What is 'normal' after chemo?

I had my second lot of Carboplatin, and first of Taxol and Avastin last Wednesday. Seem to have cracked the constipation/diarrhea balance, this time, but have been badly affected by pains in feet and legs. I'm finding it difficult to sleep because of it. Otherwise, apart form being tired all seems fine. I know exercise is important, but I can't work out if it exacerbates the muscle and joint pain or not. Any advice?

11 Replies

  • There is nothing that takes the pains away for me ... It's like someone has a voodoo doll and is sticking pins in me at random places although I think my shins are worse... My onc gave me ibuprofen it does dull the pain but I would not recommend taking anything without your onc advice... They are horrible so you have my sympathies 😃😃

  • Even if you can't work out, try and go for short walks, extending the length or frequency as you feel well enough. It's very good exercise and also it's so invigorating to be outside. Wrap up warmly though as I think Autumn has finally arrived!

  • I founderstand the Avastin gave me achy joints. Try Epsom sales in the bath? I also tried heat wraps around knees or ankles. Topical creams like, oh I've forgotten! I'll have a search through my cupboard later and let you know. One I know sports therapists use, very very smelly, gets very very warm ( but comforting at night) that I bought on amazon after a recommend. But also one for arthritic pain too.


  • Hi Rachael

    I would get on to your team about better pain relief...you don't need to put up with it and even though you may not like the idea of heavy duty pills.. For me it is worth it for a short time to help you sleep and feel ok.

    I had mid range co codamol (I don't like oramorph) and it sorted it...amazing how much better you feel once pain free...


  • Hi Rachael. I find co coda old helps for this sort of pain - I get it from day 3 to 5 after chemo so sympathise. Also Epsom salts in the bath - have a nice long soak and I have a warm milk with ovaltine. This helps on difficult nights.


  • That is meant to say " I find co codamol helps"

  • HI Rachael yes pains and aches are part of the course. One remedy is a twenty minute soak in the bath adding epsom salts and Lavender Oil, that does help the aches and pains, Well done on sorting the other problem, that was my downfall. I found walking did help but wear comfy shoes. I have been told by my physio to loose the Sketchers as they are not great for your feet. She recommends Gel contend 3 Asics. You dont need any stronger because you are just walking rather than running. Hope that helps a bit

  • Hi Rachael - I found raising my legs at night helped, I used to sleep with a pillow under my calfs, also rest them on a heat pad or hot water bottle both help.

  • Hi, I suffered terribly from the pains your describing when on first line treatment. Nothing touched the pain and they tried me on everything! When we decided in February this year that it was time for me to start treatment again, the consultant asked me if I had any worries or concerns. I told her I was really worried about the pains. She decided to increase my steroids and instead of the usual 2 days worth to bring home I was given a weeks worth in a reducing dose. I must say, it worked! I managed to sleep and felt much better in the day because I'd slept. The only thing was I got a ferocious appetite but I didn't care about that as I wasn't in that horrific pain! Why not ask your team to consider this for you.

    Ann xx

  • Thank you all for the suggestions. The pains seem to be fading off now, 10 days after chemo. I will definitely talk to the oncologist about them before the next go. I'm beginning to wish we had a bath, our retirement village has showers throughout. They probably got tired of heaving people out of the bath.

  • Hi Rachael

    I had the pains you're talking about, too. I found that the only thing that worked was Paramol. The hospital gave me Oromorph but I couldn't stand the taste! You definitely need better pain relief to get you through-don't put up with it, you have enough to deal with. I also found that hot packs on my thighs and my lower back helped.

    Good luck!

    Lou xxx

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