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numb hands and feet

need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

I have a question, I have been off chemo since end of november. It's been almost 5 months and my hands and feet are numb all the time. Is this normal? Other than that I feel fine, but it just won't seem to go away. I've learned to live with it because I know things could be a lot worse. Oncology doctor said things should get better in time, but I would think after 5 months I should be noticing some improvement. I had 12 rounds of chemo, in the beginning I noticed that I had cold sensation but not this numbness, it only happened on my last chemotherapy session. Just wondering if anyone out there has had similiar side effects. chuck

Eltina21's picture
Posts: 174
Joined: May 2010

I completed chemotherapy a year and a half ago. I still have neuropathy in my hands and feet. It has gotten a little better in my hands but it still takes me 15 minutes to button a blouse. I still stumble somewhat at times and the tingling is constant. I have learned to live with this. Like you, this seemed to really appear with the last chemotheraphy sesson. Glad to hear that other than this side effect, things are going well for you.

Peace and Blessings,

Goldie1's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Sep 2011

My husband hasn't had chemo since early Dec and shorty after, the neuropathy started in his feet so bad that some days he couldn't drive. He didn't have it during chemo although both his hands and feet were cold sensitive. His oncologist started him on the medication, Neurontin, which has been helping a little bit.


steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

My feet are really bad. They are very numb and after walking for awhile they begin to have a burning feeling. I'm still doing chemo so not much hope they will get better any time soon. I put this medicated compound cream on my feet after I shower and it does help some. I have tried lyrica also but had an er reaction to it so that didn't work. My wife will sometime massage the feet for some relief. I'm going to try acupunture sometime. Hands aren't as bad as feet. Pray we get better. Jeff

LAF53's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Sep 2011

I've had the same, along with a very weird sensation in my ankles. I have trouble with my hands, but my right foot is the worst. I hobble around because of it. Time frame is pretty close to yours Chuck. Almost 4 months.

ninetoes's picture
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2009


I have been done with Chemo since Oct. of 2009 and still have numbness in my hands and feet. I went 9 rounds out of 12 and the doctor stopped my chemo because of the side effects. He told me it should get better, but I figure it's here to stay. Have been clear of cancer since, so I figure some numb feet and hands beats having cancer.

Good Luck,

Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

My last treatment was November. Tried the lyrica route but side effects of that were not tolerable. So I tolerate the pain in the feet and hands if I write a lot! :) I'm an HR manager for about 250 employees si Imwrite a lot! The balls of my feet and my three middle toes give me grief but in the lastbcouple of weeks I've noticed the sharp pains starting in my heels! I'm also a diabetic doesn't help! I'm thinking minenisbhere to stay.

Hope your hands and feet return to normal soon! My hands stay stiff a lot not sure if that is related not butnit hurts pretty bad especially in the mornings.

I do get odd looks when I stumble :)

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Luckygirl

thanks for your post... sorry to take this string in a different direction, but what were the side effects for you from Lyrica?

I'm 4 months into my chemo treatments... hands continue to get worse, lots of cracking and bleeding points... that seem to take weeks to heal. the numbness is beginning to happen in my hands... but not too bad yet.

as for your stumbling... i get that now and again, but never worry about Odd Looks. I love it when a young boy or girl gives odd looks, and i make it a point to say something funny to them to bring them into my circle and make them laugh.

i wish you the best


Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

Tons of gas, the cramping kind, swelling. I actually have less discomfort. Learning my new norm!:)
I keep forgetting I'm the me I was before cancer so rudely interrupted my life but I forget that my body isn't and is forever changed! My stomach looks like a butt crack with that scar running down the middle of it!! :)

It's all a matter of adaptng and accepting! Buttons aggravate me so I leave them buttoned and pull it over my head. Keeping my jewelry simple, no closed toe shoes.

I told my onc the other day that before I had a rectal exam I required being wined and dined! Morales and the I don't care what you do to me meds! :). Gotta laugh!

Take care

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011


i think about you everytime i log into this web site.

you've been through so much with your marriage and chemo and now fighting a new fight with the hands and feet.

you started a good string here, and lots of info. I'm not as far as you or anyone else here....but i have learned a lot from this string and from others that i have spoken with.

my most recent Onc appointment, they were asking me about my hands and my ability to zip my pants or a coat and my ability to buttom my shirts. I had noticed some problems, but didn't think much about it.... but when they asked me these questions, i began asking them what they thought was about to happen to me... and they spelled it out for me. Kind of scary, but like you said... if this is the biggest problem, we'll learn to deal with it.

I started my cocktail of treatments on 1-3-2012... I'm 14 weeks in, and 10 weeks to go.

I hope you are well and life gets better for you each week.

be strong.


need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012

I see i'm not alone with this numbness, thanks everyone for your responses it seems to be somewhat normal, no problem I can deal with it. I was changing the brakes on my truck today and hit my finger with a hammer, never felt a thing, so by accident I did it about 3 more times, same thing never felt a thing. What used to take about an hour took me about half my day. Now i'm sitting here trying not to laugh visualizing luckygirls "butt crack" down the front of her stomach. I know it's not funny believe me, I've got the same thing. As sad as this disease is, I think we still need some humor once in a while. Joe thanks for thinking about me, with the wife thing. Honestly, when I prioritize all my concerns in life she rates pretty low right now. My two boys are my number 1 concern right now, we are closer than ever. Good night everyone, I have a lot of friends to pray for, you people on this board mean the world to me. chuck

need support
Posts: 40
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

You can laugh with me anytime! Every time I step out of the shower...there it is staring back at me! :). We must laugh with each other! I'm so glad I found all you guys!

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6349
Joined: Feb 2009

I've still got it after two years. I'm taking something that starts with a G - sorry don't know name of prescription but it does lessen the effects. My symptoms have gotten better but never went away. My oncologist once said to me while asking about the symptoms that it was just "a nusiance" and only 1% have permanent problems. After completing my treatment and still complaining of it she now says "yes, it seems to be more of a problem then what was first reported." Hello - I'm saying get a clue to what your patients are telling you. Hope it does get better for you. The winter and cold months are the worst for me. Sometimes it's difficult to type or walk without numbing feet.

I've been away from the board for a while and haven't seen your posts but I'm hoping that all is well with your family. I've known you been going through some trying times and just wishing the best for you.

See if your oncologist will prescribe you something to lessen the effects. There are many prescriptions that can help you.


Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2012

I finished chemo December 2011 and the numbness in my hands and feet appeared a few weeks after that. When I pressed the oncology staff, they said there were medications that might work and that acupuncture had shown some success. Had enough medicine. Started acupuncture last week. Supposed to have ten sessions. So far, my back feels better;). I'll keep you posted.

Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi Annabelle,

I'm sure that the drug you're on for the neuropathy is gabapentin. I was started on that several months before I was dx with Stage IV rectal cancer because I had neuropathy in my legs from spinal damage. After I started therapy, the gabapentin didn't work very well and eventually I was changed to Lyrica. I've had great results for the prior problem and I believe that it has lessend the numbness from chemo. I only have minimal numbness in my fingertips and only the balls of the feet and toes are affected and that's with a coldness that gets very uncomfortable at times.

Something else that I've found to be helpful is Reiki massage. When I first had one and the procedure was described all I could think was "Oh great, magic thinking Sedona vortex crystal worshippers here" but it really did wonders for me. If you can get a treatment, try it because it is wonderful stuff.


Posts: 520
Joined: May 2011

Yes, I had the numbness and burning and loss of control of my feet that got much worse after I finished Folfox. The first 3 months I fell, and had problems with stairs and uneven ground. Now 12 months out .... improvement!!! The pain, numbness and burning in my feet are now temperature related. Cold, humid weather plus being on my feet all day contribute to the numbness, ache, and burning sensations.

Love those hiking socks. Also I noticed I need bigger shoes and do better in sandals with no rubbing on my feet. Need better shoes with good support and sponge like support on balls and heals of my feet.

Hands still need gloves on cold, humid days and I think I will always need those cup or glass insulators to hold but now can drink what I want.

One year out from ending Folfox, I hope for some continued improvement but if this is what it is to be NED, I will take it and be happy.


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