The thing about my left thumb

There’s a lot about chemo that’s obvious: It’s hard. There will be nausea. Your hair might fall out.

But there are all these little things that they don’t really warn you about, no matter how long a list of side effects and treatments they may give you.

For example, nail shape changes. Last time I was on chemo, I thought I was losing my mind a little bit because the nails of my big toes were becoming ingrown and it just seemed so weird. They didn’t quite look right. But then again, I don’t spend a ton of time staring at my feet.

But this time on chemo, my fingernails are completely changed. Apparently this is a thing. I don’t like it.

Looking at my hands has become a constant reminder that my life will never be the same again. Like I needed that nudge. Maybe I’ll be on chemo for the rest of my life. Maybe my left thumbnail will always look like a stranger’s oddly rectangular nail. It certainly doesn’t look like it belongs on my hand.

The nurse practitioner in the infusion center tells me that people tolerate my current chemo cocktail better than my last one. With the last chemo, they push to get people to twelve treatments. With this one, I guess one could go on indefinitely.

This doesn’t make me feel better. I think it’s supposed to.

Other things that don’t make me feel better: Setting intentions for 2018. Being told how to feel. Anything posted to NextDoor.

Things that do make me feel better, if only sometimes: Ice cream. My beloved reading to me at night. Meditating. Connecting with friends.