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2011
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that while three of the leading causes of death were on the decline, only chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, increased. These new findings mean that COPD moved into the No. 3 spot for leading causes of death, behind only cancer and heart disease. Approximately 24 million Americans have COPD, but only half of those people have been diagnosed. COPD, more commonly known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, kills more than 120,000 Americans each year. This equates to one death every four minutes. Respiratory therapists are working hard to reverse this trend. The first step in this effort is increased awareness and detection of COPD, beginning with recognition of COPD symptoms. Extreme and continuous shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing are the most common symptoms. If you are an ex-smoker then ask your Doctor for a Spirometry Test. Early diagnosis makes all the difference in the Quality of a person with COPD! Unfortunately, surveys show that Doctors lack awareness as well as the public! They tend to only offer the test to men over 60! By then who knows how bad you could have the illness! The sooner you find out the better and if you don't have it - wouldn't that be GREAT to know? If you have been diagnosed with Emphysema or COPD you should know that you are not alone and there is plenty you can do for yourself, first and foremost of course, is quit smoking once and for all! Please contact me by clicking on my name above and writing a message on the message board and I'll give you information about a Great Support Group we have going for Emphysema! We keep a positive attitude and share advice, support, understanding and friendship! We'd love to have you join us!
Thomas3.20.2010

SMILE!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 28, 2011
What could be better than that? How about Addiction FREE? That's worth a Great Big Grin!!!! Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available. - Jim Beggs
Thomas3.20.2010

PEACE BE WITH YOU!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 27, 2011
Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. - Author unknown Did your cigarette always make you feel at peace? Did you see it as the solution to escape from strife? If you've quit for a few days now then you will recognize that these are nico-lies! But also, your quit isn't guilty of all that has gone wrong since you quit, be it physical, mental, or emotional! So many people ask me if the quit caused them to have headaches, to overreact at work, or to become forgetful! The fact is this stuff happens whether we quit or not! But our addict mind is always searching for a "reason" why it's better to smoke than to quit: "I'm a nicer person when I smoke; I sleep better (or don't sleep as much) when I smoke; I'm more alert when I smoke; etc, etc, etc,...." Some of these phenomenon are temporary adjustments to becoming an Addiction FREE Person but no reason AT ALL to give in to the voices whose real purpose is simply to get my next fix!!! With time some will clear up as your body adjusts to the NEW non-smoking YOU! Others have absolutely nothing to do with the process - they just get generalized into the whole time line of how I experienced my quit! In other words, LIFE HAPPENS! But our junkie minds will twist anything to bring us back to our comfort zone! You have to basically find another solution to your problems than smoking! So the next time you hear that voice - redirect the question - I don't ask to smoke or not to smoke! The REAL Question is what can I do instead??? Look inside of you and find that inner Peace which doesn't rely on anyone or anything - especially not a dead leaf wrapper in paper and dipped in over 4000 chemicals! The Peace is in you and you can carry it anywhere you go under any circumstances!
Thomas3.20.2010

Gold Cup Excitement!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 25, 2011
Tonight in Pasadina, California will be the Finals of the Gold Cup and believe it or not, the United States will play Mexico for the Title! I am so excited because I LOVE SOCCER! You can believe I'll be watching every minute and probably with a beer in hand but no cigarettes! For me, soccer and cigs were like peanut butter and jelly! But now I've learned to even sit through the BIG GAMES with no cigs and SURPRISE - I like it even better! I don't know how many big plays I've missed because I was out taking a smoke break while the action was happening! And the celebration or cry in your beer moments are more emotional without that cig! Tonight will be a CELEBRATION for our Great USA!!! Good Luck, you guys!
Thomas3.20.2010

SUCCESS!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 24, 2011
Failure has a thousand explanations. Success doesn't need one! What's your "reason" for smoking today? Fear, nerves, stress, my dog ate my homework? There really is NO EXCUSE i.e. "reason" for smoking! I just talked to a young Lady who started out telling me she had 40 Smoke FREE Days - then when I congratulated her on this tremendous feat, she "explained" that in those 40 days she had smoked 4 or 5 cigarettes - but in her mind they didn't count - "because I didn't enjoy them and nobody saw me!" My response: Your LUNGS KNOW you smoked! YOU KNOW you smoked! When you leave that crack in your armor you're asking for BIG TROUBLE!!! 40 Smoke FREE Days, means SMOKE FREE!!!! Not One Puff Ever Whatever It Takes!!!!!
Thomas3.20.2010

The Wedding!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 22, 2011
As most of you know Yesterday was my Youngest Son's Wedding! The Wedding was perfect! Being a Garden Wedding we had worried for the weather as it was cold and stormy all day Monday but God Blessed us with blue skies and 75 degrees! The Bride was spectacularly beautiful and my Son was beaming! I'm very fortunate to have such lovely people for in-laws! We all had a wonderful time! I looked at the tiny smoking area with sadness that such young vibrant folks could be already caught in the trap of addiction! It was so nice to give hugs to Family old and new and Friends without worrying about the smell of tobacco! But most of all I was so Happy to see both my Sons enjoy the festivities Smoke FREE! They do their Parents proud! Thank You all who have asked for them and prayed for us! With the Lord's help they will have many many Happy Years together!
Thomas3.20.2010

Vitamin E

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 20, 2011
Long-term, regular use of vitamin E in women 45 years of age and older may help decrease the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by about 10 percent in both smokers and nonsmokers, according to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University and Brigham and Women's Hospital. "However, since vitamin E supplements are known to have detrimental effects in some people, for example vitamin E supplementation increased risk of congestive heart failure in cardiovascular disease patients, broader recommendations would need to balance both benefits and risks."
Thomas3.20.2010

This Father's Day...

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 19, 2011
I will be celebrating with my Sons who have made the choice to live Smoke FREE! That makes us a Smoke FREE Family as my Wife never smoked, Thank God! Tuesday my youngest Son will be going to the Alter to Celebrate his Marriage with his beautiful Lady who is a Veterinarian and has a Big Heart which I'm so pleased about because my Son has a very Gentle Character and my biggest wish is that he find the Happiness that he brings to everybody around him every single day! So these are busy days for the Family and I feel so Blessed that I can enjoy them FREE from any addictions and in good Health! Yes, I have COPD but it is teaching me to make great decisions about nutrition and exercise that I most likely would not have made otherwise so ironically, in many ways, I am healthier than ever!!! For those of you who are Healthy, PLEASE, learn now, while you have no big illnesses, to take care and eat right, exercise and protect your body from life-challenging illnesses that limit your choices and make you rethink every decision you ever make! No regrets! I go to this next stage in my life with trust in my Creator and knowledge that I am doing the right thing each day - one day at a time! Smoke FREE is LIFE!
Thomas3.20.2010

Chantix Alert!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 17, 2011
The quit-smoking drug Chantix may lead to a small but increased risk of heart problems in people with cardiovascular disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.
Thomas3.20.2010

Emotions

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 17, 2011
When you are at the beginning of your quit, you often feel emotions that seem overwhelming! Anger, Fear, Anxiety, even Joy, Happiness, Excitement! All those years we hid our feelings under a Smoke Cloud - we couldn't feel either really good or really bad - just a numbing blah! Now, all of a sudden, you feel intensely - you're out of your comfort zone! I've heard many people say that they didn't think it was "fair" to their families to be so emotional, when in fact what they are feeling is the REAL ME for the first time in many, many years! Folks say that they perceive this emotional intensity as "immaturity" when, in fact, it's more immature to squash your feelings with poisonous substances rather than learn to cope with and live with the true Creator-given YOU! How are you going to deal with substance- caused chronic illness if you can't live with true natural feelings? Yes, your family will have to go through this learning transition with you and you will be modeling extraordinarily important living skills because, truthfully, life is a whole series of stepping out of our comfort zones! Knowing how is what living is all about! Feelings have been given to human beings for a reason! Life with feelings of all kinds is abundantly rich and fruitful! LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY -Smoke FREE!
Thomas3.20.2010

Missing INDIN GRL

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 16, 2011
Just in case you can see this but can't respond, Diane Joy - I think of you every single day!
That's what that old fantasy cigarette was like! I thought it was my best friend - turned out it was a wolf in sheep's clothing! I thought I loved that come hither smell - turned out that it was stinkin thinkin! I thought I loved that ahhhh taste - turned out I was consuming arsenic - literally! I thought I was relaxing and relieving stress - turned out I was stealing life from myself like Dorian Grey! I thought I was staying in shape by not being overweight - turned out I was killing myself from the inside out with every puff! I thought I was getting high on dopamine - turned out that I wasn't getting high on LIFE! Oh that wonderful fabulous smoky life before I quit! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thomas3.20.2010

WHO ARE YOU TODAY?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 16, 2011
We are shaped by our thought, we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves! -Buddha Just which YOU is in control of your day? Is that the part that FEARS the quit when fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real? Is it the addictive part which fantasizes every imaginably fabulous event about smoking when smoking is no more than purposefully killing yourself one puff at a time? Is it the curious part of you who wants to know "Why do these people keep talking as though quitting is HAPPY??? Is it the intellect who will read, read, read some more because it wants to know the FACTS about nicotine addiction? Is it the Determined part that refuses to let irrational thoughts to be in the driver's seat? Is it the Rebel that is sick to death of being controlled by a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in over 4000 deadly chemicals? You get to choose! You can actually shape your thoughts and thus, your SELF! The future is no more than a series of todays!!!! So the only thing that matters about who I want to be is who I am TODAY! When the mind is pure of addictions, then joy will certainly follow like a shadow that never leaves - as long as you say N.O.P.E. (not one puff ever!)
Thomas3.20.2010

High Fives!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 14, 2011

...to those of you who hop back into the FORUMS to direct traffic and set out the WELCOME sign!!! Great Job!!!

That was a hard fought VICTORY! Every team player stepped up with FOCUS and DETERMINATION! Will you use those same skills TODAY to help you quit smoking? They got a trophy and a Title  - You get FREEDOM and LIFE!

It is one of life’s laws that as soon as one door closes another opens. But
 the tragedy is we look at the closed door and disregard the open one. -
Andre  Gide

 

When I first found out that I had Emphysema, it was very hard to imagine a door opening in front of me! My eyes were focused on the door that was being slammed behind me - smoking! The minute I heard the word Emphysema I knew my smoking days were going to have to come to a complete and abrupt halt! In the following days I had my share of fantasies about how wonderful a cigarette would taste, smell, feel - how all my stress would go away - how everything would be alright again if I could just have my fix, -er, friend back! Even knowing that all the above was a lie didn't take away my intense longing for the imaginary past I played with in my mind! I wasn't looking forward to giving up my constant companion! 

Fortunately, I came on this site and began to read not just here but also at whyquit.com and quitsmokingonline.com because I knew that the initial quitting is not my issue - I've done that many times before! But (see how devious the addictive mind works) only for awhile till my cough got a bit better and "my lungs cleared out!" Little did I know that the cough was Chronic Bronchitis and I was well on my way to COPD!!! My real issue even to this day is how not to be lured back into the addiction through Nostalgia! And one guy impressed me more than anybody else! His moniker is The Happy Quitter and his name is James! He doesn't write so often anymore so keep an eye out for him and you'll meet a true EXample! Happy Quitter! You gotta be pulling my leg! We quit because we're more scared to smoke than we are to quit which is scared crazy, right???? James made a breakthrough in my junkie mind and then, not really believing, but as AA says Fake it till you Make it - I filled my mind not with nostalgia but with anticipation! 

Now what on this amazing Planet is there to look forward to when you quit smoking (besides not dying quite so fast, of course!) ??? Well, I kept looking around at other quitters on this site and some did talk about being tough, fighting the good fight, struggling through another day - just what I expected! But A LOT of EXers spoke of FREEDOM and excitement, of amazing changes that were happening to them! Guess who had been here the longest? The folks who weren't talking the fight language but were talking the FREEDOM language - They gave me something to Anticipate! The quit was no longer couched in words of FEAR but of Liberation from Addiction! Abundant Living! Clean, Pure, Fresh, NEW! the NEW ME! Or as my Friend Rose puts it - Metamorphosis! 

 

When I stopped looking at that door behind me with Nostalgia and began looking at the Open Door in front of me with Anticipation then my whole outlook changed! I got it! I got excited about my quit! This was the first and last time that I could look at my Quit with PRIDE and a True sense of Accomplishment! Emphysema closed one door and opened another and the Exers told me to KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE!

I've posted statistics about Smoke related Deaths but now I wish to address another aspect of Smoke Related Illnesses that we tend to overlook - Smoke Related Disabilities! Smoke Related Disabilities deprive not just you but your entire family of income as well as the significant medical cost! The underlying cause of about two-thirds of disabilities is non-communicable disease such as cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer. Not all of these diseases are always caused by smoking but a vast majority are! Another fact that I recently came across is that women over 45 who have smoked within the last 20 years are at very high risk of developing P. A. D. Peripheral Artery Disease causes serious discomfort, even disability and is closely related to atherosclerosis. I implore you to be aware of your Health and to do all in your power to educate yourselves about any conditions you might have and their treatment! Over and over again #1 is QUIT SMOKING TODAY!

Thomas3.20.2010

Irish Rose

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 9, 2011

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that while three of the leading causes of death were on the decline, only chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, increased. These new findings mean that COPD moved into the No. 3 spot for leading causes of death, behind only cancer and heart disease.

Approximately 24 million Americans have COPD, but only half of those people have been diagnosed. COPD, more commonly known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, kills more than 120,000 Americans each year. This equates to one death every four minutes.

Respiratory therapists are working hard to reverse this trend. The first step in this effort is increased awareness and detection of COPD, beginning with recognition of COPD symptoms.

Extreme and continuous shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing are the most common symptoms. If you are an ex-smoker then ask your Doctor for a Spirometry Test. Early diagnosis makes all the difference in the Quality of a person with COPD! Unfortunately, surveys show that Doctors lack awareness as well as the public! They tend to only offer the test to men over 60! By then who knows how bad you could have the illness! The sooner you find out the better and if you don't have it - wouldn't that be GREAT to know?

There has been somebody here that I wish to honor because she has set aside her own struggles to always be there to support me through mine!!! That's a true Friend! And she has never been known to say an unkind word! Her belief in the Almighty shines through every thing she does and her humble generosity makes her an outstanding member of this Community! I'm speaking of JoAnne, Of Course! JoAnne, Thank You for becoming my Friend and staying true through thick and thin! Happy Birthday, Young Lady!!! May God Bless You with many more!

Thomas3.20.2010

What is COPD?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 8, 2011

WHAT IS COPD? People with COPD have more than one of Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis and/or Emphysema which makes you cough a lot and very, very hard! You have shortness of breath because you can't inhale or exhale properly! Because you can't exhale completely, the CO and CO2 that is normally exhaled stay in your body as a toxin that enters the cells of the extremities and you lose arm and leg function. Also, vision can be affected because of the toxicity. What's more, you are more prone to every viral and bacterial infection that comes along - easier to catch and more intense and prolonged symptoms. Each infection increases the cycle of damage and vulnerability. Ther is no cure but there is a lot that a patient can do to slow the progress of the disease. Most important is Quit Smoking Now! It's very important to find a pulmonary rehab and join it so they can teach you how to clear those nasty CO toxins from your system! And stay active - all this can be very depressing but the depression adds to the immobility which adds to the debility etc, down, down, down! All that has to be fought with upward action - POSITIVE THINKING and CONTROL the disease - don't let it control you! There is a lot of HOPE and it starts with the QUIT!

Thomas3.20.2010

60 Seconds!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 8, 2011

Within the last 60 Seconds the following Smoke related Deaths occurred:

All Causes: 107

Tuberculosis: 3

Respiratory Infection: 7

Trachea, Bronchus, and Lung Cancer: 2

COPD: 5

Don't be one of these folks! LIVE Smoke FREE TODAY!

You and only you can free yourself from addiction! No hypnosis, e-cig, NRT, Chantix, acupuncture, etc. can relieve you from the mental addiction which is the lion's share of quitting! Quitting begins and ends with me and my DECISION to live Smoke FREE! Will those other options help? People ask me all the time and my response, maybe, but what really counts is my FOCUS and DETERMINATION! If you want to break this dis-ease then you have to make the task doable by taking it one day at a time! Just for today, I pledge to live smoke FREE and I will respect myself enough to honor that decision! Guess who taught me that?

Thomas3.20.2010

Today!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 6, 2011

No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do
your  own work.    Mother Teresa (1910-1997) Albanian  Missionary

"The secret of getting started is breaking 
your complex, overwhelming tasks into 
small manageable tasks, and then 
starting on the first one."
- Mark Twain

Thomas3.20.2010

DISCIPLINE

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 3, 2011

To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If
you  leave your mind to itself it will spiral down into ever
increasing  unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires
effort. This is one of  the things that discipline - training -  is
about.         James Clavell, in  his novel "Shogun"

 

We often talk about Positive Mental Attitude and celebrate folks who demonstrate their positivity while some folks wonder how to get it and where it comes from, especially in their earliest days of the quit when what they feel is anxiety, exhaustion, loss, deprivation, frustration,etc. We all know those feelings. Occassionally somebody asks, "When will my feeelings change?" Answer: 'Tuseday, the Tuesday that you DECIDE to let them change!" Our entire Society is based on the idea that Happiness is a Right (as in the Constitution) or Gift (They're So LUCKY! They're always Happy!)  The TRUTH is the Constitution calls for Responsibilty - the PURSUIT of Happiness! You see, rights come with the responsibility to protect those rights not just for myself but for all my fellow citizens! As for gifts - yes, that gift has been given from our Creator to each and every single one of us including YOU and ME! But did I open  my heart to receive that gift, or was I afraid I'd be too vulnerable? Many of us are scared of true Happiness, as ironic as that sounds. And it doesn't just come to us - it is a Discipline! As James Clavell (a very awesome writer BTW) points out, it requires EFFORT! It requires you to put the brakes on that downward spiral of negativity where our minds often tend to go and replace it with LIFE AFFIRMING thought processes! That's where Affirmations come in! This isn't just feel good lefty hocus-pocus it is an entire Discipline that has been highly studied! It's called Neuro-Linguistics, how your brain actually changes when you put the brakes on negative thoughts and replace them with affirmations! Anybody can do this! Have you seen poor people, sick people, people who are grieving, people who have suffered tornadoes or other disasters, unemployed, homeless, who are happy? I have! And we ask ourselves, "How can they be so HAPPY?!" They're happy because they CHOSE to change their perspective and it didn't happen overnight - it happened one day at a time! DISCIPLINE! The Good News is that YOU and I can do this too! Happiness can be learned! The Choice is OURS!

Thomas3.20.2010

SACRED

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 2, 2011

"We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves, unable to see that here,
now, this very moment is sacred; but once it's gone its value is
incontestable."  --Joyce Carol Oates

 

Hello, fellow Exers and wannabes! When was the last time you thought about that Breath that you're taking right now and remembered to Thank your Creator that you were given that chance? Now is a Good Time! Take a nice long breath all the way down into your belly, purse your lips and very sloooowly exhale! As you exhale just think in your mind Thank You Father for this Breath of Life!  We are so fortunate to have the Gift of LIFE! It's our responsibility to guard and Protect that Gift! We do that each and every day that we DECIDE to live Smoke FREE!!! We honor Our Creator by choosing to live the way He intends for us to be - Addiction FREE!  That's how Valuable YOU and I are to Him! Choose Breath not Death! Just for today live Smoke FREE with GRATITUDE!

Thomas3.20.2010

Make the Leap!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 1, 2011

If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready,
we shall never begin. - Ivan Turgenev

Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you
someone who has overcome adversity. - Lou  Holtz

Every man stamps his value on himself... man is made great or small
by  his own will.            J.C.F. von Schiller

Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first
be  overcome.         Samuel Johnson  (1709-1784) English Author

The one common experience of all humanity is the challenge of problems. -
R. Buckminster Fuller

 

Making the leap is probably the hardest part about quitting!!! Don't believe those Nicorette comercials about "Quitting Sucks!" I am a quitter and I say, "Quitting soars!" into FREEDOM from addictive living! 


You can't change the past,  But  you can ruin the present
By worrying over the future  !

Don't wait for your "ship to come in" and feel angry and cheated when
it  doesn't. Get going with something small.  Irene  Kassorla

No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do
your  own work.    Mother Teresa (1910-1997) Albanian  Missionary

The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but
also  by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.Helen
Keller

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be  done
without hope and confidence. Helen Keller (1880-1968) American  Writer

 

Thomas3.20.2010

One in 59!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jun 1, 2011

That's right, folks! One in every 59 Americans will be diagnosed with Emphysema some time in their lives! COPD is fast becoming the #4 Killer in the USA and #3 Worldwide! But I want you to know that if you have been diagnosed with Emphysema there is A LOT that you can do for yourself!!! First and most important is QUIT SMOKING!!! Also, find Support so you can understand your illness and ways to slow the progression of the disease! If you want to join a Support Group then you'll be interested to know that I am a CoLeader with Aunt Dee of a Great Group who would love to have more members. We're at MDJunction.com under lungs/respiratory  emphysema! Check it out and I think you'll find Positive Attitude and Positive Action that can help maintain Quality of LIfe! See You There!