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Topic: anybody have ankle and foot swelling with taxol

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: May 24, 2008 04:09PM

crapshoot wrote:

Hey everybody - i have just finished 12 weekly taxol/herceptin doses.  around week 9 my feet started to swell slightly and then by the 11th week they were huge.  Had a doppler to rule out clot.  My feet are still swelling - left side more than right.  apparently swelling of the feet is not a normal side effect for taxol but have read where it does happen - anybody else experience this? 

Thanks. 

Elaine

Dx 9/21/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 24, 2008 04:29PM luckymel wrote:

Elaine, I had exactly the same experience, at exactly the same time (started about week 9 of taxol).  It wasn't just my feet, though, it was my legs also, and I suspect I was a bit puffy all over.  My oncologist acted like he had never heard of such a thing, but I have talked to many others who had similar symptoms.  I ended up going to my PCP, who put me on two separate diuretics - she, at least, was concerned.  The swelling eventually went away, but it took  6-8 weeks before I felt back to normal.  It was a miserable feeling, and I'm sorry you're going through it now, but it will pass. 

Mel Dx 10/10/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 24, 2008 04:33PM crapshoot wrote:

Thanks Mel for taking the time to tell me about this - same thing - my oncologist was baffled - said maybe it was stasis dermatitis and told me to walk, my nurse told me to keep my leg elevated.  Hmmmmm.    My left calf is also swollen and my left foot looks like something out of a sci-fi movie or something - swelling is much worse on the left than the right.  If it was something to do with my heart because of the herceptin and/or AC treatment i had first i think both legs would be equally affected. 

thanks again

Elaine

Dx 9/21/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 24, 2008 04:40PM luckymel wrote:

Mine was also worse on one side - I forget which.  All the oncologists seems to deny this as a side effect, and yet so many of us experience it - I really don't understand it.  My chemo sisters and I have speculated that perhaps they don't want to face up to being the cause of something, perhaps...who knows.  Hope you feel better soon, though - I would suggest keeping your legs elevated as much as possible, but also walking a bit might help.  Nothing really did it for me till I got on the diuretics, though, and then the change was miraculous and I felt like me again.

Mel Dx 10/10/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 24, 2008 04:46PM crapshoot wrote:

thanks mel.  i think a trip to the family doctor may be in order for a diuretic.  Glad to hear it worked for you.  yay!!

Elaine

Dx 9/21/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 25, 2008 01:12PM Caya wrote:

Elaine, I was on Taxotere, in the taxane family, and I also had the left ankle/leg swelling.  They sent me for 2 ultrasounds of my left leg over the course of a few infusions to make sure it was not a blood clot (it wasn't), and I  also got a diuretic to ease the swelling.  I did still experience some swelling on the same left/ankle when I was on Herceptin only, but not nearly as bad when on the Taxotere.

Dx 10/16/2006, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)
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May 25, 2008 11:50PM sushanna1 wrote:

About week 9 of weekly taxotere, my feet and ankles swelled so much that I could not wear normal shoes.  My footgear consisted of a pair of large hiking boots (worn with very thin socks) and a pair of clogs.   A couple of weeks on a diuretic and they returned to normal. 

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May 26, 2008 02:29AM Diana63 wrote:

My feet swelled right after my 8th taxol, I can't wear anything but sandals because it hurts so bad. My Oncol. was the same way, he acts like he had never seen anyones feet swell before on Taxol.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Dx 10/6/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 26, 2008 12:36PM crapshoot wrote:

Thank you everyone for the information.   Hopefully the diuretics have done their job for all of you.  Diana - have you tried diuretics as well?  It seems like that is the thing to do for this.  It is weird how it just happens towards the end of the treatment.  Oh well - just another thing to contend with.  we can do it.


Elaine

Dx 9/21/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 27, 2008 03:53AM Diana63 wrote:

Elaine, no I have'nt tried any meds for it yet, but this Friday is my last taxol. I just hope this last one goes by without many se's.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Dx 10/6/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 27, 2008 05:56PM LJ13 wrote:

I just finished my 12th (and last) weekly Taxol/Herceptin about 2-1/2 weeks ago. I noticed swelling after the second treatment. The swelling continued throughout treatment. For the first 7-8 weeks, the swelling would go down as I slept if I elevated my feet. After that, it was pretty much constant. First it was the ankles, then also the feet, then also calves. My feet would look like sausages with toes. For me left was worse than right. The doc. recommended the elevation, and if "necessary" compression socks and a diuretic. By the time that elevation stopped working, it seemed like I was so close to being finished, I just didn't want to do any more drugs.

So 2 1/2 weeks later, I'm still getting swelling, but it seems a bit less. 

Around week 5-6, I noticed my legs were feeling tired. This persisted too. Around week 10, tired was feeling more like muscle pain. Now, it's persistent muscle pain and stiffness. Just legs, mostly below the knee.

Dang. Taxol was so much better than AC for so long. The first 6 weeks, it hardly seemed like I was on chemo. But 12 weeks of it really wears your body down. 

Worry is a misuse of the imagination.
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May 28, 2008 11:01AM crapshoot wrote:

well folks - went and got the diuretic yesterday - my feet are much better today - elevating them really didn't work, and they weren't much better in the mornings anymore.  Already there is a noticeable improvement and my feet do feel like they belong to somebody else anymore.   LJ i agree with you - the taxol really was a piece of cake - i told the nurses at my chemo center it was like a fine merlot as opposed to the gut rot garbage they had given me before (4 x AC). 

When i took the prescription to the pharmacist yesterday she said the swelling would have been because of the taxol as well and it is good to see the feet getting smaller - i still don't have ankles mind you but i know they are there somewhere.

Elaine

Dx 9/21/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 14, 2017 12:15AM dinkumscot wrote:

Hi Mel and all

My wife has had a bad time with chemo and was worse after the Taxol. Her problems started a few days after the end of the taxol treatment to the extent that she now can't walk due to severe edema along with peripheral neuropathy. She has this in both legs and feet and it is now ten weeks since she has been able to walk, although she can get around the house with a walker from time to time. Her oncologist says that she has never seen this in anyone before and she may be right for as far as I have looked on websites many people have had a bad time with feet and legs but I have not come across anybody who cannot walk or is as bad at walking as my wife is. Should anybody who views this be able to help please do. Mel what diuretics did your pcp recommend?

Bob

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Apr 14, 2017 06:38AM Moderators wrote:

dinkumscot - First, we want to welcome you to our community here at BCO! This is an old thread and nobody posted here since 2008, and Mel has not been active on the boards since 2011. If you want you can start your own new thread to find answers and support from other active members. Under this same forum should be fine. Just click above this page, in the title of the forum, and then click on "Start a new topic". Add a title, write your comment, and when you are ready to post your new topic, click "Submit".

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Apr 14, 2017 06:58AM Warrior_Woman wrote:

Dinkumscot - My experience with swelling came right around the time of I ended chemo from the CT X 4. I am a petite person and my ankles, feet, calves thighs, hands, fingers and arms swell to a frightening proportion. I've never seen anything like it. It was the only time I have called for the on-call MO in the middle of the night. I could walk but something like exercise wasn't likely. My MOs assured me I would be OK and prescribed lassix. Two pills is the effective dose for me. Well, I lost all of the water in a few days totaling 10 lbs. That is a lot of water to carry around. I had a few bouts of this early on and now, a few years later, I use the lassix once every couple of months when I notice the start of swelling. Nothing like the original episode thank goodness.

And so, I am wondering how this is going for your wife now. All of my MOs recognized it and assured me it was easy to treat and confirmed it is related to my chemo. If no one has suggested lasix she may want to inquire. It is a super strength diuretic and best to take when you know you'll be home for 4-6 hours. Anyway, I am not a doctor, I do not have neuropathy but I hope my related story can help.

Neurofibromatosis type 1, BMX & a total of 11 surgeries, chemo and hormonal treatment. FU cancer. I'm better than ever! Dx 9/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/2013, LCIS, 0/1 nodes Dx 12/2013, DCIS, 0/1 nodes Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 16, 2017 01:08AM dinkumscot wrote:

Hi Warrior Woman

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my query. My wife has been on Frusemide (Taxol) for a few weeks now and it does not see to have done much for her. I have opened up anew topic because she has foot drop in both feet as the probable result of her treatment. For those of you over 65 it might be worthwhile having a look at an article in the Journal of American Physical TherapyAssociation under the heading Persistent Mobility Disability After Neurotoxic Chemotherapy. But please help with foot drop would be appreciated.

dinkumscot

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Apr 16, 2017 04:20PM Kicks wrote:

"Frusemide (Taxol)". Frusemide/furosemide a diuretic that is used for alleviating fluid for patients with heart or kidney issues. Taxol is Paclitaxel.

Perhaps your wife needs a further evaluation to figure out what is going on. Other health issues can be aggravated by or develope during/after chemo.

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIC, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/24/2009 AC Surgery 10/20/2009 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/10/2009 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/3/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Apr 16, 2017 05:12PM Denise-G wrote:

It is EXTREMELY common to have swelling with Taxol  2 to 3 weeks after it ends.  My MO warned me about it.

My sister who also had ACT had it.  They told me drink LOTS of water.  If I would have needed a diuretic they would

have prescribed one.  

GOOD luck to all!!!

www.denise4health.info my BC Blog with over 175 informative posts - stop by and say hello! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/27/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/28/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/11/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 17, 2017 07:25PM dinkumscot wrote:

Hi

Thanks for your comment. Sorry for the confusion with frusemide (lasix) which somehow got deleted from my message - Should have read (Lasix) (taxol) the taxol being part of the treatment. Thanks for pointing out what appeared to be in error. Hope you are going well with any treatment.

Bob

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Apr 17, 2017 09:55PM Kicks wrote:

As your wife is on a duiretic that is not taking care of the leg/foot edema, does she have compression leg garments? These are used for different reason but basiclly to help move the fluid from stagnating in the extremity. Quite common to be used with kidney and/or heart issues and with LE (LymphEdema).

Is she seeing an OT (Occupational Therapist) or a PT (Physical Therapist)?

Does she use a 'foot board' at night/when laying down?

What exercises/massages are being done several times a day?

Age/weight/health issues/activity level beforeTX?

All of this comes into play once there are problems. None are unique to having done chemo but present in many others - quad/para parapelics and stokes survivors.





Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIC, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/24/2009 AC Surgery 10/20/2009 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/10/2009 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/3/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Apr 21, 2017 06:58AM dinkumscot wrote:

Hi Kicks

My wife before chemo was a pretty active person. She is 73 but never had any trouble doing normal activities. She has a physical therapist and an OT who has supplied her with some aids but the OT feels she does not have the expertise to treat the Edema. However the case manager is trying to source somebody who can. I feel that they are a bit slow in treating the Edema because the longer she has no aids like splints, the less likelihood there will be for her walking skill to be maximised. I do not know what a "foot board" is but will ask the OT. Her own doctor has recommended support stockings but because of the amount of swelling the OT was bit reluctant to try them, but we will at least give it an initial try. Her physical therapist comes about every ten days and she does do exercises and tries to sit with her feet up. I have not got the total dx yet - when I do i will post it.

During her treatment the larger tumor grew from about 48mm to 67mm, though one of the oncology team informed me that it had shrunk though only slightly so the mastectomy (right) was going ahead in six weeks time. I was and still am puzzled.

Thanks for your email

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May 10, 2017 04:05PM - edited May 10, 2017 04:05PM by kbirk1950

Here are some of the side effects of Taxol. Just a few..Yes Taxol can cause swelling and I would say 10 to 29% is significant.

The following are less common side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving Taxol:

  • Swelling of the feet or ankles (edema).
  • Increases in blood tests measuring liver function. These return to normal once treatment is discontinued. (see liver problems).
  • Low blood pressure (occurring during the first 3 hours of infusion).
  • Darkening of the skin where previous radiation treatment has been given (radiation recall - see skin reactions).
  • Nail changes (discoloration of nail beds - rare) (see skin reactions).

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