July 06, 2013

Tomorrow starts Xeloda round 7

Today is my last day of respite from Xeloda. Tomorrow I start round 7. Having the extra week off has improved my feet and hands, but so has henna! A friend sent me this link to a 2007 PubMed abstract, claiming that henna, applied topically to the palms and feet, eases the symptoms of Hand-FootSyndrome.

I went to an Indian grocery store, bought some henna for use in body art (i.e., temporary tattoos), mixed it with water and began slathering it on my feet. They turned orange from the dye, but appear to be healing. It's only been a few days, so I don't know if the improvement is due to the henna or just time off Xeloda, but it can't hurt to try this for a couple of weeks.

Deciding that I didn't want orange palms, young friend R suggested I get henna tattoos on my palms. She volunteered to do it, but I didn't have the henna with me at the time. H and (another) R were at dinner with us last night, and they were willing to try painting my palms. Here is the result of their art:

Both hands

Right hand detail
Left hand detail

Finished product

 When the wet mush dries, it leaves behind black patterns that flake off, revealing the orange underneath.

Rik will help keep up with the painting every other night for a week or more, so that we can find out how much it helps in this next round of Xeloda.

For a how-to guide, check out Xeloda side effects: Henna Tip For Hand-Foot Syndrome. NOTE: I did not use lemon juice because of the cracks in my hands. To make the designs, we used a thicker henna base, put some in a plastic bag, and cut a very tiny corner (similar to using icing bags and tips to frost a cake).


  1. Anonymous5:32 AM

    The henna is almost as beautiful as your smile. Good luck tomorrow, and I am adding 'the henna works' to your mantra!
    -AL from MN

  2. I just want you to know that you have inspired me.. I am a 43 year old mother of four, diagnosed with stage four in 2008. Recently my PeT was glowing on my bones again, and my liver. I also have thickening of my abdomen. I am on my 9th day of Xeloda and doing well! Mentally things have been a challenge but you are a blessing! although I do not know you nor you I, you have renewed my hope and rebuilt my strength. YOur blog brought me to tears but they were tears of hope and joy... GOD BLESS YOU . you have no idea what you have done to change my point of view!
    scooney@frontier.com I would love to chat sometime..