02-20-2010, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: theodore ACT
re: Chemotherapy and digestion - What the Doctors didn't tell me
Originally Posted by wolfman54
From January 2008 through the beginning of June 2008 I had four chemotherapy sessions. By mid-July 2008 I was in the emergency ward in excruciating pain which encompassed my chest, across my back at the shoulder blade level and pain up and down both of my arms. At first my symptoms were diagnosed as a heart attack. After performing all of the relevant tests for a heart attack and discovering that my heart was beating strongly, normally albeit at an elevated rate heart attack as a cause was ruled out. A CT scan with dye was performed and the scan showed that my lung diaphragm was supposedly paralyzed which was thought to be due to the small cell lung cancer. What didn't add up was that the physicians also stated that my diaphragm was "pushing" up into my left lung. Rather than further testing I was given a large dose of liquid Demerol and sent away. It was the typical "if I can't diagnose the patient then dope the hell out of the patient and the bothersome questions will go away"! My wife and I are both equestrians and she felt that I was acting very much like a colicky horse. On to the internet for human symptoms of colic and she discovered that there is a product called "Beano" that is designed to control human colic. I have been taking three tablets of Beano prior to each meal and have not had an attack since. I had an appointment with my oncologist today (October 1, 2008) and the oncologist readily admitted that many patients that have had chemotherapy have difficulty with digesting foods that are high in fibre or also known as roughage. This inability to digest the foods that are good for you such as vegetables and fruits causes a great deal of gas in the colon. This gas is trapped and is not able to escape through burping or passing gas. This is what causes the severe pain as the trapped gas expands the colon. Golly, both my wife and I really wished that our oncologist had told us about this potential side effect of chemotherapy. The oncologist knew about the Beano having recommended it for other patients. So this post is for those of you with cancer and are in or have completed your chemotherapy and who are having issues with severe pain after eating. Dang it, the oncologist could have saved me a from a great deal of pain and as well as discomfort caused by the Demerol injection if he had just thought about it. I hope that this information helps some of you avoid what I just recently went through.