Quentin's Last Act

Quentin's Last Act

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

15 Feb 2011, 04:25 #1

Quentin's Last Act
by [url=mailto:osojos01@aol.com]Isobel[/url], his mom
On the morning before he died, Quentin's last volitional act was to smoke a cigarette. He was very confused and was suffering delusions and even hallucinations as a result of the toxification in his body due to advanced liver failure. But he was able to reach for a pack of cigarettes, and struggle into a wheelchair to be taken outside for a smoke. Quentin had been diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma about 10 months before, on the day he turned 23 years old. A scan showed a previously-undetected tumor on his kidney had spread to the bones of his spine, where numerous secondary tumors had sprouted. The first noticeable effect of his disease was back pain and soon thereafter loss of feeling and function in his legs and feet, as the tumors caused the bones of his spine to crush in against his spinal cord.

A horrible ordeal of radiation, chemo, and surgical procedures followed, although the doctors knew from the outset that his cancer was not curable. He withstood unimaginable pain, frustration and humiliation at being unable to walk without assistance, hideous side-effects from the radiation and chemo "therapies," and despondency and emotional devastation at knowing that he would not live to see his months-old daughter grow up.

In the end, the cancer spread to most of his vital organs, and the failure of his liver became the immediate cause of death. Have you ever witnessed a person dying from liver failure? As the liver function fails, toxins build up in the tissues of the body and cause dementia of the mind. For several days before his death, Quentin became increasingly incoherent, delusional, and agitated. He was unable to eat, to converse, even to communicate a need so basic as urinating. But he knew he wanted to smoke. His addiction was planted on such a deep level that even the psychotic mania induced by liver failure could not displace it.

His last volitional act was to smoke a cigarette. He did not ask to look at the sky or feel the soft late-summer air on his skin. He did not ask to see his baby daughter's face. He did not ask for his beloved dog, or for his brother, or for his mother. He asked for a smoke.

With his baby daughter, before diagnosis

Quentin's artistic script of his daughter's name

At the hospital, undergoing chemotherapy

Quentin's altar for Dia de los Muertos 2010

Graffiti mural in Denver painted by a friend. "Rest In Peace"
WhyQuit Source Link:

Related Reading
[*]Why people continue to smoke A collection of nicotine dependency articles by Joel Spitzer. [*]Addiction to smoking nicotine a mental illness and disease - a review of recent dependency science. [*]Kids just don't get it - Joel's message to mothers about youth smoking. [*]Nicotine Addiction 101 - WhyQuit's nicotine addiction lessons and links. [*]Freedom's dependency threads - An index of our support group's nicotine addiction discussions. [*]YouTube Video - Why do smokers smoke? - Joel's video explanation of nicotine addiction. [*]List of all 81 cancer causing chemicals so far identified in cigarettes [*]Nicotine causes x3 cancer growth, x9 spreading and x3 regrowth - 2009 study review. [*]Risk factors for kidney cancer - The National Cancer Institute's review of kidney cancer risk factors. [*]Cigarette smoking as a cause of cancers other than lung cancer - A 2010 study linking smoking to kidney cancer. [*]Renal cell carcinoma in relation to cigarette smoking: meta-analysis of 24 studies - Study finding that males who smoke 1 to 9 cigarettes per day increase their risk of kidney cancer by 60%, while those smoking 10 to 20 per day increase their risk by 83%.

Joined: 05 Jan 2011, 00:09

15 Feb 2011, 12:24 #2

Thank you for posting this John. 
Nicotine, once again, supercedes any thought or feeling which is human.  Each and every time I am reminded of it's dispassionate horror - robbing us of our very selves, just strengthens my resolve to keep it as far away from me as possible.  It makes me angry sometimes that nicotine was even created - by scientists or whoever is responsible - knowing that it could have such power to diminish our mind and spirit like that.

Thanks again, John, for sharing this story from Quentin's mom.

Free from nicotine since 1-1-11  

Joined: 05 Jan 2011, 00:09

16 Feb 2011, 11:57 #4

Thank you for those articles.  It is good to understand the history, and how Freedom adheres to its policies about information shared.
Thanks again

Joined: 21 Apr 2009, 02:43

16 Feb 2011, 23:57 #5

It's scary. It makes me think would my addiction "surface" and make me demand nicotine if dementia occurs at my life's end.

Thank you to Quentin's family for sharing the story with us.
The intelligent quitter's strategy combines an understanding of the Law of Addiction
with well-protected core motivations.

Nobody ever graduates from Addiction

Cathy, Gold

[Quit April 10, 2009]

Joined: 25 Jun 2009, 13:38

01 Mar 2011, 18:20 #6

I don't know what made me come by here today; I'm not feeling any triggers and haven't for some time. I guess I just wanted to see if I recognized any names. But the title of this story struck me and I had to read it. Now as I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I think about the people I know who are currently smoking and wonder which of them, how many of them, will suffer a similar fate.

Prayers go out to Quentin's family. What a tragic story.

Free for around 9 years
[img]file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/mmcclure/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/maturitylolcat.jpg[/img] [img]file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/mmcclure/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/maturitylolcat.jpg[/img]


Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

10 Mar 2011, 18:49 #7

Do you have an idea for a logo or mascot that might fit well with the name "Nix on Nicotine"? If so, Quentin's mom is becoming rather active in youth smoking prevention and has put together the below contest to create a logo or mascot with a contest deadline of April 8, 2011.    Still just one rule for each of us ... none today!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John  (Gold x11)


A Freedom-From-Tobacco Campaign


* * * An ART CONTEST * * *


NIX ON NICOTINE is an in-school program whose mission is to
support & encourage permanent freedom from tobacco

This competition is for design of a
to be used in future program promotions

Submit your entry by April 8, 2011

Entries will be judged by a panel to include
celebrated artist, activist, and HipHop musician DJCAVEM

Contest details and entry forms available at PS1 Charter School (Eric Gangloff or Sarah Camastro) or from Isobel McGowan at 303-964-9129
Or by email at [url=mailto:Losojos01@aol.com]Losojos01@aol.com[/url]

Logo/Mascot Art Contest

Judging Criteria

1. Appeal. The winning entry will be eye-catching and appealing.
2. Originality. Only original art will be accepted for consideration. The winning entry will be unique and creative. Each submitting artist will be required to sign an affidavit that the artwork is his or her work alone.
3. Technique. The winning entry will effectively use color and composition and other artistic techniques.
4. Applicability. The winning entry will be an image that personifies or embodies the NIX ON NICOTINE concept and mission: To support and encourage permanent freedom from tobacco.
5. Disqualifications. Entries containing profanity or nudity will be disqualified.

Other Rules

1. Entries become the sole property of NIX ON NICOTINE, and will not be returned to the artists. We strongly advise that artists do not submit original art work itself, but rather submit a clear digital or paper reproduction of the original. If your work is chosen, you agree to allow NIX ON NICOTINE access to the original artwork for the purpose of photographing, photocopying, or otherwise reproducing the art for use in the campaign.
2. The artist of the winning entry agrees that the image and the rights to use the image become the sole property of NIX ON NICOTINE, and will sign a statement to that effect.
3. The artist of the winning entry agrees to provide a brief biographical sketch to be used in program promotion.
4. The decision of the judging panel will be final and without right to appeal.

Entry Form

(please print clearly – if we can’t read your information or contact you, your entry will be disqualified)

Name of artist:_____________________________________________________

Name of artwork (optional):___________________________________________

Artist contact: Phone___________________ Email address __________________

Certification: I have read, understand, and agree to comply with the above contest rules. I certify that the attached artwork was created by me alone, is my sole property, and has not been sold or otherwise relinquished at this time.

______________________________               _____________________ 
Signature                                                             Date

(If submitted by email, and your entry is chosen, you will be asked to sign an original entry form)
Send or bring your entry to: PS1 Charter School, Attention: Eric Gangloff or Sarah Camastro, 1062 Delaware St., Denver, CO 80204 or submit via email to [url=mailto:losojos01@aol.com]losojos01@aol.com[/url]

Entries must be received by the judging panel no later than 5:00pm on April 8, 2011. No late entries will be accepted. Judges may ask to meet with finalists to view the original art works prior to making a final decision. The final decision will be announced April 15, 2011.
Last edited by JohnPolito on 10 Mar 2011, 18:53, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 03 Feb 2009, 17:47

10 Mar 2011, 18:57 #8

Thank you for posting this.  I have been nicotine free for almost five years now - and it was upon realizing I was closing in on this anniversary that I found my way back to this forum.  I haven't had a craving for nicotine in at least a couple of years now, but I do make a conscious effort to read a few entries on whyquit.com every few months (often from the memorial page).  I do this for one simple reason - even though I no longer have the cravings, I never, ever, ever, ever want to forget that I am an addict, and if I were to take a puff tomorrow I would be hooked back right into the addiction.  Back when I was addicted, I never really believed I could live without cigarettes.  Now that I am nicotine-free, I never want to forget that it is impossible to truly live while addicted to cigarettes.

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

15 Apr 2011, 11:44 #9

I am delighted to announce the winning artwork for the NIX ON NICOTINE campaign!  Combining the efforts of two talented artists who have graciously agreed to share the contest prize, our new campaign image is both graphic and compelling.  It captures our message and we'll be proud to display it everywhere.  Heartfelt thanks to the artists, to our sponsors, and to all of our supporters.

Quentin's mom

Note:  a high resolution (659k) poster size version (20" x 28") of the winning artwork is available at    http://whyquit.com/freedom/ImageLibrary ... on/n63.jpg

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

03 May 2011, 14:13 #10

Chronic nicotine exposure exacerbates
acute renal ischemic injury

AJP Renal Physiology - Arany

American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology  2011 Apr 20. [Epub ahead of print]
Arany I, Grifoni S, Clark JS, Csongradi E, Maric C, Juncos LA.

Recent epidemiologic reports showed that smoking has a negative impact on renal function and elevates the renal risk not only in the renal patient but perhaps also in the healthy population. Studies suggested that nicotine -a major tobacco alkaloid- links smoking to renal dysfunction. While several studies showed that smoking/chronic nicotine exposure exacerbates progression of chronic renal diseases, its impact on acute kidney injury is virtually unknown.

Here, we studied the effects of chronic nicotine exposure on acute renal ischemic injury. We found that chronic nicotine exposure increased the extent of renal injury induced by warm ischemia/reperfusion as evidenced by morphological changes, increase in plasma creatinine level and renal KIM-1 expression. We also found that chronic nicotine exposure elevated markers of oxidative stress such as nitrotyrosine as well as malondialdehyde. Interestingly, chronic nicotine exposure alone increased oxidative stress and injury in the kidney without morphological alterations. Chronic nicotine treatment not only increased ROS production and injury but also exacerbated oxidative stress-induced ROS generation through NADPH oxidase and mitochondria in cultured renal proximal tubule cells. The resultant oxidative stress provoked injury through c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK)-mediated activation of the AP-1 transcription factor in vitro. This mechanism might exist in vivo as phosphorylation of JNK and its downstream target c-jun -a component of the AP-1 transcription factor- is elevated in the ischemic kidneys exposed to chronic nicotine.

Our results imply that smoking may sensitize the kidney to ischemic insults and perhaps facilitates progression of acute kidney injury to chronic kidney injury.

http://ajprenal.physiology.org/content/ ... 11.reprint

PubMed:   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2151 ... t=Abstract