I know, I know. My title is sort of strange for a blog which is about a testimony. You may be wondering what on earth I'm talking about. You may think chemo pushed me completely over the edge. You may even be thinking "Ewwww."
While the title may seem a bit strange, I assure you it is truly a testimony in my case. As I was typing out a comment, I happened to look at my fingernails and realize I have never yet given God thanks for them.
Most of us simply take our fingernails for granted. I know I always did until I was introduced to a drug called Taxol during chemo. Trust me. If you've never had it, you don't want it. It makes your eyelashes and eyebrows fall out. If you don't lose them altogether, they usually get pretty sparse. It makes your joints feel like you're about 90 years old. It can cause phantom nerve pain which is not pretty because there is really nothing which can be done about it. Oh, and 60% of the population experiences severe, life-threatening allergic reactions to it so you're pumped full of Benedryl and a chemo nurse watches you like a hawk for the first 30 minutes the first time you have it. They also make you lie in a bed rather than sit in a recliner the first time you have it because you might have a seizure. This lovely concoction was originally extracted from the bark of the yew tree. Now there's a synthetic version which is just as potent.
There's one other thing Taxol likes to do. It loves to destroy your fingernails and toenails . First you get ridges in them and they become very brittle and weak. Strange half-moon shapes appear. The nails begin to loosen from the nail bed. Often the nails will thicken and then start to peel. Many times they even turn black.
I remember the first time I learned about this. I'm the woman who can't stand to have my fingernails cut too short. Just the thought of clipping them down to the finger tip sends shivers of pain up and down my spine. I need my fingernails. They're tools I depend on. I can separate stuff which is stuck together. I use them to loosen the tangled knots in a second graders shoes. They do a great job of helping me loosen blobs of dried glue from a table. I need them.
Since my tumor was removed with clean margins, I had no way to tell if the chemo was working or not. I really wanted to know and I didn't want to lose my nails in the process. I went before my heavenly Father and asked him if he could please protect my nails during chemo. I know this may sound vain to some but I assure you it really wasn't. It was just one more side-effect being piled up on my plate and I so desperately wanted confirmation that I was okay. Perhaps you have much more faith than I do and you would not have needed something like this but I had reached the point where I just needed to know that I was okay in spite of everything.
After two treatments of Taxol, my oncologist's nurse looked at my nails and narrowed her eyes. "I see you have some ridges but other than that your nails look amazingly stong." By the end of my treatments, she told me she didn't think I was going to lose any nails.
During the past couple of months, I held my breath. I'd heard horror stories of nails falling off post-treatment. My nails although ridged, actually seemed stronger than ever. The ridges are becoming less prominent, the half moons are getting thinner and it looks like they are slowly regaining their post-chemo appearance. They serve to remind me that even when I walk a dark path, God is still in control. Yes, I am very thankful for my fingernails! :)
I really feel for you and your predicament. I'm just happy that you have faith and can come to God with your concerns and weaknesses. I have very bad teeth and I always remind God to protect them and make them last. Some little things are very dear to us and God knows that. Kind of reminded, the woman who had ten silver coins and she lost one, she lit a lamp, swep the house, and when she find it, she gathers all her freinds and tells them to celebrate and rejoice with her.
God is also concerned with the lost souls still at large, like sheep without a sheppeard...I'm glad and rejoice you still have your fingernails. May God take all the glory. Amen.