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2011
The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good. Brian Tracy I remember the emptiness I felt when I first stopped smoking! It was ...sadness, ...ah, loneliness,...I don't know maybe ... boredom! I want to understand the feeling that we often label as "craving" because we don't know how else to describe that feeling. You may have heard of H.A.L.T. It stands for Hungry, angry,lonely, tired and tells us of warning signs of when we might be tempted. I've come to the point of thinking of filling the hole. Something is missing and my brain automatically says "cigarette" but that is the addiction talking. Since cigarettes are no longer an option for me no matter what - well, then what is missing? Am I hungry, thirsty, tired? Does my BODY need something to feel more comfortable and cared for? Am I lonely, angry, frustrated, depressed? Do my emotions need attention? Am I spiritually depleted from the harsh living that we all have to endure? Maybe I need time with my GOD so I can reinforce my love and trust in Him! Very often I find one or more of these factors contributing to my feeling of emptiness. When I fill the hole with good food, rest, exercise for the body, with support from my friends to talk out my emotions, and with God time in my daily life then the emptiness ceases to exist and my brain stops even groping for that thing which is not a cigarette but we would use a cigarette to feel better! Next time you think you want a cigarette - maybe you can ask yourself - What is it I really need? After all, when you put out the smoke - the hole is still there! When you fill the hole you FEEL WHOLE! Happy abundant living everyone! Thank you for your friendship and support! Enjoy your NEW Smoke FREE LIVING! It's a WHOLESOME Adventure!
Thomas3.20.2010

This Is IT!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 27, 2011
What ought one to say then as each hardship comes? I was practicing for this, I was training for this. Epictetus (55-135 AD) Greek Philosopher O.K. So you made up your mind that you are sick of being sick! You're tired of worrying about all the terrible abuse you have been putting your poor one and only body through! You just want to STOP THE ADDICTION NOW! But how are you going to do this? All of society tells us how hard it is to quit! "Quitting Sucks!" they say! "You need our product to help you! You don't stand a chance without spending hundreds more bucks to reach your goal!You can never do this on your own!" Well, I'm here to tell you that although NRTs (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) are useful TOOLS for very many people and others have been able to incorporate Chantix, Wellbutrin and other prescription meds successfully into their Quit Plan - those products didn't make the QUIT happen! You and I are ADDICTS! And like all addicts, we have to learn how to live differently - how to make different decisions for ourselves - in order to truly be SUCCESSFUL! It's not something that money can buy! It's a way of LIFE that we have to LEARN! That's why I repeat: Unless you are willing to READ about ATTITUDE and PERCEPTION you are spinning your wheels in Quit Attempts! Most likely, if you're reading this then you have "tried" to quit several times before! So when what you're keep trying doesn't change - the results don't change either! It's time to try something NEW! Try understanding the Addictive Mind! Try understanding the ADDICT in YOU! Try finding out how you can let that part of you wither away and the FREE HUMAN BEING within Grow and Grow and GROW! Here's where to get started: http://www.whyquit.com http://quitsmokingonline.com/ and Allen Carr's book - "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking" - free download - http://joga.365.lt/Allen-Carr_Easy-Way-To-Stop- Smoking_Download-free-PDF-EBook Am I saying you can't use patches or gum or Chantix or hypnotism, or whatever? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Use anything it takes that you find useful to your Quit Plan! But I am saying You have to HAVE A QUIT PLAN First! ATTITUDE and PERCEPTION! YOU have held the key to SUCCESS the whole time! You just didn't know it!
I work graveyards in Alzheimers' Assisted Living. Last night we had an intruder hanging out around our premises. I'm not sure what his motive was but I can tell you this - if he wanted to get ahold of some of our meds he might go to any length to get them! Sadly believe it or not caring for Alzheimers' patients doesn't pay a lot of cash so most of our workers are young girls scraping by and many taking nursing classes at the same time. One of these young gals was petrified by the intruder! She kept asking me if I'd called the cops (I did!), what would I do if he got in? etc... But she is unfortunately also a Smoker! I asked her if she thought she could make it through her shift without going outside because I wanted to set the entire alarm system to max. "Oh yes! I'm too scared to even think about smoking with the guy out there!" Here comes 2:30. She begged me to please turn off the alarms long enough for her to smoke just one cigarette! Her hands were shaking - I don't know if from nicotine withdrawal or from fear - probably BOTH! But it didn't stop her from going outside and sucking up that sickerette faster than lightning! I was not surprised! But I was sad - you see her Grandmother had recently passed away from ---- you guessed it! Emphysema! How far will YOU go for your NEXT FIX?
Thomas3.20.2010

Your Best!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 25, 2011
Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best Theodore Rubin I hear a lot of people out there who are on the verge of getting started and nervous, those who have just started and are struggling and those who have already slipped up and are giving it another shot! I just want to tell you something that I learned from James, the Happy Quitter! This fellow taught me that the NicoDemon is really just a part of ME! The Quitter is another part of ME! Now, anybody knows that when you fight yourself it doesn't make for very good harmony and inner-peace, right? So people who try to use willpower and to fight themselves get just plain tuckered out! So what can you do? James kept saying, "Make it easier on yourself! Be HAPPY!" Happy??? Are you nuts? But I found out that when I do activities that I really enjoy, when I distract myself with FUN, when I follow JonesCarp's suggestion and LAUGH at my cravings, They don't last as long and they don't visit as often! It really works! Don'y fight yourself - You know YOU are the one who will win! But which you? If you CHOOSE WISELY it will be The Happy Quitter who lives within you! Have a Marvelous Smoke FREE Day!
Thomas3.20.2010

DRIVE4COPD

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 22, 2011
DRIVE4COPD and Michael Kalish are excited to present 24M: THE DRIVE4COPD MONUMENT. 24M is a visual representation of the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States to encourage the public to take action to see if they may be at risk and talk to their healthcare professional. 24M is a monument inspired by the DRIVE4COPD pinwheel icon that symbolizes a person's ability to breathe. Internationally renowned artist and sculptor Michael Kalish used his signature medium, the license plate, to create 24 large-scale pinwheels representing the estimated 24 million Americans who may have COPD. The sheer size and scale of 24M represents all corners of the country and embodies the breadth of the disease and its impact on America. A total of 2,400 license plates were used to create the pinwheels, and the number of license plates incorporated from each state reflects the percentage of the population affected by COPD in that state. Each pinwheel base will be in the shape of a state so from an aerial view, the monument comes together to form the map of the contiguous United States. 24M is about the size of half of a football field or approximately 30,000 square feet. Throughout 2011, 24M will visit cities in the four states that have the highest prevalence and population of COPD in the United States: California, Florida, New York and Texas. Through the monument and the message behind it, DRIVE4COPD and Kalish hope to inspire everyone to learn about COPD, find out if they or loved ones might be at risk and to do something about it. http://www.drive4copd.com/missing-millions/24m.aspx

Specially trained dogs can identify most patients with lung cancer by smelling their breath, researchers said.

Sniffing 100 breath samples from patients with biopsy-confirmed lung cancer, the dogs failed to flag only 29, reported Thorsten Walles, MD, of Schillerhoehe Hospital in Gerlingen, Germany, and colleagues online in the European Respiratory Journal.

 

Among 400 other samples from individuals without lung cancer, the canine sniff test gave false positives for just 28, the researchers found.

   Action Points     
  
       
  • Explain that specially trained dogs could identify most patients with lung cancer by smelling their breath.
  •    
  • Point out that the findings may be more important for confirming that human exhalations contain markers for lung cancer, which eventually may be detectable by more conventional means.
  •   

However, Walles and colleagues suggested that the findings were most important for confirming that human exhalations contain markers for lung cancer, which eventually may be detectable by more conventional means.

"This is a big step forward in the diagnosis of lung cancer, but we still need to precisely identify the compounds observed in the exhaled breath of patients," said Walles in a press release.

Several earlier studies have found that dogs, with their keen sense of smell, can identify patients with various forms of cancer, including tumors of the breast, colon, and lung merely by sniffing. The proposition originated in 1989 with a case report of a man whose melanoma was diagnosed because his dog kept sniffing the lesion.

exhalations from 35 lung cancer patients and 60 healthy controls, a professional dog trainer taught the animals to lie down in front of tubes with samples from the patients.

The dogs used in the current study were young family pets -- two German shepherds, one Labrador retriever, and one Australian shepherd. Using test tubes containing exhalations from 35 lung cancer patients and 60 healthy controls, a professional dog 

During both the training and the subsequent testing phase, each sample was given to the dogs only once so that they would not simply learn to recognize individual participants' characteristic odors.

The testing involved 50 healthy people, 25 patients with histologically confirmed lung cancer, and 50 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). These were different individuals than those providing samples for the training phase.

In the cancer patient group, one patient had stage I disease, two each at IIa and IIb tumors, four were staged IIIa, five had IIIb disease, and 11 were at stage IV.

Blinded observers watched the dogs as they each sniffed at five tubes per session. If a dog appeared to hesitate in front of a tube, it was automatically recorded as an incorrect result. The investigators also took a variety of steps to keep from subtly influencing the dogs.

The testing was conducted in three phases. First, the dogs were presented with samples from healthy controls and lung cancer patients. Next, samples from lung cancer and COPD patients were presented. Finally, the dogs evaluated samples from all three groups.

Somewhat surprisingly, the dogs had the most difficulty in the first test, discriminating the lung cancer patient samples from those of healthy people. The total number of correct results from the four dogs was 22 versus 18 false results.

Accuracy was much better in the second phase, with the dogs correctly identifying 32 samples from the COPD and lung cancer patients against eight false results.

Results were better still in the third test, with 19 correct results and only one incorrect.

Overall, the sensitivity for detecting lung cancer was 71% overall 

Thomas3.20.2010

FYI

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 21, 2011

My computer internet service is down and will be down until Thursday. I am able to access the computer at work tonight and Mon. Otherwise I'll be able to read from this site on my phone but not respond! Take Care, folks - know I'm thinking about all of you and I'll get back to you when I can!

Thomas3.20.2010

DIVERSITY

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 20, 2011

 

The United States of America was built by a diverse group of people. The strength, resilience, and richness of the United States of America are based on the diversity of its citizens. Everyone is equal in worth, and is entitled to the same privileges and opportunities regardless of their age, national origin, disability, gender, or race. Each of us has our own unique background and talents.

Diversity creates a Community that is enriched with people from different cultures and that have different experiences, lifestyles, backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. A diverse Community:

      
  • recognizes and values talent.
  •   
  • eliminates barriers and ensures that all members are treated fairly and have the chance to reach their maximum potential.
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  • encourages the exchange of ideas which not only broadens the scope of problem solving, but also improves the possibility that the problems will be solved.

Ours is a Diverse Community and that's an integral aspect of what makes it so effective in achieving SUCCESS!!! We don't always see eye to eye but we have RESPECT for each other! I don't always agree with "tough love" and I don't always agree with moddly coddling, either! Each contact I have with a new member is based on my own experience. I bring to the table my diagnosis of COPD (even when I don't memtion it!), my SUCCESS, my personality! It can hardly be otherwise. It's for the Newbie to take what is useful to them and leave the rest from all the comments and advice they receive! I disagree that there are any few people in control of what goes on here! We all have equal opportunity to add our own input. I've seen many, many, members come and go, some drifting in and out. It's only natural that we are drawn to some members more than others. And time online is a commodity. I most often center on folks with COPD and then on other members who I feel are open to the Fantastic Change which is necessary to become a true EX. That's because my quits in the past have been for Months even Years but not sincere! I was just borrowing time, "cleaning out my lungs so I can smoke some more!" So I know the difference! I Know that's just not good enough! You bring your own talents, experience and personality to your Comments! Each of us contributes something that may help that individual make the ultimate decision - to live addiction FREE! I would like to remind you so you don't get depressed that as you see folks come and go, remember that you have no idea how many mustard seeds you are planting on the way! Maybe that person will come back later or maybe somebody else read that Comment to So-and-So and took it to heart! I think we'd all be surprised at how many people are lurking, reading everything but choose to remain out of the limelight! Finally, contribute what you have and respect that other contributor, too! We all make this Community a Great Place to be and most important SUCCESSFUL!

 

Thomas3.20.2010

What is it Like?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 18, 2011
Today my mind is on my Friend, JoJo and I feel as if I'm standing right next to her, wiping the tears from my eyes and trying feebly to come up with some words of encouragement! She is so much stronger than I am! If this scenario were true, she'd be comforting me! What is it like to be in her shoes today? What is she thinking about as she faces her fate Tomorrow and finds out if she might might be one of the lucky ones whose life will be saved with a lung transplant??? This isn't only speaking as a friend, although I hope I'm a good Friend - I certainly know she is a Good Friend to me! - but I also may have to literally be in those shoes! I may one day be on the brink of transplant or rejection! So Yea, I hope and pray and dare to trust right beside her as if it were me! And I push the doubt and worry and sadness and fear away! I have to because somehow she (and I) have to make it through the next 36 hours - the minutes tick so slowly and yet, before we know it the conclusion will be drawn! Please Lord give Her Strength! Give me Strength and wipe away our tears!

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. Lao Tzu If you're reading this and still smoking it's because you know that it's past time to quit smoking. But just like all of us who have Successfully Quit you are full of uncertainty and anxiety. So what can you do? Well, for me, knowledge is POWER! So I came here and I read a lot of Blogs, especially those written by the EXperts who have Successfully Quit for Months and even Years and stay here simply to help show us the way!!! How fortunate! Real People who were right where you are now and ARE right where you want to be! So they told me to prepare my ATTITUDE! They told me to change my PERSPECTIVE! They told me to find a NEW FOCUS! And they told me to READ: http://www.whyquit.com http://quitsmokingonline.com/ and Allen Carr's book - "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking" - free download - http://joga.365.lt/Allen-Carr_Easy-Way-To-Stop-Smoking_Download-free-PDF-EBook Now, how simple can they make it for us? They have just laid out every single thing I need to know right here! I don't even have to search for it! And they told me that if I have any questions, doubts, frustrations, lost feelings, to come right back here pronto - before I make a stupid mistake and ASK FOR HELP and somebody would get back to me immediately 24/7! You know what? They DID! They have been here for me in each and every stage of this Quit Journey! That's what this Community is all about - PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE save their own LIVES! There is nothing you've told yourself about smoking and quitting that they haven't either said themselves or heard before - Nothing! They can help you BECOME AN EX for LIFE!!!!! My name is Thomas and I have 513 Smoke FREE Days because I LISTENED! YOU CAN, TOO!

Thomas3.20.2010

Why I Need to Know!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 15, 2011
ONE out of every 5 people who have smoked during some part of their lifetime will develop COPD. Even after you have quit for several years you may develop this debilitating chronic incurable illness. Early diagnosis is critical for effective treatment. Even so, OVER HALF of those with COPD don't even know it! All EXers should be aware of the possibility that they might be that 1 in 5 and get tested with a very affordable test called Spirometry. It's no more complicated than a drunk driving test and you get results immediately. You should know that even your Doctor will not think to give you this test due to undertraining and underawareness about COPD! Here is an article by John Hopkins University on How COPD Damages Lungs: Your lungs make oxygen available to your body and remove other gases, such as carbon dioxide. When you inhale, air travels down the back of your throat (pharynx) and passes through your voice box (larynx) and into your windpipe (trachea). The trachea is divided into two air passages (mainstem bronchi); one leads to the left lung, and one to the right lung. The diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle, lies below the lungs. The right lung has three sections, called lobes, and is slightly larger than the left lung, which has two lobes. The mainstem bronchi divide into smaller air passages called bronchioles. At the end of the bronchioles are tiny air sacs called alveoli, where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. After absorbing oxygen, the blood flows from the lungs to the heart. It is then pumped through the body, providing oxygen to the cells of the tissues and organs. When the cells use the oxygen, carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced and transferred to the blood. The blood carries the CO2 back to the lungs, where it is removed when you exhale. Your lungs are protected from harmful substances in a number of ways. The hair in the nose helps filter out large particles, and cilia (microscopic hairlike projections on cells that line the nose and larger airways of the lung) continually sweep back and forth to keep the air passages clear. Mucus produced by the trachea and bronchial tubes helps trap dust, bacteria and other foreign substances before they enter the lungs. In a person who is breathing normally, the airways are open and free from inflammation and excess mucus. In someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and swollen. The lining can make extra mucus, which clogs the airways. The muscles around the airways tighten, making the airways even narrower. Sometimes the airways can become so narrow that air has trouble getting in and out of the lungs. In chronic bronchitis, the lining of the bronchioles becomes inflamed and produces too much mucus. In some people, the swelling and excess mucus narrow the airways and restrict airflow in and out of the lungs, causing shortness of breath. The cilia also are damaged, preventing them from removing the excess mucus. This can result in enhanced mucus production, a chronic cough and, if the airway narrowing is severe, overinflation of the lungs. In emphysema, the alveoli are destroyed, making it difficult for the lungs to absorb enough oxygen or rid themselves of enough CO2. The walls of the alveoli lose their elasticity and become enlarged. As they get bigger, the diaphragm flattens, making it harder for the lungs to move air in and out. The bronchioles also become less elastic and become narrow or collapse upon exhalation. As a result, CO2 gets trapped in the airways and prevents oxygen from getting to the blood. Muscles of the upper chest are called into action to assist with the work of breathing, and this adds to the feelings of fatigue. Posted in Lung Disorders on August 11, 2011 http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/alerts/lung_disorders/COPD-lung-damage_5835-1.html
The public fight over tobacco is taking new shapes, literally, as Colorado becomes a testing ground for nicotine in the form of toothpicks, breath mints and strips that dissolve on the tongue. The new forms of tobacco — potentially attractive to kids and a crutch for smokers whom health officials say should quit nicotine altogether — prompted public hearings and a scramble by regulators. Tobacco critics condemn the products as dangerous "candy" and a cynical move by Big Tobacco to boost sales. But Colorado efforts to blunt the new dissolvables will be hampered by the 2011 legislature's move to take a dedicated tobacco-fighting tax to plug budget holes. The state will have only $5.4 million for tobacco-fighting grants this year, down from $25.43 million from the Amendment 35 tobacco tax in 2007. The state public health department has called a special hearing on the new tobacco forms for Wednesday. "In my mind there's no safe level of tobacco," said Dr. Chris Urbina, director of the Department of Public Health and Environment. "I'd be very concerned about children picking these up. These look like small candy or mints." Tobacco companies say the new products appeal to smokers increasingly shut down by smoke-free zones. Cigarette smoking is down, but they've seen profitable growth in "spitless" tobacco pouches and the new dissolvable products. The Camel products "are made for and marketed to adult tobacco consumers. As a matter of fact, we developed the products in response to adult tobacco consumers who told us they were interested in products like our Camel dissolvables," said R.J. Reynolds Tobacco spokesman Richard Smith. "It is a guiding principle and belief at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company that youth should not use tobacco products." Read more: Smokeless tobacco products present new challenge for Colorado health officials - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_18682763?source=rss#ixzz1V5sbWhDm
Smoking Multiplies Risks for Bipolar Patients JANUARY 3, 2011 · POSTED IN COMORBIDITIES, CURRENT TREATMENTS, PEER-REVIEWED PUBLISHED DATA, POTENTIAL TREATMENTS Smoking is associated with a less successful outcome in the naturalistic treatment of bipolar patients, reported Seetal Dodd and colleagues at the 4th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders in Sao Paulo, Brazil in March. Nicotine dependence has also been found to be a risk factor for depressive symptoms, as reported in a recent article in the British Journal of Psychiatry. In addition to these direct effects on mental health, smoking is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease when combined with the presence of any three of the five primary risk factors that constitute the metabolic syndrome. (These five factors are: increased waist circumference, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, increased triglycerides, and insulin resistance or elevated fasting blood glucose.) Cardiovascular disease co-occurs with bipolar disorder at a high rate and is one of the major causes of decreased life expectancy in those with inadequately treated illness. Because smoking is a powerful risk factor for comorbid illnesses such as heart attack and stroke and is itself associated with a poor clinical outcome in the treatment of bipolar disorder, every effort should be made to help patients with smoking cessation. Suggestions after the jump. Pharmacological treatment for assisting smoking cessation In addition to nicotine chewing gum, patches and related products, bupropion, a drug with one of the best antidepressant profiles in bipolar patients because it does not seem to induce switches into mania, may also be helpful in smoking cessation. A new option may also be emerging. Mark Frye and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic have been studying varenicline, a drug that stimulates a nicotine receptor subunit in the brain. The initial open study of this drug in patients with bipolar disorder found that it was generally well tolerated and effective. However, another study indicated varenicline may cause the new onset of aggressive thoughts. http://bipolarnews.org/?p=430 "I'm Bipolar and Want to Stop Smoking! Any Ideas?" http://ask.metafilter.com/46652/Im-Bipolar-and-I-Want-to- Stop-Smoking-Any-Ideas
Thomas3.20.2010

Success!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 13, 2011
"Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success." - Dr. Joyce Brothers Have you ever gone back to the way earlier blogs and just read for a while to see how things have changed? Well, I have! I was looking for the formula of WHY? Why do some people make it from the very beginning? Why do some people become chronic restarters? Why do some people restart several times and then find the missing element and from that point on are sailing free? Is it genetics, or gender, or life circumstances or support systems or NRTs or "stress"? Why this person succeeds with "ease" and that person battles for their life has kept me searching for answers. Well, I think I've got it but don't take my word for it - take a look for yourself! Over and over again people say, "Get educated, Read, Read, Read!" Some folks take that advice and some don't and yes, those who do their homework do have better success, by far! So why did she read and he just trudge along slogging it out? Why did she read and nothing changed while he read the same material and reported a life-altering WOW! moment? Lots of questions, right? But it comes down to a fundamental ATTITUDE that makes the difference! If you believe that smoking cessation is an EVENT then you soon become impatient waiting for things to "get back to normal!" Some folks do manage to stay quit for a considerable time but their attitude is brittle - they could still relapse remarkably easily! Others can't stand the "not normal" and just give in and relapse back into their comfort zone! Then there are those who even before they quit smoking realize that they are choosing a life altering way of life! They are looking at not an event but at a LIFE JOURNEY - the path of abundant addiction FREE living! They recognize the quit as a choice that you don't just make once but that you dedicate yourself to each and every day! They are open to a NEW NORMAL! There is no going back - ever! They welcome these changes and collateral changes that come with it - whatever they might be! They know that they will evolve and mature in ways they could never have anticipated! And they say, YES! That's where I want to go! I don't see the entire staircase, but I accept the direction as life affirming! I will take the next step up - the simple decision that I won't smoke TODAY ! Just for today I pledge N.O.P.E. no matter what and I'll do whatever it takes to maintain my quit because I respect myself! Tomorrow is another day! The key to SUCCESS is within you but you must realize that you will change! Your relationships will change! Your PERSPECTIVE will change! Your future choices will change! And it's all for the BEST!
Thomas3.20.2010

SMOKING KILLS!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 12, 2011
We can't say it enough! When I was a smoker (510 days ago- YEA, ME!) if I had been offered to take part in a Heart Disease Prevention Program, I would have said, "Let me think about that." Then I'd go outside, grab a sickerette, puff, puff, puff, and when I was done my response, "I 'm just too busy these days!" Busy doing what??? Did you know I spent an HOUR and a half every day puffing my life away???? Some excuse! But the truth was I didn't want to know! The entire time I was smoking, I was afraid about what damage my body was enduring but I knew that if I FOUND OUT - I'd HAVE TO QUIT! Better keep my head in the sand and not know! Now, as an Exer, I want to know! I can't do anything about the harm already done - I have Stage II COPD/Emphysema - but I swear to myself and to my Family that I WILL do all I can to take good care of myself now! So when they asked if I wanted to participate in the study I said Yes! I'm still scared but better to know than to not know! Fortunately, considering my condition, my HEART is in good shape - for NOW! So it's my task to keep it that way! I'll be making some changes in my exercise program and nutrition - then, I can let go and let God! He knows whether I've done my part and I intend to! The rest is His Business! It's amazing how the Quit is Positively affecting every aspect of my Health for the Positive and SMOKING KILLS YOU in multiple ways with every single puff!!!!
Thomas3.20.2010

MYTHS I TOLD MYSELF:

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 8, 2011
The Stressed Smoking Myth: By Dr. Daniel Seidman Oprah.com | January 01, 2006 "I need cigarettes because I am stressed. I need this to cope with stress." Many smokers share this common belief. You may really believe this and, like so many smokers, this is how you explain your smoking behavior to yourself. But what if it's just a belief, not a fact? What if smoking is just an overrated activity...a bad habit...rote, negative behavior having nothing to do with stress management? Perhaps it distracts you when you're upset. But can smoking solve real-life problems? No, it is a real-life problem itself. This is the classic false belief of addicted smokers, and it must be challenged and debunked to learn to live smoke-free. When did smoking a cigarette ever solve a real-life problem? Smoking because of stress is what is called a rationalization. This is something you tell yourself to try to make yourself feel good about something you really feel bad about. We all do it, but smokers are especially prone to rationalize about stress and smoking. The truth is that an addicted smoker doesn't need a reason to smoke. The momentum of smoking, its automatic quality, is a three-headed monster. It comes from: the effect that smoking cigarettes has on your brain and body the repetitive, habitual nature of smoking the role of the smoker's social environment—primarily exposure to other smokers and smoke, which are contagious Smoking is an uncreative and repetitive response to life stress. It actually weakens the opportunity to develop healthy and flexible coping responses by relying on a fixed and rote way of responding to living. Talk about living inside a box...only this one is a cigarette box! It's harder for me than for others: It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." ~ James Gordon M.D. It’s in regard to the supposed different levels of cigarette dependency or the debate over whether it’s somehow harder for one person to quit then it is for another. There’s an opinion out there that one person can be more dependent on a particular drug then another person. But I just don't think I buy that. I don't think that one person is any more or less addicted than another. I think a junkie is a junkie is a junkie. You see, it has been suggested to me by more then one person that I was "less addicted" then some other people because I was able to successfully quit and those other people "can't". And, I'm here to tell ya that just doesn't set too well with me. I worked DAMNED HARD for this quit and it I don't take too kindly to anyone trying to belittle what I've gone through to get it - and to keep it NO MATTER WHAT. You won't find anyone who "needed" their smokes any worse than I did. And just because I was able to finally pull off a successful quit doesn't mean that I was less addicted then those who are haven't yet pulled it off. It simply means that I was more ready to quit then they are. Not wanting to smoke anymore is SO not the same thing as actually wanting to quit. And, in my opinion THAT is the only difference any of us here have between us. If you don’t pull off a successful quit it’s not because quitting is harder for you then someone else... it’s not because your “more addicted” then someone else... It’s simply because you’ve chosen to remain in the "I don’t want to smoke anymore" phase of your smoking career. As soon as you decide to move yourself securely into the "I wanna quit" phase, you will be able to win your freedom, just as I have won mine. And it’ll be no harder or easier for you then it was for me. You have to have your life in order before you quit: Nothing could be further from the truth on the day that I quit smoking! On that day in March, 2010 I KNEW I had a chronic progressive illness with no cure! I KNEW that my job was on the line because my Company had chosen to shut down the branch where I was working! I KNEW that I couldn't afford COBRA and that if I didn't find another job with benefits, I wouldn't be able to afford Health Insurance! I KNEW that I was about to injure my Wife, my Sons, ...all my Family and Friends who had been begging me for years to quit! And now their predictions about the consequences, yes, those same predictions I ignored because "My life isn't in order" had come true! And yes, July of that year, I lost my job! And January of this year, I lost my GodMother - the only person on the Planet who I felt had loved me when I was growing up! You QUIT and by quitting you DO put your life in order! 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 TODAY is a PERFECT Day to Quit! FOR LIFE!
The best way to get through those first days is to understand addiction! It's all about you vs. you! In other words, a part of you that I call the NicoDemon is the part that is infected with your addiction - the Junkie inside you! The other part is the REAL YOU who's been hiding under that smoke cloud and screaming to get out and be FREE - the Creator-given YOU! A lot of beginners kind of know this and so they try to fight one side against the other! But fighting with yourself can be exhausting! The NicoDemon has only one goal in mind - the NEXT FIX! And it will go to any lengths to get it! It will lie, deceive, pressure, create anxiety, fear, doubt, whatever it takes to get you to the NEXT FIX! Your Creator-given self is going to get so worn down trying to fight it that it gives in and then the vicious cycle starts again! Only now, it can use shame, embarrassment, failure, as weapons too! So what is a person to do???? The best way to fight the NicoDemon is to ignore it! STOP giving it energy and it will wilt away into a little teeny gnat of annoyance easier and easier to ignore!Here's some suggestions: -Follow your Passion -Stay very very Busy -Have FUN! -Keep your Eyes on the Prize! FREEDOM! -Keep your Promise to your REAL SELF! -Have Confidence -If you don't have confidence then Fake it till you Make it! -Use Positive Affirmations -Use Relaxation Exercises -Rely on your Support System (remember, We are a part and maybe all of your support system and we are here for you!) -EXERCISE! IGNORE THE NICODEMON! Don't feed the Monster either it's FIX or YOUR ENERGY! You are a WINNER! Never let doubt to enter your mind! The question isn't: to smoke or not to smoke! The question is: "What do I do instead????" Smoking is simply NOT AN OPTION! Beat the NicoDemon! IGNORE IT!
Thomas3.20.2010

Why do we CARE?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 5, 2011
You see so many of us here every single day doing everything we can think of to inspire, show, teach, lead,cajol, WHATEVER IT TAKES to see YOU become Smoke FREE NOW! Have you asked yourself why we are so driven and insistent that you gotta get on it TODAY? Well, FOR ME it's because I am struggling to take each and every breath even though I have quit! Yet, I'm so so glad I quit! So I have seen the absolute worst and best of each side of quitting! I smoked until I acquired a smoke-related illness that will most likely kill me! AND I found out that when I DID finally quit, FIRST, it wasn't near as scary - difficult- stressful as we had imagined or as we had been led to believe by those dumb Nicorette commercials and SECOND a whole new person emerged once the smoke cloud lifted - the REAL ADDICTION FREE ME! It' s exhilerating to find out that life can be this GREAT! If I had only known how FREE I would feel, I would have quit years ago! Or even better, if I had known how much FREEDOM I would have to give up to ADDICTION I would have never chosen to smoke in the first place! THAT is what we want you to know! The carrot and the stick! You smoke and you sacrifice your true self - your honesty, your confidence, your self-esteem, your happiness, your YOU! Quit and you get all of that back PLUS your Health! Tobacco is the poison that just keeps on taking.......and taking,and taking and taking! And yet, no matter what we say to you, no matter how many stories we bring to you, no matter how many pictures or videos we tell you to watch, as long as you use your ADDICTION Infected part of your brain you will either minimize, delay, shut out, ignore ANYTHING you are told because it means YOU WILL HAVE TO STOP BEING AN ADDICT! Only YOU can get so fed up with the time, the money, the integrity, the happiness, the health, the family life that this DRUG is sucking out of you! Now whose the sucker? You or the Sickerette? Only YOU can make the DECISION to break out and LIVE FREE! My wish for you is that you dig deep and find within you the TRUTH you already KNOW - that you have KNOWN for a very long time! TODAY is the Day that YOU need to STOP Smoking and START Living FREE!
Some of us know 9999 ways to prepare to quit and never get there! I'll tell you how in one easy sentence: Keep those sickerettes away from your face! Now, that wasn't so complicated, was it? Oh, and if you see a lit one coming toward your face........RUN! I guarantee you're faster than the cig!
Thomas3.20.2010

Never Ever Forget!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 2, 2011
Today I chose my theme from a saying that was introduced by Live4theDash! If you all don't know him, well, keep your eyes open - he drops by from time to time and really knows how to inspire a solid quit! Never Ever Forget! So why did I chose this one of so many inspiring slogans? Because for me this is the most important slogan of my quit! You see, I have "quit" many times before! But N.E.F. guarantees that this is THE QUIT! Let me start out by the first cig I remember smoking with my buddies (not the guys in the picture, but coulda been - we were just like these fellas!) I was 5 years old and yes, I got caught! My punishment was to smoke cig after cig until I threw up! YUK! (Sorry Ladies!) So did it work? Heck, NO! We snuck them from our parents and went out something like that movie Lean on Me! Great Movie, folks! That WAS my growing up thing! So that's how I got started! N.E.F.! As I grew older I was on the anti-smoking - "You'll get Cancer" Club until about High School when they told us marijuana was one step short of being a heroin addict! That's when I decided that Medical "Evidence" doesn't mean Doo-doo! If they can lie about MJ they could be lying about tobacco, too, right? N.E.F. Still, I am the exact opposite of a gambler! The idea of losing so much as $1 on a lottery ticket seems like such a "pena!" - such a shame! So me being the thinker that I am, I came up with a "fail/safe" plan: I can smoke from time to time and quit from time to time and keep myself safe from Cancer and Lung Damage! And that's exactly what I did! I was a super-expert on cold turkey! N.E.F. So, when my Doctor told me I had chronic bronchitis some 15 years ago, I marked it up to having pneumonia 2 years in a row - it couldn't possibly be cigs - I have the fail/safe plan! Right? N.E.F. March 14, 2010 The day I will NEVER EVER FORGET! Sunday morning and I have a fever of 102 degrees! At the Hospital I hear the words burnt forever in my brain - Emphysema/ COPD! How is that possible? Because COPD is an auto-immune disease! It cares not what deals you made - how old you are or how much you smoked! ONE CIGARETTE is ONE TOO MANY! And my life changed in the most amazing and exciting way possible! I discovered my Ex Family and MY TRUE ADDICTION FREE SELF! I no longer had a "reason to give up my quit! This would be THE QUIT! The one and only FOREVER QUIT! Because Smoking is not an option for me anymore NO MATTER WHAT! N.E.F. If GOD grants me 10 or even 20 more years of LIFE I will still be saying N.E.F. because my LIFE depends on it - and so does yours! God Bless You All and NEVER EVER FORGET YOUR STORY - YOU MATTER!
Thomas3.20.2010

LUNGS DON'T REPAIR!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 1, 2011
Just to clear up so,e confusion I've seen lately! Yes, the cilia can grow back but your lung tissue never gets better! So don't count on it! All we can do is keep from making it worse!
Just giving a Shout Out to Our SmokeyJo who had the Courage to Quit Smoking and LIVE Addiction FREE when she has Stage 4 Emphysema! Now, let me ask you guys, What could be more stressful than facing the need to have a lung transplant? I can't think of much of anything! Yet, JoJo is a daily inspiration to us all with her humor and dedication, spreading the news about smoking cessation and Emphysema wherever she goes! THANK YOU, JoJo for all your inspiration and tireless efforts to help other people make the right decisions for their Health and Happiness!
Thomas3.20.2010

Smoke Exposure

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Aug 1, 2011
Cigarette smoke exposure fundamentally alters airway tissue from people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the cellular level, laying the groundwork for airway thickening and even precipitating precancerous changes in cell proliferation that may be self-perpetuating long after cigarette smoke exposure ends, according to Australian researchers. Notice that the research makes no distinction among 1st hand smoke, 2nd hand smoke, and 3rd hand smoke! All are dangerous to your health and the health of your loved ones! If you don't have COPD yourself, you are not only risking your own health, but the health of every single member of your family! This is especially true for family members who have asthma! If you do have COPD, you need to avoid all contact with smoking, not just your own, but anybody with whom you come in contact! Learn how to manage your Emphysema and COPD by joining our Emphysema Support Group. We're looking forward to seeing you there!