• How early do the effects of chemo hit? After 1, 2, or 3 weeks?

    Asked by veneceh on Friday, April 27, 2012

    How early do the effects of chemo hit? After 1, 2, or 3 weeks?

    I want to visit my mother before she gets sick from chemo. I can go in 2 weeks. She started it this week.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • abrub's Avatar

      It depends on the chemo. Oftentimes, the side effects are immediate, but resolve after a few days. Thus, you may want to visit her a few days or a week after her chemo treatment, so she's not as tired, as fatigue is a common side effect. I had chemo every other week, so I'd have one bad week (chemo week) followed by one good week.

      Ask her how she is feeling, and when she'd like you to visit. I liked the distraction of people around me (note: I wasn't sick from chemo, just tired, and had some other odd side effects. Again, the side effects vary greatly by the type of chemo and by the individual patient. I had the rarer side effects listed for my particular treatment, but skipped the more common ones.)

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      In my case I had a chemo treatment every 3 weeks. I was fine for the first 2-3 days after each treatment and then felt awful for about the next 4-5 days. This pattern repeated consistently with each cycle of chemo.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      There are a lot of variables and everyone reacts differently. Besides the chemo drugs there is the consideration of how she felt prior to starting the therapy. It is unlikely that any symptoms she had peviously will go away in the first cycle. So if she was in pain or had respiratory infections, that will probably still bbe there. Add the cornicopia of possible side effects and you just never know what you are going to get.

      That said, I'd suggest you visit your mom regardless and she is going to need all of the love and support she cana get sick from chemo or not sick... But mosstly when she is sick.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      just realized I had lots of typos - sorry for that.

      over 4 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      As mentioned by others here, side effects vary depending on the person and the type of chemo. For myself, it was good to have family nearby. The main effect was feeling tired and you can work around that.

      over 4 years ago
    • CherylHutch's Avatar

      You are never going to know because each person goes through their own unique chemo journey. Two people can have the exact same cancer, and be on the exact same chemo regime, be the same gender, age, etc... and yet the two of them can experience completely opposite reactions and then some. Others just sail through, waiting for the side effects to hit and they never do.

      My advice is check with Mom when she feels she'd best like to have you over. Knowing you are coming will give her something to look forward too and believe it or not, mind over matter is a very powerful thing. She may say to herself she just isn't going to get sick... and if she is going to have side effects, they can just darn well wait until after your visit. ;)

      Meanwhile... there will be oodles of things she will probably need help with that she didn't think she ever would. Sometimes the simplest things like... getting all her laundry caught up. That's not a big thing in itself, but when you are feeling tired, worn out, or have been hit with the chemo fatigue... laundry is a daunting task and it only keeps getting bigger and bigger the longer you put it off.

      Check her food supplies. She may not find she's all that hungry, so produce and items in the fridge may go bad before she ever can use them (that's so common in my fridge!). So, make her a few individual "comfort food" type casseroles, but in individual servings, and then freeze them. If you make them in ovenware or microwavable dishes, then they can be thawed and popped into the microwave, or possibly even heated in the oven from frozen. Comfort foods like: Mac and cheese, Cauliflower au Gratin, Spaghetti and Meatballs (or meat sauce), Soups, Tuna Casserole, Shepherd's Pie, etc. Don't make big trays or baking dishes of these items because not only will she not get through them, they will look very daunting to her if she has no appetite. But go to the dollar store and pick up individual casserole bake wares that can be put in the oven/microwave and can be put in the freezer. You might also make up some egg salad and tuna salad so she can have those on toast/crackers, or make a sandwich. With the tuna salad, it can double as the filling for a tuna burger, then put in the oven to heat up. If you ask her, she will probably say, "Oh nothing... I'll eat when I get hungry." But if you never get hungry, then trying to think what to eat is really hard (trust me, I know!). But having choices right there in the freezer or ready made in the fridge, makes all the difference in the world!

      So don't worry about WHEN you go... just go because no matter whether she's sleeping a lot or feeling totally perky and fine... you will always find things you can do to help her for when you are not there :)

      Cheryl in Vancouver

      over 4 years ago
    • MoreSentient2's Avatar

      It depends on the treatment. My first effects showed up at 3 weeks but they were mild. The worst chemo effects came near the end of my 6-week continuous course of infusion treatment, especially since I was also nearing the end of 28 radiation treatments.

      over 4 years ago
    • pugmom's Avatar

      I received chemo every 3 weeks. I took dexamethasone one day prior and two days after chemo to prevent allergic reactions. The dexamathasone commonly makes people very energized, so the first day or so after chemo I was tired, but let me tell you, when I stopped taking the dexamethason on the 3rd day, I crashed big time and could not get my head off the sofa. I was mostly alone during these times of extreme weakness, and would have given anything for someone to come and just be with me at those times. To be honest, your mom might welcome your visit when she is on the low point of chemo so you can help her out.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I agree. Side effects vary from person to person. A visit from a loved one is always good when going through treatment.

      over 4 years ago

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