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How to prevent myself from "slipping" after quitting smoking prior to treatment?

By July 2, 2010 - 12:26pm
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Stage 3a Lung Cancer

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Miki - I'm truly sorry to learn that you have lung cancer and are in treatment. I know many nurses who smoke and understand where you're coming from.

Missy has given you good advice, but as a fellow cancer patient I'd like to give you a little bit of tough love. Tips and tricks aren't enough. Most cities have free support services and groups available through state health departments, the Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and others. It's going to take a solid commitment to quitting and the support of others will help. Don't worry about being judged, that doesn't matter. What's important is your future health after you go through the hell of chemo and treatment. Some groups provide a way to put the commitment to stay quit in writing. Doing that, and looking at that commitment every day while you are in treatment, will help you in seeing being smoke-free as your goal and as who you are. It's never too late to quit, and to benefit from it. As a nurse you could also help counsel others and support them as you're supporting yourself.

I hope your treatment is successful and am glad you have a great medical team. If you expand your team to also include people who will help you stick to being smoke-free I think it will help you in not "slipping" and in going forward.

All the best to you,

July 2, 2010 - 5:49pm

Thanks so much for your reply. I'm 61 and I hate to say this but cigarettes were my escape for 45 years. When I was 16, it was glamorous to smoke. When I had kids, smoking eased any stress and believe it or not, I'm a nurse and many of us smoke to relieve the tension. I WILL NOT give in. 35 rounds of radiation, 2 rounds of chemo and I have two more rounds ahead of me. I haven't had any tests yet to see if treatments have worked but I have a great team of medical people and I have hope. As for what I miss the most about smoking - it's that first great??? inhale. I've found straws work!! Thanks again.

July 2, 2010 - 1:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

I really want to chime in on this as I have been a quitter myself very recently with many ‘slip ups’.

My best advice to you is to not slip up. It is that ONE cigarette that will start you right back up on the nicotine trail. Believe me, I have fallen off too many times in the last year and from my experience, it only takes that one. Knowing this, do anything in your power to stop yourself from taking that first hit.

Some things that I have noticed in my world of non-smoking is that when I really want one, I will take several deep breathes, brush my teeth and inhale just the fresh toothpaste breath (really helps if you are a menthol smoker) and wait 15 minutes from the time that you really really want one! It appears to me that if you do these three things, it will help very much in your quest to stop and stop for good!

KNOW that you CANNOT even take a hit of a cigarette. This is the worst thing I have even been through in my life and I cannot even tell you how many times I fell off from just one hit and how hard it is to get back in the right direction.

Another thing, try and keep yourself busy doing things that are out of your smoking schedule. If you used get up and light up, instead, go right outside and walk around the yard or around the house, whatever you can do to change up your normal schedule.

Do you know what you are so addicted to? What I mean is the following:

Do you miss the smell?
Do you miss something between your fingers? (oral fixation)
Do you miss the inhaling feeling?
Do you miss the smell of the after effect on your fingers?

What is your craving? Mine was just the inhalation part since I hated the smell of smoke all together. Knowing what your craving is will dramatically help.

Let me know, I am rowing in the same safety boat. Together, we can get through this. Also, I am not sure where you live but in New York City: $13.00 per pack! Great reason to stop all together!

July 2, 2010 - 12:44pm
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