Chemo/radiotherapy side effects

Waiting to start my treatment and want to prepare myself for how I’m going to feel.
Will I be able to go out walking at all, out for lunch etc or will I just be too tired and sick?
I want to live as close to normal as possible. Am I being unrealistic?
I’m stage 4a so am expecting to be have quite drastic treatment.
I was speaking to one lady who said she was still able to do school runs etc.

Hi philleepa 

i finished 5 weeks of chemo and radiotherapy in October for recurrent cervical cancer  , I have to be honest and tell you I found the treatment quite hard going , I suffered terribly with vomiting  resulting in hospital admission , I ended up under the palliative care consultant purely for symptom control for the vomiting, she helped massively and managed to help with The sickness.  I had no energy and spent a lot of time in bed , I was not able to go out shopping , meet friends or drive my car as I felt to unwell, this  was just my experience though and everyone is different , I hope it won't be like this for you , but I would advise you prepare yourself just in case .

wishing you all the best , take care 


Thank you. Yes I want to know even the worst things so that I can prepare myself. 

Are you feeling better now?

Hi, sorry say but I was the same as Greene.

i was violently sick and lost a lot of weight i went down to 6st I was and still am a skeleton...I'm now 7st 7 and gaining :-). I would have a strange taste in my mouth constantly some say they taste metal I can't discribe the taste but food didn't taste the same - so due to this and the mouth ulcers I barely ate - I also lost my appetite and physically couldn't eat anything my body didn't want.

i also had:

severe pins and needles in myfeet - this went mild when my treatment was changed when mentioned at the hospital - I also got it in my hands

sickness - 7 tablets and injections later I found one that worked

tirdness like you wouldn't believe! I would sleep for 18 hours then still be tired - my sofa became my bed when I was awake and yo sleep on some nights

i lost my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows - they've grown back

exshaustion all the time - getting up to go the oiled was a chore some days - I still get tired now and I finished treatment in october

bad bowels and bladder - I have a hole in mine due to my cancer and I had so many water infections!

hospital stays because of infections - mainly water infections - they take you being poorly very seriously!

blood tests about a million!

aches and pains all over - bad back was the most common


my memory and thinking is really bad maybe me being overwhelmed and not knowing it

my hearing is really bad - I am deaf in one ear anyway but my other ear is really poor hearing now 

Titus is it called? Ringing in your ears....this is in both and is still constant even now


dry skin

itchy skin to the point where I would want to rip my skin off

i think that's all :-).....fair to say I had a rough time. Please please please!! DO NOT think you will go through what I have as everyone is different and I have advanced cc so I was on strong treatments.

my advice for you?

take time off work

get someone to help - someone to drive you to appointments as they like seeing you, a different person to help with shopping and helping around the house, someone to help care for you - I did this and they drove me mad always someone being around (I like to be on my own lol, live alone and I am very independent :-)) but having more than one person helped as I wasn't such a burden to that one person

see if you can get help with rent, council tax and or benifitd

relax and rest!!!

listen to your body

eat as much as you can as you will lose weight regardless

any aches, pains etc tell the doctor asap

dpnt thonk about it - get a hobby for when your upto it

it gets really lonley as people don't understand what your going through

you may hear a lot f "my friends aunts cousin had this cancer and they did this", and a lot of people will keep questioning you about your treatment etc - refrain from hitting people - it's hard!! as you will get pissed off with both trust me!! I am a very calm person....I could of been in jail by now :-)

anything you want to ask ask away - I won't sugar coat it and tell you the truth 



Thank you for being honest. Forewarned is forearmed and all that  x I am sorry you has such a bad time. I am staged at 4a which is also advanced so km presuming my treatment will be as intense as yours. Where had your cancer spread? Mines in my vagina and the wall of my bladder.

I'm trying to build myself up now and put some weight on in case I do lose a lot of weight. I'm not looking forward to not wanting to eat because I know my husband won't understand and try to persuade me to eat which drive me mad. I'm stocking up on frozen mash and cod in butter sauce!

It's good to know about the pins and needles, I will watch out for that and mention it as soon as it happens. 

My memory is buggered at the moment, I think it's having so much to think about. I expect tiredness will make it worse. I am tired now due to lack of sleep.

You really have had it bad haven't you. I hope that the outcome is a positive one after all you have been through x when is your next check up? 

I wish I could send my hubby over to look after you because you really need looking after x 

I gave up work as soon as I was diagnosed. Looking back I maybe could have just cut down my workload as it would have kept me busy BUT I have managed to sort my house out a bit and put things into place. Plus I am not as stressed as I would be if I am working.

Thank you again x 


Ha ha carmel, I have only just seen the last bit of your comment. I promise not to hit anyone! !!!!

How long was your treatment in total?

Hi Philleepa,

I guess you will be on much stronger chemo than most of us. Most of us have Cisplatin which is a 'keep-your-hair-on' chemo, a bit pukey but not like the serious stuff. The radiotherapy though I would have thought is likely to be much the same, in which case you can expect a bit of diarrhoea after a couple of weeks. I was put on a special diet for radiotherapy which was very low roughage and nothing containing seeds. Very similar in fact to the banana, apple, rice, bread diet used for irritable bowel syndrome.

Be lucky :-)

Hi philleepa

im feeling better now , still get tired and have some bowel problems but can cope with that , I'm trying to build myself up now, I agree with carmel  get some help with everyday tasks and lifts to appointments if you can . Rest when you need to .

Take care 


I'm having cisplatin.  I guess that's quite good news is it? 


Hi Philleepa,

I guess you can tell from the postings that no two people react the same to the treatment and that there are so many unknown variables. I had chemo rad after a radical hysterectomy, and didn't have many symptoms until the last 2/3 weeks, except I did feel quite sick, but then I had too much cisplatin! I am absolutely sure that a positive attitude can take you a very long way, but you might need to be prepared for anything. As others have said, get as much rest as you can when you can, and rope in friends, family whoever is around to offer that bit of support. It's always good to know there are people out there who are thinking about you, and can do a school run for you. I didn't feel like driving, and was advised not to, as treatment can make you feel a bit spacy sometimes. In the last couple of weeks your bowels might start to complain, but others have already spoken about changing your diet and eating what your body feels like having. I do wish you all the very very best when your treatment starts.


Mine went into a lymph node, caused a hole in my bladder where it grew and started to grow in my kidney tube so I had to have stents put in which was so bloody painful! But my last scan showed that the cancer had shrunk which was good news! I had my 1st follow up at the end of November and I'm still waiting on my scan dates which isn't nice as I go back work on the 4th January due to money.

Thank you for your kind words :-)

It's horrible not being able to eat I had everyone getting on at me and no one understood I physically could not eat I cried and argued a lot! Once when we were out for a family meal!

You'll be ok I'm sure of it keep me updated x

My treatment began around the 18th March and ended at the beginning of October it should of been the end of September but my body needed a rest x

Hi carmel,  at the beginning of your treatment did you know you were in for such a lot of treatment?  

I am only down for 4 weeks x 

Hi, yeah when I had my follow up appointments it was said I would have 5 sessions of chemo then radi but can't remember if they said how many. Originally I was going into a trial where I would have chemo every day and radio but as the cancer was outside the "acceptable" area I couldn't go into it. I found out the number of radio sessions at the end of my 5 sessions of chemo and they added another 4 but it made me really really poorly as they were weekly with radio as well and on one day I would have chemo AND radio so they cut the last 2 as I was hospitalised when I went for a chemo session.

when they had planned the number of radio sessions I was told about the brachy so it was a swap and change thing for me even though all scans showed the cancer shrinking x

I had this plus another chemo (can't remember the name) at the same time - your treatment maybe different to mine

Hi yes, I think my treats different.  I'm having 4 weeks of radiotherapy with chemo once at week at the same time. I'm then down for 2 braccy treatments..

All very daunting but it's got to be done  x 

Thank you for replying x 

Happy Xmas Philleepa!

Sounds like your treatment is exactly the same as mine except that I had 5 weeks of Cisplatin with radiotherapy. It's manageable, honest it is! Have a super Christmas!


Thank you tivoli    x 

I just want to get started now x 

Hope you are having a good Xmas   

I am thanks Philleepa :-)
When does your treatment begin? I'm guessing after the New Year? In which case have a total blast seeing in the year you are going to beat cancer :-D

Be lucky :-)

Starting 4th January  x going to be a crap start to a good year. We had a lovely year this year until September when my sister died. It's all gone downhill since then.  I was diagnosed with this and then my stepdad had a stroke . Things happen in 3s so hopefully that's our family's 3 over and done with. 

We have our first lot of good news which is my nephew and his wife are expecting their first baby in June.  Hopefully the good news will happen in 3s and the next good news will me that my cancer gets lost.

Sorry for being selfish and making a wish for me X