Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Steroid on Oxi and meal replacement.

Starting Chemo (CAPOX) in a couple of weeks.
A bit worried about the sickness side effect(s) and not wanting to eat sometime.
Some say that the steroid you have alongside Oxaliplatin can actually make you eat more.
I’m not sure if the steroid are a standard with Oxy or you get them if you suffer from certain side effect(s).
Could someone clarify?

I’m also thinking about meal replacement like the “Nurishment” brand to sip on the days that will not feel like eating.
This bad boy has 1600 kcals per teen with plenty of vitamins & electrolytes.
This should be enough to keep me going on low appetite days.
I will only use it for emergencies.
Anyone tried similar products?


Hi @Regis , I can’t comment on meal replacements but can confirm that CAPOX plus steroids made me super hungry. I would say just eat what you feel like on those days. For some reason I craved salty snacks. I’m on my third cycle and asked them if I could drop the steroids last time. Dr agreed with dropping the steroid infusion and halved the dose of take home steroid tablets. I really didn’t like how they made me feel and sleep was very elusive. See how you get on. I’ve gained a bit of weight on CAPOX and the oncology team are ok with that. For that reason I have not needed to worry about meal replacements! Good luck :x:.


Hi @Regis, I think it is good to plan ahead …… but also almost impossible, apart from perhaps having gloves etc for cold sensitivity!

The steroids are usually prescribed for two reasons, one to reduce the rare reaction that some people can have to chemo, and two to reduce nausea, along with other medication. My guess is your oncologist would want you to get a couple of cycles under your belt before thinking about reducing your steroid dose.

The part that makes planning ahead so difficult is not knowing what your side effects will be. In addition I can visualise a situation where meal replacements might actually make you feel more nauseous (if you have nausea!). I think most people eat what they fancy for the few days of nausea. I would try not to worry about the nausea until you know what you are up against. Easy for me to say I know, but do speak from experience of coming up to six years of chemo 😂. I tend to live on twiglets, humous, cheesy baked potatoes and grapes for a couple of days!.

Take care and stay in touch, Kim :x::x:


I was on the same treatment and took the steroids (although from memory these were only for the first few days after infusion). I dont remember a massive change to my apetitie but just ate what I fancied when I fancied it (there were times I did not feel like eating and times when I was very hungry so balanced itself out). I also remember never needing the anti-sickness drugs that were provided and was never actually sick during treatment. That said, I still cannot eat some of the food I ate in the first 24 hours after infusion... or bizarelly wear the same clothes I wore when on the drip...

and yes... have gloves of varying levels of warmness...


@Regis I had 4 rounds of oxyliplatin and capecitabine, I only had the steroids on the day I had the oxyliplatin infusion. To be honest I was the opposite way on, I really didn’t have very much appetite, so I bought some of the meal replacement drinks but I suffered very badly with throat spasms if I had anything that wasn’t above room temperature, so they didn’t get used.
I did suffer from nausea but found peppermint tea, ginger & honey infusions in hot water and ginger boiled sweets helped.
Wishing you lots of luck with your treatment.