Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Just a quick question …one week on from first chemo and I’m exhausted and appetite waning. I thought after a couple of days I’d be having some normality but the tiredness is constant , until you go to bed and then lie awake. Any tips would be great thanks Pray

Liz Blakelands

@blamelouis I do sympathise but I'm sorry I can't suggest anything to help. I know when I could not sleep I would try listened to Classic FM which sometimes worked but I used get up if I was still awake after an hour. I'd have a cup of tea, try to read a bit then return to bed when started to feel tired. I did find the sometimes I was fine but other days had the waves of tiredness then I would just watch the bees in the garden for hours. Hope someone else can help :x::x:


I had CBT therapy last year, sleeping was an issue, I was advised to think of as many girls names as I could beginning with the letter A, then work through the alphabet, used to do it with flowers, animals anything I could think of, it actually did help :x:


I understand your struggle. I feel tired all the time. Yet my sleep is usually broken and it takes a while to drop off. I downloaded the Headspace app, which has lovely soundscapes, switching off talks and breathing exercises. These have helped me relax and sleep. There is even a coping with cancer meditation course. I listen to the voice of Andy, who also had cancer, when I listen to the course sessions. My husband, who is not having chemo, but finds sleep hard sometimes watches golf clips to switch off. I hope you find something to help you 🌺

Forum user

Aw @blamelouis it’s awful yes, your bodies way of needing the rest to cope. Small appetising eats might be better, sometimes whether your hungry or not. The sleeplessness is so hard and again trying to go with the flow, nodding when you need to, my sister got me Netflix which helped, but you’ll find your thing as long as your resting. Take care :x::x::x:

Mark McC

Hi @blamelouis

Sadly tiredness and fatigue are one of the many possible chemo side effects.

As the chemo drugs circulate in your body killing cells that are in the process of splitting into 2 new cells, whether they are cancerous or not it will fatigue you. Thankfully it will improve once the chemo is over but unfortunately until then you just need to ride it out. Listen to your body though, if you want to sleep during the day do and eat what and when you feel like it.

Sorry I can’t be more encouraging, take care & good luck.


@blamelouis if you are on CAPOX then I found days 6 and 7 the most tiring and horrid - like other posters have said, rest as much as you can and do what your body needs. On the upside I felt great during the third week of the cycle, before it all started again, so I used to plan nice things to look forward to for that week in particular. Rest up :x::x: