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Dehydration

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

My mom is in her third week of her first treatment. Yesterday when she went for her regular appointment she was very dehydrated. They gave her fluids and today she will need to receive more. Is anyone else experiencing this? She has also had to take a strong Antibiotic called ZoVax for a VRE infection which they want gone before her next treatment. That did give her some diarreah over the weekend. she seems to be getting weak quickly. I'm very worried.

Emily

hiccup (not verified)

Hey Emily,

Though it's not the broad norm, your mom certainly isn't alone in this. I try to drink water as much as possible, and still I am placed on some IV fluids due to dehydration and end up in the doctors office longer than expected. I usually feel pretty nice afterwards.

How are her blood count numbers doing? Those will certainly affect her energy levels too!

Sending good, hydrating thoughts your way :) -Nathan

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Her blood count numbers have been fine. It has mainly been the hydrating. Also, after yesterdays hydration, they wanted her back today for more. Her mouth gets very dry. They also said her sodium was low. They were not certain why that was. I can definiely say that she does not drink enough.

Thank you so much for your repsonse. I hope you are doing well. Emily

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1984
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Emily,

I'm glad your Mom's blood levels are good. I know during all my treatments
(inpatient 5 days, 4 nights, R-EPOCH), I was monitored and given IV fluids
throughout each cycle

Over the course of treatment, she will experience some side effects.
I'm sure they have educated you guys about that. She is likely to have
increased fatigue as she progresses which is normal for most folks.
It is important for her to stay hydrated as the treatment causes
constipation as well (Thank goodness for Senokot).

By about the third treatment, she should be more comfortable with treatment
as she becomes familiar with the routine. She will probably start losing hair
about this time. I cut all my hair off after the 2nd treatment and tried to make
it fun with silly head gear like "dew rags", fun hats, etc. I felt I had a little
more control by doing that.

Lymphoma is very treatable and there are lots of caring, supportive folks here.
Please feel free to ask questions, vent and share. Your mom is also welcome
here also :). I wish the best for you and your mom.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Jim,

I wish I could say they explained all of the side effects, but they haven't. My mom is 82 and was in perfect health before this happened. The first time she was admitted to the hospital was in August and they did not diagnose the cancer. She became sick again on Octobe 22 and that is when they diagnosed some type of blood Cancer. On October 29th they said it was Intravascular Lymphoma. Her first treatment went well considering how quickly the disease was taking over. She did feel side effects such as fatigue and her head felt foggy. Also her mouth gets very dry. What fluids did you drink while on chemo? The blood count has been good. But now this dehydration and electrolites have been off, so she has been back to the cancer center everyday. She is due for her next treatment. Just waiting for everything to get balanced. She has not been constipated, infact, just the opposite.

My mom doesn't really use the computer, but maybe what I can do is log on with her when I'm at ther house. Seeing all of you writing in could give her hope. I know it has helped me.

My family is very new to this. I'm sure I will have alot more questions as time goes on. I am the one that her nurse practioner calls so I do get to ask alot of questions. It is very overwhelming for my dad.

Oh, I did have a question. How do you feel since you have finished your rounds of Chemo?

Thank you so much for your kind words. Reading about how well you are doing, gives me hope.

Emily

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1024
Joined: May 2012

Emily,

Water is the best hydrator. Your NP or oncologist can suggest other things. Lots of water is critical on chemo for several reasons, one of which is that flushing dead cancer cells can overload the kidneys. The liver can be stressed as well. Avoiding constipation is yet a third reason. It is not uncommon for a person to be unable to drink sufficiently, and require hydration via IV. At her advanced age, this would not surprise me with your mom.

Since she is on a combination therapy (R-CHOP), the possible side-effects are almost too numerous to list, but most people only get a few in any serious manner. Several drugs have the same, or overlapping side-effects, which causes these to be more common (fatigue, hair loss, nausea, muscle pain ("flu-like" pain), loss of appetite, neuropathy, mental impairment ['chemo fog'], etc. Most side effects eventually clear, some rapidly, some slowly. It varies with the individual and many other variables.

Hair, for instance, almost always returns. Nausea almost always abates. Fatigue -- that varies. Three years ago I took 12 cycles of a differing combination therapy over six months, beginning when I was 53 (I am 56 now, of course).I still have substantial fatigue, neuropathy (numb hands and feet), and a few other issues. It looks like, for me, these are permanent. Some people the same age on the same drugs never get neuropathy or serious fatigue, so it is pretty much the luck of the draw.

Go to www.chemocare.com, then "Chemotherapy Drugs." It lists the side-effects for every FDA-approved chemo drug authorized in the US (there are approximately 200). I found it to be very informative.

Bless your mom. I know from my wife that caring for a person in treatment can be more difficult than having the disease! It is terrible what she had to help me through.

max

.

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

I will go to that websie. I'm sure it will be very helpful. Although she was very healthy prior to the lymphoma, I'm worried that her age is making things more difficult. It seemed the first few weeks after the treatment were great with the exeption of a few side effects. We shall see. you are right about the person caring for the person in treatment. I'm am so worried all the time and feel very anxious. My mom is truly blessed to have my dad, and like your wife he has been helping her through it all, and still has a long way to go. God Bless both of you! I hope you are doing well. Emily

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1024
Joined: May 2012

I do not mean to be a killjoy, but even for most young people, the effects of chemo are "cumulative," or intensify with additional infusions. I just want you to be aware. I went for labs three days before each infusion, and learned that they are not called "doctor visits," but "toxicity checks," to see how well the patient is withstanding the drugs. No doubt, they are monitoring her closely. Never driven out to Long Island, but I lived across the channel at Sub Base New London for quite a while. I was there when the great singer Harry Chapin died in an auto crash on the Island. Too cold for me today !

Again, bless your mom, and the doc would not have her on treatment if he did not feel it had a reasonable prognosis to help her, so there is surely cause for hope,

max

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jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1984
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Emily,

I realized your Mom's age (82) after I wrote my response when I read another
post by you. VRE can be nasty stuff from what I read. I hope the antibiotic
is doing the job :).

During chemo I drank pretty much what I wanted and that included gatorade and
similar with electrolytes at times but I often drank ginger ale during my stays
in the hospital. During treatment and for about a week after I avoided acidic
drinks and foods to prevent mouth irritation. I had one episode with a mouth sore
and modifying my diet helped. You should probably talk with the medical team
and see what they recommend.

Side effects and reactions/recovery from chemo vary a lot by individual. I
completed chemo a little over a year ago. Fatigue and chemo brain have been
the predominant long term side effects. It has slowly improved but I still take naps
most every day. I don't have the energy I used to have and my memory and ability to
focus isn't what it used to be but all of this is improving slowly. A recent item
(and I'm not sure if it's related to chemo) is some joint pain/stiffness - particularly
in my shoulders. I've also noticed that it's more difficult to open twist off caps
from medications, jars, etc. I'm thinking of creating a post to ask if others have
experienced the joint issues.

I hope your mom is at a well known facility with a good reputation. Also,
it never hurts to get a second or third opinion as well. I pray things go
well and the VRE gets resolved soon. I'm sure others will chime in soon.

Give your Mom and Dad a big hug from me,

Jim

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Jim,

The nurse did recommend gatorade. A friend of mine suggested giner ale. Think I will pick that up on my way over tonight. She has had mouth sores and right now very dry and cracked lips. Also, joint pain. Her legs are stiff. The biggest issure today is "sodium". I just received a call to get a kidney specialist. My mom has very low sodium. They have been treating her all week. Since she started the medication for the VRE infection is when things got worse. Have you heard of the sodium issue?

My mom receives her treatment at StonyBrook Cancer Cener. We live on Long Island, NY. She is under the care of Dr. Schuster. He came highly recommended. If need be, I am prepared to get another opionion.

Again, thank you so much. I will keep you posted.

Aaron's picture
Aaron
Posts: 237
Joined: Jun 2012

May I suggest chicken broth. It gives hydration,nutrition and sodium, it worked wonders for me when I was having a similar situation early on in my treatment. I wish your mom and your family all the best. Aaron

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Aaron,

Thank you! Great Suggestion. I will make sure she has some immediately. She is seeing a Kidney Specialist as well tomorrow. The sodium issues could have to do with some of her medications. Did you have some sodium issues? It's tough to compare since my mom is 82. Just wondering if some of this is nomal early in the treatment.

Hope all is going well with you!

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 585
Joined: Jun 2010

Epic,

Another idea to help with hydration is Boost or Ensure other protein drinks such as that. Hydrates and are loaded with nutrients. Sometimes during chemo nothing sounds very good so it's best to have options - which is exactly what you're doing for your Mom. I found that if I couldn't stomach gatorade maybe a Boost on ice sounded good, etc. when I experienced dehydration. I'm not your Mom's age either, but I think treatment of dehydration is similar for all unless there are other underlying issues. (Diabetes, kidney disease...)

Best of luck with you Mom's health. You are a great daughter.

Hugs,
Donna

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Donna,

I hope things starting getting better. This has been the week from hell. The first 3 weeks went so well. I hope the medication they started her on last thursday for her VRE infection didn't bring all of this on. She sees the kidney specialist tomorrow. I know this sounds crazy but she had a prolapsed bladder for as long as I could remember. Now she has to have that taken care of on top of all this. I'm so worried about all of this

Thank you for your kind thoughts. Emily

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1984
Joined: Aug 2011

Great suggestions from everyone!

Also, my oncologist told me Carnation Instant Breakfast was a good
alternative and less expensive. Fortunately, I never needed it.
I ate like a horse (Thank you prednisone) throughout my treatment
and actually gained a few pounds :).

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

All Suggestions do sound great. We keep alot of ensure in the house. But I do like the Carnation Instant Breakfeast idea. It's a little ligher. Sometimes the ensure doesn't make my mom feel so good.

She does not have Diabetes or Kidney disease. However, because of her age they are worried and she has an appoitment with a specialist tomorrow. They want all of these issues cleared up before her next treatment. I'm getting very anxious and worried.

I need lots of positive thoughts! Thank you to all.

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1984
Joined: Aug 2011

Positive vibes coming your way.... ☺ ♥.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1024
Joined: May 2012

I survived on mostly Instant Breakfast for about two months, with fench fries in the evening. I never tried Ensure.

Some chemo drugs kill the sense of taste, and cause odd cravings. I could stand nothing else. I had a friend on chemo years earlier who went several months unable to tolerate anything but pot pie! Expect the odd ...

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3155
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi, and "Welcome" to the group,
I did not like any flavors of Boost, so I drank chocolate and vanilla instant breakfast every day with a piece of peanut butter and honey toast. Ate scrambled eggs and oatmeal as this was easy on my stomach. Oh yea...I craved Kentucky Fried Chicken at least twice a week...which seemed so odd, because I rarely eat chicken that I don't fix myself. My doctor told me to eat and drink anything I wanted...in his opinion, keeping our strength up is more important than worrying about what foods are good/bad for us. I took his advice and ate what sounded good or tasted good at the time. I'll be keeping your mom in my prayers. Best wishes...Sue
(Follicular NHL-stage3-grade2-typeA-Diagnosed 6/10-age 62) Yakima, Washington.

veedub's picture
veedub
Posts: 42
Joined: Jul 2012

what i have been enjoying in the mornings: a smoothie made of:
one banana in chunks
a couple of tablespoons of flax seed (there's a distinct reason for the flaxseed--you can get very constipated while in treatment, so you need the fiber)
one scoop of Designer Whey (my fave is chocolate)
8 fl. oz milk
set blender on grate, just to get it started, then blend at top speed on liquefy (to make sure the flaxseeds get properly crunched up). blend for a couple or three minutes, then pour into a glass and enjoy. this much makes three full 8-ox glasses, so if you aren;t terribly hungry, just set the blendedr jar in the fridge and have a little more later,after reblending it,of course.

since i have been losing weight i can drink a whole batch of this for breakfast with a clear conscience, but once my metabolism is back to normal i shall have to use massive portion-control. but this stuff is soooo much better than instant breakfast. just do a search for "designer whey"--it was recommended to me by another cancer survivor. their delivery is quick, and if you buy a 4-lb can the shipping is free.

yum!

v

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Thank you so much for the smoothie receipe. I will definitely try it this weekend. I am however, a little concerned with her hydration and sodium. She sees a specialist today and she might have to get admitted to balance her electrolytes. She is more tired then ever and weak.

Thank you for the positive thoughts and prayers. This week I am an emotional wreak. Hopefully things will be beter soon.

Emily

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

My mom is not feeling well. Getting weaker and can't stay focused. Her doctor recommends her going to the hospital. They believe its the low levels of sodium. thank you for all your prayers. Please keep praying.
Emily

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1984
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Emily,

Sorry your mom has to go to the hospital but it might be the best
place for her now. You and your parents are in our thoughts.

Hugs,

Jim

anliperez915's picture
anliperez915
Posts: 742
Joined: Sep 2011

Sorry Emily that your mom is having a bad time with chemo. Please don't lose faith everything will work itself out, I'm sure her Onc will take care of everything. I will be keeping your mom and you in my prayers!

Sincerely,
Liz

NANCYL1
Posts: 225
Joined: Jun 2012

Emily:

I hope your Mom is feeling much better today.

You are in my thoughts.

Nancy

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Thank you to all of you. Her Sodium started to gradually come up. We were in the ER until 2 a.m. We originally thought she needed to be put in the ICU to be closely monitored. But it worked itself out. She is a week behind in her chemo and her cancer is aggressive. She gets her treatment tomorrow. I hope it works out. I hate seeing her this way. I spend most of the day crying and feeling angry. Is this normal? It is killing me watching my dad through this with her. It is very sad.

Again, thank you for all your prayers.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 1024
Joined: May 2012

I know things are off to a stressful start. It is not uncommon for things to stabilize after a rocky first or second infusion, however.

Many here are people of prayer, and you have it comng your way.

max

.

GKH
Posts: 288
Joined: Jul 2012

I have a relative who is a strong believer in Kangen ionized water. He claims it is much more effectively absorbed than ordinary water and claims it cured or at least arrested his lyme's disease after 10 years of antibiotics. He brings jugs every few days telling me to drink a gallon a day. I can't tell the difference in hydration between that and my ultrapure well water (I live on a high mountain top). Its not for me but many people swear by it. I think the machines are very expensive so often several people will buy one and share the water. I am not recommending it or promoting it but just offering up another choice.

cnewtrn
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2012

My dad just finished his second round of r- chop. He ended up on the icu after the first round and they reduced his second round and he has tolerated it much better, other than the fatigue. He is 8 days out and doing well but he swears by muscle milk. It has high protein as well as essential electrolytes. Good luck and I hope your mother is feeling better

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Funny, I have a case of Muscle milk in my Fridge. My husband works out and loves Muscle milk. So now we have a case. I will try that. Thank you. Why did your dad end up in the ICU? My mom is still in the hospital and they are trying to adjust her sodium and electrolyes. They have narrowed it down to a syndrome caused by the lymphoma and are treating it with medication. She is still very out of it and we are waiting for things to be balanced. They gave her, her second round of chemo while she is in the hospital.

I hope she gets well soon. I hope your dad is also feeling better. Sounds like he is. Again thank you!!

It is so kind of everyone to send me their ideas. They are all excellent ones. Everyone's prayers and thoughts are so appreciated. I need them now more than ever.

Thank you All!

Emily

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Funny, I have a case of Muscle milk in my Fridge. My husband works out and loves Muscle milk. So now we have a case. I will try that. Thank you. Why did your dad end up in the ICU? My mom is still in the hospital and they are trying to adjust her sodium and electrolyes. They have narrowed it down to a syndrome caused by the lymphoma and are treating it with medication. She is still very out of it and we are waiting for things to be balanced. They gave her, her second round of chemo while she is in the hospital.

I hope she gets well soon. I hope your dad is also feeling better. Sounds like he is. Again thank you!!

It is so kind of everyone to send me their ideas. They are all excellent ones. Everyone's prayers and thoughts are so appreciated. I need them now more than ever.

Thank you All!

Emily

cnewtrn
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2012

My father went into an irregular heart rate and his electroytes were also off.
Of course when he went in his WBC was 1, so they put him on precautions.
He went through round #2 without any problems but now has a good head cold and
feel really weak./ He will just vomit, for no reason at all. No pain, no nausea.
that I don't understand. I hope your mother is feeling better. The people on this website
are wonerful. I am a nurse, but specialize in emergency medicine, so this is a whole new ballgame for me and I just sit and read post after post.

cnewtrn
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2012

My father went into an irregular heart rate and his electroytes were also off.
Of course when he went in his WBC was 1, so they put him on precautions.
He went through round #2 without any problems but now has a good head cold and
feel really weak./ He will just vomit, for no reason at all. No pain, no nausea.
that I don't understand. I hope your mother is feeling better. The people on this website
are wonerful. I am a nurse, but specialize in emergency medicine, so this is a whole new ballgame for me and I just sit and read post after post.

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