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non-pain physical misery from chemo

t00h00
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2005

My wife, infused with carboplatin and paclitaxel for ovarian cancer, suffered 18 weeks of debilitating fatigue, curled up in a fetal position, and "I-wish-I-could-die" physical misery -- but not pain.

Has anyone else experienced physical misery and suffering from chemo -- distinct from pain, nausea, and other more specific symptoms?

mopar
Posts: 1948
Joined: May 2003

This had to be so horrible. I can only assume her 'fatigue' was due to the low red blood cell count. Did the doctor keep an eye on those levels during chemo? There are shots that could have been given to her during this time. Unfortunately, I think it needs to be done daily, but it might have been well worth it. If she gets in the situation again, you might want to ask about it. There are several different kinds of treatments available for this. I also had fatigue, but fortunately not as bad as some. I had the many other side affects (mostly physical) which weren't pleasant either, but my doctor was very supportive and on top of everything.
You and your wife will be in my prayers.
Monika

t00h00
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2005

Her blood cell counts were all okay throughout.

I wasn't clear in my first posting -- her primary problem was physical misery rather than fatigue.

And I just got an email from my friend "Chris" who had no fatigue, but lots of non-pain physical misery. Chris, breast cancer survivor, says "Chemo made me think I was going to die from the treatment. I stopped after three sessions because I felt so terrible every day after the third one. There was no physical pain; I just felt terrible. I did not feel fatigued and the nausea was under control."

Mopar, sounds like you got through your chemo easily - no bad fatigue, no misery.

Has anyone else had physical misery from chemo that was not pain and was not fatigue (or was far beyond fatigue)?

mopar
Posts: 1948
Joined: May 2003

I did experience the general 'not feeling well' symptoms, but certainly not as bad as what you describe. I'm wondering if your wife's nutritional support is not up to par?? We certainly don't feel like eating when we are going through chemo. And for those who experience mouth sores, bad taste in the mouth, no taste, etc., it compounds the problem. But I can't stress enough the importance of good nutrition. Even if she doesn't feel like eating, it is important to keep up some sort of nutrients INCLUDING WATER. You become so dehydrated with chemo. You'd be surprised how you can feel a little better after drinking some ice water. And vegeetable juices, like V-8 would be good if she can tolerate it. More importantly, I suggest some sort of protein/nutritional supplement like a shake or protein bar (please choose a good quality one). Fiber is extremely important for good elimination. The dehydration and chemo in general can cause constipation. That in turn will make you feel 'blah'.

Try to pick some of her favorite foods, fruits, etc. And when she does eat, start little and slow. Just tiny bites, or tiny sips of beverages will be enough to get her going. Whatever she can tolerate. But her body needs nutrients to repair tissue and to heal.

Well, I won't ramble on. I thought this might be an important consideration, especially when I read your recent post in response to mine.

Again, my best to both of you.

Monika

tongangirl
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2005

I Didnt have the ame Chemo but I also did the fatigue, curled up in a fetal position, and "I-wish-I-could-die" physical misery -- but not pain. My red/ and white cells were way way low so I got blood transfusions and shots which helped a ton! I also would curl up with a body pillow and just lay there, I'd watch TV, read trashy romance novels, sleep and basicly whatever. It helped. Good luck to you and your wife!

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

I am so sorry to hear of all the pain your wife is having. I had this terrible bone pain and thought my legs were going to snap when I would get up to walk, it usually was the worse 3-5 days after chemo and then would get better. Except for the neuropathy pain, she could have neuropathy already so you need to make sure the Drs know exactly what she is feeling. L=glutamine and B vitamins did help some with the neuropathy. Also I would ambiem to help me sleep through the pain, although I don't think it helped much. Many prayers for you both.

BonnieRose

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