Helen, runnning in and up to the podium!First of all, let me apologize for being a bit late! I hate to tell you, but I thought the 15th was tomorrow! I got my nails done and hair fixed so I would be ready tomorrow. I even delayed dinner with my daughter until Wednesday so we could celebrate my ONE YEAR. Nevertheless, here I am and ready to start the celebration. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Rebecca for the beautiful Gold Medal. I shall wear it with great pride as it is truly a symbol that if I can quit, anyone can.I hardly know where to begin in thanking you for the regal accommodations - my, my, a Country Club, a resort, and a Palace! I don't think I have ever stayed at such a swanky place, and I've stayed at some that were pretty ritzy! I am so pleased that you found this spot for us. And to think that we have all those gorgeous men to feast our eyes upon the entire week. I almost feel "hopeless" with that many lawyersin one place. I'll just give up and enjoy it - probably come back home with a ring on my finger! Well, it won't be the first time.You asked how I felt. Well, I'm overcome with feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving for all the help I have received this year, especially from the QS Board. I don't think I could ever have done it without your help. I have been telling all my friends, relatives, doctors, acquaintances and yes, sometimes strangers, that I will have been smoke free for ONE YEAR on the 15th! Many of them couldn't believe that it has been a year since I quit. When I started this journey, I wouldn't have bet a quarter that I would succeed - I have tried and failed so many, many times. I am also thankful for the new drugs on the market that makes quitting so much less painful,i.e. zyban and wellbutrin. Cat asked me a couple of questions that I would like to answer now. Yes, I feel like a non-smoker most of the time. It is only when I forget HALT that I think of a cigarette and YES, it is worth everything, including every uncomfortable minute that I have experienced this year. I only have one regret(maybe two) I'm sorry that I did not possess the discipline to stay on an exercie and diet program and I do so wish I had been able to do this 30 years ago, for I know that this habit has cost me health-wise.Now I need to personally speak to all of you here and tell you what a pleasure it is to know each of you.Again, MANY THANKSHelenOne year, 13 hours, 7 minutes and 32 seconds. 14661 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,199.28. Life saved: 7 weeks, 1 day, 21 hours, 45 minutes.
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