Friday, October 17, 2014

Scrub, a dub, dub...

On the page “Leave or Stay” (http://immortalalcoholic.blogspot.com/p/leave-or-stay.html) I write about the difficulties of caretaking an end-stage alcoholic. Many times potential caregivers don’t see the whole range of chores that come with the job. One of those chores is the cleaning up of bodily fluid messes. Alcoholics have a tendency to vomit blood as well as lose control of their bowels and bladder at any time and any place. Cleaning up can be dangerous for the caregiver if not done properly. Below are some suggestions and hints about cleaning up after the alcoholic in your home.

  1. Use latex gloves and protective masks when handling any of the articles of clothing or bedding whether or not they contain excrement.
  2. Put waterproof pads between the sheets and mattress.
  3. The alcoholic’s laundry must be done separate from the family laundry.
  4. Keep a very small trash can by his bed. Use a plastic can liner – doubled. He can use this if he needs to vomit and can’t get to the bathroom. Clean using the bleach mixture.
  5. Don’t allow him to handle any food. Prepare his meals. If he eats during the night, prepare food and snacks that he can eat while you’re sleeping. There’s no point in designating breakfast from dinner. He can’t make that leap – so just fix what you know he will like.

When Riley was drinking a handle of vodka a day, I was left with a lot of clean up. I used the bleach/water mixture, but I still had to do a lot of scrubbing. Below are some of the methods and products that worked best for me.

General cleaning: 1 part bleach, 2 parts hot water, 1 cup of Borax Laundry Soap, 1 cup Washing Baking Soda and a bit of Dawn dishwashing liquid. I used this for hard surfaces except hardwood floors. I used a scrub brush, paper towels and old face cloths.

Laundry:  Amway sells the best laundry products I have ever used.  The SA8 is awesome by itself, but for Riley’s clothes and bedding, I used the SA8, Tri-Zyme additive and bleach. The Tri-Zyme is great for getting out blood and feces. I separated colors from whites and then pre-washed the whites in very hot water, high water level, hot wash & hot rinse.  Then I sent them thru a regular wash cycle with fresh ingredients. I dried them in a very hot dryer.

For colored laundry, I used the same cleaning combo of SA8, Tri-Zyme, but omitted the bleach and added Borax and Baking Soda. I did a pre-wash and then a regular wash using warm water, warm rinse. If they clothes were still smelly, I put them thru a second wash – same as the first. They were then dried in a hot dryer.

Carpet: This was by far the most difficult to clean. Fortunately I had a Bissell Pro-Heat Pet Carpet Cleaner. I pre-treated the area with Oxi-Clean and got on my hands and knees with a scrub brush. I used a mask and double latex gloves to prevent inhalation and touching the gunk. If I wasn’t happy with the results, I added a bit of hydrogen-peroxide (be careful, it can lighten the carpet color), scrubbed it around and hoped it looked better. Then I used the regular carpet cleaner with the intended for pets and used the cleaning machine. After that I did a rinse with Borax and Baking Soda. I put it into the tank where I would normally put the cleaning liquid. It worked pretty well, but the stain does keep reappearing after a couple of weeks. The best thing I did for the carpets was to have a professional carpet cleaner come in every three or four months and do just the areas where Riley spent most of his time.

Bathroom: This room was the smelliest, sickening room of all. There were feces on the floor, toilet, walls, light switch, door handle, sink, faucets, etc. We had a tile floor so I made my bleach/water combo and literally poured it on the tile. Then I let it stand for about 30 minutes. I had a deck brush and used that to scrub up and loosen the stuff. Then I used the broom and swept it up into the dust pan, dumped it into the toilet and flushed. Then I used another lighter pour of the liquid onto the floor and mopped it up. After that, I used my steam mop to go over the floor which further sanitized it. Now I could actually walk into the bathroom to clean the rest.

For the outside of the toilet, I used a hand-held steam gun and then wiped it down with bleach. For the sink and countertops, I sprayed bleach directly onto the areas and wiped them down. Then I used the steam gun just to sanitize it even more. I used Comet inside the sink, rinse, and wipe with bleach.
I made a new batch of the bleach/water and added Borax and Baking Soda for wiping down the walls, door handles, anywhere else that need a cleaning. In the bathroom, bleach was my friend.

A lot has changed for me since those days. Riley is not drinking and is not making nearly the mess that he did when he was inebriated. However, his current physical condition means he makes a mess when he changes his underwear. It isn’t nearly as bad as having poop smeared on the walls. Do not doubt – he is messy – he’s just not so unsanitary.

There are lots of products on the market that I have not tried, but have discovered their uses since my heavy cleaning days. I’ve made a table of some of the things I used and my discoveries so you can see what may work in what capacity. From this you may end up making your own concoctions that work best for you.

Product
Tile / Hard floors
Wood floors
Counter-tops
Bath fixtures
Walls
Carpet
Laundry
Upholstery / Mattresses
Bleach
X

X
X
X

X
X
Borax
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
Baking Soda
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Dawn
X
X
X
X
X
X

X
Tri-Zyme
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
SA8






X
X
Oxi-Clean
X

X
X
X
X
X
X
Murphy’s Oil Soap

X






White Vinegar

X





X
Pledge Liquid Wax

X






Mineral Spirits

X






Club Soda





X

X
Meat Tenderizer



X
X
X
X
X
Hydrogen Peroxide
X

X
X
X
X
X
X

To purchase any of the Amway products, use the below link:

Now that you have a list of possible products, here are some links to tell you exactly how to use them to get that fresh, clean home that hard to achieve with an alcoholic in the house.






That’s it for my housekeeping tips. Be sure to post in the comments what has worked for you and what has not. Give us your tips, we could all  use them.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dementia... in case you forget

As per Google:  Dementia (noun) – A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.

As per Merriam-Webster: Dementia (noun) – A mental illness that causes someone to be unable to think clearly or to understand what is real and what is not real; A usually progressive condition (as Alzheimer’s disease) marked by deteriorated cognitive functioning often with emotional apathy.

A simple explanation of dementia was described to me by an employee at the Alzheimer’s office. She said imagine the synapses in the brain which are electrical currents traveling to a nerve ending where it zaps a nearby nerve-ending thereby completing its process. Now imagine that when the electrical current gets to the first nerve-ending, there is no other nerve-ending for it to zap onto. The thought contained in that first nerve-ending never gets completed and gets lost somewhere in the brain. Those thoughts are still there, stored somewhere in the gray matter, but retrieving them is problematic and sometimes impossible.

There is more than one type of dementia.
  1. There is the ever looming Alzheimer’s Disease which slowly erodes memory and thinking skills which is the most common in the dementia family.
  2. Frontal Temporal Dementia is a group of diseases which affects decision-making, behavioral control, emotion and language. They are:
    1. Primary Progressive Aphasia – which gradually degenerates speech and language;
    2. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy – which gradually degenerates walking and balance;
    3. Corticobasal Degeneration – which gradually degenerates nerve cells that control mobility and vision;
    4. Behavioral Variant FTD – which involves changes in personality, behavior and judgment.
  3. Lewy Body Dementia – This type of dementia is associated with Lewy bodies and Parkinson ’s disease. It is the second most common dementia.
  4. Mild Cognitive Impairment – This is defined in deficits in memory that do not significantly impact daily functioning. Memory problems are minimal.
  5. Vascular Dementia – This is a subtlety progressive form of dementia causing progressively worsening memory due to reduced blood flow in the brain.

Riley’s primary care physician is concerned that his problems with memory and weakness in his right side are not improving. After Riley was released from hospice in August 2012, he improved from not being able to walk, feed himself or tend to his personal needs to being able to do all those things with little assistance. Now, today, he cannot walk without the assistance of a walker because he has very little balance and even then he falls almost daily. At the same time, his memory of current personal events has become shorter. It was the primary doctor’s hope that an appointment with a neurologist might be able to reveal the cause his decline.

Our appointment with Dr. Brain was informative as far as the damage from Riley’s previous strokes, but an MRI was needed to provide more clues. The results of the MRI were that he has brain atrophy, a common occurrence of excessive alcohol abuse which contributes to dementia, but there were no signs of any other condition that would cause dementia. Dr. Brain’s conclusion was that Riley is choosing not to remember things and that he only has mild cognitive impairment. He did not explain that this diagnosis was in fact a term for a form of dementia.

My reaction to this diagnosis was shock. I wondered if Riley had been “playing” me and really was able to function far better than he was showing just to keep me under his thumb. I could hear the words in my head, but something was just not right. It made no sense. Riley’s main goal is to be rid of me to stop me preventing his drinking and driving drunk. If he were truly capable of remembering and has no dementia, he would be making sure I knew so that he could prove that he was perfectly capable of living without me and managing his own life. We left Dr. Brain with me being more confused than ever.

Of course, those of you who have been following me know that I wouldn't just leave it at that. I started researching, making phone calls and trying to sort it all out. Drs. Google and Wikipedia have always given me great answers, but this time I added the Alzheimer’s Organization North Carolina, Merck Medical Dictionary and a whole array of other means of information. Below is a “in a nutshell”, condensed and straight to the point kind of things I learned in my quest for understanding.
MRI and CT scans do NOT provide a good determination of dementia. The only true test for dementia of any sort is a brain biopsy which cannot be performed while the patient is alive. It is done during autopsy. So you may not get an absolute “dementia” diagnosis until after the diagnosis doesn’t matter anymore – after all – the patient is dead.

The very best indicator of dementia is the observation of family and friends as to the changes in the behavior of the patient. It is helpful if the primary caretaking person, spouse, family, etc. – whoever is around the patient the most – keep a journal of odd or out of the ordinary actions of the patient.

As in the case of an alcoholic, there are other factors that can be documented that are helpful in determining the true state of mind. For example, the drinking history must be considered as to quantities of liquor over specific periods of time; how many times the alcoholic went through the detoxification process; has there been a diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff; has there been any strokes or heart attacks; and, is the alcoholic still drinking.

In Riley’s case there has been drinking to extreme, cessation of drinking, and back to drinking to extreme many times over and over again encompassing more than 30 years. While he most likely had hepatic encephalopathy long before, it was diagnosed in 2008 along with Wernicke-Korsakoff. Both conditions are brain function related and destroy the synapse connections. Riley had a stroke in 2009 which left him with some function and memory defaults, but not to the extreme. The heart attack and mini-strokes in 2012 further caused havoc in his brain. With all the trauma to Riley’s body and brain, the question shouldn’t be does he have dementia, but rather why wouldn’t he have dementia?

An MRI or CT scan can’t record as an image that is not visible. I tried to find a test that would measure the synapse activity, but found only research material using rodents. It appears that there is no test for the living breathing person who may have dementia.

My best measurement of Riley’s mental capabilities is what he presents to me each and every day. The inability to remember what’s for dinner tonight; the lack of ability to use the tv remote; his idea that if I would just let him drink his life would be so much better even if it kills him; the absolute insistence that he will be shot at the age of 103 by a jealous husband; the continual references to childhood friends and circumstances and inability to remember how to use the car seat controls; the contradictions in what he knows to be true and that the truth will not apply to him; his inflated sense of entitlement; and, thinking that he can still buy a new car for about $2,500  simply reconfirms to me that he has dementia. Add to all that the increasing inability to walk; his struggle with using the correct word in a sentence; his vision impairments; a difficulty swallowing; and a loss of emotional connections.

In fact, I believe he has Frontal Temporal Dementia, both Corticobasal Degeneration and Behavioral Variant FTD, which gradually affects all the functions performed in the frontal lobe of the brain. This makes sense to me because the toxins from alcohol usually settle in the frontal lobe region of the brain. I ask again – why would anyone not expect him to have dementia?


In my opinion, Dr. Brain’s diagnosis does not take into consideration the other factors of Riley’s condition. In all fairness to the good doctor, he has requested the records of a prominent forensic psychiatrist who recently examined Riley and found him to have dementia and lack competence to care for himself. He is doing further review of Riley’s case.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Grandmotherly love...

I am a 65+ year old Grandmother – MeeMaw – is the name that is used to address me. The nickname came from my only biological grandson when he was first learning to use words. Through the years, other children have called me MeeMaw and I have been grateful to add them to my list of grandchildren. Of course, my real grandson is the most special one in my heart, but the others are very loved just as a grandmother would love their grandchildren.

Watching the grandchildren grow and become adults is like watching a budding tree that is grown from the seed of a fruit that began in your body. Our own children are really just experiments and tests of our nurturing ability. We make mistakes, our children have difficulties and as a parent we learn as we go. By the time the children are having children, we have gained some insight, realized what we “should” have done, and most of all mellow out. These little creatures are perfect. How on earth could they be anything else? They are sweet and beautiful – our reward for all the hard work we put into raising their parents.

There’s a saying “If Mom says NO, ask Grandma!” It’s good advice because I believe a grandmother who says NO is a rarity. That’s all well and good while the babes are still babes. There is this phenomenon about babies – they grow up. In just a few years they begin questioning authority and start making decisions on their own. They don’t seek the advice of the grandparent as much. Inevitably, in about 18 or so years they become adults and go off on their own journey.

As a grandparent we strive to make this adulthood transition as easy as possible. Maybe there has been some money set aside for school or just to get them started. Situations often occur that the grandparent was as able to help their children financially as they are their grandchildren. We love them so much and put so much faith and trust into them that we forget that they are actually human with human flaws and temptations. Just like all people, they make bad choices. They get themselves into trouble. And grandparents want to help.

As the grandchildren have matured or aged, so has the grandparent. By the time the grandchild reaches adulthood, the grandparent has made the transition from being an employed individual to being retired and living on a fixed income. There isn’t the money available to help the grandchildren as there had been in the past. But, the grandchildren who may have made those numerous poor decisions are often so secure in getting the grandparent to help that they don’t see that helping themselves is harming the oldster.

Alcoholic or addicted grandchildren seem to take advantage of the grandparent/grandchild relationship. Senior citizens are easier prey when emotions are involved especially when grandparently instincts to “help” take over. People sitting on the sideline observing this shake their heads and say “Why do they do keep throwing good money after bad to those drunks and druggies?” Maybe that’s not the question that should be asked. Maybe the question should be “How can I help this grandparent resist the urge to go bankrupt or being harassed by helping the grandchildren?”

One of the things grandparents long for is being a part of the life of the grandchild. But, it doesn't have to be a grandchild to help fill that void. If you are in the family, consider paying more attention to Granny as a loved one who is not seeking any financial reward. Enlist other family members to become more a part of the grandparents’ life.  If there are a few of you, possibly schedule regularly timely visits. If there is more focus on the non-addicted children, maybe the grandparent will not succumb so quickly to the attention of the addicts.

While visiting, talk about people you know who have been through rehab or are addicted. Get the conversation going and gently let it turn to the abusing grandchildren. I strongly advise NOT to be judgmental or critical of either the addicts or the grandparent. Suggest books (audio books may be best), bring pamphlets and leave them on the coffee table, offer to come over if they feel they are being pressured by the addicted grandchild. Most importantly, reassure the grandparent about what a wonderful job they did in being a grandparent in general. Never tell them or suggest that they are a failure because that just makes them want to try harder to help.

Financially, if the responsible family member has the ability to provide direction to the grandparent, it may be a good idea to ask the grandparent, “How much money can you afford to give to your grandchild to help them get started in life?” The next question should be, “Is there anything you DO NOT want them to do with the money?” or “Would you like them to be restricted to using this money in a certain way?” If the money isn’t available in a lump sum, starting a running accounting journal for each child, each time money is given, write into the journal and make the child SIGN a receipt for the cash. This will be much easier said than done and giving cash to an alcoholic or drug addict means the money never goes for what it is supposed to go for.

Educating the grandparent will probably go farther than helping them set up a cash account. If an alcoholic asks for money for food – give them food instead of cash. If they need transportation, offer them a ride. If they need money for rent, offer to take the money to the rental manager. If they need medical help, offer to assist in filling out the paperwork for Medicaid or some other resource agency. A part of the educating includes had facts about the medical complications of alcoholism. 

Grandparents are not all marshmallows, they’ve had to hear hard facts in the process of getting older – tell them the facts about alcoholism and what it does to the human body. They won’t want those perfect little treasures to be riddled with holes in the brain or yellow/orange skin.

If physical violence is a threat, don’t wait for the grandparent to take action. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and find out how you can protect them.

In a nutshell, in my opinion, the most effective way to stop the insanity of alcoholic/drug addicted children from preying on the people who love them the most – is for the family to get involved and intervene. Grandparents are not weak, they are just clouded by the overwhelming love they have for their future generations. As family members, it is our responsibility to help them see clearly once again.


Of course, there are support groups that may offer some help and comfort – OARS F&F Group is available as well as AlAnon, SmartRecovery and others. But, the best help starts at home.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dead brain cells...

One of my OARS Group members posted about a blog she had come across that helped her with her feelings of guilt over her husband’s alcoholism. I followed the link and found this terrific blog post (written by “Charlie”) that I felt I needed to share with all my readers.

You might want to check it out and read some of Charlie’s other posts as well. I will certainly be following him.

-------------------------

We had an update on Riley’s MRI results that were ordered by the neurologist. It was explained to us that Riley has the physical body of an 85 year old man even though he is only 75 years old. He is diagnosed with “moderate brain atrophy”. But, don’t let the “moderate” fool you. As we age our brains do atrophy – how much depends on many factors. Let’s say that Riley had never used any alcohol, then normal atrophy would probably be minimal, but Riley has an alcohol abused brain with moderate atrophy for an 85 year old man. And… it is continuing to atrophy. This means he “officially,” medically, has been diagnosed with dementia and it will become worse as he continues to travel in this world. There is something reassuring that the debate on his mental health (does he or doesn’t he have dementia) will no longer be an issue.

In my research I found that it really doesn’t take much alcohol (2 to 4 drinks a day) to increase the percentage of atrophy in our brains as we age. I remember back in the day, that we used to joke about “killing some brain cells” as we open another bottle of wine. I don’t think any of us realized then what harm we were actually doing to our future health. We were young and probably would not have changed even if we knew.

There are things that we can do throughout the years to help our brain be healthier. If we exercise our thought processes it’s like exercising our bodies. Things like crossword or word puzzles and taking those quizzes, reading and even those argumentative debates can help keep your mind sharp. Of course, it also helps if you have a balanced diet and limit your intake of unhealthy substances like alcohol.

We finally have a blissfully appointment free week – with the exception of a dentist appointment for me. I thought this was the week we would get all the “official” results from all the tests and a decision on the treatment plan for Riley’s cancer. But, some things got changed around and now the week of the 22nd will be the week for all that. I want to enjoy and take advantage of this week by taking things slow and easy. Hopefully I won’t have to do a lot of driving or running errands. I can get some housekeeping things done and manage to get some cooking done. Oh, yeah, and I’m hoping for a little rest.

The one thing I will be continuing with is my pursuit of finding alcoholics who are willing to be filmed for the upcoming documentary. Actually, it won’t be premiered until January 2016, but we are in the process of gathering stories now. If you are an actively drinking alcoholic, I’d love to hear your story of how you have come to be in the position you are in. How you survive each day? If you have a job, how do you “hold it together” and get through the day without a negative incident? If you have suffered consequences from your drinking, what were they and how did you resolve the consequences? Imagine the benefit that can be gained for the audience and possibly for you by bringing the issues of being a practicing alcoholic into the light. Maybe you can show that it is possible to be a heavy-drinker and still maintain a sound, productive life. E-mail me if you are thinking about participating and we can connect you with the producers who can answer all your questions.

The main thing I’m not able to do is the biggest project on my table and I’m still feeling a bit of resentment over having to postpone my seminars sessions. But I’ll work through it by getting some of the prep stuff done. I have centerpieces to make, door prizes to gather, welcome bags to stuff, and PowerPoint presentations to compose. By the time I’m able to go forward with the seminars, all the little time-consuming things will already be done and have a choice of topics all set to go.

When I re-start the seminars, I’m considering beginning in the Washington DC area sometime in December (if possible) and focus on the topic of surviving the holidays. I can’t think of any time of the year that is more stressful on the loved ones of alcoholics than the holiday season. Alcohol flows like the waterfalls at Yosemite. It’s as though people don’t know how to have a party or a dinner or even a kid’s party without rum laced eggnog or bourbon soaked cookies. I remember my mother once getting tipsy from the bourbon balls she made for my deployed Riley. It was certainly a very rare occasion.

Normally, Riley and I live a quiet, simple existence out here in the country. However, I’m told that things won’t be so quiet once Riley starts chemo/radiation. I’m not really sure what to expect. I know he will most likely be very sick and weak. But, that’s about all I’ve been told. I have already asked for hospice to come out and evaluate our prospective needs. But, really, I’m in a wait-and-see mode.


My plan is to keep you posted and possibly get Riley to agree to some more videos of him as he goes on this cancer journey.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Colo/rectal cancer facts...

Since Riley was diagnosed with colo/rectal cancer, I have been busy doing research. I find that information is given to us in the doctor’s offices is very slow and methodical. They don’t want to tell us too much too soon. The doctors say it is because they are not yet 100% sure of this or that. They do know it is cancer, but they want another test and then another test. Riley was diagnosed in early July and we are still waiting for some kind of treatment plan.

What we know for sure so far is this: Riley has a tumor in his rectum that is of 99.9% certainty that it is cancer. The tumor – which we have named “Tommy” – has spread to at least one lymph node. Since our last appointment with the cancer doctor, Riley has noticed an increase in the size of the lump in his groin. Tommy is growing.

On Monday Riley is having biopsy surgery of the Tommy occupied lymph node. The surgeons will either remove the lymph node or they will simply take a sample of Tommy. It will then be analyzed in the lab for 100% confirmation that Tommy is malignant. It is the personal opinions of all the various doctors involved that Tommy is a very bad guy.

The treatment plan (assuming that Tommy is malignant) is based on many factors:
  1. Riley’s general health – Riley’s frequent near-fatal detoxes and damage caused by alcohol abuse have left him in poor physical health.
  2. Riley’s general attitude – Riley believes if he gets treatment (whatever it is), he can then go back to drinking. He doesn’t seem to understand (or care) that the two issues are not related. The treatment will not restore him to perfect physical health allowing him to begin the destruction again. The treatment may cure him of cancer but will not repair his brain atrophy or the damage to his heart. In fact, the treatment may make those ailments worse. Chemo and radiation is so invasive and harsh that it could be the cure that kills him.
  3. Riley’s choice of plans – Riley doesn’t want any surgery that will cause him to lose bowel control. He wants chemo and radiation.

While Riley’s issues/wants will be taken into consideration, there is a distinct possibility that NO treatment will be offered to him due to the “cure can kill” being too risky. If the powers that be think the percentage of possibility of death is at a certain point – they will simply let Tommy take his course in overtaking Riley’s body. No treatment at all may mean a better quality of life for a much longer period of time. You can find an excellent description of the treatment options here: http://www.colorectal-cancer.ca/en/anal-cancer/treatment-options/

As is my basic personality – I needed to consult Doctor Google and find facts that could be useful, if not to me, than to my readers in learning about this cancer who seems to like people who are either practicing alcoholics or those who may have been in recovery for any amount of time. The bottom line is cancer likes alcoholics. If a self-imposed death sentence via alcoholic isn’t successful, there is another opportunity waiting in the wings.

In my research I found a chart that shows that colo/rectal cancer is the third most often diagnosed cancer in men. Of the men who have colo/rectal cancer, more than half had abused alcohol over a long period of time. Even moderate alcohol (a lifetime average of 2 to 4 alcoholic drinks per day) use can cause a pre-disposition towards colo/rectal cancer.

Some of the reasons cited for this increase in cancer in alcoholics is explained in a very difficult to read medical journal type document. I’ve tried to re-write it so us normal folks can understand. It’s something like this:
  1. Alcohol produces acetaldehyde  which is a carcinogen (cancer causing substance) for more information on this see http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/drugs-alcohol/hangover4.htm; also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_and_cancer
  2. Because alcohol can also be used as a solvent (cleaner that dissolves crude), it enhances the ability for other carcinogenic molecules to inter the mucosal cells (tissues)
  3. Alcoholics generally have diets low in essential nutrients which weakens the immune system and makes the tissues of the body more susceptible to carcinogens.  http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2013/06/26/does-drinking-alcohol-increase-the-risk-of-cancer.aspx

 That’s what I’ve learned so far. There is so much information out there, that it is sometimes difficult to sort through it all and put into layman terms. The bottom line is that if you drink alcohol, you are far more susceptible to cancer than you would be if you did NOT drink alcohol.