Forums / My journey / I Have the Big C

I Have the Big C

17 posts, 0 answered
  1. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
    786 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    23 Apr
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    Hi Everyone,

    I thought I would share something with you.  I recently discovered that I have breast cancer.  I had my first chemo treatment on Monday.

    For those of you who don't know me, I quit smoking, with the help of this forum, at the end of December 2016, so I have been a non-smoker for over two years now.  Thank goodness I quit when I did.  If I had to go into the hospital asking for treatment while I reeked of cigarette smoke, I would be mortified.  Truly.  And to be honest, if I had gotten this diagnosis while I was still a smoker, I don't know if I would have been strong enough to quit.  It was hard enough when I didn't have such a life altering problem.

    In any event, having been a smoker for over 43 years, I know that it is hard to quit.  But if you put your mind to it, and reach out for help, it is possible to break the habit.  And you will be doing yourself a world of good.

    Because I quit when I did, it will be a bit easier for me to go through chemo, the injections I have to give myself to boost my white blood count, the surgery, the radiation.  I have a much better chance of beating this disease because I no longer smoke.  I am so relieved that I quit, it's difficult to express.  And I have so many people here who have helped me to achieve my goal.

    So for those of you who are just starting your journey, know that it is extremely important to quit.  And if you slip, no worries, just keep trying.  Eventually you will make it stick.  And for those who have quit for a longer period of time, be vigilant and stay strong, because as you probably already know, those cravings can sneak up on you unexpectedly, and you always have to be prepared to fight back.

    This has already proven to be a very scary experience, and I am just starting out.  Wish me luck, my friends.  It's going to be a bumpy ride.
  2. turningpoint
    turningpoint avatar
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    24 Apr
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    Hi Treepeo,

    I'm so sorry to hear  your journey has taken you into territory that all of us fear to travel.  And yet here you are, still strong and encouraging the rest of us!  You are truly an exceptional person.  For that reason, I know your strength and positive attitude will carry you through all the treatments and you'll come out on top.  Your long term success at quitting smoking is commendable, and as you say, how doubly glad you are now that you did quit!

    Thank you for sharing your news and giving us the opportunity to support you now as you have supported so many of us.  Your 2 year quit and sound advice and insights are so inspiring.
    Wishing you all the best!

  3. quitfriend
    quitfriend avatar
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    29 Nov 2017
    24 Apr
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    Treepeo,

    I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Thank you for sharing that and for your words of encouragement. Wishing you all the best in your recovery ahead. 

    quitfriend
  4. brieffree
    brieffree avatar
    1331 posts
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    28 Nov 2017
    24 Apr
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    Hi Treepeo

    That was a news! I am sorry to hear it! You Brave as you know, is not the end of the world!

    Simply an other challenge to confront, as you said Quit smoking Helps a lot! Is true!

    Please keep us Posted, we are here for you!

    One day at the time! Never give up!
  5. efreeman75
    efreeman75 avatar
    261 posts
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    02 Apr 2018
    24 Apr
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    Good morning treepeo,

    While I am sad to hear of your news, I am confident knowing that cancer picked to wrong person to mess with!!!!! 

    You are incredibly strong, and supported so many of us on our journeys to quit smoking.  I credit yourself with some of my personal success. 

    I bet you've never been more proud to be a non-smoker than when the diagnosis was pronounced.  As far as I'm concerned, it you can quit smoking, you can do anything.

    Stay strong.  You're in my prayers.

    E
  6. nadia b, quit coach
    nadia b, quit coach avatar
    47 posts
    Registered:
    18 Jan 2019
    24 Apr in reply to treepeo
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    Hello treepeo,
    We are all sorry to hear about your recent battle that you have been faced with. As efreeman 75 mentioned, you didn't choose cancer, cancer chose you...and boy did it pick the wrong person.
    You are such a positive light on the forums and your transparency and openness continues to help others cope with their hurdles.

    We are thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way as you fight another good fight!

    If you need any additional support, our colleagues at Cancer Information Services are there to support you. They also have a Peer Support program that connects people living with cancer with volunteers who listen, provide hope, encouragement and share ideas. https://match.cancer.ca/

    Sincerely,

    nadia b.

  7. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
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    25 Apr
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    Thank you all for your support.  I knew I could count on you to rally around me.  I will definitely keep you posted as this journey continues.

    You know what made me happy?  I am getting my treatment at St. Michael's Hospital, and while I made my way from place to place to have tests done, I saw signs for Smoker's Helpline posted up on the walls.  And I thought that that was so encouraging.  I think the Canadian Cancer Society is doing such a good job of encouraging people to quit, in a kind and positive way, without being judgmental.  That is why I love this helpline so much.  I always felt safe here to express my problems with quitting smoking and all the challenges I faced while doing so.  That was a huge help in conquering this addiction.

    And Nadia, I know that there is a lot of support out there, and I will definitely reach out as needed.  I'm not going to be shy.  I appreciate other people's knowledge, experience and expertise.  And I know it feels good to be of help to others.  So it's all good.

    We are all warriors!  Let's fight the good fight and be victorious!
  8. atp
    atp avatar
    341 posts
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    31 Dec 2018
    28 Apr in reply to treepeo
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    Treepeo,

    Best thing you can do is face it head on. My older sister had breast cancer at 40, she did the double mastectomy and treatments. That was 14 years ago and she is going strong. It is all about facing it and doing what is needed. And you know, I never thought about the quitting smoking and healing and being healthier but that makes so much sense. 

    There needs to be some good karma coming your way. Your posts helped me keep my quit in the early days, as I am sure they have done for many others. We're all here to help support you. 



  9. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
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    30 Apr
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    Thank you for pointing out that I didn't choose cancer.  Cancer chose me.  That is so profound, and made a huge difference in how I handled today.  You see, today was the day I chose to get my head shaved.  Now, initially I thought it would be a bit traumatic.  But thinking about cancer having chosen me, I thought, what the heck, let's just get it done and fly in the face of this disease.  So I marched over to my hairdresser and got my head shaved.  And then I put on one of the new head scarves I bought in advance.  And then I went to the grocery store, not because I needed to, but because I wanted to face the world head on right from the get go.  And that turned out to be the right thing to do.  I don't feel uncomfortable at all.  It is what it is, and it's not going to get me down.  And I think I picked out some cute head coverings, so there cancer.  You won't defeat me, because I am way stronger than you are.  And now I won't have any more bad hair days, so maybe I should say thanks!  LOL
  10. sarah, quit coach
    sarah, quit coach avatar
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    28 Nov 2017
    30 Apr
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    Its no wonder that you are still smoke-free, treepeo.
    You face all of life's challenges - whether its quitting smoking or cancer - with such bravery and resiliency. You have this strong, "face-things-head-on" attitude that makes you so successful, and so very inspirational to us all.
    Warmly
    Sarah
  11. turningpoint
    turningpoint avatar
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    30 Apr
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    Hi treepeo,

    I was diagnosed with cancer approx. 2 years ago, bladder cancer - and we all know where that came from.  I had surgery, the cancer was superficial, so all I have to do is get a scope every 3 months - small price to pay.  This winter they thought it was back so I had surgery again, but it was just inflammation (not that inflammation is good, but it's better than cancer).  So that's what's my main motivator is for staying quit.

    I don't have quite your determination, strength, and my positive attitude wavers at times.  I do believe you are absolutely right in facing it head on, as you did with eliminating cigarettes from your life.  You continue to set a wonderful example to follow.  Good for you!
  12. efreeman75
    efreeman75 avatar
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    02 Apr 2018
    02 May
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    Hi treepeo,

    Seriously, "No more bad hair days"?????????  I love it!!!!!!!!

    Keep that positive energy - you got this girl.

    E
  13. lucky
    lucky avatar
    32 posts
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    13 Feb 2019
    02 May in reply to treepeo
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    Hi treepeo,

    I am so very sorry to hear about your breast cancer diagnosis!
    It is good that you are thinking positive, despite all that you are going through.
    I have been diagnosed in 2016  with a rare form of blood cancer, taking chemo pill for life because there is no cure. I have to go every 3 month to the Cancer treatment Centre for blood work.
    I decided to quit smoking because besides the Cancer I also have COPD and the breathing and coughing got worse so I had to make a decision.

    You have been strong enough to be smoke free for so long and you will be strong enough to fight the Cancer. Just try to stay positive and surround yourself with optimistic people and have a good laugh now and then.
    I wish you Good Luck with the treatments.
  14. wimporswim
    wimporswim avatar
    31 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    02 May in reply to treepeo
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    Hi Treepeo,
    I feel terrible.  I should have been the first to respond to you with some kind of support.  And now that I am here...I'm having trouble finding the words.  Please know that I am thinking about you  and as the president of your fan club I'm here to cheer for you.  I am not surprised at all how you are facing this challenge because over the past 2+ years you have shown that you are one extremely tough cookie!!!!  Facing challenges head on with that "bring it on" attitude is your trademark.  Hang in there my friend.   Go Treepeo Go!!!! 
  15. efram, quit coach
    efram, quit coach avatar
    131 posts
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    29 Nov 2017
    02 May
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    I am awestruck at the collective strength of our group here in supporting each other.

    Starting with treepeo ... treepeo, you are amazing. You were strong when you quit, and over the years you have gained more strength; as turningpoint pointed out, you're still encouraging others, Big C be damned!

    Turningpoint, thank you for being open about your bladder cancer. Your positive attitude may waver at times, but, hey, we're all human, and that's why having a support network is key. We are stronger together.

    Lucky, thank you for sharing about your blood cancer, and for your encouragement as well. You made the best decision by quitting smoking, and you will be stronger every day that you are smoke-free. You may already know that quitting smoking can make cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation more effective, and stop the progression of COPD as well.

    Efreeman, ATP, brieffree, quitfriend, thank you all for bringing your strong support.

    And finally, wimporswim ... you may not have been the first, but you are here, and that's what matters!
  16. treepeo
    treepeo avatar
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    02 May
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    I think that every smoker carries the burden of worry on their shoulders.  Am I going to get cancer?  Will I have a heart attack?  How much worse is my breathing going to get?  Yet despite these concerns, the addiction compels us to keep smoking even though we know it's the wrong thing to do.  Smoking is one powerful addiction.

    So congratulations to everyone here for tackling this addiction, those who have quit successfully, and especially those who are struggling but keep trying over and over again.  It doesn't matter if you stumble along the way.  Eventually you will find your feet and you will get to your destination.  It may just take you a little longer.

    I thank you all once again for your heartfelt support.  It means a lot to me, and I will carry a piece of each of you with me as I go through this process.

    And wimporswim, never ever worry.  You are my extraordinary quit buddy, and you helped me to become a non-smoker.  I am lucky to have you in my corner and I appreciate your friendship more than you can know.

    Let's all continue to try to quit smoking, or to remain non-smokers for life.  We are in this together, and we can do this together.  Hurray for us!
  17. turningpoint
    turningpoint avatar
    97 posts
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    30 Nov 2017
    03 May
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    Amen.
17 posts, 0 answered