I want to thank you for articulating so well many of the things that I have been wondering myself. I have always known that alcohol is bad for you but had no clue about the global way it effects every part of your body. Looking back I should have known.
Before I quit drinking at 45, I’m 56 now, I had me some monumental hang overs. The kind where you go “Oh God please make me feel better and I will never drink again”. Uh huh and as soon as I could, I was popping the top on another cold one. I never got in trouble legally or financially but I knew I was in trouble. I could feel it changing me and I was a very unhappy person. I had no real plan to quit all together I just wanted to abstain and see how things went.
I started riding my bicycle again, something I always enjoyed going back to my childhood. A funny thing happened. I started feeling really, really good. I wanted more of that so I kept at it. I went to see a doctor. I was honest with him. 100% honest. I thought he was going to chew me out. He didn’t. In fact he was very kind. He encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing and had me come back for BP checks and to make sure I wasn’t drinking. I still see that same doctor. When I was 50 he had me go for a colonoscopy. I didn’t want to but he made me. You guessed it, I had colon cancer. I know it was caused by my years of drinking. Surgery followed and19 cm of my sigmoid colon was removed. One lymph node was positive. It was adenocarcinoma I believe. After that it was 6 months of chemo. The bottoms of my feet are still a bit numb but getting better. My Oncologist released me in the fall of 2013. I mentioned my drinking to my Oncologist but he never said alcohol was probably the cause. He didn’t have to.
I shake my head now when I see people drinking. I hang my head when I see where another drunk driver has died or killed someone on our roadways. I wonder why we seem to just accept it and don’t do anything except punish people after the fact. Your book is a good start. It really should be a text in every high school in the country. People need to know what they are doing to themselves. People need to talk about this instead of pretending all is good. All is not good. I’ve seen too many people, my father included, who drank themselves to death. It’s a problem that has always been with us but nobody wants to talk about it. Thanks for talking about it and thanks for writing your book.
P.S. I look forward to the day that the alcohol industry gets the same treatment as the tobacco industry.