Friday, July 28, 2006

Q Day is Looming

I'm quitting smoking. Did you know I was a dirty, filthy smoker? I am. But not for long.

I'm quitting on August 2. My dad's birthday. I made him get a colonoscopy when Adam died. I shamelessly played the widow card and begged him to have one for the umteenth time at a time when I knew he couldn't refuse me anything. And so he had one. And they found he had cancer. But it was early and he's coming home from the hospital today, having had a lot of his colon and a bunch of lymph nodes removed. We're still waiting on the pathology, and that'll determine whether he needs chemo. I'm knitting the "Fuck Cancer" intarsia chart from the anticraft into a pot holder for him. Rock.

And so Dad played the Cancer card on me, and asked me to quit. And so I fucking have to. Fair is fair, right? I love to smoke, though. And cigarettes have been my friend for 11 years now. And I've tried to quit 5 or 6 times in the past and failed, and I may fail this time, too. But I'm going to give it a go.

When I was on Prednisone I got huge. And I mean HUGE. Went from a size 4 to a size 2o in less than 3 months. I had an enormous stomach and people were always asking me when I was due. I finally just started telling them a date about 2 weeks from the given date, because it was easier than explaining. And I'd get really nasty looks when smoking in public. And I would stare back and rub my belly like there was a baby in there, just to see them look more horrified. I was just taking joy where I could find it.

When Adam was killed I probably smoked 5 packs a day. I didn't actually smoke them, but needed a lit cigarette in my hand at all times. I was a bit on the catatonic side. And it makes me feel better, having a cigarette.

And then the nightmares came. Everyone said that it'd get worse, in the beginning. And I thought "How can it possibly get worse?" but then I came out of shock. Around February, and I would literally wake up screaming, or sobbing, with nightmares of the hospital in my mind. Is it a nightmare if you're just remembering something that really happened?

And so I'd sit in the dark and cry and have a cigarette and feel a bit better. It was a small, simple thing that just... made me feel better.

And I know the health issues, blah blah blah. But I didn't really give a fuck. I'd have welcomed cancer at the time. I wanted to die. I woudn't have killed myself, never that, but I didn't mind if I died. The fear of death, an intense fear I'd had for so long, was gone. Because when I die I figure there will be nothing, or I'll see my Adam again. I still don't mind if I die, I just don't want the people who love me to go through what we've all gone through losing Ad.

And to be perfectly honest, I don't want to quit. And so I worry that I won't, because I do love to smoke so much. But I'm giving it a go.

I initially got back into knitting when I quit smoking for about a month last year. Figured it was something to do with my hands. Hands that would no longer be holding a cigarette.

I'm crossing my fingers. And it's hard to hold a cigarette with fingers crossed. Right?


Anonymous Michelle said...

The thing about quitting smoking is you have to really want to do it to quit. I tried to quit umpteen times before I was finally ready. Then I got serious and got an Rx for zyban, which took away the physical urge.
Good luck, I'll be rooting for you.

12:08 PM  
Blogger mf said...

I trie the zyban several times and it didn't help me! Quit cold turkery is the best way. I smoke too.. It's my bad habit! Hey I dont' have much I have cut back alot down to 10 per day or less sometimes and knitting more.....oh and that drug makes you sleep alot! Good Luck!

12:13 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Soapy, I didn't know you were a smoker, too!! We DO have a lot in common! Oi!

I have tried: The patch (three times), Zyban (twice), the gum, and The Mad Russian.

Trying the Patch again. We'll see...

12:21 PM  
Blogger Wendy Dorrel said...

My best friend (she's also my Aunt) taught me how to smoke 6 or 7 years ago. She called one day and there was just something in her voice. She had found out at 36 she had cancer. I flew out to Montana (where she lived) and took care of her. She battled it for 2 years, had one of her breasts removed, went into remission, and then got an infection and it (the cancer) spread to her bones. It was bad and she was in the hospital dying. She made me her power of attorney so I had to make the decision to take her out of the hospital and bring her home to die. I did and I watched her go slowly, holding her hand till the end. It's something I wouldn't wish on anyone.

What I'm trying to say is I completely understand. I was smoking/ holding 3 packs a day and it comforted me. I think it is so courageous of you to try to quit. I quit about 6 months ago but still allow an occasional one or two if I go out. I know how susceptible I am and how easy it would be to slip back in.

Good for you! I'll be sending good energy and thoughts your way. :)

Sorry for how atrociously long this got!!

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

True, that was only fair of your dad to make a request of his own =) I hope he has a speedy recovery, btw!

I'm hoping you can quit smoking for good this time! You're still young...but then again, it's never too late to quit, right? Good luck! =)

3:41 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Oh, Wendy, I'm so sorry. Both my grandmothers died of cancer, so it's a bit scary for everyone. Hard to convince my mother things have changed since the 1950's...

I am going to give it my best shot!!

7:40 PM  

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