In the Comments

As many of you know I have a Facebook page associated with the blog.  If you’re looking for it, just search Jo’s Country Junction on Facebook.  Many people will read their Facebook feed and then see that there is a new post on the blog and then click it to come over and read the current post.  Many people use it stay up to date with what is going on.  Others use it to contact me or leave comments.  This latest comment came from Jo’s Country Junction Facebook page.

Monica Thurn Walter wrote:
I am regretfully no longer able to follow your posts. I cannot help promote what you are asking for regarding screening for smokers. Smoking is a choice, leads to an expensive addiction and that’s the risk you take. Two of my dear friends passed from “ non contributory” lung cancer. I will never get over their untimely deaths. They did not choose a habit that could prohibit them from watching their grandchildren grow up. 
Thank you, Jo for many years of your enjoyable blog but I just can’t follow it anymore.”

That comment was written on July 14th at 6:43am.

Earlier that day at 6:04am our daughter, Kalissa, put a comment on Jo’s Country Junction Facebook page that said:
This is the screening exam that should have caught dad’s lung cancer sooner and the same screening exam that caught dad’s lung cancer when it did.  Please talk to the smoker in your life. After they’ve decided to not quit smoking we need to start screening them. Don’t shame them or give up on them. Be their advocate. You could save their life.”

Kalissa also put a link in to this Mayo Clinic article you can read HERE.

First off I want to say that if people choose to follow or not follow the blog matters not on drop to me.  Everyone needs to take care of and manage their own life.  I recently joined a Facebook group only to find that the group was SUPER active and my Facebook feed ended up overloaded with stuff from that group.  It was too much for me and I left the group.  I did what was right for me.  I welcome everyone else to take on these same practices.  If a group is too much for you for whatever reason, move on.  No hard feeling from me whatsoever.

Second I want to say that it so saddens me to know that there are people who shame and blame smokers.

Kramer (my husband who died from lung cancer on June 2nd) and I never fought.  We didn’t argue.  We didn’t have spats….except when smoking was involved.  Kramer would have been the first person to say that the only thing in his life he ever regretted was starting to smoke.  He tried and tried to quit.  I tried and tried to get him to quit.  He tried every outlet there was to try to quit smoking.  It never stuck.  For the first 25 years of being married I nagged and pushed and pushed and nagged.  That didn’t work either.

Then one day after fighting with Kramer for what became our last fight about smoking I looked in the mirror.  I had lost and gained back the same 30 pounds I had lost and gained back time and time again.  Over eating and carrying extra weight was not good for me.  I was borderline diabetic but did I take it all seriously?…not really.  So was I really any different than Kramer?  My over eating and not taking my weight seriously was just as detrimental to me as his smoking was to him.

I finally decided…WHO AM I TO JUDGE?  Addiction is addiction.  Is one addition really so much worse than another?  When I came upon that lightbulb moment everything changed for me.  That was the very last day I fought with Kramer about smoking.  Life went much better.

From that day on I made a commitment to not shame or blame smokers.  We all have our addictions from the person who uses their cell phone over family, to the person with OCD, to the drug addict, to the gambler and so on.  I will not blame or shame them either.  I’ll look in the mirror first and judge my own person before I am off judging others.

Thirdly….this.  So many people who have opinions that vary from others stop talking and quit.  In this case, Monica, was upset that I want a recommendation to be standard for people who smoke to have a routine Chest CT scan.  Monica is upset that she had friend die of lung cancer.  Wouldn’t it be MUCH more prudent for her and I to work together and work to make it standard for EVERYONE to have a routine Chest CT scan??  In a move like that, we both win and together we have a more powerful voice with her advocating on her friends’ behalf and me advocating on my husband’s behalf.  Think of how many cases of lung could be caught if Chest CT scans were offered at age 40…and every five years after that.  Monica’s friends would have likely had their cases caught quicker.  Kramer would have likely had his case caught quicker.  It would have been a win for all of us….instead, we divide with fewer voices advocating against lung cancer.  SAD.

I have no way to know if it was Monica…or who, but shortly after July 14th, when the comment came in, my Jo’s Country Junction Facebook page was “put in jail by Facebook”.  Someone reported my Jo’s Country Junction page as abusing Facebook.  I know of nothing I did.  Is it coincidence that it happened right about the time Monica became angry?  Is Monica the one who “reported” me for something.  I don’t know and I honestly don’t even care.  After a person goes through what I have for the last six months, petty stuff loses its sting.

Because of someone, maybe Monica, maybe not, reporting some imagined wrong doing to Facebook, the Jo’s Country Junction Facebook page is not working like it should.  I am still posting twice a day.  Please go to to find me.  Facebook prompts won’t be working…

Long story short:
-I thank Monica for bringing it to my attention that ALL people should have a Chest CT scan at an appropriate age.
-Monica, if you’re reading, I hope you can get past the anger stage of grieving.  Your friends need you to advocate for them!
-I’m hoping whoever reported the unknown wrongdoing to Facebook can find a way to heal whatever is broken in them so they don’t lash out at others who aren’t quite as strong.

51 thoughts on “In the Comments”

  1. Wow. Several things ran through my mind as I was reading this blog. Mostly I was just sad. It seems that so many people in today’s society have such narrow views. If you don’t agree with my way of thinking we can’t be friend, can’t advocate for a common cause, can’t fill in the blank. I would much rather think what can we do as a community to make this world a better place. Why can’t people have different views. Just think if opening your mind what you might learn. Please don’t take my ramblings as anything negative as it’s not meant that way. My wish would be that everyone has the ability to have their views, opinions and thoughts listened to and respected. We don’t need to all agree but rather than cut off someone who has different view points embrace the differences and perhaps one can make a small contribution to making the world a better place.

    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  2. I just can’t imagine that you did or said anything wrong. I have made so many comments about the warm friendly family you have. I wish I had a large family as you that are so tightly knit together. Keep up the good work Jo. I just can’t imagine what you must face day to day. Someone with a small mind has done this deed. Jo, I’m sure you know, some people aren’t happy unless they’re making someone else unhappy. I just love you and your family. And all those precious grand babies. How is Ruby doing without Kramer. Fpdogs grieve too.

  3. To accomplish anything you need 2 or more people to find what they do agree on and build bridges from that starting point. And you must listen!!’ I am a smoker who is trying to quit again. About 10 – 12 years ago it became okey for people (strangers) to stop you on the street to tell you how disgusting smoking is. It is not ok to speak to and show such disrespect for another person.
    Continue to encourage people in your community to get the scans. That may be the new path you are being called to follow. If you change one persons life/outcome you have changed the lives of a community. ( I do wish I was a better wordsmith.)

  4. My mother died almost 20 years ago from lung cancer caused by smoking, diagnosed just 8 short months after she finally quit. I have asthma and chronic bronchitis, probably as a result as being exposed to second-hand smoke, and could develop lung cancer as well. Do I blame her? Absolutely not, as it was an addiction brought about and encouraged by the tobacco companies for so many years. I agree with you, everyone over 40 should be screened but the exposure to X-rays more often to those at lower risk, may cause other problems.

    I love your blog, and you are a true advocate for what you believe in. I wouldn’t stick around if someone was fake or pandering to others. If someone doesn’t appreciate you for being true to yourself, well, as my dear mother would have said to them: “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out”. Keep up the great blog!

  5. If my father passed from lung cancer, I would have done the same. Sharing information is empowering, especially with health. You have a beautiful family and spirit Jo!! Keep on doing the wonderful job you have been doing. I enjoy reading your blog daily!

  6. Penny Holliday

    Wow! You speak well for the majority of us! My special grandma was a chain smoker. She was born in 1899 & grew up on a farm in Nebraska. She began smoking when she was 13 yrs old. She was addicted to cigarettes almost her entire life. All 11 children in her family smoked never knowing about the damage smoking could cause until in their adult years they developed different health issues from smoking. Smoking caused my grandma’s cancer & a major stroke. I loved her so much that I would never have judged her for smoking. Unfortunately the tobacco companies knew that tobacco was addictive & because tobacco was so profitable they made sure to add ingredients to keep smokers addicted. When I read Kalissa & your suggestion re: a CT Scan for smokers done at a common age I thought that was a wonderful idea. I also thought that would probably be a good way to convince many smokers to try to stop. So much more affordable to try to prevent rather then treating cancer. As to the internet & Facebook both are wonderful for communication but unfortunately so many hide behind their unkind written words & deeds on the internet. Let’s help people not shame people!

  7. No-one should shame you for wanting to have better screening for smokers. A chest CT might have caught my father’s lung cancer earlier too. Smokers deserve screening also! Does it suck that non-smokers get lung cancer? Yes! Personally, I doubt medical experts will ever recommend regular chest CTs for non-smokers, under 50 at least, or long-time quitters under 50, maybe too, as one chest CT is the same exposure to radiation as 500 xrays, I remember reading somewhere once. But wow, let’s not punish smokers (or those who love them/advocate for them) by denying them a possible life-saving screening!

  8. Wow, just wow! Should people smoke? No. Should they drink alcohol? No, it can be addictive too. Should people speed in their cars? No, bit almost everyone who drives does so at some point. We all do things that we shouldn’t do. We do not deserve to die from those choices and if a simple screening can prevent just one death, then scream it from the rooftops.

  9. “Once you have been confronted with a life-and-death situation, trivia no longer matters. Your perspective grows and you live at a deeper level. There’s no time for pettiness.”-Happy Rockefeller

  10. The platform provided by social media to allow hurtful comments with anonymity, is a travesty.

    I totally support screening for lung cancer. A simple chest x-ray rather than a much more expensive CT can work. My Dad died of lung cancer in 1994 at age 71. Tumors were huge and obvious on the chest x-ray. His was not amenable to treatment so in 4 months he was gone. He had smoked from age 10-60. 13 years later Mom died of bladder cancer-the most common secondary smoke cancer. Hers was also quite advanced when the Dr finally listened to her symptoms and not treatable.

    i was a smoker when Dad died (and he knew). One of those talks we had during those final months he said “If people could know how I feel right now, they would never smoke again. But I know it doesn’t work that way”. i knew the message was for me. I smoked another 15 months after he died. I’m a Registered Nurse and started in the Operating Room in 1981. Have I participated in procedures of taking out lung cancer? Yes I had. Do I know better? Of course I do/did. Ya can’t quit, until you’re committed to it. Nagging doesn’t help-as you’ve clearly noted in this post. All you can do is what you did: encourage, love and support.

    I’m so sorry you’ve all gone through this too. You know how precious those final weeks are. You know what helped, what to say, what not to say. You’ve all done such a wonderful job of educating the larger community by sharing the pain here on the blog…as well as the joy.

    We all have the opportunity to use our energy and our voice in a myriad of ways. I love you all for using your voice and your platform in a positive way: to educate and encourage, to love yourselves, each other, and your community. Hugs to you all!

  11. My husband and I both smoked for many years before finally being able to quit in the late 80’s. We both tried to get our three children to quit to no avail. Early heart disease is rampant in my husband’s family and sure enough my hubby had his first heart attack at age 54. Since then our younger son had a stent at age 39 and our older son died last year at 52 of a massive heart attack. DD still smokes. We have decided to not say any more. She knows the risk. At least the younger son never smoked again after the stent. We all have our addictions as you said and I’m not perfect enough to criticize anyone.

  12. Jo, your blog is my pleasure each morning and evening! It’s your blog and you should say what is important to you. Unfortunately our country has reached a point where we no longer talk with or listen to each other. If someone has a different view we write them off and dismiss them entirely instead of listening, evaluating for ourselves and then ignoring what we don’t agree with. I’m a former smoker and I understand how difficult it can be to quit. Screening is important for so many things. We’re all urged to get colonoscopies after 50 and while it’s not pleasant it’s really for our own good. CT scans should be part of the package! I have a dear friend struggling with lung cancer although she quit smoking more than 25 years ago. We must do what we can to fight this terrible disease! Forgive my rambling this morning but I feel as if you’re a friend and I want to support you in any way I can.

  13. A copy-paste of Candi’s well spoken comments. Why has social media has become a stage for the self righteous and personal attacks? An absolute shame a chance to bring people together for sharing life saving information about the scan has been lost on Monica. While it’s too late for her friends, honor them by sharing this info so it’s not another person’s loved one. I read your blog daily. Thank you for sharing your real life with it’s very real, relatable ups and downs.

  14. Monica is upset now and grieving. People respond to grief in many different ways. When my brother died in 2017, I responded as normal, burying my grief inside. I stopped reading all blogs so I could grieve without it spilling out. I’m sorry she wants to blame others, but that’s how some people grieve. I’m glad her comments didn’t harm you and that you are moving forward in your quest for better health services. Here we are getting close to 2020 and America is still lagging in medical care issues. Screening is so important and I’m glad you are doing something about it. Hang tough Jo.

  15. This makes me so angry! I lost my beloved mother to lung cancer almost 20 years ago! She smoked for 30 years but had quit for over 20! An early chest X-ray would have been beneficial. We all have our vices. No one is perfect. This current environment where if you differ on views with someone and can’t be their friend is just ludicrous. I am sorry Jo that you are dealing with this especially after all you have been through.

  16. This reminds me so much of what recently happened on Ravelry. When did it become OK to ostracize people you disagree with? If we can only have relationships with those we are in 100 per cent agreement with 100 per cent of the time, we will soon be alone.

  17. Donna Pheneger

    Jo – there are so many wise words written here that I have nothing little else to add.
    Monica is grieving – I will pray for her.
    And as usual, you and your family are in my prayers – here are so many of us here that love you and your family and support you.
    Love and prayers

  18. It is very sad that peoples first reaction is anger, and they lash out at others. I smoked for many many years and quitting was the hardest thing I have ever done. you are on your own journey to find peace. please don’t let someone else’s anger upset you. I cannot imagine anything offensive on your page. silly me! I didn’t know you had a page as I look for your blog post daily on my computer. Take care of you and your family, you are doing a great job!

  19. Hi Jo, I’m sorry that you need to deal with people like Monica. Although she may not be in agreement with what you support, then she should have just stopped following your blog. I don’t understand why people act the way they do. Considering that you just lost your husband, Monica could have refrained from saying what she wanted to say. She could have messaged you privately. We certainly live in a society these days, where everyone things they are better than everyone else. At the end of the day, we are all the same. Some times I think people just want to stir the pot and create drama. If Monica is reading all the posts, the CT Scan test could have saved your friends lives – if it were possible, would you not want that for them?? OK, I’m done. Wishing everyone a nice day!! Carmela

  20. I am so sorry that you have to deal with matters such as this. How childish can people get?! OK, so she’ll take her toys and go home. It’s her loss to miss out on your blog. I cannot for the life of me see anything objectionable that someone had to go and report you. All I can say is “Grow up People”. I only read a very few blogs, but almost everyone of you have been attacked by someone for an unintended slight. Just take a breath and get on with life! Have they nothing better to do in their lives than whine that someone hurt their feelings? You are the first person I turn to when I turn on my computer. I always feel so much better after reading your common sense words & way of life-pure enjoyment for so many of us! Please don’t let the anger of someone else ruin things for you and the rest of us. You are a true treasure to so many. Hugs, Janine

  21. Sally DenimQuilts

    Thank you for advocating for yourself.

    Having had smokers in my life off and on, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and in NO WAY read what you wrote as advocating for smoking. We read, see and experience everything thru an emotional lens. Maybe that’s the case with Monica.
    I will make one comment: OCD is a mental illness. Not an addiction, as you noted. While it can often be managed, just like an addiction can, it is a manifestation of physiological mental illness or sometimes trauma. Again, my lens of experience has taught me to speak out on mental health issues. Understanding has helped me help my family members who struggle. Just like your perspective helped you live with Kramer’s addiction and support/show your love for him even at the of worst times.
    Stay strong, sister!

  22. The whole situation is sad. I wholly support the effort in testing smokers. In fact after it was mentioned I told a friend whose husband smokes. She supports the idea too however her husband refuses to get checked. The whole victim shaming/blaming thing is disturbing and social media makes it worse. I’m so sorry that on top of everything else you are dealing with you are having to address this.

  23. Jo, seems to me you have way more of us who agree with you than disagree. I’m glad you have the conviction to stay true to your beliefs. I have never gotten a FB account despite having multiple fellow homeschool moms who use it as the primary means of communication. You’re story illustrated perfectly the 2 main reasons I never wanted an account, over saturation and meanness are too prevalent. I do admire your ” take care of the plank in my eye before going after someone else’s spinter” attitude. Hang in there, lady!

  24. Wow! I agree…I feel like advocating for screening is a positive thing! I believe that information is power. That’s what what you and your family are doing…passing along information. People can do with it what they will. I have followed your blog for years and I love it. Not once did I believe you were telling people it was OK to smoke. I have a brother who is morbidly obese. He had a severe stroke in his 40’s. He had a good recovery, but even after that, he hasn’t changed his eating habits. I love my brother and accept him the way his is. Do I wish he’d lose some weight? Absolutely. But, that’s his decision, not mine. I feel that was your approach with smoking. And…I just have to add that it seems crazy that Facebook can put you in the jail for something like this! Do they not actually do any research?? And, it sounds like they didn’t even tell you why. Again, how can you stay out of jail if you don’t know what you did wrong??!! You have helped so many people with all you shared about your journey with Kramer’s cancer and I thank you, again, for it.

  25. Darlynn Venne

    Jo, well worded post. I too have lost my husband. Vince was 45. The boys were 12, 15 and 17.
    One becomes more of an advocate for relationships and kind loving actions.
    As this is really ALL that matters.

  26. Jo – long time reader but rarely comment. Just want to say I LOVE your attitude and I so wish more people were like you. Our society has changed so much that if you don’t agree on things they immediately ‘shut out’ the other person rather than listen with respect and agree to disagree. It is crazy! If everyone agreed with each other and looked like each other, think of how boring this world would be. Thank you for being you and sharing your thoughts and your life. I have learned so much from reading your blog.
    FYI – there was one person who read my blog and we have completely different political views (not that I really share mine on social media) … she made a comment on me not following her anymore. I kindly let her know I was raised to respect others views and opinions and I would not stop reading her blog just because I have different views on some issues. I would have missed so much if I did.

  27. Lori Sparks Douglas

    Jo, you are asking for people to get screening to give them information about their health. What people do with that information is their business. In Rogers’s case medical treatment could have started sooner. Drive safe, Jo!

  28. I’m not sure I understand why she left? Since she had friends who passed from lung cancer , does she not see the benefit for this scan? Or does she feel if there is a scan that people will feel less likely to quit? Is that what she is offended by? Anyway, I want to give you a hug, Jo. Your blog is a breath of fresh air as opposed to the blogs that have just gone the FB route or the Instagram route. Thank you for helping others get thru their day. pam

  29. Ok, I reread her comment . I had missed the part about their deaths being from “ non contributory” lung cancer. If you don’t have an addiction to anything it is hard to understand how hard it is to quit. I feel for her and am sorry for the loss of her friends.

  30. I love your blog. But do I always agree with you? Of course not, but I enjoy reading your opinions and viewpoint. In this case, I do agree about the screenings and the need for everyone to be more tolerant this days. I also agree that shame and blame are not the way to go and an addiction is an addiction no matter whether the substance is food, drugs, alcohol or tobacco. The one small disagreement I have is that while food is indeed an addiction, people who abuse food do not usually cause direct negative impact on others with their addiction while the other three can impact innocent bystanders in very negative ways (drunk driving for example.) That being said, in my opinion, the best way to help any addict is through encouragement and positivity. And couldn’t we all use more of both?

  31. Jo, let her go, you don’t need her to read your blog. I bet she will be back again reading about you. I enjoy you so much and hurt when you hurt. You are like a sister to me. I have become your friend and I look for your blog every day and evening. You have so much common sense for such a young lady. You are the most practical and giving person I have ever met. Thank You for being YOU. I have faith in you. Keep going Jo. I know her words have to hurt you some, but don’t give her any more thought. Just read from all of us who support you and want to be your friend. You have never used Facebook wrongly. Just another dagger from the pain and issues she has in her life. Like they say “SOMETIMES WE HURT THE ONES WE LOVE”. Have a GREAT DAY JO. I bet your home and flowers are looking beautiful. Did you plant a bush for Kramer? I always plant something at Births and Deaths as a memory for my family.

  32. So many times, during this last chapter of Roger’s life, I felt that you had bared your soul, with the good, the bad and the ugly. I firmly believe that God gave you the strength and words to put it all down. Because, someone, out there needed to hear this. And maybe, sharing the fact that there is a screening, was what someone needed to hear.

  33. Your post is so well written . Nobody in my family has ever smoked but that does not mean I do not care about people who do smoke or god forbid wish them ill. Thank you for getting the information on the scans out there.

  34. Firstly, I don’t think you need Ms. Walters’ kind of “information” in your life right now. In fact, I’m not sure anyone does at any time. We have reached a point that anyone can say anything without repercussions. And look where this has landed us. And yes, I’m prepared for some snark from someone about that. But I’ve lived for 79 years and I can remember when people were more civil and more courteous. And they knew where to draw a line.

    Well, I digress. I was a research librarian. Couldn’t resist googling Monica Thurn Walter. And she is a retired nurse. Wouldn’t you think she would support any effort to lengthen a person’s life? I am devoutly hoping she misunderstood your proposal.

  35. I’m sorry that someone reported you to Facebook rather than talk to you directly. That’s not a very adult way to handle a situation. I agree that others are entitled to their opinion and I believe there is a respectful way to resolve conflict… even if it’s to walk away. My health care providers offered a one-time free lung screening several years ago. I jumped at the chance. I smoked (very little, comparatively) for 30 years. About a pack a week. But we had just lost a dear friend who, like Kramer, found her lung cancer too late. The screening did find something to watch (not cancer) so now insurance covers the annual screening. You are right to advocate for health screening.

  36. It’s a shame that just because she disagreed with you she decided to stop following you. If you talk to someone long enough you will find something that you disagree about but that doesn’t mean you should stop talking to them. There are so many other things that you can agree on why stop a great relationship because you’ve found one thing that you disagree on?
    I’m glad that you found a way to stop arguing with Kramer and make your time together that much more enjoyable. I don’t like smoking because someone else’s choice has a negative impact on me–second hand smoke. But, I can control that by avoiding the person when they are actively smoking. I have control over me and I take that control and allow everyone else to take that same control.
    I hope you can figure out the problem with facebook and get everything straightened out.

  37. Dear Jo and family-So sorry that there are people like Monica out there. No one should ever judge another until they walk a day in their shoes as the saying goes. And, as my grandmother always said, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. You’ve been through so much and have shared your journey with everyone. I think you have been much braver than I could have been. God bless you and your family and I hope Facebook gets its act together. To shut you down over the complaints of one person is well wrong on so many levels.

  38. Sometimes I can’t believe how sensitive people are. Maybe that’s my failing?? Anyway, I thought Kalissa’s post about a chest scan for detecting lung cancer was great. Getting the news out never hurts. Reporting someone to Facebook for something like that makes no sense whatsoever, but I know some people get a bent out of shape over nothing. I enjoy your blog and intend to keep on reading.

  39. I wondered if Kramer smoked. He was also a fire fighter and first responder. All those fumes surely didn’t help. I truly hope you can put the negative comments out of your mind, permanently. I’ve been impressed with your family’s response to Kramer’s illness and their willingness to help. Kramer lives on.

  40. Jo, there is no accounting for some people and their thinking. I have a 42 year old son who has smoked since he was 13, and before I get scolded he chose to live with his father after we divorced and his dad smoked. I pray everyday he will quit. I know he wants to but can’t. Maybe if a screening was available it would shake him up enough to stop. I hope you can shake off things people say. God bless!

  41. What a thoughtful and kind way you responded to Monica. I agree with everything you said. My dad died of lung cancer 8 years ago. I wish he had gotten help sooner. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  42. My husband also died from lung cancer. He smoked for over 40 years. He tried to quit several times; once for five years but always started up again. If nagging could cure smoking or any addiction, we would all be healthier. Someone from our church, no less, told my husband when they learned he had lung cancer that he got what he deserved because he was a smoker. No one deserves a diagnosis of lung cancer whether they smoked or not!

    Thank you and Kalissa for informing people about an available screening exam that just might help save some loved ones life.

  43. My father died of lung cancer, one of the things I learned was that people asked if he smoked. If he replied yes then it was as if he deserved to die.

    In the years after I read stories about lung cancer and how the research is not where it should be because it is considered a “deserved cancer”. One article resonated with me and I remembered some of the information. Reading this blog post inspired me to go looking again. It took me a while but I finally found some information, here is one article from 3 years ago. The recent death of your husband might make it too hard to read, but maybe some of your followers will read it and feel some sympathy and possibly some responsibility. I know I do. I apolgise for the fact that this is from a British paper, but I am British and that’s where I tend to look for my news.

    From the article: Of course, this was very uncomfortable for him. Suddenly, out of the blue, this other guy whom I’d not met says: ‘We’re getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty here. What about the big vision? Isn’t this industry just killing six million people a year and we’re part of it if we’re investing in it?”

    It’s quite damning really, isn’t it? Most of us lucky enough to have invested money for retirement have directly profited from the tobacco industry. To turn around and blame a smoker for getting lung cancer is remarkably callous. To say they shouldn’t get treatment (which is what you are advocating) is so hypocritical that I can barely type straight.

    I was heartened earlier in the week when a “green paper” was published in the UK. It is the first thoughts of a government but the hope is to eliminate smoking by 2030. I sincerely hope it becomes a white paper and then law.

  44. Jo, my husband of has been a smoker for over 40 years and has tried to quilt so many times, I have loss count. He retired 5 years ago and made a commitment to himself to quit now! it took 2 years to be completely done with it. He started by vaping, then using the nicotine gum and then he switched to ordinary sugar free gum. He continues to chew gum, its so much better than smoking and he is happy with himself for finally being free of smoking. After my sharing yours and Kramers story he asked his medical doctor for a lung screening during his annual physical. It came back good but they will continue to do this with his physicals because he was such a heavy long time smoker, and our insurance paid for it. Please keep on being you! yours and Kramers story made a difference here in my home with his chest CT.

  45. This is an excellent post. I have been so amazed by the strength of you and your family as you work your way through this tragic loss of Kramer and figuring out your new normal. Your kindness in response to Monica’s comment is inspiring. I hope she will read it and reconsider her opinion about the screening. How wonderful it would be if something good can come out of all of this.
    Continued prayers for you and your family,

  46. I wish people felt as strongly about being kind as they do about stating their opinions. None of us is perfect, and a little mercy can go a long way.

  47. I am just getting caught up on my blog reading so I’m very late with this comment. I just wanted to say that my mother passed away from lung cancer 14 years ago. She had stopped smoking for several years, but it still got her and it was horrible! I have commented to several people in person that I wish they would stop. I always follow with “I’m sorry, but I feel I just have to say something after watching my mom pass away.” I also usually add something like I have an addiction to food. Your post hit so close to home for me. I know this is kind of rambling, but I so relate to your post. Every time I see an advertisement for the new cancer drugs on tv, I wonder if it could have helped her. Hang in there. There are three blogs I always read even though I get many through my e-mail, and your’s is one of those three! Love it and keep on with being you!

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