side effects of chemo

I just started almost 2 weeks ago with my first round of chemotherapy.  I've had the usual side effects I guess. Bloody stools, diarrhea, my face is numb and I've broken out in a rash on my face and upper body with low grade fevers most days. I'm tired all the time and generally feel like crap and I've got sores in my nose. Food has little interest for me because everything taste bad. Is this my new normal? Because I start over again on Monday with another round. Does it get worse the more it all adds up in your body? I know my hair is probably not far from going, my scalp is tender and I already lose hair when I run my fingers thru it. 


  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
    "the usual side effects" -

    "the usual side effects" - "bloody stools, diarrrhea, face is numb, broken out in a rash on face and upper body's with fever most days, sore in nose,".  I definitely never experienced any of those issues!  Nor have I heard they are all 'usual se'. Have you addressed these issues with your Dr?  If not do when you see him/her before next infusion.  Some of the issues you myourentioned could be big issues needing to be addressed.  Are you getting Neulasta?

    Not all of us experience different chemos the same - for some A/C is not bad but is for some;  for some Taxol is not bad but for others it is.  Other cbemos do not have the same reactions with all either.  We are each unique.

    I can only speak for myself but I felt great throughout neoadjuvant A/C - did not slow me down at all.  Adjuvant Taxol did make me totally EXHAUSTED but it started getting better the week after last Taxol..

    I did loose all appetite and sense of taste.  Just never thought about eating - Hubby called me several times a day to remind me to eat 'something'.   Nothing tasted 'bad'  - it just had no taste at all.

    Winyan - The Power Within


  • Teach76
    Teach76 Member Posts: 351 Member
    Side effects - normal?

    I was getting Taxotere and cytoxan 3 week intervals with Neulasta shot the day after.  My symptoms were very different - constipation and no nausea.  Taste faded after day 2, but usually returned by the week of the next infusion.  For me, peanut butter became a main source of nutrition - taste was ok, and at least getting some protein.  I also found that processed foods were terrible - cooking fresh veges adding a little sesame oil seemed to work.

     As to face rash - definitely mention this next week - sounds more like an allergic reaction.  

    As treatment progressed for me, I found most SE were predictable, but muscle fatigue progressed exponentially.  By round 4 I had difficulty with stairs - about 4 at a time then rest.  Also after 4 I began with swelling in my legs, hands, and face.  Put on steroid and diuretic.  Many SE are just standard, so check the list of side effects for what you are being given.  If the SE is there and you are experiencing it - mention it.  If a SE is not listed, put that at the top of your list so you don't forget to talk about it.  Best idea I received on this site was to journal what was going on.  Onco will ask "how long did you experience it?  How intense was it?"  Everything is worth mentioning.  We don't know what is related, or sometimes it is the way infusion is done.  One round the nurses sped up my drugs - I felt nauseous that same day.  When I went for my shot the next day they made a note of it, and the next time infused at a slower rate.

    You have much support here.   Remember that this is but a short time in your life.  Although SE can be frustrating, and things may not go as well or quickly as you planned, keep in mind why you started this, and know there is an end to the chemo.

    I finished my 6 rounds 3 weeks ago - still having some SE, but ready for the next step - MRI to see if the tumor shrunk.

    Hope this is helpful - come and visit is often.  No question is too little, and I have found great comfort and advice here.