When my mum was in hospital, she was there for just over three weeks, and for the majority of that time she didn't smoke. Towards the end of her stay, however, she had a craving for a ciggie, and a nurse told her, "Well, one won't do you any harm." (This from a medical professional; don't even get me started...)
That one turned into a few a day for the last few days of her hospital stay.
And she has continued to smoke several cigarettes a day since being discharged on 29 July.
We -- those family members who don't smoke -- suggested she should stop. Stop now before she becomes addicted again, undoing all the good work of not smoking for almost three weeks. Some other family members -- the smokers -- suggested, well, it's not going to make much difference.
And, of course, the smoking will help with the stress.
It's hard to argue that latter point, sure. And nobody wants to argue with someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer, getting them all upset and shit.
But we did manage to get her to agree to stop smoking once the radiotherapy started. She said she would stop then. Her husband said he would stop, too, to make it easier for her to quit.
You know where this is going, don't you?
I've just spoken to her. She is four fifths of the way through her radiotherapy. Just one appointment left.
"How's the non-smoking going?" I asked.
Silence; then: "The what?"
I said, "I suspect by that answer you're still smoking."
"Well, yes. Nobody has told me I should stop or has even asked if I'm smoking. I'll ask about it when I next speak to a doctor."
Aside: I know this will be in three weeks' time. Ergo, she is gonna keep fucking smoking for another three fucking weeks. Despite the promises. Despite the fact (perhaps unknown to her, but nevertheless) that radiotherapy is less effective in those patients who continue to smoke throughout the course.
What fucking part of a cancer victim's brain shuts down when it comes to smoking? Can you tell me?
Like I said in the title: fuck's sake...