II has a mutated toe. Second toe of his left foot is twice the size of his big toe and mangled. It appears to have no bones in it. It has been there since he was born and has always been a source of pride for him. When he told me last summer that it was growing, I thought he was crazy. When he told me again in the fall, I told him to see a doctor. Then, everything happened this spring with M and we had to move, stablize him, resettle all of the children. It wasn't that either of us were ignoring his health. It just seemed to be a lower priority than everything else we were juggling. When he told me he was struggling for his shoes to fit properly, I finally looked at it and saw he was correct. It was growing. I told him to get to a doctor immediately.
Six weeks ago, II got into to see an Orthopedic surgeon with thirty years of experiencing specializing in foot and toe conditions. He had never seen anything like II's toe. He had x-rays done and it didn't tell us anything except there is no genuine bone in there, just lots of bone spurs. He ordered a MRI with contrast. The insurance balked. It took until last week before the doctor could appeal the insurance and get the test scheduled. Today, II had his follow-up appointment with the Orthoped on the toe.
Today, we found out that II is being referred to an Orthopedic Oncologist for his toe. There is a spot in the tissue of the toe that appears to be a tumor. There is no way to tell if it is benign or not. Evidentally, toes like this are prone to easily develop cancer and are usually taken off when a child is young as a protective measure. II's mother never did anything under the sun to protect him, least of all spend her time and money to have his toe removed. They cannot easily biopsy these toes. It seems a forgone conclusion that II's toe will be amputated. Whether it is benign or something far more sinister, we don't know and won't know until after he sees the oncologist, likely until after it's actually amputated.
I wasn't with him. He sat in his car and cried and all I could do was reach through the phone to comfort him. We never expected this news. Back when I was pregnant with R, I went to an ultrasound appointment alone because we thought it was totally routine and they told me they thought she had Trisomy 18. She didn't, but I never forgot the devestation of not having II with me for that news. It's that all over again but in reverse. I convinced him to come home instead of work. I'm certain his boss will understand that he's in no condition to work today. We're going to take A to the doctor, L to preschool and then we're going to go hiking, just the two of us. I doubt either of us will remember to breath but at least we'll face this together.
I do not want my husband to die. I never, ever wanted him to die. I don't want him to face a threat to his life before he is even 40 years of age. It's not fair. It's not right. What else can go wrong? What else?