Patient Comments: Chemotherapy - Coping With Side Effects

What chemotherapy side effects have you experienced? How do you cope with the side effects?

Comment from: Pebbles, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

During chemotherapy there were a couple of side effects I experienced. One was the fact my taste buds were out of whack. Everything had a metal taste, and there were few foods that tasted good. My comfort foods were mashed potatoes and blue Gatorade. The other side effect was the nausea. Although I had Zofran to combat the nausea, there were a few times when it just was not enough. Even though things did not taste right, I still ate to keep my hemoglobin levels up. Water tasted terrible, but I tried to drink what I could and get fluids in other forms, coffee, soda, popscicles, etc.

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Comment from: Corrrine, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 04

My son age 36 was diagnosed with a rare abdomen cancer in May, 2013. He had one surgery where they removed some big tumors in his intestines, put a bag on him and closed him back up. They started giving him chemotherapy in May and every two weeks since then. He has been having check-ups but the tumors are not growing or shrinking. The chemotherapy that they give him is a very aggressive one. He has not lost any weight, no hair loss, has never gotten sick and is able to do everything that he has always done. They have mentioned a word Avastin that seems to be working on him. He is going on his 23rd chemotherapy treatment. They wanted to do surgery and still might where they take everything out and scrape the abdomen, but are holding off until absolutely necessary because this drug is working on him so good. We know that he will be on chemotherapy for life, surgery or not, but I am wondering how much of this aggressive chemotherapy his body can take before he starts burning out.

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Comment from: Joe, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 17

Have stage 3 colon cancer. Started zeloda, a pill chemo 2000 mg morning and evening. Each cycle is 3 weeks, two on and one off. I stopped toward the end of two weeks (12.5 days) first cycle. Had pain in both heals of feet, beginning diarrhea and some stomach issues. Will see dr to perhaps reduce dosage.

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Comment from: Bunny, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I had stage 1 breast cancer of left breast. Had lumpectomy and radiation. Did fine with that. Then had mammogram found cancer in right breast. Doctors suggested double masectomy at that time had that done and reconstruction. Recovered from that-was glad that was over then had lump on neck. Turned out I had bone and liver cancer (stage 4). Started chemo and I am getting ready to start cycle 6. So far chemo is helping. Doctors are hoping to give me more years of life-I will be grateful for whatever time I get. Keep a positive attitude and try not to stress (easier said than done)!

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Comment from: peg, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

Have had chemo for 4 months twice a week for lung cancer. Developed abscesses in private area which are extremely painful. Now on my 15th of 30 radiation treatments. Developed abscess on back of right leg(calf area). Keeping others laugh keeps me going.

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Comment from: hannah, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I had chemotherapy last year. It was rough and I was doing very poorly. Chemo has left me with lymphedema and problems with my heart. They think it's due to the chemo. It was mild chemo, but I'm still undergoing tests for this and nothing has been confirmed yet.

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Comment from: scaredtodeath, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 22

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in December 2008 and had surgery in January 2009. I had two-and-a-half feet of colon removed along with 14 lymph nodes. Cancer was found in three of them. I underwent five chemo treatments and had to be admitted to the hospital with extreme diarrhea -- a duct from the pancreas, kidneys and liver was shutting down. I was hospitalized for three weeks. The doctors would not go on with any treatments so now I am faced with a waiting game and the only option given to me is surgery when the cancer moves to another organ.

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Patient Comments

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Chemotherapy - Experiences Question: What was your experience with chemotherapy?
Cancer - Patient Experience Question: How was your chemotherapy administered? Were there any complications that resulted from the delivery method?

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