this post is about beautiful people.
this is my marlboro man at about 25 years old
he was this age the first time he quit. probably about 33.
but he started again. and it would get him 13 years later.
we went to the lake every weekend the year before he got really sick.
you know . . . now i can see the swelling in his neck in pictures.
i ask myself why didn’t i notice it then?
we even laughed that he was getting a ‘double chin!’
we were planning on going backpacking in canada. it was all arranged.
we were going to be taken in and then later picked up.
just the two of us. for weeks.
he loved that kind of thing.
i like to camp where there are showers and bathrooms. LOL.
but he was my bob. and i was going to go.
the weekend we were to leave he said ~ “honey. i’m going to stop and
get something for my stomach. it’s really been bothering me.
maybe doc can give me something that will work better than these tums.”
doc didn’t like the look of his throat. he wanted to do tests.
doc rushed the tests through.
we left and waited for the call all weekend.
it turned out that the tumor was growing at such a rate
that it would have choked bob to death on that trip.
somewhere in the wilds of canada with me . . .
in a tent.
we never made it to canada on that trip.
we went to the mall to buy pajamas because he didn’t own any.
on a wednesday morning they did surgery.
a team of surgeons spent 8 hours and 45 minutes taking half
of his stomach and re-building his esophagus with it . . .
. . . where they had removed the malignant tumor.
miraculously . . . it didn’t affect his voice.
most throat cancers grow up the lining of the espophagus.
bob’s tumor was growing out. . . into his throat. that’s why the swelling.
he aged it seemed . . . overnight.
this is his daughter robin at 16 that christmas at my in-law’s house the year
her dad became ill.
we both wound up losing our fathers when we were 17.
she smoked too. and later had cancer as an adult. she survived.
no. she does not need orthopedic shoes. that was the style ! ! ! lol.
this is the age my mother was when she started smoking.
i think she was probably 17 or 18. an icy new york lake.
and many many years later . . .
this was in new york. the year before she died.
she had cancer here and we didn’t even know it.
here she is about eight weeks before she died at the age of 52.
with her brave smile and her little brown wig. oh mommy.
that’s my gramma with her . . . losing her only child.
this is jim reed. my dad. this picture is when he was 18 years old.
he smoked camels. he had beautiful handwriting and dry humor.
if you’re new to the peanut . . . go to categories later and click on
. . . the good ones . . . then scroll to jim reed.
he’s . he was wonderful.
this is jim reed about three years before he died of a massive heart attack.
the cause – huge blood clot and constricted arteries. a massive occlusion.
he had just turned 45 years old.
here he comes. the original marlboro man. the duke.
yup. john wayne.
he was a heavy smoker throughout his life. remember the quiet man?
that’s my favorite john wayne movie. try to count the number of times
he throws down a cigarette! i lose count every time. it’s a LOT.
he also made a movie in a radioactive test site in utah
which they think might have lead to cancer.
many other cast and crew on that movie also died of cancer.
he died of stomach cancer at the age of 72.
the same cancer as my bob. the esophagus. not an easy one.
he was 57 years old. another heavy smoker.
“here’s lookin’ at you kid.”
“coop” gary cooper.
he died of cancer at the age of 60.
every GI’s favorite pinup girl in WW II . . . betty grable
a heavy smoker her whole adult life . . . she died at 56 of lung cancer.
one of the most beautiful voices in the world. nat king cole.
died from lung cancer. he was the same age as my dad . . . 45.
this guy made it to 79 before it got him . . . lung cancer and emphysema.
captain rhett butler.
also known as clark gable.
died of a heart attack at age 59.
a heavy smoker. unfiltered pall malls.
it’s not always cancer.
nicotine constricts the blood vessels of the body restricting blood flow
and oxygen to the heart.
the king of siam in “the king and i”
and the man who FOREVER
made bald men beautiful.
and you thought it was bruce willis. ha. ha.
as rameses II in the ten commandments
he died of lung cancer at the age of 62. here he is holding the cause.
he was one of the first celebrities to speak the truth about smoking.
and then there was paul.
what can one say?
beautiful inside and outside and in every way.
his food empire still sends all revenue to his favorite charity . . .
to help children with cancer. he was a smoker most all of his life.
he made it all the way to 83 before dying of lung cancer.
mr paul newman.
actor. director. producer. car racer. food mogul. philanthropist.
and . . .
best buddy to this other guy . . .
you knew i’d HAVE to get a shot of redford in didn’t you? LOL.
there are hundreds more.
news journalists too and writers. not just actors and actresses.
i picked those i liked . . . and those who were from a particular era.
the era before we all knew what smoking can do to a body.
and WILL do.
we didn’t know the danger back then. not conclusively anyway.
BUT WE DO KNOW NOW.
we know what smoking does to you.
and now we also know . . .
that it doesn’t help those alongside you
who are breathing it too.
i never puffed on a single cigarette in my life.
however . . .
i have major heart trouble.
already 2 mild attacks and one cardiac arrest.
and i’m the proud owner of a stent!
next month i have a test to see if it’s still working.
one can only hope. because i’ll never have THAT done again!
i have what is called malignant hypertension.
it spikes to that stroke level on occasion for no reason . . .
and is highly difficult to control the rest of the time.
i ‘second hand smoked’ for 17 years with my mother and father . . .
then . . . 16 years with my husband . . .
and after he died . . . 21 years (out of 25) in the workplace.
5 at lincoln plaza and 16 years at tourism. full of heavy smokers . . . all.
they finally passed a law here that all state offices
would become non-smoking areas. that was 4 years before i retired.
those last four years were clear air heaven!
but the damage was done for me anyway i guess.
i retired early . . . at age 60.
my blood pressure was 270/160 the day i turned in my papers.
nobody quite knows why i didn’t have a stroke then.
i think the cardiologists were baffled. emergency brought it down.
i’ve been to the emergency room two times with it this year.
the last trip was 226/130. just ridiculous really. and no fun at all.
they’re wrong about it being a ‘silent’ disease.
there are definitely signs.
you feel like your head is a giant balloon about to explode.
it hurts real bad.
think . . . migraine under pressure!
they always look like they don’t believe the numbers . . . .
. . . mainly because . . .
that i’m not dead i guess!
i’ve wondered if steam comes out of my ears like a cartoon character.
nobody has ever said.
i guess it doesn’t.
thank heaven i have insurance. otherwise we’d be talking
a huge credit card bill.
we had two employees at tourism that were chain smokers.
the air was simply one grey cloud in our office for years.
at least it matched the grey cubicles. LOL!
they got very angry when the new law made them go outside to smoke.
four of them are no longer living.
three of cancer and one of heart attack.
without literally smoking cigarettes myself ~
i figure i have actually smoked for 59 years of my 67 year old life.
that’s a lot of smoke! longer than the others in my family really ~
’cause i was getting it second hand too as a little child.
that’s something to consider if you have children.
even if you think you’re one of the ones who can beat it.
the odds are against you.
and they’re against all the people who love you.
those people who will spend the rest of their lives missing you.
and wondering why a little white cylindrical thing
was more important to you than they were.
yes. i know.
some people . . . lots of people . . .
and they never smoked a day in their life.
my beloved sister-in-law was one.
and the marine has never smoked.
but it’s almost overwhelming how many who smoke
eventually do get it.
and believe me. it is not a pleasant way to die.
though i must say here . . .
if these loving words of warning are too late . . .
if you’re reading the peanut . . .
and if you already have it . . . .
never give up.
they are doing some miraculous things now with new treatments.
and they know now . . . for instance . . .
that even what you eat is important.
cancer doesn’t grow as quickly in an alkaline environment.
that is a fact. research has proved it.
and it thrives on sugar.
so it would seem advisable to eat more vegetables
and forego the rich desserts.
of course we should all probably do that anyway!
i know i should.
i add a slice of lemon to the water i drink.
i like the taste. and if it makes my body a bit more alkaline . . .
well. so much the better.
meat is very acidic.
and the opposite of what you are trying to achieve perhaps.
there are specific vegetables that help make the body more alkaline.
as always . . .
some people take new information and turn it into a fetish or a ‘diet.’
a “cure all.” and that is silly. there are no magic bullets.
but whatever we can do to become healthier in general is bound
to help our body heal itself.
it is worth the effort i would think. and if done with common sense . . .
you just never know.
keeping a positive outlook.
that’s the most important thing of all probably.
you’re in for a fight. but try to stay strong.
laugh as much as you can.
it’s the best medicine of all.
and it’s free!
i never nagged bob.
i truly didn’t. i knew it would not help.
smoking was just something he enjoyed.
and something he couldn’t seem to give up.
nagging would only have made him resent me . . .
and our short time together would have had only bitter mean memories
instead of the wonderful loving . . . and fun and happy ones that we had.
so . . .
here’s the deal.
i don’t mind being the nagging widow.
i will nag you now.
let me nag for your wife.
or for your husband.
or your child. or your grandchild.
IT’S TIME TO STOP.
you can do it! and it will mean so much
to those who need you still in their life.
it can be kinda lonesome out here without your best buddy.