Hiya everyone,
Im hoping some of you ladies can give me some advice /tips about XELODA , I shall be starting this chemo next week after finishing Epi. Unfortuately for me i didnt do to great on the epi and had just about every side effect going and a few infections plus the flu twice to make matters worse, so felt pretty rough for 10 out of 14 days each cycle (im on the accelerated chemo so every 2 weeks) im realy hopeing that ill tolerate the XELODA better but because of my reaction with the epi am worried now about starting a different kind of chemo. I know ill be taking the tablets for 14 days with one week off for the next 4 cycles and my oncoligist has said he expects it to have fewer side effects than the epi but im still worried so if any of you ladies have any expierence of being on Xeloda and can give me any advice that would be great. Im realy hopeing this one will be kinder on me . I know everyone has different reactions to chemo but praying this one will be more manageable.
Best Wishes to everyone
Lots of Hugs
Lindiloo xx

Hi Lindiloo

For most people xeloda is a much gentler chemo in terms of side effects than epi. Main problems can be hand and foot syndrome (red and blistering palms of hands and soles of feet) and diarrhoea. I have had 7 cycles of xeloda now for a regional recurrence (first 6 with another drug navelbine). Have had no probelms with hand and foot syndrome. I’ve used a cream you can get on the internet called Udderly Smooth cream (its for cahfed cows udders but perfectly safe for human use!).

I got bad diarrhoea on cycle 2 and had to have my dose reduced, and again the last cycle, but generally xeolda is liveable with I’ve found. I had a good holiday last week in Italy and walked for miles.

best wishes and hope xeolda is manageable for you.


My first cycle of xeloda was a nightmare as they gave me maximum dose as my secondaries had really grown. I had to stop on day 10 due to hand and foot syndrome and bad diarhoea. They then redueced the dose by a third and my secondaries shrunk down amazingly and only got diarhoea if i took the tablets on empty stomach or overeaten!! I do ahve problems with my feet but have a huge tendency to overdo it so it is my own fault. I’ve been on this since the end of march and is very doable but do get tired. this is my 4th different type of chemo and has been the most tolerable.
good luck

Hi Lindiloo,

Sounds as if you’re on the TACT2 trial… me too, but I’m on arm 3, i.e. 4 x Epi (not accelerated - every 3 weeks) and I’m towards the end of the 3rd cycle of Xeloda… and it’s SOOOO much better than the Epi. I was also very sick for 24 hours or so after each Epi, had the mouth ulcers, lost the hair, etc… but didn’t really suffer from fatigue. Everyone’s body deals with it differently… I met someone on exactly the same chemo regime as me, who NEVER threw up and didn’t lose her hair, although it thinned a bit…

I’ve found the Xeloda to be absolutely fine, other than the hassle of trying to remember to take 5 tablets twice a day… feel like I’m rattling! Anyway, I had absolutely no side effects for the first couple of cycles - if you read all the info, there are loads of potential side-effects, but hopefully you won’t get them. I’ve not had any diarrhoea, but now seem to have the “Hand Foot Syndrome” that evidently 50% of those taking it get. Having said that, it’s not that bad… the end of my fingers have peeled and been a bit cracked and in the past week my feet have been quite tender… also got a couple of blisters. I do a lot of walking with my work, so that’s not been so much fun… think I’ll have to cut back the walking for the next 4 weeks until I’ve finished the tablets. I’ve been slapping on E45 cream… some people recommend “Udderly Smooth”, but it contains parabens, which I make a point of avoiding.

It’s the old “think positive”… it might never happen! I’m SOOO glad that I got the tablets for half the chemo treatment, as my veins were proving very hard to find! Teally wouldn’t have wanted another 4 intravenous sessions…

Good luck with the Xeloda… I’m sure you’ll do fine!
All the best,


Thanks girls ,
Its reassuring to hear that youve found the Xeloda a more tolorable chemo i hope it will be for me too, i have been told about the hand and foot problems and will definately look online for the udderly smooth cream,they also mensioned the diarrhoea while ive been on the epi ive been constantly constapated .Hi Alis yes i am on the Tact2 trial like you but the accelerated one arm 4 on hindsight i wish id been picked for the non accelerated one then at least i would have had more time to recover before having the next one but i quess no one knows how they are going to react untill they have it eh.Im also having trouble with my veins and a few have packed up and gone hard so its hard finding ones now for blood ect my arm is painfull too where i had the epi cant lean on it, so like you im also glad that i got the tablets so no more intravenious sessions i realy wouldnt want any more of them either. Thanks for all you advice and hope you are all doing ok
Best wishes
Lots of love
Lindiloo xx

Hi Lindiloo

I’ve been an Xeloda for just over a year now but admittedly at a reduced dose because of my liver involvement. I don’t have any real symptoms except for dryness round my heels and I haven’t got any cuticles! Then the skin tends to go in threads round my fingers. I was told by my District Nurse to try Flexitol (can get it in most places like Boots etc). They do a range of products from heel balm, hand cream to finger and cuticle cream. I’ve found it really good as it contains urea in it and within a day my hands have healed up.

Have you asked regarding your veins about having a portacath fitted? My veins have always caused me a problem after my first lot of chemo 12 years ago so they fitted a portacath in which is far better than a picc or hickman line as you can’t see it. It’s quite common for women with breast cancer who have problems with accessing their veins to have one as we’ve only got one arm (for the majority of us). I’ve had my for 3 years now and once it’s in you just forget about it. I have it flushed every 4 weeks and it’s not a problem - so much easier than the 4 or 5 attempts it takes them to try and get a vein.

Hope this helps.