Skip navigation
All Places > Conversations > Blog
1 2 3 Previous Next


871 posts

Got home from Virginia Beach Ex 7 about 11:30pm last evening. Unfortunately my husbands Elderly Mother had another fall where she resides at an Assisted Living facility, therefore we had to make a quick exit after Saturday mornings meeting. Today she turns 94. She’s doing as well as to be expected and no broken bones.


 I titled my blog ‘wherever I go ~there you are’ because I was thinking about all the wonderful people I left behind at Virginia Beach. I felt so comfortable around them and it just seemed las though I had known them all forever. EVERYONE was exactly how they present themselves on the site…and there they were and here I was….and even now, being back home…I feel their love and presence all the time. Its such a blessing to know all of them and all of you reading this who could not attend. You were ALL missed. This Ex family is simply an extension of my own. This Ex family is such a strong security for me that makes me never want to disappoint anyone here and to protect my quit that much ore and helps me to stay accountable and vigilant.


Kathi Strudel and Laura Michwoman Thank you so much for all your planing and putting this together. Giulia Giulia, that was an amazing quit song, I just loved it. From the cool N.O.P.E. buttons from  Barb102 and getting to meet her and her husband....., to the beach cupcakes from Strudel, from the deep belly laughs with  Sharon @Shawshort, Patty and Jojo…( Hopefully you guys made it out of the elevator that night after I left to go to bed, lol~ it just guest prove that brunettes can be as silly as us blondes) ( Also, fo some reason I am not able to do @mention on some of the names here like job and Pattycake, I'm sorry


From the evening of boardwalk music with Giulia ( Next year I will bring a guitar instead, it will make it easier for me to tune to you. 8 mando strings make it hard) and Daniela-3-11-2016 ( and your fabulous cookies )and a kind fellow who stopped by to smile on our journey and play a song for us….From the Dinner with everyone….The surprise of our beautiful Stac2 showing up and finally getting to meet her…and Jennifer-Quit-05-01-14  and JACKIE1-25-15 and both Donnas ( Donna Marie and DJ) and Tommy…..You guys are all so important to me, ShawnP and Rick~ we need an Ex Ohio reunion, me thinks  , Sootie Sudie , Brenda_M and that sweet little boy,…and Ellen elvan who has always , not surprisingly I might add, been there to reach out to seemingly everyone who has EVER come to Ex…I dont know how she does it….and Valarie , who I also had no idea was coming, she has the most amazing smile….and Kathis friend, I am sorry I did not get to talk to more and I regret I forgot her name but talk about ART TALENT! Geese, her quilts blew me away!!! And @Mark  ( See...I cant get the @ thingy to work even for your name, so I hope you see this and maybe fix the ones I could not get to work???? But Mark....Thank you for keeping our site organized and for your heartfelt story you shared about your Uncle, he would be so proud of what your doing now, Bless you  because with your computer talent you could work pretty much anywhere yet to you choose to be here and help our community get stronger. its a thankless job and someone has to do it and you d it very well! Holy Cow, did I leave anyone out???? I love you ALL so very very much…If I left someone out, forgive me please. 


My husband enjoyed meeting all of you as well and felt bad we had to cut short our visit. He said I have some very special friends and is very happy and grateful for all the support you have ALL given to me to  quit and stay quit. Okay, now I am crying, because its going to be a whole year before I see you guys again, but I WILL see you on the site and wild horses won't keep me away from Ex 8….Because where I go~ there I am and you will be too….a sweet memory I will always have near my heart and cherish forever!   Love to all!

Prayers sent out to all of you for safe travels home. See you on the site, xoxoxo


EX reflections - Day 153

Posted by DonnaMarie May 19, 2019

Stac2When this picture was taken yesterday, I truly didn't know everyone's names. Today, I kinda do. What you see in this picture are heroes of all ilk, and this isn't the whole group of them. This picture is missing the youngest of the group, @Brenda_M, and her toddler son - I'm so proud of her for quitting now and ensuring her son will not grow up with a mom who smokes. Also missing is Jackie, who I went out and walked with, had lunch with, and later had dinner with.  Also missing is Daniella, who I picked up from the airport and had amazing conversation with overlooking the ocean on the deck of her room. Oh yeah, our fearless leader, Mark, isn't in this picture either.


I am pretty rotten at names, so sorry if I didn't get yours on the list, but here are a few of us:


1. Barb102

2. Strudel/Kathy

3. pir8fan - Tommy

4. elvan/Ellen

5. Back - Mandolinrain/Missy

5. shashort

6. Stac2

7.  Michwoman Laura

8. Giulia 

9. Valerie30

10. ShawnP/Shawn

11. Rick_M

12. Sootie 

13. djmurray_12-31-14

14. Jennifer-Quit-05-01-14/Jennifer

15.  Me

 (Updated list with additions from Youngatheart.7.4.12)



Fill me in who the other people are. I had a great item with all of them, but can't remember who's who. Ah, being 60ish is interesting that way.


Some people are still in Virginia Beach enjoying yet another gorgeous day in Virginia. I'm home, watching a Humphrey Bogart movie, making hummingbird food, doing some backyard chores, working, and having a Sunday with memories and reflections running through my head.


Pictures, a little bit of sunburn, and a whole lot of new family members - that's what I'm taking from EX7.


I did have a bit of an urge driving home, like mom and dad weren't watching so it was okay. I basically told that urge to take a hike and drove on my merry way. Never let your guard down. That's one of my major mottoes.


Everyone have a great Sunday.



Day 153

WE are heading home TODAY - Saturday - May 18, 2019- NO TIPS SURGERY NEEDED- gave more pills and blood test TWO times a week - WE ARE OUT OF HERE!!!

It's sad but I feel like a stranger around here.  I haven't had the time or the energy to be on the boards much lately.  I miss being able to give support to others on their journey from newbies to old timers.  I've written a few blogs but deleted them before posting.  It didn't seem right to post my goings on without being a support to others.  Besides, I'm an absolute wreck other than being a non-smoker.  That is the one thing that is going great.  Had some really, really tough situations come by that would have sent me running to the store but it didn't even cross my mind.  So for anyone who is unsure about the power that certain phrases have to keep you on track I'd like to offer my 2 cents.  These words are like the golden rule; learn them, follow them, live by them.  It really does work!!


I don't smoke anymore. That's in the past and the past is done!

I am an addict when it comes to nicotine.  I am in rehab, drying out and learning to live without my drug.

Smoking didn't change anything before which proves that it won't help or change anything now.

I am stronger than I give myself credit for so I can do this!

The next time I say I want or need a smoke, ask myself first if I want or need COPD, Emphysema, Cancer, etc. and the answer is N.O.P.E.!



I have now gone over 8 months being a non-smoker after 35 years and a million quits that never went this distance. It really amazes me and I couldn't have done it without everyone on EX!  Thank you all and I hope I can be around here more often than I have.



Yesterday, I had the pleasure of picking up a couple of women at the airport for the EX get together in Virginia Beach.


The drive to Norfolk to the airport in days gone by would have been at least a 3-cigarette trip. I had zero.


The flight was delayed and I found a parking space in the garage and walked around a bit. In the old days, that would have been another 3 cigarettes at least. I had zero.


I got around to the front of the airport while Jennifer got her luggage. Yesteryear, that would have been a 2-cigarette event. I had zero.


Then the drive to the hotel, the wrong hotel the first time. Another cigarette not smoked.


You get the picture. There was another ride to the hotel, meeting up with a few of the EXers, and then driving home eventually.


I really believe I'd have devoured a pack of cigarettes at another time in life. I am SO glad I don't do that anymore and am so happy to meet others who have made the same decision.


I have life to tend with today, but I'll be joining the EXers in Virginia Beach tomorrow. Time to get to know the people who have helped me through the quit and then some.


Happy Friday!



Day 151


Day 66

Posted by hattonc May 15, 2019

Good Afternoon,

Hope everyone is having a good day.. been with the my girls today  not much going on.. last 4 days were stressful dealing with some personal issues and was so close to caving in .. but I did not!! I want this quit more than anything.. I don’t want to disappoint myself .. I just notice when I’m really stressed out the thought pops up, but I am stronger then nicotine today .  N.O.P.E



Posted by indingrl.01.06.2011 May 15, 2019

First I thanked MY Daddy God and sang Psalm 117 out loud and thanked MY Lord Jesus and MY Holy Spirit and NOW all of YOU for praying - TODAY the team of doctors said they will control the ascities aka fluid build up -  with more meds and will NOT do the - TIPS procedure - they will DO a echocardiogram tomorrow and possible send Jaime HOME on Saturday! I been thanking and singing praises to my God-  off and on all this day long -  living alittle more longer without the last resorts aka TIPS procedure-HOORAY FOR JESUS! Thanks for letting ME share and it really does work to say the Serenity prayer - God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change - COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference - Fact I cannot change Jaime's stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver - I can change MY attitude asking God to change ME- I know God is in COMPLETE control of ALL- so MY NON SMOKER life style is full of good bad ugly with love joy peace and most of ALL OF YOU - life on life's terms is wonderful with God and ALL MY family here in UNITY to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER- together no matter what life throws - one moment and I remember to BREATHE just BREATHE- thanks for letting ME share - gentle hug. 


Day 149

Posted by DonnaMarie May 15, 2019

Ah, that feeling when your oral surgery is over and you've taken a couple pills to get you to nap land. That's where I am right now. The mouth is waking up, but I'll def use the Percocet today to keep it quiet. By tomorrow, it'll be calmed down and be fine. I have people to pick up at the airport tomorrow for the EX Va Beach thingie! I better be fine


I've been talking a lot about my husband's impending retirement on May 24. As we were heading off to sleep last night, he started talking about a conversation he'd had with his boss after sending one of those "what do we need to do to wrap this up" emails. The company really doesn't want him to go, so they've offered to keep him on until the fall and see how things are going then. It wasn't what I was expecting to hear for sure. I told him if this is what he wants, then I support him regardless. So, I'm not sure what the hell is going on here. LOL


I dreamed of smoking last night and how I went ahead and bought a pack. Here's why that's not going to happen:


1.  I don't do that anymore.

2.  The acid reflux issue is aggravated by smoking.

3.  Bladder cancer can be caused by smoking.

4.  I've spent way too much on dental work to damage my mouth any further.

5.  I don't do that anymore.


It's weird to wake up from smoking dreams, but it's also a relief to know it was just a dream.


149 days! Not gonna bust that quit. It's the second longest I've been quit that I can remember. I did quit for 8 years once. Sigh.


Happy Wednesday everyone! Will see some of you this weekend.




Day 149



Photo credit: Vintage Virginia Beach 

I found the chapel in this HUGE community of buildings known as Northwestern Memorial Hosital in Chicago - MY Daddy God has brought people to talk with ME- I go to an area to take a break and get quiet -a man shares his 23yr had a heart transplant as a baby- recent kidney transplant that didn't work and now his 23yr daughter has cancer - another gentleman spoke on his speaker phone - while sitting next to ME - his 35yr old son is being sent to hospice after 5 years on life support-  I was told by the dad of the 23yr daughter- you always find out someone is worst off than you. I go to this chapel to talk with MY Daddy God and MY Lord Jesus and MY Holy Comforter in MY spirit - heart and soul  - I just sit - the tears will NOT flow for MY grieving has flowered into peace from MY Holy Comforter that is beyond MY words -beyond MY understanding -  I am accepting that I am NOT in control- the TEAM of doctors have given MY daughter-  double water pills and i.v. meds ALL to get her body to work at getting rid of water fluids trapped in her body-15 pounds of water must be out before procedure can be done- the medicine double up pills plan - it didn't work like they planned -  so gave her an i.v. med to put protein back into her liver because her body is pushing water out of her skin through her calves - now they put compression socks on her too- they are trying to save her life- I know HEAD KNOWLEDGE and I bring MY MOM HEART to MY blessed Trinity in strong confidence to admit MY fears and hold on to MY FAITH in God's Holy Word- thanks for letting ME share- they are trying to stabilize her body - lungs - heart - to do an operation on a dying liver to make it hold on until a liver is transplanted- I surrendered to - MY Daddy God his beloved daughter Jaime that HE hid in Christ- I surrender to MY Lord Jesus HIS beloved Jaime in HIS VICTORY on the Cross - death - burial and ressurection and I asked MY Holy Comforter to teach ME how to stand strong in MY Lord Jesus faith in ME and be still and know - ALL is done for MY daughter's suffering to meet Christ's glory in the midst of MY MOM heart which breathes in and out deep in pain - fears and uncontrolled wild emotions-  screaming- DO something - fix something - eat something- avoid and run from MY REALITY -  yet I loving stop and ask MYSELF questions and stay in this present moment  - unknowing the physical outcome - I don't understand it ALL-  but I do know how good and loving and full of tender mercies MY GOD IS NOW AND FOREVER which is in ME through Christ's FAITH in ME- MY BELIEF - for it is written WE are Christ's and Christ is God's- so I sit in this chapel and other faiths come in and out -each praying to their OWN personal God of THEIR free will choice and I remain focused - MY eyes on MY Lord Jesus by asking for HELP and I still just sit and breathe - NOT knowing the outcone and I pray -  PLEASE Lord heal her quickly or take her quickly - please don't let her suffer in Jesus name amen. This is MY prayer - I am NOT talking about anyone else- so please take what HELPS and let go of the rest- to be HELPFUL is MY only aim - thank you- TODAY MY daughter told ONE of many doctors- she has a team of doctor specialists in ALL areas of preparing her to get ON the transplanting list - she told that ONE doctor that her last death stick was May 10, 2019.  I say to MYSELF - sometimes it takes DEATH to change - and I remembered - but for the grace of God go I - thanks for letting ME share MY non smoker living - MY experience strength and hope- NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF EVER- THAT AINT GONNA HEAL MY DAUGHTER'S LIVER OR GET HER ON THE LIST OR GET HER A TRANSPLANT LIVER- NICOTINE is NOT MY solution TODAY- sharing MY thoughts and feelings and MOM heart to BLOG is MY solution - TODAY - and it is WONDERFUL to be free from MY NICOTINE ADDICTION for YEARS NOW so thank you - EVERYONE - for your blogs and love and  support and prayers - I do appreciate Y'ALL- gentle hug. 


Day 148

Posted by DonnaMarie May 14, 2019

Stupid throat/acid update - The medication is doing its job. I'm not 100%, but I'm so much better off than I was. I am feeling like me again today. Now to learn how to avoid foods that make this worse and get through the scope to see what's what.


It was a really busy day with some hours at the probation office, physical therapy, and then errands. I was smart enough to put some stuff in the crock pot before I left this morning, so there was dinner. Tomorrow, I see the oral surgeon to start the last kind of surgical phase of the implants I've been working on (yay for smoking messing up dental health over the years! not), and I'm looking forward to have yet another process finished. Those two implants and my two trigger fingers and I should be good to go for a while. That's the plan, Stan!


At home, we are planning for my husband's retirement. What is he going to do with his time???


And yep, it's day 148 of no smoking. One reason I keep writing these blog entries is the power of typing out the number of days of smobriety. Like I tell others, knowing that number is growing gives me the impetus to keep going. It's not the only motivator, but it's a biggie. I can build on that 148.


Happy Tuesday, everyone.





Angel Affirmation May 14th

Posted by anaussiemom May 14, 2019

I am a grateful recipient of all the goodness and grace flowing to me now. 
I am open, receptive, and ready.


I went to the doctor today and he agrees that I've probably damaged my esophagus with ibuprofen. It's the same situation that put me in the hospital in December (after which I quite smoking). Apparently it is not healed to the degree I thought it was, so the plan is to continue the dumb medication and to have an esophageal scan/endoscopy to check to what extent I've damaged the dumb esophagus. I explained to the doctor that if this is a chronic thing, I'm okay with it, but I would like to know what's going on. The saga will continue for a while longer, but I'm not as pissed off about it today.


Day 147 of smobriety and it makes dumb esophageal stuff seems super minimal, right?


Rain, rain, and more rain today. I see a nap in my future



Day 147


Day 64

Posted by hattonc May 13, 2019

Good Morning..

I Hope everyone had a great weekend and a good Mother’s Day for all the moms on this site. I had a great Mother’s Day. I was truly blessed this year.. and I am so very greatful that I don’t smoke anymore.. N.O.P.E

SUFFERING- AKA- MY HOLY SPIRIT'S FRUIT OF HIS PATIENCE- by MY faith when HE is pleased to give it to ME- please I am talking about ME -  not any one else- so please take what HELPS and let go of the rest- to be HELPFUL is MY only aim- thank you- living MY non smoker life style in an attitude of gratitude is a WILD adventure here on the 13th floor of Northwestern - Chicago hospital - the best liver transplant hospital in the WORLD- they are NOT doing the TIPS procedure for cirrohsis of the liver -  UNTIL -  the 30 pounds of water n her BODY is peed OUT - and is draining out of her right lung naturally or they will suck it out again - they double her water pills in i.v. form yesterday and TODAY they put her meds back to pill form - waiting for results and then they weighed her yesterday and 2 pounds more water gained- waiting for more tests - heart test - woman examine to be taken on monday and then they took 14 viles of blood this morning - more scheduled tests to come - xray chest- ultra sound for liver test again - once ALL tests done and results meet requirement for procedure to be done- then more discussion BEFORE - proceed to create one NEW vein in her liver- sometimes I just pray SILENTLY TO MY GOD IN MY MOM HEART - please can WE just get this OVER- yesterday!!!! and go home! SILENTLY crying crying crying inside of ME yet outside of ME - I continue to serve in HIS love- to MY beloved daughter - in MY Lord Jesus name amen- AWE I am breathing freely and relieved INSIDE MY MOM HEART so thank you ALL for letting ME VENT -I hold on to saying to ME -  this too shall pass- I thank God for this support group and ALL MY support groups for YOUR prayers and because I am totally FOCUSED on MY Lord Jesus led by MY Holy Spirit - I read out loud MY Bible Philippians chapter 4 verses 1- 7 amen - then I pray to remembe to Praise God that she is at the #1 liver hospital- being taken care of and should Jesus tarry -  she will be APPROVED AND PUT ON THE TRANSPLANT LIVER LIST BY TIME SHE LEAVES-  this place - THEY TOLD HER!  I will WAIT on MY Lord Jesus to actually HEAR that when WE leave here- thanks again for ALL those giving YOUR - empathy - time - prayers and most I am very very grateful for ALL of YOUR walking your talk living YOUR OWN non smoker life styles with YOUR good bad and tough times too -  gentle hug.


144 days

Posted by DonnaMarie May 10, 2019

The story of my quit starts with a one-day/overnight hospitalization for chest pain, which turned out, after testing, to most likely be gastroesophageal reflux. Anyway, when I left the hospital, I never smoked again. I also started a medication called Protonix, which is for the esophageal stuff. I weaned off of it and haven't taken it for at least a month or so. Recently, I'm having issues swallowing again and feeling that my throat is full. I'm pretty sure it's the reflux thing and have a call in to my doctor to see if I need to start the stupid meds again.


Cover your eyes if you're not a fan of kind of cussing, but aging is not for pussies. I take a step forward and two steps back, then three steps forward and a step back, and well, I want it to even out. I don't mind dealing with issues, but I like knowing what to do and not have them continue.


The good news is that I haven't smoked for 144 days.


Friday is turning out to be stupid, and I'm okay with that.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: