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Topic: Can I drink any alcohol?

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Oct 5, 2019 12:44PM

Kitty-Red2008 wrote:

I have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I'm 39, two daughters and devastated. I am determined to live! But since the news, I feel numb. Shaky and nauseous. I have decided to improve my diet. Now wonder if I can still enjoy a alcoholic beverage or not?

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Oct 5, 2019 02:26PM Moderators wrote:

Dear Kitty-Red2008,

Welcome to the BCO community. We are sorry that your breast cancer brought you here but glad that you reached out to our members for help. We are thinking that you might post this question in the Stave 4 Forum. Here is a link to other topics and resources on the Stage 4 Forum that you might find of interest. Please stay connected here and let us know how we can continue to help you make the best use of our community.

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Oct 5, 2019 02:30PM santabarbarian wrote:

Hi Kitty. I am so sorry about your diagnosis. My heart goes out to you.

I think your instinct to take great care of yourself re diet is smart and I feel the same way about my diet (and exercise), both things that I *can* do to make myself healthier.

Re booze; I gave it up 100% during treatment. I figured my poor liver had enough to do, dealing w my chemo. Now, 10 mos PFC, I do have an occasional drink when out, but I stick to spirits (lower glycemic index) and small amounts. I used to drink nightly but find that I did not miss it. So why add it back?

The Integrative MO I consulted with said the lowest incidence of cancer is correlated with a low fat (<20%), low meat (especially no cured meats), low dairy/egg yolk diet (whites ok). He recommended nutrient dense unprocessed foods and organic produce (especially for "the dirty dozen most pesticide-laden foods). Low carbs (no white carbs)-- but moderate amounts of complex carbs (lentils, beans, etc). Basically, that's a whole foods/ vegan diet with some deep sea wild-caught fish.

The MD whose guidance I followed is Dr Keith Block and he has book, "Life Over Cancer." He wanted me to consider my body in training to be my healthiest. He had me doing interval training the morning of my chemo days!

Again, I still eat a little bit of meat and dairy, but I keep it to once in a while, and a very small amount (like a few crumbles of feta in a large green salad). Somehow this leaves me feeling less deprived and makes it easier to stick to. (On my birthday I went for a flourless choc cake and ice cream and enjoyed ever bite!)

To me it's easier to think of what TO eat rather than what is forbidden. I lean towards 'anti-cancer' foods.... alliums (onions/farlic), mushrooms, cabbages/brocc/cauliflower, green/leafy vegs, peppers, seeds, nuts, avocado, and berries. I try to keep my diet to about 90% "approved" foods and then I get a little wiggle room for dinner at a friend's house when something else is served.

Exercise of 30-60 mins per day (3.5 hours/week) is also very very good statistically. When you exercise intensively the actual pressure generated in the blood vessels can crush the damaged C cells. So that's pretty good motivation!

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 5, 2019 11:40PM - edited Oct 6, 2019 05:43PM by exbrnxgrl

I take a more casual approach to alcohol, sweets and other forbidden fruits. I eat, and have eaten even pre-bc, a largely red meat free diet but I do eat chicken and fish though not everyday. I have a terrible sweet tooth (but only for the high quality stuff) and have to fight with that a bit but it is enjoyable and what is life if one can't enjoy? I was never a big drinker and find that my taste for alcohol has diminished over the years but if I want to enjoy a drink now and then I do so without worry. I tried a more restrictive diet when I was dx'ed eight years ago. I juiced took every supplement that seemed promising etc. I was miserable and I fought with my younger dd who took on the role of dietary enforcer. I have never been compulsive in my habits and no matter how hard I tried it was making me unhappy. I just wanted to enjoy my life, regardless of length and to live it my way.

I have no idea if just taking AI's and going with a"don't worry, be happy" attitude has contributed to many years without progression. I would never hold myself up as an example of what others should do because who really knows why I've done well ? So, my only advice is do what you feel comfortable with and choose a path that won't leave you with regrets should you have progression. And to be completely honest, I might have made different choices if my children were young. Both were adults at the time of my dx. I still work full time and have three grandchildren. I feel very fortunate to have had 8 almost normal years.

All the best to you.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Oct 6, 2019 04:40PM - edited Oct 6, 2019 04:42PM by DivineMrsM

Kitty, when getting a stage iv diagnosis, I think some of us start bargaining."I will stop drinking and maybe this diagnosis can be reversed."

I was so afraid of food for about a year after being diagnosed. All that stuff you hear: sugar, alcohol and red meat are bad for you, white carbs break down to sugar and that's bad, don't eat processed food, blah blah blah.....

I never drank much. But a couple years after diagnosis, my ds turned 21 and wanted to try all the alcohols. Because of him, I sampled different kinds of wine, whiskey and mixed drinks. Not every night. Once or twice a month. I enjoyed an occasional sip of coffee moonshine, Riesling wine, firejack whiskey or margaritas. It was fun trying them out,

About a year ago, my dh gave up drinking, So I almost never drink now because I'm honoring his givng it up and drinking alcohol really doesn't matter to me. Had maybe two margaritas this year..

Don't punish yourself. I've no idea the amount of alcohol you consume, but I don't see why you should completely abstain. Especially if it's a celebratory thing like New Years or a wedding. But an occasional drink, why not enjoy it.



found lump 12-22-10—ilc—er+/pr+/her2—stage iv bone mets—chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex—March 2019-ibrance/aromasin* —Sept 2019-verzenio* —March 2020-xeloda*

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