This morning I snipped off the last bit of cracked thumbnail. Each of my rounds of chemo left a thinned, weakened strip across all my nails, which moved slowly from nailbed to tip, and when it reached the tip, it would crack very easily. I usually keep my nails short, but that wasn't enough to prevent cracks and even small pieces snapping off under even mild pressure. Just another tiny indignity of the whole process.
One crack, on my left thumb, kept extending itself back down the nail: I would catch it on something, and back it would go, down into the apparently-normal nail growing after all the chemo was over. All the other weak patches were gone months ago, but that crack just kept renewing itself. I've taken such care over that nail the last few months, trying not to catch it on anything, keeping it trimmed short, and finally, finally the very bottom of the crack has reached high enough up the nail that I've been able to cut the last of it off. Normality restored at last.
As for my hair, I never lost it all, but it thinned out dramatically during chemo. I estimated about 80% of it fell out. I'd leave hairs on every pillow, like a cat shedding. I was so glad I'd had Tony clip it short in advance, it would have been unbearable to leave shoulder-length clumps in the same way. Hair went from the rest of my body too - arms, legs etc. Not hairless, but very thinly covered.
In January, after the last round of chemo, it started growing back. My head felt like a dog with a winter coat growing in, two distinct lengths. I remember trimming it all back very short just to make it tidy, and then again (a little longer) when it was shaggy and unbearable. I want to grow it out again, at least back to shoulder-length, so I've gritted my teeth and got through the shaggy stage and it's suddenly settled into something that is acceptably tidy with no effort from me.
And suddenly I've discovered that my hair is curly and springy now, instead of straight. It looks quite good (see userpic) and I don't dislike it. It just feels unfamiliar, all the time. I'm still waiting to feel like it's normal.
Today's bird: Merlin