Thank you for (not) Smoking!

It’s been 5 years this month since I smoked a cigar.

Now let me just say…I loved cigars alot! Whether with friends in Hong Kong or sitting on my back porch in Boulder Colorado with a view of the Rocky Mountains there were few things more relaxing to me or that I enjoyed more.

So why did I give them up?…Well 5 years ago this month I was also diagnosed with tongue cancer.

It started when I had developed a small, very painful sore on the side of my tongue.  I thought it was just a mouth sore that you get from time to time…but this one didn’t go away.  I convinced myself it was a tooth cutting my tongue and went to see a dentist.  He took one look at it and sent me to an oral surgeon that day.

I still wasn’t worried!

The oral surgeon took a biopsy and then a few days later called and asked me to come in for a consultation. When I asked if they could just give me the diagnosis over the phone the nurse responded, “No Mr. Hackman, the doctor needs to see you.”

I froze…my heart pounded!  I didn’t tell Tammy yet and just headed off to the doctor.  When I arrived the doctor stated, “Mr. Hackman, the biopsy confirmed the sore is cancerous.”

He had said it.  The “C” word!  My face began heating up and I was barely taking in what the doctor said after that.  I had been aware of a couple aqauintances who died of tongue cancer.  I started thinking if something happened to me, what would happen to Tammy and Gabriel??

What began then was a 3 month journey of tests (and prayer), surgery (and prayer), and recovery (and prayer).  The details are perhaps best left for another time (It was quite a ride).  But I stand here 5 years out from that diagnosis and am now “clear” in medical terms.

God is so very faithful and took mine and my families hand throughout this entire ordeal.

But I can say that 2 days before the diagnosis on a crisp Colorado January afternoon I was standing on my front porch  with a cigar in my hand not realizing then it was the last cigar I would ever smoke.  I love my cigars…but I realized I love my tongue even more!


  • I never got into cigars, but I loved those clove cigarettes… been off em for years… damn shame… loved em; but like ya said, I prefer more years. Mr. Hitchens would probably still be with us had he kicked the habit.

  • Yeah Hitch was really tempting fate with his alcohol and smoking. My ENT told me that each is a factor in cancer of the mouth but together they are a factor of 10

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing.I don’t smoke cigars but smoke cigareetes.ugh!!My husband just lost the battle of lung cancer and i am still smoking.What’s wrong with me.I need a supernatural divine intervention.Although one time in church they called for people who smoked and i felt Gods presense and sat there like a lump.How dumb is that.I know God doesn’t do 3 strikes and your out.I need His grace.Oh yea,when I sat there I was concerned what others. thought.Yikes.

  • Thanks for sharing Anonymous and I’m sorry for the loss of your husband. I pray you have the Grace to quit before its too late.

    God Bless!

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