We all lost a very courageous and loving woman when Cheryl succumbed to her cancer on June 30, 2005. Please read her story, and take her words to heart. What happened to Cheryl could happen to anyone. Smoking is a deadly habit, and it will kill you, given the chance. It has nothing of value to offer you. Nothing.
My name is Cheryl, and I have been here before in one of my many attempts to stop smoking. I believe I lasted 3 months that time.
This is a very good site for great information and support. This site, and the good people I knew here, did not fail me. I failed myself. It just wasn't enough for me. I went back out to smoke yet again.
Of course I had reasons why my quit attempts did not work. They were many and varied, but the bottom line was this: I didn't try hard enough.
- ...Nicotine withdrawal was too hard.
...I figured I could always try again.
...I had plenty of time.
...People in my family never had cancer, and they all smoked, so I was safe.
I caught pneumonia in October, 2003. When I saw my x-rays, I knew. The doctors still wanted more tests and biopsies, but the fact was plain as day when I saw the x-rays. I believe I knew months before that I had cancer, but I would not let myself think about it.
I was diagnosed with limited small cell lung cancer and squamous third stage B, on November 19, 2003. It's inoperable and incurable. I had finally pushed my luck as far as my body could handle.
These last weeks have been nothing short of horrific, and I have had endless bouts of self-hatred. I brought this on myself, but it will be my family who will suffer the worst of it. I am married with three children, and five grandchildren. I am the ringleader in the family. I usually make all of the arrangements for vacations and trips. Well, this time I lead them down a path that none of God's children should ever have to walk. I have selfishly jeopardized their happiness and security with my weak choices. More than ever, I am so grateful for the support my family and friends have given me. They have been my salvation. In spite of it all, they stand with me.
God knows it is so very hard to quit this brutal nicotine addiction. But now, as I look back, I was too lazy, couldn't stand the nicotine withdrawal, and wanted the easy way out, which in my case was to continue smoking.
Life was so simple and lovely before I was diagnosed with cancer.I could do what I wanted, our children were all productive, happy citizens, and the grandchildren were wonderful. I could travel, have fun, and enjoy the fruits of our hard labor from our younger years. Guess what life is like now? Guess whose fault it is? Who else but the biggest dummy in the world...ME!
Now my life and my family's lives are very stressful, painful, expensive and inconvenient for everyone. I have to drive over 100 miles a day to go to radiation treatments five days a week, with weekends and holidays off. I guess cancer has it's own union..*weak smile*. I do this for five weeks with two weeks off, and then two more weeks of radiation. It hurts and burns. It gives me spasms that are as painful as heart attacks. I got thrush from the chemotherapy, and at times I can't even swallow water. I have to be driven by someone who loses that many hours a day of their life/work time because I am too ill and tired to drive myself.
I will do four rounds of chemotherapy during the radiation process. Chemo three days every three weeks. It's pure poison, and it makes me so ill I can't breathe, eat or drink sometimes. When all of these treatments are completed, and if I live though it, they will test me to see what the cancers have done. They will have either grown more and gone to my brain, liver, or bones, or if I am fortunate enough to be blessed, they will be gone.
It's harder to have cancer than it is to quit smoking... - page 2 of Cheryl's Story