Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Nervous System Changes
Chemotherapy can damage your nervous system. Many nervous system problems
improve within a year of completion of chemotherapy, but some may last for the rest of your life.
Ways to Manage Nervous System Changes:
- Let your doctor or nurse know right away if you notice any nervous system changes. It is important to treat these problems as soon as possible.
- Be careful when handling knives, scissors and other sharp or dangerous objects.
- Avoid falling. Walk slowly, hold on to handrails when using the stairs and put non-slip bath mats in your bathtub or shower. Make sure there are no rugs or cords around to trip over.
- Always wear sneakers, tennis shoes or other footwear with rubber soles.
- Use a thermometer to check the temperature of your bath water to avoid burning yourself.
- Be extra careful to avoid burning or cutting yourself while cooking.
- Wear gloves when working in the garden, cooking or washing dishes.
- Rest when you need to.
- Steady yourself when you walk by using a cane or other walking aids.
- Talk to your doctor or nurse if you notice memory problems, or if you feel confused or depressed.
- Ask your doctor for pain medication if you need it.
Symptoms May Include
- Tingling, burning, weakness, or numbness in your hands or feet
- Feeling colder than normal
- Pain when walking
- Weak, sore, tired, or achy muscles
- Clumsiness or losing your balance
- Trouble picking up objects or buttoning your clothes
- Shaking or trembling
- Hearing loss
- Stomach pain, such as constipation or heartburn
- Confusion and memory problems