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My oncologist said NO to wine

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 2017

I was hoping it would be okay to have a couple of glasses of wine towards the end of my 14 day cycle, so I asked my oncologist. He very adamently said NO! and gave me a mini lecture. How disappointing.

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 893
Joined: Apr 2017

Interesting.  On what facts and studies did he base his advice?  

nuc
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 2019

Is your liver panel within normal limits? 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 2017

Basically he said I only have one liver and that for long term chemo I need to keep it as healthy as I can. I don't know which of my blood tests are for liver.

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2097
Joined: Mar 2010

Both before and after.  ALT and AST are the liver counts.  Mine are normal.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 2017

Interesting, honestly, I may have a glass on special occasions if towards the end of my 14 days, with that caveat now of not the day before either. Thanks. I will check those levels.

SoCal42's picture
SoCal42
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2017

I can understand their concern though, because with chemotherapy, the liver is working hard to clear out all that toxicity, and alcohol just increases that work load. Especially if you are on what may be long-term (even intermittent) chemotherapy. It's always the difficult quality of life right now vs. long-term concerns questions...

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 2017

That is it exactly. Of course he is hoping to find a way to "cure" me, but from the gist of this talk and the one after I lost my hair, I believe he is thinking how to keep me alive for the longest time possible. He explained to me that there are many ways to enjoy life without wine :) It kind of makes me feel good to know that he is thinking that way. It is funny, because I agree for the most part. Don't take cold medicine, allergy meds only if gets really bad, but even before I got cancer, I didn't like taking medicines and now I HAVE to take so that I don't unless I must. But I really wanted to have a glass of wine at my class reunion, or at a dinner with friends at the end of 14 day cycle. But yeah, I am currently of the mindset of doing what it takes to live as long as possible. I wonder if it is a sign that I just listened to a pod cast of a friend's dad who has lived one of the most exciting, interesting lives of anyone I have ever known and he mentioned that he had never even once had an alcoholic drink in his life.

SoCal42's picture
SoCal42
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2017

I actually don't drink any alcohol now, but that's just because I have a bile duct problem totally unrelated to cancer. But I DID have sushi the other night, another one of the standard "don't do this while on chemotherapy" items. I justified it to myself by going to a really, really nice place that I knew would be very careful with the quality of their fish...

It sounds like you and I are in almost identical boats right now with metastatic cancer, dealing with Erbitux, hair loss, etc. Slight possibility of a cure, but more probably long-term treatment/control. This makes it very hard to know what to do. Live for the moment? Plan for the future? I find I make different decisions on different days, depending on my mood at the moment.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 2017

It is soooooo hard to explain to people that last bit as it relates to my finances. I worry about saving enough to live to a very old age, BUT, I also bought a very expensive wig while so very sad about losing my hair. And many other similar savings vs splurge scenarios.

We are in very similar situations. 

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1108
Joined: Feb 2015

But like everything, moderation.  And I do find myself not wanting any drinks for awhile - meaning on chemo (no way ever do I want one) and for a prolonged period of time after disconnect.  I am on three week cycles and most of the time, not interested until a few days before next hook-up.  Some exepctions where get-togethers, but most of the time no desire.  My blood work, however, is really good. I am in really good health.  Except for the one minor issue of having inoperable cancer throughout my body and dealing with the chemo to maintain things.  (Not being flippant about this.  It is something I still try to reconcile now and again.)

SoCal42's picture
SoCal42
Posts: 60
Joined: Jul 2017

A couple of years ago, an anesthesiologist was taking my health history before my very major cancer surgery (APR surgery), and after he found out I had no diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, didn't drink, etc, he literally said, "So you're in very good health!" I cracked up and said, "Well yeah, except for ONE THING!" I understood what he meant though, because I didn't have any of the things that would make an anesthesiogist's life difficult. But I also tend to be "in very good health" except for that metastatic cancer thing, and I find that can be hard for "outsiders" to understand.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 2017

It is hard for people to understand. i find myself saying it more than I thought I would.

Before my surgeries, I was so scared and the anesthesiologists made me aware that those horror stories don't happen as often as it seems, and not to be in good health like me :)

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 646
Joined: Dec 2017

I get that. I too am very healthy except for the inoperable stage 4 cancer and the chemo. I also only think about wine when I am in a social setting. Well, and have been watching the Good Wife reruns, and she really makes those glasses of red wine look delicious.

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 318
Joined: May 2018

I was told by all docs that it is perfectly fine. The guy who did a liver resection said as soon as you of narcotics you can do it. 

zx10guy
Posts: 207
Joined: Dec 2013

This is frustrating and disturbing to see.  With all the uncertainties with cancer, I can't believe doctors can't even come to a common consensus with items you consume.  From what I know, the reason why wine may be advised against is because of the anti-oxidants present in it; especially red wines.  If you look up anti-oxidants and cancer treatment, you will see the general guidance of not to intake anything with anti-oxidants as it will lessen the effectiveness of chemo.

You're seeing the same thing with the recent red meat controversy.  All this confusion is creating an environment where questionable alternative medicine practices are able to thrive.  These doctors need to get their act together.

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

All your doctors said it's perfectly fine? That's absurd! All of my doctors said no to alcohol for the same reason what zx mentioned. 

Abita, I know the feeling. When I finally had my appetite during my chemo treatment, I was so craving for wine and sushi but I listened to my oncologist. I was a good patient. LOL

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