2nd chemo for mom this monday...is immune system progressively gets slower to recover??

marc24 Member Posts: 92
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
MY mom is having 2nd chemo treatment in 4 days..right now its been about 12 days after the 1st chemo, the first 4 days she was out and just sleepy and tired, after that, she seems like nothing has happened to her. She got her port surgery yesterday to replace the picc line that was being used for the 1st chemo, and there was no problem in that too..MY question is, is the immune system progressively gets worst to recover the X amount of chemo since my mom seems to have a strong one, al beit only after 5 hrs of the 1st chemo + 2 days of chemo pump...???? Just want to know since i have an idea of her recovery time

Thanks a bunch!


  • CherylHutch
    CherylHutch Member Posts: 1,375 Member
    Immune System
    Marc... it's not a question of does her immune system get worse, it's more a matter of every chemo session gives it a bit of a beating and then it needs time to recover from the beating. Chemo is "accumulative" which means every time she is administered chemo, the chemo collects in her body systemically (throughout her whole system). It's like if you add a cup of water to a gallon jug each time... the first time you do it, there's a cup of water in the jug... no big deal. The second time, there's 2 cups in the jug... still not a big deal, but there's a little more than the first time. Continue that way until you have 12 cups of water. The difference from the first time and the last time is you have a whole bunch more water in the jug, the jug is heavier so is harder to lift higher and it's going to take longer to empty the jug of 12 cups of water than it would to empty it of 1 cup of water. The jug is still there... it's all the side affects that may get more or slightly worse.

    So yes, she was tired after this first chemo treatment. Chances are, she will be tired after each of them... then again, her system may get used to the sessions and she won't feel quite so bad, but other symptoms will show up.

    The idea is... don't try to second guess what is going to happen since she will more than likely be totally different than any of the rest of us who have or are going through treatments. Just know that she is going to have 12 treatments (or however many her doctor says) and each time she is going to need time to rest, maybe help with meals, laundry, etc. and if some days she's feeling great and other days she's not, then that all is totally normal :)

    Her doctor will keep monitoring her system so that her white and red cell counts keep up in normal ranges... your job as her wonderful son is to just be there for support and keep reminding her that whatever she goes through, it is normal. If something seems to be particularly nasty... then don't hesitate to call the doctor so they can nip anything in the bud before it gets out of hand :)

    Hope this helps :)