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How long has anyone had diarrhea?

Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2004

Hi All,

I don't post frequently, but my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer with mets to the liver in August. She just completed her 8th round of chemo - (Folfox + Avastin) and it seems that after every 4th treatment she gets a severe case of diarrhea.

Her last treatmet was Jan 30 and she's had diarrhea and vomiting since then (over 2 weeks). Because of the diarrhea and vomiting her potassium level dropped so she received IV potassium this past Thursday & Friday and has started taking the potassium horse pills. Plus she's on Lomotil and Opium tencture for the diarrhea.

Has anyone experienced diarrhea for this long? Or is she setting some kind of record here?

Your feedback is appreciated.


spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, Denise -

I had the big d for just about my entire chemo regime and for a long time afterwards. Try a couple of things:

1. Since her potassium level is low - eat bananas; they are rich in potassium and will also help firm things up.

2. Drink LOTS of water, cut out coffee, cola, tea (black tea that is - green tea is beneficial)

3. Try metameucil, it usually helps slow things down a bit.

Hang tough - it really does get better.

- SpongeBob

Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2004

Thanks SpongeBob. I thought Metamucil was for constipation??


alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

From what I understand, Metamucil works both ways....good for constipation and diarrhoea. I hope it eases soon for her....diarrhoea is so debilitating. As Spongebob says, she must drink lots of water. Dehydration makes you really feel awful.

Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2004

Dried apricots are another excellent source of potassium, quite a bit of vitamin A also.

Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Hi Denise, Oh my gosh, Diarrea all the time. I need to know where I am going cuz it'll hit anytime. yes I am on the same treatmeant as mom and it is a re-occurring problem, my friend the bathroom, plus it does tire you. keep up diet and all, hell Iused to have to stop at my mom's or friends to use restroom if in town or whatever. It is a ***** but she may also get pills from drs too. Mine says to take Immodium AD which seems to work for now, Hope she is better try Imm, or call Drs.

Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2005

Hey Denise,
I'm new to the group here but I can tell you that my doctors told me to try the Metamucil and to stay up on the fluids also. Be careful about fruit juices some of those can add to the problem. Like SpongeBob said lots of water, my aunt also suggested jello water when I was going through the "d" process. Hang in there and tell your mom it will get better! Good Luck:-)

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Denise,
Sorry that I don't have any other suggestions to add to the tips for the big d, but I do have a suggestion re: the potassium horse pills. When I needed them during and after chemo, but before surgery to remove my enlarged thyroid, my potassium pills would often get stuck in my throat. I described it as swallowing a pill of packed sand covered in grit, and I usually have NO trouble with pills. One of the nurses suggested a different name brand of potassium, I THINK it was Klor-Con (the pharmacy should know), but they are much smaller, coated and much easier to swallow. Hope this helps. Judy

Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2004

Thanks everyone for your advice. The diarrhea seems to have subsided. We celebrated yesterday by doing the "solid stool" dance .


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