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Hi I just wanted to get some things off my chest and hopefully feel better by doing so. I guess I am after some advice on what others think I should do. My partner has resently had lung surgery, he had a small cancer removed from his lower left lung. When this was tested he was told it wasn't lung cancer but melanoma. How can this be, he hasn't had anything removed that was in anyway cancerous. He is a smoker and has been quitting for 3 months now using patches. He still smoked while using the patches before the opperation and was cutting down and I thought he was doing well but then I asked him if he had been smoking one day and he said he hadn't for a few weeks but I smelt it on him when he came home almost daily and I still smell it on him even now sometimes, 2 weeks after his surgery. If I mention this to him he tells me he hasn't smoked since a few weeks before his operation. The thing that gets to me the most is that he isn't telling me the truth. If he is still going to smoke why is he trying to keep it from me? Thats what I would like to know. Also he is nearly always in a bad mood, saying he is tired and in pain. I know he has quite a bit of pain and I know this will make him tired. I have fibromyalgia I understand this proberly better than he does but it upsets me so much when he rants and raves about it constantly. Even our dog runs and hides when he starts. I am trying to be understanding and suportive because I know he must be worring about having cancer and not knowing anything about where it is or why it showed up in his lung but I am loosing the battle. He won't talk about any of this with me and I worry it is affecting our relationship. Please if anyone has any ideas that they think might help please let me know.
 

SulaBlue

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Are you absolutely SURE that he is smoking? My husband has a co-worker who chain smokes. He gave his co-worker a ride one day and I still smelled the smoke in my car 2 days later - and my husband hadn't even let him smoke in the car. The smell had just rubbed off onto the seat from this guy's clothes. My husband's gone to this guy's house to water his plants when the guy was out of town, and come home smelling like smoke because it has so impregnated everything in there. It could be he's picking it up from somewhere else such as second hand smoke from a cafe, bar, restaurant (if it's still legal to smoke in restaurants there), or from a friend who does smoke.

If he's NOT smoking, that could be contributing to his foul mood, even with the patches. They take off the chemical edge, but do nothing for the physical and psychological side of things.

The only advice I can give is that this will eventually pass, once he's had plenty of time to heal. It could take a couple of months, but it shouldn't be permanent. The only other suggestion would be to talk to his doctor about pain management.
 

mariposa

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I'd have to strongly agree with SulaBlue... smelling like smoke doesn't automatically mean someone is smoking. My husband can walk into our local sub shop for 5 minutes or less and come back out smelling like a smoke stack.

I hope your partner has stopped smoking, but remember that even after someone stops, the risk of lung cancer is elevated for many years, so if he thinks that having quit automatically removes risk of lung cancer, that's not accurate... but quitting now lowers the risk considerably as time goes on.

The thing that concerned me most in your post, though, is what you said that "he won't talk about any of this with me"... that's not good for any relationship, so I hope that you'll be able to work it out with him!
 

Libragirl67

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I agree that the smoke smell may be coming from someone around him smoking. But then again why dosen't he say that if this is the case? Or maybe the fact that he is so grouchy has to do with the fact that he did indeed quit smoking. With any addiction, when you first stop you can be unbearable. To both yourself and others. I get the feeling this may be it. And keep in mind that a cigarette addiction is just as powerful as a drug or alcohol addiction. And when you quit it can be a massive change in both your physical and mental state. I know that communication is key. But maybe he needs some time to sort some things out in his own head before he begans interacting with others again. Have you concidered counseling for you both? Or is he just not the type to seek this kind of help? I do hope thngs get better for you.
 

1sweed

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Men have this thing when their hurt or in pain, or scared to death about something, they either clam up and won't talk or get mean and yell a lot. I would be scared if a doctor operated on me for lung cancer and found a different type of cancer melanoma. Melanoma is usually skin cancer, which can spread, but usually starts on the skin. So it does seem a bit strange to have it in a lung without any other area of his body having had it.
If he is trying to quit smoking and using the patches, he may not be smoking as others suggest. I know how just being in someones car or house, or even in a bar room where people smoke can get on your clothes and in your hair, so you smell like a smokestack. Or he might be smoking just from nerves. I think anyone would be very worried if told they had melanoma.

So what to do? Change your behavior and forget for now about the smoking. Try to be loving and gentle with him. Cook his favorite meals and try to make home time relaxing and comfortable. Try not to argue and try to get him to open up about his feelings. Give him time to adjust to his diagnosis and try to find out about it as much as possible so he knows where to go from here.
It is hard giving advice and I am trying to be gentle about it since I don't know him or you, personally. But if you can get him to open up to you about his feelings things might get better. Maybe you could help find him a support group on line for this diagnosis. Try to be strong and not take to much personally, when he is in a bad mood. That is easy for me to say, but I know first hand how hurtful words can be. If you need someone to talk with I am here. I will be praying for you and your partner. :)
 
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here in australia we are not aloud to smoke at work or shopping centres or even clubs and cafes almost nowere so I don't think he would be picking up the smell that way. I also forgot to say I have found butts and lighters in his pants pockets when I was doing the washing. If he is going to smoke he is going to smoke they thing that bothers me most is that he can't tell me he is strugling with it. I am loving and gentle with him at all time even when he is being a complete ass to me. :) As for the cancer we still don't know what is going on with that. Thanks for your input 1sweed. :)
 

mariposa

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Ah, you found the lighters and butts.... well yeah, that changes things, I guess. I think that like others have said here, being tolerant and gentle with him is a good plan. (But remembering that while some guys like to be "babied" many others don't... learned that the hard way hehe) A lot of guys need a *lot* of proof that we're "interested in hearing their problems" before they'll open up.
 

bryce12

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Since you have found cigarette butts, you have to talk to him. I wish there was an easier way but you will have to confront him for his own good. Of course I am not suggesting that you fight with him; you can show him the butts and lighter and ask him why he is not serious about his health. Make him realize that by smoking he is putting everyone's life in jeopardy. You have to take him into confidence and try to share his concerns for everyone's good.
 
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thanks everyone for your input. He is still telling me he isn't smoking yet I still find butts in the weirdest places so I have decided to let it go for now and concentrate on loving him and being there for him. I don't think he is smoking that much so at least its better than it was. He is still using the patches and still says he is quitting so I decided to wait it out and not hassle him about it for now.
 

mariposa

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I was just wondering about this when I logged in a little while ago, so I'm glad I checked up on the thread. How is his health? Is he healing well from the lung surgery and does he know yet what his treatment for the melanoma will be?

I think "loving him and being there for him" is exactly what he needs right now. Good choice, and good luck!
 
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Yes mariposa he is recovering well from his surgery, thanks for asking. :) We went for the post-op appointment and they discharged him from that clinic. We were told that now he is discharged from there he will receive an appointment date from the melanoma clinic within a few weeks. Its taking so long and I don't know how much longer it will be before we know anything. Its taking its toll on both of us. I will hang in there for him the best I can and try to be there when he needs me.
 

Fishinabowl

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Maybe its his defense mechanism. Smoking has and can always be there. It doesn't judge or nag or say he's not doing well, neither does it praise or tell him he is awesome. Its completely neutral. Its a great sense of stability to have something so small be so consistent and all he has to do is pay some money and inhale. Maybe instead of asking him outright, just ask him how his day was and avoid the topic completely. See what he does emotionally. You never know, he may decide to stop simply because no one mentions how he should. We want what we can't have kind of thing.
 

MercyL

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How have you approached his smoking in the past? Did you ask hin to quit? Did you start citing studies and surveys?

What sorts of conversations have you had since he had the lung surgery?

I ask because some people will share nothing with someone who has already expressed disapproval and/or has started mentioning smoking whenever a health issue arises. Also, he may feel that talking about his feeling will invite disapproval when he needs it least.

I suggest you provide emotional support, but stop worrying about his not sharing feelings and concerns. He may not feel the need to open up about his health issues.
 
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Yes I think you are right there Fishy, ---[/QUOTE]-Maybe its his defense mechanism. Smoking has and can always be there. It doesn't judge or nag or say he's not doing well, neither does it praise or tell him he is awesome. Its completely neutral. Its a great sense of stability to have something so small be so consistent and all he has to do is pay some money and inhale. Maybe instead of asking him outright, just ask him how his day was and avoid the topic completely. See what he does emotionally. You never know, he may decide to stop simply because no one mentions how he should. We want what we can't have kind of thing. Not sure I did the quote things right but its there all the same lol I have never asked him to quit and I never will, it was his idea to quit as he thought he had lung cancer in the beginning, but now its not lung cancer he is more concerned about staying out of the sun. I have told him I would love it if he did quit but have never nagged him and never will. As far as conversations since his surgery, we haven't really had any about his health matters because if I do ask him how he is I get told he is ok or has a headache or whatever and that's the end of it. If I try to start talking to him or ask him how he is feeling about having cancer he simply says doesn't help to talk about it so I stop and change the subject. I have decided it is best to just be there and stop worrying about him not sharing his feeling with me. Thanks MercyL I take your advice onboard and today we have had a very brief chat about how he is feeling, he came to me so I guess its my attitude to his lack of sharing his feeling that needs to change and I am trying to do this and feeling better about the whole thing today. I would still love to know what is going on in his head but I will be patient and hopefully he will confide in me.
 

mariposa

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Yes mariposa he is recovering well from his surgery, thanks for asking. :) We went for the post-op appointment and they discharged him from that clinic. We were told that now he is discharged from there he will receive an appointment date from the melanoma clinic within a few weeks. Its taking so long and I don't know how much longer it will be before we know anything. Its taking its toll on both of us. I will hang in there for him the best I can and try to be there when he needs me.

That is absolutely the worst part of any of these medical issues... the waiting. It shouldn't take so long to get an appointment or to get results after a test is given. I think that's one of the major things that's broken with health care and needs to be fixed. The waiting causes so much anxiety that I'm guessing it often ends up making health for the patient and family even worse than it started.
 
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