My name is Paul, I am 34. I started experimenting with smoking when I was only 14, the kids I hung around with all smoked, my dad smoked and other members of my family smoked. As an impressionable kid it was easy to take the habit up, why at the time it was cool to smoke, wasn't it :confused:
Time passed and my habit grew, but at the tender age of 16 my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to undergo chemo therapy and radio therapy. The therapy worked and my dad was cured. Make no mistake, this wasn't without BIG changes, as a consequence he had to sell the business that he built up from scratch that was successful for over 20 years. This is aswell as being really really unwell during the therapy and the implications this brings. At 16 this was hard for me to see and go through if not harder for my Mum and younger Sister.
Strangely this didn't deter me from smoking - it just didn't seem to sink in.
3 years on, my dads cancer returned only this time it was too far gone and the chemo and radio therapy reduced him to nothing and I mean nothing. He must have weighed 5 stone wet through near the end of his life. It's just so hard my good healthy dad reduced to a bed downstairs and could hardly recognise his family!
My Dad was your normal everyday kinda guy, his family came first in every way. He was fighting fit - a black belt in karate, always working hard - a good strong man. Unfortunately smoking and cancer doesn't take this into account.
It was a very bad time and I'm sure people reading this may have experienced similar circumstances - It's hard, really hard!
So why did I continue to smoke??? God knows - I always felt so guilty when talking about how my dad died knowing that I still smoked.
So here I am now at 34, Married, 2 children and mortgaged up to the eye balls! I certainly don't want history repeating itself. I quit smoking 3 days ago and am so bloody determined to stay a non smoker. Even after 3 days I feel fresher and cleaner. I know It's early days and rather than dwell on why I didn't quit years ago, here I am - A NON SMOKER - OK, it really is early days, but something has finally twigged in my brain that says this is the time! It's gonna be hard but deep down I know this is it, now is the time!
Each and every person has their own motives and reasons and even though this is just someone elseâ€™s story to all who read, it has helped me get a few things into perspective just writing this down. Thanks for reading and hope that no matter how little, that my story helps you stop smoking.
Smoking pulls no punches and cancer doesn't discriminate!