I wanted to share my story in hopes that it may help someone. I smoked a pack a day for awhile as teen and young adult in secret. I quit for twenty years. I went back after losing my mother and was extremely stressed over all the changes in my life. I went back to a pack a day immediately. I quit 5 yrs later. I did well for 5 yrs until my roommates and I lost our house. I was extremely stressed and started to smoke again. This time the amount of cigarettes a day increased slowly. Life threw as another curve ball after we found housing. My friend, roommate and adopted sister got lung cancer. In order to help her fight I quit smoking to encourage her to quit and help her with not smoke. The stress of taking her to chemo and helping her fight was too much. I started about 4 months after I quit. You think seeing her suffer and fight would have scared me from smoking. It didn't! She passed away March 2018. A week after I found out I had renal cancer. I continued to smoke. I had part of kidney removed. I continued to smoke. The doctor told me that the form of cancer I had like to go to the lungs, I was scared. I still continued to smoke. I was stubborn. Finally everything sunken in my thick skull. I was lucky to be alive and not needing any cancer treatments. I saw what smoking did to my friend and roommate. I had to lose a part of me to stop the madness. September 29, 2018 is my quit date. Thing is I knew that they found in studies that smoking does not help with anxiety. That it actually increases anxiety. It was a bad coping still. Did it help me? No!. I am smoke free for 9 months and cancer free for a year. I am celebrating life and smoke free life.
I am hoping that my story may help someone think twice before picking up a cigarette again. Cancer is real! It is scare on both sides. Watching, losing someone and being the person with cancer. It is not worth it. I hope we can encourage one another to stay strong and fight this addiction to tobacco.