monkey off my back

One guy's experiences as he quits drinking

Life’s a beach.

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On Monday I’m seeing my oncologist and I’m interested (and a bit anxious) to hear about my latest cancer blood test results.

My last oncology appointment was 130 days ago and I was really disappointed to hear that my cancer results had gone up. The results shattered my quiet little dream that my last surgery had been super-effective and had finally got rid of ‘it’.

At the time I was drinking every night & was permanently in a state of being either hung-over, detoxing or getting drunk again. After my oncology appointment I felt so low and disappointed that I got even more drunk than usual – drunk enough that I was too hung-over to go to work the next morning (a very rare event).

That was also the last time I had any alcohol (129 days today). It was my ‘rock bottom’ – and while it wasn’t a dramatic incident, I finally felt so low that I was willing to stop drinking instead of failed attempts trying to reduce my drinking.

Anyway, fast forwarding to now…  I’m reminding myself that quitting alcohol has fixed many parts of my life – but it doesn’t fix everything.  My type of cancer isn’t caused or affected by alcohol so it will do whatever it wants – whether I’m sober or not.

I admit that part of me has imagined going to the appointment and having my Doctor tell me that “WOW – it’s completely undetectable. Whatever you’re doing – keep doing it!”. But logically, the most likely thing to expect is that my cancer results will be slightly higher again – and they’ll recommend more ‘watchful waiting’ (that’s a really annoying medical term for “we’ll keep an eye on you and wait & see”).

Whatever!  I’m quite satisfied that I am now doing everything as perfectly as possible and whatever happens it isn’t ‘my fault’.

I exercise most days;  I eat a predominantly plant based diet with whole grains, beans/legumes and seafood with low saturated-fat and sugar;  I don’t drink;  I am in the middle of the healthy weight range;  I don’t smoke;  I take my medications on time everyday, I go to all my medical appointments;  I do self-checks for new lumps;  I manage my finances carefully so we always have reserves if I need them…

There’s nothing more that I can do about ‘It’. The best advantage of being sober is that it’s easier to surf the waves that life sends in my direction.

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