Renal Cell Live!

Friday, February 02, 2007


I've been dealing with intermittent blistering on my left foot from neuropathy, a common side effect of Nexavar. It hasn't been terrible, and remedies to date have included padding my left big toe with roving. On Monday in Cleveland I picked up a prescription for Biafine, a topical emulsion that softens the skin and reduces the irritation.

On Tuesday my thumbs were both slightly irritated and sore; by Thursday they were blistered at the joint and quite painful. I was barely able to bend my left thumb. So I've treated them with Biafine and have them bandaged - they feel better but not great.

Have you ever stopped to think how wonderful opposable thumbs are? Probably not - it's something we all take for granted. My dad lost half of his left thumb in a farming accident in the '40s and I never thought about what he had to do to compensate for that. Well, it's come home to me now. I can't open jar lids, can't open pill bottles, can't open the blister pacs for some of my medications. I can't unscrew the lid on a bottle of water or a soda. It's hard to tuck my shirt into my jeans. It's hard to pull my socks up. In short, we use our thumbs in concert with our fingers for so many things that it's hard to function without their full use.

Fortunately it hasn't stopped me from knitting. However, I will be stopping the Nexavar for a few days to get this under control, before it goes any further. Dr G and I had already discussed monitoring side effects and doing occasional stoppages; looks like it's time to start my record-keeping. Nobody has firm data on whether stopping Nexavar for short stretches lowers the effectiveness of the drug. Maybe I'll be able to contribute some information to the cause!

Snow here, with a true polar front anticipated tomorrow. We expect lows below zero early next week. Ah, winter (for my friends in Arizona and Florida: maybe the 30s and 40s don't sound too terrible now, do they?)



  • Opposable thumbs. There is an “all-time” Gary Larson cartoon about this. It shows two cows sitting in their living room. The phone on a table across the room is ringing. The caption reads something to the effect: There it goes again, and we can’t answer it because we don’t have opposable thumbs.”


    By Blogger Richard, at 3:25 AM  

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