TMI again but hey, chemo ain’t no picnic

Thought I’d better check in, just to let folks know I’m still alive and kicking.

There’s really not a lot to report. My second chemo treatment was a week ago yesterday, July 14. The following few days went much better than after the first treatment. Instead of anticipating and beginning treatment for constipation from the Zofran, I waited for it to develop. And it never did. Notable, given the drug’s reputation. 

But by last Friday diarrhea had set in. With a vengeance. As it had after the first treatment. I was better prepared for it, started treating it immediately with Lomotil (prescribed at rate of one tablet 4 times a day) instead of the previously used Imodium which had been totally ineffective, switched to a BRAT (bananas, white rice, applesauce, white toast) diet, and forced all the fluids I could stand (mostly Powerade Zero).

Monday, with no sign of improvement, I called the doctor. Just my luck, he’s out of town this week. His nurse, consulting with other nurses, suggested alternating Lomotil with Imodium, saying that had worked well for many patients. I asked about doubling the Lomotil dose (since two tablets 4 times a day is the normal adult dose) and she said it would be too “sedating.” (Some nurses get very conservative when their doctors aren’t available.) Hard to worry about sedation when all I do is warm the couch all day. But I tried it. And no, alternating meds didn’t help at all.

By yesterday morning, I’d lost 10 pounds (in 4-5 days). I was still running to the bathroom every hour or two, still eating BRAT foods, still gassy, bloated, and miserable. And breaking down to eat some minestrone for lunch turned out to be a bad mistake.

So I made an executive decision (doctors’ kids can be such know-it-alls). I doubled my Lomotil dose last night. All the way up to the normal adult dose. Gasp! I may be scolded severely for doing it, or the nurse might have finally suggested it anyway. But in any case, it seems to have worked. So far. (Knock wood!) The rotisserie chicken I asked my son to bring in last night was delicious.

Meantime, I may never be able to face another banana (never my favorite anyway). The toast has been okay, but boring. The applesauce tastes metallic. And I haven’t had any rice; I can’t face rice without tons of butter (unless it’s refried rice, and fried foods are verboten). Ramen noodles have tasted pretty good in place of the rice.

I’ll assure the doctor that I discontinued every other drug with a sedating effect (antihistamines, anti-anxiety, and sleep meds) and did not exceed the normal adult dose of Lomotil, and that I have no daily activities that would be impaired by possible sedation. I’ll be interested to hear why he prescribed only half the normal dose, especially since Imodium doesn’t work for me. By the time I see him again, I’ll have either regained the lost weight and be in good shape … or I’ll be dead from some horrible reaction he knew about and I didn’t.

P.S. 8 pm: Well, that ended very badly. Vomiting and diarrhea for the last 3 hours or so. I want my mommy!


6 thoughts on “TMI again but hey, chemo ain’t no picnic

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge Wednesday, July 22, 2015 / 6:36 pm MDT

    Brutal. No other words. Can you get variety with different white breads? (French bread/sourdough/ soft dinner rolls?) Bananas get gaggy really quickly.(Don’t they give bananas for baby’s constipation? Lots of potassium.) I’ve seen old fashion rice pudding in the store cooler section, but it may have sugar and stuff?
    Can cinnamon be put on the applesauce? (that stuff gets old really fast, too, but there are multiple kinds and they taste different). Chicken soup/crackers or Chinese soup and vanilla ice cream….wish I could think of something to help.
    It was going so well. Well, I’ve probably depressed you enough now. Sleeping through as much as possible on the couch and sedation seems to have potential…got some nice fuzzy socks?
    Molly sends a gentle paw whack in sympathy as she knows poison and treatment is no fun at all.
    Wishing you fast recovery

    • PiedType Wednesday, July 22, 2015 / 7:55 pm MDT

      See my P.S. on the post. Everything went south a little after 5 pm. Took some Compazine for the vomiting but not sure it stayed down.
      Thanks for the good wishes, and hugs to Molly.

      • philosophermouseofthehedge Wednesday, July 22, 2015 / 8:30 pm MDT

        Fuzzy socks can just do so much. And coloring books to focus attention on. (Did you color left to right and in the lines…I used to drive my mother crazy not doing that….she finally just gave me typing paper)
        Can you do warm tea? Some settle stomachs. I think they suggest ginger or peppermint
        Peppermint candy? I think that was the only medicine my grandmother trusted – swore it worked on everything. Denver/Boulder should have crystalized ginger to buy somewhere to suck on. Ginger usually helps nausea. (healthfood store/whole foods/on line – son can look?)
        At some point the thought of anything to eat is gross. Nothing like cruddy smell stuck in your nose.
        So not fair. It’s tough, but so are you.

        • PiedType Tuesday, July 28, 2015 / 11:53 am MDT

          This is a belated thank you for all your helpful suggestions. As you probably know by now, I was too busy getting hospitalized to reply last week. I really don’t plan to do that again (knock wood).

        • philosophermouseofthehedge Tuesday, July 28, 2015 / 3:51 pm MDT

          Actually found some ginger at HEB groceries yesterday. Becoming more interested in natural/old fashion remedies…doesn’t hurt to have things spotted just in case.
          Funny how everything old is new again…or we just wise up as we go along. I knew you were taking care of things. Hugs for both of you.

"You don’t have to say everything to say something." ~Beth Moore

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