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Neurapathy after chemo

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

I had my last chemo session over a month ago and the neurapathy in my hands and feet are the worst they have ever been.  Is this normal?  If so, how long will it last? 

 

Cynthia

serenity101's picture
serenity101
Posts: 80
Joined: May 2013

My mom's neuropathy got worse for several months after chemo. They gave her Gabapentin, which didn't seem to help, then tried Lyrica and it started getting better, but she still has numbness in her feet. It has been just over a year since she finished chemo.

Maxiecat's picture
Maxiecat
Posts: 524
Joined: Jul 2012

Mine got much worse in the 2 months after I finished chemo.  Now I am 7 months out and I just have numbness...no pain From the neuropathy!  We did try Neurontin...but I had elevated liver panels and had to stop it.  Some people do get good results with it.  at it's worst, I used to slather on Ben Gay of all things on my feet, then put on socks to go to bed.  The burn from the Ben Gay dulled the neuropathy pain enough that with a sleeping pill I could fall asleep.  Hot showers also helped...but I always tested the temperature of the water on my arm...where I did not have neuropathy.

alex

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you.  I guess time will tell whether or not it gets better.  At least I can type okay.  It's mostly the numbness of my feet that's aggravating.

lilacbrroller's picture
lilacbrroller
Posts: 272
Joined: Jun 2012

Initially after FOLFOX I couldn't put on earrings (this was devastating), hold a pencil, or button my pants with grace and dignity. Now, seven months out, I have full functionality but my fingertips feel waterlogged, like I've been swimming or hot tubbing for too long.  My Dr says that whatever you feel after a year will likely be permanent. My feet are okay but the balls (pads?) sometimes feel prickly.  Everyone's reaction is different.  Some lucky folks have no lingering neuropathy.

good luck - hope you are one of the lucky ones

 

Karin

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Karin,

I can't put my earrings on either!  I get so frustrated.  Guess I'll have to go to clip ons.

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 445
Joined: May 2012

I didn't have neuropathy much until I finished chemo in December. Now 8 months later I mostly have a little tingling in my feet. It has gotten better, I never took anything for it.
Sandy

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Sandy,

I'm hoping my goes away with time too.  Just so frustrating to think it wasn't like this when I was actually doing chemo.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1401
Joined: Jan 2013

My neuropathy cranked up big time about a month after I'd finished the Oxaliplatin. My Oncologist said he'd only had one other patient who had tneuropathy come on so late. 

It has now been two months and no improvement.

Lilacbrroller, I had to grin when I read your post. Just yesterday my husband and I tried for about half and hour to get my earrings in. Now my hair is about 1/4 inch long, earrings would look great. No luck getting the back on those little blighters though.  I've got a celebration dinner to attend tomorrow, so I am going to enlist the help of my sister-in laws, as I want to look my best. 

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Sue,

How have you been?  I'm going to email you.

Deena11
Posts: 193
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Cynthia-

Like others, my neuropathy got worse after I completed treatment.  The sensitivity to cold went away after about a month but the numbness got worse.  It felt like I had little sandbags in the soles of my feet and in my fingertips.  I had the hardest time buttoning clothes, putting on pierced earring backs, picking up coins, opening bottles, carrying plates (I broke at least six plates), etc...   One time, I was at a gas station trying to open my gas cap and couldn't.  I tried for 10 minutes and was on the verge of tears until I just asked someone to help me (I could have done that sooner but I was determined to succeed on my own).  I was afraid to use knives because I couldn't feel the pressure on cutting and I was afraid of cutting myself.  I had a hard time writing using pen.

It has been a year since I finished treatment.  I still have numbness in both my feet and fingers.  It has gotten better but I do have the numbness.  I had an appointment with the Onc doc last week and he said he thinks mine will improve with time.  It may even take a couple of years but feels that the improvement will be so subtle, I may not notice it happening. 

Good luck!!

Coloncancerblows's picture
Coloncancerblows
Posts: 296
Joined: Feb 2013

Deena,

I heard it could take years to go away too.  I love working out on the treadmill and it's made it hard for me to do that.  I know what you mean about the earrings.  I can't even hold those little plastic backs.  I hate it!

Maxiecat's picture
Maxiecat
Posts: 524
Joined: Jul 2012

My hobby is needlework...try holding a needle when you can't feel it.  It is extremely frustrating and since stitching is what relaxes me ...very disappointing to realize that for now I can't enjoy what I like to do.  I might take up quilting or some other creative outlet... But my fine embroidery and needlework are what I really enjoy doing. :(

Oh, and I gave up on changing earrings...I just keep my gold hoops in all of the time now.

Alex

Deena11
Posts: 193
Joined: Nov 2012

Hey...keep working out on the treadmill if you are able.  You will get stronger faster and it may be hard but I bet your neuropathy may clear up faster if you get your muscles moving and your blood circulating.  I'm so glad you are on the mend after your fight!  Keep it up.

Happyhar
Posts: 49
Joined: Apr 2010

I am three years post Folfox. The hand and foot numbness started during chemo and sorry to say, continue to this day. Altho, not as bad. Tingling, sensitive to cold and periodic shooting pains. Agravating-yes, but also tolerable.

Scubadan (not verified)

One of my infusion nurses recommended vitamin B Complex and vitamin B50 for the neuropathies. I've noticed about a 50% decrease in the numbness on the soles of my feet since I added those to my daily formulary. It's worth a try since the B vitamins don't interfere with other meds and clear from your system easily.

ketziah35
Posts: 1145
Joined: Jun 2010

My mom's last treatment was in December 2010 and to my knowledge sometimes it never goes away it's like arthritis; comes abad goes. She does reflexology or takes meds when it gets bags.

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