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A Tale of Two Toenails

Updated: Jul 4, 2023


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but mostly the worst of times as myelofibrosis is a giant pain in the ass. I was officially diagnosed in May of 2022, but my hematologist actually diagnosed me in July of 2019 when he was also testing me for AML due to a white count spike. He told me I was clear for AML but neglected to tell me about the MF, even tho he recorded the diagnosis date in my file. When I got the official diagnosis with the specialist in '22, my hematologist said, "Yeah, I already told you that three years ago." I said, "No way! You know me...I would have been crying hysterically!" He said, "Oh, I must have forgotten."

"You forgot to tell me I had bone marrow cancer???" I exclaimed. "It's not like forgetting to pick up the milk!" We bickered some more, which we seem to enjoy as we do it often and it makes us laugh. But one has to admit this was quite the oversight to "forget" to tell the patient of a fatal illness.

But Dr. Druck has been my hematologist for well over twenty years now for my ET, and I love him. I recall the day when he said I didn't have AML, and I remember vividly the pained look on his face. At the time I thought, "Gee, he must have been really worried." But now I know he just couldn't tell me the whole story, and I forgive him. It wouldn't have changed anything and I love that I had three additional years of not knowing my full diagnosis. It must be tough to be a doctor sometimes.

I am less forgiving, however, of the podiatrist who's been taking care of my toenail issues. She's very sweet, except when she's tearing out one of said toenails. She looks like she's having too much fun, which makes me uneasy, but I digress. On to the strange toenail mysteries brought on by our ever-loving friend MF. Let's go!

1) MY BIG LEFT TOE. This particular phalange has been a nuisance to me for about two years now. It first began as your standard fungal infection of the nail, which turned the color of puke yellow before it fell off, only to grow back again with a new infection, also puke yellow. When I went to the very sweet but possibly sadistic podiatrist, she tore off my new nail with incredible force, but not before injecting it with novacaine to kill the pain.

Unfortunately, she waited too long (on purpose, perhaps?) and did the nail removal during the last two minutes or so of the numbness, after which the pain exploded with such magnitude that I had to hop on one foot in order to get to the street and into an Uber.

It taught me a valuable lesson about myself, though, which is that I would fold under questioning instantly if someone were ripping out my nails in order to extract information from me.

We don't often think of these unique benefits of MF, which can give us valuable intel about our character. In my case, I know now to give up my dream of working in political intrigue and espionage, and instead just take the real estate exam, provided, of course, that I get well, which I won't, thus making these fantasies pointless, if amusing, ways to pass the time.

I do have one useful tip: Use Vicks Vapo-Rub and a sock to cure a fungal infection of the toe. Even tho my nail grew back in the shape of Spain, it is no longer puke yellow, and that's worth something.

2) MY BIG RIGHT TOE. This is a more curious toenail story. At first, I thought the fungal infection had jumped feet and invaded the big piggie on the right in order to create fungal balance. But as the tell-tale puke yellow was missing, I knew this was something else.

In short, I began growing a new toenail on top of my previous toenail. And just when I thought the two toenails were about to grow out together and leave me with a normal looking toenail again, a third toenail began to grow on top of the previous two.

In the same way that ocean waves come to shore on top of each other, this was the phenomenon with this nail. When the sweet but dominatrix podiatrist saw toenail #2, she said I had probably injured my toe, which caused the new nail to grow. I told her I had no memory whatsoever of what sounded like a major toe event, but she assured me this was the case.

Of course, when toenail #3 began coming in, I knew for certain that I wasn't in some kind of toe-stubbing frenzy, which might explain this freakfest of three big toenails all growing on the same big toe. Oh no, I knew it was another odd manifestation of MF, an excuse I use for everything now when a bodily function goes awry.

MF is also an all-purpose excuse for us to get out of anything we don't want to do, and for this we should all be grateful. Some win Powerball, others get MF. Give thanks!

Oh, and to answer the question I know is burning in your heads, yes, the podiatrist DID rip off the top toenail layer on the right, which luckily didn't hurt, but again, she was enjoying herself a bit too much. While I can appreciate that she loves her work, I do wonder if she heads into Manhattan at night in order to service the foot fetish crowd. Either that, or she's extracting information from enemies of the US government, making her a true if barbaric patriot.

One thing is certain: I'm going to find a new podiatrist.


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Oh my, you write with such fabulous amusement about your life adventures. Grim reaper, begone!

Much hugs,


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