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Does the body get used to chemo

Love2Cats's picture
Love2Cats
Posts: 127
Joined: Dec 2010

I am wearing my little black box right now. This is my 4th Folfox with Avastin. I noticed that this time, I am not sneezing as much, and my runny nose isn't as bad as the other times. Also, the nausea isn't as severe. Does the body acclimate itself to the chemo treatments? Do the symptoms get better the more treatments you endure, or is just a fluke?

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Everyone is different. Chemo is supposed to be accumulative. However, in my case, I just got better each time. Would get my oxi, avastin and do my Xeloda and by the third chemo, I was coming home, working around house same day.
I couldn't do cold things, and lost my breath a couple of times from the cold with oxi, and had some neuropathy in fingers and toes, but that was basically all my side affects from chemo. I'm just on Xeloda and Avastin now. Since I got off of oxi my feelings in my fingers are back to normal. My toes are getting better.
The xeloda is apparently giving me no side affects, I feel normal. At first because I started getting shoulder pain I was thinking it was the Xeloda. But, after my infusion of Avastin on Friday the shoulder pain appeared within the hour. So I can say the avastin (which isn't chemo) is probably giving me shoulder pain that last a few days and then disappears. Other then that, I wouldn't know I was on anything. But for many others it's entirely different.
I'm just lucky for some reason I'm assuming something genetic or chemical difference.
I think it's a shame they aren't doing a study on that. Find out the genetic or chemical differences in those that tolerate it well and those that don't, so that maybe they could find a solution for those that suffer from it the worst.
Winter Marie

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I think the things you do to accommodate as chemo goes on changes the way you feel...I think the food and juice intake changes as does the levels, tastes, ability to eat things never before eaten and to not be able to eat what you love...I think that through all the changes placed in front of us that we desensitize ourselves and it seems that our bodies are getting use to it at the same instance so it may be a double whammy we are dealing with making it sometimes easier than it started out being...I think our bodies natural adaptation to things are as they are with chemo as well, and with our aiding in that adaptation the chemo seems to be less harsh.........love to you.....buzz

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

The strange thing Buzz is that, I have changed about two things in my diet, I quit eating hotdogs as much (just have had them a couple of times since cancer)and I started drinking fruit smoothies (my healthy effort LOL). My taste buds never changed, I love what I always loved, still dislike veggies. And unfortunately, I can eat as much now I as did before chemo (my only weight loss was after surgery and that sure didn't last long). Only difference was I had to wait out the oxi to drink my ice cold coca colas. Those were a long few days every round.
The biggest thing is memory I think, I keep forgetting about that one. My memory sucks.
Loves back at cha,
Winter Marie

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

is nothing typical about you.......You are of a different era, so I can fully understand why nothing changes for you except for the good...you don't allow it....Its a great trait to hold........keep up the good work........( take all your veggies and place them all in an aluminum foil flat sheet and sprinkle them with lemon pepper, quarter stick on margarine, and a quarter cup of Worchestershire Sauce....cover it by folding the foil over the top and grill for about 20 minutes.....best thing you will ever eat.....buzz

and please someday, place your avatar of you sitting on the beach back up...Thats when you first came in here and when we first met and spoke...It was a memory I won't ever forget...Love back at cha back.......buzz

and Love2Cats..mine only got worse as it went so consider yourself very lucky to have it easier than I.....I think mine was as bad as it gets but I still tolerated it..puked a little but oh well, wife never asked me for any kisses so I guess it was a win/win.......just kiddin'............love ya.buzz

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I promise to change my Avatar back after my in-laws are safe again in Japan. The two others in the picture is my brother-in-law Greg and new sister-in-law Chihoko, we had a double weddings a few years ago in Hawaii, they came from Japan and we came from the USA to have the wedding together (the logistics of planning from our distances was quite the feat).
So far they are safe in their home (it took 24 hours for them to get from their jobs in Tokyo back to their city)but they are 124 miles near the reactor that is severely damaged.
But I promise it'll be back up when Japan gets that reactor stable!!
Winter Marie

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

As both Winter and Buzz mentioned... everyone is different, both on how they react to a particular chemo and then how they react long term to it. I think most oncologists (and rightly so) will warn their patients that chemo is "accumulative" meaning, each time you add another infusion of chemo to your system, it means there is that much more chemo roaming everywhere in your body via the blood system and the lymph system. Whereas you may have heard the phrase "Stage IV colorectal cancer is systemic", the same applies to chemo. Once one has a Stage IV dx, even if the primary tumour has been surgically removed, zapped, radiated or however it's been removed... once it has spread to another area of the body (and maybe that second tumour has also been removed), it means that there are itty bitty, not seen by the eye or scanned images, cancer cells roaming around systemically. One of the reasons chemo is given, even as mop up when there are no tumours present... is to mop up these systemic roaming cancer cells. They are strong little boogars and some of them survive the chemo... but for all we know, the chemo is killing off those that otherwise would grow into tumours.

Soooo... you keep taking the chemo, be it for a standard of 8 or 12 treatments, and some people do well so it's worth taking on some extras and keeping everything at bay. Now how YOU are going to respond and/or react over more and more chemo... no one will be able to give you an accurate answer because everyone can react so differently to the same chemo.

Hehehe... I remember in Jan/early Feb asking folk here who had been on Irinotecan what were their experiences? Did they experience a lot of nausea? A lot of diarrhea? What about hair loss, since Irinotecan is known for hair loss. Well, I got quite a few different answers. From next to no side affects at all, to lots of hair loss (bald), minimal hair loss (thinning) to no hair loss. Nausea seemed to be at a minimum, with more folk saying the worst symptom they had was diarrhea for 2-3 days each infusion. Ha! Well, if anyone were to listen to how I reacted with my first infusion... they'd all tell their oncs they don't want to go near Irinotecan EVAH!! We seem to be doing better now since my oncologist as readjusted my schedule and cut my dose in half (I just get it more often rather than all at once).

Sooooo... your 4th FOLFOX with Avastin and you notice it's getting more tolerable, then that is great!! I know with the Folfox (I haven't had Avastin yet)... I was totally fine with the 5FU portion and held down running a summer Box Office where we had audiences of 1500+ every night, 7 nights/week for 7 weeks... so my energy was great too. By the oxy part of the FOLFOX was what I had problems with over time. Besides the sensitivity to all things cold, it was the severe neuropathy/nerve damage from the knees down. My onc stopped the Oxy for the last three infusions (which made taking just the 5FU/Leuvocorin like a walk in the park for me). She was hoping by stopping the Oxy, my neuropathy/nerve damage would right itself... but alas, I'm one of those lucky ones that the damage is permanent. Grrrrr. But hey... onwards!! I'll never run a marathon... but heck, I was never one to run the 100 yard dash, so who am I kidding???

Cheryl

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