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Not My Cause

Having been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer close to four years ago, I did not know that Radon was the second leading cause of lung cancer. We had our house tested for Radon years ago. The levels were way below the danger threshold.


I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m confident that the cause of my lung cancer was… as you guessed it… the number one cause… drum roll… smoking.

My father died two years ago of complications from the flu at the age of 90. Incredulously, my dad didn’t die of lung cancer despite the fact that he was a smoking fiend for about 40+ years. Even more incredibly, it took my dad only one trip to a hypnotist to get him to stop!!!

My pop smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes. He sucked on those coffin nails one right after another as if they were taped together. The house was always filled with smoke. His toes and finger nails were always yellow and his breath smelled like burnt tobacco. At one point, since we weren’t rich, my dad bought some big ass cans of Laredo-branded tobacco and a cigarette rolling machine to save money. He had me slaving away (without pay!) for days making cancer sticks for him to suck on.

All of this happened back in the 40s/50s/60s/70s when the tobacco industry and its lobbyists were effective for decades at cleverly covering up how devastating smoking was to the health of all sentient beings. It reminds me of how the opioid pill pushers and their bipartisan congressional enablers have pulled the wool over the public’s eyes during the past decade.


I was on campus at UConn at the time my dad quit smoking. I was in the process of making my aperiodic, obligatory call home to reassure my parents that I was studying hard and not drinking/drugging my ass off into flunk city (like some of my classmates). When my mom told me dad quit smoking via the one trip to the hypnotist I nearly sharted. I steadfastly refused to acknowledge it. I smugly said that dad would be smoking again before I came home on semester break. But he never smoked again for 25+ years. Fuckin’ A!

Because of the dirty, gross experience from my dad’s smoking, I swore early on in my life that I would never smoke, EVER. I made it all the way through high school without smoking even though it seemed like half of my classmates were puffing away. But alas, while on spring break in my sophomore year down in Fort Lauderdale FL, I fucked up bigly.

I was standing in Big Daddy’s dance club with a beer in one hand and many previously consumed beers in my stomach. My right arm was resting on one of those old, purely mechanical, clunker cigarette machines while I watched a bunch of drunken peers dancing to disco. In my inebriated, uninhibited state of mind I made the biggest mistake of my life and put a bunch of quarters in the machine. The nerd in this pic says it all….


I thought hey, no problem. I’ll stop injecting carcinogens into my lungs when drunken spring break ends in a few days. Yeah, right. From then on I was hooked on nicotine delivery systems for 30+ years:

  1. I smoked cigarettes for about 15 years (1-2 packs of Marlboros per day).
  2. I switched to “chaw” and skoal for about 5 years.
  3. I switched to nicotine gum for about 15 years.

I stopped all nicotine consumption approximately 3 years ago after being chemo-sick for three weeks straight. The illness overwhelmed my nicotine cravings. My taste buds were in a state where everything I put in my mouth tasted like copper shite except for bottles of Boost. I threw away all my boxes of ebay-bought Nicotrol gum and I’ve never looked back.

Categories: Cancer Tags: , ,
  1. bbd
    January 21, 2020 at 7:56 am

    What is Boost? Might come in handy. I’ve been smoking for 10+ years. Didn’t smoke since last May or June. I hope I can keep that up, but the damage is done.

    • January 21, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Boost is a milkshake-like drink loaded with vitamins and minerals. Cancer patients drink it when it’s too difficult for some reason to eat solid food. Elderly people drink it too. It’s an equivalent drink to “Ensure”.

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