Monday, March 21, 2011

#12: Have a Drink (or three or four)

I was never told I couldn't drink while I was in chemotherapy or radiation treatment. My first chemo nurse came close by suggesting not having a drink until 48 hours after my treatment. But she didn't even offer an explanation of what horrible fate I might suffer if I did! Still, my better judgement prevented me from indulging while I was in treatment. I needed to keep my head in the game.

It was just before starting treating that I felt the strongest compulsion to indulge with an alcoholic beverage. It was August, the end of a hot (and stressful) summer, and I was popping eight Tylenol 3s a day. At that time it was the pill bottle that recommended not mixing with alcohol, and I reluctantly complied. Yes, even at a open-bar wedding, I complied.

So, after completing treatment, dropping by the pub was, naturally, very high on my to-do list. And, this past St. Patrick's Day, that's exactly what my girlfriends and I did.

The pub we went to was perfect: the smell of stale sweat and fresh beer hung in the air; a pair of annoying drunk girls in the corner were having an audible heart-to-heart; and the awful music just got better with each drink. I took a moment in between my 2nd and 3rd beer to drink it all in (the atmosphere). It was fantastic.

I let myself get a little buzzed, sung a few tunes, ordered some greasy pub food, and giggled all the way home.

Drinking beer never felt so validating. I look forward to never having anything prevent me from having such an experience again.


  1. I had primary treatment for cancer in the tongue area almost 4 years ago, and among other things I vowed after treatment was succesfully completed was: "life is too short to drink poor red wine". I'd always said that, but since then I've tried to stick to that statement. Not by drinking less often, but certainly better wine.

    3 years + after the first treatment, I saw myself as being a "survivor", but now have recently had recurrence with mets to the trachea and lungs. I have undergone palliative radiation, but will soon hear the verdict of how successful or not that was. Drink has been high on my list of things I wanted to be ABLE to do, not for the inebriation part of it, but for the ability of taking pleasure from it. I deviced a pyramid of different drinks in my first 3 weeks after radiation finished, and so far, the top was reached with sharing a bottle og Brunello di Montalcino with my best friend.

    If you care to have a look at my blog, there's a "translate" button ;-)

  2. Mmmmm my mouth is watering thinking about how delicious that bottle of wine must have tasted. There is nothing better than a nice, red-face inducing bottle of red in the winter. Thanks for sharing your blog, I love the idea of quality of time over life. All the best in treatment, Marla... I'll keep following you to hear about all the delicious experiences you're having.