Johnnie
Johnnie

September 13th, 2011, 10:57 am #91

I just got the news, Neal--there's so much to try to keep up with here--and you're in my prayers as well. Keep the faith and continue to show the strength you've always shown here.

tagsgirl
tagsgirl

September 27th, 2011, 2:21 pm #92

Neal,
 I don't get on here much anymore. I got stable and comfortable in my quit and life got busy.  I did come around the first of the year to help with the newbies. I remember you well and I guess it makes this hurt more. Neal, I am so sorry. Life is so precious. I work in a teaching university hospital that is 5 hospitals side by side, Neuro, Cancer, Childrens, Womens and Memorial.  I see some sobering sights every day. Parents pushing severly deformed children in wheelchairs, adult children with parents facing hard decisions, babies with trachs, young teens bald and pale, burn victims, etc. EVERY DAY I am grateful for my quit and I pray I don't pay for the addiction later. I don't know why this happened to you. So many gamble, some lose, it is random luck to get away with it. I know the brave families and patients I see everyday strengthen me. Your bravery and public sharing of your journey WILL help others. Possibly and likely will prevent someone else from the same suffering. I pray you have peace, energy and long, wonderful days with your family. I pray for a miracle for you and yours.
Regards,
Terri

Koop
Koop

October 5th, 2011, 3:29 am #93

Neal,

I've been away from this site for far too long but I am so sorry to hear about your illness.
My aunt is going through the same thing right now and I know how hard it is. Whatever happens, just know that you did the right thing by quitting and you will be rewarded in the long run for it. You took your life back and are now living it by your rules, not some chemicals.
Never give up hope and never surrender.

Your friend you've never met,
Koop

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

October 7th, 2011, 10:11 pm #94

Neal T. Curtis - NoNicNeal
Father, Husband, Ex-smoker
1958 - 2011


With heavy hearts we learned that Neal T. Curtis, 53, died on July 10, just five weeks after diagnosis with lung cancer and 25 days after his final journal post.   I spoke by phone with his surviving wife Debra last night expressing Freedom's heart felt condolences.  

A Veteran of the U.S. Army, Neal was a Protestant, a member of B.P.O.E. #1511, American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24, and the V.F.W.  Predeceased by his father, Edward J., Jr. and brother, Mark A., he is survived by his wife, Debra, his daughter, Kristen both of Bradenton, Fla., his mother, Ruth of Holmes Beach, Fla., his brother, Edward J., III of Deltona, Fla., and his sister, Cheryl of Batesburg, S.C. A memorial service was held on July 23, 2011 at the B.P.O.E. #1511.  

I've invited Debra here to read Neal's inspiring journal and to share in the joy and love he felt in being free.  We'll keep his journal open so that those wishing can share their thoughts.  

It's sobering to think that smoking's risks linger so long after quitting.  After a dozen years of healing and risk reversal, I'm still not yet out of  risk's woods.  But even with a decade of aging, these years have been vastly healthier than those that preceeded them. It's clear from reading Neal's thread that he felt better, was loving and living life, and that he relished his quit, a fact Debra confirmed last night.  I leave you with one of my favorites, Neal's post at day 73:
NoNic4Neal wrote:
Well, I'm on Day 73 today and all is going well. I'm loving my freedom and I feel very far away from the possibility of using nicotine. I haven't been quit so long that I forgot what it was like to have my life revolve aroung smoking, but I have been quit long enough to see how much better life is now that I'm finding the real me. I did gain about 10 pounds, as predicted, but I know that will soon come off. I'm finding I have a lot more time on my hands. I've already painted the whole outside of my house, and now I'm working on re-landscaping the entire back yard. (All with the money I've saved from not smoking!) It truly is getting better and better. YQB Neal - NTAP  
Although no longer with us and posting, I hope Neal's wife and daughter are comforted by the fact that Neal's zeal, love of his freedom and memory lives on in so many hearts and minds.   Peace be with you!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John - Gold x12
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alohaorprincess
alohaorprincess

October 9th, 2011, 1:09 am #95

This news brings great sadness, just as his diagnosis did. I didn't know Neal other than through his postings, but he was one of the many who inspired me in my darkest hours to keep going, letting me know that it was so worth it and that it would get better.

With his diagnosis he brought to the forefront a smoker's worst fear, did I quit in time.  Unfortunately none of us know what the future holds for us other than we can continue to make the choice every day Never To Take Another Puff and embrace the Freedom we have worked so hard to achieve.

Debra and Kristen,
My condolences. Know that with his story he will live on and continue to inspire us and the others to come.

Christine (AlohaORPrincess) - Free and Healing for  6 Months, 27 Days (210 Days), 2 Hours and 6 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 14 Days and 14 Hours, by avoiding the use of 4202 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $826.46.

Laura
Laura

October 9th, 2011, 2:05 pm #96

I haven't been here for awhile...I just started reading Neal's post from the beginning and was in tears at the end.  I'm so sorry for your loss.  Neal was a inspiration to many people on this site....including myself. 

Laura - Free and Healing for One Month, Twenty One Days, 23 Hours and 4 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 14 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1039 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $261.29.

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

October 9th, 2011, 2:23 pm #97

[color=]From: Leslie [/color]
To: john@whyquit.com
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2011 7:57 PM
Subject: Neal T. Curtis


I am a frequent reader but not a member of WhyQuit, having discovered the site too far along in my quit to qualify for membership, and I wanted to let you know how saddened I was to read of the death of Neal T. Curtis. His post "The Real Me vs. the Junkie" is one of my favorites on WhyQuit. Please count me among those who are thinking of his wife and daughter and if you think it is appropriate, please pass my condolences on to them.
 
Thank you,

Leslie
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Herman1331
Herman1331

October 9th, 2011, 3:30 pm #98

I am so sorry to hear about your loss.  Neal was and will remain an inspiration to me and others that join this site.  I am deeply sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you.Laura 

CWZ
CWZ

October 10th, 2011, 4:39 pm #99

With a heavy heart and tears dampening my eyes I post my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Neal. God speed, Neal. You will be missed.

CWZero_K (CWZ)

Gary

Sarah52
Sarah52

October 11th, 2011, 1:12 am #100

I have been hoping and praying for Neal.
My deepest sympathies to the family.

Sarah52

aryeh36.FreedomFromTobaccoQuitSmokingNow
aryeh36.FreedomFromTobaccoQuitSmokingNow

October 11th, 2011, 1:09 pm #101

aryeh

wwchi
wwchi

October 11th, 2011, 9:26 pm #102

So so so sad.  My quit is only 1 month after Neal's was and this is just shocking news.  Condolences to his whole family and know that he was an inspiration to us!!

Wendy

LLJ
LLJ

October 12th, 2011, 12:24 am #103

Thank you, John. 
Deepest sympathy to you Debra, Kristen, Ruth, Edward and Cheryl. Not mention the hundreds of others who were blessed to have known Neal.  


Please know that Neal's love, light and courage will never be forgotten


Much love, 
Lara 

michelleh
michelleh

October 12th, 2011, 5:40 am #104

I was so saddened when I got the news of Neal yesterday.  I never knew you in person but felt I did in a way after reading your posts - you were often in my thoughts. You were a great inspiration to me and my husband who both quit this year. Go well Neal. Deepest sympathies to your family and my thoughts are with you. I trust you know by now the positive impact Neal has had on so many of us. Michelle

schmaltz
schmaltz

October 12th, 2011, 11:10 pm #105

by me and a lot of other people on here for a long long time Neal . You contributed to this site in more ways than  I can even mention . Your posting about hacking your way out of the jungle of addiction is a true inspiration. I miss you buddy ............

prucat
prucat

October 13th, 2011, 3:54 am #106

To Debra, and Neal's family, all of you who walk through these dark days,
Please know that to all of us at the whyquit/freedom family, losing Neal is losing a friend. We all know each other only on this site, yet deep and real friendships were formed.
Thank you for your willingness to share with us. I know it must be difficult for you. Neal's outcome cannot be changed. But please believe that his inspiration to others has the power to change their outcomes. May that bring you a glimmer of light in your time of sadness.
-Sylvia

endura
endura

October 13th, 2011, 12:58 pm #107

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]To Debra and Neal's family and all who mourn his passing, I offer my sympathies and heart felt prayers for peace and comfort. I will always remember Neal. Rest in Peace, my friend. God bless.

Endura
Quit the Lies on Jan 22, 2011. NTAP

[/font]

Anapopoli
Anapopoli

October 16th, 2011, 9:51 pm #108

Ana

Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

November 9th, 2011, 10:09 pm #109

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Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

November 10th, 2011, 11:59 am #110

Aspire to Inspire
As noted above, Neil T. Curtis is survived by his nine-year-old daughter Kristen and his bride Debra.  Neil died of lung cancer on July 10, 2011, just 37 days after diagnosis. He died a proud "recovering nicotine addict" who took comfort in the fact that his real killer - nicotine - was no longer circulating within, that he died a free man.  This journal, his journal,  documents his awakening and what's likely his most liberating journey ever.



Just four days after quitting, on January 14, as if prophesying the challenge to come, he wrote, "I now call myself a recovering nicotine addict rather than an ex-smoker, because it reminds me of the power of this addiction and disease." "I never know if, or when, that spot will show up on my chest x-ray, but I know if I have to face that type of situation, I want to face it as a non-smoking recovering nicotine addict, and I won't go down without a fight."

By January 17, day 8, Neal was feeling pride, enjoying deep breaths, no longer coughing and savoring a new found sense of smell. By day 11 he'd gained a few pounds but was already working on it and his optimism about continuing success was on the rise.

Neal's one month celebration evidences just how much his thinking had evolved. "I originally named my first post journal "4 Decades Of Lies" because I have been smoking for over 40 years. The lies I was talking about was aimed at the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, and the government for letting them do all that lying to us. After working this program for the last month I came to realize that I was doing the lying to myself for all those years. I never "liked" or "loved" smoking, cigarettes were not my friend, it was not O.K. to substitute NRT for cigarettes and think I was doing myself a big favor (it always led me back to smoking anyway), I thought smoking was a bad habit, I told myself I wasn't addicted, it was alright to have just one while I was trying to quit. I thought I couldn't live without smoking, I would never be able to quit for the long haul, nicotine feedings were not my #1 priority, I could never go a whole day without wanting a cigarette, and one of my favorites - you have to die from something, why not smoking? Etc. Etc. Etc. They were all lies to keep me feeding myself nicotine."

On March 23 Neil wrote, Well, I'm on Day 73 today and all is going well. I'm loving my freedom and I feel very far away from the possibility of using nicotine. I haven't been quit so long that I forgot what it was like to have my life revolve aroung smoking, but I have been quit long enough to see how much better life is now that I'm finding the real me. I did gain about 10 pounds, as predicted, but I know that will soon come off. I'm finding I have a lot more time on my hands. I've already painted the whole outside of my house, and now I'm working on re-landscaping the entire back yard. (All with the money I've saved from not smoking!) It truly is getting better and better. YQB Neal - NTAP"

Neal celebrated three months of freedom by documenting his path to destroying his mind's use rationalizations. He entitled it "The Real Me Versus the Junky."

On May 2 he posted stating, "I noticed on my quit meter that I have saved $560 so far. I'm getting paid to feel good!!" And on May 9 he wrote, "I have really been enjoying all the extra time, money, and energy I have since getting rid of all the nicotine. I don't ever want to go back to where I was."

And then it happened. It was June 16, 2011 when Neal shared the shocking news of his stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis, that it had already spread to his lymph nodes, thyroid and stomach. "We have to always be vigilant and realize the deadlyness of this addiction we are fighting. I don't want any of you to experience the feeling I now get when my 9 year old daughter looks to me with all the Love in her eyes. I have no idea of what the future holds for me. I know because of the great people on this site that I will face my future as a non-smoker."

Some might be tempted to use Neal's journal as justification for that next fix, that he died of lung cancer anyway. But he clearly hoped others would learn from his shared awakening and end their self destruction while still time. Actually he went further. On February 9, 2011 he shared his dream that you "aspire to inspire before you expire." May Neal's wish come true. May there still be sufficient time for your own recovery to inspire others to follow.

John R. Polito
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