March 21st, 2011, 10:40 pm #101

Thank you for bringing this up as a feature.  Boy, is it ever true - 10 years old - and all the same story!  Nicotine addiction does not change, and our journeys - different as they are - still get swept up in these emotional swings.  It feels SO validating to hear that others have gone through all of this before - and more importantly - have stood the test of time in their journey to start to see the calm and healing showing up.

Thanks again.  I really enjoyed this thread.

quit 1-1-11 and smiling, smiling, smiling
I am SO PROUD of my QUIT!!!


March 22nd, 2011, 3:43 pm #102

Thank you for having this here. It has helped me more than I can express. I have been on this roller coaster all week and I couldn't figure out what was happening to me. I used to use the nicotine as a coping thing when I felt stressed. But now I realize that maybe when that cig wore off the stress returns and I need another one. Not to mention turning to food when I could have a cigarette. I am trying so hard, harder than I have ever fought for anything in my whole life, to live this journey in the healthiest and safest way possible. I can honestly say though I have been crying at anything and felt like I lost all my marbles for a few hours I have survived it . I did not desire a cigarette at all. I didn't even find myself reaching in that empty spot on my table for one. That in itself is a huge accomplishment. I just struggle with learning new coping techniques. So I will keep reading and learning and listening to others as they travel their journeys and try to remember I am not alone and I am not the first to take this journey. One step at a time.
grandmajojo - Free and Healing for Nine Days, 21 Hours and 14 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 10 Hours, by avoiding the use of 129 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $37.02.


March 22nd, 2011, 5:44 pm #103

I have to smoke because of all my stress - Post #6

I am not sure how clear this picture will come out online. On the left you can see how non-smokers react to stress. Without it they are happy and comfortable, when encountering stress they lose this comfort and depending on its severity they can get either mildly annoyed or really upset. The resolution of the stress will normally bring the non-smoker back to the original state of comfort, after a little time of cooling down of course.

Smokers are much more complex. After the initial stress they feel like a non-smoker encountering stress, for a few seconds. But then the delineation occurs, the smoker's nicotine level depletes because of the urine acidity induced by the stress, and the smoker is kicked into a drug withdrawal state. The smoker has four ways to deal with the situation now.

First, the smoker can just smoke a cigarette. Well low and behold if the smoker does this he or she will feel "better." He or she will not feel good; he or she just won't be feeling withdrawal for the moment but still be feeling the initial stress. In essence, he or she will feel like a non-smoker under stress, not great, but not in withdrawal either.

The second way a smoker can handle the stress is to solve it and also smoke a cigarette. This results in one happy smoker. No stress now and no withdrawal, life is good at the moment. The feeling of bliss is basically the same feeling a non-smoker has who resolves his or her stress.

But then there are the other two scenarios. The smoker can solve the problem but not smoke. Here is the kicker here, the problem is resolved but the smoker is still in withdrawal, the nicotine level has dropped and problem resolution has no way to stop the nicotine depletion, only a cigarette can do that.

The worst of all situations is the smoker who cannot solve the problem and also cannot smoke a cigarette. This is a miserable situation to ever be in. You normally don't want to be around a smoker in this situation let alone being one yourself. Many smokers find themselves facing this dilemma daily since many jobs and social settings do not allow smoking yet constantly force the smoker to face stresses.

When you quit smoking these last four reactions to stress become a thing of the past. You still face stress, but you no longer have to face drug withdrawals induced by it. In essence you deal with stress in a totally different way when you don't have chronic drug withdrawals exaggerating it.

To stay in the position of being able to handle stresses with greater clarity and minimal discomfort always know that no matter what the stress, to avoid it having any long lasting and life threatening complications always remember to never take another puff!



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

March 22nd, 2011, 6:17 pm #104

The post I like to pop up whenever anyone uses the term "roller coaster" to describe their quitting experience:

The Real Cigarette Induced "Roller Coaster" Ride

The Real Cigarette Induced 
"Roller Coaster" Ride

You will sometimes hear people who have quit smoking say that they experienced a real emotional roller coaster in the early days of their quits. In fact, some people put off quitting, sometimes indefinitely, because they are afraid of the emotional ups and downs they may experience during the initial cessation period.

What all smokers need to realize is that the "possible" roller coaster ride people "may" go through when they are quitting is nothing compared to the roller coaster ride people WILL go through if they get any of the numerous conditions that smoking is capable of causing.

In March of 2006 a member at the Freedom site named Sue attached the obituary for her husband Mike, who had passed away after a five year struggle with lung cancer. The original post can be seen in the 12th post in the string Honor our Fallen Comrades Parade. In that post she put up a link to the Lung Cancer Support Community website. John has had links to this site at for a long time but I never actually went there to read. That day though I took a look and saw that they had a series of message boards, one of them being a board of obituaries. When I went to look at Mike's notice, I saw that not only was there the obituary written by Sue but also condolences written by other members of the site.

One thing struck me in Sue's announcement and then in the attached condolences: most of the people at the site attached a log of the treatments and the complications that they had endured since their initial diagnosis. If anyone wants to see the real roller coaster kind of rides that people go through from smoking they should go read through those logs. Here is the log that Sue attached describing Mike's battle with lung cancer. 

Posted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:01 pm 
Post subject: I lost my precious Mike

I have little strength to post . I just wanted to let you know that my precious, Mike lost his battle today. I will write more later and post his obituary when we get it completed. Thank you to everyone for your love and support.



husband, Mike, 59 years old
  • 2-01 dx'd Stage 1 nsclc-9cm tumor to right lung-no lymph node involvement...
  • 4-30-01 pneumonectomy right lung removed. No follow-up chemo or radiation , but scans and xrays were done
  • 1-28-04 dx w/recurrent stage IV nsclc tumor on stump of where right lung had been removed , lymph node involvement, tumor adrenal gland -lft side,
  • 02-04-04 - taxol & carboplatin 3 treatments-didn't work
  • 02-12-04 - radiation 10 to lung for bleeding
  • 04-2-04 - taxotere had 4 treatments. shrinkage had occurred in all after 3.. continuing taxotere. making him very tired ... upper body swelling ..
  • 08-01-04 - in hospital latest..
  • 08-02-04 had stent put in .. superior vena cava.. the vein was being blocked by pressure tumor.
  • 08-05-04-started 10 radiation treatments,
  • 08-30-04- started Navelbine on 3 weeks and off 1 Scan after 5 treatments show chemo Navelbine not working -slight decrease to lung mass, but slight increase to adrenal ....
  • 11-01-04-starting Gemzar ... had 3 treatments... too many side effects... Ct of chest and upper abdomen done on Dec. 2nd -results some shrinkage
  • 12-06-04-started Alimta Dec. 6th- first treatment went well Had 2nd treatment Dec. 27th ... developed a rash and is tired, but otherwise ok Scan Feb 7th, 2005 STABLE doing good continuing Alimta April 18th scans showed stable disease (after 6 Alimta treatments), but he now has pneumonitis... no more treatments until much better.. on prednisone and oxygen..
  • 05-31-05 Ct scan of chest showed pneumonitis resolved and stable cancer
  • 06-06-05-our 35th wedding anniversary... onc confirms everything resolving and stable -recommends break continued til August
  • 6-15-05 to 6-18-05 in hospital due to mental confusion ... had MRI-member empty head club
  • 8-3-2005-Ct scans chest , abdomen and pelvic....Waiting and praying...
  • 8-8-2005-Ct results were that the chest area looked improved, but the adrenal area had increased and involved some lymph nodes. Started Tarceva 150mg
  • 8-16-2005-8-20-2005 stopped 2 weeks due to severe rash on 9-8-2005 started back on Tarceva at 100 mg now.. stopped again on 9-19-2005
  • 9-30-2005 - scans slight progression to nodes behind adrenal..
  • 10-10-2005-Camptosar - CPT-11 started
  • 10-31-2005 - CPT-11 refused more CPT-11 made him extremely fatigued and nauseated
  • Dec. 6th - CTscans chest, abdomen & pelvic. shows stable but tumor compressing the esophagus..
  • Dec. 19th - had stent to trachea put in
  • Dec. 21st - he had stent to esophagus and feeding tube put in
  • Dec. 22nd .. he will ill put in hospital... vomiting and also coughing and congestion in for 4 days... home for Christmas Dec. 25th... still recuperating with antibiotics etc. Continuing cough and numerous doctor visits.
  • Jan 30th-Feb 4th- hospitalized again with cough ...Still has cough , but controlled most of the time Hasn't been able to resume chemo
  • My "prince charming", best friend, husband and soul mate, Mike, passed away March 2, 2006 after being a 5 year survivor and fighting a very courageous battle**
Sending Love and Prayers to all!!!

When people don't even attempt to quit because of the pain or suffering that quitting might cause, or throw away their quits because of some withdrawal symptom, I think they are truly lacking the understanding of just what kind of pain and suffering not quitting can really end up causing them. When I saw the log above as well as all of the others attached to the string, it hit home again just how important a mission we are trying to accomplish at Freedom. I asked Sue if it was okay with her if we used this log at Freedom. Here is an excerpt of Sue's response:

"Please feel free to use the "log" or "profile" I have on the cancer site . I know in my heart, Mike would want to share any information we could provide you with if you think it could help to portray the very real consequences smoking had in store for him and so many others. The log really is quite long isn't it? Yes, it is the true meaning of "roller coaster rides".

Mike began his fight with lung cancer 5 years ago in 2001. You will note on the profile that he was diagnosed in February of 2001 and he had a pneumonectomy - right lung removed on April 30th of that year. He then had to start fighting the battle anew with his recurrence diagnosed January of 2004. He had barely recuperated from that initial surgery when he was again diagnosed with recurrence. This time it was not considered curable .

Mike went through seven different kinds of chemotherapy and a total of 20 radiation therapy treatments, not to mention the one that he had just 2 days before his death. All of this in an effort to live a little longer.

He endured what seemed like hundreds of needles, scans, x-rays and other invasive tests along the way. We went through each step with optimism and praying for positive results. Sometimes we got them and sometimes we didn't.

The treatments themselves, undertaken to try and kill the cancer, would often take him to a point that seemed to be so very near death. A "good day" was to be able to stay awake, most of the day, and eat without being nauseous. He lived the last year dependent on oxygen 24/7, having to have breathing treatments 3 times a day plus bronchiodiating inhalers twice a day. He went through 2 months in the middle of last year where he was on medication that caused a psychosis and he didn't know what he was doing. This is just touching on the highlights, but when we got to the end of his days, his body wasted away rapidly and his breathing was labored - something I will never, ever forget. It would have surely been easier to have quit smoking or to never have smoked many years before."

I don't want to minimize the discomfort that some people go through while first quitting smoking. I do want to make it clear though that the pain and suffering that a person may go through if they don't quit and end up developing a smoking related illness, is likely to be a whole lot worse than whatever withdrawal "may" have caused them. Then, there is the ongoing emotional pain and suffering that is left for the people who lose their loved ones to smoking related deaths.

So, can quitting smoking end up in sensations of being on a roller coaster ride? Maybe so, but all people quitting should realize that it is a short ride, and more importantly, that it is a ride that can extend their life and improve the overall quality of their life for years and decades to come. Whatever discomfort a person may initially encounter when quitting smoking will be worth the effort when he or she considers how short this particular ride will be in the grand scheme of things and that he or she will never have to go on it again as long as he or she makes and continues to stick to a personal commitment to Never Take Another Puff! 

© Joel Spitzer 2006 
Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on April 1, 2006

Last edited by Joel Spitzer on March 22nd, 2011, 6:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.


June 1st, 2011, 5:06 am #105

Linda's post made me realise there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you, Linda.

Michelle :)

Day 9


August 21st, 2012, 11:35 pm #106

Im 16 days into my quit and I have just posted in my journal about my emotions. it's so cool to read your messages and realise im not alone. I thought cos im 2 weeks in i should be ok - well - everyone else thinks so.

People think cos i gave up so successfully everything's ok now. If i get upset or angry or emotionl then somethings wrong with me - it can't possibly be quitting smoking cos that's past history. 

Ok i know that i cant rely on others and that this quit is mine and not theirs. It just helps when i read other posts and see that im normal!!!!!!

Thanks you guys


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

August 22nd, 2012, 12:18 am #107