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Counting my Blessings!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 25, 2015

In giving Thanks to the Lord I think of each one of you and wish you many Blessings this Thanksgiving Holiday and throughout the Year! Blessings come upon us every day always accessible if we pay attention to them! For EXample, I am Blessed with Smoke FREE Living with the help of the Almighty who has shown me how to succeed - I did the work but He supported me through it! 

Jon Kabat Zinn has a saying that sticks with me in times of adversity:

 “As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than there is wrong, no matter how ill or how hopeless you may feel.”

So meditating on that I will share my special Blessings List:

1) That God is sovereign and in complete control of the intensity and the duration of my affliction.


I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose’ Is 46:9-10

2) That God’s love and mercies never cease


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lam 3:22-23

3) That Jesus will never leave nor forsake me.


Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb 13:5






4) That God is with me in my affliction


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Is 43:2


5) That God hears my every prayer


The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry. Ps 34:15


When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles. Ps 34:17


6) That God is using this affliction to make me more like Christ.


And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:28–29


7) That this affliction is momentary and light compared to the eternal reward it is producing


For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison… 2 Cor 4:17


8) That Jesus is my sympathetic High Priest who intercedes for me constantly


For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15


Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Heb 7:25


9) That God is near me in my pain


The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit. Ps 34:18


10) That Jesus is my refuge, strength, and strong tower I can run to.


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Ps 46:1, ESV


The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Pr 18:10


11) That God has saved me, washed away my sins, and adopted me as his own child.


Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Rom 4:7




12) That someday Jesus will wipe away every tear from my eyes and I will see his glorious face.


He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Rev 21:4


In moments of darkness I forget these powerful Blessings! I stop noticing His presence, His awesome Greatness in my Life! But He doesn't leave me! 


He Blessed me with a Beautiful little old Lady who sought comfort and in comforting her in her Fear, He opened my eyes to see His overwhelming Omnipresence right there, right here with us! What a Thanksgiving Blessing!


May we all remember to Thank our Creator for all we have around us especially His unfaltering Love, Faith and Trust in US! When we know this, we choose to care for His Gift of Life and part of that is Smoke FREE Abundant Living - always caring for our bodies which He has said are His Living Temples of the Holy Spirit!


"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"


1 Cor. 6:19


Have a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Everybody! - Smoke FREE!










My Mantra

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 20, 2015

My Mantra for the Week:


So I'm wallowing in the mud like a pig and waiting for the flowers to bloom! 


Sometimes it's better than struggling!

Next Week's theme: Gratitude but for now, this is just fine!


It's Not Too Late!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 18, 2015

Raising Awareness: It’s World COPD Day today!

      Published date:     

World COPD Day 18th November 2015


World Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) Day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to raise awareness of COPD, and to improve treatment and prevention of this lung disease for patients around the world. The first World COPD Day was held in 2002 and now each year more than 50 countries worldwide participate making the day one of the world's most important COPD awareness and education events. Raising awareness of COPD is an important part of COPD day. Although COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases with more than 3 million people living with the disease in the UK, many people are not familiarwith symptoms, prevention or treatment and are unware of the impact that COPD can have on a patient’s quality of life.


This year, World COPD Day 2015 will take place on Wednesday 18th November 2015 around the theme "It's Not Too Late" . The theme encourages everyone who is affected by COPD (undiagnosed people with symptoms of COPD, patients with diagnosed COPD, and doctors that care for patients with the disease) that it is not too late to address the impact that COPD has on their daily lives, and to look for ways in which their quality of life can be improved.


The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines
GOLD was launched in 1997 in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA, and the World Health Organization . GOLD is working to raise awareness of COPD and improve the lives of people with this disease through the development of evidence-based strategy documents and guidelines for the diagnosis, prevention and management of COPD. The GOLD guidelines for COPD care were initially developed and continue to be updated by committees made up of leading experts from around the world. 


What is COPD?
According to the latest GOLD strategy document for the diagnosis, management and prevention of COPD, it is a ‘common preventable and treatable disease, characterised by persistent airflow limitation that is usually progressive and associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and the lung to noxious particles or gases’. There is no cure for COPD, but treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and reduce symptoms maintaining a good quality of life.  


Smoking is the main cause of COPD
The main cause of COPD is smoking and the likelihood of developing COPD is known to increase according to the number of years and the quantity of tobacco the patient has smoked. Over many years, the inflammation caused by smoking leads to permanent changes in the lung causing the walls of the airways to thicken and the amount of mucus produced to increase. Damage to the delicate walls of the air sacs in the lungs causes emphysema and the lungs lose their normal elasticity. The smaller airways also become scarred and narrowed. These changes cause the symptoms of breathlessness, cough and phlegm that are associated with COPD. Whilst preventing and quitting smoking is the obvious route to reducing the incidence of COPD, many patients find this very difficult. In addition, it is likely that the inflammatory process initiated by cigarette smoking may continue even when smoking has ceased.


Current therapies for COPD
Bronchodilators are a mainstay of treatment for COPD and are most commonly given by inhalation. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are another COPD treatment used to reduce inflammation in the lungs. If the patient’s symptoms are not completely controlled with bronchodilators alone, ICS may be recommended in combination with a long-acting bronchodilator (LABA). Common combinations include fluticasone proprionate/salmeterol and budesonide/formoterol, which are taken twice-daily, and fluticasone furoate/vilanterol, which is taken once-daily.


Overuse of inhaled corticosteroids?
The treatment guidelines set out by GOLD have suggested that an ICS should only be prescribed after single and combination bronchodilator treatment has failed. Despite these recommendations it is thought that the use of ICS in COPD patients is generally greater than 70%, and concerns have been raised over the potential adverse effects of long-term ICS use. Interestingly, no advantage in adding ICS to bronchodilator therapy in patients at low risk of exacerbations has been observed. If the patient has had exacerbations but is clinically stable then ICS can be stopped, provided the patient is using appropriate LABA treatment. In patients exclusively using LABAs to treat their COPD, studies so far have suggested that there is no loss of effectiveness in the occurrence of exacerbations, although lung function may be reduced, particularly amongst patients with severe COPD .


The management of COPD could therefore be improved by limiting the use of ICS to the minority who might actually benefit; in particular COPD patients with asthma–COPD overlap syndrome and those with the more severe form of the disease .


Novel treatment approaches for COPD


Phenotyping and personalised medicine 
The latest GOLD guidelines do not fully reflect the heterogeneous nature of the disease, but instead represent a progress in the personalised treatment of COPD. Personalised treatment is increasingly being recognised as the most appropriate way to treat COPD, as patients can experience a number of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The complexity of the disorder also creates an individual response to the currently available COPD treatments and there is growing evidence to suggest that different COPD patients with very similar pulmonary function measurements experience COPD differently.


The two most commonly recognised clinical phenotypes of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis, with the majority of COPD patients exhibiting both of these features.Recent advances in thoracic X-ray computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging mean that lung structure and function abnormalities can now be identified and measured. These imaging endpoints may be used as biomarkers of COPD that can be used to phenotype and treat patients’ accordingly.


Genetic background, clinical presentation, comorbidities, variation in the response to treatment and propensity to exacerbations may also identify other phenotypes such as frequent exacerbators, asthma and COPD overlap syndrome and the persistent systemic inflammation phenotype. A more precise definition of COPD phenotypes should lead to a better targeted therapeutic approach .


Due to the complexity of COPD there is much scope for the development of new therapies, and here we have outlined some of the latest research and treatments. The prevalence of COPD is increasing worldwide together with the burden of health-care costs. Better understanding and awareness of COPD is crucial to help to reduce the numbers of newly diagnosed COPD cases each year. Furthermore, novel treatment approaches will contribute to a better quality of life for COPD patients and will reduce morbidity.


Continued Prayers for our Dear Sister, Ellen, as she recovers from major lung surgery!


For more information refer to the dozens of informative blogs I have written these past 5 1/2 Years or personal message me with questions and concerns. Nearly 50% of our BecomeanEX population has COPD and only half of them have been diagnosed. Are you possibly in the other half? Become Aware of COPD!



So if I were repressing some skeleton in my closet it would be one thing. But the truth is I’ve chewed up and spit out the same depressing childhood muck for decades. And I’m done with all that!

Now I’m looking at the depression/anxiety cycles differently. Something is happening in my Brain. So rather than resist, control, or suppress it, I’m just going to make room for it and ride the wave!

Granted depression/anxiety isn’t an urge like nicotine or alcohol cravings but it is a physiological urge toward fight/flight! But what am I fighting if not very, very old memories and a ton of “what ifs?” Rather pointless when looked at rationally!

So my game plan is to let those thoughts and feelings be but don’t buy into them! I can just give them enough time and space to expend all their energy and get back to the business of Abundant Living!

Will it work? Who knows? All I know is what doesn’t work!

Meanwhile I’m grateful for so many things among them my Wonderful BecomeanEX Family and Friends who drop by to lift me up and let me know that I’m not alone! So again I Thank You ALL for being here while I find my way out of the darkness into the light of day riding the wave of Recovery!

I promise each and every one of you that I WILL NOT SMOKE a stinking Sickerette  NO MATTER WHAT!

God Bless and pray for Ellen!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 13, 2015

Sadly, many of us who smoke or smoked sickerettes did so to self-medicate depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, There are two parts to that story. 

Part 1 - We face our own set of challenges in quitting smoking with chronic mental health challenges.

Part 2 - We face a vast set of problems that need new and different coping skills once we have launched our Quit Smoking Journey.

And fortunately there are a ton of skills readily available if we can just learn to use them.

As for me, I have struggled for literally decades to maintain a stable life and these last 51/2 Years to do so Smoke FREE! I have tried my best to share and care here and to give hope to all of us that although Smoke FREE Living isn't paradise, it is a much better alternative to smoking no matter what our circumstances!

But I'm just at a place where S.A.D. aka seasonal depression has gotten the best of me. I can't come up with one meaningful word to say. I have become irrelevant and honestly, unnecessary (superfluous and expendable.) I know that it's my depression talking but it doesn't change the thoughts and feelings to recognize that I am where I am - wading through an ocean of molasses, barely able to slog out the next step. 

So do I regret having forfeited with my little "coping skill" of smoking my brains (and lungs out?) 


All that left me with was chronic depression + COPD = Even more reason to be depressed!

And a whole lot of caring BecomeanEX Family and Friends who have the heart to visit my message board and tell me that I'm missed! Thank You ALL for that! You are my lifeline at the moment while I slosh around in the mush and find my way out once again!

Will I be OK? Yes,,,,,I have tenacity! But meanwhile I have been doing what I often recommend:

Self Care, Self Care, Self Care!

And I know you all will be just fine without me for the time being. Carry on and I'll see you on the other side of this cesspool I'm currently in!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 3, 2015


The newest theory about addiction states:

'The Opposite Of Addiction Is Not Sobriety. The Opposite Of Addiction Is Connection.' – Johann Hari

Here at BecomeanEx we’re all about connection! We all have been right where you are now and now we’re where you wish to be! We can show you the path but you decide to walk the path or not!

By coming here day after day, you give yourself the opportunity to see what EX-smokers think and how they act with real world situations. You see a refreshing way to solve your stress problems, a reconnection with our spirits and those of our loved ones.

 After all, if sickerettes are our “best friend” then people aren’t, are they? Isn’t that awfully sad? Don’t you really want to be genuinely connected with the people you love, starting with yourself?

And what about our Creator? Do you truly think (s)he wants us to slowly destroy ourselves? Wouldn’t it be nice to re-claim our connection with the Almighty?

Does it sound grandiose to suggest that Smoking Cessation can do all of that? Let me ask you a question:

Does smoking sickerettes fit into your value system? Do you believe that it’s OK to poison yourself even if it’s for pleasure? Do you believe that it’s acceptable to take away time, money, and depth from your Family and give it to your fix of choice?

If smoking is too close to home, change the drug’s name to heroin, cocaine, meth or alcohol and see how you feel about Addiction. Then remember that according to Science we’re even more addicted than they are!

Smoking Cessation is all about Re-covery! Re-claim yourself! Re-connect with LIFE!

CONNECT into Wholeness!


If you could see the damage that smoking does to your blood stream, your heart, your bladder, your lungs, your brain, every single cell of your body, 

THEN maybe you wouldn't smoke 

OR maybe you would!

This really is what your insides look like after Years of Nicotine Abuse!






Healthy Living

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Nov 2, 2015

"A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses." - Hippocrates

As a smoker, it was Cancer and Heart Disease that I was aware of. It never even occurred to me the risk I was taking with my Lung Health! That's why I want folks to know about COPD and what it can do to you and what you can do for it! I was so blind to the possibility. You can read my story here: 

Now, I have a chronic, progressive incurable smoking related illness for LIFE! But I won't just roll over and take it! I won't give in or give up! There are lots of steps we can take to make the best of our situation, all involving very challenging lifestyle choices that also derive so many benefits for personal growth and well-being.

None are more important for COPD than Smoking Cessation! No medication or Oxygen Therapy can replace the life giving properties of Smoking Cessation! 

But if you don't know that you might have COPD then you won't know that you need to manage it! HALF of people with COPD don't know it! Get tested (the test is called Spirometry) and breathe a sigh of relief whether you're diagnosed or not. IF not, then you may have stopped in time, If you have COPD then you can begin to make the changes necessary for a full and happy LIFE! Take courage from our Friend, JOJO, who had a lung transplant and our Friend, ELLEN who is about to get a surgery called LVRS. No matter how bad your damage done, never ever lose hope! 

Health and healing have the same root word Old English hǣlth, of Germanic origin; related to whole. Quitting smoking brings us into a pattern of wholeness. Isn't that what we all want in our lives?

  4 REASONS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease graphic banner



November is National COPD Awareness Month. Sponsored by the US COPD Coalition, the observance is a time for organizations and communities across the country to increase the overall awareness of COPD.COPD Learn More Breathe Better®, the title of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s national awareness and education campaign, has again been adopted as the theme for this year’s National COPD Awareness Month.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. The disease kills more than 120,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 death every 4 minutes—and causes serious, long-term disability. The number of people with COPD is increasing. More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million likely have the disease and don’t even know it. Here are 4 things YOU can do to live a longer, more active life.


1.     Be aware of the risk factors

2.     Recognize the symptoms

3.     Ask your doctor or health care provider about a simple breathing test

4.     Follow treatment advice

4 key risk factors for COPD

If you …

  • have shortness of breath, chronic cough, or have trouble performing simple daily tasks like climbing stairs, grocery shopping, or laundry;
  • are over age 40 and currently smoke or used to smoke;
  • have worked or lived around chemicals or fumes;
  • have certain genetic conditions

…you could be at risk for COPD.

4 things you can do if you are at risk for COPD:

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about shortness of breath, chronic cough, or decline in activity level.
  • Get a simple breathing test, also known as spirometry.
  • Quit smoking. Need help? Talk to your doctor or health care provider.
  • Avoid pollutants or fumes that can irritate your lungs.

4 things you can do to help manage COPD:

  • Take medication as directed by your doctor or health care provider.
  • Enroll in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
  • Avoid pollutants or fumes that can irritate your lungs.
  • Get flu and pneumonia shots as directed by your doctor or health care provider

COPD Learn More Breathe Better® is a trademark of HHS.


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