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Peripheral Neuropathy Peripheral Neuropathy

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Unread 07-18-2003, 10:34 AM
Peripheral Neuropathy

Hi, Ladies. I'm curious to hear from those of you who have encountered peripheral neuropathy (tingling, burning sensations the hands/feet) as one of their side effects of chemo. I'm halfway through chemo and have had it each each time. In the beginning, it lasted no more than a day or two. After the second chemo, I had some truly minor residual tingling at the top of my thumb. After this third chemo, though, there's more and I'm feeling it through most of the day, especially now that I have more energy and I'm doing more during the days (working, writing, keyboarding, laundry). Nothing real major, just that I'm always "aware" of the palms of my hands and fingertips. Nothing in the feet, to date.

Can you share your experience here? Has anything in particular helped? I understand this is one of those side effects that will not go away after treatment is completed. It's permanent. My doctor has me taking pirodoxine (B-6) and has just suggested 3000 mg of glutamine daily which he said is over the counter and I could get it at a health food store.

Oh, my doctor also told me I'm anemic and said I could go on Procrit once a week injections. I was so surprised. I told him I've felt so energetic this week (compared to prior)! Amazing! I'll probably start Procrit at next chemo treatment.

Thanks to all of you and God bless.
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Unread 07-18-2003, 11:43 AM
My Experience..hope it helps


Just did some quick research on peripheral neuropathy . I hope that the following helps. This was my experience with what I assume was peripheral neuropathy. It happened during my second chemo, second hour, drip bag #2. In that drip bag were Benadryl, and 2 other anti nausea/steroid drugs, Decadron and Navoban, I believe.

Suddenly, I had a most strange physical sensation from my knees to the top of my thighs. It was not pleasant, but tingling and stinging. I described it to my gyn/onc as what I thought that lockjaw might feel like. For an hour, I felt like these nerves were trying to seize up, and I kept on trying to work my muscles there, not to let them. (Just as an aside, at the same time, I was really nodding off, and at the same time, I had a tremendous urge to spend a penny (pee); but everytime that I nodded off, these knee to thigh 'seizures' woke me up. If I remember correctly, during the third drip bag - one of the anti-cancer drugs - I did not experience it, but still felt the effects for probably a day or 2 after.

Now, during my third chemo, I was mentally prepared for this again. But, it didn't happen. I was delighted. Not to say that it may not happen for me again during #4, still to achieve. I mentioned to the gyn sister and to my gyn/onc surgeon, and now wonder if something extra or different was added to that chemo in order not to get that effect again. I will have to ask on this. Maybe it did not happen during my 3rd chemo, as my body had made some contingency plans - unknown to me - on dealing with it, if it should ever be pumped with these chemicals again. I like to think that this is what happened.

Now, I had had a metastasis of ovarian cancer first, and, after that op. (Sept. 2002), that area lost a great dealing of physical feeling. I could pinch my thigh and not really feel it for many months. But, it slowly and gradually came back. (I had no chemo during this time - just an op.)

You mentioned that you understood that peripheral neuropathy was permanent. If that was what I experienced, mine did go away. One of the two websites that I scanned mentioned nutritional levels.

In closing, I will say that one day, I will be 'drug free' !! (rarely even took an aspirin before), and I fully expect that, if what I had was peripheral neuropathy, and if that, I get it again, not to, when I no longer have these chemicals pumped into my body.
Unread 07-18-2003, 11:52 AM
Had Perpheral Neuropathy Prior to Chemo

I had this prior to the cancer and chemo. It would come and go especially in my right thigh which would either be numb or burn. Dr. and I were prepared for problems during chemo--but I didn't have any. I had one flare-up after chemo that settled down. I also have it on the bottom of one foot. I can say I had no problems from the chemo nor has it been ongoing--just off and on as before. Glutamine is often recommended as helping neuropathy and I used it at first and then stopped as I didn't have problems. By all means, tell your doctor about any neuropathy you are having--if it gets worse, they can switch to taxotere.
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Unread 07-18-2003, 02:49 PM
Peripheral Neuropathy

I had peripheral neuropathy after each chemo. The tips of my fingers and toes would burn and tingle. The symptoms would quiet down but not disappear in time for my next cycle. Now, almost 6 months after my last chemo, my fingertips and toes are mildly numb. I usually don't notice it. My toes burn and tingle more when I have been on my feet for a long while. My oncologist said these symptoms may last for as long as a year after chemo or they may be permanent. I figure a little tingling is a small price to pay for killing those pesky cancer cells.

I also had Procrit. Started weekly Procrit shots just before my 6th & last chemo. My hemaglobin was down to 9 and I was short of breath on exertion. I only needed 6 weeks of injections until my blood count went to normal levels. I never notice any side effects from Procrit.

Hope this helps. Hang in there.

Ruth S
Unread 07-18-2003, 06:57 PM
Peripheral Neuropathy

Hi Maureen....

Sorry you are experiencing this side effect. I did not have any side effects but am sure that this must be rather annoying. Hopefully it will subside when the chemo is over.


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