First chemo treatment coming up

Hi ladies

I've just had my TAH BSO for stage 1B high grade 3 three weeks ago. All went well, but the absolute worst thing for me was the severe constipation suffered afterwards obviously due to all the medication, general, morphine, oramorth, codine ect..... tomorrow I have my first meeting with the chemo doctor, I think it's a accessment as I haven't been told it's for treatment. The only big worry for me, is that I get the bad constipation again , I don't think I could face that again as well as all the other symptoms that goes in hand with it all! I have been reading some of your post and I now have some idea of what to expect, even though I know we are all different and might not experience all of the symptoms. I'm having carbol/taxol so I know my hair will come out, I'm a bit gutted as I've taken so long to grow it past my shoulder in the last three years, but even that's not worrying me too much! It's the thought of being constipated with piles too for at least five months ! Have any of you suffered with this or am I worrying for nothing? It's just that I have read that the anti nausea meds make you constipated ? Sorry for going on, it's just that I have had the worst, and I mean the worst week over Christmas in my life after only just having my surgery with this and I just don't want to go there again! I know that now I'm healing it couldn't be so bad, but it has put me off for life . Lol. Sorry to go on. Any advise from you lovely warriors would be greatly appreciated!

Many Minnie

Tracey xx

13 Replies

  • Hello Tracey!

    I had a similar surgery and am now in the middle of Chemo! I too have had problems with my digestion but have managed to manage the situation by following some advice I got from the physio when I was leaving the hospital! Kiwis and pears, I have daily green smoothies which include flaxseed! I have also started drinking prune juice which I have to say I don't like but it does work! That of course coupled with drinking a ton of water every day!!! It's helping so maybe worth a try!

    The hospital also prescribed Lactalose which also works but I didn't need to use it much! I think the whole effect both surgery and Chemo have on your digestive system can be distressing and uncomfortable but there are things you can do to help make it less so!

    Best of luck with the Chemo doc tomorrow and ask all the questions you feel you need to ask!!!

    Hope it all goes well!!


  • Ah thank you so much D,

    I have lactulose at the ready, I have prunes in the cupboard, And have started on fruit n fibre cereal. I must admit that I am very lazy when it comes to drinking water!

    And I even have kiwis in the fruit bowel :) as long as I know I will be able to manage it, and not get into the state I was in last week, that will be okay. It's just scared me so much, I've been getting a bit panicky! I will also try juicing too . Was thinking if flax seed oil, but didn't know if I was allowed it due to the nature of the cancer.

    I hope you are coping well with your treatment D, thank you for your advice on your experience, I really appreciate it.

    T xx

  • Hi there

    My oncologist told me to avoid fibre. I take Movicol every day which draws water into the bowel by osmosis. It's gentler on the system I'm told. Xx

  • Oh thank you Tina, I will ask tomorrow. Thank you


  • It's worth asking. Bowel problems are a worry with Ovarian so managing it can be a weight off the mind.

    I hope things go well. Xxx

  • Hello -

    Don't worry too much (easy for me to say, as I'm off chemo at present): if you do get constipated, it will only be for a few days after treatment, not for the whole cycle. As others have said, ask questions about what you can take for it, and movicol is good. You have mentioned water, and it is important generally with chemo. Instead of counting glasses of it, maybe try using a 500ml bottle. That way, you'll know that three of them will give you 1.5litres and you won't have to count so high. (Yes, anticipate a bit of chemo brain!)

    Also, try walking a bit. I know it's easier said than done, especially in winter weather, but it does stimulate the abdominal muscles which stimulate digestion. (If you can get to a mall or a large store with a cafe, you can mall/store walk, like people do in America, and have a drink and a relax as well.)

    Best of luck with your treatment.

  • Hi so sorry you have had surgery and will start on chemo soon. But as everyone has said, constipation is manageable. Try to have a pattern of bowel movements before treatment if possible. Plenty of water, kiwis pears and prunes, even the baby pear juice if you dont feel like eating pears. A kiwi eaten a half hour before food helps. I use the milled flaxseed in cereal and that does help too. Main thing is dont get too stressed, a neighbour and friend advised me what goes in must come out law of gravity. So I stopped worrying so much. I am off treatment at the moment so its okay. Any problems you have you also ask the CNS in Oncology and the gynae liason nurse if you have one. They often get tips from other patients. I wish you well in your next appointment, it is daunting starting off on the unknown but we are all here for you and do keep posting

  • I've had constipation after chemo like a lot of these lovely ladies, lots of good advise for you, I used to suffer for a few days but even though I didn't feel like it I did drink lots of water, and I ate 3 weetabix per day, lots of fruit to, it worked for me. I did have to take movocol a few times.

    Wishing you all the best xx

  • Hi

    I have had the same op as you 4 weeks ago today. Nobody really told me about the constipation. Lactulose did nothing for me. I take Movicol and Senna as well which gets things moving along with a high fibre diet. I also eat prunes. I never want to feel that constipated again along with the after effects of Surgery/treatment you don't need it.

    Best of luck x

  • Hi. I took Zomorph for an extended period (5 weeks) on initial diagnosis, as I was suffering severe pelvic pains. The constipation was dreadful - have never experienced anything like it before! However, I was prescribed Cosmocol by my GP and although it was 2 days till it worked it was incredibly effective. I, like you was then worried about chemo giving me constipation. I had my 3rd 2 weeks ago, and have not been constipated on any of the cycles. I have not needed the Cosmocol (though know it's there if needed) as I have been eating lots of pineapple, blueberries and kiwis in fruit salad, and loads of "super greens" like kale, broccoli and watercress and this seems to work for me. Plus I have made sure that I do drink 2 litres of clear fluid a day.

    I wish you all the best...... The chemo has worked for me really well (markers significantly down and CT scan shows some diminished cells and others disappeared) apart from aching limbs and a small level of fatigue in the first five days , I am feeling great. I fact people are telling me I am looking better then ever! I think that having Reiki has also helped with the side effects. The footballer, Johan Cruyff Says he sees chemo as his friend and I have adopted this attitude throughout. My friend and family have a remote group chant when the first chemo goes in which is "Work, work, work" and this helps me emotionally to know that they are all there with me in thought.

    If you are into it,adult colouring books help to pass the time too.

  • Hi,

    The hospital where I'm treated automatically gave me laxatives to take home when I was having chemo, & I found I had more than I needed, If you need anti nausea medication, that makes constipation worse. I was fortunate with my last course of chemo that I was able to cut the anti nausea medication (with the backing of the chemo nurses) without any problems with nausea, & that reduced the need for laxatives.


  • Hi Tracey

    ...Lots of useful suggestions above. The only thing I'll add is to get used to drinking more water. I think you mentioned you're not much a water drinker,but it's o important to help keep everything moving. You'll find what's right for you.

    I've always had chronic constipation,so my cupboard was well stocked with all sorts of remedies! I did get a prescription for lactulose to use as a last resort....and I did...with great results.

    I wish you luck and strength on your journey. Judy

  • All of what the ladies said, but what I would add is that I was prescribed ducosate to keep my stools loose(lovely!) and Brussels sprouts sennacot and baked beans worked for me, I think a combination or what works for you is an experiment you will soon find out.

    I was stage 1c and had the full op and 6 months carbo/taxol, finished last March and am in remission,so, I wish you well, it is all manageable.

    I lost all my hair, lost loads of weight, but look better than ever and my hair has grown back better than ever.I feel good and long may it last for you too as your journey is so similar to mine,

    All the best Carole xxx

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