A participant/observer report on cancer treatment and nails, fingers & toes

A participant/observer report on cancer treatment and nails, fingers & toes

Well, here is an interesting experience I am having with my finger and toe nails. Each time I had one of those dreadful four or five hour drips of heavy chemo, my nails grew out with a white stripe across each nail. No pain or discomfort, just an interesting zebra effect on them.

There are also ridged that develop that go the length of a nail. Splits occur at the ridges and make rough edges that catch on things. Some nails split well into the nail bed.

I use "Nailtiques", a nail strengthener, to prevent snags. The splits can't be cut away because they go deeply down the length of the nail. I also use a prescribed anti-fungal Rx. 

Now that the nails grow out, they disconnect from the nail bed, so that each nail is only partially connected. They chip, snag, and catch on sheets, socks, and tear away in jagged strips. It is difficult to cut them because they have receded toward the cuticle. I have to take care that they don't catch on something and tear into the beds of the nails; that is a painful and bloody experience. 

So much for finely manicured nails ... which I don't have anyway, but an observation of side-effect of chemo therapy. Don't be surprised if you undergo chemo and see changes in your nails. It is part of the experience. 

Otherwise, I feel fine, still can't do much, however, I don't have to do much. My Family Chemo Team continues to support me in every way. If I were a religious person, I would say, "God bless them!" Since I am not,  I can say with all sincerity, "I feel deep and profound gratitude for their care and love." 

Fingernail Changes During Chemotherapy

The photos are from the chemotherapy and fingernails  site: 

 

Tags: and, chemo, finger, fungus, nails, toe

Views: 190

Replies to This Discussion

That's one thing I didn't have a problem with. I've always had brittle dry nails, so wear fake ones most of the time. They seem to protect some against hang nails, which is a problem when I don't have the fakes on. I didn't notice any change in my nails during or after chemo other than being more dried out but that happened everywhere. I do have to work on moisturizing all the time, & olive oil works quite well on some things.

Joan, thanks for posting that!  I hope you are continuing to recover.  Can't wait till Spring is near and we can start gardening!

Thank you for sharing your experiences Brave Joan. I'm OK in that area, although I keep getting subungual hemotoma and have notable thickening of the big toenails---and one is slightly ingrowing with dull pain. But that's trivial compared with you, and I can more or less ignore it. 

Oh my goodness, Terry, that looks much worse than my challenge. Can you care for it yourself or need help? Did it slow you down when you worked at the sites in England? 

No Joan, yours is much worse. I've been getting by with walking until the doctor told me two weeks ago that both hips are in trouble and I shall soon need a new right hip. Now, that's really interfering with my hill walking and outdoor research. Nevertheless, I leave in an hour's time to get a plane from Bristol to Cork in order to spend a week at the Neolithic Drombeg Stone Circle in West Cork and other sites. Ciao. Terry

Safe and healthy journey! I Googled Neolithic Drombeg Stone Circle in West Cork and found this: 

Drombeg Stone Circle

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