Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Please feel free to read, share your thoughts, your stories and connect with others!
heiders33
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby heiders33 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:48 am

I wanted to share a few things that I've done in this third round to help manage side effects from Oxaliplatin. I have a pretty strong reaction to it so I thought this might be helpful to those who are similar to me.

1. Cold sensitivity: For this round of treatment, I brought with me a nice insulated water bottle (purchased on Cyber Monday!) to keep 23 ounces of hot water to sip through a straw during my time in the chair. When I left treatment, I immediately wrapped up in a scarf, hat, gloves, coat, and sunglasses to avoid any immediate reaction to the cold. My waiting room and lobby are quite cool and last time I had a brief reaction where I couldn't see or talk and I blacked out briefly. I avoided that completely this time while the person with me called a Lyft. All of these measures resulted in my best treatment visit to date.
2. Water: The last two cycles I experienced a slight stinging when my eyes would water and when I would urinate. This time, I drank a ton of water and some pedialyte the day before, and made sure to drink enough water the day of. So far I have not experienced any stinging, and I think overall I feel better because of being fully hydrated (even though it meant getting up to use the bathroom a couple times while hooked up! :))
3. Gloves: I purchased a pair of cheap gloves to wear around the house. This sounds obvious, but the last two times I was lazy about it and sometimes didn't put my gloves on when I was doing things in the kitchen, etc. I would just power through the tingling. Now I am much more intentional about putting them on before doing just about anything. And of course I always wear slippers or socks around the house.
4. Benadryl: The day of treatment I always have a runny nose and sneeze a lot. I read online that this could be an allergic reaction, so I take some Benadryl and that clears it up quickly.
5. First bite pain: I have had first bite pain in my jaw for about a week after each treatment. I read somewhere in these forums to let my first bite of food rest on the back of my tongue before biting into it, which works very well. I also start off with something soft, like soup or oatmeal or a soft muffin or banana.
6. Food: some foods that work well for me in the first week - Potato soup and noodle soup made with broth that my brother made with stock made from local farm-raised chickens and lots of veggies; chicken and rice (the rice cooked in the same broth); stewed cherries and peaches; hot quinoa cereal; oatmeal; banana bread; pumpkin muffins; bananas; mac and cheese; whole wheat toast with jam. I also mix some pedialyte with warm water to stay hydrated, along with drinking plenty of warm water and hot tea. These are all foods that are easier for me to eat during those first four days when I don't have much appetite.
7. Exercise: I don't exercise outside because of the cold, so I try to do some kegels, yoga, stretches, pushups, situps, and even steps around the house to keep my body moving. I'm not part of a gym but I know that's a good option for some. For me I don't feel quite well enough to go to a gym and be around a lot of people.
8. Blood pressure changes; When I get up from my bed, I sit for a few seconds before standing up to avoid blacking out from blood pressure changes.

Most of these side effects last from a few days to a week, although the cold sensitivity stretches into two weeks. I also have hand cramping, but I haven't figured out anything to help with that except perhaps some light massaging. I am probably forgetting some things, but I hope this is helpful!
Last edited by heiders33 on Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
35 year-old female
May 2017: Dx at T3N2M0
June-July 2017: 28 days of chemo/radiation
September 2017: LAR surgery with loop ileostomy
October 2017: started six rounds of mop-up XELOX

User avatar
susie0915
Posts: 551
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:17 am
Facebook Username: Susan DeGrazia Hostetter
Location: Michigan

Re: Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby susie0915 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:43 am

These are some great tips. Thank you for sharing. I didn't find this forum until after I finished treatment. This would've been helpful.
58 yr old mother of 3 Dx @ 55
5/15 DX T3N0MO/ 2A
6/15 5 wks of chemo/rad
7/15 sigmoidoscopy/scar tissue left
8/15 Pet scan NED
9/15 LAR
0/24 nodes
10/15 Bowel blockage. 3 1/2 weeks in hospital,early ileo rev, c-diff inf :(
12/15 6 rds of xelox
5/16 Clear CT lung scarring/inflammation
9/16 clear colonoscopy
4/17 CT 4mm lung nod onc thinks scar tissue
monitored for autoimmune disorder/interstitial lung disease
7/17 no change lung nodule
10/17 Clear CT
11/17 CEA<.5

User avatar
Robino1
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:09 pm
Facebook Username: Robin.lawthers
Location: Florida

Re: Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby Robino1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:03 am

Excellent tips. :)

Figuring out how to work around the side effects is huge. Good job!
At 54 2014 1st colonoscopy colon cancer detected.
Colon resect right ascending
margins clear. No chemo Stage II
2017
Distended abd, pain in intestines.
CT scan shows seeding
Ascites
Lap diag - cancer on the omentum
CEA 217
CEA 219
PET cancer on the omentum, susp activ right abdomen
FOLFOX started 6/17
CEA 202
Not genetic
8/29/17 CT scan showed excellent melting of the tumor. Chemo is working!
Ascites is gone
CEA: 9/30/17 -109; 10/12/17 - 99.1; 11/4/17 - 90.7; 11/30/17 - 70.7
BRAF V600e mutation :(

NHMike
Posts: 690
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby NHMike » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:18 am

Thanks for the list. I have Oxaliplatin coming up later this month. I'm meeting with the oncologist tomorrow to see how quickly we can get started.

Gyms are notoriously good places to catch things as you have a lot of bodily fluids and some percentage that don't wipe down the equipment after use (and nobody wipes down free weights). I avoided the gym when I was on Neo-Adjuvant chemo when there were a lot of people around. I sometimes went at 5 or 6 in the morning. I used our office gym off-hours too. I have a small home gym but can't really use it so soon after surgery. I also worked from home back then as well due to low white blood cell counts.

Avoiding illness will be harder this winter.
6/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy+Biopsy
7/13: Stage 3B rectal cancer. T3, N1b, M0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6 mm, 5 x 5 mm
7/31-9/8: Xeloda 3,400 mg/day+radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 9/8: 1.8. 11/30: 0.6
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/6: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 mm (-75%), 5 x 3 mm (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/30: Surgery: LAR, Temp Ileostomy
Path report: Tumor regression grade: 0 (complete response).

Soccermom2boys
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:29 pm

Re: Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby Soccermom2boys » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:31 pm

heiders33 wrote: I also have hand cramping, but I haven't figured out anything to help with that except perhaps some light massaging.


I totally remember the hand cramping. I purchased an inexpensive gel pack from Walgreen’s that you can microwave (at most for 30 seconds) and then would hold that in my hands and the warmth and little bumps from within the gel pack always quickly soothed my hands. Hope it helps if you give it a try! :D
8/3/15 Went in with a hemorrhoid, came out with a tumor
8/12/15 Biopsy from colonoscopy confirms RC (45 yrs old--zero family history!)
9/21 - 10/29/15 chemorad 28 tx (with Xeloda)
12/17/15 APR with perm colostomy
Pathology report stages me as IIIA (T2N1M0)--1/15 LN detects cancer
2/3/16 chemo port inserted
2/8-6/2/16 8 rounds of Folfox
With these odds, how have I not won the lottery already?!

User avatar
Robino1
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:09 pm
Facebook Username: Robin.lawthers
Location: Florida

Re: Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby Robino1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:48 am

I have a side effect that lasts for about 4 days. Drinking anything cold makes me feel like I'm swallowing glass. I drink things at room temp now. If it isn't quite there, holding the liquid in my mouth a bit warms it up enough to swallow without the glass sensation.
At 54 2014 1st colonoscopy colon cancer detected.
Colon resect right ascending
margins clear. No chemo Stage II
2017
Distended abd, pain in intestines.
CT scan shows seeding
Ascites
Lap diag - cancer on the omentum
CEA 217
CEA 219
PET cancer on the omentum, susp activ right abdomen
FOLFOX started 6/17
CEA 202
Not genetic
8/29/17 CT scan showed excellent melting of the tumor. Chemo is working!
Ascites is gone
CEA: 9/30/17 -109; 10/12/17 - 99.1; 11/4/17 - 90.7; 11/30/17 - 70.7
BRAF V600e mutation :(

User avatar
susie0915
Posts: 551
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:17 am
Facebook Username: Susan DeGrazia Hostetter
Location: Michigan

Re: Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby susie0915 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:14 am

I have raynauds in my hands and my fingertips turn blue when they get cold. I just purchased an electronic hand warmer for $25 from survival frog. It looks like it's about the size of a computer mouse and you hold in your hands to warm up. I haven't received it yet, but I'll let you know how it works when I receive. It was recommended by a woman who writes about running and provides different tips on running in general and products that she likes.
58 yr old mother of 3 Dx @ 55
5/15 DX T3N0MO/ 2A
6/15 5 wks of chemo/rad
7/15 sigmoidoscopy/scar tissue left
8/15 Pet scan NED
9/15 LAR
0/24 nodes
10/15 Bowel blockage. 3 1/2 weeks in hospital,early ileo rev, c-diff inf :(
12/15 6 rds of xelox
5/16 Clear CT lung scarring/inflammation
9/16 clear colonoscopy
4/17 CT 4mm lung nod onc thinks scar tissue
monitored for autoimmune disorder/interstitial lung disease
7/17 no change lung nodule
10/17 Clear CT
11/17 CEA<.5

heiders33
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: Some things that have helped me - chemo side effects

Postby heiders33 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:21 am

Robino1 wrote:I have a side effect that lasts for about 4 days. Drinking anything cold makes me feel like I'm swallowing glass. I drink things at room temp now. If it isn't quite there, holding the liquid in my mouth a bit warms it up enough to swallow without the glass sensation.


Oh yes, I have this side effect too. It's worse in the first few days and gradually tapers off over a couple weeks. I start off drinking only warm or hot liquids and gradually transition to room temperature. By my "good" week I am drinking cold liquids again.

I have also figured out that day three is always my "tired" day (which is today). My theory is that I am crashing off the pre-meds they give me. I usually take a midday nap on this day.
35 year-old female
May 2017: Dx at T3N2M0
June-July 2017: 28 days of chemo/radiation
September 2017: LAR surgery with loop ileostomy
October 2017: started six rounds of mop-up XELOX


Return to “Colon Talk - Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) support forum”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], cbsmith and 44 guests