Good morning guys. I realize that this is a very long winded post but I felt the need to share this with all of you…
After being associated with KillTheCan.org for a year, I believe that I had finally been voted “Quitter most likely to Cave”. Let’s just say that I have spent more time caving than quitting over the last year. Anyway, when I started this quit (I believe my last quit) I had posted that I felt better and stronger about it this time because there was something different about it. I privately told a couple of you the real reason that it seemed different this time.
73 days ago, I found three places in my mouth that concerned me. one was a small white patch on my left cheek. the other two were larger white patches. One on each side of my tongue. When I noticed them, I got online and started researching oral cancer. I found several pictures that looked strikingly similar to what I was seeing in my mouth. Needless to say, this frightened me to no end. I knew that I needed to get it checked out but I kept talking myself out of doing it. One reason is because my company was transitioning to a new insurance program and my coverage was questionable at the time. but the main reason was because if I found out that it was cancer, I just couldn’t bear the thought of telling my wife. Well, the spot on my cheek went away after a few days. that was a big relief but the places on my tongue were still there. In my research, I learned about something called leukoplakia (sp?). This is a white patch that resembles cancer but it is not actually cancer (yet). It said that these types of patches will generally go away within a few weeks. I decided to wait it out for a little while and see what happened. The patch on the right side of my toungue is not completely gone but it has faded significantly. That was a bit of a relief as well. the problem is that the patch on the left side of my tongue does not seem to have changed much in size, shape or color. I have spent the last 2-1/2 months absolutely agonizing over this. I have been losing a lot of sleep and literally worrying myself sick. I have let this potential disaster consume me. It has affected my job performance. It has affected my relationship with my wife and my sons because i had become more withdrawn as i contemplated the devastation that it could bring to them and so on. Anyway, yesterday i bit the bullet and went to the doctor. After his examination of my mouth, he agreed with my cause for concern but then he said, “You don’t have anything to worry about. It’s not cancer”. Oh my God, I have read other peoples stories about going through this and getting to the same conclusion but you simply can’t appreciate the magnitude of that statement “it’s not cancer” until you are actually in the position of having that determination made. He explained it a little further but the only part that i retained was the “it’s not cancer” part.
I thought that it was curious that he asked me what brand i dipped while he was doing the exam. As it turns out, he is an ex-dipper (cope) as well. he said that he quit a couple of years ago. I told him all about this site and how it has helped so many people.
Having said all of that, here is the absolute insanity of this addiction. All the way home from the doctor, I went back and forth between the ecstasy of the good news that I just received and the unexplicable desire to have a dip. it was actually the strongest crave that I have had since i quit. As I reached for my phone to call ODT and KTB, I realized that i had left their phone numbers on my desk at work. I ended up focussing all of my energies on understanding the madness that was going on in my head and came back to the full fledged reality that I am done with dipping. Believe it or not, I am still struggling with it this morning. I can’t believe that after 73 days and a clean bill of health, I am getting cravings like this. It has been said and is repeated on these forum pages time and again but I would like to add my support to the mantra of having a game plan (phone numbers on your person, etc).
Well, if you took the time to read all of this, thank you. I hope that my experiences will help shed some light on your struggles as i know that reading about your experiences has helped me.
Peace to you my friends,