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Cold Weather

dixchi's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

The weather in Cincy has finally gotten a little colder and I am really feeling it even
in the 40s........the oxaliplatin has kicked in. This is a bigger battle than just opening
the frig or trying to drink something cold. My onc. has suggested wearing a mask to keep
the cold from my lungs.....anyone else out there experience dealing with the cold weather....\
jeepers, what is it going to be like when it is snowy and icy.

krystiesq's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2008

Hi Dixchi. I live not too far north of Cincy. Last year My mom was on oxaliplatin during the cold months. She went no where without a scarf, just to be safe, as she didn't want to experience the feeling of not being able to take a breath. She would cover her mouth before going outside so as to trap the warm breath. We took her drinks out of the refrigerator where possible so she wouldn't have to deal with the cold and we always started the car in advance. She wore gloves in the house at times, and always outside. Soft shoes with thick socks helped her too. When it was snowy and icy, we just didn't need to go out too much, or I went out and got what she needed. You might try carrying around those hunters hand & feet warmers. I know you can get electric socks at sporting goods stores and they aren't very expensive. So, stay warm!


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Even in balmy Southern California, I used these during my December/January treatments...they work REALLY well! Inside, I wore flexible cotton garden gloves, and made my daughter get stuff for me out of the freezer.

I also invested in an electric blanket, but that didn't do the trick, so went back to my down comforter (mmmmmm, down.....) and a space heater.

When going out, keep your nose covered, and also your ears...fashion statement isn't as important as comfort right now (at least that was MY take....lol!) I had a cap with ear flaps for Holland...(it was SNOWING there, guys...I'm not THAT big of a wimp...rofl!).

Hugs, Kathi

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Oh, that nasty oxaliplatin... it really is a nasty one! It doesn't even have to be cold out... just a few degrees difference in temp from inside to outside is enough to be extremely uncomfortable. I remember when I first was on it and it wasn't even cold outside... but I took the dog for her morning constitution. I got about half a block from home and my throat closed up and I couldn't breathe. Luckily, a neighbour came by with her dog... took mine and walked me home. As soon as I got in the building, everything went back to normal. Apparently, one doesn't actually stop breathing, but it sure feels like it and the panic sets in.

So, yes, even if it doesn't feel like it's that cold outside... DO take a warm scarf with you whenever you go outside while you are on the oxi. Wrap the scarf around your neck, but also around your nose/mouth so that you are not breathing in the cold air directly.

Another tip... make sure you've done your grocery shopping BEFORE you get hooked up with your pump. I found that I could NOT go into a grocery store while getting the oxi because grocery stores (or any other for that matter) are air conditioned, even in the winter... and I would only be in a few seconds and I'd have to get out. No way could I stay long enough to shop, let alone buy anything that is refrigerated (I couldn't go into the refrigerated units, or even take cold items out of my buggy and put them on the cashier's belt).

Oxaliplatin is NOT a fun chemo by any stretch of the imagination... but one has to remember it is very powerful for our type of cancer. And the good news, once you are off the pump, within a day or so, the effects go away and you can go back to drinking cold drinks and going out in the cold weather.



Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Texas never gets very cold, but I agree with Cheryl about grocery shopping after receiving oxaliplatin! YIKES! Touching that grocery cart was not fun. I'm sorry I can't give you any suggestions just sending warm hugs!


claud1951's picture
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Yes Dixie,
Oxil really plays with you. I remember even touching the top of my dresser and the "pins & needles" started in my finger tips.

There are other side effects beside the cold. I'm sure you've already heard about those, too.
Make sure you drink lots of water to get it out of your system (even though it is hard for you to do that). Drink with a straw. If you have to, you can also use plastic silver ware.

Just let your Onc know ALL of the side effects from the drug.

There is no doubt about it, it's sucks! But...just make sure you keep your energy for moving forward. You can do it.

Hugs to you

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Dixchi,

When I was taking oxaliplatin, I definitely felt cold a lot, in addition to the problem of not being able to eat/drink/touch anything cold. I kept out and handy a little box space heater that I would often hunker down in front of to warm up my hands, my feet, etc.
I also got in the habit (because I felt like I was freezing!) of taking a lot of hot baths in my bathtub. Those always made me feel the best- it was a great way to warm up before getting in bed, or whenever.
You will get through it- keep the gloves, hats, blankets, and space heaters handy!

jenjerandkatesmom's picture
Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2008

Well, I'm from Wisconsin and we know cold! I was on oxaliplatin from January through June of '07. I always wore a scarf to cover my mouth when outdoors. You may have discovered that the first few days after infusion are the worst, then it subsides. I found that oven mitts not only protect your hands from the heat of the oven, but they work great for taking things out of the frig and protecting you from the cold. Weird, but cracking eggs was really hard for me with the mitts on, but it was the only way to manage. You may end up washing the mitts alot. No big deal..at least they work. Mixing up a meatloaf was impossible so I had to recruit my husband to do this. I hate that job anyway so it was OK to play my cancer card! My favorite solution after chemo was the handwarmer packets that sportsmen use. Be careful because they can get really hot and you don't need to burn your skin. They are cheaper if you buy them at a gas station but they are available at any sporting goods store. Loved them! Another tip...when washing your hands, let the water run for a little bit to warm up before placing your hands in the water. I did not have any problem with my feet while I was going through chemo but did after I stopped. The oncologist gave me a drug called Gabapentin to help with this. Hang in there...winter is hard enough to handle without going through chemo. The good news about winter...it's always followed by spring!

dixchi's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

Thanks for all the great ideas for beating the cold air this winter; lots
to consider. Especially like the hand warmers. I also have a beanie bag that
goes in microwave for three minutes and then you can warm the sheets and blankets.
It has been amazing the chills I can
get just lying in bed when you first get in and the sheets are cold. The oxy chills
are unlike any other kind of chills I have ever had.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Walmart carries the hand and feet warmers in the sporting goods section and if you need some dixchi I would be more than happy to send some your way. I too am on Oxiliplatin and am not looking forward to the cold. It hits me about the 55 degree mark and especially during and 2-3 days after infusion but yes it does subside. Let me know if you need some and I will be happy to send em your way or anyone else that needs them..........God Bless ya Hun

tlsart's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 2008

Might consider flannel sheets I've sworn by them for years even prior to Oxiplattin. For me there was nothing better than a good hot bath and then jumping in under flannel sheets and warm fleece blankets. Gloves in the house all day and scarf when you have to go out, I also had my sister-in-law send me a fleece blanket you plug into a cigarette lighter in your car it was toastie. God luck God bless!Theresa

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