So here I sit, ready for my hour of writing. We went to see Jane today. She has stage 3b lung cancer. It is about an 8 inch mass beside her lung and wrapping up around her esophagus. It is inoperable. This is definitely not the news we wanted, so we put on our brave faces and we are taking it day by day. The doctor did say this is a direct result of her smoking, although she quit 8 years ago.

Can you believe that your body will never be not at risk for smoking related diseases until at minimum 15 years of non smoking? I have been an “actual” smoker since I was 16 years old. I am now 33 years old and it has been 17 years of smoking. If I quit tomorrow, I wouldn’t be free of smoking related diseases until I am 48 years old. I know that this doesn’t take away ALL the risk, it just decreases your chances. As much as I hate that Jane will most likely pass due to her cancer, and that the cancer was caused by smoking, I don’t know how I would ever fully quit.

I have friends who have quit in years past, and even 10 years later they admit it is still hard for them to not want to pick one up if they are around someone smoking. I’ve always had the stance that I should just live my life, with whatever vices I choose, because life is going to deal me the cards it chooses anyway.

When I worked as a patient care technician when I was 21 years old, I worked on a cardiac unit. We had a woman named Ellie who was 98 years old vist our ward. She had to have triple bypass surgery and she made such an impression on me. She was so sweet and very wise. She told me that she had never smoked, drank, done drugs and had been a strict vegan her whole life. But yet here she sat, with triple bypass surgery. Ellie told me, “Jennifer, LIVE your life. Eat what you want, drink what you want, smoke what you want – God has a plan for you either way, so your fate is sealed.” I am sure that I would never do heroin or drugs in general, I take blood pressure medicine and diabetes medication. I know that the health problems I have now are due to my weight and to my smoking habit too. But I am 33 years old, no children, no siblings. My wife is older than me by 6 years. Ultimately, we will live out our lives and what will happen will happen.

If I could go back to 13 years old, I would of never even attempted smoking. If I could go back to 16 years old, I would of never kept the habit going as I learned how to actually smoke and inhale. At this point, what is the use for me? I do plan to get my weight in better control this next year. I have already started by losing 20lbs. I am sure some of that is from the help of my diabetes medicines. Somewhere though, I have to decide that I want this more than anything and just do it. I am fat. I am still able to be active without limitations, I don’t even really eat much. I just eat the bad foods, the bad carbs, all the sodas. My wife had weight loss surgery, and while I know her struggle and I know that as much as she tried she just wasn’t losing – I feel that for ME, it would be a cop out. And I don’t know if anyone has ever told you, but weight loss surgery is NO joke and the pre surgery diet is worse than the after effects of surgery. My wife really struggled and it was so hard to watch.

My wife’s surgery was over a year ago now, and while she lost 100lbs, we have begun back into old patterns. The only difference is she physically cannot eat the foods she was before. BUT, we signed her up for a new gym opening this weekend! We have also committed to trying out living a minimalist lifestyle, we have begun decluttering our home. We are really looking into more recipes to cook at home, and sodas will be gone. I have successfully done this before and so has she. WE CAN DO THIS.

I know everyones resolutions are always get healthy, blah blah blah. BUT I have a real opportunity here to lose weight, follow my passions, learn what I am passionate about, and do what really drives me. We are in discussions of moving to a smaller city outside of our medium sized town. This new town would be small enough that we would have to go “in town” to go to a grocery store or Wal-Mart. This little town has a dairy queen and a gas station. I think it is PERFECT for us to get away from bad foods. We won’t have the conveinence of just going a block away to grab fatty foods.

The town we live in now is moderate size I guess, but you can get anywhere in 10 minutes. There is no traffic really ever. It has been really easy to go places, eat bad foods, and just sit around. We don’t have as big of a social life as we did in the metroplex we lived in before. So moving to a smaller town 15 minutes from the “city” really won’t hurt us socially or in any other way. It will also save us $200 a month in rent, which we can always use more money. We have set out on this journey to save as much as we can, pay off our credit card debt, get healthier, and simply our lives. So far, we are succeeding. It is so hard to catch up on debt because you find yourself thrown backwards with fees. Everyday is a new step forward. So hey, if you have an advice to do any of those things – feel free to shoot them my way!

Until next time…


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