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  • Ruth

Chemo or Caffeine? That is the question of the moment.

Update day 162: A little more chemo education. We all know dehydration is bad, right? For everyone. Fluid intake varies based on age, sex, activity levels, etc. But dehydration is really bad for people who are undergoing chemotherapy. At our "chemo education" appointment Steve was told he would be hooked up to IV fluids before his treatment started (he is doing IV Chemo, no port or PIC) and again the following day. Normally he would return to the clinic for IV fluids again 5 days after treatment. Fav dr. #3 (this is not in order of favs, but in chronological order) said that if Steve promised to get enough fluids and was not having vomiting or diarrhea, he would not have to go back on day 5. I asked the "teacher" how many ounces he should shoot for and they said 64 oz. After doing a little research I'm actually surprised, as that seems like a lower number. Anyway, I asked about coffee and she said Steve could have as much coffee as he wanted. He looked pretty pleased until she said "of course you have to still drink as much water (or herbal tea, etc) as you drank of coffee, because caffeine doesn't count".

Steve loves coffee. He usually always has a cup full of of strong coffee within reach from when he gets up in the morning until late afternoon. So having to cut back has been hard. He's not big on plain water, so we've been trying to find beverages that provide fluid, don't have caffeine or large amounts of sugar. Things like sports drinks are okay but not the best option as they have potassium. A few years ago Steve's potassium levels were up because he was drinking a lot of a certain sports drink during hunting season and it raised a red flag in his blood work. High potassium is not good when you have cancer. So we are trying different things to make sure he's getting enough fluid. Luckily he's not had a lot of nausea since "Treatment Tuesday" and no vomiting or diarrhea, so he doesn't have to go back up this time. I'm hoping that we can find a way to ensure he is regularly sipping on fluids throughout the day before his next treatment March 9.

He has had some nausea, is pretty fatigued (boredom? cancer? chemo?), irregular appetite and mentioned that he's had some pretty bad headaches. I was worried about the headaches until I realized that it's probably caffeine withdrawals. When I cold turkey'd off of diet soda about 10 years ago (I was drinking 5-8 a day) the headaches were horrible. Now I drink one cup of coffee in the morning. Once in a while I have iced tea in the summer but I try to make it with decaf tea. So I feel bad for him. He had to quit smoking after the mass was found, lost his appetite, nothing tastes really "good" and now he has to severely cut back on his coffee and deal with the aftermath of that.

I am going to be a little bit of a nag when it comes down to getting as much fluid down him as possible. I don't want him to become dehydrated and end up miserable or worse, admitted to the hospital. Fav dr #3 told him that I'm the boss when it comes to him getting enough to drink.

What about you? Are you drinking enough fluid? Take care of yourself, eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. It's part of self-care. #cancersucks #lifewithcancer #buckcancer #buckoffcancer #chemo

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