On February 17, 2003, my life changed dramatically. My husband of 24 years, David, age 49, died of a blood clot to the heart. This clot, we found out later after an autopsy, was most likely caused by cigarette smoking. I refused to believe this could be possible and still kept smoking myself. My husband had quit numerous times, but I refused to quit. I would not smoke in front of him, but I would still smoke, still smell of smoke, and my breath, I am sure, was like a stale cigarette. He was not smoking at the time of his death.
In September of 2003, a very good friend of our family had a stroke. She is partially paralyzed on her left side. The doctor told the family that she most likely suffered this stroke because of cigarettes. This friend is still undergoing physical therapy to bring back the feeling on the left side of her body. She is still in a wheelchair, and her life, as well as her family's, has been dramatically changed. The house had to be equipped with ramps for the wheelchair. She can not be left alone because she is unable to go to the bathroom by herself. She is 51 years old.
On September 24, 2003, I went to a hypnotist, Dr. Marvin Fine, and have been cigarette free since that date. I believe that I quit because of the traumatic events which happened during the past 8 months, and also in respect of what would have been my husband's 50th birthday, October 10th. It has been four months since I have had a cigarette. It is one of the hardest things that I have done, but one I knew I had to do. I am all that my children have in this world. They mean the world to me, and have helped me survive this past year. I can breathe so much better and smell things that I have not smelled in years. Everything tastes so much better. I have gained 10 pounds, but I am working hard to get this off before Spring.
You have to be ready to quit, but once you are committed, you can do anything. Good luck and keep your reasons for quitting with you at all times. The one statement that stuck with me is:
"Neither you, nor, more importantly perhaps, those who love you, should ever have to face a fight like this. It turns out quitting is not nearly as tough as not quitting."
This is from lung cancer victim, Phil Salters, 57, TV News reporter, Chicago Sun-Times, 9/13/00.
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