Alcohol

simon66simon66 Member Posts: 5

Hi everyone.

I'm just after some advice.

My wife was diagnosed with stage 3 BC early last year. She had surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. It was a tumultuous year for the whole family. She is now on the aromatase inhibitor drugs, which have their own unique side affects.

Since then, life has returned to normal and she is back at work. However, the uptake of alcohol has gone through the roof. White wine and champagne seem to be the favourites. I have been told that two standard drinks per week is the limit, to avoid increasing the chance of a recurrence. I would estimate that 10 times that amount gets consumed in a week, possibly more. I realise this is a form of 'self medication', but the possible harm being done is causing the rest of the family great concern.

I've tried discussing the issue, but the conversation gets shut down fairly quickly. Where to from here? Does anyone know of a good councillor in the Perth area, who specialises in this area? Something needs to change, otherwise I feel all the hard work last year, will be for nothing. 

Thanks in advance.

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Comments

  • Robyn WRobyn W Member Posts: 1,932
    edited May 2016

    Hello Simon,I just wanted to get the ball rolling for you,so to speak,as I really feel for you.I don't know of a good councillor in Perth,but I would suggest calling the cancer council or BCNA and I feel sure that they would point you in the right direction.I don't drink alcohol at all any more,as I know the risks are real,BUT .... I have often thought that a drink would be nice:) It would blot everything out,and in the moment,things would be good.It would feel nice for a while.There is so much to recover from after cancer.:( I hope that you get the help you need for your wife.Im sure that someone in the Perth area will answer you.Just remember that the blog is typically quieter on the weekend.All the best Cheers Robyn xox

  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,496
    edited May 2016

    I can understand both points of view. On your wifes side, shes gotten a second chance at life and intends to live it to the full. She will also have a bit of depression and wine helps with self medication. Yep we all know what we should/shouldn't be doing but its not that easy.

    Rather than express the concern for alcohol perhaps setting off another cancer (something which she would be fully aware of which makes her more depressed) perhaps you can take an everything in moderation stand on things? Ask her to keep herself a private little list of every alcoholic beverage she has each day. See if she can moderate and better that a bit to drink just a little less on average. Yes there might be parties where moderation get forgotten but on the whole scheme of long term life, she might be able to settle down to a happy compromise of drinking in moderation.

  • Jess_BCNAJess_BCNA BCNAModerator Posts: 476
    edited May 2016

    Hi Simon, Jess from BCNA here and welcome :-) It sounds like its been a tough time for your wife and family, and certainly its is not uncommon for life after breast cancer to also have its hurdles.

    As Robyn suggested, there is a Cancer Council in WA who will be able to suggest some support for your wife in the area, they are best contacted on 13 11 20.

    Cancer Council WA also have a page on their website with some recommended counseling services in the WA region, some are face to face and others telephone support - https://www.cancerwa.asn.au/patients/support-and-services/cancer-counselling/

    Talking to your partner can also help - such as asking how she is feeling after treatment, telling her how you feel, asking her what you can do to help and letting her know that you are there to support her.

    Jess

  • Robyn WRobyn W Member Posts: 1,932
    edited May 2016

    It is me again! I have been thinking of you,and I wonder could you perhaps write your wife a letter? Tell her how you feel ,the way you have told it on here. Let her absorb your thoughts in her own time.Take care.Robyn xox

  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,160
    edited May 2016

    Hi Simon I think every one has give you good advice, it is a tough trip for everyone. Maybe you could both see a counsellor together and maybe on your own. I personally have found telling someone honestly how I feel without judgement has helped me. Time does help just because active treatment is over dosen't mean that the trip is at a end. Take care of yourself and your family,

  • Scared MumScared Mum Member Posts: 127
    edited May 2016

    Christine, I was trying to think how to right back to Simon and you said it perfectly there is no more to ad... Simon big hugs for you (((( HUGS)))) just hang on she will will be fine just let her be for a while..    

    Cheers Sue xxxx

  • simon66simon66 Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2016

    Hi Brenda, I agree with you on the new lease on life bit. My wife has become a lot more socially active post treatment. Catching up with friends, going out more...sometimes even I get invited along.

    We also use a pink! texta to mark on a calandar, the quantity of drinks consumed per night. I'm usually the one keeping that up to date, and I'm hoping it provides a visual clue. 

     

  • simon66simon66 Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2016

    Hi Jess, I did get in contact with a group based in Cottesloe for some counselling. This was about 6 months ago. My wife did go along for one session, but said she really didn't get anything out of it and wouldn't be going back. This is not a reflection upon this group, as they are all volunteers, and the service is free. 

  • simon66simon66 Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2016

    Hi Robyn, funny you should say that...if things get a little heated between us, we often resort to emails and SMS, from one end of the house to the other. It seems to help. Points of view can be passed back and forth, without any emotional fire works.

  • simon66simon66 Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2016

    Christine, I have read your post several times and am amazed at how similar it is to our experience. Maybe you should pull up a chair! 

    I hope that day you speak of, the day when she wakes up and realises she doesn't need to self medicate, arrives soon.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. 

  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,160
    edited May 2016

    Hi Christine you are a true survivour, your daughter is so lucky to have you  We never know how our lives can change so quickly. My husband was there every test and doc appointment, he really surprised me.

     I hope things improve for your daughter 

     

     

     

     

  • Bon BonBon Bon Sunshine Coast Member Posts: 13
    WHATTTT??? you have to stop drinking? but who will free all that wine trapped in bottles? This is getting more sucky by the minute
  • Hannah_BCNAHannah_BCNA Staff Posts: 9
    edited February 10
    Hi Simon, 

    Thanks for sharing your story. I could relate completely - my Mum had cancer, twice (Hodgkins lymphoma and then skin cancer) and she never seemed to share anything about her treatment with us. I actually didn't know she had skin cancer until she was away from work...in hospital! What she did make evident was her drinking. I knew she was going through a stressful time, so I let it slide for a little bit, but it all came to a head one day. I actually sought counselling after an argument with her. What worked for me was going to see a psychologist who gave me some techniques to cope with her and to encourage her to seek help. Maybe you can try to go initially, using the links supplied by Jess above. In my situation, telling her to 'get help' was only met with hostility before then. 

    It does get better too - she has now stopped drinking completely and is leading a much healthier life. I'm really glad I took that step and I encourage you to do the same. All the best. 

    EDIT: Totally didn't see the "May 2016" bit...where has time gone? Friday brain~ Anyway, I hope my experience is useful still Simon and your wife is leading a healthier life :) 
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