• Neuropathy is bad. Should my wife stop chemo?

    Asked by justoneman on Saturday, March 21, 2015

    Neuropathy is bad. Should my wife stop chemo?

    My wife is in tears from pain and tingling in her hands. It has begun to go up her arms and balls of her feet. This is one week after her 3rd taxol dose with one final chemo session to go. I think we have had enough. One treatment left but this is scaring us too much. Any advice? She has dropped eggs and small objects. She cant write well or type. The dr seemed concerned but was faking her attitude. I am good at reading people and I disliked what I read in her eyes. Is this permanent? Will it get worse. I think we are done.

    30 Answers from the Community

    30 answers
    • cassidy2's Avatar
      cassidy2

      I has 12 Taxol treatments and finished the first of December. I didn't experience the neuropathy quite as early as your wife but it did occur. It also affected my toes and bottom of my feet which was so uncomfortable. I hated it. I still have some tingling and trouble opening things, writing, etc. but it's so much better now. My oncologist said it may not go all the way away but it does get better. Also, after chemo I began seeing a specialty physical therapist mainly for possibility of lymphedema but she has helped me so much with the neuropathy too. The nurses at chemo were usually really good at answering questions about things like this. Maybe they could offer advice? Hope this helps a little. Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      Oh, bless your hearts! Is there any way you can get help from another doctor to see if that last chemo is really necessary, or to get some caring compassionate help with the neuropathy? Though I never had that during my chemo, I have a friend who is totally blind and had neuropathy in his hands from chemo last year, and it hindered his ability to function since a blind person's hands act as their eyes. We talked yesterday about it, but if you want, I can contact him and ask him what he did about his neuropathy and see if that would help you. He did tell me it cleared up for him after chemo stopped. I wish I could give you better advice, but I am not a doctor and don't want to see your wife make any decisions that would harm her in the end. As a matter of fact, I will go email my friend now even though he's not up yet; that way, he can read and respond, and I can post what he says here. Would that work? HUGS and God bless.

      over 4 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      I did not get Taxol, but I did get Taxotere, so I imagine they are in the same family. I also suffer from neuropathy, and my last chemo was in May 2014. I get acupuncture and see a massage therapist who is trained for treating cancer patients. Both of these things help, but they do not make it go away. I also take B6, B12, and as recently recommended on here, tart cherry juice. I have not noticed any improvement however. When I go for my 3 months check-up next month, I am going to ask for Gabapentin. Many on this site highly recommend it. Maybe you can ask your wife's doctor if she can start taking it now. I know how painful and inconvenient this side-effect can be, but I never felt that it was worth risking my life by stopping treatments. I hope you are able to get some help with your decision. I will keep your wife in my prayers. Good luck. Take care.

      over 4 years ago
    • justoneman's Avatar
      justoneman

      My wife was put on an aggressive taxol regiment where it was a higher dose for only 4 treatments. This was her third. We can't do this anymore. No more. I pray that this is not permanent damage. I feel like I failed her because I should have known this risk. Her breast was removed and had cytoxan for 4 treatments then this. Its enough. The cancer is gone. This is not worth it.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      Taxol is very tough..
      Like its been said here many times...are you at a renowned facility? Know for expertise in B.C. with an Onc who is a specialist in B.C.?

      The Onc must have seen something that caused her to perscribe such a strong Chemo.

      What stage was the cancer when dx'd?

      over 4 years ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar
      Phoenix76

      I had Taxol also, and my oncologist adjusted the concentration % in my treatment, and that helped a lot! The neuropathy was affecting the soles of my feet; in my hands, it never got past the first two joints of my fingers. It does fade, but it takes time. I'm so sorry she's in such pain. Please talk with the oncologist and see if they can make any adjustments.

      over 4 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      The neuropathy sounds pretty bad. Talk to her doctor, and their team. See if this is really necessary that your wife does the last treatment. I have also read here that certain vitamins and other things help with the neuropathy. Maybe someone can point you in the direction of what to take to help with it. Fighting cancer is very tough to deal with. I sure hope you get the answers you are seeking.

      over 4 years ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      Please do not blame yourself! You are the ultimate supporter. There is no way to know what side effects someone will get and how severe they will be. Look into help for the Neuropathy, most of it may clear up after the chemo is out of her system. I take Metanx, which is concentrated B vitamins. I don't think it does much until I quit taking it. I helps some. I haven't tried Gabapentin, but have been tempted at times. My Neuropathy is mostly in one foot, but I remember have tingling in my fingers when going thru chemo. That went away right away.

      over 4 years ago
    • Fredcat's Avatar
      Fredcat

      I went through 8 rounds of chemo - 4 AC and 4 Taxol. The Taxol by far took a greater toll on my body. I experienced the Neuropathy symptoms in my fingers and toes starting after my 3 dose. When discussing it with my oncologist, she said that if the dose I was getting that day wasn't going to be my last, she would consider changing it. However, she felt completing it was my best option. Unlike you and your wife, I had and continue to have complete confidence in her. I am sorry that you are not having the same experience. My symptoms have gone away completely in my fingers. My toes unfortunately continue to tingle, mostly at night and worse when it is cold (and it has been a long winter in New England).

      As for you, please do not blame yourself. It is difficult to see a loved one suffer and in pain but I am sure that she knows that you are by her side in all of this. Cancer is hard on the whole family. Take care of yourself as well as her.

      Prayers to you both.

      over 4 years ago
    • jeannewinter's Avatar
      jeannewinter

      I've been getting chemo for the past 3 years and I had neuropathy pretty bad too. I would just sit and cry from the pain. I was already taking Lyrica and my doctor increased the dosage and it is almost all gone!! Lyrica is a miracle drug for this type of condition. Please talk to her doctor about getting her on it. It may not go away by itself even after she is done with chemo.

      Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • pixiesmom's Avatar
      pixiesmom

      the chemo frequently causes loss of major nutrients. To help with neuropathy, please consider a quality alpha lipoic acid, methylcobalamin ( about 1000 ucg in chewable or sublingual tablet) --taken once daily and B complex that would be taken twice daily. If there is a compounding pharmacy in your area, they can offer more suggestions.

      Best of luck

      over 4 years ago
    • MelanieIIB's Avatar
      MelanieIIB

      I would definitely talk with her doctor as soon as possible to see what the doctor can do for her. This will sound crazy, but also ask her doctor if it would be okay for your wife to have her hands and feet in ice when she receives the taxol. The facility where I received my infusions had blocks of ice for patients to put their hands and feet on for just that purpose. The cold slows down the circulation and in some patients can help with neuropathy. I wanted my hands and feet submerged in ice so I brought containers that I filled with ice. I wore thin gloves with plastic gloves over them so that the gloves would not get wet and I wore thin socks with baggies over them so they wouldn't get wet. I don't know if it was the ice or not, but I did not have a major problem with neuropathy.

      over 4 years ago
    • IronMom45's Avatar
      IronMom45

      I had 6 taxol and have neuropathy. I see physical therapy and also get b12 injections. Think it's possible to lessen and really I don't think they know 100% as each person is different. Her tears could also be from frustration at loss of prevous function too . As I feel like I'm petty tough and cope well but I will get annoyed I can't open my bottle of water etc right now. Under no circumstances blame yourself as you get the 5 star award if there was one for spousal support. You can't make yourself responsible for the side effects. That would be like me blaming someone else for mine. As far as continuing up to you both. Wish you peace.

      over 4 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not blame yourself. You're just looking out for her, and we should all have husbands like you. To this day my hat is off to you. I don't blame you for wanting to quit; I sure did when I was on chemo; however, my oncologist gave me no choice given the aggressive nature of the cancer. Have you asked your oncologist if he or she can reduce the consentration of the chemo drugs? They did that for me after my first infusion put me in the hospital with neutropenia. After that, they tried me at anywhere from 10 to 20 percent reduction in chemo drugs. Are there any other options available to you that aren't as agressive? If insurance covers it, should she get a PET scan? Then if there is no evidence of activity in her body, then she might be able to opt out of that last chemo. On another note, I emailed my friend and await his answer. HUGS and God bless.

      over 4 years ago
    • vsdobson's Avatar
      vsdobson

      You're almost there and Taxol is horrible but it works! A had horrible neuropathy too. Acupuncture helped me tremendously, try it. Mine also went away shortly after I stopped. Hang in there!!

      over 4 years ago
    • CAL's Avatar
      CAL

      You are wonderful for caring enough to ask for help. Do not blame yourself. There is no way one can know how severe the side effects will be for each individual. The medical oncology specialty I went to had a whole integrated system of treatment. I had the dose dense Taxotere times 4 doses which is related to the Taxol. I also had Cytoxan for 4 doses. The physical therapist at the clinic monitored the neuropathy and the nutritionists and oncologist put me on a boatload of nutritional supplements including the lipoic acid. They did cold lazer treatments to stimulate the nerves, put me on a diet to reduce the inflamation, and recommended both therapeutic massage from someone trained in massage for oncology patients as well as acupuncture. I found a chiropractor in my own community who did the cold lazer treatments 3 times a week during chemo and then I gradually reduced them and added acupuncture for 8 months post chemo. I continued with the supplements specifically for the neuropathy for a year along with the other nutritional supplements. I am 2 years post chemo and I don't really have any problems with the neuropathy now even though it got pretty bad during chemo. Keep bugging your oncologist to discuss both medical and complimentary treatments to help reduce the neuropathy.

      over 4 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar
      debco148

      I had only one of the 4 Taxol treatments and my reaction was so bad to that my onc told me no more. I had the 4 AC treatments with real problems, then the Taxol. My neuropathy started right away, couldn't button things. But, my legs hurt so bad and a few hours after treatment the bottoms of my feet all blistered. My Onc said at early stage and I was also moving on to radiation that it was not worth doing more. I'm 3 yrs out now and only feel the numbness when cold. What helped me was B6 and accupuncture treatments. I also eat a very healthy diet, high in flavinoids because I had continued restless legs. All organic. And lots of exercise ..for me it's Zumba because it forces my brain and body to connect and learn the steps.. 3 yrs out, I'm becoming advanced and it really helps. But, have a serious sit down with the Onc. My Fiance sat mine down and that is when she said no more. Bless you both!

      over 4 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      I had Taxotere and some neuropathy during treatment but after my six sessions it went away. Please discuss this with your wife's oncologist. Taxotere is less likely to cause neuropathy than Taxol. I had horrible diarrhea from Taxotere but refused to switch to taxol due to the higher chance of neuropathy. Call your wife's oncologist and get her some Rx for her pain, Gabopentin has been useful in some cases, her dose of Taxol coul be reduced..
      Good luck we are rooting for both of you.

      over 4 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Stay in touch with her doctor and :"give them" this problem to fix. If you don't trust her oncologist, you can discuss with her primary care physician and oncology nurses.

      Sometimes a doctor who's TRYING TO SAVE A LIFE will "push" the treatment as long as the patient will take it in order to do the most for the patient before stopping. The doctor may just be waiting to hear the "No more, Hosea" from your wife, since it's your wife's life and her decision.

      over 4 years ago
    • rwhdesmoines' Avatar
      rwhdesmoines

      I have some neuropathy from taxotere but not as bad as your wife. I think that you obviously love your wife very much and that whatever you and her decide together to do will be what is right for her. I just want to pass on 2 ideas--if I miss a couple of days of my vitamin b-6 100 mg that I take every day my neuropathy symptoms get worse and I have not yet tried acupuncture for neuropathy symptoms myself because we have to get some bills caught up first to afford it BUT I have heard from many cancer survivors with neuropathy symptoms how very much acupuncture helped them. Good luck to you and your wife as you figure out the right answers for her.

      over 4 years ago
    • Gypsychic67's Avatar
      Gypsychic67

      I had Taxotere which is the same, every 21 days for 4 treatments 3 hour infusions, i have the same neuropathy in my finger tips mostly on my right hand, i had problems before the chemo with my hands and needed carpel tunnel surgery and it is definatley worse then it was. it has been getting better i finished my last treatment in November 2014 and i still have the numb and tingiling hands and fingers, my feet not at all but i did have edema so bad i coldnt walk... It does get a litter better but they say it takes a whole year to get back.. Sometimes it is permanent, I didnt want to quit after all that time you already spent doing the chemo i wouldnt risk that last one, it wont get to much worse before it gets better .. Hang in there i know how tuff it is. You can do it, and it is worth it in the end to finish the whole treatment. God bless you and i hope you can find some pain relief.

      over 4 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Has your wife tried Lyrica or one of the other medicines specifically for neuropathy?

      over 4 years ago
    • Diamondm35's Avatar
      Diamondm35

      Hello, I would not suggest she stop therapy, neuropathy can be controlled but cancer can be fatal. I had neuropathy very bad the first year, now not so much. And there will never be a normalcy after treatment, but it will be better.

      over 4 years ago
    • Diamondm35's Avatar
      Diamondm35

      Tell her to forget about eggs, they are a cancer patients worse enemy. I've been done for a year, and is til cannot digest eggs. They hurt my stomach terribly bad. Good luck, by the way, have her explain this to her oncologist and get a script for Lyrica

      over 4 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Agree with Diamondm35, neuropathy can be controlled but cancer can be fatal. Nobody is exactly the same after treatment/surgery/etc., but whatever may be different is better than being dead. . . .

      I would guess that her tears are at least partly from the grieving that all cancer patients do for "life before cancer"----sometimes we can't describe or identify the depression until we look back. It's very serious and overwhelming at times to realize you are in a fight for your life. Compared to saving her life, does it really matter if she drops things and can't write well? She could have tears because she's embarrassed in front of family about how she's changed..

      When you and your wife discuss Lyrica or something similar with her doctor, I urge you to also ask if she needs an antidepressant. It's common for cancer patients to take them, especially at the stage she is in, where every day she's reminded of the seriousness of her journey. Also a support group could help her a lot. Best wishes.

      over 4 years ago
    • jugsila8's Avatar
      jugsila8

      I also had neuropathy in hands & feet while on Taxol. It's very hard to deal with, but taking a chance of letting the cancer survive is not an option. Vitamin B helps with neuropathy, ask if she could get a prescription for neurontin (Gabapentin). My last dose of Taxol was April 2014, I still experience some of the side effects, but it's getting better. Just hang in there.

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol1286's Avatar
      Carol1286

      I had 12 infusions of Taxol. My last was November 13, 2013. Neuropathy started at about number four. It got really bad. My doctor put me on Lyrica, which I'm still on. I tried Metanx along with Lyrica. I didn't notice a significant difference and Metanx is costly. I stopped it and now just take Lyrica. Neuropathy may hang on for a long time or clear up rapidly. Everyone is different. I look forward to the day mine is gone. Good luck to your wife.

      over 4 years ago
    • Marge_D's Avatar
      Marge_D

      I am sorry I am late to answer. I had horrible neuropathy from the high does taxol too. I stopped it for about 3 weeks while I had surgery and then resumed it but on a lower dose once a week schedule. I also took the following to help prevent and minimize side effects: glutamine, acetyl-carnetin, alpha-lipoic acide, Vitamin B-6, melatonin, and gabapentin. I found that Vitamin E oil helped on my hands. And, I iced my hands and feet during taxol treatments after I started to get neuropathy. My neuropathy slowly improved and by one year later was essentially gone. I was given the option of stopping taxol altogether but I knew that if the cancer returned I would regret this decision.

      over 4 years ago
    • Judt1940's Avatar
      Judt1940

      Finished chemo January 2014. I have bad neuropathy but also have osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis. My feet constantly hurt, I stumble, drop things. I'm 74, NED from serous uterine 2C, able to live in my home, cook, mop, look after my dogs. Think age and other conditions contribute to my situation.

      over 4 years ago
    • roseross' Avatar
      roseross

      intravenous vit c high doses with gluthathione, b12 collagen, glutamine oral too
      I am a year after chemo treatment, I didn't let them finish last two chemos because neuropathy I still have problem brushing my teeth painful arms.
      doctors wants the money that comes from treatments not caring anything else
      do heavy detox

      over 2 years ago

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