Monday, August 23, 2010

No smoking

My family has to watch out because we are at higher risk of getting lung cancer.

My grandfather was a lung cancer survivor. He was a chain smoker and only quit when he was diagnosed with lung cancer back in the eighties. He was one of the few people I know who actually survived cancer. He lived for 17 more years, I think, after he underwent both chemotherapy and radiotherapy and was thereafter declared cancer free, and passed away 9 years ago at age 87 of other causes. But what he wasn't able to get rid of was his COPD. He had a chronic cough which gave him coughing spells all throughout the day. He underwent tests with spirometers and while medications were given for his condition, he was often troubled by his cough that won't really go away.

My father, was not really a smoker himself. We attributed his cancer to the fact that he goes to places where smoking is more of the rule. Thus, he got cancer from second hand sources. He passed away 10 years ago due to lung cancer, after fighting it for more than a year.

I never met my father-in-law, who passed away before my husband entered residency training. He too was a lung cancer victim.

I have always thought that smoking kills. In a slow, agonizing way. Not only for the smoker himself, but also for his family. It took away members of my family. I do hope my kids won't ever take up the habit.