Posted by: Susan | July 31, 2008

The Best Reason to Stop Smoking

And now for a serious note.  I stopped smoking 5½ years ago, after many years of smoking and several failed quits.  One of the very useful tools I used was an online Usenet forum called alt.support.quit-smoking.  Even though I am well and truly done with smoking and have no desire to ever partake again, I still visit the forum from time to time because there are some really great and witty people there and some funny stuff does go on.  Along with some not-so-funny stuff.

One of the people I have gotten to “know” is Jay, who also writes a blog.  He came onto the forum about two years ago and talked about how he had recently beaten lung cancer and included a link to his blog where he wrote about the experience.   I am a sucker for good writing, and his forum post intrigued me enough to check out his blog.  Once there, I started reading from the beginning when he was first diagnosed up to the (then) present where he was pronounced cancer free.  And I have continued to follow his journey, through the cancer recurrence (no real surprise but hideously discouraging), the brain radiation, the marriage to the love of his life, the seemingly endless rounds of chemo and radiation and CT scans and ER visits, and all the rest of it. 

It may sound ghoulish, but he’s a very good writer and doesn’t write solely about the cancer, although he finally did have to acknowledge that his life has become about the cancer.  And, quite frankly, even though I no longer have this deadly habit, I am fully aware that I remain at risk for some smoking related illness, so in a way this kind of “keeps it real,” as they say.  (Funny, when I was smoking, I would definitely shy away from reading anything like this, but now it doesn’t scare me at all.)

I’m pretty sure “Jay” isn’t his real name, and I think he’s written some books, but I haven’t been able to unearth any more details. 

A few days ago, Jay posted that his doctor was recommending stopping the chemo and scheduling a meeting to arrange for hospice care.  As he put it, “the other shoe has dropped,” and in medical code, this means he has about six months left.

So maybe in about six months, I’ll find out who Jay really is.  And if you’d like to get to know him, here’s a link:

http://www.raw-elemental.com/

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