I just started chemo

New Contributor

I just started chemo

I just finished my first week of chemo. I had no idea I would be so TIRED. I got tired after being at the park for 15 minutes. Then after only 5 minutes of playing hallway soccer. And today I was outside gardening and I got super dizzy. I was just diagnosed recently, and didn’t/don’t know a whole lot about chemo side affects. Is tiredness/dizziness something other people have experienced during chemo?

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Regular Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi Julia00,

 

Fatigue is a constant companion for me.  I'm on an oral chemo tablet which I'm to take everyday till it stops working.   Have a nap when you need to.   Try not to do too much throughout the day.  It's difficult to find a balance - you need to exercise, but doing too much is absolutely exhausting.  One Occupational Therapist I had suggested some enery saving ideas like; using a bath robe instead of, or along with a towel after having your shower;  using a swivel pad on your seat getting in & out of the car, etc;  just things to make your life a bit easier.   It does make a difference, but I still get fatigued very easily.  Unfortunately, it's a side effect I find very hard to beat.

 

Budgie

 

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sch
Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi Julia00,

When I first started chemo, I just went back into work afterwards and continued on as usual.

After a month or so, I was going home and just sleeping for hours afterwards.

Towards the end of treatment, I was going home after treatment (say 1pm) and then just sleeping until 7am the next day.

After each cycle, I was progressively getting more tired.

 

-s

 

Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi Julia...

   Fatigue with me didn't really start until the 4th week...by that time my blood work was already showing a slight deficiency in Iron absorption but my Docs didn't bother to mention the impact iron defiency has on fatigue.

   You might want to take a closer look at your Iron and adjust your diet.  Apparently Chemo and Rad tend to curtail your body's ability to absorb Iron.

   Regards, Joe AZtrucker

Occasional Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi

I just had my first bout of chemo a week ago, and the sickness hit almost imediately.  I felt like I had a combination of morning sickness and a bad hang over.  The first few days it would come and go, but by day 4 I felt like I had concrete weighing me down, and walked around with my head in a bucket.  I was eating things that I dont usually eat, such as a bowl of porridge and a bag of nuts, and actually enjoying them.  I was talking jibberish, similar to when you are nodding off to sleep and become aware of things you are saying that make no sense. After walking a few metres to kitchen I had to sit on the floor to rest before I could walk back to the lounge. My emotions were all over the place, I wasnt feeling sorry for myself, just wondering when the sickness would end.  I had round 2 of the first cycle today, and was told I shouldnt get as sick from the drip today, fingers crossed, then I have a break for 2 weeks before it starts again.  I dont mind the tiredness, its the sicky feeling I dont like.

 

Frankie

Frequent Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi Julia

 

My chemo starts on Wednesday. I first fronted up to the chemo unit last Wednesday, so I could book in. They were a little quiet so they were able to squeeze me in for bloods and chemo education. This was straight after my initial meeting with my Oncologist .

 

The oncologist gave me a good overview, but then the chemo education was outstanding. We discussed so much detail about side affects, but also dos and don'ts.

 

I was just discussing your post with my wife. We are actually both surprised you weren't warned about this side effect. So perhaps you're chemo education wasn't very thorough. It maybe worth following up on to make sure you are aware of the hazard to yourself and others; as well as the other side effects you may experience and how to cope with them.

 

To counter being tired, the general opinion is to exercise. I don't know how easy that will be. I might find out before the end of the week. From the research I've done, succumbing to the fatigue creates more fatigue. So once your in the quicksand, you'll only sink deeper. My plan is to go for a walk when I get tired.  I don't know how sustainable it will be, but it's kind of time to get on with it.

 

Good luck with you treatment. Stay fit and well.

 

Cheers

 

Phil

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Frequent Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi Julia 

 

I hope your coping okay with your chemo. I started mine today. My wife describes it as text book. I'm experiencing all the symptoms they said I would. Chemo sucks. It's not even 24 hours.

 

Hopefully tomorrow is a good day. Not pushing too hard. I'll work from home and keep it to short hours.

 

Take care. I hope you are doing well.

 

Cheers

 

Phil

Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi Phil...

   Careful with the Textbook case mindset, since we're pretty vulnerable when going into Chemo and Radiation...and you might be prone to psychosomatic problems needlessly.

   Yes, we all generally experience same symptoms sooner or later but as in my case ("Not as bad as I feared") I found that educating myself as to possible causes of symptoms and taking corrective measures helped enormously.

    With a "Can Resolve" approach to side effects you may be able to lead a fuller life through treatment and beyond.

   Regards,

   Joe AzTrucker

Frequent Contributor

Re: I just started chemo

Hi Azjoetrucker

 

Psychosomatic is kind of my thing. Allergies. I see fresh cut grass and start wheezing.

 

I was actually hoping to be that guy that breezes through chemo without side affects. But then I was hoping to be that guy without cancer, then only stage 2 cancer and not needing chemo, and the guy who returns to work and all is good and doesn't notice cancer treatment. Oh! Did I forget to mention being that guy who didn't need to have an ileostomy. Oh well. They were my real expectations.

 

That kind of paints a picture. I keep thinking I'm the guy who got off easy. I guess it's just easier than some.

 

I have a few friends who have gone through chemo who are very supportive. And this site has been very useful. I'm spending the first day at home instead of going to work. Looking how to make adjustments to make life easier. For example, our kitchen hot water tap takes about 1 minute before hot water comes through. I am going to fill a thermos to keep warm water on hand for drinking. Hydration is one of my challenges, especially with an ileostomy .

 

If you have any other tips, I am all ears. As far as side effects go, cold sensitivity seems to be the biggest problem. Canberra winter's, Yay! At least I've woken up with my head in a good place and feeling good physically. Still, for the first couple of days, I'm going to take it easy and play it safe though, find my boundaries.

 

Cheers

 

Phil

Cancer Council Team

Re: I just started chemo

Remember to rug up over the next few days @PhilPepper, it's forecast to be a cold one!

 

For those of you just starting your chemo journey's and dealing with side effects, here are a few things you may like to read or listen to:

I highly recommend all our podcasts - they are recorded here in Sydney with the amazing Julie McCrossin who has had her own cancer experience. 

 

We have a whole array of different publications - if you're in Australia, I am more than happy to arrange to have these sent out to you as sometimes a physical booklet is preferable. Just send me a private message or email onlinecommunity@nswcc.org.au with the ones you are interested in.

 

If you're overseas, you can download and read them all here.

 

Cheers,

Kate

Online Community Manager

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