My saved pages
I'm looking for a little advice and hope someone here may have seen some research.
Background: diagnosed with stomach cancer last June, had 3 rounds of ECX and a total gastrectomy at the start of December. Just started the next 3 rounds of ECX.
I fancied and had a couple of glasses of wine last week. Very pleasant, although it may have led to a touch of dumping. The curious thing was that it seemed to have no effect on me. This surprised me a little as I've barely drunk anything since I was diagnosed (just didn't fancy it) and nothing for the past 3 months.
Thinking about it more, it is not that surprising as I assume that alcohol normally sits in the stomach for a bit and absorbs thru the stomach lining. Given the absence of said stomach it means the rules have changed. I have been advised by doctors that alcohol will still be absorbed through the intestines but I don't know at what rate.
This is not a plea for help on how to get plastered, but as time goes on and I hopefully improve, I would like to be able to enjoy and occaisional glass with a meal (haha) or even just on its own. I've given up on the idea of a beer simply due to the volume.
My concern is around
things like drink-drive. I have got used to the rate at which I absorb and
dispose of alcohol over the past 30 years and I’d like to understand more about
the new rules I have to work to; I do not want to risk having a couple of
drinks in the evening and find that the alcohol is still fully present in my
blood stream the following morning.
Does anyone have any advice based on experience or has anyone seen any research? BTW, I have also asked the docs the same question but around absorption of oral medicines - am I going to be getting the right benefit from the chemo/anti-sickness drugs.
First of all, thanks for the response. It sounds like we are on the same track but you're about 6 months ahead of me. It also sounds like you are dealing with it really well, so congratulations!
I did get some fedback from my oncologist and he assured me that the drugs will be absorbed - by the small intenstine. I'm feeling crap so I guess he's right. Actually, I'm doing OK so I shouldn't whinge, but interestingly I have noticed a delay in the effect: I am taking the capecitabine tablets and that gives me a flushed face. In the pre-surgery rounds it was about an hour after taking the tablets but this time around it is 6 or 7 hours later.
That works for the drugs, but I'm not sure the same it true for the alcohol and other things. It is interesting when you say that not only did the booze not effect you, but you also didn't get the hangover. That could be youth (note the jealousy here) but it suggests that you didn't absorb it. BTW, I've also noticed that a double-espresso seems to have a fairly immediate impact.
So I am coming to the conclusion that we're dealing with a new set of rules in terms of what effect things have on us and at what rate. Fair one, at least we're alive to worry about it, but it would be good to understand the rules - if I get a headache, do I need to take a tablet and wait 6 hours, do I need to leave 24 before driving after a glass of wine?
I'll keep asking around with my medical team. Like you, noone mentioned this to me so I wonder if it has come up before. I feel a medical research project coming on: we need a medical student, couple of bottles of a decent white and a breathalyser :o)
I guess there is a serious side to this, but to be honest I am more intrigued and bemused than concerned. Maybe the medical profession is keeping this a secret - if it gets out then everyone will want a gastrectomy. OK, maybe not.
Thanks again for the response. If I learn anything I'll share here. And I really mean it about you doing well - less than a year after diagnosis and you're thru the treatment and moving on with a new job etc. I am in awe.
PS: Like the tip about the orange juice. I stopped drinking OJ some time back as it gave me a stomach pain. Hadn't thought that one thru, had I. Hmmm..
I had total gastrectomy in November 2017
Due to neuroendocrine tumour in stomach.
Reading these posts are very helpful and encouraging. I can relate to both pills and alcohol.
If you have any questions about Macmillan, or would like to talk to someone about cancer, we have a team of experts who can help.
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ.