LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Smoking, lung cancer and loss
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to email@example.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
We just lost our beloved daughter to lung cancer. Parents aren’t supposed to lose their children. She always took good care of herself exercised, ate right, etc. except for one thing — she smoked.
She started in high school (against mom and dad’s wishes and warnings). She ignored the warnings on the packages that she had to have seen every time she opened a new one. Smoking helped her keep her weight down.
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She was hooked on a bad habit like many people are. It’s a filthy habit. It leaves odors in your hair, on your clothes and on your breath. Mom and daughter hugs always had that odor. She told me to stop harassing her about it or she might stop coming to see me.
Now we spent Christmas without her — the outcome turned out the same. She finally did quit a few years ago but it was too late. Lung cancer is cruel. By the time you have any symptoms, it’s usually already in the third or fourth stage.
It can live in a lung for as long as eight years before the symptoms show. By then, it has probably spread to your brain (I have learned a lot about this horrible disease that I sure didn’t want to). Of course, it gets in your lymph nodes.
She tried all the treatments: chemotherapy, radiation and immune therapy. She dealt with Sanford Health and the Mayo Clinic both to no avail. She lost her beautiful red hair, but nothing helped. It spread to her esophagus, kidneys, etc.
There are two children, two grandchildren, a fiancée and a brother who will also always miss her.
If you smoke, please stop. Think of your loved ones and get help, it is out there. You are too important to them to let smoking ruin your life and theirs.
Please don't think it only happens to other people. We had a beautiful daughter who proved that wrong.