Caelyx protocols

I'm due to have Caelyx chemotherapy in 2 weeks. The cooling protocols are worrying me because I'm always cold anyway but to think I've got to be cold all the time is just unbearable. Can you advise me of the protocols going through this chemotherapy cycle using Caelyx please. 

  • Dear Hotstepper,

    Thanks for getting in touch. My name is Adele, I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.

    Welcome to our online community and thanks for posting your question.

    Preparing for chemotherapy can be a worrying time and it is understandable that you have some concerns about how it will make you feel.

    Caelyx is used to treat different cancers, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer.  It is associated with a number of side effects, and it is important to discuss these with your health care team if you have any concerns, either before or during your treatment.

    If you are a cold person there are two side effects which may be of concern to you.

    Caelyx can cause skin changes including hand-foot syndrome (palmar plantar erythema or PPE).  Some people can develop discomfort when touching hot objects and the advice is to keep your hands and feet cool and avoid wearing tight fitting gloves or socks.  It is also best not to use hot water on your hands and feet and to avoid using saunas or steam rooms. This can be worrisome if you are someone who doesn’t like the cold.  However, although they say you should keep your hands and feet cool you can wrap up the rest of your body to keep warm.  Keeping your skin well moisturised can also help manage this side effect and you may want to talk to the nurses about which moisturiser to use.

    One of the other side effects associated with caelyx is hair loss and some people decide to try scalp cooling.  Scalp cooling involves wearing a cold cap for a period of time before, during and after the chemo is given.  Many people are concerned about feeling very cold during this time.  There are some simple strategies which can help.  These can include dressing warmly and asking for a blanket when they apply the cap.  Having hot drinks during your treatment can also help.  If the cold cap gives you a headache you can also ask the nurses if you could take a simple pain killer.  Cancer Hair Care has suggestions for reducing discomfort whilst wearing a cold cap, which you may find helpful.  However, if you find it is very uncomfortable, or you are finding the cold hard to manage, do speak with the nurses.

    You may also find it helpful to talk to someone who has had similar experiences to you.  Our online community have forums for different cancer types and experiences.  These include a chemotherapy forum, which you may like to explore.

    I hope this information is useful. Please don’t hesitate to get back in contact by email, webchat or phone, if you need further information or support.

    The Macmillan Support Line offers practical, clinical, financial and emotional support. You can call us free from landlines and from most mobile phone networks on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm.


    Best wishes, Adele

    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 


    Ref AON/AC