Patient Comments: Chemotherapy - Coping With Side Effects

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

Comment from: S VanHorn, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I will be taking my 5th chemotherapy treatment for stage 2 breast cancer. I've had few side effects, except for extreme tenderness on the bottom of my feet, which turned to blisters, and my hands and feet both peeled, the feet being much worse. I've just noticed some discoloration under my fingernails, and it is consistent on each nail as far as coloring. I hope it will go away once I'm done with chemotherapy.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Scott, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 29

I'm on my 10th chemotherapy tomorrow, I have bowel and secondary liver cancer at stage 4. I have a wife and two small boys under 10 years of age, it's been a living nightmare, a real rollercoaster. After chemotherapy I'm always spaced out. I have memory loss, clumsiness, tiredness and I don't want to socialize, just want to be with family, so I just relax at home after chemotherapy. I am too tired to do much. I just have to keep going. It's not been nice though, I had an acne like rash over my face and neck for three weeks. Now it's on my chest and back; a side effect. My fingers have open sores which hurt, another side effect. And I have itchy skin.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Ziggy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last September and I had 6 rounds of chemotherapy. I had an allergic reaction to the taxol on the 2nd round, I actually thought I was going to die then. Next round it happened again so they stopped it and just gave me the carboplatin. I would say I had all the side effects. I was told they wouldn't be so bad with just the carboplatin. Well, I'd hate to imagine what it would have been like if I was having both. My last chemotherapy was on the 12th February. I was starting to get back on my feet. Last week I started getting terrible pain in my arms and legs; I really did not expect this. Oh, says the oncologist, it's a side effect of your chemotherapy. I feel I'm now back to square one, I can't really go out unless there is someone with me. It seemed to her as if I'd cut my finger. This is my life that's gone back to being awful. I wouldn't have chemotherapy again, it keeps you alive. In my case it won't cure me I'm happy to let nature take its course.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Darien2620, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 21

I turned 73 on June 16th this year. I had some shoulder pain which started a whole range of tests and I was finally diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Before I started any treatments a lump in the groin area in the crease of my leg popped up; skin cancer. I took 10 radiation treatments in both my shoulder and leg. My 1st chemotherapy was 2 weeks ago and my only side effect was the bones in my feet and legs felt like they were crushed and left me barely able to walk for 2 days before easing up. I get tired easier but a nice nap takes care of that. Second chemotherapy was the day before Thanksgiving. Water is the only thing that didn't taste right to me. I am going to get 10 more radiation treatments on the leg/groin area as it's not doing as well. The bend in the leg keeps it sore and it is hard to get up and down. I should be better soon.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: kd, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2/09. Opted for a double mastectomy 3/09. Found cancer in one lymph node and the "good" breast was full of "pre-cancer". Surgeon said I made the right decision to have the double. Started chemo 4/09. Very tired, body aches, loss of hair "adramyacin". Second round - taxol- very sick and went to hospital for 8 days. Red, white cells and potassium very low. Two blood transfusions. Lost eyelashes and eyebrows. Stopped the taxol (I wanted to quit chemo altogether). Tried a new chemo, "abraxcin". Six treatments once a week and started getting sick again. Stopped chemo. Hair starting to grow again. Will be starting "Cytoxn" four treatment over eight weeks. Hope I can tolerate it. Would do it again to insure that any cancer cells will be killed off by the chemo (if it doesn't kill me first!!) It will soon be over and I dream of having energy again.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors