Crime & Cancer

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My brand new father in law (FIL), the Help's dad, is going to die of lung cancer sometime this year. Non-smokers can get lung cancer but FIL was a smoker, a heavy smoker, so was my mother-in-law (MIL). She quit when she needed heart surgery, he quit 3 years ago when he got the cancer diagnosis.

There is nothing to do now but to save up annual leave and money for the eventual funeral that will come. The damage is done with FIL, we call often so the last words he hears from us is "we love you." At the same time discussions with the step-MIL, family and friends, acknowledges his smoking brought us ('us' because his suffering is not just limited to him) all to where we're at now.

Same way with crime and the city. Like the non-smoker who gets the cancer there are citizens who engage in safe practices who will unfortunately meet up with a determined criminal. And then there are the hundreds of stolen iphone/bike, smash & grab victims in waiting I see all over the place. Stop holding your phone out. Lock your bike like there is a thief with a pair of bolt cutters watching you like a hawk and for the love of pete stop leaving crap in your car seats. Of course, after the criminals have struck there is nothing to do but call the cops, your insurance, the phone company and the auto shop. The suffering spreads out in giving the criminal positive feedback to repeat it again with someone else, the crime stats tick up, and we all feel a little less safe.

Getting back to smoking, kids, please quit. Or start trying to quit, because quitting is hard. Quit on your own and not after a surgeon has to crack open your chest trying to remove the cancer or to fix your heart. Quit before it saps your energy and vigor and the people who love you are forced to watch you rapidly decline, knowing there is nothing, nothing we can do to change it. We can rage at the tobacco companies all we want but it is the smoker, the victim in this, who has to be the one to quit.

6 Comments

Unrelated to this post, but I couldn't find an email address. I was just wondering whether you were considering a post about redistricting & Shaw/TC (which is actually where I've been renting for the last little while), especially with DeBonis' report that Jack Evans wants to lose Shaw as part of the Ward 2 shrinking that needs to happen under law.

Also unrelated, but why do you call your husband the Help? Why not just call him your husband instead of a nickname that could sound demeaning or confusing to a reader who doesn't know the backstory of it?

Thanks for the response, Mari. I'm definitely in Ward 5. (Though when we moved into the neighborhood, we looked at a place on Morgan, in that "chimney" section of Ward 6.) It strikes me as a little funny that I walk my dogs through 3 wards every morning in a 20-minute span.

I imagine there are some similarities between TC-in-Ward-5 and Shaw-in-Ward-2 experiences, with both being on the periphery of their wards. Shaw's potential move over to W5 with redistricting, though, might be more interesting from the perspective of those of us in Truxton, who could be looking at an ANC that probably won't stretch all the way up to Brookland any longer (and won't that be nice?).

Today i quit smoking 4 1/2 years ago after 16 years. It's a horrible addiction that I am very thankful to have overcome. I did have help thanks to Chantix and some vodka for that first 24hr detox;) I'm sorry your family is going thru this, I think its good that you are writing about it and hopefully will motivate some other smokers out there to free themselves from the beast.

p.s. i think the help is a very cute nickname;)

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