Thursday, August 27, 2009

Myeloma transplant - Nausea

During both autologous stem cell transplants for myeloma I have suffered from nausea. Who didn’t?
Nausea is a common side effect of high dose treatment and can be effectively controlled by anti-sickness drugs. It is my policy not to put up with side effects that can be controlled so I use them. There are different types available; you need to tell the nurses you need them and to help find the right one for you.
When I suffered nausea I wouldn’t eat so it was in my interest to take the anti-sickness drugs. For me, the drugs did tone nausea down but did not always eliminate it completely.
Effective for me have been Metamide, Zofran, Maxalon and Cyclizine.
Nausea first came to me during transplant about 6 hours after melphalan and stayed constant for 2 weeks controlled by anti-sickness drugs. After that it reduced slowly and did not disappear until 8 weeks after melphalan. That is when I no longer needed the drugs regularly though there were occasional outbreaks over the next 4 weeks controlled by drugs when needed.
When the nausea disappeared after 8 weeks I started to eat more and gain weight.

To help myself I:
Told the nurses when I was suffering nausea.
Took anti-sickness drugs at onset of nausea.
Kept the nurses informed if the anti-sickness drugs were ineffective.
Ate slowly and in small quantities.
Ate sitting up for good digestion.
Stayed sitting up for at least 30 minutes after meals.
Wore loose fitting clothes especially around the tummy.
I did find that ginger products can assist nausea. That was ginger beer, ginger ale, ginger crystals and ginger biscuits.

This is one of “part 2” a series of postings relating to my autologous stem cell transplant for myeloma. As they are complete the posting series can be found under labels/part 2 [Part 2 link]

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