Lymphoma Awareness: Chemo Side Effects

As discussed in the previous blog, this month is Lymphoma Awareness Month and given that there is still very little information shared from cancer patients and survivors, I wanted to use my blog to bring more awareness to it (Yes, more medical information).

When someone is first diagnosed with cancer, the doctor will discuss the specific type of cancer, the best possible treatment for it and survival rates. The doctor will explain the details of the treatment and their side effects and will recommend when to start treatment based upon the cancer type and stage. For example, in my case, my type of cancer was an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma which is called primary mediastinal large b-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that required a treatment plan of chemo and radiation. The beginning recommended chemo regime is called R-CHOP. These are initials for the following type of drugs used: R – rituximab, C – cyclophosphamide, H – doxorubicin (hydroxydaunomycin), O – vincristine (oncovin), P – prednisolone (a steroid). Rituximab is not a chemotherapy drug; it is used as a targeted therapy that belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies.


Some Possible Side Effects for R-CHOP:

  • Fever
  • Feeling unwell, even with a normal temperature
  • Infection
  • Temperature below 98.6 F or 36 C
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Breathlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Heavy periods/menopause
  • Blood in urine
  • Rash
  • Anemia
  • Lack of energy
  • Dizzy and light-headed
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Hair loss
  • Sore mouth and throat
  • Constipation
  • Bladder irritation
  • Numb or tingling hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Raised blood sugar levels
  • Stomach pain or indigestion
  • Build-up of fluid
  • Skin and nail changes
  • Possible effects on kidneys and liver
  • Jaw pain
  • Heart problems
  • Lung problems
  • Anxious
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Eye problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Second cancer
  • Loss of fertility

This is not an all-inclusive list, for example, I did not include the worst side effect which is Death.  These were some real side effects that I was informed about when signing to agree for treatment.  For me, it was not a question of whether or not I was going to agree to treatment, I was in the brink of death as the tumor was causing superior vena cava syndrome (a partial blockage of the main vein that carries blood from the upper body to the heart).

Side effects differ based upon the type of chemo given which means that side effects differ from cancer patient to cancer patient.  As I was experiencing some of the side effects, I referred back to the information given to me to know which ones required me to call my doctor or go to the hospital.  If you are a caregiver, please stay informed and ask as many questions as possible to the doctor. Stay informed of all the possible side effects to assist in the best possible way.  

#Informed

  One thought on “Lymphoma Awareness: Chemo Side Effects

  1. September 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you for your input!

    Unfortunately, I experienced most of them at some point in my treatment.🙁

    Thankfully, most of the side effects subsided after finishing treatment. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. September 21, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Such a useful and important blog post, and an exhaustive list of side effects! 👍🏽

    Liked by 2 people

  3. September 21, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Very informative blog on cancer side effects , actually most of the cases the side effects are same.Thank you very much for sharing ☺️😊🌷

    Liked by 2 people

    • September 21, 2021 at 9:20 pm

      Thank you for your feedback!👍😀😊 I’m glad to be sharing this information; especially because I experienced it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • September 21, 2021 at 10:36 pm

        Yes I read about you. Thank you God bless you ☺️☺️🌹

        Liked by 1 person

      • September 21, 2021 at 10:39 pm

        Awesome!👍 God bless you too!!😀🌹

        Liked by 1 person

      • September 21, 2021 at 11:04 pm

        🌹❤️❣️🍫💖 Feeling happy 🤗🤗🌹

        Liked by 2 people

  4. September 21, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Very informative blog about the cancer side effects, actually most of the cases the side effects are almost same. Thank you very much for sharing 👌👌

    Liked by 1 person

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