Taxotere/Docetaxel and watery eyes

Hi Everybody

I haven’t posted on here before but have been reading a few topics with interest. I finished my chemo 2 weeks ago having had 3 FEC and 3 TAX. I am still suffering with very watery eyes which although seems a minor side effect is driving me mad! I lost my hair after the 2nd FEC, even though I used the cold cap, but my eyelashes and brows didn’t fall out until I started TAX. I have had watery eyes during my treatment, but not as bad as now, and they usually clear up after a few days. Has anyone else had the same problem and how long did it go on? Many thanks for any help. Bev.

Hello Bevli

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June, moderator

Hello Bev,
i’m having Paclitaxol, not the same, but still at TAX. I’ve had stinging watery eyes. Cemo nurse recommended Hypromelose drops on prescription from GP. They have helped. I keep the little bottle in the fridge. It’s more soothing cool.

hello Bev
I had 6 docetaxolin 2009.I had watery eyes for weeks after finishing treatment.I got eye drops from onc and then eye oinment from gp.It drove me mad,walked around constantly with a tissue in my hand.Crossing roads and shopping was a nightmare as tyhe cold seemed to make it worse,and I could not see what I was doing!
It did clear up after a few weeks.
good luck.

L xx

Hi Bev - I too had watery eyes after tax… it lasted a few weeks 3-4 I seem to remember. I used Opticrom (from chemist) and it helped a lot. I also tried Systane, which helped a bit… Hope it settles…Jane

Hi bev
I had my last docetaxel in august and had the same problem - eyes were constantly streaming and the skin round my eyes got really dry and sore from all the mopping!
It lasted longer than on previous treatments, it went on for at least 3 weeks but gradually improved and had cleared up between 4 and 5 weeks after having the drug!
It does seem like a minor thing but it’s so annoying!
Hope it clears up soon for you

Thank you for all your replies- it’s encouraging that most of you say it clears up after 3-4 weeks. I am on my 3rd week now post treatment and I think it is a little better than a few days ago when tears were streaming down my face! I have got eye drops and will try and use them more regularly from now on. Thanks again for your help. Bev x

Hi All, just thought I would let you know that my eyes have stopped watering!! It is nearly 5 weeks since my last chemo and at last I can see…Just need eyelashes to start growing and may look a little more back to normal… ha!
I appreciated the replies which turned out to be pretty accurate.
Thanks again. Bev.

Hi Bevli

I too am 5 weeks after my last docetaxel and my experience seems to be identical to yours in both symptons and timing as my eyes have ceased leaking too! I would walk along a street with my eyes streaming, tears running down my face which then made me have a runny nose so that I then looked like the proverbial ‘snotty-nosed kid’! The most ironic thing is that I usually take eye-drops because I suffer from dry eyes! Having no-eyelashes doesn’t help and you realise that your eyelashes are functional as well as decorational - just wish that they would grow back along with my eyebrows! A wig can disguise your hair loss, but not much you can do about no eyelashes or eyebrows that looks natural - unless somebody can tell me otherwise?! How long do they take to grow back please?

Hi Mazzalou, As you say you sound identical to me and the only person I have come across who is!! Yes I was calling myself snotty or, after a power surge due to meonpause flushes, sweaty! Sometimes I was snotty and sweaty at the same time - lovely heh!! I wear a wig with a long fringe which disguises my drawn on eyebrows and I use eyeliner to go round my top and bottom eyelids - this looks a little better now my eyes have stopped watering and half of it isn’t missing! My hair started to grow back about a month ago and I now have a dark covering which I hope isn’t steely grey as I was dark brown before - keeping fingers crossed ( fingers are abit numb still too!)Oh joy! Bev x

I’m with you on the tingly fingers and feet too, Bevli. I am also using gel eyeliner to outline my eyes which helps counteract the ‘no-eyelashes’ look, but I still have some eyebrows left so leaving these as they are.

I started with 3 FECs followed by 3 Docetaxels and I know which of the 2 I prefer!!! OK - the FEC made my veins collapse so that I now have a sub-cutaneous port inserted as I am on Herceptin for a year, and I was sick on the 1st evening after FECs 1 & 2, and it did give me a headache, but compared to the ‘Dreaded Docetaxel’ FEC is a doddle. I am now 2 weeks after my last Docetaxel and the dreaded chemo gremlins are still hanging on in there! I have swollen ankles due to fluid retention which is making my legs ache and feel like lead weights, I feel and look like a barrage balloon, and my feet and fingers tingle like mad. I feel worse now than I did after each of my docetaxel doses, and my chemo nurse said that this is often the case with residual chemo effects hanging around for 6 to 8 weeks after the last chemo dose. My hair is beginning to grow back, albeit fuzzy so that I look like a ‘fuzzy-wuzzy’ badger! I will never, ever complain about having a bad-hair day again!!! However, my eyebrows seem determined to continue to disappear going the same way as my eyelashes. Who is this stranger that is inhabiting my body?

I start my radiotherapy on November 17th and am due to have 15 sessions, the last being on December 7th so at least I can look forward to all my treatment (other than the herceptin which is not chemo) being over so that I can finish 2011, my ‘Annus Horribils’ and start 2012 without the NHS pulling the strings!

All I can say is that at my very first appointment with my Oncologist way back in June I was told that the chemotherapy treatment I was going to receive was referred to by the initials of the drugs in question – FEC-T. For those of you who are fans of Father Ted I would say that never was a treatment so aptly named!

Haha, I didn’t watch Father Ted but you are so right. I used the FEC word alot during my chemo and got away with it big time!I totally agree with you - Tax side effects were much worse for me than FEC. I too was sick on FEC and had a PICC line after my veins collapsed - I still look like a herion junkie! I am now 6 weeks post last chemo and have lost 4 of the 9lbs I put on in the last 3 months. My legs still feel ‘tight’ but I think they are improving slowly. I had the 10th of my 15 radiotherpy sessions today and all going well so far and no soreness as yet - slapping on the E45 and aqueous cream a few times a day.
I was HER2 negative so luckily don’t have to have Herceptin- I hope this goes well for you.
No new eyelashes yet - just the one originally on my left upper lid- not worthy of a stroke of mascara!
I agree it will be good to get 2011 and here’s to us new women in 2012. Bev x

How brave of you Bevli to get on the scales? Initially, whilst on FEC I had lost weight, but I haven’t been on the scales since being on Docetaxel. In fact, I don’t need to as I know that all the clothes that had become loose on me have now shrunk!!!

I have decided that once I am over the radiotherapy, and hopefully, the fluid retention will have subsided too, then this will be the time to think about getting fit and losing weight. At the moment, the most important thing is to finish my treatment. So 2012 will hopefully see me as a new, fitter and slimmer woman and, hopefully, one with hair, eyelashes and eyebrows too!!

I lost weight on FEC too as I felt nauseous most of the time. My weight during TAX differed between 1/2 stone up and down most weeks and I know my clothes and shoes are tighter. Not doing anything drastic during RadioT as they plan the treatment very much on your body shape - not that I could lose weight that quickly anyhow (I wish!) My radioT going well - I was quite tired yesterday but I have been very busy at work all week so not surprising really. I’m washing with Aqueous cream and slapping on E45 whenever I can + drinking loads of water and my skin is ok at the moment- fingers crossed. Hope all goes well with you, enjoy the break between the chemo - I only had 3 weeks. Bev x

Thanks for the radiotherapy tips - I’ll let you know how I get on. Luckily I don’t have to go to work at the mo and I can log on via a laptop and do work from home so no pressures there. I will have had a 7 week gap between chemo, but I think that this is because the West Suffolk Hospital that all my treatment to date has been at doesn’t do radiotherapy. This has meant an appointment with an oncologist at the Norfolk & Norwich, then the planning appointment before I start next week. Just wish the residual docetaxel would disappear and take the bloating with it!!!

I meant to ask you how are your nails? I was advised to wear nail vanish as nails could get brittle and even fall off! I only wore clear vanish so I could see what was going on underneath. Today - they are quite ridgy and dark compared to the new growth which is normal pink and a nice white cuticle - they haven’t fallen off ‘yet’!
Also I think my hair colour is cross between a non-descript black and steeley grey - I was dark brown before :frowning: Difficult to tell really as so short but what to do with it is crossing my mind on a daily basis!
On the positive side, my eyes haven’t watered for 2 days :slight_smile:
Bev x PS. Legs still feel ‘tight’!

My Chemo nurse advised me to wear nail strenghener which I still have on, and because it is the Avon one with gold in it I can’t tell if any new growth is normal and pink at the mo. My nails had darkened, but seemed to grow faster than normal whilst on chemo which I thought was strange. My chiropodist has seen me since I finished chemo and she checked out both my toenails and fingernails and said that I had been lucky not to have had any problems so hope that it stays that way! One of my little finger nails looks a bit dubious but hoping that it will grow out ok.

My eyes have also stopped watering for about a week now which is a relief as I am just getting over the most stinking cold and hacking cough so couldn’t cope with a runny nose and runny eyes at the same time!

As for hair, once I have a decent covering that looks like hair then it is recommended that you get rid of the ‘fuzzy baby hair’ - it’s probably full of chemo toxins anyway. Not yet though, as new hair is growing all the time so will wait until it’s a bit longer. It isn’t long enough yet to abandon the wig when I go out, apart from which it is too cold! Then when I have had the ‘wisps’ removed and want to abandon the wig I have a 'tinted mousse that I will use to cover the grey until the new hair is strong enough to start colouring it again.

Still no sign of the eyelashes or eyebrows yet, but, horror of horrors - my legs are beginning to sprout again! Is there no justice in this world?!!!

Tinted mousse is a great idea, I will get some - I think I will look like a badger to start with as I have a white grey patch at the front! People vary about the length of time you should leave before colouring but 6 months seems the norm. When you say get rid of the baby hair, what do you intend doing with it?? Not sure whether you meant cut it or shave it? I want to hang on to every bit that’s new.
I have shaved my legs twice since finishing treatment after catching sight of them in the sunlight last weekend and being horrified - I hadn’t even realised they had sprouted again. No eyelashes yet - except my one original. Bev

What to do about the baby hair, Bevli? I guess that once my hair is long and thick enough to want styling again will be the time to consult my hairdresser who must be feeling the pinch without my business these past few months! I guess that this will be when I feel I have enough of a covering to meet the world without my wig.

The only problem with coloured mousse is that it only lasts until you wash it, and I was a ‘wash hair every day’ person in my previous life. Holland and Barratt sell a permanent hair colour called Naturtint that is chemical free which I will probably try. You can also buy it on the web, and I think that they also do a semi-permanent range too. Perhaps somebody could let us know if they have used this, or any other dos or don’ts on hair care please? In the meantime just having enough hair to worry about what to do with it would be nice!

Shame on you though, Bevli - there’s you wanting to hang on to every bit of new head hair, and frantically shaving of your leg hair. Some people are never satisfied!!!

Ha…A leg to head hair transplant - how about that! Maybe I’ll start a new post about hair colouring. I’m sure it’s been done hundreds of times before but would be good to see peoples comments.
Bev x