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Smoking? Be a Quitter!

From the Fitness & Wellness After Hysterectomy Articles List

Smoking before Hysterectomy? Be a Quitter!How can I quit smoking?

We all know that smoking is bad for our health and the health of those around us, but quitting is a difficult thing to do. You can do it, though! Here are some helpful comments and stories by HysterSisters who are fighting and winning the battle to be quitters.

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“Well, after being a pack a day smoker for 28 years, I am finally doing something to assist me in my dream of becoming a non-smoker. My doctor has prescribed Zyban for me, and I am starting it next week. It’s pretty scary, as I can hardly remember my life without cigarettes at all, and I wonder what it will be like. My dad always used to say that if I ever quit smoking, I wouldn't know how to drive, as he had never seen me in the car without a cigarette in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. Having had ovarian cancer last year followed by three months of a very hard chemo regimen, I feel I owe it to myself and my doctors to give this nasty habit up. I know I will feel much better for it, not to mention the money I will save. I have cut down a great deal in the past few months, but it's time to be off of them completely. Other than using the patch for two weeks earlier this year, this is my first real attempt at quitting. The patches worked fine during the day at work, but I found it very hard in the evening. I am hopeful the Zyban will work better for me!”

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“I quit smoking on April 4, 2000. I used Wellbutrin. It was great! I also used some behavior modification techniques such as only smoking outside for the month prior to quitting. But, I feel that the thing that helped me the most was the realization that I was gaining nothing from smoking. Nothing. It didn't help me in any way, and it was probably going to kill me. So, on the morning of the 4th, I told myself that I was no longer a smoker. It wasn't easy, but the Wellbutrin really helped. I don't have a cough now, my clothes don't smell of smoke, and smoking isn't the first thing I think of in the morning. I have gained 30 pounds, but I will lose it. I have also had many failed attempts, but knock on wood, the Wellbutrin worked for me. I quit taking it about a month after I quit. I wish you luck. It's not easy. I loved smoking. Quitting is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding.”

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“I smoked for 21 years. I loved it. I smoked around my children but never my parents. I didn’t want them to know I smoked (like they didn’t know by how I smelled and by my voice and by my cough). Who was I fooling? I was fooling me! After really thinking about my kids’ health, I started to think about mine and how much of myself I could give them if I suffered the consequences of smoking. Then I began to think that cigs were controlling my every breath and wondered what it would be like if they did not control me. By the time I quit, I was rolling my own. I found a company in Santa Fe, NM that made a pure product. No added chemicals. I found the most healthy papers to roll my tobacco in. I learned that the papers carry numerous chemicals to aid them in even burning and are very harmful to the human body. So I was thinking I was doing great by smoking ‘healthy’ cigarettes. HAH! What was I thinking? Well that is just it, I wasn't. Soon I decided not to let anything control my life, and I quit. That was eight years ago this November. I smoked one time after that and wondered why I ever smoked to begin with. I did it cold turkey. I realize this is not the way for everyone. I believe that you must get over the first initial hump and addiction no matter how you do it. JUST DO IT!!! Do anything you can to quit. I love not being a smoker! I smell good, I am healthy, I rarely get sick, I am in control!”

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“At first, I stopped smoking in my car. That cut me back a lot. Then I confined it to a certain room in the house. I would tell the kids they had to leave the room when I smoked. Then I thought of different things that triggered my smoking desire and started eliminating those things. Remember to take it one day at a time. Celebrate each day with a personal praise like ‘YAY! I did it, and I can do it again tomorrow.’ Then go by the week, and then the month, and before you know it you will be at a year. Remember it takes 21 days to break a habit. Allow a bit more for smoking.”

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“I quit 16 years ago for the last time. I quit before that for three years but started again after my brother was killed in a car accident. It so happened some friends left cigarettes at our house the night before. Anyway, the only help available when I quit was Nicorette gum, and it really helped a lot. In fact, it saved me a lot of times.”

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“I quit because I'd just lost that nagging 20 pounds I'd carried around most of my adult life and was feeling so good about myself. Unfortunately, I gained a whole bunch of weight almost instantly after quitting. I'm not typical, so don't let this scare you. I have a very addictive personality. I became addicted to sunflower seeds (which I think caused a lot of my weight gain) and had to quit them cold turkey. I'm now basically addicted to gum. I get that nervous feeling if I run out. It's sooooo nice when you quit and don't have to worry about where you can smoke and when you can have that next cigarette. Even 16 years ago, it was getting hard to find places to smoke without offending someone.”

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“I started smoking when I was 15 (like many kids, to be cool). When my husband and I starting dating, he was not a smoker; in fact, being around me when I was smoking caused nose bleeds for him. Well, that was the incentive I needed. I tried to just toss them out and quit cold turkey. I lasted for about half a day. I have never felt so sick in all my life. I said to myself, ‘I can't stand this feeling,’ and went outside and smoked three cigs back to back. Boy, did I feel better after that. Well, I decided I was going to need some help with quitting, so I found at a drug store a kit called ‘kick the habit.’ I don't know if they even sell it any more, as that was 11 years ago. This kit had filters in it (three different sets). I can't remember exactly how it worked, but by the time you were on the last set, you got virtually no nicotine at all. Actually it felt like smoking ‘clean air.’ At this point, it was only the habit, not the nicotine that was the problem. I decided in order to be strong, I was going to have to change some things, so I stopped going around my friends and family who smoked until I knew I could handle it. I tried to go to places where there was no smoking so I wouldn't be tempted. I bought lots of things to keep my hands busy when I was watching TV. My coloring skills really improved during this time. I had lots of hard candy to suck on. I even used a filter (without a cigarette) and just went through the motions of smoking. This sounds really strange, but it really does work. When the temptation is overwhelming, take deep breaths, like you are smoking. It's amazing how much that helps. That kit had a phone number on it that you could call when you got down to the last filters to buy more if you needed them. I didn't. I have to tell you though that a lot of my strength came from my husband. He was understanding when I got crabby. It was funny to find out just how well he knows me. I remember there at the beginning when I tried to quit cold turkey, I was going to sneak a cigarette on the way to work. Well, I pulled out my ashtray, and my lighter was gone. I was very annoyed. Then a smile came over my face because I realized how much my DH loved me. Now that I am an ex-smoker, being around others who smoke really bothers me. No, it doesn't make me want to light up again; it's exactly the opposite. It really stinks. The only thing that comes to mind is ‘I'm glad I don't have to ride in a car with them.”

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“One thing that helped me when I quit is that the psychologist used hypnotism. He also told me to take a glass jar (maybe 2-liter size), add about 1 or 2 inches of water at the bottom, and for the last week that I was a smoker, I was to put every butt into the jar. Believe me, by the end of that week, that jar was disgusting, and smelly, too. Since this is your last week as a smoker, you might do that, to help you later on to recall how nasty cigarettes are.”

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-16-2003 - 06:37 PM


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