Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Help with unpleasant side effects of chemo

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,384
My sister has aggressive breast cancer and is receiving chemo along with targeted treatments. The good news is that with just one session of chemo, it really does feel like the lump has shrunk dramatically (whether that's real or just imagined....?), but she's suffering from all the nasty side effects. One of the main ones is a very upset stomach (never ending diarrhea) and that has kept her out of work for 3 days. She's doing what she can to stay hydrated and is eating all the bland starches that one is supposed to, but she literally can keep nothing in, no matter what it is. She's already lost 5lbs in a few days and she was quite thin to begin with.

Is there anything else she can do to combat the diarrhea? Does anyone have any suggestions? She's not nauseated but does have Ativan for it if she needs it.

Thanks.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
8,871
Mint helps my stomach. Hot or cold tea depending on my mood. Mint candy. Just something about it helps.

Icecream also helps sometimes. If it is an acid sort of thing going on, the dairy helps neutralize. I think the cold can also help soothe if it is other things going on.


So sorry she is going through this. I hope the treatments continue to be successful and she is cancer free soon.
 

jordyonbass

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,809
Ginger has been used to treat nausea for centuries, I recommend it as we have always kept it on our boat for people who come down with sea sickness (I happen to be one of those people...)

Ginger Beer is fantastic as the carbonation can help to sooth an upset stomach. Not Ginger ale though, proper non-alocoholic ginger beer
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,384
Sorry- I should've been clearer and less delicate- she's having terrible, terrible diarrhea, not nausea. Her appetite is still quite good, but not matter what she eats, it comes out the other end almost immediately.
 

jordyonbass

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
1,809
Logan Sapphire|1460041904|4016559 said:
Sorry- I should've been clearer and less delicate- she's having terrible, terrible diarrhea, not nausea. Her appetite is still quite good, but not matter what she eats, it comes out the other end almost immediately.
Oh well that's an entirely different story! I'd recommend to go into a pharmacy to see if they have Loperamide (also known as Immodium). She will need to make sure it's going to be OK to take while she is going through the therapy
 

momhappy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
4,660
This is something she really needs to speak with her doctor about (although, I'm sure that she already has). As you probably know, it's not an uncommon side effect, but it is critically important that she doesn't lose too much weight and/or become malnourished.
 

Mayk

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Messages
4,567
An old pharmacist told me to set out a can of regular coke. Make sure it's room temp pour in a glass and stir to get the bubbles out. So it's not carbonated any longer. It becomes more like a syrup. You can try this.

I used to drive a friend to chemo. She would have small portions of mashed potatoes and rice in the fridge and continually try and eat small portions in the days immediately following the treatment. I often sat at her bedside and rubbed her feet to help her relax and try and take her mind off the queasiness. Not sure any of this will work but it's what we did.

Saying a prayer for your sister. I'm so sorry you are going through this.
 

Queenie60

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 15, 2014
Messages
4,268
I drank a lot of ginger ale when I had the chemo symptoms. She should speak to her doctor about this as it depends what can work best for her. Also, ginger of any kind can relieve upset stomach. Herbal tea is another good one. I am so sorry she is dealing with this - sending good thoughts her way. Take care. :wavey:
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,546
HI:

Gosh I am sorry for your sister. I recall my sisters reaction to chemo--and it was much the same. :(

Bananas are know to have constipating effects--and they are high in sugar/carbs and K+. Needed when losing fluids.
Nutritious. And they can be frozen. Super cold fluids and food (even frozen) help, when nausea strikes. Small bite by bite.

Sports and power drinks are great for rehydration. Again, full of ice.

kind regards and healing vibes your sista's way

Sharon
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
LS, I'll be thinking of your sister. My coworker's husband went through very high dose chemo recently and had a similar problem. He had both vomiting and diarrhea though but found that it improved as the treatment went on and his symptoms were the worst from 24 - 72 hours after his treatment. So, he would get a few days relief before the next treatment. It's so difficult mentally and physically to subject your body to those treatments. :((
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,145
I'm sorry I can't offer help but I just wanted to say I feel for you and your sister.
My best friend had massive cancer removed last Oct and is on her 9th round of chemo and is also suffering and struggling to keep her weight up.

We need a cure for cancer.
 

Alex T

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
4,975
Sending your sister some healing vibes, and some strength ones to you too, LS.

I have no advice to offer, but I hope she beats this nasty soon.
 

BeekeeperBetty

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 15, 2015
Messages
271
My father took a lot of immodium when he was on chemo.

Green tea helped me quite a bit. It doesn't help with the diarrhea, but does seem to soothe the stomach and digestive system. I recommend Numi Gunpowder Green.

Does she have Zofran? It helps with nausea and will slow the digestive system, so that may help.

Sending you both positive thoughts.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,025
My sister has Leukemia so does smaller meals throughout the day. Many of her meals have what she calls sticky rice. (sounds gross but apparently it helps on more than one front!) smaller meals helps but doesn't completely eliminate it. She also does Imodium, which is kind of a fact of life for her.

Ginger and lemon in hot water (or even tea) will help with any nausea or sour stomach issues.

Chemo takes a toll on your mouth/teeth/gums, she might want to consult a dentist too. My sisters dentist gave her a dental rinse (not sure the name) which can help alleviate issues in the mouth during chemo.

Sorry to year that your sister is going through this. Please give her an extra hug from me.
 

packrat

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
10,615
Bananas are my go-to for diarrhea. They're usually my go to for everything.
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,857
Your poor sister, but good news that the chemo is doing its job! Loperamide as mentioned above might help though I guess it's best to check with the docs first. Keeping well hydrated will be important plus sticking to low fibre foods at the same time. I hope she feels better soon, best wishes to you all.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
12,182
I am so sorry your sister is having to go through this. Sounds like some good suggestions have been made here. Is her doctor addressing this issue with her?
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
3,758
The emergency room of any hospital can administer a Zofran injection. I'm sorry she's going through this, very difficult.

Also, the infusion center can plan ahead for this...
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
So sorry to hear that your sister is going through such a tough time. Is she on any pain medications? I know that narcotic pain meds can cause constipation, so it might be beneficial to alleviate pain and the diarrhea. Is medical marijuana legal in her state? That's another option, if so.

Sending healing vibes!!
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
6,818
Probiotics and anti diarrhoeal if approved by her doctor.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,337
When I had chemo, I got to know the chemo nurses very well, as they would be there for all the hours that we had to sit in the chair getting drugs dripped into our arms. They were literally in the trenches talking to patients every day. I would ask my doctor things related to symptoms and solutions, and they might know the answer, but the chemo nurses always had the best answers and were the most knowledgeable.
 

lambskin

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
2,270
Please check with the doctor before using any OTC drug to stop the diarrhea. The diarrhea is a side effect of the chemo and is maybe the body's way of flushing it out of the system-so you may not want to stop it suddenly with Lomotil and have the chemo stay in the body longer than necessary-pretty potent stuff... Thoughts and prayers to your sister.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
33,829
Logan, I am so sorry your sister is going through this and sending lots of good thoughts and wishes her way for a complete recovery. (((Hugs))) to you both.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,384
lambskin|1460088357|4016830 said:
Please check with the doctor before using any OTC drug to stop the diarrhea. The diarrhea is a side effect of the chemo and is maybe the body's way of flushing it out of the system-so you may not want to stop it suddenly with Lomotil and have the chemo stay in the body longer than necessary-pretty potent stuff... Thoughts and prayers to your sister.
Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions and well wishes! It's sobering to realize just how many people have been affected by cancer one way or the other. It seems like people are coming out of the woodwork in our lives with their own cancer stories.

Lambskin, this is actually a really positive way to think of it and I'm going to pass it along to my sister. Thank you for that. She's on taxotere, perjeta, carboplatin, and Herceptin.

My sister did talk to the advice line/doctor. They don't want her taking Immodium as they want to figure out if her issues are a result of the chemo or anti-constipation meds they also gave her.

She found this lump purely by accident (was too young at the time of diagnosis for mammograms). Oddly enough, and I don't know if this is in our minds or real, but after only one round of chemo, the tumor feels like it's definitely shrunk a lot. It felt big pre-chemo and after, I can hardly feel it. Our mom, who hadn't felt it prior, couldn't even find it without my sister showing her.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,546
HI:

Oh because her skin might be irritated because of the diarrhea--she might need some warm or cool compresses to the area. Gentle, no rubbing. And a water barrier like Vaseline and crème like Vaseline intensive care.

cheers--Sharon
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
3,758
canuk-gal|1460123034|4016928 said:
HI:

Oh because her skin might be irritated because of the diarrhea--she might need some warm or cool compresses to the area. Gentle, no rubbing. And a water barrier like Vaseline and crème like Vaseline intensive care.

cheers--Sharon
X2, also Aquaphor is a good skin protectant, and anything with petroleum jelly + zinc oxide too. Its messy but boy does it provide healing and relief.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,608
No real advice, just hugs to your sister.
 

Sphene

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
666
I am so sorry your sister is going thru this I hope and pray she continues to find the strength to fight it.

I found the following on Macmillan.org and Chemocare respectfully

Make sure you drink plenty of liquid (up to two litres a day) to replace the fluid lost with the diarrhoea, but avoid alcohol and coffee.
Eat small, frequent meals made from light foods such as dairy produce, white fish, poultry, well-cooked eggs (my grandmother who survived stomach cancer aged 86 found eggs really bung her up), white bread, pasta or rice. Eat your meals slowly. Eat less fibre (cereals, raw fruits and vegetables) until the diarrhoea improves.

Avoid greasy, fatty foods such as chips and beefburgers, and spicy foods like chilli peppers.
Acidophilus or other bacteria found in live yoghurt or live yoghurt drinks may help ease diarrhoea caused by antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill off the healthy bacteria normally found in the bowel, but the bacteria found in live yoghurt may replace them. However, you should avoid live yoghurt while you’re having chemotherapy or if your immunity is low.

I found this info on Chemocare

Things you can do to minimize or avoid the effects of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea:
Dietary

Drink plenty of clear fluids (8-10 glasses per day). Examples: Gatorade®, broth, Jello®, water, etc.
Eat small amounts of soft bland low fiber foods frequently. Examples: banana, rice, noodles, white bread, skinned chicken, turkey or mild white fish.

Avoid foods such as:

Greasy, fatty, or fried foods.
Raw vegetables or fruits.
Strong spices.
Whole grains breads and cereals, nuts, and popcorn.
Gas forming foods & beverages (beans, cabbage, carbonated beverages).
Lactose-containing products, supplements, or alcohol.
Limit foods and beverages with caffeine and beverages extremely hot or cold.
Over-the-counter medication for diarrhea:

Avoid: herbal supplements (milk thistle, cayenne, ginseng, saw palmetto, and others).
Skin Care:

Clean skin around anus gently with warm water and soft cloth then dry gently and completely.
May apply a barrier cream to irritated skin.
Allow the irritated skin to be exposed to open air as much as possible.
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
3,252
Metamucil. We use it for patients who are on tube fees and have chronic diarrhea. The fiber keeps things together so to speak. Prayers for your sister.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top