May 31, 2013

Xeloda side effects

(Don't read this if you think candid talk about cancer side effects is TMI...)

I finished the last dose of Xeloda yesterday, but the day before the diarrhea and fatigue had already begun. Yesterday I "crashed" on the way home (not literally) -- had to call my mom to have her keep me awake while driving, and yes, my car has a hands-free cell phone. As soon as I got in the door I ran to the bathroom yet again.

The diarrhea has been frequent enough, every four to six hours, that even a double dose of Immodium (the "oncology" dose) taken at each episode wasn't helping enough. Rik took care of everything while I was on the sofa. He fed and walked the dog, ordered Chinese food and then went to pick it up, fed me dinner and let me grouse to him. It's funny that even with diarrhea, I still get hungry. (I wonder, if I fasted but drank water, would the diarrhea stop sooner?)

This morning everything hit as soon as I finished breakfast -- diarrhea and crushing fatigue. I spent the entire day snuggled with the dog on the sofa, except for bathroom trips. At 2:30 PM I called Dr G's office and spoke with Nurse Jaque, who then talked with Dr G. There is a prescription for something stronger than Immodium waiting for me at the drug store. However, things may be easing up, so I may not get it.

At 5 PM I got up and went for a tour of my garden. The sun had been shining all day long, and I wanted some fresh air. I saw one fig on the fig tree, some cherries on the pie cherry trees, and MANY raspberries. There were even some Chester berry flowers already. A few potatoes left over from last year have sent up leaves. The snow peas are about two inches tall, and the red chard is growing nicely. The salad greens aren't doing too well. Maybe I should plant from starts instead of seed.... My tomatoes are a foot tall, but two of the three basil plants have died.

I'm trying to drink lots of water, I feel perkier (hence the blogging) and hope to be better tomorrow. Meanwhile no groceries, no Shabbat cooking, but Rik has walked the dog, ordered pizza for dinner and he will make the bed with fresh linen.


  1. Oh, Jill...I hope you are on the mend soon. I know this is rough. Hang in there!

  2. I'm sorry you have been having a rough time. I know how draining diarrhea can be... though with my pain pills it is a dim memory! I hope you feel like yourself again soon. Then, you will be able to really enjoy the fruits of your garden.

  3. I would most definately get the prescription, and keep it in my medicine cabinet. If you never need it, well, that's wonderful. If you do need it, not having to make a special trip or sit home waiting for Rik to come back with might find that's wonderful too.

  4. I love your blog--frank and forthright. Thanks for telling it just like it is!

    Diane at