• Chemo side effects

    Asked by MymomMYhero on Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Chemo side effects

    My mother is in her second round of chemo and it seems to be hitting her even harder this time. does it keep getting worse? Is there anything you can do to help with the neasea and diarreha? she's lost her appetite completely and i fear with out food she's going to slow her recovery. I'd like to add that she is under enormous amounts of stress from other members in my family. (they are scared and hurt and taking out on her)

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I don't know about the different chemos, but with my BC chemo regime, I had horrid nausea....I took all the pre-meds and anti-nausea meds and still needed more...one of the best was "BDR" suppository...it is bendryl, decadron and reglan....a compounding pharmacy made it for me....drink lots of water....eat small meals...whatever taste good to your mom....talk to her onc about what to do for diarrhea...mine didn't want me to take anti-diarrhea meds, but I don't remember what he had me take....I also started on Nexium for heartburn....my onc wanted me to drink Ensure but I found it gross so I drank strawberry smoothies which tasted good...Everyone reacts to chemo differently so can't really tell you that each one is worse....it could get better.....

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      With his first non-small-cell lung cancer, my dad had chemo with carboplatin and taxol, and did relatively well with it compared to his last cancer. I think he had Compazine then for his nausea. Some people here swear by a little ginger. He lost his hair. He had a low white blood cell count that was boosted with an injection. And he felt fatigued.

      If I was your mom, I would ask the doctor or chemo nurse when she goes in. There are things they can do to help with the side effects of chemo as she goes along. Dad's chemo nurse told him not to suffer through until the next chemo and then tell her that he had a horrible time after it. Call in and ask how to manage the side effects.

      For diarrhea, I would ask the doctor about a little probiotic to see if that's a case where it might be useful. There are also drugs to help with diarrhea, and some people recommend a certain diet. I would ask Carm, a nurse who comments here on the Whatnext website. https://www.whatnext.com/users/carm

      The National Cancer Institute has a helpful booklet called "Chemotherapy and You." http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/chemotherapy-and-you/page1/AllPages That covers many of the side effects of various chemotherapies.

      over 3 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      Hi MymomMyhero, it doesn't get worse if she is able to keep up with her nutrition. First thing's first, the nausea needs to be controlled. Ask for anti nausea meds from the doctor, if those don't work, ask for another anti nausea med, and so on. At one point I was taking as many as 4 different types of anti nausea meds at a time. She just has to find the combination of anti nausea meds that work for her. Nausea was the side effect that hit me the most. Once the nausea is controlled, she will be able to eat and keep food down better. As far as the diarrhea, a change in diet helps. That means eating things that combat the diarrhea. The cancer institute website offers a lot of free publications with a lot of helpful info like this: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/chemo-side-effects/diarrhea.pdf There are also times that food will be the last thing on her mind and for that I'd say keep Ensure handy. Even if I was nauseated I would still be able to sip down one of these. :)

      Many will say that chemo is cumulative, which it is, but this doesn't mean things get worse. Once your mom finds ways that work in coping with the side effects, it will become routine and easier to handle. As far a dealing with the stress from other family members. It's best to stay away from people that are drama. :) Dealing with a cancer diagnosis brings a boatload of worries on it's own, no need to add to it. And most importantly, true that cancer brings so much fear and unknown to our lives but she just needs to focus on kicking this cancer to the curb. Keep positive. Show cancer that it won't take our smile away and above all, keep enjoying and making the most of life. :) I truly wish all the best for your mom as she goes through treatment. Thank you for being a part of our Whatnext family. We are here for you. Hugs.

      over 3 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      My husband has is on his 3rd round of a new chemo drug that is hitting him hard hard. He has found that the over the count diarrhea meds are working better that prescription drugs. As for food, is there anything at all she can eat? As much as I dream of my husband eating ultra healthy right now, I find it's much better that he eat something rather than nothing. Hopefully you can find something that agrees with her and then let her have it.

      over 3 years ago
    • ddkk3's Avatar

      I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's difficult journey. Remember to tell her oncologist about all of this. There are absolutely things they can do for the nausea and diarrhea. There are many different anti-nausea meds (called anti-emetics) that they can try. My pills stopped working for me so they gave me a patch and it works wonders. They will give her whatever they think will work best in her situation. As for the diarrhea, they may suggest testing her stool and/or giving her something like probiotics.

      If you can get your other family members to stop stressing her out, it would certainly be beneficial. She shouldn't have to go through any of that.

      Best of luck to her.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      The ACS has a Cook book for going through cancer and how to improve the taste of foods. Make sure you are telling her Dr's and nurses about the side effects as there are many drugs to help her. Yogurt like Kefir holds the best probiotics or supplements.
      Please also pick up books at the ACS on coping and other subjects to help your family and insist they read them. I provided a link in an earlier post that says that 70% of men DX with lC also suffer from anxiety..I can assure you the rate for women is even higher.

      Your family needs to see this so they know that the stress they are putting on your Mom will indeed kill her. Make sure they read how they read the material on coping and support. Sometimes people need to be taught how to be supportive and what it means to be there for your Mom.

      All the best,

      over 3 years ago
    • mhc's Avatar

      I took Zofran during the day and compazine at night. The trick is to take it before you get nauseous.(The first couple of days after treatment.) Don't wait until you feel nauseous.

      over 3 years ago
    • mhc's Avatar

      The trick is to take the anti-nausea meds before getting nauseous. I took Zofran during the day and compazine at night(can make you a little drowsy). Don't wait to get nauseous. The meds don't work as well.

      over 3 years ago
    • INSBOB's Avatar

      i never had the diarreha, so that i can't help with, the doc can help there. knowing you have to eat and bulk up when you don't like the taste of food is hard. what helped me was V 8 with fusion. not bad tasting and it puts the weight on. also i found oatmeal, not the plain kind the one with all the different flavors. not bad and tolorable. prayers and good luck. insbob.

      over 3 years ago
    • sandikf's Avatar

      Everyone is right about the nausea drugs- I took 3 different ones plus was given another infused before rest of drugs. If your mom continues to not eat please request a feeding tube for her. I had radiation as well as chemo and radiation 'burned' my throat so bad I couldn't eat-finally asked for feeding tube. There is a pump called Kangaroo that can be hooked up to tube that automatically dispenses the ensure or boost or it can be put in manually.That way if your mom doesn't feel like eating she will still be getting nourshment. That is all I had for 6 months.(most insuarance pay for the ensure boosst or whatever and the company that supplies supplement loads pump). Tell the rest of the family if they want your mom to survive to get off her back. Prayers with you both

      over 3 years ago
    • EllasDaddy's Avatar

      I found that fruit smoothies really helped. They were cool and very soothing. On nights that I wasn't hungry enough to eat my wife would make me her version of a protein milk shake. Carnation instant breakfast, protein drink (boost) ice cream. I agree with everyone else anti-nausea before you start feeling ill. I also had a friend who brought over "special" cookies that helped with my nausea and increased my appetite. To each their own on those but know they worked. Tell the rest of your family they can be part of the solution or part of staying out of the way. You and your mother need POSITIVE energy! Know that we are all here for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • Diamond's Avatar

      Hello. I'm new to this site and have gained some interesting info. I am doing chemo and yes I experience horrible bouts if nausea. Sometimes days after the chemo. I tried phenergan every 6 hrs and it seems to help. Also Boost and sometimes Popsicles do the trick. Good luck to your mom. Also I know what you mean about family stress. I had to get those people out of my life! It only makes it worst. God bless!

      over 3 years ago
    • MymomMYhero's Avatar

      Wanted to update, mom was rushed to the hospital today. The stress and lack of eating has gotten her to the point that she has to be admitted for nourishment. My family is not bonding together with this, instead they are tearing each other apart. Some are in denial, some are angry and looking to blame others, My closest family members are taking all of this in stride and trying to protect her but sometimes i feel we only make it worse. she has to decide if she wants to live with out these people in her life, or die with them. I pray that she recovers from this. and i thank all of you for your help and input.

      over 3 years ago
    • LonesomeDove's Avatar

      Hi Mom My hero, Try getting you Mom to eat fruit salads or make fresh fruit slushy, I did those for my husband when he didn't have an appetite or just didn't feel like eating anything.
      I would put 1/2 cup crushed ice, 4 strawberries, hand full of blue berries, a banana, 1/4 cup walnuts, 2 tablespoons wheat germ, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup milk and blend. My husband really enjoyed these as they were easy to digest. I still make them for myself today when I don't feel like cooking.

      Also ask your Mom, if she wants to have company that should be her choice not theirs. I went through the same with my husbands sisters, they would get him upset. Till I put my foot down, and told them to call first, and I would ask if my husband wanted to have them come visit. His brother's said Good for you. If it hurts their feelings they have to be made to understand, it's your Mom's health and feelings you're concerned with.

      over 3 years ago
    • llmclyn's Avatar

      Hi MymomMYhero, I am a lung cancer patient going thru intense chemo & radiation rounds. I am 56 & was diagnosed
      xmas 2011. I am blessed to be able to get medicinal marijuana(my Dr gave me a written affadavit). the edible kind: brownies,tea, banana bread. & it truly helps me deal with effects of treatment. Helps with my appetite & relieves nausea!! I am in Calif., so it matters what state you are in. GOD bless your mom & you & I will keep her in my prayers.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Also, for nausea, the drug Zofran was just given to my dad for his nausea. It works much better for him than Compazine.

      over 3 years ago
    • becky68's Avatar

      Everyone is correct in that there are different meds for nausea,just have to keep trying for the right combination. My husband oftentimes would/does not have much of or no appetite-I would fix him a milkshake and add a pkg of carnation instant breakfast to it-he'll drink that and there's no nasty aftertaste.(and it's cheaper than things like Ensure). As for the diarreha,he was told to take Immodium AD;please ask her onocologist what his/her recommendation is for that. As for your other family members,please ya all take the time to sit down together and have a heart to heart.

      over 3 years ago

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