Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

Fiona M

First treatment

Hi, I am due to have my first capox treatment at the beginning of May. I’m a little nervous about it ,when do you start to feel side effects? Any advice on what to bring on day of treatment? Thank you :x:


@Fiona M Hi from me! There are loads of threads with advice on here, so do a search and you will get a load of great tips.

My advice would be make sure you have a picc line fitted before your first infusion speak to your specialist nurse or onc to arrange.

The side effects started at the end of my first infusion (oxy, or as it is kindly referred to on here Poxy Oxy!) reaction to cold things so take gloves and a scarf (to cover your mouth) with you. Sip warm drink during infusion.

They give you loads of meds to deal with the side effects at your first session and the nurses are full of great advice.

Everyone reacts differently so just be as prepared as you can (Which you are doing by posting on here) and take each session at a time.

The tablets (capcetabine) you take at home, I was two weeks on one week off.

Look at the chemo as little munchers running around your body eating up all the cancer cells, blasting them with their powers.

You are going to have good and bad days, but we are all here to help you through it.

Good luck, it will be ok :x::x::x:


Good morning @Fiona M and a very warm welcome to the forum! I’m sure you’ll find loads of great support, information and advice here as well as friendships with a great bunch of people who completely ‘get it!’

Many have started on Capox and as @Naomi6861 says, you can use the little search icon at the top right to search for previous posts about this. You can also take a look at the downloadable booklets.

Side effects are varied in individuals but you most certainly will notice the Oxaliplatin and exposure to anything cold on the day and for a couple of days afterwards. I can remember completely forgetting and tucking into an ice cream drink which was daft! Had to drink warm water (yuck!) to reverse the horrible feeling in my mouth and throat! With regards to what to take, well, a big bag full of nice, magazines, iPad, phone, charger, headphones, sweeties (if you want 😉) knitting or crochet (if you like that sort of thing!) and a good buddy......either you hubby or someone else. The first chemo can be a bit emotional (it certainly was for me!) I remember climbing up into the big chemo chair, looking all around and tears rolling down my face as the reality of my situation hit! Once I settled, it was a breeze!!

Sending you loads of love and strength,



Hi @Fiona M and another welcome from me 😄 I have had no end of support and advice from here, everyone ‘gets it’ and there is no such thing as a silly question, just support and caring.

I haven’t had capecetapine but have just had my 10th cycle of Folfox which includes Oxalaloplatin which is the infusion that you will have.

I second the advice to ask for a PICC line or Port fitted before you start, it can be used for blood tests and the infusions and I wouldn’t be without my PICC.

As far as side effects go I find that the sensitivity to cold starts almost as soon as the infusion starts - the weather is warming up now but take a scarf and gloves with you just in case and be careful handling anything cold from the fridge etc for a few days - I find even chopping vegetables can be tricky sometimes. You’ll be given antisickness meds which may include a dose of dexamethasone before the infusion - this kept me awake for the first night of my first two cycles but now I take nytol and manage to sleep a bit which is better.
If you use the search box at the top there will be lots of threads about Oxy and Capox - is good to be prepared 😄
Good luck with it all - sending love Jane :x::x::x:


Hi Fiona. I'm almost in the same boat as you - just started Capox last week. I got lots of great advice on here (threads not too far down if you do a search).
So far I'm finding it manageable. The side effects from the oxaliplatin IV were almost instant. Weird pins and needles in hand and cold sensitivity. Also twitching and finding it hard to move hands. I am still not able to handle cold stuff a week afterwards but it is improving (good excuse to avoid washing up!). Things that have helped are gloves for fridge (we have some bbq gloves with grips that are great); taking scarf gloves and hat to first chemo session (it can feel weird to breathe in after so good to have something to cover mouth to warm air).
The capcetabine tabs have been not too bad. Slight nausea but they will give you tablets (and nothing like as bad as my morning sickness when pregnant - maybe due to the drugs). I have been very tired and needing to have a nap midday or go to bed by 7pm (this might be partly my anaemia though). Just starting to get the diarrhea now.
I'm considering working part-time next cycle as finding it all ok. Don't think I could do full time though due to tiredness etc.
As said above my picc line has been great. I think they planned on doing my 'poxy oxy' with a cannula but I ended up with one for iv nutrition and kept it. Bit itchy but don't regret it.
Good luck! XXX (can't work out how to do the pictures yet!). Just


Oh and a great tip I got on here was to keep a flask of warm water by bed to drink at night. Also remove anything from fridge that you want to warm up and drink that day - I'm also having to do this with my prescribed 'magic mouthwash'. My husband keeps muttering about getting me a baby bottle warmer!

Also keep a symptom diary to help with seeing a pattern in cycles for planning and also to discuss with medical team in case they need to adjust dose (another tip from here!). I'm just putting codes on the treatment calendar I was given.