Caught my mom smoking!!!

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worrieddaughter
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Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby worrieddaughter » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:59 am

So my mom quit smoking just before she found out she has stage 4 with mets to liver, lungs, ovary etc. I recently have found out she has the occasional ciggerate and I think she is smoking more and more often. Her opinion on it is "I'm going to die any way and it makes me happy and helps with the stress so back off" I'm SOOOOOOO mad. What do I do? What do I say, should I just let her be, she says she truly needs it

dipifit

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby dipifit » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:14 am

It is a very difficult situation since she is your mother and you want her to live and be cured, however, smoking is very adictive, and hard to quit, I really don't understand why is hard to stop smoking but have heard a lot about how difficult it is, but a lot of people have done it.
When i used to go for my radiotherapy sessions there was a woman/patient there that had cancer in her brain and her lungs, and she to smoked before she went in to therapy, she was more or less at the same time I was there for my therapy and when she came into the waiting room she brought with her that horrible smell still fresh from her last cigarrette and the entire room smell like cigarrtete, it bother me, but couldn't do much. She used to tell me that she was eating everything organic and microbiotic and showed me all kinds of books on the subject because she was going to cure herself with nutrition....which I agree with but I guess she was in denial that at the same time she was killing herself smoking....I asked the doctors there what could they do to help her quit her habbit and their response was nothing, there is nothing we can do.

I hope that the love you have for your mother can help her in to quiting somehow this very addictive habbit.

Mucha suerte

Diana

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Joanne 814
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Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Joanne 814 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:16 pm

Its hard. I have my closest friend with very advanced IV lung cancer. She is 45. She is still smoking. Its a hard call, cause with my friends prognosis, cancer hads already spread to her bones on diagnosis, so even with treatment, the longevity is not great.

I cant tell her to stop. Her husband doesnt know how to handle it either. At this point it isnt going to improve her chances to quit. Here's how I handled it:

I asked her if her lungs hurt. She said no. I said my only concern is that if you were to get an infection, I think the smoking would further complicate the lungs, and possibly cause additional damage. So I gave her something to think about.

She is still smoking. I know it hurts to see your Mom smoking, but with her diagnosis, maybe she needs some time to work thru it. Just support her, and try not to show too much anger. Sounds like she has a lot on her plate right now.

Good Luck!

ONWARD!!

Joanne
Age: 51
Dx: Nov 07 @ age 43
Stage IIIC, RCa
Colon Resection: Nov 07, 4 of 27 LN
Chemo/Radiation: 28 treatments w/constant 5FU (Jan-Feb 08)
Chemo: Folfox, 12 cycles (Mar-Aug 08) DONE 8-8-08
CT Scan 1-09 NED

Lifes2short
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Lifes2short » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:39 pm

I've never been a smoker and I'm not the addictive type, so I really don't understand the smoking thing. However, I know that it's extremely difficult for some people to quit and I understand that it is a stress reliever. Cancer is very stressful. Quitting is difficult, even physically stressful as the body craves the nicotine.

As hard as it is, I think you just have to accept your mom's decision to keep smoking. At this point, it's unlikely to make a whole lot of difference in her survival. We all react in different ways. Perhaps she'll just come to the decision to quit on her own. But please don't guilt her into quitting. We all have enough guilt as it is.

Best wishes.
Age 45; Stage IV, mets to liver, nodes and bones.
Dx 12/05; Chemoradiation, surgery, Folfox, Folfiri, Folfiri, Folfiri, Folfiri
Intrathecal pain pump 3/09 (works great!)
Irinotecan / Erbitux 5/09 - ?
Two wonderful kids ages 7 and 5

hannahw
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Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby hannahw » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:43 pm

Smoking is a maddening thing. Gross and everyone knows the dangers. My Dad quit when he was diagnosed and has stuck with it. But my Mom continues to smoke. It drives me crazy. I've tried pretty much everything - being supportive, lecturing, yelling, nagging, demanding, guilt and so forth. It doesn't work. My Mom will quit when she wants to or she won't quit at all. It's funny because if she were drinking or doing weed or something people would probably talk about stagging and intervention, but somehow, with smoking, it seems like people think an intervention would be overly dramatic. I'd like to stage an intervention, just on the grossness alone. But there's an inherent cost to trying to intervene. When I bring it up, we fight. No matter no gentle and supportive I am, it causes a fight. After many, many battles, I finally concluded, it is not worth the collateral damage.

As to the specific issue of your Mom smoking, one of the things I've found with my Dad is that because I'm so involved in his care and treatment I tend to have an opinion about everything he does and in a way I feel like that's my right, I'm a stakeholder in this fight. But the truth is my Dad is an autonomous being and didn't ask for my judgment, he simply needs my unconditional support. My job is to be present and able and at his side, regardless of whether the path we're on is the one I would have chosen. It can be hard because if I think we're on the wrong path than I feel complicit, like I'm enabling a wrong thing to happen. But if I fight, I just create an anger that really doesn't need to be in our relationship. There are no easy choices, that's for sure.

If your Mom understands the choice she's making, I think you kinda have to just support her. Not the smoking, persay. But her.
Last edited by hannahw on Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Daughter of Dad with Stage IV CC

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Terry
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Location: Silver Cliff, Wisconsin

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Terry » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:53 pm

O.K. since I'm the smoker I'll tell you what I think. Smoking is soooo horribly addicting and it's such a stress relief which makes it even worse. I know smoking is bad, really bad for me and others. I don't believe it caused my cancer due to the genetic history in my family but your right it's bad in case of infection or making you more susceptible to an infection. I tried quiting after being diagnosed with stage II and didn't succeed. After being diagnosed with stage IV, I was like what for? After I came to terms with this and decided I AM GOING TO LIVE many years, I've decided I AM quiting and have made a quit date and a plan to do it when I'm at a 4 day stay with people that don't smoke. Give her time. I don't actually think a cigerette once in a blue moon is going to hurt anyone. My mother in law smoked about 2 cigs a day and the doctor told her if that's all she ever smoked it wouldn't kill her. Maybe your concern is that she'll start back to being a heavier smoker. I can tell you the more you nag at her the more it will probably make her smoke. My mom was all over me to quit when I was diagnosed with stage IV and even told my husband and youngest daughter that it made her "NOT HAVE SYMPATHY FOR HER"! That really hurt! I would never under any circumstance say that to one of my kids no matter what. I know she didn't really mean it but it was pretty mean. Try and not judge her, just be there for her and hopefully if she's going to survive this she'll decide to quit on her. It's like losing weight, no one can make you decide to do it or do it, you have to decide.

Have patience!

Terry
DX 7/3/07
Chemo, radiation, 20 mo. chemo, IMRT, cyberknife, 6/11 lobectomy.
1/16 resection perm. colostomy intraop. rad.
PET 2/12 nose, thyroid, liver, lngs
Folfox 3/12
Lord I know You'll keep me here until
you know I cannot suffer any longer!

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kimby
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Location: Northwest, Ohio

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby kimby » Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:03 pm

Every single person has vises. The smoking, red meat, obesity debates always remind me of finger pointing: how this person got canzer and so I won't. To hear it here so much lately is really disheartening.

Your mother is suffering and this is her coping mechanism. I've never been a smoker but she didn't cause her own canzer. She is the parent and can make her own choices. She doesn't agree with every decision you make but you are an adult and get to make them anyway.

My vote: what ever gets her (or anyone else) through the day. This is a stressful disease and she's just trying to cope. Should she switch to medicinal mj? That seems to be more acceptable these days.

Kimby
DX colon canzer 8/07 age 43
Endometrial Cancer 3/03 age 39
FOLFOX 10/07,Folfiri w/Erbitux 9/08,Mitomycin/Avastin/Xeloda 1/09, external beam liver radiation 2/09-3/09,LN 8/09
mets: liver/celiac LN
Outwit. Outplay. Outlast!

Lee
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Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Lee » Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:51 pm

Please as an ex-smoker, if your mother is smoking, and is getting pleasure from it, DO NOT STOP HER, DO NOT CRITICIZE HER.

I was smoking when I learned of my cancer diagnoses. My Onc wanted me to quit, I wanted to quit, but the stress of cancer was more than I could handle. My Onc did not make it an issue till I passed the 3 year mark, than she really made her wishes known. At that time, I could quit, I did quit and it has been almost 2 1/2 years since my last cigarette.

But as Terry said, and I as an ex smoker, I can tell you, smoking is a great stress releaser.

If this means anything, my mother was a chain smoker (I never was), she never even developed a polyp, let alone any cancer. I know people who did not smoke, never smoked, and never will, yet they developed CC early in life (20 and 30).

Let her have this vice.

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

laura3364
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Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby laura3364 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:23 pm

Hi,

I am in the same situation...my mother has been fighting lung cancer for 7 years and she still smokes. Not nearly as much as she did before she was diagnosed, and she's told the doctors she has quit but still smokes occassionally. The saddest thing she ever said to me was, "I know I should quit, I want to quit, but it's all I have left." And for her, through her cancer journey, it is a great stress reliever and calms her down. If you have seen the days of anxiety and stress and depression she goes through while she waits for her scan results, you'd hand her the cigarettes yourself. I wish she would stop, I do. I know smoking contributes to lung cancer. But millions of people smoke and only 200,000 get lung cancer. My grandmother smoked like a chimney until the day she died at 84 years old. So no one knows. My friends joke that maybe it's been the magic thing that's keeping her alive beyond all the stats. Who knows?

I know you see your mom smoking and think, it is a tangible thing you can blame for her cancer, and if she just stopped, she would be all right. Deep down, you know it's not so but you want to believe it is. Do I believe my sedentary lifestyle and crappy diet contributed to my rectal cancer? Sure do. But again, unfortunately, millions of people live sedentary lifestyles and have poor diets and only about 20,000 women a year get rectal cancer. I lost the roulette wheel on that one. Do I try to eat better? Yes, I try. Have I gone supernova and radically changed my diet and lifestyle? No. I think that's the other fallacy about having cancer. People think that you get this diagnosis and you are ready to change your life. Well, some people are and some people aren't.

Your mom is coping the best way she can. It is her fight in the end, and although it is hard for you, all you can really do is is be unconditionally loving and supportive. Believe me, the whole world is judging her everytime she lights up, and she doesn't need that from her daughter. I finally told my mother how I felt. I told her I didn't care that she couldn't quit for herself, but she had children and she should have thought of our health. My sister has asthma which I believe is directly related to second-hand smoke. She told me that yes, she wishes she was stronger and she could have quit for us but she didn't. I realized I had to accept my mother and love her for who she is, accept her weaknesses and foibles, and just thank God I have had so much time with her against the odds.

Spend the energy you have loving her instead of being mad and being grateful she's still around to fight. Of course you are angry, you love her. But it's not about the smoking. She's doing the best she can, and she can do better with your support, no matter how much it hurts or how angry you are. And who wouldn't be angry? She's lucky to have a daughter that cares so much. It's hard to sit back and know there really isn't anything you can do. But you can. You can love her for who she is and support her. She's going to do what she wants anyway.

Laura
Rectal cancer dx 11-07
Ostomy surgery 1-23-08
Radiation and Xeloda 2/08-4/08
APR and posterior exenteration 7/08
Start folfox 9/08 for 6 mos
Cancer spread to hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes April 09
Start IFL + Avastin June 09

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Jen
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Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Jen » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:57 pm

I'm drinking a glass of red wine right now....is that the same?
2008 March 37th Bday DX :( T3N2M0
3C Rectal Cancer, 5cm tumor, 4/33 nodes positive
28 tx IMRT Radiation, 12 tx Folfox, 1 month Xeloda
5 years NED 3/14/2013!

Lee
Posts: 5939
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Lee » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:25 pm

Jen wrote:I'm drinking a glass of red wine right now....is that the same?


So am I, almost every night. Heard it suppose to help with reduce cholesterol and prevent reoccurence with CC. Not sure how accurate that info is, but it (red wine) sure is good going down.

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

dipifit

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby dipifit » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:48 am

I drink wine too almost everyday, and love it, but not it is not the same as smoking, wine (with moderation) has lots of antioxidants that contribute in to fighting cancer and other illness, smoking unfurtunally destroy, besides cancer you can get bad heart conditions and lung enphisema, et .

I used to smoke before I had my son 13 years ago, and quit when I got pregnant, but it was easy for me to quit since the preganancy hormones made me hate not only the smell of cigarrates but many other smells. So that's why i posted that I don't understand why it could be so hard to quit....I hated it after that pregnancy and never like it after that...

Today I am a fitnnes instructor and have excercise and ate very healthy for many years, and I got colorectal cancer....which tells everybody cancer does not discriminate anybody, you can be young or old, healthy or sick, thin or fat, black or white, oriental or muslim, good or bad, jewish or christian, rich or poor, SMOKER OR NOT, and on and on and on.....it does not matter your condition or status, cancer strikes regardless, period.

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Terry
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Location: Silver Cliff, Wisconsin

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Terry » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:30 am

Wow Laura, that was an awesome post!
DX 7/3/07
Chemo, radiation, 20 mo. chemo, IMRT, cyberknife, 6/11 lobectomy.
1/16 resection perm. colostomy intraop. rad.
PET 2/12 nose, thyroid, liver, lngs
Folfox 3/12
Lord I know You'll keep me here until
you know I cannot suffer any longer!

NWgirl
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Location: Battle Ground, Washington

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby NWgirl » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:55 pm

I've never smoked. My husband has smoked since his early teens, maybe earlier. He is the most intelligent man I have ever met in my life. He knows cancer can and likely will give him lung cancer. He knows that I may die before him from rectal cancer, which means if he goes - our children will have no parents. He still smokes. I can't tell you how many times he has "quit", just to start back up a few weeks or months later. He doesn't do it around me because it stinks and I hate it - but he smokes and he is the first to admit, he likes to smoke. After 11 years of marriage, I know he won't quit unless he wants to - and he just doesn't want to.

I'm guessing your mother is an intelligent person. My advice - let her be. You don't have to like what she does or agree with her choices, but you can't control what she does with her life. I don't like my husbands smoking habit, in fact I hate it and he knows this. But I love my husband very much - he's a good person with a bad habit.
Belle - "Don't Retreat - Reload"DX 10/07 Stage III Rectal
Surgery 11/07; 27 of 38 nodes
Perm Colostomy 8/11
12/10 recurrence lungs & LN's
VATS Jan 2011
Radiation Oct 2013
Chemo for Life
2012 Colondar Model

Carol54
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Location: Winder, Georgia

Re: Caught my mom smoking!!!

Postby Carol54 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:31 pm

Okay, like Terry I will admit I'm also a smoker. I know how bad it is for me, nobody had to tell any smoker that. I have quit and started over and over again.
After my diagnosis I tried to quit sooo hard, but I am also a stress smoker. The day I got off the phone with my surgeon when he told me I was a stage III,
I said I want a cigarette. My mom was like, you don't need one and I said, oh yes I do! Since then I have quit again, only to have one of my scans show a large
tumor on my thyroid. Started smoking again, immediately. Thyroid ended up being okay, thank God. I promise myself I will quit again soon.
But for right now, love your mom while she is still here, with unconditional love. Don't waste any time on judging her or getting on her case. I know, I lost my
mom (she also had Stage III CC) a year ago. And it still hurts like hell. I don't know if your mom is overweight or not, but I would ask this question...If your mom
didn't smoke, but she was overweight, would you tell her what she should or shouldn't be eating? Why waste any time on this at all.
It cracks me up when an overweight person tells me I should quit smoking, that it's not good for me. I want to say to that person that statistics show there are
more deaths from obesity than there is from cancer. Obesity causes so many more death related health issues.

The other thing that cracks me up....I had radiation....who knows what damage it has done that might pop up years from now.
I had chemo.....which is putting poisen directly into your body....and then tell you smoking is bad for you? What other damage will that cause years from now?
I don't even have to say years from now, I have neuropathy so bad that every day I am on 320mg/Oxycontin, 3200mg/Gabapentin, and Cymbalta.....what are
the long term effects from all these drugs.

Ok, sorry I went on, I'm done....bottom line is, just love your mom for who she is. Smoking at this point is not what will kill her.
Carol - 54
Diagnosed 11/07 Sigmoid Resection
Stage III Colon/Rectal Cancer
4 out of 15 lymph nodes positive
25 Radiation Treatments along with Xelota 1/2008
Oxi, 5FU body could only take 8 tx of Oxi and 10 tx 5FU


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