Someone once said to me after being diagnosed with cancer, “Why me? I quit so I wouldn’t get cancer. I should have just continued smoking & ‘enjoying’ myself instead of quitting. I’ve been sicker since I quit smoking than I ever was before I quit.”
This someone was a former smoker who smoked for four decades. He quit smoking and then four years later was diagnosed with cancer. He lived another 6 years with treatment extending his life to the age of 72. Instead of thinking why him, I was thinking “Well, why not him (or me for that matter)?” Quitting is never a guarantee we won’t have consequences from our smoking.
I don’t wish cancer on anyone … a never, former, or current smoker. Nobody deserves it no matter their part in it. The chances of active & long term smokers getting a smoking related cancer is very high. But the chance of getting cancer after quitting is less than that & the chance of getting cancer if you have never smoked is even less than that (to be precise & scientific lol).
We never know as an active smoker which one will be “the one” that starts the process. We do know that our risk stats go down when we quit and continue to go down each year we remain smoke free. (Of course most damage, like COPD, is from cumulative smoking which can’t be cured but can be slowed by quitting.)
For those on the fence about quitting or choose to go back to smoking over & over again I honestly don’t want to hear about your concern of getting cancer as an active smoker. I do have empathy & compassion but why are you still smoking if you’re so concerned about it? Do something about it! The risks are known. Why continue to play Russian Roulette? Quit & then stay quit. We will all suffer the consequences of our own choices.
The smoker referred to felt great despair at the end of his life much of it due to knowing that as a long term smoker he probably did it to himself. He was actually very frightened of the end death process. It’s much much easier to quit smoking & stay quit.
A cancer death is not a “normal” process to participate in & witness. Trust me, it’s not. Please don’t let it be you.