• Limited Side Effects, is it working?

    Asked by DMSCHORR on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Limited Side Effects, is it working?

    I am very sensitive to those who are dealing with significant side effects of Chemo; but, I am thankfully doing really well with Chemo and not experiencing the side effects I feared (mouth sores, food tasting differently, have lost hair on legs and head-- I didnt have a lot to begin with--but eyebrows, arm hair all there. Not significantly tired. I should be thrilled--and I am--but I also fear, "Is this working?".
    Has anyone had a similar feeling or experience?
    Thanks, board has been great

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      the severity of your side effects does NOT predict the efficacy of the chemo against cancer.... there's absolutely no link between how crappy you feel and how much damage the cancer takes....

      so.... just feel like you're one of the lucky ones! and may your luck hold!

      over 5 years ago
    • jhale17's Avatar
      jhale17

      The fact that you lost your hair is an indication that the chemo is working. Hang in there as you will be getting a scan to verify how you responded to the treatments.

      You are lucky on the side effects - enjoy.

      over 5 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      That is great news! Not everybody gets all the bad side effects, and many patients do very well through chemo. And I am so glad that you posted this, because some people are so frightened of chemotherapy that they refuse it and the consequences of doing that can be very serious.

      over 5 years ago
    • KLC's Avatar
      KLC

      Hi ! I had very minimal side effects. I also kept hair on my arms and legs (had to shave legs straight through chemo) - just finished Monday. Had some heartburn and metallic taste in mouth after the first couple of sessions. . .and some fatigue on days 3 and 4 of my first segment of 4 treatments of AC. . .second half of my regimen was Taxol - aside from some manageable bone pain from the Taxol combined with Neulasta shot - I felt fine. Everyone reacts differently and as the others have stated, the effectiveness of chemo is not predicated on how "sick" you get from treatment. Be thankful you're doing okay on it ! ! ! : )

      over 5 years ago
    • KLC's Avatar
      KLC

      Also wanted to add, I still have my eyelashes and eyebrows too (they thinned a bit, but, thankfully they are still there ! ! )

      over 5 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      Like KLC said everyone is different.I lost all my body hair except my eyebrows and also had very few eye lashes.Had some occasional bone pain,some nausea,constipation, low WBC count and most of all fatigue?I did not have fingernails falling off,vomiting and only very slight neuropathy that has since vanished.I wondered the same thing,as hard as chemo is should I be having even more side effects but my doctor said severity of side effects has nothing to do with remission and recurrances of the cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      My eyebrows and eyelashes took a long time to fall out and are still kind of there...

      How long have you been doing chemo? That may have an impact on how the side effects impact you. I had very few side effects in the beginning and more as time went by. If that's not your experience, rejoice!

      over 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I was treated with traditional chemo for adenocarinoma lung cancer. I didn't lose my hair (any of it), didn't develop mouth sores, never had that nasty taste in my mouth, and experienced some fatigue ... but not nearly as significant as many have had (it was significant for a few days, but I was able to continue working on a somewhat limited basis). I was very, very nauseous the first few days and nothing helped with that. Otherwise, no side effects ... I even gained weight (which was not a plus for me) rather than losing like most do. The chemo worked as long as I was getting it. As soon as I had had all I could get of it, the tumors began growing again so now I am in a clinical trial and receiving immunotherapy. I have been in the trial since July 2013 and never feel bad or suffer negative consequences from the treatment.

      over 5 years ago
    • flamingogirl's Avatar
      flamingogirl

      l was beginning to think I was the only one. I never thought of it not working. I did lose all of my hair, all of my eyebrows and most of my eyelashes. That did not bother me, except maybe the eyebrow. I didn't want to look that much like a cancer patient. I have weird thoughts. My thoughts are if I suffered enough. I also had not mouth sores, bad tastes. I had some nausea and I was exhausted for part of my treatment, but still... I guess there is always something to wonder about during this journey.

      over 5 years ago
    • Tana928's Avatar
      Tana928

      I wrote nearly the same question about 2 months ago. This week I got the results from my PET scan. No sign of cancer was found!!! So YES it's most likely working for you and you and I happen to be very fortunate to not have the severe side effects that many others have to deal with!

      over 5 years ago
    • webbsurvivor's Avatar
      webbsurvivor

      I am the voice of dissent. My husband had same NHL large b,tumors back, stomache and kidney. During chemo didn't lose chest, leg, arm or eyelashes. I voiced concern. Was blown off with he was so healthy to begin with. After chemo done, guess what? No shrinkage, and now can't do more for 2 months! So let's try radiation. As he weakens more. After radiation wait 30 days catscan, surprise tumor in back had grown! Chemo destroys all, hoping to consume cancer in maelstrom. If hair also a rapidly growing cell doesn't die then it's possible the cancer isn't. Ask for stronger chemo. Don't take a knife to a gun fight. What's the drawback if you "over kill" cancer? What's the result if you under kill? But what do I know, I am just his widow.

      over 5 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      Webbsurvivor - I am so sorry for your loss. An thanks for weighing in here with a different opinion. I know it's not a happy story but it might help someone here. Thank you.

      over 5 years ago
    • DMSCHORR's Avatar
      DMSCHORR

      Well until I got to Webbsurvivor I had a smile and I was saying how nice it was to have SUCH a positive board and so many people say "wow, I thought I was the only one"-- Thanks so much it make me feel at ease and encouraged.
      Just to clarify, I have lost hair on my head..but I did not have a lot to begin with, it does grow back between treatments though.
      As to webbsurvivor, I am very sorry for you loss and I do appreciate your addition to the board. How many rounds of Chemo did he have? did they do a PT Scan earlier i.e. after three or founr rounds? I hope you dont mind asking, but how old was he? I will learn from you and ask about stronger chemo.
      Thanks all...we really do hear about all the side effects and it is nice to help people know going in that it may not be so horrible.
      I do expect it to get worse before it gets better
      Thanks this site is wonderful
      D

      over 5 years ago
    • webbsurvivor's Avatar
      webbsurvivor

      51at diagnosis, 52 @ death. Worked out everyday before work, ate no red meat, never smoked, rare beer, ran 7-9 miles a week. Was all state in football. Had like 6 rounds of chemo and radiation everyday for about 2 months.petscan after chemo. Had first round of rescue chemo working toward stem cell transplant 11 months after diagnosis,passed away 13th month

      over 5 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      So, so sorry, webbsurvivor. My dad was barely 49 when he passed away from lung cancer. It was 6 m9nths from diagnosis to his funeral. But, that was nearly 40 years ago. Survival rates have improved somewhat since then. It sounds like your husband did everything right ... sometimes life just doesn't seem fair. Big hugs.

      over 5 years ago
    • webbsurvivor's Avatar
      webbsurvivor

      My wish is for you all to survive because this is so scary. But in my case the biggest take away was, that while individual living is our goal, our most important duty on earth is to make a better life for those around us while we are here. If you all get remission, then it is a matter of when will the other shoe drop? Thats the way it is for all of us, only most don't recognize that. Doctors cannot make life promises because they do not know what is already decided about your journey. I do not believe this is all there is. I believe my husband exists still in another plane, but that his time here was complete, so I and his children accept with grace, that truth. But fight hard, because in the fighting, may be the lesson you are meant to learn and share.

      over 5 years ago

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