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#21 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 05:12 AM

Sarah, is this your two week mark for breathing fresh, clean air? If so, I'm jumping for joy for you! :jump-for-joy:

One thing I really wish someone had told me, when I was quitting over and over again, was that the urges to smoke really and truly do go away. Somewhere along the line, they become fewer and fewer, less and less intense, and then it is like they just evaporate. But giving in to the sneaky, nefarious idea of "just one puff" or "just one cigarette" brings those urges back full force, enough to knock us on our behind and get us back into smoking full-time in a matter of hours.

Whereas, somehow, I thought (for years, when I was repeatedly quitting but without long term success) that just quelling the urge with a little puff would help get me over the hump. It was actually each time I ignored the urge that it got weaker and weaker and weaker. I can honestly say that I've never had a serious smoking temptation now in over 20 years, which is hard to believe after having spent 20 years firmly addicted and just barely getting by, from one smoke to the next, even chain smoking on bad days.

You'll be freer and freer of it, literally, with each passing day. You go, girl! :happy-day:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#22 Sarah_Smith

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 06:26 AM

:D Thank you guys for the support. Shelley, I do believe today makes 2 weeks and 1 day of no smoking.

I still get the urge to smoke here and there, especially after eating and when my hubby smokes. He has limited his smoking around me, though. He works all day, and when he gets home, he will have one after dinner and one before bed, and any others he will go outside for, so he is trying to help, but he doesn't know that I plan on starting on him about quitting here pretty soon. :)

I still need the gum to help sometimes, like when I'm stressed or after eating, but I am only using 2 to 3 pieces a day, and the nurse at my doctors office said she would rather see me chew the gum when I need a "fix", instead of picking up smoking again, but she has faith that over the next few weeks, I won't even need the gum any more. I'm pretty proud of myself, this makes the 7th time I have tried to quit, I always failed before. I do beleive I am gonna make it this time. I know that since I have quit, the house has become a whole lot cleaner, because usually when I get an urge, I find something to do to get my mind off of it, and that is usually cleaning. We are throwing a big 4th of July party at the house tomorrow, so I am going to be busy all day with cooking and cleaning and getting everything ready, so I am going to try to go all day without using the gum tomorrow, so wish me luck. B)

#23 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 06:37 AM

Oh Sarah, you're going to try to through a big party and not use any gum on the same day? I think not! If anything allow yourself to use more of it. It is a piece of cake to ease off the gum but not if you try it too soon. Don't worry, it is a natural leveling off, and you can discuss it with your doctor if you feel you are relying on it too heavily -- a few weeks from now.

Meantime, relax, enjoy the party, and don't hesitate to use all the help you can during this spell. The first three weeks are the most important in establishing any new habit. You can do it, just don't try to be superwoman and overdo it, please, for my sake, okay?
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#24 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 07:16 AM

Wooooeeee! Way to go, Sarah! That's absolutely wonderful. Many, many congratulations on your achievement! :emoticons-yes:
Jeannie McClelland
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#25 Sharon T

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

Hi Sarah - As a 40-year smoker who tried to quit at least 20 times over a 30-year period, let me add my congratulations to you! Quitting is without a doubt one of the most difficult things you will ever do, and its something that a non-smoker (or a "recreational" as opposed to "addicted" smoker) can never come close to comprehending. Chew as much of the gum as you want to - its not going to hurt you. I did the gum along with anti-depressants and the patches for three months, just to be sure I was completely past the point where I'd give in and go back to smoking. I'm now 8 years as a non-smoker, and I truly never crave it - I never thought I'd really not remember what smoking was like, but I honestly don't! So hang in there. The end result is definitely worth it. Oh, and tell your husband to smoke outside. At least until the smell of cigarettes becomes offensive as opposed to enticing! ;)
Sharon T.

#26 Sarah_Smith

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 04:48 PM

Hi all. So the party was a success, even though I had to move it from Saturday to Sunday because of rain. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks of no smoking, so hooray for me. :emoticons-yes:

I finally got to go to my rheumatologist today after 2 years of not seeing him and not having my meds. He said every thing is looking great, my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was flaring a little, but he said my Scleroderma was still only mild. He listened to my lungs and said they sounded great and so did my heart, so he is only going to order some baseline tests for me in the next couple of months. They started me on my usual methotrexate and prednisone, I knew they would. And they also started me on a pain med, and he is also wanting me to try something called Neurontin for my back pain.

He said he was really impressed with how little the Sclero has progressed, especially since I have been on any meds in 2 years. He said I had very little skin involvement and my internal stuff was still all in perfect working order, even after having this for all these years. He said after I get my TB test done, he wants to try me on a new Infusion of a medication that it used to be for Lymphoma cancers, but has been passed recently for the treatment of RA and has also shown some promise for treating Sclero. It is a 2 hour infusion I will get twice a year. Didn't sound too bad to me. He said with that and my methotrexate together, that it should throw me into remission, so here's hoping it will all work out.

Wish me luck, and I will keep you all posted.

#27 Catty

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:04 AM

Sarah...that is ALL wonderful news! I am so happy for you. I am also very PROUD of you for not smoking!
I knew you could do it...keep up ALL the good work now. Not smoking anymore is a lifelong decision....help yourself to get well again. YEAH SARAH!!!!! YOU GO GIRL! :emoticon-hug:
Catty

#28 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:53 AM

Hi Sarah,

That all sounds like reason to throw another party! :happy-day:

We haven't had a virtual party in a long time on the Fun and Friendship Forum - I think we should throw one before the "summer" is over (cold and rainy here too~). I'll let you all know a date soon.

Congratulations from me too on 3-weeks of smoke free lungs!
Jeannie McClelland
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#29 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 12:14 PM

Yes, yes, party-time! Only this one, somebody else needs to host it. Jeannie, you have lots of open space out there in the Rockies, don't you? And your remodeling must be nearly complete as you've been at it for about 75 years.

Pick a date! Maybe Sarah's one-month anniversary of breathing only healthy, fresh air? :happy-day:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#30 Snowbird

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 03:08 PM

You bet Sarah...that's good news, no smoking in 3 weeks and even better that things have remained mild in your progression....and here's wishing you tons and tons of luck to be in the throws of remission with the new infusion, sounds like you're going for it! Will be looking forward to your updates.
Sending good wishes your way!

#31 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 07:08 AM

Sarah, how are you doing in your quest to breathe fresh, clean air? Have you encountered any stumbling blocks, or are you zooming in on your two-month mark soon?

We're all rooting for you, you know!
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#32 Sarah_Smith

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 11:58 AM

Well, I have hit one wall...I got really stressed a couple of days ago and I smoked 2 that day, but I have gone back on the gum and havn't had anymore slips...I still think I am doing good, 2 in a month isn't bad. I felt really bad for slipping and it also made me really sick, so I don't think I will be doing it anymore. I am also starting to have really bad heartburn, and the usual antacids aren't stopping it anymore, so my RA doctor has me taking some over the counter acid blockers, but other than that I am doing really good. Thanks to everyone on here for checking on me and worrying about me, it means a lot. You guys are so sweet. I will catch you up when I know more.

#33 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:13 PM

Way to go, Sarah! I bet that slip (and getting sick after it!) really strengthened your resolve. Sorry to hear about the GERD though - that's truly lousy timing for it to get worse with BBQ season in full swing! ;) The best ever BBQ I had came from Muskogee!

Stay cool in the hot weather and just remember, smoking adds heat.


Hugs,
Jeannie McClelland
(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services
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#34 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 02:58 AM

Hi Sarah,

Congratulations on your progress! It's exciting that you learned from your little slip, and went back on the gum. Learning from our experiences is the most important of all. I quit at least 200 times before I had a lasting quit -- but I learned something from every attempt until finally it all came together. Same with you -- you're determined and you are learning and you are sticking to it, and that is what matters. One of my pitfalls in learning to quit was that I would get overly discouraged and cash it all in when I had a slip, instead of realizing that a little slip can be a last slip, if we don't over-react to it.

Here's some flowers for your fresh lease on life! :flowers:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#35 Snowbird

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:14 AM

Hi Sarah

You're doing great...and when it makes you feel sick like that, you'll be less likely to slip again...been there, done that too! I quit 21 years ago. Won't be long now and you'll think it stinks too, funny how we never notice that when we are smoking but really notice it when we quit. Keep up that strong attitude about quitting and you'll do just that, after all, you are already half way there! :VeryHappy:
Sending good wishes your way!

#36 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:18 PM

Sarah, we're ready for an update! How are things going for you, overall?
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.