Alcohol Free


There are times in life that you have to stand back and evaluate what you are actually doing. We all do it at some point, there is always that one event that brings you crashing back down to earth and stops you in your tracks. This makes us question our actions, our lifestyles and makes us realise how valuable life is.

In my younger days, before my children, I would go to the pub every night, have a couple of pints and come home but that was because I went down to see my Dad or to meet my partner at the time from work.


Losing my Dad was a major life evaluator for me. His death was sudden and although he died of a heart attack caused by heart disease, the reasons given at the post mortem, when Googled, were caused by years of abusing his body with alcohol.

After his death, although we are not big drinkers, we decided to cut back on how often and what we did drink. I fell pregnant very soon after my Dad’s death and so the alcohol stopped.

Once my little girl came in to the world we would have a drink on the weekends that Mark was off. He worked shifts in a factory so it would equate to a couple of bottles of wine a week. When he left the factory and went on the buses, his shifts could mean that he would only have a day off every ten days, but on his night off we would have a drink.


These days, well up until a month ago, Mark and I would enjoy a bottle of wine each on a Saturday night. As I work night shift on a Friday this was the only chance we would have to chill and put our feet up.

Nearly three weeks ago I started on the Erivedge treatment to try and control the growth of Basal Cell Carcinomas on my body. The treatment is very volatile and can have some major side effects, so far they have not been as bad as I expected.

When signing up for the treatment I had to sign a form to agree to certain criteria and one of them was to limit my alcohol intake. I was asked to refrain if possible. The medication can, if mixed with alcohol cause liver issues. We decided that we would knock the alcohol on the head and embrace the opportunity to “Switch it Up”.


“Switch it Up” is a campaign from AB InBev UK & Ireland, it comes following research they have conducted, they are aiming to empower consumers to make smart drinking choices and reduce the harmful use of alcohol.

Some of the facts and figures that AB InBev UK & Ireland have produced blew me away for example, did you know that……..

  • 78% of Brits consider themselves moderate drinkers

  • A third thank smarter drinking for staying in shape

  • 1 in 5 Londoners have missed a day at work because they didn’t drink smart

  • A quarter of 18-34 year old people enjoy feeling more productive at work thanks to moderate drinking

  • 18% of people have seen a wedding ruined by someone that drank too much

The results suggest that Brits are switching it up and are well on their way to a more moderate drinking culture, with only 16% of Brits admitting to drinking above the recommended guidelines.


Having heard what my motivation was to Switch It Up, the research shows that us Brits main motivations to moderate our alcohol intake are:

  • To be healthier (29%)

  • Better Weight Management (19%)

  • Avoid a dreaded hangover (18%)

  • The Monetary savings of moderate drinking (20%).

There are so many facts and figures in the research but I truly found it a fascinating read …..


How many times have you done your online shopping under the influence? The research showed that a third of us have. As well as that the average Brit spends £47 a month on alcohol, that amounts to nearly £600 a year.

By Switching It Up, 15% of Brits have gone on holiday with the money they saved.

Just think, going on a night out and being in total control, remembering the night the morning after (although my memory is shocking so I can’t guarantee this would happen in my case), not being the one that falls over drunk, waking up without that feeling of regret because you said something you shouldn’t have the night before and imagine how much more attractive you will look when you haven’t had your head in the toilet dealing with the consequences of one too many Sambuca’s. Of course, I have never done any of these and am not talking from experience (What do you mean I have my fingers crossed?)

Then there is of course the ultimate benefit of moderate drinking…….  the lack of a headache the next day!

Anna Tolley from AB InBev UK & Ireland says….

Offering consumers a variety of great tasting, alcohol-free options is an important part of our commitment to responsible drinking at AB InBev, and our aim is to empower consumers to make smart choices and reduce the harmful use of alcohol by the end of 2025. Through our Global Smart Drinking Goals we also want to ensure that No- or Low-Alcohol beer products represent at least 20% of our global beer volume by 2020

I have tried several types of low alcohol beers over the years and since learning to drive but never Becks Blue or Beck’s Blue Lemon, which in itself is strange as I love Becks (as does Mark).

img_1127 img_1128

They are both very low in calories, which is amazing as we are back at the gym and calorie counting again.

Becks Blue comes in at under 40 Calories and tastes amazing. It is refreshing, light in taste and if I didn’t know it was alcohol free I dont think I would know the difference.

img_1132 img_1133

I am very partial to the low alcohol fruit infused lagers, especially the citrus fruit ones. The Becks Blue Lemon is really tasty and tastes better than some of it’s competitors. This one comes in under 80 calories per bottle and again is refreshing and you would never know it didn’t contain alcohol.

This research and lager has really opened my eyes and made me want to carry on being alcohol free. I am not sure what my decision will be in terms of carrying on with the treatment but I do know, should I decide to stop taking the tablets, that my drinking will be kept to a minimum.

Thank you for sharing your research AB InBev UK & Ireland.


Too Erivedge or not??


Here goes nothing…..

If you have read the Freeman Visit post you have more than likely clicked the link to see what the side effects of Erivedge are. However if you haven’t this is the list according to Cancer Research UK….


Common side effects

More than 10 in every 100 people have one or more of these side effects.

  • Taste changes or loss of taste happen in more than half of people

  • Muscle spasms affect 7 out of 10 people (70%)

  • Hair loss

  • Loss of weight occurs in about half of people (50%)

  • Tiredness affects 4 in 10 people (40%) during and after treatment. Most people find their energy levels are back to normal within 6 months to a year  

  • Diarrhoea happens in 3 out of 10 people (30%). Drink plenty of water. Tell your doctor or nurse if you are worried about how bad it is or if it continues for more than 3 days  

  • Feeling or being sick happens in about 3 out of every 10 people (30%). This is usually well controlled with anti sickness medicines but tell your doctor or nurse if you feel sick

  • Loss of appetite happens in a quarter of people (25%)

  • Constipation affects 2 out of 10 people (20%). Your doctor or nurse may give you medicines to help prevent this but tell them if you are constipated for more than 3 days

  • Aching joints or joint pains affect around 1 out of 10 people (10%)

  • Itching

  • Changes to your periods – if you haven’t had your menopause your periods may become irregular. Some women find that their periods stop

  • Loss of fertility – you may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after having this treatment. Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you will want to have a baby in the future

Occasional side effects

Between 1 and 10 in every 100 people have one or more of these side effects.

  • Feeling weak

  • Changes in your liver that are mild and unlikely to cause symptoms. The liver will almost certainly go back to normal when treatment is finished. You will have regular blood tests to check how well your liver is working

  • Loss of water from the body (dehydration)

  • Indigestion

  • You may have low levels of sodium in your blood, which will almost certainly go back to normal when treatment ends. You will have regular blood tests to check the levels

  • Stomach pain

  • Skin changes such as a rash, which may be itchy

  • Eye lash loss

  • Back pain and chest pain

  • Non harmful skin cancers called squamous cell cancers happen in some people – let your doctor know if you notice any skin changes


Silhouette of a man in a business suit giving a shrug with a question mark

Here we have it….my head is battered but after our trip this morning I have pretty much made the decision to give it a go.

There are pros and cons to the treatment obviously, the cons are pretty clear to be seen above and although there is a chance that I will not experience these side effects, however, this is me we are talking about.

The pro’s….Well I could have a serious reduction in the growths I get, the ones I have could shrink, and growth of any more may stop….as long as I am taking the treatment.

The con’s…. Well the obvious side effects. I can cope with hair loss (I don’t have a lot to start with), the weight loss (got plenty of that too lose), the loss of fertility (we ain’t having any more anyway) and then there is the fatigue, the nausea, the loss of appetite, the possible liver damage meaning that I will not be able to have a drink in the time that I am taking them (some may see this as a pro, going tee total will do me no harm that is for sure); the list as you have read does go on.


I have to ask these questions….

  • What are the most common side effects within the patients that are already taking it in their care?

  • How many patients have stopped taking it because of the side effects? (Bearing in mind the words used by CR UK are “You keep taking the treatment until it stops working or the side effects become too great.”

  • Is it going to interfere with me starting college and working? (I have less concern about work than college as I work from home and have an amazing employer)

  • Will it have a knock on effect in every part of my life?

  • If/When I stop taking it, will it mean I am more prone to cancer than I was before taking it?

  • Will it mean that my growths increase in growth speed?

If I think of any more I will add them but these are the pressing ones at the minute.

Ultimately though it will not mean surgery for the next nine months, but then there is the question of, do I want to have a possible nine months of side effects, when I could have surgery and they will be removed and I will be pain free two weeks after? But then I will have to do it again in four to five months time.

yes or no

You see my dilemma, I have done the reading, I have done the research, I now just have to make that yes or no decision…..I am back on the second of August. One thing I do know though is that I would prefer to start them after our holiday, if it is at all possible.