night sweats

To Everyone,

Has anyone else suffered with nights sweats? while on their second line treatment? I understand it can be the cancer that is causing it, I am waiting for the cancer to be shrunk with chemotherapy , it has caused me great stress and sleepless nights,I thought that I had gone throught the chance 4 years ago and just got a little hotter in the day and would open the window for a few minutes, or is it the fact that I dont have my ovaries anymore? has anyone ever been given medication for night sweats?


18 Replies

  • Hi Sarah,

    Sorry to hear about the night sweats, they are wretched. I have noticed that certain chemo drugs are worse than others for the night sweats, well I get my 'tropical moments' 24/7. When I asked my Oncologist about them he confirmed it was the chemo that was causing them. Of course with losing the ovaries etc., that brings on a menopause and the hot sweats. I think they are just something we have to out up and shut up with unfortunately. I certainly am not allowed to take anything that would help stop them.

    The way I have managed to get through the night is by buying a CHILLOW pillow. Look on the web for one and only buy a genuine one. It comes flat packed and you fill it with water, let it settle then remove any air. You put this on top of your normal pillow and when you put your head on it initially it feels as though you are putting your head on a slab of marble, it is so cold. The area you have your head on will eventually warm up, so I just change the pillow round in the night. You can also get them to cover your mattress, but I wouldn't like that.

    Good luck with your treatment.

    Love Anna xx

  • Hi Sarah,

    My sweats happened all last Summer after been debaulked in May 2011. However, as the winter closed in I stopped having them. Could it be the weather has been milder over the last week....? How is the treatment going?

    Love Lizzie


  • Hi BusyLizzie,

    I had my first Chemo last week I was terrified so soon after sitting in those Chemo chairs 6 months ago time went by so fast, is their anything you can say to help me cope better second time around!! have you been there second time around? did you find it easier going weekly? I still had side effects the same as last time shooting pains in my legs and pain in my back, not as bad but still had to cope with them and was cheesed off for having to go another round!!


  • Hi Sarah,

    My second line treatment was caeylx which is administered 4 weekly. First line was carboplatin/taxol which was administered 3 weekly. I assume your first line treatment was the same, but that you are now haviing weekly taxol? After 2 doses of caeylx my tumour marker has gone sky high, so I think we will be looking at a plan C. The only thing I can say, was that at least in your case your marker normalized after first line treatment, even if it did come back more quickly than you would have hoped - so there is no reason second line will not get you back there again. I think the only thing I can say is grit your teeth and every day you feel good - go and so something nice! Treat yourself.

    Love Lizzie


  • Hi sarah!

    I had second round chemo last year, 24 hours (because I had developed an allergy to carboplatin) last year. I coped by taking a portable dvd player and lots of dvd's, I believe you can play dvds on a laptop too, my neighbour when I was in hospital before christmas had her laptop with her. I also did the guardian and times crosswords and played patience on my ipad. I have several audio books, complete operas, and the entire radio version of Lord of the Rings on my ipod and, of course, because I was in for over 24 hours, I could lie down though the steroids did make sleep difficult.

    I hate to tell you though that despite not getting either hot flushes or night sweats when I went through the menopause I have had both since I started on chemo in 2009. I deal with night time problems by keeping a spare pillow so that I can change pillows. I also listen to BBC Iplayer and my Ipod to distract me.

    During the day I keep the house cool and regulate my temperature with sweaters.


  • Just realised there is an error in last answer! I had 24 hours chemo every 3 weeks.


  • to all

    i was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 which meant i needed chemo and surgery . following the surgery where they removed my ovaies along with uterus,cervix and womb. The night sweats got worse ,when i asked my specialist ,i was told it was because the ovaries were no longer there to regulate the hormones . Since then i have gone on to have another cause of chemo in 2011, the sweats are still the same they have not got any worse ,thank goodness. My gp did give me some tablets to ease the sweats ,they are generally used to control blood pressure ,but they made no difference.I found keeping the window open at night helped and the fan on to keep me cool dispite my partners constant moaning that he was cold .

    I also got really painful legs whilst on and even now i'm off the chemo ,this is a side efect from the carboplatin and pacotaxil ,unfortunately for me this seems to be a life time problem now . I can control the pain to some effect by using the oaty heat pads that you put in the micorwave,it doesn't stop the stabbing pains ,but does ease it.I have been stated on pregabolin a tablet used for phantom limb pain ,it seems to be working so far .If you take a dvd player or music ,it certainly helps to while away the time or it just gets boring just sitting there .


  • Hi Sarah,

    I use homeopathic medicine to control my night sweats/flushes & it seems to work for me.

    After my surgery I was referred to the hospital for integrated medicine in London & they took charge of managing my menopause.I was a little sceptical of this in the beginning but it seemed to work & I went from having about 6 episodes a night to maybe 1 & sometimes none.

    I don't know if this service is avaiable near you on the NHS but if it is it might be worth trying.

    I am also on second line treatment that thankfully is going well.



  • I found night sweats intolerable and was very moody so I had very low level HRT patches for a year.Cured symptoms within a month. That was 12 years ago and enabled me to lead a relatively normal life until the cancer recurred 3 years later.I was 48 at the time and not menopausal until the debulking surgery. VIV.

  • hi Sarah

    Yes, I had terrible night sweats and wasn't sure whether it was the cancer, the treatment or the lack of ovaries but they were very distressing and I couldn't sleep. I heard about the Chillow pillow but we made our own! I bought a good quality camping pillow and (with a small funnel), we filled it with water. It stayed in the firdge all day and was a shock when I first laid my head on it - but hoorah, I slept really well after that. After finishing treatment, the night sweats seemed to stop.

    Since then, my GP has put me on a good medication called Dixarit which control the hot flushes caused by a surgical menopause.

    I hope all this is helpful

    Eleni x

  • Dear Sarah

    I seem to have had night sweats too even though it's over 2 years since the menopause with the sweats that brought on. I'm sure the complete removal of uterus, ovaries, cervix, etc. is going to have an effect.

    I tend to sleep with the window open and throw the covers off for a few minutes until I'm cool again. The sweats haven't made me miserable so far so I've never really thought of asking for any medication. I'm a keen sailor. You have to get used to the idea of feeling slightly sick at times and consider this as normal. I think you could probably convince yourself that night sweats are part and parcel of the rich tapestry and then you might not be so worried. Perhaps I'm just lucky that I don't mind feeling sick or having night sweats.

    It's hugely supportive hearing of so many ways our group are dealing with the challenges of living with cancer. I send my love to anyone who's feeling a bit low today.

    Big hugs. xxx Annie

  • Thanks Annie,

    I have been feeling a bit low this week. Does there ever come a time when we don't get these episodes??? I have always been such a positive happy person, now I have to work at it.............not always but sometimes.

    Chris x x

  • Dear Chris

    I'm really sorry you're feeling low this week. You have been through a lot but hey you're done really well so far. I'm still at the fortunate stage where I have no real symptoms and feel well. I think once things go a bit pear-shaped it becomes more difficult to be positive - and indeed one shouldn't even try as you can hardly be positive all the time about feeling rough.

    I remember so well the film The Bucket List. It seemed so irreverent and it celebrated in a very humorous way having an illness that is not going to get better. I think it's vital to make the most of the good times while they last, and who knows, they might last much longer than we expect. I had a 3-month check up with my oncology nurse yesterday and she said there are people who defy the statistics. She said 'IF the cancer comes back' and I corrected her to 'WHEN', but we agreed I could equally be knocked over by a bus so we accepted it was an 'IF' after all.

    My daughters are concerned about me and worry that in burying my head in the sand now the future will be harder to bear. I can only exist in the present as I can't imagine anything else so I don't worry about tomorrow. I do know I shall hate being very ill and I just hope that I can learn from some of the wonderful examples of sufferance and dignity that I witness on these pages. These people are heroes. They're not an object of anyone's pity and have an important role to play in all our lives.

    The sun is beginning to come out here in Cardiff. I hope it does for you.

    with love, Annie xx

  • Hi Annie

    Thanks for you kind words. I don't get down often, must be that 'February feeling'. Just waiting for the Spring. It's so much better when the sun is shining. I saw that film too. Brilliant wasn't it.

    Love Chris x x

  • Hi Sarah

    I'm in remission since surgery and chemo 2010 but I still seem to have hot flushes not only at night but also sometimes in the day. Can't say I really suffered too much during my menopause. They are quite mild so I haven't mentioned them to the doctor. If that's all I have to deal with then I'm happy. Hope your treatment goes well. Love and hugs Chris x x

  • Hi all, I use a magnet called Ladycare in the daytime, but you might want to check out a thread on here earlier, type in Ladycare or magnets or hot flushes into the search box at the top of the page. It may help with some of the problems does get easier, but I had my op 9 years ago and I am 61! By the way, I'm not working on commission from Ladycare, I just always use one and it's really helped with hot flushes for me.

    All the best

    Wendy xx

  • Hi Wendy

    I've heard you mention these before. I will definately check it out. Thanks

    Love Chris x

  • LOL! Wendy, how could you think us so cynical ;-)

    Love Lizzie


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