Aimed to learn about the distressful side effects from the perspective of a child undergoing chemotherapy. This is a qualitative study that used the technique of drawing-story to collect data and thematic analysis to evaluate the results. The subjects were seven children, aged between six and twelve years, they were doing or have done antineoplastic chemotherapy in a public hospital in Rio de Janeiro. This study was approved by Ethics Committee of the institution. The side effects reported by children were nausea and vomiting, gain of weight, pain, hypersensitivity reaction, fever and fatigue, which interfered directly in their daily routine leading to a decrease in well-being and, consequently, poor quality of life.