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Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

58 REPLIES 58
darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi girls,

glad to report I didn't have a reoccurence of the dreaded constipation after EC no 3, dont know what the difference is and didn't take anything to help. For those of you who are still suffering why dont you ask for the medicine I was first described (the very expensive one!) not sure if it works as I still have the bottle in the bathroom but it's called PINORAX I do carry it around with me everywhere I go incase I get another dose of the constipation! If anyone has tried it please let me know if it worked!

Jo x

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

And someone (who isn't in the same position as us) once said, "oh well, you've coped with the hair coming out, that's the worst bit out of the way" had NO idea! At least losing your hair doesn't hurt like not being able to poo!

Massive sympathies to those of you with constipation as a SE, particularly when accompanied with the munchies. Fortunately I only had it bad after surgery with the codeine, but the more I ate, the further up my body I could feel it building up. I was scared of vomiting in case I puked up the poo that couldn't get out the normal way!

El_Katrano
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Same for me, started with the surgery and honestly when I passed it was 3 days after and it was the hugest thing you've seen in your life and a big load of blood on top. Agony to pass, I cried and was yelling on the loo. Would have preferred a prevention yes, I think this is where my piles and tear occured too! And I'm stuck with it now til after chemo! bummer, literally.

browneyes43
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi Emmasquarepeg, I feel your pain - literally. I started with constipation 2 weeks ago just after last chemo and bank hol Monday I had to resort to emergency GP and hospital because I couldn't bear the pain anymore. If they had offered me a colostomy I would have bitten their hands off.

Now 6 days of movicol, Nefopam and local anaethetic to the fissures, I now have liquid poo which although is burny burny is such a relief to the feeling of passing shards of glass. Last chemo this week and going to ask that I remain on movicol for the whole of the cycle. The thought of going back to the solid stuff fills me with dread!

Karen

emmasquarepeg
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

I finished my chemo in Feb and my poor bum is still in recovery - I developed piles and fissures and still bleed. At it's worse I likened taking a poo to 'having barbed wired dragged out of my arse'...
I didn't find the lactulose much use, I just really upped my water and fruit intake.
RHUBARB!!! stew it yourself or get the tinned - but it's an old constipation remedy. I found a bowl for breakfast with a bit of muslie really helped.

Talking to chemo-buddies, for most of us the constipation started after surgery - the morphine we reckoned. On my ward it was mostly women post bowel and stomach cancer and none of them could go home until they'd 'gone'... Why on Earth staff don't take the attitude of prevention being preferable to cure, I do not know!

Peppermint tea is supposed to be good too. Hmmmmm... think I might make a jug and put in the fridge to help with night sweats tonight...

Buzzy
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

I feel your pain!

Terri52
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Exactly! and it's not,it's making me miss the final of BGT how sad is that, do I not have anything better to do on a Saturday night? it would appear not. Might have something to eat!
T

Rhian
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

you crazy lady, its all that eating you have been doing it got to go somewhere

one word solution ...vaseline !!!!

Terri52
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

OMG, I think I must have put my bum on a boil wash by mistake and shrunk it! What needs to come out is knocking on the door but can't get out, dispite 10 gallon of lactulose, senokot's and litres of water.

New SE OF CHEMO shrinkage of rectal sphincter!!

Hugs to all those struggling.

laura64
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi I've the same prob but had movicole and it gone from one way to other then now back to nothing so I can't seem to win its all or nothing not been for 3 days again now next lot chemo next wk so might ask him tc laura

Buzzy
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Thanks. Maybe I was expecting a bit too much of an instant reaction! I'll just stay close to the toilet for the next few days! lol

mummysboob
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

ps 4got 2 say, the reason they are on movicol is due to meds.like being on chemo and the meds that accompany it un fortunately x

mummysboob
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

not talking from personal experience but quite a few of the students i work with (severe asd, learning difficulties and very often digestive probs) many take movicol and it does take a good week minimum before the explosion usually(sorry)!4 sachets is quite a normal dose. i have known as many as 10 taken? just a thought. good luck and happy poos ladies!!! love alex xxx

Buzzy
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

I had horrendous constipation with FEC and general anaesthetics so just before starting TAX last week I asked the onc for something other than senna or dioctyl cos they didn't seem to do the trick. He prescribed Movicol which I was pleased with as I had heard its very good. However, 5 days into chemo and despite taking at least 4 sachets a day, nothing is moving! There were rumblings last night and some rabbit droppings this morning but still waiting for that explosion! Now would be a good time too as I have the house to myself!
Is there any hope? Is Lactulose any better?
Debs
x

Lulu34
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

LOL Tina... was so lolling at that.... its good to have something to laugh about even if its really cr*p at the time (dont pardon the pun).

terri when i had cmf i got 8 and 9 day constipation and not a whiff of the runs in sight.... but think it can affect everybody differently.

id say keep a supply of bowel explosives close to hand just in case you have the poo from hell.

Lx

Terri52
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

laughed so much at some of these, whilst understanding the pain you have been going through.

When i had my MX/ Recon i needed blood and also iron tablets i did expalin to the nurse that these bung me up. "not every one" says she, like some thing out of a carry on film.

After 5 days no show! they agreed to senakot, two days later still no show.
On the day i was coming home they agreed to a supository, which they brought just before i was due to be picked up "how long will this take to work ?" I ask " about an hour" they say, hmmm my car journey home is about an hour so may be not a good idea. "we can give you something for in the car" they say "what a toilet" I ask.

I refused their kind offer and 2 days later after much pain and tears passed the blockage.

I have my first chemo tomorrow CMF i have been advised this can cause the "runs" so don't know what do for the best, all i can say is this really is a pain in the a---e
Terri

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Tina, how very graphic, and if you'll forgive me, very amusing. I laughed at your post but felt massive waves of sympathy for you. Shame I couldn't turn it into waves of peristalsis...

Gingerbud
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Lol had a good chuckle Reading this thread!! Can empathise so much- constipation has been by far the worse chemo se for me. I had ibs pre cancer but have never experienced anything like this. I had to have an enema a few days after my mx due to the codeine binging me up. I was petrified as my bum would have literally burst if that poo had come out on it's own... :-S
then fec- omg I spent several hours per day just sitting on the loo + if I was lucky I would pass what looked like a dehydrated raisin. Lots of movicol, lactulose + dulcolax helped but it still was unpleasant. I've just had my last carboplatin + have had hellish constipation throughout. It's defo the ondansetron- one tab + everything turns to solid concrete. ITs soooo uncomfrtable feeling like there's a huge lump of poo just sitting by the 'exit', unable to get out....
I even get nauseus especially when the bowels do finally start to move after a major blockage. Think I'll ask my hubby to insert a suppository for me next time I'm suffering- just to see his face!!
Happy poo-ing everyone 😉
tina x

honeybee121
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

i was given movicol by the hosptial and it help to the point i dont take it every day or ill be in the bathroom all day lol so i take it once every 3 to 4 days only se i get from taking is wind lol but carnt have it all
maz xx

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Ondansetron has constipation as a common side-effect, so mention it to your onc and see if they can suggest some alternative anti-emetics that don't bung you up so much.

JS78
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hello, I'm new here and so glad I found this topic as I have been suffering with severe constipation for 3 days and a sore bum for nearly a week. I'm on my 4th FEC treatment and have escaped major problems so far but this is agony. Nothing seems to be moving - have tried Diocytl tabs, prune juice, brain flakes, water etc. Hubbie out now getting me some senakot (sp?) tabs to take in the hope that it will make things start to move. I'm dreading it though as I know it will be like trying to pass glass. Have been passing wind alot and sometimes that even hurts and it's so foul smelling! At my wits end!!
xxx

loupylou
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Tried lactulose, movicol, senna! It would have taken a rocket to move me! The oncologist said it was the anti- sickness tablets causing it. I was in agony! I didn't want champagne post chemo just a nice pain free number two!!

Anthi
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hello. After being blocked up for 5 days following my first FEC, for the next FECs I took lactulose and senna before going. I used to take 2 teaspoons of senna liquid and 4 teaspoons of lactulose. Important to take it before you go to hospital as you won't feel like it afterwards.

It worked very well and I would recommend it.
Best wishes
Anthi x

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi CM,

I had my third chemo on wednesday and didn't bother taking anything for the constipation but I can feel things going pear shaped in my tummy so I was going to try and laxido (the hospital gave me them not sure if they are the same thing as Movicol) but I think I'll also suck on a stick of licqourice tonight or get the bottle of wine out again (that always works!)

Jo x

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Because my guts had turned to concrete on codeine, I asked for something to help before my first chemo and the onc gave me movicol to take the night before FEC1. I duly did so, but it had unexpected (and very unwanted!) effects as I was extremely sick with FEC1, from every orrifice (no more detail required) and I really regretted having taken the movicol... eugh, it wasn't pretty.

Since then I haven't bothered as I haven't been affected by the concrete guts. Ondansetron has it listed as a common side-effect but I was lucky.

francesw
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Thanks for the humour CM and D - laughter is so good!
Yes, I think prevention before treatment starts helps - I drink loads of smoothies - sometimes the Innocent type or if I'm energetic I juice my own - think these help prevent the dreaded....

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

But wasn't that exactly the cause of the problem, Jo?

(I think we'd better stop or we'll get told off!) ;-D

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi Chocciemuffin,

believe me if I had the pain I had last time I'd stand in the middle of costa doing it, I wouldnt give a sh**!

Jo x

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Gretchen:
"Don't think they let you do the enemas in the coffee shops. Probably best done at home. "

I now have a bruises from falling on the floor laughing - imagine what they'd do in Costa if you tried to do THAT with your Skinny Caramel Latte!!! No, stop, my sides are hurting!

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi,

I've not got Movicol from the hospital yesterday after my 3rd chemo as I dont want to ever have to go through that again, but I had started eating licqourice every day and that seems to help.

Jo x

Jane_75
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

I had the worst ever constipation when I was on Zomorph, so much so, that I stopped the Zomorph and just put up with the pain. Tried everything under the sun. One night I even took 6 Movicols in one go, and all I got was the most awful bellyache.
Anyway, through trial and error I found Bisocodyl was the answer to my prayers. Two of these at night did the job. You can buy it at any chemist.
Once you are sorted, but just need to keep things ticking along, Exlax chocolate works well I find.

Jan
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi Jo

I have awful constipation too but not through chemo. I use Ortisan Fruit Cubes from the herbalist. They aren't the cheapest thing but they are the only thing that works for me.

I do sympathise with you. Constipation is horrible.

Jan x

Gretchen
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Joking aside, they really are wonderful. The sceptics would say you body would become used to the enemas and not work on its own, but the exact opposite is true. Clean out your pipes and then they work better than ever AND you are not pouring a load of chemicals or super sugary concoctions through your entire digestive system.

I was given mine, but they are between £10-20 online.

The first one is a little uncomfortable,especially if you have been bunged up for a while, but really does work. It really is quite incredible how much c&%p is up there!!

I won't go on as I will probably be moderated or have the sceptics screaming................pm me for more info.

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Can you buy these things over the counter somewhere or do you need a perscription?

Jo x

Gretchen
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi Jo

Don't think they let you do the enemas in the coffee shops. Probably best done at home.

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi,

they dont tell you about all the others things that happens whilst having chemo. Coffe enemas - sound interesting - do you drink them (only joking!) I love coffee - have a nero card, costa card etc

Will try sliced peaches - thanks

Jo x

Gretchen
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Coffee Enemas. Amazing.

They clear out your pipes and then you will even more regular than before. They help with period cramps too.

francesw
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Such traumas - no one ever tells you about this do they...

Just had a thought about trying to ward off constipation - as well as eating all the good fibre things I also find sliced peaches in juice really help and I always avoid eating eggs as they just bind me up immediately. Not sure what else to avoid - maybe others have ideas

ChoccieMuffin
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Crawfi and darlo, I have just fallen off the sofa laughing. (I'm sorry, am I allowed to laugh at your posts while sympathising massively with your symptoms?)

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

P.S. just got my first period in 9 weeks so in agony with that! I feel like my body is doing nothing right at the moment! Just tried doing 30 mins of a Davina DVD to try and help movements!

Jo x

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi girls,

crawford 64 - my husband wont even entertain looking "down below" he's old school - i.e. keep it to yourself. Tried using the anusol suppositories the other day to calm the piles down - they were soooo sore I didn't know if I had the right orafice! suffice to say I ended up putting them in "the wrong one" sorry if any of you are eating your tea.

Got califig today so giving that a try!

here goes!

Jo x

linda999
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Crawfo64
Just read your post and have nearly wet myself laughing - but only because I can relate to everything you said. I currently ask my OH to be on the other side of the door just in case I pass out with the pain (I can take a lot but this is bl...dy ridiculous)

Anyhow thanks for making me chuckle with your very colourful description!!!

Off to drink another gallon of water - I'll pretend its lager!
Linda

emmbee
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi,

I found that Dulcoease capsules worked for me. They add loads of water to the stools so they never get too hard.

E

moorcow
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

HI everyone, not happy memories but I know that when I spoke to chemo team after round 2 of FEC - (the constipation round as its known here!!) - they were really clear about prevention being better than anything so did the bran etc,etc,etc thing as you mentioned - everything I ate had to have fibre in it, and then took senekot, movicol as needed
I think it was never as bad as round 2..
best of luck, Nicola

crawfo64
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Oh, the memories. I can remember kneeling on all fours on the bathroom with a poo stuck in my bottom that was at least three times the circumference of the hole it was supposed to come out of, or at least that's how it felt.

I tried lots of things to help and the thing that worked the best for me was simple glycerin suppositories which you can buy over the counter. You do have to get them as high up past the blockage as you can which can be quite difficult to do on your own. I know it sounds horrible but I got my husband to put them in for me which we both agreed we'd never speak of again, although we do laugh about it from time to time now. The other thing is you have to resist the urge to go for as long as possible because the longer you hold them in the better the result.

Hopefully you will have gone by now but for next time, the best advice came from my District Nurse who said constipation is easier to prevent than treat. In other words take Movicol or some other laxative on the evening of the first day you don't go if you're normally regular. Or even start taking it before the chemo just in case.

francesw
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Yep memories of tears on the toilet have been prompted - so can really relate to your situation - mine was due to FEC too. So after bad experiences on first couple of FEC I started Lactulose the day before the treatment (think it was the Ondestron anti-nausea that prompted it with me) and the Senna for the next few days as well.

Hope your meds do work and that things are better next time. Managing SEs seems to be the major impact of chemo that ends up dominating our lives for a while so hope you do get relief - love the thought of wine helping, I know my husband swears it does work as you wish it would on bowels....

Mezzomamma
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

You could try taking something like sennacot for a few days starting the night before and then go for the hard stuff if sennacot doesn't work. To be fair, I didn't get to a desperate stage and a bit of sennacot was always enough for me.

Cheryl

darlojo
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Thanks for the advice girls. The only thing I've ever noticed in life that makes me "loose" is wine so last night I had 3 large glasses and went like a dream this morning! can't obviously keep doing this or I'll end up needing a new liver!

Will bite the bullet and take the medicine!

Jo x

Blue_dragonfly
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Hi Jo, I to have had this problem, I became impacted and no it's awful. But to go I had to claw it out. I was given movicol took 8 sachets and suppositories ( you can get them over the counter). And it worked! I now take 2 sachets before my chemo and continue for 4 or 5 days to premt it happening again. I alway have a high fiber diet and eat prunes and beetroot till it comes out of my ears, unfortunately it's the drugs we are given that causes this problem. Wish you all the best with this problem
Love Ruth x

tors
Member

Re: Chemo & Constipation (not a nice topic I know!)

Poor you! I had rotten constipation and piles. I took sennacot every night for the first week and a half after chemo. On my first cycle i threw up because of the pain of constipation! I also had hemorroid cream from the gp which helped the sore bits too. Once you know you might be prone to being bunged up you can try and prevent it. Don't suffer any more now, take the medicine your gp has prescribed. The fact it can be taken by very poorly people is a good thing, not a bad thing, as it suggests it is kind enough to be tolerated whilst still working. Get it down you!

Vickie
x