• My mom is 63 lung cancer chemo thererapy 2x been in radiation therapy every day for 2weeks? how do i get her to stop smoking?

    Asked by debeedo on Friday, March 23, 2012

    My mom is 63 lung cancer chemo thererapy 2x been in radiation therapy every day for 2weeks? how do i get her to stop smoking?

    I cant dis respect her by just getting rid of every cig. in the house and making it impossible for her to get more. is there anybody that went through this with their children? is tuff love the answer?She will hate me but will she forgive me?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • sarahgrossman's Avatar

      My dad is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer and he has smoked for 40+ years. At first he really cut back on the amount he smoked and then the closer it got to time of surgery he was smoking almost 2 packs a day. It was very hard for me to deal with but I just kept reminding him that maybe it was time to give it up. After surgery (he obviously couldn't smoke in the hospital) we got him the patch that he had been using in the hospital. There were a few times that he was frustrated or in pain that he asked (yelled about it) for one and I told him no. He said that I was just trying to be argumenatitive about it and I told him I was doing it because I loved him. He has had a puff off of a couple smokes but says they are gross and hasn't really smoked one in 5 weeks. For what your mom is going through the smoking may be the only "normal" thing that she does for herself so its hard to give it up. But reminding her that its not good for herself and that you love her and want her to be around may help. Otherwise you have to remember that as much as it hurts you to see her smoke it is her choice to do it (which I know sucks) It has to be her decision to quit or it will never work! Giving here options (the patch/losanges or e-cigarettes) may help her make a choice to quit. I hope this helps I know it's hard to see a loved one going through this! Good luck!

      almost 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      In a word.....no. In a few more words, let me try to give you a perspective from your mother's point of view.

      I am 64, have cancer, and I still smoke. I also have a daughter who is 37. The bottom line is that you cannot get her to stop smoking, only she can do that. Unless you are or have been a long time smoker AND have had cancer, I really don't think you can fully understand how difficult that is. I want to quit smoking. I also don't want to have cancer. But there is no magic wand that is suddenly going to make both of those things go away.

      I readily admit that smoking is an addiction and a crutch, both physically and psychologically. But it is my addiction and my crutch, not anybody else's. I would suggest that you get clear in your own mind why you want her to quit smoking. Is that for her benefit or for yours? I understand that you love your mother and don't want to lose her, but you need to realize that she is still the mother and you are still the daughter and that will always be the case.

      While it has been pretty well proven over the years that there is a strong link between smoking and lung cancer, that is all it is. People who have never smoked get cancer and people who do smoke don't get cancer. So even if she does quit smoking, that is no guarantee that she won't die of cancer. Similarly if she does quit smoking, she could still die from cancer. The only guarantee is that we will all die of something eventually.

      Tough love is not the answer for anybody with cancer, whether they smoke or not. Your mother needs you to support her, not badger her, undermine her, and make her feel guilty. Please do not make her cancer all about her smoking. It may have been a factor, it may not have been. In any case, in supporting her it can still be addressed, along with her nutrition, exercise, side effects, medications, and all the other factors involved in having and being treated for cancer. But please don't make it all about smoking, because it simply is not that simple. I know you would like it to be, we all would, but it is just not.

      almost 9 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      With my mother, she had a heart attack, dad found her on the porch almost dead, she quit cold turkey in the hospital. After she came home I was worried she would want to start again, never did. She died about 4 years later from lung cancer. My mother in law has smoked most of her life like mom did, she has been in the hospital for as much as a month, had every opportunity to quit, as soon as she got out she claimed she was a nervous wreck and just had to smoke or was going to go crazy. I think it's either in their mind the ability to quit, or not, will power I guess. I wish I could get the in law to quit, but I don't think she ever will. She was close with my mom and seen her die from lung cancer, makes no difference, she just says it was something else that caused it.
      Best of luck to you in getting her to quit.

      almost 9 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Consider asking her whether she'd consider one of the help-quit meds like wellbutrin. I don't know if she'd be able to take that drug during her treatment... but if she could, she might find it a lot easier to at least smoke less.

      I agree with what was said above. As hard as it is, this is one thing that SHE has control over. Well, not exactly, because the drive to smoke is pretty strong... and can be very very hard to resist when under tremendous stress.

      Dunno if you can do this... but hold back judgement... and just talk to her. How does she feel about smoking? Does she want to change her smoking status? If you can, be accepting and just listen to what she has to say. Unless she asks your opinion, don't offer it up....

      This is hard... good luck.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Powrcessation's Avatar

      Hi Debeedo,

      Has your mother's physician(s) weighed in on this? Her doctors should be taking a much more active role in helping you, help her, to quit smoking. There are many different options (many of which are free through state tobacco programs and other tobacco cessation organizations, like our own www.powrcessationcenter.org). Knowing your full range of options is the best way to see what works for your mother, and what doesn't. Your doctor should have advised a tobacco cessation plan prior to diagnosis and treatment.

      Here are some options to consider:

      Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)- these include nicotine patches, lozenges, sprays, etc. that deliver lower levels of nicotine; non-nicotine prescription medication- your doctor can prescribe these; behavioral support/counseling from a certified therapist; call your state quit line toll-free or look them up online- they offer immediate support for quitters; contact your local tobacco cessation center (many are funded by the American Lung Association- they can send an outreach specialist to visit you, and work directly with your physician to implement a plan); search for quit classes and support groups in your area

      almost 9 years ago

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