Wednesday, May 24, 2006

smoking . . . yuks!

In the past 2 weeks or so I have noticed myself becoming a lot more digusted by the sight of people puffing their cigarettes around me. Besides my very brief moment of experimentation with clove cigarettes during my second or third year at Vassar, I have never smoked. After a few puffs of those cloves, I realized quickly that cigarettes weren't for me and never had the desire to try them again. The tar-like smoke itself had alway repulsed me. Nevertheless, I have noticed a change in my reaction to smoke and smokers recently. I seem to be even more alarmed and wary of being around second-hand smoke in public than ever before. I'm sure it has to do with my cancer history. Like with many things, a cancer diagnosis brings sensitivity to many different matters, both new and old. Having completed cancer treatment recently, when I look at the smokers I just wonder how they can just do such senseless harm to their own bodies. The irony, of course, is that not all smokers get cancer but then, there are folks like myself who except for that brief experimentation that I mentioned above, try to take relatively good care of themselves and cancer knocks at their door. Go figure. (As a humorous side note, I'm reminded of a female patient back in March who I saw standing outside of the entrance to Sloan-Kettering smoking a cigarette as she was attached to her IV pole. Now, I'm not sure if there was just hydration fluid in her infusion pump or chemotherapy, but either way I was shocked.) I'm just so sensitive about my own body and health right now that it bothers me a lot to see other causing themselves meaningless damage. Of course, not all smokers develop lung cancer, but why risk it? Anyway, enough of me preaching. I just wanted to type about a recent observation of myself.

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