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Chemo and constipation

Suepatsfan
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2016

Hi everyone,

New here and have been reading older posts. I start chemo on Monday and several have talked about constipation afterwards. I am still healing from my hysterectomy, so constipation at this time would be extremely uncomfortable  Should I take the  stool softener or dulcolax the morning of my chemo?  I was given the stool softener after leaving the hospital for the hysterectomy but have not needed to take it.

Thanks,

Sue

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

Yes,  and you might want to add Miralax to that also.  Many have used it the day before and for a few days after chemo.  It is what my doctor recommended .  Chemo constipation is not fun and you want to avoid it if at all possbile.  I have read where some take it twice a day to get the job done.  By the way, chemo nurses are usually very nice and can answer many questions that you might have.  Remember you are strong and you can do this.

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

I'd be proactive and start at least a day before chemo with Miralax and/or a stool softener and keep using it, maybe until the first post chemo bowel movement.  Drink lots of water or juices, and if you're a fan of dates and prunes, snack on them. I also used Smooth Move tea a couple of times. I can honestly say that chemo gave me the worst constipation of my life the first round.  The second round was not as bad after I started preparing ahead of time though it was still an issue, and by the time round 3 came around, things were much better.  In any case, things usually got back to normal by the end of the first week.  

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2803
Joined: Mar 2013

I agree with Chris and other ladies about taking Miralax the day before and a few days after.  I never knew chemo constipates, but I never knew it hardens your veins too, which made sticking me for chemo a big challenge one of the six times (I did not have a port).  As I heard in one cancer center area, "Miralax is a miracle".  I also drank Gatroade to replenish some of the body electrolytes that were being washed out from all the liquid intake.  I didn't have chemo farts, but I guess that is a real possibility.  You can do it!

MAbound
Posts: 1087
Joined: Jun 2016

First of all, plan on drinking plenty of water all through chemo....like 8-12 glass/day. That's crucial to protect your bladder from irritation by the chemo drugs and to help with the constipation issue.

Second, ask your doctor or chemo nurses if they have a bowel regimen they recommend to their patients. Mine recommended staying on a low fiber diet because fiber doesn't work like it normally does on chemo and can actually cause a blockage. The chemo drugs used are neuro toxic; that's what causes the constipation and the nerves don't react to bulking agents like they normally do to stimulate the intestines to move.  The other thing they had me do was take Miralax twice daily all through chemo and Senekot-S as needed when that wasn't always enough. That kept things pretty comfortable for me except for a day or two when I had my infusions. Then, nothing seemed to work until the other side effects kicked in.

I know other ladies here didn't do the low fiber diet and I cheated at times because sometimes a simple salad was something that I could handle eating... just be careful about it to see how that goes for you first. It helps to be in tune with what works best for you.

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

Thanks to this group I suffered very little constipation because I did the Miralax (it's truly magical) and stool softener routine. Be sure to drink the water because burning pee is not fun. You might also want to get some Gas-X because chemo farts can be deadly to those around you. 

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

Look at you ringing the that bell.  Congradulation.  Maybe this,was,here before, but I just noticed it.

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1436
Joined: Oct 2015

Hey, Susan, the Queen of Cheese, I love your new picture!!

Love,

Eldri

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Susan, love the picture of you ringing the bell - congrats to you!! Kim

lyn347
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2016

Just reading some of the posts in order to get some idea about what to expect from the chemo. Your post made me laugh and I haven't laughed in months. Thank you. I'm going to take your advice.

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

Welcome this club that no,one wants to,belong to.  There is an older thread called "Ladies going through chemo" that you may find interesting.  Several ladies chronicled their journey through chemo.  One thing that you will notice that,we are each individuals and react differently and each oncologist handles things a little different.  If you end up needing to go the chemo route, consider getting a port.  It saves you from getting your arm poked for every chemo and every blood test.  I very stupidly had my first one removed when I was finished with front line treatment and was so sure I had beaten the beast.  7 months later I had to have a new one put in and have had to use it ever since.

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

They are the worst!  One evening I even refused to let my BF come over because they were so bad lol!

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1436
Joined: Oct 2015

I, on the other hand, had terrible diarrhea from the chemo.  It probably didn't help that I took the Miralax - LOL!  After the first chemo, I had to take Immodium to stop it and after that never took Miralax again.  I have no idea why my body reacted like that but I did read on the Uterine Cancer Facebook page about another woman who had severe diarrhea from chemo.  I think it's rare, but it does happen.

Good luck and I would listen to the Miralax ladies because they're probably in the 99% of side effects.

Love,

Eldri

MAbound
Posts: 1087
Joined: Jun 2016

I love when the humorous if found during all of this! Chemo brain, now chemo farts! LMAO! ;-)

TinyHouseSurvivor
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2017

i am new to this group but wanted to contribute a wholistic remedy that's working for me.  My mom home health care nurse recommended it-she used it during Chemo and used in a nursing home she worked in.  It's a mixture of prunes, raisins, figs, senna teA, lemon juice and sweetener of your choice.  I use coconut sugar.  2 tablespoons a day is working for me.  If you google Yakima fruit spread, the exact recipe will come up.

MAbound
Posts: 1087
Joined: Jun 2016

Welcome to our group. Such a helpful first post! Thank you!  What's happening with you, if I may ask?

TinyHouseSurvivor
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2017

I'm Laurie from San Antonio TX. Sixty-three years old.  Single. No dependents except my mom who is 88 and lives with me.  On Nov 22, I was diagnosed with stage 3 endometrial papillary serous.  My care plan calls for taxol/carbo three rounds, surgery and more Chemo. I've had one round of chemo with another scheduled for Jan 10.  Not too many side effects so far.  A little nausea which I have controlled with homeopathy remedies. My sister-in-law is a homeopathic practitioner so she is consulting with me.  A little neuropathy which just started in my left foot yesterday. No hair loss yet-but I'm looking forward to going back to my natural hair color when that happens.  My doctor at University Hospital encourages combining alternative treatments with allopathic medicine treatments. I've been using my FAR infrared sauna and pancreatic enzymes, too.  I have been on a paleo eating plan for over five years (lost 85 pounds) so glucose control is something I've been doing too.

 

As strange as it sounds, I am thankful this happened.  I have closed my business-I was self-employed for 14 years.  I started collecting social security and applied for disability to increase the amount to 100%. I own land in a small town and intend to build my tiny house for retirement there.  And I'm looking for my next hobby/occupation.  I have too much to do for this to get in my way!

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1436
Joined: Oct 2015

Welcome, Laurie!  Welcome to the group!  I have Stage II, UPSC.  So far, after surgery and chemo, I'm still NED.  I hope this regiment works for you!  I'm intrigued by the idea of tiny houses.  It certainly is an interesting concept.  Please keep us updated on your treatment AND your tiny house.

Love,

Eldri

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

Look at your go!!!!  Wow!  I am so impressed with your take charge attitude and will be cheering you on from the sideline!  You are going to do great - look at all the wonderful things you are already doing for yourself Laughing  Keep us posted and let us know how things go.  (((HUGS)))

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Welcome, Laurie. Sorry to hear of your diagnosis but glad that you found us. Sounds like you're handling your treatments very well and that you have a great team behind you - congrats on that! Let us know how we can help. One of us has probably had an experience that might help you so don't be shy about asking. Nothing is off limits with us. Keep up the great attitude and continued good luck to you! Kim

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1688
Joined: Jun 2015

Welcome TinyHouse and thanks for the tip! I hope all is going well for you.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

I used Miralax 2x days before chemo and 1x day after, and wound up with diarreha. A nurse told me it's pretty strong and recommended I try Senokot instead; one dose cleared up my problems. I'd never heard of it before but it's been a godsend for me. 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

Thank you for that great tip- it was always SO BAD dealing with that problem and I could of used that info.  Hope all is going well with you.  Keep us posted.  (((HUGS)))

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

Welcome to the club that no one wants to belong to.  You found a good place to come.  This is a great place for support, information and understanding.  

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

TinyHouseSurvivor
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2017

Thank you for all the encouragement. I wasn't sure anyone would be interested in my alternative constipation recipe. I appreciate your warm welcome. My hair loss started last night-great gobs came out in the shower. I just got back from clipping most of it off at Great Clips. They used a number 6 clipper guard and didn't charge for it. Yeah. Now I can use the collection of hats and scarves my friends and family have given me. 

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