View Full Version : Brother alcoholic and now has cancer

10-05-2009, 04:06 AM
My brother has a huge drinking problem and has had for about 3 years we as a family were not aware how bad it was until 2 years ago when he arrived on my sisters doorstep in South Africa from Mozambique. My sister had him admitted as he hadnt eaten in 3 months and looked like a skeleton. He tried to find a job but could not and things go worse and worse with him eventually going to stay with my mother and stepfathe where he was diagnosed with mouth cancer in February. To cut a long story short he was operated on huge op 13 hours long with 12 surgeons. He was told he would not speak and that he would be in hospital for at least 3 months. He was discharged not even ten days after the op and can talk (they removed 1/3 of his tongue) it was a miracle. He then after all this continued to drink and smoke and the cancer has now come back 3 months after the operation. The last 3 weeks have been hell as he developed a hole under his chin where he has this stuff gushing out all the time and he smelt like a corpse. He was finally admitted into hospital on Thursday. Now is Monday and he spent the weekend leaving the hospital and drinking. We are not sure but we think they are going to operate today. Its very difficult to know what to do as we are dealing with an alcholic and somebody who has cancer. What do we do? Leave him and let him end up on the street. He does not seem to care if he lives or dies. Anybody been through this do you have advice anything???

10-07-2009, 11:39 PM
Hi there. I am a 42 year old woman in Australia. I have Bipolar Disorder and Panic and Anxiety Disorders and I am also a 10 years sober alcoholic in AA. I also had a violent, abusive, neglectful father who drank himself to death at 51 and then Mum married another alcoholic, mt Stepfather. Most of Dad's family have drunk themselves to death and there are many on Mum's side too. I have seen, many times over (including in myself) the insanity of alcoholic drinking. It is truly beyond belief unless you experience it in your own family.

My thoughts on this situtation are this. you can't make your brother get sober. Only he can do that and I have met many people in AA with other severe illnesses who have gotten sober and stayed sober - maybe it's too late for your brother, I don't know.

But the person you change change is YOU. I'm not saying you've done anything wrong, I'm talking about YOUR RIGHT to peace and happiness despite someone you love holding firm to a path of destruction.

My Mum got to Alanon, the sister fellowship to AA. She got stuck into it and did the work they suggested and SHE CHANGED - from one person into another, peaceful, self assurred and a contributor to society. I then got to AA and we were to improve our relationship beyond belief. She passed two years ago.

You could check whether there are Alanon meetings where you live. If not, you could contact Alanon World Service in the US and you could get thge Alanon Literature sent to you and I'm sure get online support. It could really change your life - and that is not dependent on whether your brother get sober, stays drinking or even passes away. I wish you well.