Maxitrectomy – I Did It

I did it! I went ahead and booked an appointment with the podiatrist for the maxitrectomy on both big toenails. The chemo drugs did such a number on the two big toenails and they weren’t growing in nicely. Plus they were uncomfortable.

This is my before the procedure picture. When my granddaughter asked me what was wrong with my toenails, I told her it was from some of the drugs I had to take for my cancer. After that, I never wore sandals again.

I was told the maxitrectomy is to remove the entire toenail and there is a 90% success rate that the toenail will not grow back. The doctor kept asking, are you sure you want to do this? I kept saying yes, I want them gone. The nurse suddenly turned and looked at the doctor with wide eyes and gasped. I asked her, what is wrong? Especially when the doctor kept saying I would be sore. The nurse laughed and told me that she thought I meant to have all of my toenails removed. No. That was not happening. Just the two big toenails.

The doctor went ahead and sprayed my toes with a very cold numbing spray then injected both big toes with an anesthetic. The needles hurt a little. But it was not bad. They left for a few minutes to let the anesthetic settle in. I asked to be lying prone as I did not want to watch the procedure. As long as I don’t see it, I am fine.

The doctor came back. Pulled off the gross toenails, which I did not feel. Then all I felt was some pressure as he applied a chemical to the nail bed. The chemical would eat away the source of where the nail grows from. This did not hurt either. Then both the doctor and the nurse applied gauze and bandages. They ran out of blue and I asked for purple. So one blue toe and one purple.

The nurse gave me detailed instructions on the care of my toes and I was good to go. The actual procedure took, maybe, five minutes. Absolutely no pain. Just tingling from my neuropathy. I made a two week follow up visit and walked out. Drove home. By myself. 

I was a little apprehensive the next morning before my shower about taking off the bandages. I wondered what kind of grossness would be waiting for me. Slowly, slowly took off the bandages. I was surprised. Not too bad. It looks like I painted my toenails red. The redness will disappear after a while and I was told that some oozing should be there for a few days.

Took my shower and let the water drizzle on my toes. Didn’t hurt. Dried off then sprayed the toes with the cleaning agent I was given. Didn’t hurt. Put the ointment on that I was given. That didn’t hurt either. It didn’t totally gross me out either. Walked around and there was no discomfort. With the neuropathy I just have a constant tingling feeling in my toes. They are on the numb side but nothing terrible. Not sure where all the soreness was or if it would begin.

Being impressed with myself, I took the above pictures, I sent them to my kids. My daughter-in-law has a total phobia against feet so I knew I would be reprimanded for sending her the pictures. My son and oldest daughter both reacted with, Gee thanks, Mom! So gross. My youngest daughter, who is in a nursing program said, I’ve seen worse. Feeling a little satisfied, I am still waiting for the soreness to happen. Nothing.

Through all of this, before the doctor did the procedure and he kept asking if I was sure and that it would be sore, I told him with everything I had already been through this would be a piece of cake. He agreed with me.

I still consider myself so lucky. I have gone through a lot. But when I think of every other cancer patient, I am lucky. I thank all my friends who prayed for me. Most of all, I am lucky to have a Father who loves me and is there for me. I have a plaque that says, Lord help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I together can’t handle. Amen.

 

And Another Medical Procedure

 

I told you how the Taxol chemotherapy drug does affect people. I was told it could affect my toenails and/or fingernails. Fortunately, it only affected my toenails.

The podiatrist I saw back in May, gave me a biotin supplement to take for two months and gave me a polish to apply to my toenails. He then said I should come back in three months.

I recently saw him and told him the left big toenail was not comfortable and that I was not happy with it. I wasn’t too concerned with the right big toenail. He took off a large portion of the left toenail and sent it to the lab to see if there was any fungus type thing going on. He removed a lot of the right big toenail and said it was not doing well either. He said that both big toenails would probably never return to normal and would always give me issues.

I asked him what my options were. He suggested matricectomy which is the surgical and chemical removal of the toenail. He said it can be done in their office. He explained how it would be done. Or I could just leave the toenails the way they are. I have not worn sandals at all since my toenails have grown back. They are just so ugly, as you can see by my picture. The doctor says that once the toenail is removed, you can’t really tell that it isn’t there anymore. He said I could even paint the skin area and no one would notice. There are several videos on toenail removal. I started watching one and then chickened out. I don’t mind needles and different procedures but do not want to actually watch them being done.

Before we decide to go ahead with the matricectomy, the doctor has requested to see blood work on my liver functions. He wants to make sure that the area would heal well after my chemotherapy treatments. At this point, I am wanting to go ahead and get it done. One more thing to look forward to.