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My Adult Son is an Alcoholic and Has just been Diagnosed with Leukemia (CLL).

My son has been an alcoholic for 20 to 30 years. He is 46. He was recently diagnosed with chronic lymphomic leukemia. His doctor told him he is in a very early stage and recommended to treatment other than "watch and see". His doc also told him to stop smoking, which he did - right away.

However, his drinking has increased dramatically to the point where he even drinks in the morning and literally drinks all day. His hygiene is terrible, but obviously, that is not the main problem. I can't find a single web site that says heavy drinking effects CLL.

He is an adult and thus I can't go to his doctor appointments with him. I suspect his doctor doesn't have any idea how much he drinks. He is extremely difficult to be around because he is always drunk and when our family is together, he interrupts, has no idea of what we are talking about and his comments make absolutely no sense.

Mainly, I am concerned that his drinking will cause his leukemia to kill him. His father (my ex) is on 100% disability from the VA for alcoholism. My current husband and I and other family members drink a beer or a glass of wine on occasion. My son will drink well into the night until he passes out, and then starts again in the morning. He does not live with us but spends many weekends with us.

I need advice so I can help him. I think if he knew heavy drinking would hasten his cancer, he might at least have an incentive to stop. Do I just need to sit and watch him die? It is very frightening to our whole family. Thank you very much. Mary


Hi Mary

Is has become widely acknowledged that one of the physical effects of alcoholism is the development of a number of different cancers. I haven't read any reports that specifically mention Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, but it goes without saying that excessive alcohol will only make things worse.

You may not be able to go with your son to see his Doctor, but you could make an appointment to go see his Doctor by yourself and explain what is really going on to him. That way when your son goes to see him again, he can have a word with him and explain the risks, which might motivate your son to take his drinking problem more seriously.

If your son continues with his alcoholism and excessive drinking, he might be more at danger from the alcohol than his leukaemia. So if he continues to stay in denial about his problem and isn't prepared to change - you may have to consider doing a family intervention to get him into proper treatment for his alcoholism.

So it's essential that your son does address his alcoholism too because on its own it also has the potential to be fatal. But with his leukaemia it just makes things even worse. Hopefully a word from his Doctor will help, otherwise you'll need to seriously consider an intervention.

God Bless and Good Luck to you

Comments for My Adult Son is an Alcoholic and Has just been Diagnosed with Leukemia (CLL).

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Mar 15, 2013
by: Anonymous

I recommend going to alanon. You can learn how not to support the alcoholism and be happy yourself.

Apr 08, 2012
An alcoholic ex husband may have leukemia
by: Alex

My Ex husband is an alcoholic & has recently been to told he may have leukemia. He left town before seeing the specialist, so he doesn't have a complete diagnosis. He is working in a remote part of the country that doesn't have the medical felicities to help him.
He is drinking excessively everyday & is trying to pretend that none of this is happening. He isnt showing any systems & wants to wait another 5 months before he returns home & sees the specialist. We have two children together, who now know what is going because he sent the eldest a txt message whist he was drunk.
I don't know what to tell my children & they are very distressed.

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