Monday, February 9, 2009

Lung Cancer, or Just Gas?

I think I just quit.

...Smoking, that is. And I say I "think" I quit because I'm just not sure how it's going to go. I didn't psych myself up for it or anything. I was at Wal-Mart tonight and saw the Equate brand of nicotine gum. It was expensive, but not any more expensive than a carton of cigarettes. I bought it. It could be I was daring myself into it, or that I knew I'd never quit unless I took that final leap.

I know it's going to suck. There can be no doubt about that. But I'll try to be positive, and hope that it won't be as bad as I think it will. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

About forty-five minutes ago, I smoked what I told myself was my last cigarette. I didn't enjoy it. I haven't enjoyed a cigarette in what seems like years. But I sucked in deep, standing in the cool night air feeling nostalgic about all those other cigarettes I've smoked in the cool night air.

Smoking and I go way back. It's like we're old buddies. And I'm sure I'm going to miss it. I only hope that with the gum, my brain will get that nicotine so my body won't suffer to badly. What I won't get is that feeling of sucking harsh smoke down into my lungs. Hurts so good. But hopefully, that's a feeling I'll never have again.

As nice as it would be to charge forward with total confidence, I'm afraid I just don't have that much faith in my sense of discipline. So maybe I smoked my last one tonight, and maybe I didn't. But I hope so. Because for the last several months, I have felt consistent chest pain in two places. One is just to the left of my sternum. The other is lower down on the right. Maybe that's muscle pain. Maybe it's just gas. Either way, I lay there the other night picturing myself coughing up blood, hooked up to machines in a hospital room. There are a thousand ways I could end up there without smoking - why stack the deck against myself?

So, here I go -

You know what? Fuck it. I've got one more cigarette in that pack. There's no sense leaving it there by itself. I knew I should have thrown it away earlier.

So let's try this again: It's 1 :05 a.m., Tuesday February 10, 2009, and I'm about to smoke my last cigarette.

If I wake up first thing in the morning and smoke one, I'm not going to like myself very much.

I'll keep you informed.

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