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Often, the most helpful information regarding treatment side effects comes not from clinical brochures, but rather from other patients like you. We've collected the most helpful community resources to help you prepare for the side effects and coping tips for your chemotherapy regimen.
I finished my 7th treatment last week. I get a 4-hour, in-office injection via portacath. After that I’m sent home for the rest of it with a portable pump to do the remaining 46 hour injection. On day 3 I return to get the pump removed. I started doing a saline fluid injection before leaving and I believe it helps with my dehydration a bit. I get saline fluids and anti-nausea just before the initial treatment. I’ve recently found that staying hydrated helps a bit with the extreme loss of energy.
The worst side-effects I get are nausea and vomiting from day one to about day 6 after chemo begins. Zofran and promethazine help a little. My appetite is almost completely gone until day 6. My stomach feels full and when I can’t eat much, my energy level is poor. I usually sleep 15-20 daily the first 5-6 days.
I get neuropathy pretty bad in my fingers and toes almost immediately after the initial injection. As I’m leaving the doctors office, I can’t carry anything without my hands getting numb and feeling like they’re burning. For about 10 days if I touch anything cold my fingers get numb within 2-3 seconds. If I drink or eat anything cold, same effect in my mouth and throat. My toes get numb and painful if the room temperature is around 70 degrees or below. I’m going to try wearing gloves to see if it helps. Socks help a bit.
I have diarrhea for about 5-6 days after chemo. I have a colostomy bag so I really have to pay attention to know I have to take Imodium which helps a lot.
I sometimes get blurry vision for 1-2 days just after chemo. Mouth sores aren’t too bad but I do get them. My hair is all gone but I didn’t lose my eyebrows, eye lashes or facial hair. I get “chemo brain” pretty bad sometimes and cannot recall a simple conversation from 1 minute prior.
I hope this helps somebody. Stay positive and do your best to enjoy life.
I am on my 9th treatment with folfiri/avastin for third bout with colon cancer. Metastasized to lung and kidney. Side effects are slight but devastating to lifestyle as and active person. I have hair thinning, nausea for 4-5 days post treatment, loss of appetite for same duration, loss of energy and weakness, sleep for too many hours a day. On the bright side, my energy levels are good enough 5 days post tx for me to bike 10 miles and swim for half an hour in South Florida sun (does cause skin lesions though even with sunscreen). My adjunct care is vitamins and diet changes.
Diet – no sugars or artificial sweeteners. Use Truvia which is a natural herb. Low carbohydrates, high protein intake from protein powders and eggs. Some meats but little red meats, only enough for B vitamin. Small meals but snacking 8 times a day to keep energy levels up. Plenty of hydration which is of major importance.
Vitamins – Juice Plus ( a natural source from freeze dried fruits and veggies encapsulated), turkey tail mushrooms ( a powerful anti-cancer food from Japan that keeps their cancer levels low), chromium and magnesium, high vitamin C intake from pills and fruits (competes with sugar receptor sites on cancer cells which aides in killing the cells) and cinnamon.
All this information is contained in book entitled “Beating Cancer With Nutrition” by Patrick Quillin, PhD. This has helped me maintain excellent blood levels (all normal in range) and high energy levels (enough to ride a bike 10 miles and swimming). Must keep a good frame of mind, keep positive and your chances are better for beating this disease.
I am on Folfiri plus Avastin regime.After my surgery of left side colon had 11 doses of Folfoxiri and was told that Ned status,that time my cancer stage was 2 .First follow up was normal after 3 months.second follow up CEA a was rising,went PET-CT and was told about metastasis in mesentric fat in the form hypodense nodules concerning Peritonea carcinoma.Folfiri with Avastin was started.