Okay...so...quitting Smokin.


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  • 3 weeks later...
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I wanted to give you guys the updates that I gave the mod team about what's going on in my life.

So, on Dec 17th, my (now ex) Mother in Law was taken to the hospital, thinkin that she had pnuemonia and was having trouble breathing.

After several tests, she was diagnosed with Complex Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Obviously this was quite a blow to her, as she'd been feeling fine up until she'd gotten sick. ...if that's not redundant or whatever.

Anyhow, she was released from the hospital on Dec 24th. The doctor was, basically, a crock. Gave her basic information, other than "you've got 2 years to live. have a nice day."

I took her for her dr appt, where she pretty much had a mental break down and complained severely about the doctor. There were several issues, so the complaints were definitely merited.

My Ex found another doctor, that is in the top 1% of Oncology docs in AZ. I went with her to that appointment, and actually sat in there with her so that I could get FULL information. my MIL is a little spacey sometimes, and doesn't get/retain full information.

So, after talkin with this doc for about 5 minutes, he'd given us more information than the other doctor had in the past 3 weeks. So that was a good thing. The BAD thing was, the doc told her that "50% of patients don't make it more than 10-11 months."

So, that was another blow. She didn't hear that "the OTHER 50% can live up to 5/6 years," she heard that she'll be dead in 10-11 months and that's it.

So, she was supposed to go thru the next round of Chemo a couple weeks back. I took her to that appt, dropped her off, and waited. This appointment was supposed to last 4 hours, and about an hour later she told me to come get her.

I went down and got her. Apparently, what she'd heard was that this round of chemo, plus the booster shot she was supposed to get, was going to cost her about $800. Being on disability, etc, there's no way she can afford that, every 3 weeks, for the next six months.

I explained all this to my ex. her and her best friend got to work on the issue. (Best Friend is an RN with oncology training).

After many phone calls and such, it turns out that the 3 days of Chemo should cost about $163. the 4th day, the booster shot, is SUPPOSED to cost about $500, but they found an organization that will help, and she'll only have to pay $5.

At first, MIL said that she couldn't possibly do anything until Feb 20th, when she gets her disability check. I told her that I'd cover the chemo and her next dr appt, because she NEEDS this, as she is now already 3 weeks late for her chemo.

(I'm hoping that I haven't bitten off too much, tho, cuz mortgage just came out, and after all is said and done, I'll have about $150 to make it to the 15th.) (No, I don't want money.)

It'll be tight, but I gotta do this.

So that's what I've been dealing with. I'm sorry I haven't been around much. I assure you, tho, that I do check in daily.

We are still going thru chemo on the 4 days on-21 off schedule. Her next round of chemo is scheduled for April 1. After that (4th of Four), the doctor will schedule an MRI to determine if/how much the chemo has been working. Then we'll determine if she needs to start another round, upping the dosage, or what will happen next.

Things are still going pretty well. She's definitely had some....physical improvement. She's in a better mood, feels better...but in my heart I know that this is just the uptick before things start going down. The type of cancer is one that really...it may as well be seen as terminal, best I can tell.

Today (4/18), MIL had another appt, to check on her progress, and to prepare for next week's chemo session.

She had postponed the chemo session that was due to start 4/1 because she took a vacation to Vegas to visit some of her family.

Basically, things are going pretty well, her blood numbers are, quote, "awesome". After Chemo is done next week, they are going to do a "PET scan" to determine where the cancer is, and how much the chemo has been working.

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You and your entire family and extended family remain in our prayers. We understand the toll of what your mil is going through can take on everyone concerned.

We have also been battling the "quitting" of cigs and find our primary physician to be of ZERO help...just orders and prescriptions we do not want. Chantax is not covered by our insure so she's presc. one that our co-pay is more than Chantax by itself. We hope to have joined the ranks of ex-smokers by summer...but it starts with a new doctor...1st appt next week!

Anyway, you've done a remarkable job of keeping things "right" Murph and I'm sure that has had an enormous impact on your entire family. Keep it going!

Blessings of Peace,

Al & Kay

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I wish you and yours all the best - difficult times.

Coming back to the smoking thing...

I tried several time to give up before finally succeeding.

There are lots of different approaches, and different people will respond best to different ones. If you try and then relapse, don't fret it. Try something a bit different next time. For example, I had tried quitting cold, and I had tried tapering off. Neither worked. The final time round the loop, I Tapered off to as low as I could without going doo-lally, then stopped. I held out for a bit, then went back to having a few a day then tapered off again. This time when I quit, I stayed quit. (There were a few other factors beside).

My point is not to extoll the virtues of that particular method, but to show that small variations can make a difference, and to encourage you to keep at it!

One final point - watch your weight once you do quit.

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  • 6 months later...
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A few weeks ago, we saw the doctor for my mother in law's progress. they decided they wanted to do preventative radiation on her head, as they were pretty sure that's where the cancer was going to hit next.

They did the scan, etc, and then we visited the radiology to start the process.

On Friday, Oct 25, they told her that she was okay, and ready to start her treatment. We'd informed them that we (my ex wife, her gf, all of our kids, and my (ex) mother in law) were planning a trip to Disneyland on Sunday, returning Wednesday Oct 30th. They said it was okay, to go, and have a good time, and they'd start her treatment on Oct 31.

We made the 7 hour drive with only small complications. Holly (MIL) was a little sore, but made it okay. We made it into Anaheim at about noon.

By 3pm, Holly decided that she wasn't going to be able to go into Disneyland, (even with the electric scooter that we'd brought for her), so she rested in the hotel room.

The rest of us (8 in total) all went to Disneyland, where I performed a quick wedding ceremony for my ex wife and her (now) wife.

We had a very awesome time, thank you.

Tuesday, we decided we were going to cruise Hollywood, and then check out Venice beach.

We did Hollywood, went to Pink's hot dog shop..by that time, Holly was getting nauseated and needed to return to the hotel to rest. So we didn't do the beach bit.

When we all woke up Wednesday, we started packing to leave. Holly was getting a little confused and disoriented. The ride home didn't help much. We had to pretty much carry her into the house.

Thursday, she went thru her first treatment. It was then that the radiology doctor informed us that the cancer had indeed entered her brain, but he didn't want to tell us for fear that it'd make us put off our vacation, or that she'd refuse to go.

He stated then that he was confident that with additional treatments, she'd be okay.

We did another treatment on Friday, which didn't seem to help any. Her cancer doctor called, and we explained what was going on. He advised us to transport her via ambulance to the hospital for the weekend.

They did their primary assesments, and then put her in ICU. Apparently her liver and kidneys were both shutting down. This was all by early Sat morning.

By Sunday morning, her liver and kidneys had all failed, and she was fading fast. Sunday afternoon, they advised us that there wasn't much more they could do, and asked if we wanted a DNR.

We did, as we'd felt at that point there was no point in keeping her alive just to be in pain.

At 10PM Sunday night, we (ex wife, her wife, myself) went to the hospital to meet the hospice worker that would oversee the transport to the hospice facility.

At about 1 am this morning, they got her transported to the hospice. They got her settled in and got her started on the "comfort" drugs.

About 55 minutes later, (I don't have the exact time), she passed away.

We went to the funeral home this afternoon to sign all the necessary paperwork, and I got to see her for a little bit.

It's true that she finally looked relaxed, almost like she was sleeping. She'd been so tense for so long, it was a huge relief to see her in a relaxed state.

I posted this on my facebook this afternoon:

My (ex) mother in law passed away this morning from complications due to cancer. Even tho her daughter and I divorced, we still are great friends, and her mother and I were quite close. Long chats on the way to the doctor's offices, chatting by the pool, playing with the kids.

I'll definitely miss that quirky old lady. She was one of a kind.

I'm glad she got to go on one last vacation with us before she went.

Holly, rest in peace. After everything you've been through, you deserve some peace.

(close watchers of my fb feed know that I used her "real name" but Holly is what she preferred to be called.

I'm glad it was quick. She didn't need to go thru any more pain.

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I posted this on my facebook this afternoon:

My (ex) mother in law passed away this morning from complications due to cancer. Even tho her daughter and I divorced, we still are great friends, and her mother and I were quite close. Long chats on the way to the doctor's offices, chatting by the pool, playing with the kids.

Sorry to hear that Murph, but its good that you all got some vacation time with her, and that she passed quickly without much suffering.... My condolences

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I'm so sorry, Murph. It is a blessing that in a situation where others would embrace negative, you have always chosen to seek the best in your ex, and her mother. It is a gift that I wish many others shared.

May pleasant memories bring you a measure of comfort.

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Murph, our prayers are with you as are our sympathies and condolences. I've lost both of my parents and my father-in-law, MIL has alzheimers and is in a care facility. So I can say with true feelings you have my sympathies. Death is bad for us but is only one of God's healing tools. Now you have another guardian looking our for you up there!

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  • 3 months later...

I recall this topic was started a few years ago.

Okay, Murph, if you have not yet died of emphysema or stroke, how is the non-smoking thing workin' out for ya?

How many miles per week do you run/hike/walk? How many push-ups do you do a day?

Don't answer here.....just in your head and go from there.....

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