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brunosbud posted:
For my best friend, I came to this board looking for specific advice from survivors...

I hope this thread will elicit advice from CR cancer survivors...words of actual experience battling stage 4...specific ideas and practices that worked for them...

Everyone is welcomed to respond but "survivors" are especially encouraged, please.

Thank you (for my best friend and anyone else who can benefit from your valuable experience)!

First question:

  • How do cancer patients best cope with nausea while undergoing chemotherapy?

Particular food or drink? Specific anti-nausea med(s)? Relaxation method or acupressure? An eating technique?...How did you manage the effects of nausea to allow you to eat (and recover for the next cycle of infusions)?
brunosbud responded:
One thing that probably gets overlooked during chemotherapy...

Today, I had the following conversation with my friend...

Me: "How much water do you think you drank after your last infusion?"

Friend: "Oh, I drank a lot!...the chemo-nurse told me it was very important to drink a lot of water!"

Me: "OK...How often do you have to pee? Give me a ballpark ..."

Friend: "Oh, maybe five...six times...It's funny. I drank a lot but I didn't have to pee that much..."

Me: "Well, if you're not having to pee that much and you're not bloated or retaining water...Where did all the water go?"

My friend was not retaining water, yet, she only went 5-6 times in a day? She told me that was a "woman thing" vs a "man thing" and that men pee way more than women..."Trust me. I drank a lot!"

Me: "...OK. But, after this cycle, this week, can we try to drink a little more?"

The point is this. If you had toxic chemicals coursing through your veins and organs, how else are you going to get it out if not through pee?

Chemo-nurses, routinely, tell chemo patients to flush the toilet, twice, because of the toxic chemicals contained in the patient's urine...if they have pets that drink toilet water, its been known to kill them...

If you're experiencing unrelenting nausea after chemo, it's possible that water consumption is just as important as the Zofran and Reglan. By purging the poisonous chemicals from your system as quickly as possible through frequent urination, this could speed recovery from the infusions and allow the patient to eat more food, sooner (btw, when I speak of "liquids" or "fluids", I mean H2O. Not coffee, not juice, and, sure as hell, not soda! WATER!).

Eat more food, gain strength...

Gain strength, get up and do some walking...

Getting up and walking, increases blood circulation and aids appetite and recovery (for the next infusion)...

My friend doesn't understand this stuff, especially, when she's puking her guts out. I don't expect her to...

But, I expect her doctors and nurses to, not only understand, but clearly communicate this stuff to their patients...Not just mention it in passing...

They don't. Nobody's fault; it is what it is.
jbearva responded:
I was diagnosed in Jan 2010 and went through surgery, chemo and radiation. I recently stopped chemo on Mar 9, 2011. I lost 70 lbs during that timeframe. For me, I had 3 different nausea meds. 1 I would take for three days around my bi-weekly infusion. The other 2 I would take as needed. They were Zolfran and Compazine. The compazine usually was enough, but if not, then I would take the Zolfran on top of it. Most times the nausea was very manageable.Taste never really bothered me, smells did Food did not directly affect the nausea unless I could smell it cooking. Then I couldn't eat it. My wife ended up cooking in the sunroom, letting the food cool down and then I could eat it just fine. I learned that trick from a friend that was survivng CR. I also had problems with dairy products, especially milk. It would tend to upset my stomach. Coffee also upset my stomach, so I went to teas. That worked well for me. I have gained back 30 lbs from when I stopped chemo, and plan to stop there. Tell your best friend to hang in there, he, or she, will make it through it. Best of luck to them
brunosbud replied to jbearva's response:
Wow, lots of good stuff! Thank you,j, for sharing!

My friend, at present, is taking both Zofran and Reglan. Her first and second infusions were a disaster on just Zofran, alone. She could hardly eat, at all, for one week (after ea chemo treatmt)...

For this third treatment, her doctor prescribed Zofran IVs for the first three days after her dispenser came off. Maybe it was the IV; maybe it was the Reglan combo'd w/ Zofran...we don't know...What we do know: it's working. FYI...

I found the following on the web, to explain...

"The difference between Reglan and Zofran is the way in which they work... so if I were to tell you which one may work better for you, I'd need to know the reason behind your nausea/vomiting.
Zofran is not only for chemo patients... I administer this medication daily to my patients, most of which are not cancer patients, and it works wonderfully in most cases. It also can make you drowsy, however.
Reglan is used for patients who have gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), and it works by speeding up emptying of stomach contents so that it doesn't come back up into the esophagus. In some patients, this reflux causes nausea/vomiting and reglan can help with these symptoms.
I hope this helps you, and by biggest advice of all is to talk to your doctor about your nausea/vomiting... you need to find the cause of this problem, not just treat the symptoms..."

I switched my friend from regular coffee to Decaf coffee when she started her chemo a month ago; never thought to eliminate, though.

I've offered green tea but she refused. Green tea is good for any body, imo. I'm disappointed but what can you do?

If (and when) she becomes nauseous, again, we shall examine the dairy and Compazine and "cooking smells"...all something to consider, imo...

My friend's cancer has metastasized to her liver and, possibly, lungs. Many anti-nausea medications may affect (harm) the liver. This is why some doctors are limited to what medications they can prescribe to their patients.

Lastly, eating very small meals, often, is helpful for cancer patients battling nausea. Especially, those who have undergone colon re-section surgery. My friend started this practice a week ago. It's not easy to do, especially when she's hungry...But, if it helps to keep the food (and the pain) down, it's well worth the effort.

Thank you, jbearva, for your help. Hope you continue to share your experiences with this board and hope you stay cancer-free for a long, long time...

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