We are 157,872 members in 80 forums discussing 124,904 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After → Topic: Losing a toenail

Topic: Losing a toenail

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Jul 2, 2008 01:43PM

Pam_E wrote:

I made it through 4 rounds of Taxotere, last one 1/17/08 only to now be losing a toenail.  It broke at that ridge that develops from the chemo.  Hope you know what I mean.

It's hanging by a very small margin and I have it taped to keep it on as long as possible.  Of course, it's sandal season and I hate shoes!

Those of you who have lost fingernails and toenails - is there anything you can do to keep them on?  How do you protect the uncovered nailbed?


Log in to post a reply

Posts 1 - 5 (5 total)

Log in to post a reply

Jul 2, 2008 01:51PM pip57 wrote:

I finished chemo last Sept and lost both my big toenails just now.  And my nails are more brittle now than they were in the fall.  I was surprised that it took so long.  Sorry, I don't know how you stop it from happening.  I put a bandage on mine so they wouldn't get ripped off accidentally (OW!) and kept the nail well clipped. Once the nail comes off, the nailbed is quite tough and not painful at all.

Good Luck... 

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex Dx 2/1/2007, IDC, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 2, 2008 01:53PM collector wrote:

I have lost nails and tried to keep them attached as long as possible but there should be a new nail growing underneath and after a while it just seems better to let the bad fall off.  I never felt the need to protect the nailbed except for wearing socks if I was at the gym or working outside but then I wasn't going barefoot or wearing open toed sandals either.  I'm interested in hearing what others have to say.  Good luck.

Dx 4/10/2008, ILC, 2cm, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 2, 2008 02:39PM whoopsiedoodles wrote:

Hi there,

Every one of my fingernails except the pinkie nails were hanging by a thread, and they hurt like a mo-fo (forgive the phrase, but it's the most accurate!).  I was told to expect them to come off, but DARN IT, I REFUSED to let that happen.  I did lose both of my baby toenails, and the big toe nails were hanging by a thread.  It was so painful to wear shoes because of the wretched hand and foot syndrome. 

I became very good at opening things with my pinky fingers, and kept the falling off nails all covered with band-aids.  CONSTANTLY. 

It is now more than 2 years after chemo, and my thumb nails are still disgusting.  My big toes are still very painful.  I'm waiting patiently for those nails to not be so darned thick-it is nearly impossible to trim them!!!!!  My insurance wouldn't let me get the nail fungus medicine, for some reason, either. 


Good luck! 
Love and prayers, Deb

"And if it turns out it's over too fast, I'll make every last moment last" Dx 9/29/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 2, 2008 02:56PM Pam_E wrote:


My fingernails and toenails were pretty gross.  I polis the toenails to cover up the brown staining and the black spots.  The fingernails have all pretty much grown out and are back to normal.  I didn't lose any, but some of them lifted in spots.  I just kept them short and didn't use them as tools like I normally would.

The toenails are growing SO slowly!  They are thick, too.  Is it a fungus or does the chemo just mess with them like it messed with everything else?


"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worthwhile." Herm Albright, writer Dx 7/5/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 2, 2008 04:10PM VirginiaNJ wrote:

Pam- I had 4 rounds of AC chemo last May/June ('07).  I took a trip to Hershey PA to ride roller coasters right in the middle of my treatment and noticed that after that trip (after 2nd chemo), my big toe nails got REALLY soft...  They eventually turned black and gross and mostly fell off.  I think I had a little bit of nail very close to the bed.  Anyhow, short story long, I kind of lived with closed toed shoes for most of the summer.  This past January, I went on a cruise and the nail salon was able to glue on fake nails on my TOES!  Kind of cool!  You are right, though, toe nails (especially the big toes) are VERY slow to grow in.  I've noticed that near the top the nails are kind of gross, but down low are nice clear new nails, so I am hoping that they continue to grow out...

Best of luck!!


Dx 11/22/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/13/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 10/16/2013 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my right breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my left side , Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my right side ; Prophylactic (also called preventive) mastectomy of one or both breasts : Prophylactic (also called preventive) mastectomy of my left breast ; Reconstruction of my left breast: Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction of my right breast: Tissue expander placement Surgery 03/24/2014 Reconstruction of my left breast; Reconstruction of my right breast Surgery 01/02/2007 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my right breast Hormonal Therapy 07/01/2007 Hormonal Therapy 02/17/2014 Targeted Therapy 06/28/2007 Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 02/05/2007 Chemotherapy 01/20/2014 Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Abraxane (chemical name: albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 11/18/2013 Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel) Chemotherapy 05/10/2007 AC: Adriamycin and Cytoxan