One of the things that I’m told constantly by my doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners is to drink water – lots of water. In fact, my nurse practitioner was very specific – recommending that I drink 72 ounces of water per day. She recommended that this be noninclusive of my morning coffee and lunchtime and dinner drinks.
I’ve been very attentive to the recommendations that my doctors and nurses make. They are the experts. And they’ve researched and refined the treatment of breast cancer so intently that they truly know what works.
So I calculated using the recommended ounces against the bottled water that we buy and learned that it would take 4.5 bottles to reach my 72 ounce goal.
I’m pretty “religious” about it. I even use a Sharpie to number the tops so I don’t lose count or mistake Dennis’ water from my bottles.
What is all of this water supposed to do?
It’s pretty simple. Water helps our body flush impurities out that can be harmful. That is true whether you’re going through chemo or not. But during chemo, the body is getting overloaded with stuff that it doesn’t like and stuff that can have some nasty side effects if it is allowed to “collect” in places like the urinary tract and crystallize. Water also helps to keep all “channels” lubricated. Considering that constipation is a potential side effect of chemo and the nausea meds that you’re given along with the chemo drugs, keeping those channels as lubricated as possible makes sense. Water also helps the body to keep the chemo drugs moving and to sort of escort them through and out of the body.
There are some other benefits to drinking lots of water. My skin looks great! I’ve not suffered any of the breakout or the sunken dark eyes side effects. My skin and nails are only slightly dryer. My eyes are bright and clear and my throat isn’t irritated and sore. The daily habits that should be regular – are.
Even with all of this “good.” Getting 72 ounces of water down before midnight isn’t easy. That is a lot of water. It’s almost impossible to meet this goal during the 4-5 days following each chemo treatment when that much water doesn’t exactly help the bouts of nausea. On top of that, all of that water filtering out the bad and washing the nasty stuff through my body has to come out. It does so quite often. Our purchases of toilet paper have increased in direct proportion to the amount of water we buy. And that continues during the night. I wake up every 2-3 hours and that doesn’t help me get good sleep at all. But I suppose something has to give.