Vice recently published a detailed account of Cheever's final binge.
A taste of the fun:
Back home he demanded a drink, and when his family protested, he asked if he might take a valium instead; given the go-ahead, he swallowed three and poured himself a drink. During the Christmas feast, a hush fell over the table as he tried to eat peas: Time after time, suspensefully, the trembling fork ascended, only to spill its savory burden at the crucial moment. At last, a spoon was suggested. “I regret to tell you,” said Cheever (putting the fork aside), “that you have a father who is dying.”