Saturday, November 10, 2012


Do you know what smoking looks like? It looks like a bald head. It looks like a huge bulbous swollen double chin from the steroids they give you because tumors grow great in brain tissue and the extra pressure in your skull gives you headaches. It looks like paralyzation because of the tumor wrapped around your brain stem. It looks like bad breath because you breathe through your mouth because you don't have the muscle control to hold your jaw closed. And it looks like a doctor telling your kids that you could actually live for two whole weeks in hospice because the water retention from the steroid bloat could compensate for the lack of a feeding tube or IV. And why no feeding tube or IV? Because they'd only keep you alive long enough to get to the really painful part of dying. So next time you light up a cigarette and say you know you really need to quit, think of that. Next time you say you're such an addict and shrug it off, think of that. Next time you talk about the side effects you heard of that keep you from asking about Chantix, think of that.  Think of the people afraid to have a beer because they may get the call any minute to rush to hospice and don't want to be too drunk to drive. Think of your kids, really picture them, wiping wet sponges around your mouth because you've lost the ability to swallow and your mouth is dry and sticky. Think of a room full of loved ones, all looking away and up at the ceiling, because nurses are rolling you over to prevent bed sores and your ass is hanging out because you can't wear underwear with a catheter and you've lost control of your bladder. And the whole time, you're conscious and aware of it all. Think of that and then answer the question, "Why is that a better reality than throwing away that pack of cigarettes?"  Why is that panicky feeling in your chest worse than the panicky feeling in your kid's chest as they scramble to find the SIX THOUSAND dollar deposit on the hospice room because without it, you may literally be discharged onto a bench in the hospital parking lot.

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