Side effects


My number has been called and I have lung cancer with mets to bone and liver. Doctor said since i'm relatively young and strong he wants to treat aggressive with chemo and radiation. Biopsy results not in but, doc said doesn't think it is small cell.

I am no omcology expert but, was wandering if anyone can give a heads up about side effects of treatment and what I might expect (in a general way).

Hope this ain't violating TOS.

Thanks ya'll.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

I am so sorry you are ill. We can't really give medical advice but we can give hugs and be here for you. I am no expert either but I know these meds are strong and tough.

I will be sending positive thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS))


5 Articles; 404 Posts

Specializes in Hem/Onc/BMT. Has 11 years experience.

I'm so sorry you're going through this.

I haven't worked much with solid organ cancers but I can talk about general chemo-related side effects. I hope it isn't considered "medical advise." I'll keep very general.

I think what disturbs patients the most is the nausea. Nowadays we have a lot of antiemetics to help them through, compared to decades before, thank god. Still, it happens, and it can be exhausting not only physically but also mentally. It helps them to remember that it will pass.

One thing I can't emphasize enough to my patients is the infection prevention when their WBC falls low. The severity of myelosuppression will vary among different chemo agents, but keeping a close eye on the absolute neutrophil count (they're the cells primarily responsible for warding off common infections) and when they're at "neutropenic" low, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to keep clean, hand washing, avoiding crowd, low microbial diet, etc...

Another common chemo-related problem would be fatigue. I try to get patients keep a routine of getting up, shower, and take a walk. Staying in bed all day only makes it worse. Of course, as long as they're not on bedrest.

Some long-term chemo-related side effects I've seen are peripheral neuropathy and memory problems. But it all depends on specific chemo agents and combinations.

I hope this will help you feeling better prepared. I've been told not to divulge too much about side effects because it will raise patient's anxiety level... I think it all depends on the personality. Some people needs extra protection, but some people really like to know ahead...

Regardless, one thing I always tell patients when they're going through tough stage is... "One day at a time."

My best wishes, and I hope you will keep us posted, if you feel up to it...