Hi Jan 1808.
Thanks for your reply it has been very helpful. I must admit I did start eating a lot of fish while having chemo but have gradually reduced the amount and planned to go completely back to a vegetarian diet as soon as possible. I can't say I have enjoyed eating fish very much as I felt so guilty. I am now wondering if reducing the amount of fish in my diet has had a negative effect on my nails and hair. I don't think I have ever mentioned that I was vegetarian to my oncologist though, may be I should have. You are right about doing all you can to get better so I think I am going to look into how best to improve my diet. I have also been using nail and cuticle oil but up to now nothing special for my hair so I will also investigate that as well. Thank you again x
Hi. I finished chemo at the end of July, FEC-T and lost all but 4 finger nails. They started to regrow but now I am loosing some of them again. I started taking multi vitamins and minerals for hair, nails and skin as soon as I finished chemo. Have since had surgery and now waiting to start radiotherapy. My hair has only just started to regrow and very slowly. I am just wondering if the fact that I am a vegetarian has anything to do with my nails and slow hair regrowth. Anyone else a vegetarian with similar problems or any suggestions.
Hi PollyEmma - I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis - this is a very tough time for you. I finished my chemo four weeks ago and am starting to feel stronger again now - there is light at the end of the tunnel but I remember how I felt when everything was ahead of me rather than behind me. Its worth reading my post of 19/9/14 in this thread where I recommended OnicoLife from mosaiclife.co.uk. I was in the same position as you in that I was only told I would lose my hair and was shocked to find I might lose my nails as well. Luckily this product was recommended to me and without using any other product or painting them black they have survived chemo very well and given me no problems. No pain, no discolouring, no lifting and only very slight ridging. I wish you lots of luck over the coming months. Take care xx
Hi Ladies. There is a hair weave you wear under a hat or scarf to give the appearence of hair run by a charity called Heather's Hair www.heathershair.co.uk. I order one and it saved my sanity as found my wig just too much hair. Hope they can help any of you.
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Hello Ladies. I have just finished my FECT-T treatment - I had my last chemo five days ago on Monday 15th Sept. Before I started, I was recommended a nail product called OnicoLife from mosaiclife.co.uk. Before my first chemo I took all varnish off my toes and fingernails and this is the only product I have put on them - twice a day every day. I don't want to speak too soon because I know that the nails can be the last thing to go after the final docetaxel, but so far my nails are doing OK and I have had no pain or loss, and only very minor discolourment and ridging. They look almost normal and I have worn flip-flops for most of the summer. I'm hoping I wont have nail problems during this last cycle, but if I do at least I have managed to hold on to them for as long as possible.
Hope this helps and good luck to all of you with your chemos xx
I have been trying out scarves and while they look ok they do make my head really hot even though they are cotton. My wig on the other hand since I lost all my hair does not but I think it's because it is more of an open weave.
I'll ask on Thursday at my pre-op assessment but thanks for your help anyway they may suggest a paper cap. xxx
I know what you mean about feeling awkward about wearing a wig, I feel very concious of it when I go out and my worst nightmare is that it will come off. My latest worry is what will I do when I have my surgery next week as I do not like scarves and just wear nothing on my head at home. I dont expect they will let me wear it when I go to theatre and dont really want to go down bare headed. May be I will have to ask when I go for my pre-op assessment on Thursday. I think I might have a go at trying a scarf and see how I get on just in case. xx
Really glad to hear ravensk1 that your nails have grown back now but like you said loosing them is quite distressful. I do use cuticle cream and oil twice a day and am now taking vitimins so hope that will help. I did try shellac and the results were great but when I had it removed my nails were quite damaged so I think I will stay clear of having it done again but great that it worked for you.
Are you still having treatment?
Best wishes xx
Dear Bali 2001
So sorry to hear about your hair loss as I can relate to that as it happened to me a few weeks into my chemo treatment. However much you try and prepare yourself it still comes as a shock when you find it in the shower. Have you got yourself a wig? I am really pleased with mine and people say how good it looks but not sure if they're just trying to make me feel better. I saw 2 friends for the first time on Friday who I hadn't seen since I started treatment and the shock on their faces made me feel quite upset. They were both fine after a while though when we started chatting.
As for the nails I hope you manage to keep yours. I believe you can have cold treatment ( quite like the cold cap for hair) for your hands which I didn't know about. You can only do your best and always keep in mind that they will grow back. I am taking hair, nail and skin vitamins which I started taking when I finished my chemo. I wanted to take them during chemo but the Oncology Pharmicist wouldn't say it was ok to take them or not in case it affected the chemo drugs. Good luck.
Big hug x
Hi Bali 2001
Thank you for your suggestion about the look good feel better site. I have had a quick look and it seems as if it would be quite useful. I have been moisturising my cuticles and using hand creams recomended by my oncology unit but still my nails are coming off. I have lost 3 now and the 4th one is just hanging on. Think I will just have to grin and bear it knowing they will eventually regrow.
Best wishes xx
it is amazing how advise differs so I guess we just have to wait and see what happens to individuals, As they say each person reacts differently and none of us are the same (thank goodness).
Congratulations on finishing your radiotherapy which I have yet to have after my surgery in 10 days time. I have just had all information from the hospital today and it sort of makes it feel more real. I go for my pre-op assessment next Thursday so will have to spend some time next week sorting out what I will need to take into hospital with me.
Hi again Shelia, i also heard about nail varnish masking infection etc but my chemo nurse said it wasnt a problem and that I would do better by wearing it. Lol, but yes the debate goes on and different hospitals advise different things. I had my surgery , then chemo and then today was my last day of rads...yay. I continue with heceptin now and tamoxifen. I also finished chemo in july and started wearing varnish as soon as I started docetaxol on the advice I was given about nails, they said they even get the men ti wear it when they need tax as well but be it clear varnish if they dont wear darker as that stil helps apparently! !, it does not have to be black , a colour is just as good. I wont knock it unless mine start falling off or going black...will let you know 🙂 X
You are right about divided opinion on the wearing of dark nail varnish as I read today on a webside that dark nail varnish should be avoided. Like you said chemicals like varnish remover are not really a good idea to use on already fragile nails. I did have an infection in my toe nail while having chemo and it took ages to heal and I had to have 3 weeks of double the normal strength of antibiotic.
I am looking forward to the day I can go and have a manicure and pedicure along with a visit to the hairdressers to have my hair styled.
I thought that wearing the dark nail varnish was purely cosmetic covering up the horrid browning of the nails. My oncology nurse didn't say it helped protect them so I wish I had known that as I would have worn it. But my toe nails are fine and I do wear dark nail varnish on them but didn't make the connection.
My chemo finished at the end of July. Have you had surgery?
Best wishes Sheila
Hi Maryland and Wendy
It's so good to be able to chat to others going through the same treatment. It just shows that the professionals don't always know everything but then I guess it's a lot to expect them to if they have not had patients suffering with the side effects.
In 2 weeks, 8th Sept, I have surgery Lymph node clearance and WLE so will have more questions no doubt. The good news is that the chemo worked and reduced my tumour so that I don't need a mastectomy now as my surgeon first said I did. Then after surgery I have radiotherapy so hopefully it will all be done by Christmas and I can start to feel myself again.
Hopefully Wendy you will not get the red and peeling hands or nail loss and i hope all goes well with your treatment.
Thank you for your reply. It is reasuring to know this is a normal side effect of Tax. So sorry you went through the same thing but good to hear your nails grew back and were strong as well. I don't think I would have been so concerned if my oncology nurse hadn't said she had not heard of anyones nails actually coming off. Your explanation of the effect of chemo on the root cells makes sense. I have started taking a supplement for hair, nails and skin so hopefully this will help all my problem areas.
I have a telephone appt with my GP this week so will ask about the cream you suggested for my hands.
Thank you again and best wishes
Thanks for your reply. I always keep my nails short because of my job so there"s no problem catching them. I have noticed though that they have stopped growing in the last few weeks as I usually give my self a manicure once a week but recently I haven't had to file them. They seem to be coming away at the side of the nail and 1 is just about hanging on. I'm tempted to just pull it right off but don't want to cause any further damage. When I was having chemo I asked my nurse about loosing my nails but she said she had not had anyone with that problem. However I have to go to the Oncology unit next week to have my porta-cath flushed so I will show them and see what they say. Just hope they grow back as I am very concious about having good hands and nails. I have lost all my hair and wear a wig but find loosing my nails much harder to deal with but guess that is because hands and nails are more noticeable. Have you suffered with red inflamed and peeling on the backs of your hands and wrists? This seems to be another side effect of Tax. Sorry this sounds all doom and gloom.
I finished my chemo 3 weeks ago, FEC-T and over the weeks my nails have gone sort of light brown in colour. This morning I noticed my thumb nail on my right hand was a bit loose but then about 10 minutes ago I was doing something and my nail on my forefinger, left hand almost came right off. What can I do and has anyone else had this problem?