I completed radiation and 6 month of chemo therapy last September for stage 4 colon cancer. My personal experience is that it really depends on the individual. I did not lose my hair, I did not have nausea and never threw up, and I did not have diarrhea, except for one occassion immediately following a treatment. I lost my taste about half way through the 6 months of chemo and eating enough to maintain my body weight was a challenge. Fruit and sweets continued to taste good but basically all proteins tasted very bitter. I recall the onset, we had friends over and I grilled steaks (my favorite food at the time) and the first bite was so bitter that I could not eat it. I was extremely sensitive to cold and still am to some extent -- the neuropathy still has not subsided and my feet are basically numb. My blood counts stayed in the good range throughout the chemo treatments and I was able to receive my treatments on schedule. You do begin to feel tired and have a shortness of breath, in my case this started after about the 4th treatment and continues to get worse as you go through the therapy. As of today, April 6, 2011, I have regained some of my strength (the late frost did not get my garden thank God) and am able to perform most normal activities such as mowing the yard, gardening etc... as long as I take a few minutes out occasionally to rest, and I began to play golf again last month. But during the low of the weakness I was basically a couch potato. The chemo did affect my balance and I got me a cane, basically as insurance against falling. I know this is rambling but you do get chemo brain which affects your ability to recall and think logically. I have to take my time performing complicated tasks. Again I said my experience was that it really depends on the individual -- I saw many patients whose blood counts precluded them from receiving their treatment on schedule, patients with nausea, etc.
But -- for me I would do it again. It wasn't fun but if you maintain a positive attitude it does help you get through the process. I am not in full remission but we are working on the remaining spots as we speak. I wish you the best and my God Bless You!!!