Stoptober! now is as good of time as any {my story}

The last picture of my mom and I.
I was showing her how to take a selfie with
her new iPad.
This has nothing to do with baking or even food. It’s a campaign that I want to share because unfortunately my life has been more then affected by addiction to tobacco. 

Stoptober is run by the NHS (National Health Services) here in the UK to help those who want help to quit smoking to quit! 

If you aren't ready to quit, then you probably won't be successful. You have to want to quit. Mostly for yourself, but also for those around you. Because unfortunately it's not something that just effects you. 

When I was 5 years old I was hospitalised with pneumonia. I remember waking up and not being able to breathe properly, I had dragged my Smurf sheet (it was the 80’s) off my bunk bed and wrapped it around me on my way to find my mom. The next thing I remember we are on the way to the doctor’s office. I pretended I could breathe properly and tried covering my coughs with laughs so I didn’t have to go. The doctor took one look at me and sent my mom and I straight to the hospital. I remember getting x-rayed and having to take deep breathes in and out. I over heard them say that my lungs were black both of them, not just one. I spent a week in the hospital and then even more time off school. 

"More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless, so no matter how careful you think you're being, your family still breathes in the harmful poisons. This puts them at risk of meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia."

It wasn’t the last time I had pneumonia, even though I was never hospitalised again. Bronchitis was also a friend of mine throughout my childhood along with ear infections. Those days were the early days in anti-smoking campaigns. I wonder if my doctor every suspected that I had so many respiratory problems due to breathing in secondhand smoke? Even now I couldn’t tell you for a fact that me having numerous repetitive cases of pneumonia, bronchitis, or ear infections were direct results of second hand smoke but it’s pretty coincidental as studies show that these diseases are caused by secondhand smoke.

"Tobacco was responsible for more than 100 million deaths worldwide in the 20th Century. The World Health Organisation has estimated that, if current trends continue, tobacco could cause a billion deaths in the 21st Century."

Fast forward to my last year of high school when I lost my grandmother to lung cancer that spread to her brain, which left her unable to care for herself. One thing I have learned is that cancers caused by tobacco tend to be aggressive and not responsive to treatments. 

This was confirmed for me when at the end of January this year my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer caused by smoking. She didn’t survive the diagnoses and passed away in the middle of May. It was an aggressive cancer; by the time they caught it had already spread through out her body. Doctor’s couldn’t tell us when it may have started.

"Smoking causes more than 4 in 5 cases of lung cancer. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers, and is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK."

They grew up in generations where smoking was acceptable. I don’t blame or judge them for smoking. It is an addiction. I wouldn’t know from experience, but I can’t imagine it’s easy to quit. Some people don’t want too, but for those that do what better time then now? So, join in and sign up for Stoptober! There really isn't a better time to quit as with the campaign there will be others around you quitting as well and as a result you will have a support team.  

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