Although I am sure that 9 years quit sounds like a long time to many here, I can still remember 9 hours, 9 days, 9 weeks, etc. I can still remember the fear of doing this - and the uncertainty. After 40 years, it seemed almost impossible at first. But, I came here and hung on tight! I stayed close, I kept reading. I found the most remarkable community! I listened to the folks who came before me (thank you to all of those beautiful people!!) and learned from those struggling at the same time I was and continue to learn from those who have come here since. Because I was successful and felt overwhelming joy at the freedom - I became passionate about staying here and trying to encourage others.
Not only am I forever grateful to this site and the wonderful people here for helping me to quit and stay quit - I am also grateful for advice I read here. As many know, I had a “low dose CT scan” on my lungs back in February. This was strictly a screening test - I had no symptoms. The scan led to a PET scan which then led to the discovery of cancer. I had the right lower lobe of my lung removed about 10 weeks ago. The really good news - it was found early enough - Stage 1 with no lymph node involvement. (I will need to continue to be scanned.) The other really good news - although I didn’t quit soon enough to prevent the cancer, I quit soon enough that after 9 years quit I was in good enough physical shape to have the surgery. That would not have been the case if I had still been smoking.
I am doing fine since the surgery. Before I typically walked 3 miles every other day and did water aerobics 3 days a week. I am now back to 2 miles (I plan to soon move up to 3 miles again.) And last week - I went back to the pool! Since I do deep water exercise which involves wearing a flotation belt, I ran into a glitch. The belt, which must be worn tightly, turned out to be way too uncomfortable around my mid section because of surgery soreness. After that first day, I was discouraged - but I knew I would find a way! I decided to use a noodle! (You know those kid’s noodle toys for the pool...) By straddling that I can easily stay vertical in the water in order to do the workout. Yay!
And - yay me for 9 years! Thanks to everyone here - you are all amazing and so important to my quit!