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Topic: I can't.....stop smoking........

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: Oct 2, 2007 10:07PM - edited Oct 2, 2007 10:07PM by Trix41

Trix41 wrote:

I had double mastectomy.

I had chemo.

I'm brca positive.....

and I can't..................stop smoking!!!!!!!

I've tried. I know it's awful. I know it's gonna make the cancer go to my lungs....and yet, I still can't stop!

Anybody else?

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Oct 2, 2007 10:27PM Nantotwo wrote:

Dear Trix41

I hear you loud and clear.  I'm not (correction wasn't a heavy smoker) but since my diagnosis in jan 07 it has become an obsession.  Don't know why.  Guess because I sat in my new recliner (we call it the cancer chair) the first few months and drank tim hortons and smoked.

My doc asked the other day what it would take to get me to quit and I actually said I don't think lung cancer would even do it.  Sad and weak I suppose but I have enough on my plate right now.

Try not to stress too much, stress is bad for you too.  Hugs, and unfortunately I am there with you.


Jan 07, DCIS 9x7x3 cm, Nuclear Grade 3, Comedonecrosis, lousy margin at chest wall 0.2mm, 25 rads, 5 boosts
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Oct 2, 2007 10:50PM - edited Oct 2, 2007 10:50PM by WendyInCalif

There is a few of us out here, smoking and not wanting to be.  There is a new med out called Chantix, I believe.  I met a woman who was able to quit with it and she was a life long heavy smoker.  The last time I saw her, she had not gained weight.  So, that is worth trying when you reach a point that your ready, that may happen, a moment of clarity about the damage done, along with raising risk of cancer.  I have quit numerous times, and returned, one five years, twice a few years, one year here and there.  But this nicotine is something else.  When stress hits, there is nothing like the sensation of hitting on a cigarette, this you only know if you have smoked.  I will try again for my next BD.  I hope you will try.  If you fail, it is okay, the break our lungs get from the period of time with no smokes is a welcome one.  You know, my biggest fear is having to gasp for breath.  I think that and my annoying cough are why I will never stop trying to quit.

DX 3/07, G1, S1, IDC, RT. Dx 3/25/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 3, 2007 05:15AM - edited Oct 3, 2007 05:15AM by janiceb00

Hi all

I too smoke...was and still am trying to quit. I got my doctor to give me rx for the champix...this is suppose to have excellent results. Apparently the pill attaches to the nicotine receptors and you no longer like the taste or smell.I think it is a 12 week program.

I'm not going to start it until next weekend...going to wait and see how I am feeling after next chemo tx. I will check in with you guys later and let you know how its working


Dx 6/28/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/27/2007 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/19/2007 AC Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2007 Radiation Therapy 1/2/2008 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/14/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 3, 2007 07:07AM Jaredsmom wrote:

I was a pretty heavy smoker prior to quitting almost 2 years ago~ I quit in January after attending my 37 year old friends funeral due to breast cancer.  Ironically, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Sept. 07.  Anyhow~ Although I quit cold turkey which I still can't believe I did~ My father was a 3 pack a day smoker and underwent laser accupuncture in Jupiter, Fla.  He had 2 treatments and NEVER SMOKED ANOTHER CIGARETTE!!  So...it might be worthwhile to look into whether this type of treatment is available in your areas~  Good luck to all of you.  I worked in a psychiatric hospital for 15 years and was told by the head of the addiction dept. that nicotine is harder to give up than heroin so don't be too tough on yourselves...Laura

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Oct 3, 2007 08:11AM - edited Oct 3, 2007 08:11AM by ADK

Add me to the list of people who can't quit - I have asthma, crohn's disease and breast cancer and I still can't quit.  It's so much a part of my life and who I am.  DH also smokes which doesn't help matters.  My primary care physician is recommending chantrix, but I have seen some bad things about that pill.  It has to be cold turkey or not at all for me. 

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Oct 3, 2007 08:22AM nitewind wrote:

Thank you so much for posting. I've been feeling so alone and like such a failure. I've been trying to quit and keep telling myself "My God, woman you have cancer"! Why can't I quit? Can someone tell me if the Chantix is very expensive? I am on disability and I don't know if I can afford it. I know, I can afford cigarettes, but I buy a pack at a time. If the Chantix is over a hundred dollars, that's out of my range.

But again, I'm so thankful that someone is in this same position. I've been really beating myself up over this.


Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff!
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Oct 3, 2007 08:23AM - edited Oct 3, 2007 08:23AM by FitChik

Please check out this site...www.quitnet.com/  I quit a long time ago and can say that I felt so much support from the great posters there. No one gets dissed for slipping, no matter how often they do. I must say, though, that the primary lesson I learned from having suffered through several addictions is that an individual will quit something once they want to live without whatever it is more than they want to hold onto it.

Finally, though, I'd seriously advise anyone who is in the throes of chemo or any part of active treatment or who is really suffering with the psychological impact of this whole BC horror should defintely wait until 'the worst' is over. Certainly don't wait forever, but please just be gentle with yourself right now....that's the healthy thing to do.


"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." ~Nora Ephron
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Oct 3, 2007 09:28AM - edited Oct 3, 2007 09:28AM by Traci-----TripNeg

Me either. Frown

My GP told me after she felt my lump too way back when....that now was probably not a good time for me to try to quit because of the worry and stress of being newly dx with cancer.

But, now that I'm finished with treatment (trip neg) and only have surgeries to go, she prescribed me with Wellbrutrin. I gotta tell you, it has helped. I do not smoke near as much as I used to unless I'm really stressed over something and, as it gets later and the pill starts to wear off...I just try to get to bed early!

One of my bf's quit using Chantix. It took six months but, she did quit. It's been almost a year for her. Another friend got the Chantix but after reading the side effects, took it back. Nitewind, your GP can give you a prescription for this so, it will only cost you your co-pay. I'm assuming of course that you have insurance.

I just saw a commercial about Chantix and I think it said a 40% success rate after one year. Hmmm....

I also just watched a movie with Russell Crowe and ...I forget...anyway, he was a whistle blower for big tobacco and the fact they were deliberetly putting stuff in cigs to make them addictive. So, that's exactly what they are. Everytime a non-smoker makes a comment to me about smoking after cancer I get real mad because they do not know. I just pray for the ultimate will power it takes to quit cuz like you Trix41...I do NOT want cancer in my lungs.

Good luck everybody.


ps Janice...I would ask your onc about taking that Chantix while still in treatment....I bet he tells you no way.

Jaredsmom...I'm gonna look into that laser accupuncture. Thanks for that info. : )

Trip Neg BRCA + If I never look behind me, my troubles will be few. Supertramp. Dx 2/12/2007, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 3, 2007 09:29AM - edited Oct 3, 2007 09:30AM by Traci-----TripNeg

Trip Neg BRCA + If I never look behind me, my troubles will be few. Supertramp. Dx 2/12/2007, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 3, 2007 09:30AM - edited Oct 3, 2007 09:30AM by Traci-----TripNeg

don't know why that posted twice. sorry.

Trip Neg BRCA + If I never look behind me, my troubles will be few. Supertramp. Dx 2/12/2007, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 3, 2007 11:23AM - edited Oct 3, 2007 11:23AM by jpann39

Count me into this club too Cry....I just cant seem to quit either....I slow myself down and cut back on the amount Im smoking then something crops up that shots my stress level up again and up goes the smoking too....

I looked into that Chantrix stuff and currently know two people trying it....the se's scare me so I will stay away from that and continue to try on my own.....actually Im not totally on my own with it I just havent started them yet....a few months ago my insurance company sent me a letter saying that if I qualified they would pay for the entire Nicoderm CQ step patch program....I filled out thier paperwork and I qualified so within a week or so received the huge box of the patches....I was going to start them but my 6 months followup mammo found something in my other breast so the stress has been too much to even think about quitting...

As with you ladies I spoke with my dr about it and they say not until things settle down.....

Hope we all can support each other and help each other :).....



'Gain strength by the positive and don't be sapped by the negative" Dx 11/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 3, 2007 12:05PM - edited Oct 3, 2007 12:05PM by Mary-Lou

Best of luck girls...

I have been smoke free for about 7 years now. I had smoked for years.

Dx with bone mets July 15 2011 - Dx with Liver Mets July 31, 2014. Dx 9/20/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 3, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/31/2014, Stage IV Chemotherapy 12/26/2014 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Methotrexate (Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel), Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Oct 3, 2007 05:23PM - edited Oct 3, 2007 05:23PM by angelica

In addition to having Stage IV breast cancer, I had lung cancer in 1999 and have been in remission since.  I had quit smoking 12 years prior.  But sincer the bc, I can't stop eating.  It has to be stress even though I don't feel stressed.  Excuse me, I have to go get some Ben & Jerry.

Dx 8/30/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, 0/12 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 4, 2007 04:34AM - edited Oct 4, 2007 04:34AM by Sillymommax4

Hi tried chantix here acually still have the meds in my bathroom.  The whole time I took it I didn't sleep and I also had my period non stop. Just one of the side effects is what I was told. Well since I'm not overly fond of my period lol. and my body demands sleep. I stopped taking it. Any other ideas?

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Oct 4, 2007 09:23AM - edited Oct 4, 2007 09:24AM by FitChik

My oldest sister was a critical care nurse who started smoking at the age of 19 while in nursing school. In those days, ALL of the nurses and many of the doctors smoked and with such stressful jobs, it sure seemed justified. She was really addicted and never even pretended to quit. Then she started having grandchildren and felt the need to ditch the smokes. Oddly, because she's such a action-oriented, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, scientific-minded person, she sought hypnotism by a professional. She walked out of the last session and has been smoke-free since (over 20 years). She smoked heavily for nearly 30 years, so if she can do it, I'm thinking anyone can! It took me many, many tries, but I didn't quit trying and, eventually, I got sick of putting so much energy and angst into to it, so I just quit!

Good luck to all of you! It is so worth it and feels totally amazing!


"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." ~Nora Ephron
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Oct 9, 2007 12:38PM bacismom wrote:

Do not feel alone.  I am scheduled for surgery in two weeks and HAVE to stop and cannot!!!  

Dx 2004, LCIS, Stage 0
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Oct 9, 2007 02:16PM connierc1 wrote:

I've been smoking for over 20 years. Have now had 2 mastectomies, my recon did not work, PS blamed it on my smoking. In actuality, she MISDIAGNOSED a staph infection (twice, THEN misdiagnosed MRSA infections....).

My hubby and I have discovered CHANTIX.  Must get a script from a doctor. Is NOT covered by insurance. Costs about $130 for a month of pills.  DOES NOT contain nicotine.  Blocks receptors in brain, don'thave withdrawals. We tried it, and IF my motherr hadn't had a stroke at the SAME TIME, I know I would have been able to quit. 

YES, costs a lot -- but think how much a month worth of cigs cost???  They say to start using the product WHILE STILL SMOKING, and pick a STOP DATE - maybe a week or two into taking the pills.  Personally, I've known folks to quit THE NEXT DAY!!!  Me, I went from TWO PACKS to only three smokes overnight!!!

IMHO, TOTALLY worth it, and I WILL try again once the INCREDIBLE stress is over. I think STRESS is what stops us from NOT STOPPING in many cases....

BEST OF LUCK!!!!  Oh, and you WILL COUGH for about two weeks as you stop, since your lungs are cleaningout, just so you know.  I DID quit for TWO YEARS, and it was WONDERFUL!!!!  Just need to do it again, as would like to be able to breathe again!! lol...


Connie in Boston

Blessed Be & Harm None ... PEACE... Dx 11/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 9, 2007 02:37PM Dnicoletto wrote:

I smoked for 35 years and quit the night before my first chemo. I was feeling too lousy to miss them and by the time I cycled through all of the chemo I was over it.

I read on this board that a lot of girls quit at that same point but start right back up when treatment is over, wanting to be their old selves. I listened to them, braced myself and got through it. It has been 15 months and I ain't looking back. I gained a few pounds but what the hell. Never thought I'd do it, and don't mean to brag. But... I AM FREE !


Dx 3/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/10 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 9, 2007 03:00PM - edited Oct 9, 2007 03:00PM by althea

I gave up smoking early in '04 after my divorce became final.  I was dx'd with bc in december that year.  Boy did I feel robbed!  I quit smoking and THIS is my reward??  The famous quote from Mark Twain always comes to mind -- giving up smoking is easy, I've done it hundreds of times. 

I don't know what y'all might find helpful here.  I know how people who have succeeded in giving it up can sound so pukeworthingly holier than thou.  Perhaps if one of you would like to hear what worked for some of us who travelled this road before you, start a new thread and ask for suggestions.  I'd be happy to participate on a thread like that.  Oh excuse me, they're called 'conversations' in this new format.  

Listen with a questioning ear. quote from George Ohsawa, founder of macrobiotics Dx 12/22/2004, ILC, 5cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 9, 2007 03:20PM - edited Oct 9, 2007 03:20PM by Sam91

Chantix is covered by some insurance companies.  My dh used it and BCBS of Texas paid all but $30 for a months supply.  It worked really well for him. 

Sam Dx 3/23/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 9, 2007 07:12PM - edited Mar 19, 2008 10:54AM by TenderIsOurMight

Amazing isn't it, how addictive cigarettes are?

No wonder it's so hard to quit. But please keep trying, all of you amazing sisters. We want each of you around. I puffed when out with the girls during my twenty-some years, but didn't like it, so quit. That was some 25 years ago now. I miss those girls....

And to think that not once have the tobacco industries really, really been held accountable for the mayhem in medicine-land with lung cancer. I shutter when I see the young girls smoking, and I always try to talk with them a little if they allow an opening. Hate to see lung cancer stats.

If you haven't seen this movie, well, it's interesting and funny:

THANK YOU FOR SMOKING Aaron Eckhart stars as Nick Naylor, a sexy, charismatic spin-doctor for Big Tobacco who’ll fight to protect America’s right to smoke....

Good luck to each and everyone of you.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)
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Oct 12, 2007 03:48PM cindiedee wrote:

Hello ladies - I would be the absolutely LAST person to get on a soapbox about smoking - believe me, I smoked for about 35 years and only quit last April 2nd - the reason why?  Because PS said I had to be smoke free for about 8 weeks prior to PBM/recon - that was all the incentive I needed - I have been trying to get PBM and BRCA testing paid for by insurance for a couple of years - they finally agreed to pay for all and my surgery day couldn't come quickly enough.  For me it was really a non issue - I have quit many times (of course!) - sometimes for years at a time and you have to wonder why I always go back to it - I am just one of those people who truly enjoy smoking - with a cup of coffee, a nice glass of red wine, etc.  And I don't know why but it is never a problem for me to quit - I just do and never have any cravings or anything - I guess I am blessed in that respect!  My PS is so adament that he does a nicotine urine test the morning of your surgery - if you aren't nicotine free, no surgery.  I just had Stage II done a couple of weeks ago - and guess what - totally nicotine free since the beginning of April and I still had problems healing from both surgeries and had to go back in for more surgery both times - has nothing to do with smoking or not.  Now that I am feeling better and all surgeries are behind me (getting tats on Nov. 2nd but all actual surgery is finished) I keep thinking I would like a Marlboro light and a nice glass of wine but then I think how foolish would that make me to start all over again?  Still haven't made a decision on if I will go back to it or not - DH is not a smoker but he never minds me smoking - he actually gets furious with all the do gooders that want to make smoking illegal - he says how many people kill another because of a cigarette and how many drunk drivers kill people daily - he truly gets irate by it all and says when they ban alcohol, then they can ban tobacco.  And they never go after the cigar and pipe smokers - just the cigarette smokers.  Sheesh!  Anyway - no lectures for me - everyone has their own triggers to stop and start - but because I know you want to quit, I will pray for you that it works.  Hugs and blessings, Cindie

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Oct 16, 2007 05:33AM janiceb00 wrote:

Hey Gals

I am now on my 3rd day of Chantix. Dr said it is okay to take with chemo. It is not that expensive 60.00 cdn for a 2 wk supply...my insurance will not cover it yet... its too new. So far I have not had any se. I just figured since I am gaining weight with chemo , I might as well quit at the same time  and work on losing weight after all the treatments are done. I'm going to quit before the end of the 2nd week of this stuff...so I will keep you all updated as to how this is working.

*keepin my fingers X*

Dx 6/28/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/27/2007 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/19/2007 AC Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2007 Radiation Therapy 1/2/2008 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/14/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 17, 2007 07:07AM Pogo1 wrote:

It's nice to know that there are other women out there like me who can't stop smoking.  I feel so guilty because I beat breast cancer, went through a mastectomy, reconstructive surgeries and many other problems, and I'm still doing it.  I tried Chantrix, which is supposed to work, however if your head is not ready to quit smoking, it's not going to work.  We're all afraid of weight gain - heck we all have probably gained weight just from the various cancer treatments we've had - they don't do studies on that do they!

Good to know I'm not alone. 

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Oct 18, 2007 11:07PM cheri123 wrote:

There's alot of good tips on here. I quit last April 11th, 07. I now have made it 6 months and that's something I didn't think I could ever say. I'm not gonna sugarcoat anything and say it was easy in any way...I want one right now...but for some reason I just don't do it. I Loved my cigarettes and I didn't want to quit. It was a health issue, bad lungs along with upcoming surgery. I'd like nothing more than to light one up right now and just sit back with my iced tea and really enjoy a smoke. I actually dream that I'm smoking sometimes. I smoked 30 yrs, 3 packs a day, chainsmoker. I didn't walk to the mailbox without my cigarettes. For real. Like everyone else I'd quit a million times but couldn't stand it and gave in. This is going to sound stupid, but I actually read about it on here last winter. I quit cold turkey, just read a book. hahaha You have to be open minded, I ordered the book for $14.95 from Barnes & Noble on line. That is how desperate I was and the lady that had posted it here had quit and was raving about it. I'm not gonna rave about it my husband read it too and he didn't make it past 6 days. But I did. It is interesting and you smoke while you read it. It's called "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking" and it's written by Allen Carr. Even though I still want a cigarette alot of times something just keeps me from doing it. I read that book and really absorbed it and I honestly think it helped me a great deal. Just something that hadn't been mentioned yet. My dh and dd still both smoke and it's really tough sometimes, especially in the car, but I just don't do it. Also, I've heard Chantix was good, don't know. Dr. Ruth up there mentioned "Quitnet" website and that's cool and a help. I went there quite a bit. Good luck.

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Oct 18, 2007 11:11PM - edited Oct 18, 2007 11:13PM by cheri123

Sorry, posted twice.

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Oct 19, 2007 10:27AM badboob67 wrote:

When I asked my onc NP for help quitting, she said, "I'd like to tell you it (quitting) will make a difference, but it won't..."  Guess that's all the motivation I needed NOT to quit. I think we can all agree that quitting would help our general health. It's not like I was expecting my stage IV cancer to disappear because I quit smoking. That, and a number of other odd statements by her and my onc led me to leave them for a new onc. With any luck, the motivation to quit and strength to follow through will come to me.

When you're down to nothing, GOD is up to something! bb67.wikispaces.com/ Dx 2/15/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 24/27 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 19, 2007 10:56AM rayna wrote:

Hello...I am new to this community (this is my first time).  Just wanted to ask if anyone has tried the laser therapy for quitting smoking?

Rayna Dx 1/21/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/39 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 19, 2007 11:01AM rayna wrote:

Pogo1...  Did you continue to smoke through reconstruction?  I know I should quit for better healing, I have an upcoming surgery to replace my expander (the nurse put the needle in the wrong place) and my expander is now flat.

Rayna Dx 1/21/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/39 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 19, 2007 11:29AM JoyRebecca wrote:

Oh boy...it's really a battle!! I know I need to quit and when I try to, it seems that's all I can think about!! Then the guilt kicks in and I beat myself up. I've started Chantix ($134 for 6 wk supply) 2 weeks ago. I am definitely smoking less. The inability to sleep is killing me!! I regret ever having smoked the 1st one!! But I will keep on keeping on, and one of these times I'll quit for good!!!!

Dx 5/5/2007, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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