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Nine months since I quit smoking!

8 years 3 months ago #42063 by Markq
Congratulations! I quit right around the date of my diagnosis so I guess that puts me at 18 months. If I didn't get the bladder cancer diagnosis I'd probably still be smoking. After the diagnosis I didn't want to leave a 7 and 4 year old without a father.

I liked cigars and had lots of them at the time of diagnosis. I'm guessing I had 750-1000 cigars including a substantial number from that country run by the communist brothers ;) I always knew I should quit, but never did. The few attempts I made were half hearted at best and the result reflected my effort and commitment to quitting (which was none). I suppose I had a few warning shots about the health effects before the bladder cancer diagnosis, but I just ignored them and kept going.

Bladder cancer was enough for me to finally give them up for good. I just went cold turkey and quit. This time the commitment was there to back up my effort. I finally had enough and did what was necessary to quit for good. I sold or gave away every cigar I had and got rid of everything related to cigars. I don't play the "I'll only have one" game. That always leads to more for me. It's all or nothing for me so today I choose nothing.

It wasn't easy and I still miss my cigars at times like when I'm grilling outside or mowing the lawn. After you get over the initial hump the cravings do become less freequent and easier to handle. Even if you've tried multiple times to quit unseccessfully that should stop you from trying again. You never know which attempt will stick.

After you quit it takes some time for your bladder cancer risk to drop. I'm not sure on the statistics, but I think smokers are 4 times as likely to develop bladder cancer as non smokers and former smokers are twice as likely as non smokers to develop cancer. Some of the damage to your DNA is done, but if you quite smoking there are a lot of carcenogens that you won't be exposing your body to. You'll also stop the damage to your DNA and your body can maybe reverse some of the damage that has already ocurred. If you never quite, then your risk will never decrease - it will only continue to grow. I've heard there are as many former smokers in this country as there are current smokers. While it's difficult, it's certainly not impossible!

47 yo, Ta G3
Diagnosed 11-24-10
BCG induction starting 12/17/10 followed by BCG maintance.

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8 years 3 months ago #42058 by mmc
Sara Ann: No worries! I will surely celebrate my one year mark as well. This is one of those things that I KNOW is FINALLY behind me. :) If I do get lung cancer or something else, I know it is my own fault. My wife quit smoking 11 years ago now.

Mark: Hang in there buddy!!! Once you finally get the little switch in your head to switch over to "I'm a non-smoker and damn glad of it" you will be free of the beast. Great that you got that kind of support from the family. In the end it will be better for all. People who knew me before can't picture me not being a smoker but I've reached the point where I really can't see myself as a smoker anymore. Kind of seems like a long, long time ago. Again, I really think the hypnosis thing helped. It took a year and half to finally kick in but I think it helped.

Giving those nasty little suckers (and the megacompanies behind them) that kind of control over my life is just not on anymore.

It sure is hard for people who smoke these days. Having to stand outside in the rain and wind and cold and snow.... It kind of looks pretty pathetic when I see it and I kind of think about the fact that I probably looked pretty pathetic to others when I was doing that.

If you get pissed, get pissed at the smokes and their purveyors!

It is WORTH IT!!!


Age 54
10/31/06 dx CIS (TisG3) non-invasive (at 47)
9/19/08 TURB/TUIP dx Invasive T2G3
10/8/08 RC neobladder(at 49)
2/15/13 T4G3N3M1 distant metastases(at 53)
9/2013 finished chemo -cancer free again
1/2014 ct scan results....distant mets
2/2014 ct result...spread to liver, kidneys, and lymph...

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8 years 3 months ago - 8 years 3 months ago #42054 by upnorth
There is life after smoking!!!! Mike that is just wonderful to hear. I have been quit for 4 months now. I wish I could say that I have been sunny and pleasant, but I know Heidi will read this post. And her opinion might very slightly from my own.

It's not easy, but then neither is cancer. I am not so proud of my self for quitting.....I quit for the obvious reason ...... but I am very very proud and happy for Heidi and my other friends who quit because they wanted to support me and improve their health.

Most of them were a 1/2 to a full pack a day. And now they are all still smoke free. I really get the cravings now and then but after smoking 2-3 packs a day for 30 years I expected that. I have found that just focusing on the fact that I have made it this far, and don't want to go back helps get me threw.

This subject is not spoken of enough on this site and I for one Thank-you for bringing it up. We are not proud of smoking, but when we started it wasn't a taboo thing to do. We realized the error in our ways and are correcting them. That deserves at least a little credit, please.

Sarra Ann, My dad said the same thing about switching to a pipe. One year later we lost him to Bladder Cancer. I didn't even think about that until I read your post. It's funny how we try and justify are habits. Even when are lives are at risk.

Sorry to ramble on so much, but I have been on the wrong side of happy lately, the cancer guy in my head was getting the upper hand, so I came to the site for support. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING THERE WHEN I NEED A LITTLE HELP.

I love you all.


Age 55
Diagnosed BC 12/20/2011 Ta No Mo 0a Non-Invasive At age 48
"Please don't cry because it is over..... Smile because it happened!" {Dr. Seuss} :)

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8 years 3 months ago #42053 by sara.anne
Mike, I was going to say something "cute" about not celebrating until you hit the one-year mark....but...I won't. This is so important!!! And congratulations are certainly due you.

My husband died of lung cancer after years of smoking...
after smoking cigarettes for years he had switched to a pipe because "everyone knows you don't inhale and pipes don't give you cancer." Well, he did inhale. And I inhaled all the second hand smoke, which gave me asthma and, maybe, contributed to my bladder cancer.

I am somewhat bitter about the entire thing.

I can't be as kind as you about those who still smoke. I look at young people smoking and want to shake them.

Anyway, back to you...


Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Forum Moderator

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8 years 3 months ago - 8 years 3 months ago #42051 by mmc
OK. I admit it, I failed miserably at quitting smoking after I was first diagnosed with bladder cancer. I think I made it to two months before falling off the wagon.

Then, when it came back invasive and I had my bladder removed I managed to quit for about four months.

Both times before I was miserable and I was a smoker who just wasn't smoking. I was a pack a day most days kind of smoker.

Well, today is nine months of being a non-smoker! I am pretty excited about it and I can't wait until I hit the one year mark so I can change my life insurance status to non-smoker and get the better rates. Gained more weight but I've started working on that now. I figured I'd gain weight because I gained 30 lbs pretty much every time I quit in the past. I also figure I will likely have more time to lose weight.

I tried EVERYTHING in the past when trying to quit. Patches, gum, Chantix (caused depression), hypnosis and cold turkey. What finally worked for me was getting fed up with it and just dumping everything I had related to cigarettes. I think the hypnosis helped but it didn't stick until later. It lasted two weeks before I fell off the wagon but I think over time the suggestion that I was actually a non-smoker finally kicked in in my brain. My ah-ha moment was kind of "I'm a non-smoker, why the hell am I smoking?"

Other times, when I quit, I was a real jerk to everyone. This time, not so (according to my wife who is a renowned expert on when I am being a jerk). It's our 33rd anniversary today by the way, so she has had years and years to study my jerk-ness. :)

I know there is debate over whether or not quitting smoking after already getting cancer makes much difference because the damage is already done. However, I feel better and I made the decision that even if I did wind up with some other cancer or some other terminal illness that smoking was NOT on my list of things to do ever again. I'm now a non-smoker and I will die a non-smoker!

Funny thing was, within days of quitting, I KNEW that I had done it this time. Sure wish I knew that secret the other six times or so that I had "tried" to quit. Could have saved myself a lot of inches around the waist! :D

For those who still smoke, I have no judgment. For those who managed to quit, I applaud you. For those who never smoked, I congratulate you.

Has anyone else notices that almost all building entrances and elevators seem to smell like cigarettes?

Oh yeah, I'm not one of those militant anti-smokers either! I put that in the category of jerk-ness mentioned above.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Take a moment to remember what so many have given throughout the history of the forming of our country up to now. For all the veterans on this site, I salute you and thank you!


Age 54
10/31/06 dx CIS (TisG3) non-invasive (at 47)
9/19/08 TURB/TUIP dx Invasive T2G3
10/8/08 RC neobladder(at 49)
2/15/13 T4G3N3M1 distant metastases(at 53)
9/2013 finished chemo -cancer free again
1/2014 ct scan results....distant mets
2/2014 ct result...spread to liver, kidneys, and lymph...

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