Back in 2006, when I was on Xeloda and radiation, I had some friends who had her brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew all living with her. Their house, like ours, was on a rolling hill and the end of a sloping street and had a daylight basement (& like ours, the daylight basement was fixed up with bedrooms and a bathroom). We both have septic systems that were put in the early 80's. Septic systems are put in as a specific size based on whatever the number of FINISHED bedrooms at the time of the inspection. At least around here, they then base the number of people utilizing the septic as two people/bedroom. In both our cases that would have been three (upstairs) but we each added TWO bedrooms and a bathroom downstairs. (In our situation, however, we still only had 6 people living here) Neither of us ever had any problems with our septic UNTIL chemo. For our friends, they had TWO people in the household on chemo - her brother was battling brain cancer and on heavy duty chemo and her niece was dxd with leukemia at the same time!
Chemo, like long term antibiotics, can and does affect our digestive system as well as our septic system. Both depend on the 'good' bacteria to keep everything running smoothly (no pun intended). When a person takes antibiotics for a long period of time, diarrhea is a very real side effect - simply because the antibiotics have killed off the bad AND the good bacteria. Chemo does the same thing -both in our bodies, and, again in our septic systems. In our bodies, we try to add probiotics, etc. to help replenish the loss of the 'good' bacteria and when you think of it, our septic systems should be no different.
Our septic was fine during my chemo but...........it may not have been had our friends not had problems. They ended up getting their system pumped something like every 3-4 months....obviously something was awry. FINALLY the septic people asked questions after the second time around. Apparently they are quite well aware of the chemo/septic tank connection but no one bothered to tell them and the docs knew that there were two people in the household on chemo at the same time. After the second pumping, they were told (and I happened to be there that day) that when a person is on chemo (keep in mind just ONE person) they should be using something like Rid-X at least every couple of months. In my friend's situation, with two people on chemo at the same time .....they used Rid-X on a monthly basis and no more issues
When you think about it it makes sense.
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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