After Chemo Issues, need advice

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Lynne Logan
Lynne Logan Member Posts: 105 Member
Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas with friends and family. My side effects became so bad I was unable to have my final Taxotare/Cytoxan infusion in early December. Drat it all, right? My last infusion was Nov. 7th. But I was able to join in the celebration rather than be bedridden.
A PET scan came back clean, yipeeeee. I will be doing my 3 weeks of daily rads in January and getting this blankety, blank port removed!!!
I have residual side effects and am wondering if anyone can estimate how long I'll be dealing with bone pain and muscle soreness. Also the soles of my feet feel like they're badly bruised. I know everyone is different but it would help to know what others have experienced post treatment.
Now for something creative. I need some suggestions for my separated fingernails. They have lifted from my fingers and so far I've torn one partially off. I've put a bandaid over it but that's temporary. Has anyone dealt with the problem and come up with a solution that will prevent me from tearing others off?
I'm also open to trying anything that sounds like it might work. I'm not the only one who has this problem and since nails seem slow to grow it's something that lingers. Let's find a solution ;-}
I can't believe it'll be a year that my life has revolved around cancer by the time I finish my rads. I'm so ready to get my life back.
Hope everyone is looking forward to a better 2012!
Lynne

Comments

  • laughs_a_lot
    laughs_a_lot Member Posts: 1,368 Member
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    post chemo effects.
    I know there are others who have had this sme problem with the fingernails. So glad your pet scan came back ok.
  • BetsyJane
    BetsyJane Member Posts: 127
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    Two of my nails came out
    Hi Lynne,

    Sorry to hear about your nails.
    Nails: Two of my toe nails loosened and eventually came out. I kept putting bandaids on them every single day (after I showered). I kept it on as long as I could because I knew another nail was growing underneath it. My one big toenail fell out about four months after I finished chemo and my other smaller toenail finally fell off a couple days ago )six months after chemo). The nail do NOT look right. They are growing crooked --- so this may take quite awhile before they look normal (if they ever do look normal). I also take "biotin" to strengthen my nails and hair.

    Soles of my feet: The soles of my feet ached horrible during chemo and still do at times. I bought a type of foot "cold pack" called Cryo-MAX at the pharmacy. You put them in the freezer and when frozen, you plae them over your affected area. The instructions say to leave in place for 20 minutes. I kept them on my feet all night long. They did help a lot. Most pharmacies sell this or something very similar. The skin on the soles of my feet are peeling and have been since chemo. I put a moisturer on my soles each day in hopes that someday my skin will eventually heal and become soft again.

    I hope I have helped you in some small way. I'm sure others are out there with suggestions as well.

    Congrats on your pet scan. That is wonderful news. Good luck with your radiation treatments. Make sure to keep using the creams as many times a day as you can.

    Happy New Year.

    Betsy
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    Nail Envy by OPI worked
    Nail Envy by OPI worked great on my nails - it's a nail hardner. There was some minor peeling and lifting but the Nail Envy kept it under control when I used it. When I went to the Look Good Feel Better class, the hairdresser doing it gave out sample size of it. Actually I started using it before Chemo but ran out of the sample and started getting some nail problems. Bought some and started using it a gain with great results. ItSs not cheap ( about $28) but used as recommended it lasts about 5 months. It will take quite a while for all the nail to grow back new.

    Also there is a possibility of having developed nail funguses which your Dr can check for. It's not uncommon to happen while on chemo. My toe nails got it and had to use a liquid (don't remember the name but it is a 'script) on them to kill it. Worked great but took almost a year of putting it on daily.

    Aches and pains were not an issue big enough to be concerned about for me. Exhaustion was though but it started improving rapidly a week after last weekly Taxol which was when I started Rads.

    Susan
  • Kat11
    Kat11 Member Posts: 1,931 Member
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    Rague said:

    Nail Envy by OPI worked
    Nail Envy by OPI worked great on my nails - it's a nail hardner. There was some minor peeling and lifting but the Nail Envy kept it under control when I used it. When I went to the Look Good Feel Better class, the hairdresser doing it gave out sample size of it. Actually I started using it before Chemo but ran out of the sample and started getting some nail problems. Bought some and started using it a gain with great results. ItSs not cheap ( about $28) but used as recommended it lasts about 5 months. It will take quite a while for all the nail to grow back new.

    Also there is a possibility of having developed nail funguses which your Dr can check for. It's not uncommon to happen while on chemo. My toe nails got it and had to use a liquid (don't remember the name but it is a 'script) on them to kill it. Worked great but took almost a year of putting it on daily.

    Aches and pains were not an issue big enough to be concerned about for me. Exhaustion was though but it started improving rapidly a week after last weekly Taxol which was when I started Rads.

    Susan

    Both finger nails and toe
    Lost big toe nails and my finger nails turned black and blue. Toe nails never came back normal. Finger nails went from black & blue to white lined. It's been 2 years and there just doing well now.
  • cctiz
    cctiz Member Posts: 47
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    3 rounds taxotere/citoxan
    I had 3 rounds as well, couldn't bear the 4th, i was so sick, my onco told me that patients get all the chemotherapy benefits with the first half of them meaning that with 2 i had all i was supposed to get, i choose to take the 3rd one and almost die, some people take it better than others I developed neuropathy on my left side I was on severe pain (still have it) last session was past august 11th, rested for 10 weeks and started radiation (30 and 8 boosters) and i just started anastrazole, so far is good, my pain is chronic thats what i heard, but is managable, when it hurts a lot an aleeve when is intolerable i pop an steroid decadron 1mg and keep on living, existing, breathing, is hard sometimes but is a new life, chemo pains stay looong time, (18 months to couple years)at least - you will feel that nothing is the same again but you will be fine, perhaps you can try heat pads, reflexology, yoga, everything helps and don't put too much thoughts on this just get up and GO, im so grateful im alive enjoying holidays with my family, tomorrow i will deal with the tomorrow pains, we will get our lives back, good luck and a happy healthy 2012
  • Lynne Logan
    Lynne Logan Member Posts: 105 Member
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    Thanks for help
    It's getting closer to 2012 everyday and with time comes better days for us all.
    I think my fingernail problem might be a bit extreme as some got infected (had to have blood and pus relieved at one point) but the whole nail is actually become unattached to my finger. I can't even scratch since I can feel how lose they are. Totally icky. I cut them really short today and that might help keep them in place.
    I'm going to try the icing of my feet. They do feel badly bruised and I'd love to be able to move with a bit more grace. As it is I hobble.
    My oncologist isn't too big on aftercare and hasn't even mentioned what will happen once I start taking my hormone therapy. I was taking HRT to prevent hot flashes and osteoporosis so where does this leave me now? I figure I'll do the calcium, D3 thing. I was laughing today as I took my biotin for hair and nails. I was taking this before stopping for chemo to prevent thinning of my hair and now I don't even have eyelashes. ;-}
    Yep, I suppose I'll deal with what comes my way. Keep the spirits up and accept that it is what it is and could be a lot worse.
    We all have been through some experiences, huh? I hope none of us ever need to repeat what we've been or are going through.
    Love to you all,
    Lynne
  • Findingout
    Findingout Member Posts: 132
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    Those side effects...
    Dear Lynne,

    So sorry you're having the pain in your feet. I did have feet pain although I had the AC chemo then Taxol. The pain did go away, over about 1-3 months. Then I got other kinds of pain when I went on Arimidex - but that won't be your issue.
    Congratulations on the PET, great news. Whew! Love that kind of news.
    I didn't have the same fingernail issues, although mine looked strange but they did not come loose. My nails grew back quite fast - the normal color.
    Also, one day my eye lashes seemed to just appear out of nowhere! Then my brows started to itch and they grew right back too, with a vengeance! (I was plucking crazy for a couple weeks!)
    I hope you'll do well soon. Know that it does improve. I also did lots of yoga stretches which helped my neuropathy in my feet and hands; I went to a cancer patients' class and the teacher seemed to know a lot about healing from chemo / surgery etc.
    Finally, I also massage my feet and used a massage ball for awhile, to get the circulation going. But the pain from chemo did go away. Best wishes for the New Year!
    LynD
  • sweetvickid
    sweetvickid Member Posts: 459 Member
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    Well I hate to tell you I am
    Well I hate to tell you I am a year out from chemo and still had all the symptoms of neuropathy. Dr. finally last week put me on a med for it. she said it would take around 4 weeks to know if it will help. If it does I will need to be on it for one year.
  • Double Whammy
    Double Whammy Member Posts: 2,832 Member
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    Well I hate to tell you I am
    Well I hate to tell you I am a year out from chemo and still had all the symptoms of neuropathy. Dr. finally last week put me on a med for it. she said it would take around 4 weeks to know if it will help. If it does I will need to be on it for one year.

    Nail thing
    Like Betsy, I didn't have problems with my nails until AFTER chemo - and I lost my last toenail 9 months after chemo. I knew it was coming off because I could lift it, but one little corner kept hanging on. I lost my toenails on my big toes and one other one - I think a second toe. My fingernails just sort of peeled. I kept them short so they wouldn't catch on anything and kept clear polish on them. I didn't know about the other stuff.

    I hate to hear that some of you are still experiencing bad neuropathy. My fingertips are still numb, but that's minimal and easy to live with. Pain? Not so much. Hope it gets better for you.

    Suzanne
  • Lynne Logan
    Lynne Logan Member Posts: 105 Member
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    Those side effects...
    Dear Lynne,

    So sorry you're having the pain in your feet. I did have feet pain although I had the AC chemo then Taxol. The pain did go away, over about 1-3 months. Then I got other kinds of pain when I went on Arimidex - but that won't be your issue.
    Congratulations on the PET, great news. Whew! Love that kind of news.
    I didn't have the same fingernail issues, although mine looked strange but they did not come loose. My nails grew back quite fast - the normal color.
    Also, one day my eye lashes seemed to just appear out of nowhere! Then my brows started to itch and they grew right back too, with a vengeance! (I was plucking crazy for a couple weeks!)
    I hope you'll do well soon. Know that it does improve. I also did lots of yoga stretches which helped my neuropathy in my feet and hands; I went to a cancer patients' class and the teacher seemed to know a lot about healing from chemo / surgery etc.
    Finally, I also massage my feet and used a massage ball for awhile, to get the circulation going. But the pain from chemo did go away. Best wishes for the New Year!
    LynD

    Those side effects
    Hi Lyn,
    I think the muscle pain is getting a bit better. Sure is strange to have muscles feel like you've been "feeling the burn" at the gym everyday while barely able to walk. The bone pain is keeping me on Lortabs even though my oncologist felt that I could do Ibuprofen for the muscles and stop the Lortabs. I'm happy with my oncologist, as we have history. He treated my daughter for malignant melanoma back in 1986 when he was just beginning his practice. He has a wonderful reputation and I know my treatment was good, even though I was "sensitive to Taxotare." But, when it came to after care I was given my script for Arimidex. Period.
    What kind of pain did you have with Arimidex? I wasn't looking forward to 5 years of "menopause" symptoms much less dealing with pain.
    That's so encouraging to hear that your eyelashes just appeared like that. I haven't had chemo since Nov. 7th and just lost the last of my eyelashes a few days ago. I think I still had 3 on one eye, one on the other. I look like a lizard.
    Do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions for preventing the effects of losing the estrogen with Arimidex? I'm not too thrilled about the sweats, etc. plus the bone deterioration. Always something, huh?
    Thanks so much for your input and helpful encouragement.
    Lynne