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!