17 of the Strangest Things that I’ve Noticed from Having Cancer

by Brittany McNabb-WhatNext

Cancer can cause many strange or different things to happen to your body. We recently posted a question on Facebook asking about some of the weirdest changes survivors have noticed about themselves since having cancer, below is a summary of what was shared. Feel free to add your own experiences in the comments section.

1. Fast-growing leg hair (some say like a forest)

Hairy Legs                                                                                                                                                                        via gibbleguts.com

2. Heightened sense of smell

Lucille Ball

via thoughtcatalog.com

3. Long eyelashes 

Eyelashes                                                                                                               via dumpaday

4. Dry mouth that feels like sandpaper

Dry Mouth Good

via americanblog.com

Dry mouth is a real side effect of cancer along with mouth, gum, and throat problems. Dry mouth can feel like cottonmouth or some say it feels like sandpaper. If you experience dry mouth as a side effect of cancer or chemotherapy there are a few ways to relieve symptoms like drinking plenty of liquids, sucking on hard candy (many WhatNexters suggest lemon flavored candy), and eating foods like soup or adding foods with gravy, sauces, or other condiments.

5. Excessively watery eyes    

Watery Eyes

via giphy.com

6. Big toenails died

Big Toe

via reddit.com

Nail problems and nail changes is a real side effect of cancer and chemotherapy treatment. WhatNexters have experienced nails dying and falling off along with other side effects like nails splitting, nails becoming discolored, nails becoming brittle, and even nails having a strange odor. If you experience any of these side effects you can talk to your doctor about relieving symptoms.

7. Randomly improved eyesight

Cat Giphy Two

via giphy.com

8. Foot skin peeled off making you feel like this during airport security check:

Blurred Feet

via buzzfeed.com


Skin changes is a real side effect of cancer treatment; you might notice redness, itching, skin peeling, dryness, and acne. You should talk to your doctor about which creams and lotions to use to relieve skin reactions from treatment; radiation therapy can cause skin reactions and talking to your nurses and doctors is a good way to find methods to relieve these symptoms

9. Loss of Muscle Tone


10. Not Able To Eat What You Used To

Will Smith

via gurl.com

Dietary changes is a common side effect of cancer including nausea, diarrhea, weight loss or gain, loss of appetite, aversion to certain foods, and not being able to eat what you used to. Eating problems may be frustrating if it affects your weight; many WhatNexters speak to their doctors about palliative care or a nutritionist about eating habits as it relates to these side effects so that they can maintain a way of eating that fits their treatment.

11. Red circles around eyes

Sleepy Giphy

via giphy.com

Fatigue is a side effect of cancer that can cause red circles under the eyes as well as loss of energy, problems sleeping, and difficulty completing everyday tasks. WhatNexters have found many ways to battle fatigue since it is a common side effect of cancer treatment that closely affects their everyday life. Some ways include walking, asking loved ones for help, optimizing sleeping conditions, and tracking fatigue with their doctor in order to manage it the best they can.

12. Sensitivity to cold especially walking on cold floors



Sensitivity to cold is likely a sign of neuropathy (chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy) which is affects the nerves and causes symptoms like sensitivity to hot or cold temperature, tingling in body parts, muscle weakness, and trouble using fingers or gripping things. Neuropathy can be a lasting side effect of chemotherapy and WhatNexters often get frustrated with the long-term effects; one of the best ways to cope with this side effect is to talk to your doctor and then find ways to cope that fit your symptoms. For example, wearing warm socks during the day and at night or wearing comfortable shoes around the house. It seems that WhatNexters have to find the equation that best relieves their own symptoms.

13. No sense of taste

Taste Giphy

via giphy.com

Changes in taste and loss of taste is a common side effect of cancer that many people learn to cope with. Taste changes can cause aversions to certain foods, loss of appetite, and trouble finding foods that you enjoy eating which can lead to weight changes. WhatNexters try relieving these side effects by finding different foods they enjoy eating and adding flavor to foods they used to enjoy by making them more spicy, sweet, or sour.

14. Outbursts of laughter

Excited Minions

via joyreactor.com
via giphy.com

15. Warts disappeared

Warts Disappeared

via giphy.com

16. Can’t spell anymore 

Spelling Cow

via jimhalpertfaces.tumblr.com

17. Trouble driving on the right side of the road

Raymond Car

Chemo brain can cause funky things to happen like forgetting things, memory problems, trouble speaking, concentration problems, and difficulty doing everyday things that used to come easy. Many WhatNexters find their sense of humor in this phenomena by “blaming it on the chemo brain.”

Cancer, chemo, and other treatments can do some crazy things. Side effects of cancer are very real and should be discussed with your doctor.
What have been some of your strangest side effects from having cancer? Which have you been able to laugh about?

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