get to this point and I am only at Day 6. I don't want to ever smoke again but that doesn't mean that I won't - I am just going to try as hard as I can.
Janzen - I never eat before taking pills - I have a cast iron stomach so all of these pills that you are supposed to eat before you take them to prevent you from throwing up - I just pop them in on an empty stomach all of the time. I haven't had any "gas" problems at all with the medication. The only SE I have experienced is weird dreams but not nightmares. Wow - what an imagination I have on Chantrix in the middle of the night.
Most definately take it for a week before you stop smoking and during that time cut back each day to where you are only smoking 2 a day before you totally quit. It makes it so much easier!
NKnitter - I was laying in bed thinking that I would crochet a really soft afghan while I am getting chemo. I know the first time I go I will be too nervous and I have a friend that is going to let me borrow a small DVD player so I can watch movies.
Webbie - so glad to hear from you! I have been worried about you since you haven't been around as much lately.
It is noon here so time to get something to eat! I spent the morning visiting with my neighbor next door, we are planting 3 herb gardens together so we layed out our plans as to who is planting what and she is going to dry all of the herbs when it gets cold in the fall. I have to pre-start 5 of them for 6 weeks in tiny containers - yippee....where in the heck and I going to put these when I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and they have to have sunlight???
Feb 9, 2009 07:48PM NervousKnitter wrote:
Good afternoon, my Fellow Butt Fondlers!! Gosh, I'm proud of all of us. Flfish--let it go. It's a one-day slip up and you were egged on. So I don't think you should have to start counting all over and I definitely don't think you should beat yourself up for it. It's life, and life happens.
Janice, congrats on day 6!! In one of my earlier posts I said that when I drive (major trigger) I keep the plastic teeth/floss thing in the car and I floss my teeth. Hey--it's better than picking my nose!! or smoking!
Janzin and Janice--you are so good at acknowledging each and every person. So I apologize to all for not doing that, I just consider all of you my Fellows and we are all here to support each other in any way we can.
Ladies, I think we all need to go to Denver and take out our not-smoking anger on Janzin's competititor. What do you think? Wouldn't it feel good to kick some, well, butt?
I'm hanging in there. I'm getting excited that I've almost made the two week mark. I haven't put myself into the big-time triggers of drinking--but have a celebration to attend on Thursday. I feel like I have a final exam I haven't studied for and it's making me nervous!
Let's all hold cyber hands and take a nice, deep breath now!
Now let it out and yell "Yee Haw! I just DIDN'T have a smoke!"
Have a great evening...
Feb 10, 2009 12:24AM jancie wrote:
Yee Haw - made it through today! I had my typical 10 pm hissy fit wanting a smoke but instead came down here to the computer and posted a bunch I am here now a heck of a lot more than my stepmom support group forum board and that isn't really good since I am a moderator over at that place They have been wondering why I haven't been posting much over there - well maybe because I am really enjoying this group of ladies.
Earlier today I kept running into posts that Apple had just responded to and thought about responding but then worried that maybe Apple would think I was stalking her so I would wait until someone else replied before I did.
Not smoking is making me go crazy - doing stupid things - saying really stupid things or rather posting really stupid thoughts.
I crack me up!
Feb 10, 2009 12:46AM NervousKnitter wrote:
Jancie--you have got some energy, girl! If you start knitting with all this energy of yours you'll probably have your horse in matching socks, speedo and a hat in no time at all! Yee Haw Back At Ya! We've done one more day--on to tomorrow!! Jill
Feb 10, 2009 07:26AM nobleanna007 wrote:
You guys are so cracking me up!!! Thank-goodness you all nonsmokers yes I said it NONSmokers have a great sense of humor. I am so proud of all of you!!!
flfish- like NK said you did not fail just jump right back on. I did the same thing after quitting for 7 weeks. The hardest thing I had to do is tell my husband who does not smoke. But your batteling being with a smoker and doing it for 5 weeks is quite a feat!!!!!
Jancie- Good-luck with the hair cut!!! I had one of my BF shave it off she happens to be a dog groomer! No I kid you not! LOL! My hair was short so about day10 after my first chemo I had it done. I wouldn't have been able to stand it falling out in clumps. I bought 7 wigs all diffrent styles and colors you can have fun with them. I went a little overboard. My problem was that I had to order over the internet so it was hard with the colors, One I sent back looked like the color of Lucille Ball!! That was way to much for me. And the funny thing is I never wear them. I only did at work until I had to get done. I wore one to a convention dinner thats it. I love hats!! They just drove me crazy!! But others have loved them. Maybe when I get my tummy tuck and new boobs I will surprise my husband. LOL!!!!! I am finally at the point I can go without a hat but now its too cold!!!!
Janzin- How are you doing on Chantix any weird side effects? That really stinks after having a market on a business and someone else starts invading! I owned a restraunt for 10 yrs and Thank the Lord I don't have it now. I knew there was a reason to give it up!!!!
Mellmar- How are you??? Are you still joining our group? There is 2 of us starting the chantrix again. Maybe it won't make you sick this time.
Nervousknitter- Keep up the good work your getting there! I wish I could knit but have tried and it does not ever come out even! Oh Well. I have bought a latch hook kit to keep my hands busy. You can see how bad I am at anything to do with yarn, thread, etc. The rest of the family can all do anything it makes me so jealous of people who can whip up a scarf or mittens, hats etc.
Webbie- How are you doing girl???? I know it is hard to keep in touch but I am thinking of you!
For me I am off today for a Muga Scan to check my EF levels for Herceptin, They have had to stop it once and when I started back on it I was on the borderline. So we shall see.
By the way I almost bought a LoverBoy CD Do you guys remember them? I saw them in concert they were it for me!!! I am laughing so hard right now!!!!!!
Take care ladies and wishing you all a good day!!!!!
Feb 10, 2009 08:39AM flfish wrote:
I went to a Loverboy concert too!!!!!! I was 14 and it was my first ever concert. They played at the Brown County Arena in Green Bay Wi and I went with 5 of my girlfriends (and Quiet Riot opened for them...heehee....I remember EVERY detail). It was, without a doubt, THE highlight of our summer of 1981. Wow, that is a blast from the past. Oh my, thank you. Thinking back to those simpler times makes me smile. I needed that.