Three weeks into treatments

sierra28 Member Posts: 70

Things have been going well so far. Just a little nervous about what the next three weeks will bring. I have not heard much discussion about hair loss, low blood count or anyone having problems with their hands and feet.  If anyone has dealt with these problems, I would like to know how they made out. 


  • MsVJP
    MsVJP Member Posts: 12
    Three Weeks...

    I just finished my 6 weeks and 2 days of treatment yesterday. The radiation continues to build and burn throughout treatment. Take very good care of your skin, you will be glad you did. Use lots of Silvadene from front to back. It really helps with healing. In spite of being very good with the Silvadene, I had to get a catheter. The urine on my open sores was just too damn painful. Glad I did it....I hate it, but glad to have the urine off my open sores. 

    I started losing my hair about the 3rd week. It was coming out so fast I decided just to shave it. Much easier to deal with. Oh and my hair went from dark blonde to black.

    My platelets fell the week after my first chemo and that was somewhat expected. The following week, they came back up and my white blood cell count was very low. My last round of chemo was delayed 1 week because of it. 

    This round my 5FU does was cut in half and I still got nauseous. I have a pretty sensitive stomach and am still dealing with it. It takes a week or 2 to least for me. The diarrhea continues and hurts like hell. I just hold on tight through it and sitz afterwards, followed by lots of Slivadene.I have a little bit of neuropathy, but not bad. The worst thing for me is the stomach cramps...they are horrible. 


    I'm trying really hard to just hold on and let the healing happen. 

  • judyv3
    judyv3 Member Posts: 143 Member

    My treatment ended 4 months ago.  Sometimes reading this forum can be scary!  But it's best to keep it real and if you want to stay away for awhile, it's understandable.  My white blood cell count dropped during treatment between chemo rounds.  I had to have Neupogen shots to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more.  I am still battling the low white blood cell count.  About 10 days after treatment I was at my lowest point.  I was dehydrated (so please drink - water, ginger ale, anything liquid you can tolerate).  But after that it began to slowly improve. I can tell you that I have days now where I just about feel "normal".  

    I did not lose my hair.  The doctor told me I would and it thinned a bit.  I did, however cut it very short and in the process got the hair dye out.  So now my natural color is basically white and grey which I get lots of compliments on.  Go figure.  My feet are fine, but my finger tips are a little weird.  

    I am back to work and traveling.  Things take a little more planning, I spend more time in the bathroom than ever before, I am not without issues (mainly hemorrhoids) but I just deal.

    You both will get through this.  We are all pulling for you.  Keep the questions and reports coming.

    Judy V.

  • lp1964
    lp1964 Member Posts: 1,239 Member
    Dear Friend,

    I am a 49 year old male 1 year after rectal cancer, but went trough the same treatment as you. I did super good. Basically no side effect. My skin got red a little but nothing. No hair loss, no blood issues, a little redness of hands and feet. I used Bio-oil from Target or Costco on my skin several times a day. Radiation and chemo effect the glands in our skin that makes it moist, so you have to moisterize like crazy.

    Good luck with the rest of the treatment.


  • TraceyUSA
    TraceyUSA Member Posts: 316


    I believe all you describe is normal.

    I lost a LOT of hair.  I refused to shave my head but it got REALLY thin and took a while (about 3 months) to come back.  It was a shade or so dark when it did come back and very thick now.  (I'm a 1 year, 2 months out of treatment.)

    My blood counts were low (red & white) but they came back slowly & steadily once treatment ended.

    I had some neuropathy in my legs but not until after the treatment ended and that too has disipated.

    Best'll be over before you know it.


  • mp327
    mp327 Member Posts: 4,440 Member

    Your side effects seem to be the same ones that many of us dealt with, including me.  I lost about half of my hair and my blood counts got very low during both rounds of chemo.  During round 1, I was given Neupogen injections to boost the blood counts.  My hair took quite a few months to fill back in, but it finally did and looks pretty much like it did before treatment.  I am almost 6 years out now.  Hang in there, the side effects are only temporary.  You'll get through this!