To Smoke or not to Be

My friend (and ex-husband) had an operation this week. He had a black spot in his lungs and the surgeon went in and chopped out part of a lobe. When the black part was tested, it was cancer. The operation apparently went well and he won’t need chemotherapy, or at least not yet.

Just for organizational reasons (I have Monday off from work), I was the “family” member who took him to the hospital. The appointment was at six thirty in the morning, and I live pretty far away so I spent the night in the guest room of the house we used to live in together. It was all a bit odd, of course, but necessary.

I hung out until he went in for surgery, and came back after when he woke up. He’s doing really well, and should be out by the end of the week.

Now the question is, can he quit smoking? He started at, like, twelve, with his grandmother giving him cigarettes and thinking how cute it was when he smoked. Not everyone is equal in the face of addictions; some people can drink off and on their whole lives and never become alcoholics. However, he’s very addicted.

He’s got a few “free” days at the hospital, not smoking and with his lungs in such a painful state that he doesn’t even want to. The nicotine desire should be mostly gone by then. He just has to get past the mental need. “Just”…..

I disagree strongly with the phrase “It’s all in your head” to mean “it’s not real.” The head is as real as any other part of your body. You can’t tell someone hearing voices that they are not real. Schizophrenia is real. Paranoia is real. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is real. Depression is real.

In fact, every word that exists in a dictionary, or that we have a mental image of, is “real” in some manner. Ghosts are real because we have a word for ghosts. That goes for God, gods, wood nymphs, Madame Bovary and Sherlock Holmes.

Therein lies the rub.

Foro is crossing his fingers and his toes….

I hope he makes it, because they just chopped out part of his body. He has less. The question will be what does he like more, living or smoking? And if someone is addicted to smoking, is there a difference?

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