Sunday, March 29, 2009

Onycholysis. . . Say that fast 3 times

Hi friends and family,

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated, but I didn’t want to come back while the complaint department was open. Not that I wanted to receive anyone’s complaints, but rather *I* was complaining.

The nails continue to hurt, but the throbbing has lessened. On Friday at work, I found myself with my head between my legs. Lest you think weird thoughts, let me continue. I was looking underneath the nails, trying to figure out how much of the nail was still connected, wondering if they would fall off. I touched one of the 3 bad nails, and it lifted. Ewwww! The world got white and it wasn’t because the lights just went on. I was so nauseous and faint-feeling. I am so thankful that no one walked by my cubicle right then!

The side effect of Taxotere to the nails is called Onycholysis. Taxane probably cause nail changes more commonly than other drugs with an incidence of nail toxicity ranging from 0% to 44%

One toe nail broke off on Tuesday. It was the little toe that thankfully doesn’t have much of a nail. However, the nail was 100% white. So comparing this white break point on the toenail to the other toes, it appears that 5 more are destined to break off. I am keeping both the finger and toe nails short, in the hope that they all will just grow out and nothing more will come off.

Here are some pics of the nails. I wear Band-Aids on 3 of the finger nails while at work – a lot of my time is spent typing. One night last week, my hand slipped as I was opening a drawer, and Mr. Lefty Middlefinger’s nail hit directly on the edge of the drawer. OMG! Stars and lights, you say? I noticed the next day that there was dark stuff under the nail. . blood?

Fatigue has been rather high this week. I had a late meeting on Monday and Tuesday and I am guessing this is what exacerbated the fatigue. Vic always says, “go take a nap”, but naps do nothing on the fatigue. In fact, I woke up late one day – which makes my boss oh so happy – found that I had slept over 9 hours, but was still fatigued.

I am very thankful that the cancer was caught early. But that little “what if” cloud peeks out ever so often. It again feels as tho I am holding my breath. Will I be able to breathe once I meet the new oncologist this Thursday and after the first-after-treatment MRI or PET/CT Scan? Will it be this way before each follow-up appointment?

I spoke to TB, a 3 year survivor and one of my supports at work, who said that she still gets the “what if” feeling before each follow-up scan or appointment. I hear this same from other survivors online. So I guess it’s not unique to have these feelings.
Several people have reminded me this past week that my body went through a lot, no wonder it’s fatigued. I know this, but I guess I expected to be zippity-do-dah by now. . .it’s been 115 days since the last chemo. Three months and 25 days. Wow! And it’s still causing havoc.

For those who want my secret on counting days . . .I found this on the web.

Here’s a few pics of the hair and eyelashes. They are growing! Just a few positives to keep my focus. The hair is a dark blonde with some white at the temples. Not sure why the back picture shows so much grey! The back is starting to wave, no curls yet. I've called the hairdresser for an appt to get it cleaned up just a little.

Hope everyone has a very blessed and sun-filled week!



  1. I'm loving those baby eyelashes, fuzzy hair and beautiful you darlin!!!!!!!

    Hugs to you!!


  2. You are so beautifumy friend!
    Thank you for sharing!


  3. That was supposed to say:

    You are so beautiful my friend!

    Finger and keyboard not in sinc

  4. So glad to hear from you and see that you now have eyelashes and some hair. No hair here for Ms. Cueball but it's only been 21 days since the nail destroying Taxol though all of my nails are still here tho' brown and white streaked.
    I start my 3 week Canadian radiation tomorrow. Thanks again! It makes me feel like I'll have early parole from cancer jail.

  5. Renee, it's great to get an update from you! I completely relate to the uneasiness before scans and etc., the feeling of fatigue worrying you, all of that. It does get better but my oncologist said it could take up to a year before we really 'shake' the effects of chemo off. I had the nail problem also, didn't lose any but had the pain and sensitivity. I had to wear band aids, too. You really have to experience it to understand that kind of burn. I'm so sorry you are going through it. That too, shall pass. My nails are as good as new and the rings are GONE now. My last chemo was September 23rd, so-- it takes time but it will get better. Hang tough, sister! I will keep checking in on you.

  6. NO! I asked my oncologist about the fingernails and she said the worst that would happen would be me developing white lines under my nails. I've lost my hair -- I might lose my nails too? I needed more things to whine about.

    You look beautiful, Renee. Absolutely beautiful.