Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lung Cancer, Revisited.

I used to want to be a rock star. Now all I want is health insurance.

Starting to smoke was the biggest mistake I have ever made. Today, at age 36, I calculate I must have smoked some 131,400 cigarettes. Sure, there are some old, old folks out there who have been smoking their whole lives without so much as a polyp. But I don't like my odds.

The problem is, I am compelled to smoke almost constantly. During my recent attempt to quit, I found that nicotine gum took the edge off. But I screwed up, thought I could smoke the occasional Black & Mild, and before I knew it I was no longer an ex-smoker, but a smoker again.

Earlier this week I got a bad chest cold. And I'm sure it's just a chest cold. I hope it's just a chest cold, anyway. I don't know what the signs of lung cancer are. Let me google that real quick. Well, I have two of the signs - chest pain and a pain that shoots down my shoulder (that's what happens if the cancer has spread into the nerves). But both of those are also symptoms of heart disease.

Bottom line: I've gotta quit. It's probably already too late. But I can't imagine laying in that hospice bed, dying, knowing that if only I had not smoked, I would be - well, not dying. So that's it. This pack is my last pack. I've got to beg, borrow or steal enough for some nicotine gum. Even then it won't be easy - even though it took the edge off for me last time, I still wanted to smoke constantly.

I am miserable when I'm not smoking. One would think I'd get over that in time. But right now, it seems my choices are lung cancer or being constantly miserable from wanting to smoke. I guess I'd rather have the latter.

Wish me luck.

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