July 19, 2009
Disclaimer: Due to its sensitivity, Portland Firefly was going to avoid this discussion that every cancer patient experiences . But then she decided that she has discussed so many other personal things (that many others keep private), what is one more. Besides it may help another cancer patient navigate through this maze of ever changing challenges.
Most people know that nausea and hair loss are common side effects of chemo therapy, but most don’t realize that the cancer killing drugs also cause constipation. Add to this the fact that the anti-nausea drugs also cause constipation and it can be one uncomfortable problem for already un-well and weakened cancer patients. This is where it is important to keep ahead of the problem.
Day 1. I have found it helpful to take something like Senna-S the night before my Chemo sessions. At lunch time or as soon as I get home from Chemo, I start with one dose of Mira-Lax. That night another big dose of Mira-Lax finds its way into my system before I go to sleep. That takes care of day 1. Be sure to drink lots of water all the time.
Day 2. I have a little bit of Smooth Move tea around breakfast time. I enjoy what ever I want to eat on Day 1 and Day 2. It is important to continue using the products that work for you on Day 2. Mira Lax or Senna-S can be used also during day 2, or before bed that night.
The nausea doesn’t show up until days 3, 4, & 5 and those are the days that I start taking the anti-nausea drugs (which add to the constipation). It is important to have your body in “working order” before you begin the anti-nausea drugs or you will be in terrible pain.
Days 3, 4, & 5 it is important to eat fruits, vegetables and foods high in fibre if you haven’t already been consuming them regularly. Continue with the Mira Lax, Senna-S and/or Smooth Move Tea as you think your body needs the help, remembering to drink lots of purified water.
One interesting fact is that even though the chemo drugs leave our system within 24 hours, their effects continue for weeks. This means that the constipation can continue during this time, so don’t be surprised.
The products mentioned are ones that my Doctor has recommended for me. Please be sure to check with your doctor before you use anything that your doctor has not suggested for you. Portland Firefly hopes that this brief discussion will help some of you out there who are facing similar challenges.