Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

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Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Makoto on Sun Nov 07, 2010 01:18 PM

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Maybe I need to wake up or realize a few things.

I am a 39 year old man. I have a very small cancer in my larynx. I have just started to take radiation to get rid of the cancer. My doctors have high hopes that this will get rid of the cancer. I also feel confident that this is all that I will need.

What I want to know will I be able to drink alcohol, or even if I should, after this is all said and done. I am sure it was the combination of heavy smoking and drinking that got me into this trouble. I feel it was more so the heavy smoking. I have since quit smoking, and that will not be a problem ever again. As for drinking, I do not think I was a very heavy drinker to begin with. I get drunk about twice a week, and not drink anything else on the off days. If I did not smoke my brains on those days I drank(ie a pack of cigarettes in about 2 hours, and then sometimes up to three packs in one night of drinking) I do not think I would have cancer right now.

However, the damage has been done. So, will I be able get drunk with friends again? If so, how often? Should I give up drinking all together? What should I be thinking for the long run?

If, having a drink is an option, how soon after radiation treatment is safe to have a drink? I have a 40th birthday coming up, and it would be nice to have a beer or two at that time.

While I am posting this I have another question. Is there an elevated risk depending on what kind of alcoholic drink you consume. ie beer vs rum vs whiskey vs wine, etc.?

Any advice people can give me would be very much appreciated.

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by chuck1943 on Sun Nov 07, 2010 01:41 PM

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I think if you read your own post you will answer your question.

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Makoto on Sun Nov 07, 2010 03:15 PM

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Thanks for the reply. However, I have read my post again. And, I did not see where I have answered my own question.

But, thanks for the reply.

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Roselvr on Tue Nov 16, 2010 01:34 PM

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Maybe I need to wake up or realize a few things.

probably.

I get drunk about twice a week, and not drink anything else on the off days

If you're getting drunk 2 days out of the week; you have a drinking problem.

Have you spoken to your Dr about this? I can't imagine alcohol is good. You also have the alcohol drying out what little saliva you have left.

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Makoto on Wed Nov 17, 2010 02:23 PM

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On Nov 16, 2010 1:34 PM Roselvr wrote:

Maybe I need to wake up or realize a few things.

probably.

I get drunk about twice a week, and not drink anything else on the off days

If you're getting drunk 2 days out of the week; you have a drinking problem.

Have you spoken to your Dr about this? I can't imagine alcohol is good. You also have the alcohol drying out what little saliva you have left.

First do not be absolute.

Getting drunk twice a week is not a drinking problem. What constitues a drinking problem is totally subjective and different with each individual.

I have not talked to my Dr yet, but I plan on it. Thanks for your advice.

 

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Roselvr on Wed Nov 17, 2010 03:09 PM

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On Nov 17, 2010 2:23 PM Makoto wrote:

On Nov 16, 2010 1:34 PM Roselvr wrote:

Maybe I need to wake up or realize a few things.

probably.

I get drunk about twice a week, and not drink anything else on the off days

If you're getting drunk 2 days out of the week; you have a drinking problem.

Have you spoken to your Dr about this? I can't imagine alcohol is good. You also have the alcohol drying out what little saliva you have left.

First do not be absolute.

Getting drunk twice a week is not a drinking problem. What constitues a drinking problem is totally subjective and different with each individual.

I have not talked to my Dr yet, but I plan on it. Thanks for your advice.

 

In your 1st post you say you feel it was your heavy smoking & drinking that gave you cancer -

quote- I am sure it was the combination of heavy smoking and drinking that got me into this trouble. I feel it was more so the heavy smoking. I have since quit smoking, and that will not be a problem ever again. As for drinking, I do not think I was a very heavy drinker to begin with. I get drunk about twice a week, and not drink anything else on the off days. If I did not smoke my brains on those days I drank(ie a pack of cigarettes in about 2 hours, and then sometimes up to three packs in one night of drinking) I do not think I would have cancer right now.

Have they tested your cancer for HPV?

As far as a drinking problem- you're right, what I would consider a drinking problem; you may not. I was young one (I'm 6 years older then you)- I also did not feel I had a drinking problem; I was also out getting drunk probably 2 nights in a week. Looking back; yes I had a drinking problem because I drank until I got drunk verses going out & having a few one night a week.

Looking back- getting drunk just wasted my life. I haven't gotten drunk in over 10 years.

So yes; speak to your doctor. I doubt you're going to feel like drinking during treatment- the alcohol wiull dry out your saliva more. My hub is 11 months out of oral cancer treatment & was recently on vacation fishing in Mexico- he had a few beers but said it dried his mouth out too much.

 

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by PopPop on Wed Nov 17, 2010 04:06 PM

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Makoto,

One thing that may happen during and after your radiation is that the alcohol will burn your throat. I started radiation 6 years ago this month and to this date, I can't use mouthwash that has alcohol in it. You admitted that you feel that the smoking and drinking led you down this road.

If you were driving your car down a road very fast and then found yourself actually going over a cliff, falling and crashing, but able to walk away after a period of recovery in a hospital. Would you drive down that same road again? I don't think I would be anywhere near that road again.

You assume that the radiation is all that you might need. Do you have any swollen lymphnodes? Are you sure you may not need a Neck Disection after treatments. Many Doctors radiate first then do a neck disection. Not having saliva is an issue, I know, I have none.

It can only be suggested to you to not drink again. You know your own limits. It is your life. There are some here that treat themselves to a brew or 2 during the week. You seem like a person that enjoys being free on his days off only and lets loose and enjoys life. But there are people that can't have a good time unless they are falling down drunk. I know I grew up with a parent that was that way. We here don't know you or your limits. You came here looking for advice, and we can only suggest what we know. Socialized drinking 2 nights a week verses getting drunk 2 nights a week are 2 different things.

You apparently have a strong will power, as you gave up smoking quickly. Hopefully, you can do the same with the drinking. How about doing some O'Doul's instead. Fake beer from what I am told. No alcohol. Some people like it, some don't.

What ever you decide, My Best to You and Everyone Here

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Makoto on Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:24 PM

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Again, I appreciate everyone's comments.

In terms of what is or is not a drinking problem is dependent on many factors. Just because I get drunk(not falling down drunk by the way) two times a week does not mean I have a problem. In the US, many people are very quick to say you have a problem, while in other parts of the world this is not consider problematic at all. One can argue, if you need, or feel the desire to have even one beer when among friends, you have an addiction. If, you say there is a difference between a few drinks, and getting drunk, I would say that difference is not so far apart as you might think.

Anyways, there were some good points mentioned. I will consider them for sure.

 

Thanks

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Detvarbra on Fri Jun 27, 2014 05:40 PM

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Hi Makoto,

When I found out I had throat cancer, I knew that I would never drink again. I had been struggling with that issue for awhile. I too, didn't drink but once or twice a week, but would get pretty much plastered each time. I associated drinking with the ability to have a good time with my friends. But a lot of things changed in my mind and heart as soon as I heard the news about the cancer. I'm 60, and I realized that there were difficult issues I had been holding on to. I've let go of self-hatred, I've started exploring mindful meditation, I'm taking a good look at how I interact with my world and friends and family.

Maybe you can look at this issue as a 40th birthday wakeup call. Believe me, you can still have fun without drinking. Plus, if your friends truly care about you, they will not have any trouble supporting you in staying away from alcohol.

I wish you luck. This is a difficult journey we are on, and our bodies need every bit of support they canget to pull through to newfound health. Be well.

RE: Drinking Alcohol After Radiation Treatment And Recovery

by Atoms on Thu Nov 27, 2014 04:13 AM

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Go to an AA meeting and listen for things that match your story. Tell people what you think. If you're worrying about whether you can drink after cancer surgery there's a problem. Take it from another alcoholic. Go to a meeting!!

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