• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 33 (Side Effects and a Poop Discussion)

    Fiber is your friend.

    Meet my new morning regimen.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    Day 33 of 100 Days of Good Karma.

    I’ve only experienced a few side effects of chemotherapy so far.  I know there are more to come, but so far I’ve only had to deal with fatigue, nausea and some muscle aches.

    The fatigue and muscle aches are helped by resting.  I’ve always been fond of naps, so the doctors got no arguments there.

    The nausea is controlled by the anti-nausea medicine prescribed to me.

    Unfortunately, the anti-nausea medicine has its own side effects.

    Namely:  constipation.

    I seriously considered not writing this blog.  I had another post drafted with cute pictures of the kids and stories of returning library books.

    I mean, really… who wants to hear about the status of my bowels?

    But what if someone needs to know?

    What if there’s some new cancer patient out there who is suffering from the same side effect and they happen to stumble upon my blog?

    I mean, this is kind of a Public Service Announcement.

    So there it is.

    I’m constipated.

    You’re welcome.

    I spoke with a dietician about my constipation at my last chemotherapy appointment.

    Food is kind of a big deal during chemotherapy.

    I hear my taste buds will either change drastically or die a sad death in the coming months, and yet I still have to eat.  So dieticians are always available to answer any nutritional questions.

    The dietician was totally willing to talk about my poop.

    Or, rather, my lack thereof.

    Scientists are awesome like that.

    She said that human beings should get 30 grams of fiber in our daily diets.

    I told her I’d never heard the number 30 associated with fiber intake before.

    She said a lot of people don’t know.  As a result, most Americans are chronically constipated.

    She warned me about an interesting catch-22 associated with fiber intake:  if you don’t increase your water intake with your fiber intake you end up with the opposite side effect of being more plugged up.

    So hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

    My oncologist has me drinking two liters of water every day.  That’s about 68 ounces of water.  It helps flush the chemotherapy out of my body.

    If I up my fiber intake, all that water should help with constipation, too.

    She said eat brown everything.  Brown bread, brown pasta, brown rice.

    I took that to also mean that chocolate was full of fiber so I slathered Nutella all over my whole wheat toast this morning.

    I have cancer.

    I can do that.

    She said physical activity helps with constipation, too.

    This I already knew.

    Any runner can tell you that nothing stimulates the bowels like a three mile run.

    Yet one more reason to stay active.

    She also gave me the go ahead to drink one real cup of coffee in the morning.

    She said, “Hot beverages aid in relieving constipation.”

    In less polite terms:  “Coffee makes you poop.”

    I’ve cut back my caffeine intake to one mug of coffee a day.  I couldn’t seem to quit entirely without becoming a psychopath, and was feeling guilty for it.

    I was so happy when she gave me her blessing for that cup of coffee I wanted to jump for joy.

    I didn’t jump because I was hooked up to an IV at the time, but I did do a little happy dance in my chemo chair.

    Coffee, real coffee, is a beautiful thing.  Even if it’s only one cup.

    Today’s silver lining:  Nature finally called.

    Who knew I’d ever use that as my silver lining?

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    xoxo,
    Meghan

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15 Responsesso far.

  1. pwsquare says:

    Thanks for the PSA 🙂

  2. Pat Sincox says:

    The glory of pooping on schedule!! If you ever need free, educated advice along the dietician homefront, I have a couple that are readily available. My older daughter, Lauren, is a registered dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator, currently on a hiatus courtesy of my grand-daughter. She had worked most recently at Memorial Hermann-Souhtwest and did her internship at the VA Hospital in the Medical Center. Also, my wife, Valerye, is a retired registered dietician.

    Lauren is really high on being regular……lots of fiber in her diet.

  3. Annette says:

    No crying today. Just a little chuckle. :). Xoxo

  4. Kristel says:

    It really is the little things that make the world a happier place. Glad your plumbing is working again! Cheers to coffee, chocolate and brown foods.
    Kristel

  5. This was a really funny post!!! Have the same problem so to hear someone else talk about it makes it even funnier….thanks for the laugh!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Erica says:

    I enjoyed the poop conversation and loved the silver lining ever more 🙂

  7. Monica says:

    WooHoo! A blog that didn’t make me cry! Good silver lining!

  8. […] because she’s easy to sit around and talk with.  She was quite tickled by my recent obsession with fiber.  Poop discussions took up at least an hour of my treatment.  She also  played my camera woman […]

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