How Quitting Smoking Saved My Life

August 08, 2016 3 Comments

How Quitting Smoking Saved My Life

It’s my 10 year anniversary for quitting smoking this month.  

When I think about my decision and remember all the things that happened once I quit, I know that it saved my life.

A little backstory: I started smoking as a teen, and the longest I had ever quit before was 3 years. Though I don't like to admit it to myself, I had smoked off and on for over 20 years. 😕

I tried many times to quit before, but every time I had a very strange thing happen - I started bleeding….
I know some people are uncomfortable hearing or knowing it, but I bled from my rectum, my colon really.  I’ll only say it once. ;)

Turns out I have Ulcerative Colitis, and my symptoms ONLY presented themselves when I quit smoking. 
I am going to make this very long story short by skipping over all the hard times of changing my diet, drinking iron for anemia due to blood loss, different Dr’s and drugs, uncomfortable periods of constipation to finally starting smoking again just to feel better, and get to the last time I quit…

August 13th, 2006
I was doing really well.  I started walking and exercising, feeling pretty good, when my chiropractor suggested I do a ‘cleanse’ to get rid of toxins from smoking.  Well I did, and that started the path to the hospital. 3 weeks of diarrhea and severe dehydration put me there.

I had no insurance and was so scared that I couldn’t afford a trip to the hospital, but a few angels showed up and a wonderful PA informed me that there were programs available to help me and to GO straight to the ER.

Laying there in the hospital I remember talking to God and thinking that if I got through this I would never smoke again.  That I didn’t want to be back here years from now with some smoking related illness.

From that 5 day stay I got a new (awesome) Gastroenterologist and he scheduled the colonoscopy that found THAT polyp.  He could tell that if it wasn’t already, it would become cancer and needed to be removed.

I was extremely blessed to have been put in this place where I could get the help I needed, great Doctors, and basically a free surgery to remove part of my colon.  That polyp had JUST turned cancerous.

I feel God totally took care of me. I was so scared, but I went through it, and it all worked out.
If I hadn’t quit smoking, and gone through all of that, I would have developed colon cancer.

So happy 10th anniversary to me! 🎉 Smoke Free - Cancer Free - And while my colitis still flares up, I happily take my medicine and see my Doctor for regular check ups. 😄

What I want to say to you is - It's never too late to quit. You can do it! It's hard but SO worth it. Be good to yourself.  Don’t hesitate to go to the Dr. or get help.  I believe that God or the Universe, or whatever you believe in will help you when you need it.

With much gratitude,

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3 Responses

Kelly
Kelly

August 31, 2016

Thank you Beverly and Barb. I’m happier, healthier, and feel blessed. :)

Barb
Barb

August 10, 2016

Hi Kelly! that is one amazing and inspiring story – many congratulations on taking care of yourself, and I’m so happy to read that all turned out well!

Beverly
Beverly

August 08, 2016

Amazing story Kelly! So very happy you are well, and healthy and had great physicians and care!! Blessings to you!!

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