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Old 05-17-2009, 01:40 AM   #16
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Mike I am glad to hear your wife is a survivor, I hope she is doing well to this day. Your answer was the exact one I was looking for; someone who went through this, what they did and how it turned out.

Thirty two years on a septic that is pretty good, I have heard the average septic system only last twenty.

Thanks to everyone who responded, all the input was very informative.

Right now my plan is just to have the system pumped next spring, no additives. It will be do for a pumping then anyway, the system will be four years old then. I would pump it this fall after she gets done with chemo but I have heard it is best not to pump before winter sets in.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:51 AM   #17
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


My wife had breast cancer 11 years ago and thankfully is fine now, as your wife probably will be. We have a septic tank and never had any problem during her period of chemotherapy.

I've never heard of this issue (about killing the bacteria in the tank) but it sounds ridiculous to me. If it killed all the bacteria in a large tank, what would it do to the bacteria in her small stomach?

I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:28 PM   #18
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Quote:
Originally Posted by DenfromDanbury View Post
My wife had breast cancer 11 years ago and thankfully is fine now, as your wife probably will be. We have a septic tank and never had any problem during her period of chemotherapy.

I've never heard of this issue (about killing the bacteria in the tank) but it sounds ridiculous to me. If it killed all the bacteria in a large tank, what would it do to the bacteria in her small stomach?

I wouldn't worry about it.
I am not sure it is not messing with the bacteria in her stomach; lack of appetite, nausea, constipation, diarrhea. There has to some cause for it. She has lost thirty pounds in the last few months. That is the only part of this she is happy with, but it can not continue.

If you followed the link by Mdragon, chemo drugs are listed as a problem for septic systems.

I am not going to worry about the septic, I have bigger things to be concerned with. A friend of mine mentioned the septic to me (trying to be helpful) and I posted the question more out of curiosity than anything.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:48 PM   #19
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


If the bacteria in a septic tank are all killed off, the tank changes function from septic tank to holding tank. Solid matter doesn't decompose as much ergo it accumulates faster. The tank will likely have to be pumped out three times as often (1 year 8 month intervals if the normal interval was 5 years) The article in the link mentions that the solid matter after decomposition is reduced in volume something like 70-80%.

The above is an extreme case.

There is still trial and error in deciding when to pump the tank since it only depends on how fast solid matter accumulates.

Until the sludge in the tank builds up again, the bacterialess fluid will go out to the leaching field in the same fashion as fluid from a normally functioning septic tank.

If you have the septic tank pumped every month or two, you are wasting money since more chemotherapy chemicals are being added continually and a new crop of bacteria will still not have a chance to grow back.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:35 AM   #20
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


I wonder how long the chemo stays in her body after she is done with the treatments? Once she quits putting it in the tank wouldn't one pump be enough?
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:53 AM   #21
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


We were told that chemo can stay in your body for up to two years before all traces are gone.
It was our experience that in the early days, chemo treatments would work for about 1-1.5 years before she began having another problem with new tumors popping up in other places. Near the end (Jan 2009 when Linda passed away), a chemo treatment would only last about 6 months and she would have to try another. Linda survived far, far longer than most people with her condition.
I truly believe that it has to do as much with a strong positive mental attitude as it does all of the treatments. Linda's initial diagnosis had a 50%-50% 5-year survival rate and it was less every five years after that. She was six months into her fourth 5-year phase when she passed away, which many of her doctors and nurses thought was amazing.
For several years, in addition to chemo, Linda was also taking radioactive "contrast" every 90 days for full body bone scans and CAT scans. That went into the septic system too. We still never had any problems.
I honestly never heard of a potential problem from all of this until this question. I wouldn't worry in the least about it. If anyone ever has a problem with their septic system for whatever reason, it will let you know in a hurry. Take care of your wife and don't even think about it.
Good Luck!
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Old 05-18-2009, 04:10 PM   #22
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Mike,

I am sorry to hear of your loss, you are right, there are more important things to worry about than a septic system. My wife and I will be married 34 years this September and it is hard to remember a time when we weren't together. I know we will get through this and we will be stronger people because of it.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:01 PM   #23
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


We were "one" for 42 years, and Linda was the love of my life, too. You guys hang in there. It takes two together to get through this stuff.
Like my old Dad back in Texas used to say when things got really tough..."it aint no hill for stepper" if you're together.
Good luck!
Mike
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:41 PM   #24
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Your wife was very attractive.

Thank you for all your support.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:59 PM   #25
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


Just noticed this post..Don't have any ides how it will effect your septic system( probably no effect at all) I do Hope all turns out well for your wife
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:55 PM   #26
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


BROKE- There is lots of good advice in the thread. Take care of your wife, take care of YOURSELF, and let the septic tank take care of itself.

See about support groups in your area - check your local paper, church, library. Cause, you sure will get lots of support here, but you should also get some face-to-face with other people who are walking your same path.

I don't say it often, but for you and MIKE and the others who are touched by cancer, you are in my prayers.

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:27 AM   #27
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


BK, My thoughts are with you and with Mike. Keep the faith that brought you together and you will emerge stronger.

Antibiotics ingested do fight natural bacteria in the digestive system and will knock out some of the septic effect as well.
So yogurt in your wife's diet, containing natural bacteria can be a great help. You can also buy acidopholus (yougurt culture in capsule form) at a health food store and may find several other options for the nausea as well... like ipecac.
Antibiotics often knock out natural bacteria and it is common in women that shortly after beginning them problem a secondary yeast infection or thrush like symptoms occurs....Yogurt can help restore natural levels in this scenario
Recently we have seen the emergence of "probiotics" and a whole bunch of fancy new marketing around what yougurt has always done for the body...
I have kept yogurt and acidopholus in the house for 15 + years and recently began taking bee propolis which is an immune system booster as I was prone to chest infections due to childhood pneumonia...
I year later not a hint of flu while the non belivers in my house suffer until they give in and then turn to me for remedies when they're sniffling and suffering. For the record I am not a witch doctor, or preacher..... but my findings are where the nickname "CHEMIST" originated..I hope this helps.

Again, I wish you both the best

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Old 05-21-2009, 10:06 PM   #28
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


We had a Doctor appointment today and I was able to ask the Doctor about the effects of chemo on the septic system. She told me not to be concerned about it as most (but not all) of the chemo is processed by the liver.

She said people run into trouble is when they are on the chemo pills and then flush them when they are done with the chemo.

I have to admit I still have some doubts; I think the question caught her off guard and she had a little tone of uncertainty in her answer.

Right now my plan is to have the system pumped in the spring. My wife will have been off chemo for about six months then and most of the residue should be gone from her system.

I would like to thank everyone for their response and support, we will remain positive.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:05 AM   #29
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


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Old 03-24-2010, 10:59 AM   #30
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Chemotherapy and a septic tank


I hate to dredge this up again, but I just got back from the dr. and they had me on amoxicillin, but a few days later, changed it to more powerful. So here I sit with this almost full bottle. I asked him today if it would be ok to flush them down my toilet, and if they would hurt my septic system. He said "no, go ahead." Of course, I have not. But I just thought I'd let you know how many under-informed people are out there giving advise that is normally considered/nay, EXPECTED to be correct! Hope all's well with you and the wife, BK. Po)

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