Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

LucyN

Starting chemo soon

Hi everyone
I've not posted for a while following my diagnosis at end of October last year - feel a bit guilty about that but have focusing on trying to get on with life! I had surgery early December and next stage is chemo (CAPOX/XELOX). I'm a Stage 3 with 2 out of 23 lymph nodes affected (getting this news in Jan was a bit depressing, but trying to stay positive). I'm going in on 19 Feb for a PICC line and starting chemo on the 21 Feb - for 3 months. I've read all the stuff about side effects which is freaking me out ever so slightly. Also wondering whether I'll be able to carry on working. Can anyone share their experiences of this type of chemo?

george1960

Everyone handles chemo in different ways as is the same for side effects. Some you might some you dont. Good luck today :x:

Lirio345

Hello @LucyN, I totally agree with the comment above, - it is very difficult to know in advance which side effects you will experience and how bad they might be as everyone is different, do not be worried by the long list of side effects, these have to be reported but it doesn’t mean that you will get them all! Your oncologist will work very hard to minimise any side effects that you may experience.
In relation to work, again, everyone varies but I suppose one of the biggest factors is what you do for a living ...... can you work at home some of the time , - how flexible can your employers be ......... etc ...... take very good care, Kim :x::x:

LucyN

Thanks so much George and Kim. I think I expected your answers ... I won't know until I've started! My work have been great about being flexible and I can easily work at home. The biggest issue is that I have a long (45 min) commute by train into London. So I'm a bit worried picking up every virus going on busy commuter trains. Thanks again!

Gypsy

Dear @LucyN. Play it safe and work from home, that's my advice. Loads of love, Gypsyxxx

DianeS

Hi @LucyN congratulations for getting over your surgery. I remember feeling exactly as you do at the moment, the thought of chemo petrified me. Going into the unknown is never easy. Just as everyones cancer is different, so are everyones side effects, and some people sail through it and others don't. I had 6 months of Folfox and my main worry was not being able to swallow, but I didn't have this as a side effect and the rest were all manageable.There is always help if you are struggling with anything, and everyones experiences on the forum will enable them to offer you advice. Try and treat the chemo as you ally and your help to getting better. I put little stick-it notes everywhere in my bedroom to encourage me and the most important thing I found was to keep a daily diary from day one, that way, you can not only write down your thoughts (which I find helps) but you can also monitor any side effects you are feeling. Before long you will see some sort of pattern developing. When you are tired just give into your body and rest. I can't help you regarding work as I was self employed. I hope your employers are understanding and allow you the time to get through this. We are all here if you need us. Love Diane :x: