Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Immediate side effect of Oxaliplatin

I know that people react differently to the same treatment.
I’m due to start 3 months of Capox(Xelox) in 3 weeks.
Because incomef is a big issue for us i’m trying to work out different scenarios with regard to my office job as i’ve run out of my full pay sick pay entitlement.
Could you guys tell me what are/were your immediate side effect(s) of Oxaliplatin?
Talking about straight after the infusion like the following hours and day.
I know that the side effects are accumulative but i also want to know the immediate side effect and do they stay until the following infusion or wind down ?
My way of thinking is to try to request to have the infusions on Fridays so that i can work better on Mondays.
I’m probably well of the mark and can’t predict but my mind is going ten to the dozen at the moment and making plans help me even though i know that it’s probably a fruitless exercise.

Forum user

Hi @Regis totally understand that income is an issue firstly contact CAB about that, there should be some benefits you can claim, in regards to the CAPOX treatment it's different for everyone, I found cycle one quite easy apart from the neuropathy for three or four days after infusion I had already taken retirement prior to start of this treatment but could have worked through cycle one, cycle two much the same except symptoms elevated could have just about managed work in cycle two, symptoms worse still in cycle three and couldn't have worked, and cycle four had had enough and wouldn't have even contemplated work, but in saying that I would have been paid had I not been at work, and perhaps my mindset would have been different had I needed to work, I guess the answer to this is to give it a go but be aware that chemo stresses the body out and if you working hard you could just be making it work that much Harder still, hope you have an easy ride take care cheers John


I wouldn't have managed work really at any point but I know people who would have been able to do it.
Give you Citizens Advice a ring and ask for a benefit check, Maggies and Macmillian also can advise, Whether that advice turns into hard cash I don't know.
After being off a year I found out last week that my union can help out for the time I have been on half pay.
It is really hard to have to worry about money on top of everything else , I do hope you find something :x:


Hi @Regis. I was lucky and able to work in the office throughout my treatment. I didn’t work on the day of my infusion but the only other day I missed was when my arm was so sore after the oxaliplatin but this was remedied by having a picc line fitted. I suffered from the tingles after touching anything cold but got some gloves with knobbly palms which I wore when driving. Im not Wonder Woman but I felt it helped me mentally by carrying on ‘as normal’ and it stopped me lying on the settee eating! As John says you can give it a go and just see how you get on? :x:


@Regis, for me the most noticeable immediate side effect was tingling fingers when touching just about anything, but worse with cold items (car keys etc). This meant that I could not type or use a keyboard


sorry -- pressed send too soon. Anyway, the steroids really boosted me for the next couple of days and so I suppose I could have worked but chose not to. Hope that helps.:x:


@Regis the Macmillan team were brilliant in advising me and are well worth a call :x::x: I hope you manage to sort something, working would not have been an option for me at all. Take care :x::x::x:


@Regis, do you intend to keep working full time?
I continued to work during chemo, but worked quite a bit less than my regular number of hours, and my brain was so foggy I was a lot less productive than I normally am. Strangely, I didn’t even realize how much chemo influenced my ability to think clearly until after it was over.
I was under no pressure to work; for me, it was something I wanted to do. I don’t know if I would have been able to deal with the extra stress of having to work, on top of not feeling too well because of chemo.


Certainly the tingling from the cold was an issue, I did have to wear gloves some of the time so typing would have been a bit of an issue in the first hours and days after but I always found that in normal office/home heat things become better as the days / first week went on and then better week two etc.. I remember thinking "this is easy" after the first cycle, treatment must be much kinder these days than I expected. Whilst it was & is, the cumulative effect did make it harder (mentally and physically). Due to my operation and quick chemo after, I was signed off by my doctor for much longer than I wanted / needed. I wanted to keep busy and distracted and amongst colleagues to keep my mind from the darker thoughts. I also certainly remember breathing issues as well with the cold air straight after leaving and obviously heavy arm/headache type symptoms and nausea (for which you get tablets that I never needed). In summary, it is doable if you need to/want to and certainly your plan of giving yourself the weekend to get through things is sensible from my experience. If possible, plan for shorter days as you will get/feel more tired more quickly I recall and if you could do it / some of it from home that would help avoid the cold, reduce hours, make you feel more comfortable etc..


I still got 150 hours holiday left before the end of the year, I shall use that to work part time for a bit.


@Regis - I am currently on the CAPOX merry-go-round. I started my second infusion yesterday and am on the tablets at home now.

Immediate side effects - what I will say is take a hat, gloves and scarf and a warm drink with you in a flask to use following treatment. Cold sensitivity is no joke if you suffer from it, and it’s a common side effect of OXI and can come on very quickly. I had it in my first round, and it lasted for 10 days. Following my second round of OXI yesterday, the cold sensitivity has returned with a vengeance and is affecting me more severely now. I am hoping it will go away again in a week or so, but right now I’m wearing gloves around the house and any time I go outside I am wrapped up like an Eskimo with a hot drink in a flask nearby. If I touch/drink/eat or feel anything cold I get electric shock glass pains. I also get tired more easily and have first bite syndrome - where the first bite of any meal/food I have causes intense jaw pain. 🙄

Also common side effects are diarrhoea and nausea but they will give you drugs and guidelines to deal with that at home. The key is to take the drugs as soon as you feel you are having an issue and not wait too long. The Cancer Treatment Helpline are on hand 24/7 so they will keep you right if you are having any problems.

There are loads of possible side effects from CAPOX. It’s hard to know how anyone will react, and I really hope you don’t have too many. I have been keeping a diary of my temperature, the drugs I take and any side effects so I can spot any patterns. That may help you if you are trying to work during treatment, so you can plan reduced hours for the days you are likely to feel bad. I have been signed off from work to cover my chemo treatment, and I don’t think I could work right now. I have definite spells of chemo brain fog.

Try to be kind to yourself during treatment. Take your temperature regularly, hydrate well, and rest when you can. It will help minimise the side effects. Accept that you are going through some intense treatment, and try not to feel guilty when you can’t do everything you want/have planned. Take care of yourself. ☺️