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I have put off writing this for a long time. I have buried these things for many years and think it is time to unearth them.
Because so many responded to how the Caravan began, I will fill in a little more for you.

My mother was diagnosed with an enlarged heart in approx. 1970. She had smoked for many years. She quit smoking several times after that, but my father would not join her and she relapsed every time.
She went through a pregnancy and delivered my baby sister in 1974. She continued smoking all along.
In 1990, she suffered a massive M.I. and passed away. She was 56 years old. The doctors think she was in acute Diabetic Coma as her blood sugar was over 500 when she passed. I know that the smoking contributed greatly to this.

My Dad was diagnosed with a tumor in his skull around 1988. Surgery removed it and a large portion of his skullcap. His body rejected the implant that replaced his bone and had to be removed.
In 1992, he developed a blood cancer. He outlived the 6 months they gave him whn he was first diagnosed in 1992. Through many rounds of Chemo, he continued smoking. He finally quit in 1996 and stayed quit.
The Cancer came back numerous times. Finally, in 1999, Dad walked the Hanging Road to the Ancestor Lands. He was 70 years old.

Once again, I lost someone to sickorettes.

In 1989, my brother had a massive M.I. and underwent an emergency quadruple bypass. He was 34 years old. He had been a diabetic for 10 years at the time. He smoked heavily.
He did quit smoking at that time. He remained smoke-free until 2012 when he had another massive M.I. and passed in his sleep. He was 56 at the time.

Another victim of sickorettes.

You would have though that I would have quit smoking many years earlier when I lost my Mom.
I was hardheaded and just kept smoking away.
A little over a year after my brother passed, I underwent my own bypass. I was 54.
I threw my sickorettes away and have never looked back.
My journey is in the blogs I have posted here. I really hope that those blog posts help others to remain smokefree, or quit smoking.


Now is the best time to throw those Death Sticks away. If not for yourself, do it for your family.

I lost my health and 3 family members to sickorettes. I have lost many friends to them also.

That is why I wander the desert of NML each day trying to aid other travelers out there.
Stay strong my fellow travelers.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master



Posted by OldBones-Larry Apr 25, 2018

Just a quick post to let everyone know I have shortened my username. I couldn't see having 2 dates on my profile.

I will still be roaming the desert and watching out for the travelers though. 

The caravan will continue.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


The Caravan

Posted by OldBones-Larry Apr 21, 2018

Where did the caravan come from?
I came to this site when I was around 30 days into my quit. I was told that I was in the NML of my quit.
I already was experiencing the problems and temptations that everyone faces there. I was messaged by Ima Deer and told to follow the tracks. They were Gnu tracks I was told later.
I really felt that I was wandering deep in a desert.
To take my mind off of things, I began likening my journey as a caravan across the desert.
Nic was the evil villian that was trying to stop me from finishing my journey.
The Oasis stops were my time to rest and recover from what was happening.
I hit that point in time where a relapse was likely as the elders told me. One of them termed the spot as Relapse Rocks. I used that name to mark that point in the journey. I was experiencing a bout of depression right then and wanted to chuck my entire quit at that point.
I survived that and called that place Desolation Point deep in the Relapse Rocks.
The Old Goat was talked about high on the mountain at the end of my trek. I remembered a friend I had met years ago while driving a rig from coast to coast. I was told the goat lived high on the mountain. I took that mountain as the endpoint of the trek across the desert.
I kept that mountain in sight after I cleared Relapse Rocks and used it as the marker for my path.
After I cleared NML I climbed that mountain and entered the cave of the old goat. As my friend was a woman, I made the goat female.
She tasked me with guiding others on their journey through NML.
My mind was kept busy by doing this and it helped me to keep my quit.
The name for Desolation Point was inspired by something I saw scrawled on a wall. I was stuck on traffic, so I wrote it down. At the truck stop I stayed at that night, I asked about that area.
This will explain the history, and why I chose that name for the depression at that point in my journey. I have been prone to depressive episodes all my life.
To this day, I am saddened when I read this. I just found it stuck in the pages of one of my old road atlases.

I used to have money...
I used to have a job...
I used to have someone...
I used to have health...
I used to have passion...
I used to have love...
I used to have love...
I used to live...
I have no money...
I have no job...
I have nobody...
I am sick and broken...
I am alone...
I am unloved...
I only exist...
I wish I was...

Author unknown

Found on an underpass wall...
A body was found close by, the victim of a drop from the overpass. Police suspect it was a suicide.
There had been other bodies found in this area. Many of them were classed as suicide. Others were deemed as overdoses. All could have written these words.
Which one had written them?
That piece of information was taken to the grave by the tortured soul that wrote these sad and tortured words.
May their souls find that peace......
This is the reason for Desolation Point. I really hope nobody reaches this point in their life while trying to straighten out their life by quitting an addiction.
Ask for help and take your journey as you need to.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


The Last Nail

Posted by OldBones-Larry Apr 16, 2018

I was talking to someone the other day that said they were wanting to quit smoking. I saw that they had a nearly full pack in their pocket.
I suggested that they should just crush the pack and soak it in a bucket of water.
Their answer was that they wanted to smoke "just one more pack" before giving them up.
Just one more .....
Is that just one more going to be the final nail in their coffin?
Is it going to be the one that starts a tumor becoming malignant?
Is it the one that will cause a massive heart attack?
Is it the one that will cause a debillitating stroke?
Is it the one that will cause COPD and other breathing problems.
That just one more sickorette can do more damage than you could imagine.
I found that out the hard way. I wasn't having any problems at all. I had to take an EKG so they could remove my Gallbladder because of what was termed "sludge" before stones began developing.
The tracing they got looked like an abstract painting by Picasso or one of the other Masters of that field.
After a visit to the Cath Lab, it was determined that I needed bypass surgery. One week after the results from the Catheterization, I was on the table for 12 hours. I was now the recipient of three new vessels to bypass the blockages.
I was lucky. Others never knew what was happening and are now gone.
If you know someone that is thinking of quitting, please feel free to share my story with them. You just might save them from that just one more.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Thank you

Posted by OldBones-Larry Apr 10, 2018

I thank each and every one of you, my friends, for allowing me to be a part of your journey on this, Our Earth Mother.....


Your words touch this one deeply.



Posted by OldBones-Larry Apr 9, 2018

I enter the lodge with a clean heart.
I burn the Sacred Woods in the firepit.
I use the Sacred Plants in the coals.
Hear the words I speak I humbly ask.
Be with those that have relatives traveling the Hanging Road this day.
Touch those with the spirits of sickness and drive them out of the bodies of those that are ill.
Be with those that are injured and mend them.
I ask that you heal Earth Mother of the injuries inflicted by those that care not if she survives their attacks on her.
Be with our animal Brothers and Sisters and care for them.
I, Soaring Eagle ask these things knowing that you are able to do this.
I am finished.
I speak no more.



Posted by OldBones-Larry Mar 31, 2018

Well, I made it through the stress test. I really hope that I can put any more of those off for awhile.

Headache, Angina, Chest Pressure, Light-headedness. I really hate feeling like that. The good thing is that it did pass within 2-5 minutes.

I am still waiting for the results to be posted, but thought I should let all of you know that I made it through the test.

I will try to get back in later, but I am not bouncing back very fast this time.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.



Watch Your Chickens!!

Posted by OldBones-Larry Mar 21, 2018

You ever have one of those days? You know the kind I mean...

You are irritable, cranky, or just plain p*ssed at the world!!

Unfortunately, I have been having a day like that.

I swear that if I were still out on the farm, I would have bitten the head off of all the roosters and half of the hens!!!!

I think it is just a buildup from everything that has happened over the last few weeks.

Another round of doctors, a ruptured blood vessel in my eye, my roommates daughter trying to find another job and being out of sorts with the search. 

I can't do anything about things and feel really useless right now, hence the feelings of anger and frustration.


The doctors I will just have to deal with.

The eye is healing and I can see through it just fine.

My "daughter" has some good prospects lined up now.

Just another bump in the path of my journey.....

Thanks for listening.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.




Posted by OldBones-Larry Mar 20, 2018

Just got back from my Cardiology appointment.

I have to return there in a week for yet another Stress Test. At least I get to take the Nuclear version and get to skip the treadmill.

I think they are a little concerned because I constantly have some minor pains in my chest. This is a precaution to try and catch things early I suppose.

I have look back on all the tests and hospital stays over the last 4 1/2 years as victories in my journey.

Did I come through unscathed? I can't say that. I have suffered damage from my past mistakes. 

Did I learn from all this? You can be assured that I have learned a lot. I have had to modify my life to meet the challenges from the damage.

I will update as I get more information.

Treat your quit the same as I treat this fellow travelers... just one more thing in your journey to leave behind after you deal with it.

Travel strong my friends.

Always remember .....

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.


I think those are the only people I know anymore.
Since my last post, I have been admitted for 3 days, Been to the ER twice, (today was the second), and have seen several doctors.
Tomorrow I see the Cardiologist again. The Hospital Doctors want me to have another stress test for my heart. Just did this last summer!!
Today I was in because a small vessel ruptured in my eys. Luckily it is only affecting the white of my eye.
I am struggling with fatigue and am doing my best to fight off depression over the medical problems. I am so glad that my roommate and her daughters are so supportive. They have been a big factor in keeping the depression away this long.
To all you travelers out there in NML, keep traveling strong.
Let your camel take you where the trail is easiest. Trust them, as they have made this crossing many times with other travelers.
Beware Nic's traps. They are like the problems I face now. Don't let him lure you away from your goal.
Travel strong!!
I must close now and I leave you with this thought ....
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Better Days

Posted by OldBones-Larry Mar 3, 2018

As I write this, I am Singing to Creator for a wonderful sunny day. The temperatures have been higher the last few days and that has eased some of my problems.

I am still "whistling" as I breathe, but it is a little easier to move the air today. 

I am still in isolation from everyone that has the flu. I placed myself here to avoid getting it again. 

My roommate's daughter came down with it this morning. I am staying away from her apartment till she gets over it. 

Over the last couple of days I have counted at least fourteen Robins around town. The forecast is looking pretty good, so maybe Spring is really coming soon.

I send peace and good thought to you, my EX family...

May you continue to have good fortune on your journey. 

To those that are experiencing rough traveling, I send strength and support. Hold to your resolve and use the tools that have brought you this far.

Travel strong my friends. The journey goes to a great place free from the prison of Nicotine addiction.

Follow the tracks of those that have gone before and you will not lose your way. 

We are watching you and cheering you on. Our hands are reaching to you if you need an anchor to hold to.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


Test Results

Posted by OldBones-Larry Feb 27, 2018

Well, I promised to let you know the results of my latest TTE.
I was just informed that there are now two valves with backflow. Not severe, but it's happening.
Some of the good muscle in the previous TTE is now Hypokinetic. It isn't working well and just barely pumping.
Some of the previous Hypokinetic muscle is now Akinetic. That is not pumping at all.
My Ejection Fraction has gone from 56% down to 50%.
Not great news, but, at least it isn't terrible news.
I have lost some ground, but I am still going. I will make it through this as I have everything else.
So, I guess I am doing OK. A bit depressed over this news, but I will deal with it.
Have a smoke? HELL NO!! Nothing will make me ever go back to those things!!
Keep your quit strong my friends. Nothing is worth throwing away what you have gained.
Keep that journey going strong.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


The Fall

Posted by OldBones-Larry Feb 27, 2018

Several people have fallen off the edge at Desolation Point lately. What could be the reason?
All the warning signs are still in place. The trail is still in good repair. Why are people still falling over?
Could it be that they are distracted by the view? There is nothing but sand dunes to see.
They are just not looking where they are going? I hope this is not the case.
Are Nic and his crew sitting at the bottom calling up? This could be it. They could sit back under the overhang and cause people to overbalance and fall.
Are Nic and his buddies hiding then rushing out to push them over the edge? This is another possibility.
All have been rescued and sent back for treatment of their wounds and recovery. I have sent patrols out to see if we can find any of the Nicotine Crew.
I must caution all travelers to keep a sharp lookout for traps and be vigilent of Nic's tricks.
Be strong in your journey. Call out if you feel weak and need help.
Don't let Nic and his buddies lure you away from the true trail. It is well marked. Trust the tracks left by past travelers. They will keep you on the true path.
I want to see every traveler at the end of NML. We are waiting to welcome you with a feast at Carps Cave.
Keep the mountain in sight and travel towards it at all times.
We will be waiting for you my friends.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Just One

Posted by OldBones-Larry Feb 26, 2018

I hear many people that say, "I can smoke just one and throw them away." We all know that sickorettes are just like potato chips.
No one can have just one!!
That sounds like a joke, but I am serious when I say it.
How many people do we know that are now trying for the ? time to quit smoking?
They thought they could have just one and then just put them down. They bought a pack and smoked one. Then about an hour later, their body and mind said that they better have another or suffer the pangs of withdrawal again. So, another sickorette went up in smoke.
The vicious cycle is back in motion!! They are addicted once more from just one sickorette.
One moment of inattention. One lapse in judgement. One flick of a lighter and everything that you have worked for is undone.
How do I know?
I almost made the same mistake myself several times.
Buying something at the market at the express lane, you see them in the rack. You are distracted by running through your to-do list. Did you remember everything you needed?
Your mind tells you to see if they have your brand. There are the lighters right there. Yes, they carry your coffin nails. You start to reach for a lighter as you open your mouth to request your brand.
Do you catch yourself in time? Do you realize what is happening? Do you put the lighter back and just pay for the items you came for?
Many don't and are back smoking again and feeling like a failure.

Is it worth taking that step and being trapped once more in that stinking habit?

We all know that it isn't worth that one perceived moment of pleasure, because when you light it up you hack and choke on it. 

Now comes the disappointment in yourself and the self-chastisement. You lecture yourself about what you did. You feel terrible.

Now you must begin again to free yourself from them.
Keep your guard up and watch for the traps waiting to close on you.

As my friend Joan told me many times...

Keep them away from your face! You can't smoke them that way.
Guard your quit like it is a treasure of gold and jewels, because in a way it is. Your quit is your life!
Keep your journey strong, my friends. You can make it to, and keep, a life free from nicotine.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Why Me????

Posted by OldBones-Larry Feb 24, 2018

That is the question being asked by a lot of smokers I meet. They have just found out that they have heart problems, COPD, or other conditions.
Look in your pocket or your purse folks. The answer is staring you in the face.
When you mention the fact that those sickorettes are the cause of these conditions, the people go ballistic. Sickorettes can't cause any of this they say!!!!! They help me get through the day!!

Too bad all those things are doing is helping them to die that much quicker.
I can only walk away and shake my head.
I know why me in my own case.
I smoked for 42 years. For several of those years I was at a 4 carton a week habit. That is 800 sickorettes going through my lungs every week!!
Now add in 20 cigars every week. I didn't just puff them either. I drew them just as deep as the sickorettes.
Now a rough estimate is that I put approx. 60 years of abuse on my lungs and heart.
Is it any wonder that they would get sick and begin failing???
I no longer have to ask why me... I can say uninformed me. I know what I did to my body now.
COPD, Heart Failure, Bypass Surgery, Barrett's, PAD. Noe add in Aortic Abdominal Anurhysm and any problems not yet discovered.
All of us have our own story that will tell people about the question of why me. Tell others if they will hear your words. If they don't, they will have to learn it on their own someday.
Keep your journey of freedom from sickorettes strong my friends.

Travel safely and beware the traps that will trip you up and destroy your quit.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master