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MelanieT's picture
Posts: 188
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi everyone... I no its been a little while but i have been trying to deal with everything and with chris new found attitude... Before chris was diagnosed he was a bit of a beer drinker and loved his chewing tabacco. After all his surgeries and his trials he quit both. His dr advised him that he NEEDED too.. Well as of a month ago he has started both back up. His says if i am goin to die it will be happy.. This has been very hard for me and makes me sad.. How harmful is drinking and chewing? no its bad either way but how much worse is it for a colon cancer patient? He started his 12 and maybe final treatment today and i cant help but think he is just adding more treatments to his future... thanks for letting me vent


geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

Just vent away, that is what we are here for. I know you have been dealing with issues lately and I think of you often and how you and Chris are doing in your struggles. I don't have an answer. Yes, it is bad for Chris and I'm sure he knows this deep down and how worried you are. Maybe you two just need a third party to talk to so you can both get on the same page so to speak. Take care - Tina

MelanieT's picture
Posts: 188
Joined: Nov 2009

thanks tina..... i cant even imagine how he feels sometimes but i just crushes me to think he is doin things that could take him away from me faster.. you are sweet and i appreciate all your support. I think your right about talkin to someone. When it comes from me he feels i am attacking him but from a outside party maybe he would feel better... thanks again


Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Mel

How long did he quit the chew and the beer? Did he do anything to replace it, like nicotine patches? I am guessing he does want to quit, but a horrible hard thing to overcome and get through. It does show just how truly addicting tobacco and beer are! If you could get him to quit the chew and go at it like quitting cigarettes- get his doctors help. See, I quit smoking in Nov 06- after a health scare. But many don't! And there is no easy answer as to why, if knowing and experiencing the risks and the shortened life span, that anyone would continue it. I don't think he has a death wish, nor do I think he wants to leave you early. He just needs help with it.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

I never chewed tobacco, and wouldn't want to, but let's face it,
everything in life seems to be a hazard.

Drinking beer? I prefer Bourbon, but neither is something
that has to be done.

We do those things because we either:

A. Enjoy it, and find a bit of relaxation from it, or
B. Are hooked on it, by addiction of physical or psychological grounds, or
C. Trying like all hell to annoy the crap out of someone, or
D. Trying like all hell to get someone's attention to what is really bothering us.

So a nice heart-to-heart talk between two spouses, listening to
each other as carefully as possible, without a grain of defensiveness
interrupting clear thoughts..... would be the best thing.

Regardless of A, B, C, or D, once you understand the reason, you can
help fix the problem, or accept is as not being a problem.

It might help for you to know why it bothers you, and if the fact
it's bothering you, is what's really bothering him.

Life's short. Sometimes what we consider is a "big deal" isn't so big after all.

Good luck!


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

All things in moderation. It doesn't sound like this may be the case though. Maybe quitting both at once wasn't the best way to do it, maybe one at a time would be easier. If his liver was operated on then drinking is not the best for it, especially right after surgery and tobacco...well, tobacco. What can I say?

"And curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he's such a stupid git!"
Lennon & McCartny

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Take it from a former drunk. To quit drinking is damn hard. It took me over a year to get over it. After 27 years, I still miss it sometimes. As drinking is very ruff on the old liver I would stop it. I have often wondered if I would be alive today after what they did to my liver and still drinking. I don’t think I would be alive.

I still remember the old saying “you can’t drown your sorrows in booze, but you sure as hell can make them swim for it.” You can’t fight cancer with booze. Your liver needs all the help it can get.

On smoking, I would not ask him to quit both at the same time. They even told me when I was in the drunk farm not to even think about quitting smoking. That is just too much to handle at one time.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Mel

A difficult quandry here, that's for sure. John touched on some good points in his post on the reasons why we do things that we do.

From what you are saying it sounds like Chris "thinks" he will be checking out, so enjoying a couple of his favorite activities, won't make the difference one way or the other. I can certainly understand some of what he is feeling here. It's hard for a cancer patient seeing his own mortality right in front of him - the need for an escape or a "feel good" situation can sometimes be the thing we can do - but as Phil said..."in moderation." I'm not advocating it, just saying that I personally understand it. He's swallowed so many toxic chemicals, he's thinking beer can't hurt him anymore than that, and it makes him feel better.

I never chewed, and never understood the allure here - know guys who did it and just did not see any fun in it. I'll tell you though, I saw a guy with mouth cancer though and he had a good part of his face and jaw bones removed - it was ugly...he certainly does not want to go there.

A beer or 2, every now and then, might help him with his battle - it's as much about feeling in some kind of control of your former life. He just has to pick his spots have 1 or 2 and then wrap it up - can't make a living out of it, while he's battling liver cancer. And I'd hate to see him come so far in his treatment, and give it back, after all that you have BOTH gone through together. A compromise seems to be in order.

The obvious, easy answer is to give up both - his doctor even recommended it - 'nuff said about that. On the other hand, he is a grown man and he is definitely "searching" for something right now. I know it's got to be hard on you watching this and wondering what to do.

When you think you're not going to make it, you sometimes just wanta to say, "To H*ll with it, I'm doing what I want." He's just soul searching with himself and seeing what he can do and how his body reacts. If he's being excessive, then this is something to consider and his onc probably would need to know what's going on.

Hopefully, this will just be a phase, and he will taper off or quit again.

A really tough situation - and no easy answer - I hope you guys discuss it and go with what you both feel is acceptable. After all, he has got to think about you in this equation too - YOU have also "paid the price" of his treatments and it would be unfair to you, to just not consider your needs as well.

Thanks for your post - it gives one something to think on.

Again, I'm not saying one way or the other, I only can try and understand how your husband feels. But something on occasion for a special event, is much different than regular full time imbibing and his liver does need all the help it can get.


Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I agree with the others. I know people with cancer who have had it for a few years now, who still smoke and drink! I quit smoking back in 2003, and was just a social beer drinker, I didn't like the hard stuff too much, but maybe margaritas, a shot of crown, no biggies, I only drank a few on the weekends, if that. I was able to quit smoking cold turkey, and drinking, I quit after I was dx'd with the colon cancer. I am afraid to drink a beer or have a glass of wine, thinking it may make it worse, but then again, I feel like possibly how your hubby is feeling..we're going to die anyway, so why not have fun before we do...but then there's that hope of, maybe I'm not going to die right away, I'd like to be here for a longer time, and am trying to do everything to make that happen, whether eating right, juicing, and taking supplements is helping, (hopefully), but this may be just something he is going through for now, and may stop on his own time after thinking about it for awhile as well. Does he drink alot? my onc said a couple of glasses of wine a week would be ok, but to be careful with what we consume, since it has to go through our livers, and we want it to be healthy.


MelanieT's picture
Posts: 188
Joined: Nov 2009

thanks so much everyone!!! Chris is an amazing guy and i do completly understand the fact of wanting some control in his life... This disease can take so much of you away. I totally agree with moderation and am truly ok with that. But since they found the lesions in his liver and his lungs are hurting more than ever, i feel like he is just checking out. I just dont know how to help him!! You all give me such great advice and help me to be a stronger person.. Thank you thank you thank you.... I am going to have a good talk with him and let him know how much i love him, understand him and just want the best for "us" talk....

love you all

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

"I am going to have a good talk with him and let him know how
much i love him, understand him and just want the best for "us" talk...."

My wife tells me that when I talk, I don't hear her.

So maybe.... Just let him talk.

Stay strong. Good health to you both.


Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2010

Here's my 2 cents. It's all about the psychological & physical distress that go with 11 (now 12) rounds of Folfox.

You said he started "as of a month ago." Then he made it very far, imho, and one month from now I bet he'll be ready to rethink things again, probably on his own. I wouldn't start a war over it now (not that you were going to.) I bet he'll find better ways to push back against cancer.

Doug_B's picture
Posts: 27
Joined: Feb 2010


I'm new to CSN. Forgive me if I speak out of order but I can identify with Chris to a certain extent. When I finished my 24th and final round of chemo I was physically pretty weak but in an elated state of mind. "I'm done, finally!" "Life can now go back to normal".

I started smoking cigarettes again thinking all the chemicals the docs pumped into me must have killed all the bad stuff from my smoking days and I could start all over. It took about three weeks and my lungs hurt so bad I had no choice but to toss that nasty habit.

At the end of any treatment our bodies are in a weakened state and needs to recover. No sense in hindering the process by putting bad stuff into it. We have been given a new beginning, lets not blow it.

In regards to drinking, the liver is a fertile breeding grounds for cancer and a lot harder to treat. It is also weak and needs to rebuild. It has been working overtime filtering out all those drugs. Keep it healthy.

It is easier to get rid of one habit at a time. It depends on which one is the worst.

Tell Chris "It ain't over until the fat lady sings" I'm sure he will understand that.

Best wishes and Godspeed to both of you,


RickMurtagh's picture
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2010

It ain't over until the fat lady sings? I listen to opera and almost all the women singers are fat. Better to tell Chris, "It ain't over until the skinny lady sings opera."

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Mel,

Sorry to hear this. Would you think it a violation of your hubby's trust if you personally called his onc and asked this question (how much harm it's doing and/or what can you do about what hubby's doing again?) I don't really know if this is something you should do or not. It is his life- BUT it's also yours and your family's that he's affecting. Maybe it's just temporarily how he's dealing with his feelings of thinking he might die. Lots of emotions and ways of reacting are normal- everyone is different. Especially if he was used to drinking beer and chewing before cancer, he might even feel like "why not?! I want to live a little!" It may just be his way of kicking up his heels a little and feeling in control of what he does (since he's not able to control what the cancer does).
Of course it isn't good to drink during treatment (you might find out what dr. recommends. Although I wouldn't drink while in treatment, I have heard that some doctors just recommend avoiding alcohol two days before treatment, during, and for two days afterwards. Don't take that as gospel- just as what I remember overhearing a different onc in the chemo room telling a patient one day (when she asked him if she really had to give up "her cocktails").

Take care and hugs to you-

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I'm a former smoker, quit 18 years ago, and still enjoy the odd beer.

I think there has been good wisdom and understanding shared here.

What concerns me is the attitude Chris has right now. "If I'm going to die it will be happy." It seems like he has just gone through significant work, surgery, and chemo to sustain life. The hope is that he will beat this thing and the priority becomes preventing a recurrence. The attitude suggests he has given up, or that he doesn't expect to survive. Maybe he doesn't have hope or is feeling depressed.

This must be very difficult for you. It is hard to confront the poor health choices of our partner. If we do it too often and they don't respond it becomes "nagging" and it isn't listened too. At the same time we become more upset. Not fun!

I hope you are able to find the right time and way to let him know how you feel about this. In the meantime... celebrate the completion of chemo. Sometimes it takes a while for the future horizon to open up after cancer. As it does for Chris it will be easier for him to be more hopeful about the future and make good long-term health choices.

Peace and Blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

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