I was given frozen mitts to wear during my taxotere, (routine apparently). It was extremely uncomfortable and almost impossible to keep them on, they were taking my blood pressure to check for side effects of the chemo and it went up off the the roof because of the pain of wearing the mitts, but I worn them on each treatment. I had 3 ridges on my nails ( one for each treatment) and now I still get tingling pain in my fingers at times, but my nails have been fine. However i was not offered anything for my feet (they said no-one could cope with frozen socks) I also had 3 ridges on my toes nails, but they have been fine and I dont seem to have any other problems. I also wore nail hardener and polish during my chemo. as suggested by the nurses.
Good luck to you
Many thanks to everyone who is posting. I am storing up good info (and frozen veggies)and will be armed when I see the oncologist in 3 weeks! Please continue to post because if I can tell her the major cancer centres that do this routinely, she may take more of an interest! Thanks to all again xx
My unit hadn't heard of nail cooling really - but research shows about half the people who try it have good results from it.
I got them to find their 'frozen gloves' they had been given a while back, and provided my own frozen veg (no, don't laugh!) for my toes. It worked. Though my nails have been a bit sore sometimes, and the two big toenails have got some bruising on them, I've kept them all and not really had much in the way of sensory problems with them either.
Same with sipping ice water etc during chemo - seems to stop some of the mouth problems.
P.s. Don't leave your fingers in the iced water for the whole time as they will get too cold. Dip them in and out!
While I was on Taxotere I used very dark nail varnish on my finger and toenails and put my fingertips in iced water during the taxotere infusions (suggested to me by my chemo nurses)but did not cool my toes.
7 weeks after last dose my fingernails are fine except for slightly brown discolouration and a bit of peeling at the ends and my toenails are fine. No neuropathy either.
Who knows whether it is thanks to the nail varnish and/or iced water but it can't hurt to try it!
Wishing you the best of luck,
I did ice and water too and no nail problems, and only very minimal neuropathy that passed very quickly. After watching me bring in my ice for three sessions, the chemo nurse told me that they have mits in the unit but nobody has ever used them! Actually mits would be horrible as the whole hand would be freezing - at least with an ice bowl it is only the finger tips. Do give it a go - hope it works for you.
DJ007, its good too to hear positives from no cooling too. It obviously is a luck thing - a bit like FEC SE's, no ones quite the same !!
Hi Squirrel, I had 3 Fec and 3 Tax.
There's been a study (I'm sure there's a link somewhere but I've no idea where) showing that wearing ice mitts and boots can help to stop or reduce SEs of neuropathy and nail damage. In the US and a couple of centres here they can provide ice mitts. I asked my onc about it, he was very sceptical but said do as you like. Some of us have tried putting hands/ feet in peas or dry ice things. I thought peas were easier and cheaper. I used them on my feet and hands, despite some grins from all the nurses and scepticism from my onc. I wrapped the peas in insulation to try to keep them cold
I haven't had neuropathy or much nail damage - am I just lucky or did the peas help? Will never know.
Don't know what others did, but this is what I did.
I bough 6 1kg packs of peas. For my hands I put two packs side by side in an insulated picnic bag ( or you could wrap firmly in towels) to try to keep them both firm and cold. I put one hand between the two bags of peas while chemo being started and the second one in other peas once drug going in. I found a shallow box for my feet, lined with towels, put one bag of peas on base, put my feet on it with second bag over the top of my toes. Occasionally it got a bit uncomfortable so just removed digits for a few seconds. Transported them to hosp in a cool box with plastic milk containers filled with ice (just froze water in containers in the freezer) to keep them cold.
Nobody minded, few funny looks and nurses all asking why I was doing it.
I felt that it was me who would have to put up with any lasting problems.
Good Luck. xx
I had 3 tax (after 3 fec) - I'm now 5 weeks after the end of chemo and I haven't lost any nails at all (doesn't look as if I will either) and haven't suffered from neuropathy.
Didn't do any icing and didn't even use dark polish on my fingernails - just luck I guess.
I used ice and water for my fingernails and I didn't lose any nails or suffer with any tingling etc.This is routinely done at my hospital.
Hi Daisygirl thanks for relying so quickly. The results speak for themselves don't they? I don't think the nurses would be worried, just got a stubborn onc ! I may go with my frozen peas regardless !
I picked up on nail cooling before my first TAX, I went to each treatment with coolbags filled with ice blocks and frozen peas, sat there looking a complete idiot but here are the results:
I lost 4 nails from my left hand which was not iced as it was the one that was canulated
All the nails on my right hand were OK except the index finger but even that has survived most of the onslaught
Did my feet as well, ALL my toenails are A OK!
Some hospitals provide cold gloves and socks but I don't know which ones. It works on the same principal as the cold cap.
My advice is, go in there with frozen peas, ice blocks etc, at least some of your nails will survive. I showed the results of my "experiment" to my BCN & Onc nurses and they were so impressed that they have asked me to take photos to show the Taxore rep.
Do whatever you can, it is not nice when the nails start to come off! It hasn't helped with the neuropathy though 😞
All the best
Hi everyone, I wonder if you can help me with your experiences of Taxitere ? I have read both on the forum and researched on the net that cooling the fingers can help prevent neuropathy ( tingling) and nail damage to the hands if you have it during the treatment. I have mentioned it to my onc and quite honestly drew a blank from her. She didn't know of any centres that do it and said it would be unfair to the rest of the patients ! I feel if I go armed with more info I can pursuade her and perhaps she'll start to treat the patient and not just the disease ! My finger ends are so important to me in my work and also my piano playing, even if it doesn't work at least I have tried everything ! Please let me know if you have tried the cooling and whether your centre does this routinely. Also positive/negative aspects too would be great. Many thanks Andrea