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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-11-09 05:49
Subject: [cancer] Riding the wild hose
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
I have had diarrhea now for nine straight days. For the most part, it's been violently explosive. For the last three days I have not been able to sleep due to trips to the bathroom every hour or so through the night, and being kept awake by the conscious effort required to maintain bowel control. Not always successfully, I might add. Even the fairly heavy duty meds I have been prescribed barely take the edge off this.

The weird thing is when this stuff is going really strong, I'm basically a big bag of water. When I roll over in bed or get up out of a chair, I audibly slosh. My internal sensation is similar, as if there were a couple of gallons of water stashed in my abdomen. And my GI noises, which are manifold and varied at the best of times, are almost completely aquatic now. Sometimes I hear noises like someone pouring water from a jug, or running a hose. I had no idea my body could hold so much fluid.

And it's all about the fluid, believe me. I'm pretty sure I'm getting way dehydrated.

All the digestive misery has strongly discouraged me from eating. Monday I think I might have reached a thousand calories.

So lack of sleep, lack of food intake, dehydration? Just what I need to head into my next chemo session this Friday. And I'm actually looking forward to the chemo-induced constipation as a break from this horror show I'm currently living through.

Extreme diarrhea is an expected side effect of the FOLFIRI chemo cocktail I'm on, but up til now I have not been afflicted with it. I can tell you that I am heartily sick of this. I'll be talking to my oncologist about this Friday — I can't imagine living with this for the next six to eight weeks. I'd like to not be living with it now.

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User: scarlettina
Date: 2011-11-09 14:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh Jay -- yech. I'm so sorry.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-11-09 14:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you feel you're dehydrated, it might be a good idea to go in for IV fluids. It can be really really hard to catch up just by drinking water. My doctor can do it in the office. Sorry about all the misery.
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User: dichroic
Date: 2011-11-09 15:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have a little bit of experience with dehydration, though not to that level. I agree that water alone sometimes isn't enough. If you're not quite at the level of needing IV fluids, it can help to drink Gatorade (or similar sports drink) diluted half and half with water. The sugar/salt/electrolytes in it seem to make it more effective in rehydrating and the dilution helps you not have to deal with sugar spikes.

Clearly it's not a substitute for IV fluids if needed, but maybe it can help you not to need them.
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mlerules: hello cthulhu
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-11-09 15:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:hello cthulhu
Uh, oh, sounds like Cthulhu might be waking up...if'n your belly/innards're really R'lyeh...

So sorry you're suffering through this...
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Clint Harris
User: wendigomountain
Date: 2011-11-09 15:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry Jay, but I couldn't help but think that "Extreme Diarrhea!!" could be a catchy sound bite for an energy drink. Hope the docs can figure out something to help you out.
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Rick Moen
User: rinolj
Date: 2011-11-09 17:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
wendigomountain wrote:

Sorry Jay, but I couldn't help but think that "Extreme Diarrhea!!" could be a catchy sound bite for an energy drink.

Or the world's worst name for a garage band.

Anyway, nothing for it but to ask the docs for help.

Rick Moen
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User: adelheid_p
Date: 2011-11-09 15:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry to hear that this happening. Disrupting your sleep is not good and probably isn't helping your body as well. I hope it stops soon for you.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-11-09 15:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope the oncologist has a sensible suggestion: this is horrible for you.
I slosh, too. I drink a lot of water just out of habit. The marquis laughs at me when it happens, because he is mean that way. But the IV suggestion sounds like a good one, because of the chemical aspects of all this.
Take care.
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User: klwilliams
Date: 2011-11-09 18:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Things I have learned from similar problems: diaper rash lotion will help tissue irritation, and they make pads that aren't quite adult diapers but can be very helpful.
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User: anghara
Date: 2011-11-09 19:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It isn't the injury, it's the insult, eh...? I'm so sorry, Jay. It's the misery compounded with the indignity and the helplessness, and I truly hope that this phase of whatever it is will be over for you soon.
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User: shelly_rae
Date: 2011-11-10 02:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Yeah. I do know your, Uhm, pain in the butt. Hence instant mashed potatoes made with chicken broth. I loathe them but they go down. Pinch the hand like. I showed you. If you're dehydrated it'll show. I went on a feeding tube & lived in the bathroom. Finally just checked into the hospital which I also loathe. You're doing great dude. Traveling? Wow! Go go go.

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