The Art of Hair Coloring

I know now that I would not be a very good hairstylist. That is why I go to a good stylist to have my hair cut. I should also just give in and always go to a stylist to have my hair colored.

I was not going to mess with my hair. I am pretty happy that my hair is growing back in. It is coming in really well. The hair is very soft and quite wavy. It isn’t really curly. But it is coming in gray. I was done with hair dyes and all the chemicals. Since I was probably 20 years old, I have been enhancing the blonde strands on top of my head. Blondes have more fun, right? When I was a child, I had white blonde hair.

My husband prefers blonde. He was a blonde himself. I got bored with just the gray. I started to look around at organic, natural hair products and found henna. There are a lot of henna products out there but I use lush.com for my skin care. I am very happy with the products and the fact that it is all natural. I was browsing through the website, looking at all their products when I found henna.

All along, I thought henna was more to enhance red hair. Or to turn you into a red head. I read up on the product and being adventurous, ordered the red henna. I did go out and find a natural hair dye for blondes. However, it still does contain some chemicals. After my husband told me he would prefer me to be blonde again and I was in the mood for an experiment, I went with the henna.

The instructions were to cook the henna with some water. Since my hair is short, I didn’t use that much. Globbed it into my hair with rubber gloves. Did it all by myself and didn’t make a mess. Not even on me. Stuck a big baggie over my head and left it on for 2 1/2 hours. Instructions said to leave it on anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. I wanted to be safe. 

Glad I went for safe. Took the baggie off. Showered out all the gritty stuff from the henna. Showered myself off. Wrapped a towel around my head. Dried off everything. Then took a look. I couldn’t really see anything with my hair being wet. But my hair dries pretty quickly.

I am just letting out big sighs right now that my hair has dried. It’s red. The henna is supposed to intensify or still keep working for another 24 hours. Wonder what it will look like tomorrow. I didn’t get all my hair. There are still some patches of gray. I have a doctor’s appointment and I’m torn between covering my head with my wig or a bandana. Or just going for it and going au naturel. My daughter in law keeps calling me the crazy old lady. Might as well prove her right for once. I mean there are a lot of little old ladies out there with blue hair. I might as well join them all with my red hair.

My husband did say he would prefer me to be blonde. This is all his fault. He should have said red. Then I would have gone for the blonde hair tint. This is why I would never make a good hair stylist.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6: 9-19.

I was given this prayer on a wall plaque when I was a child. I think it was my parents who gave it to me or it could have been my aunt and uncle. I can’t remember anymore. But this is the prayer that I was taught as a young child. I memorized this prayer and recited it many times growing up.

I don’t know that I knew exactly what it meant. It was good that I had it memorized and could recite it perfectly. I just knew that it was a good prayer. I also knew that Jesus said this prayer. That meant a lot to me as a child.

As I got older, I tried to analyze this prayer and what it meant. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. The first line is pretty easy. God resides in heaven and His name is holy. It is above all other names. It goes along with the fourth commandment. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain. We are supposed to honor God. But God is also our Father. The one who loves us above all else.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We are supposed to honor God on earth as it is done in heaven. I am not sure what heaven is like but I know there are many angels who honor God all the time. He is given honor and reverence and glory. His word is the law and we need to remember that while we are here on earth. He created everything and we need to give God the respect that He deserves.

Give us this day our daily bread. I see this as not only our food but everything that we need to live. We need to trust God to make sure we have food, shelter, health, and money. If we could just trust God to provide for us, we would be rewarded ten times over. But most of us just can’t do that and we always try to get more, earn more, work more, do more. It is scary but when you trust in God, He will not let you down.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. This does not mean that we should not pay back what we owe. It also does not just mean monetary items. I think it means whatever wrongs we have done, God will forgive us our sins as long as we ask for forgiveness. Then we also need to forgive those people that have wronged us. We need to look past the hurt and pain and forgive. At times, forgiving ourselves and others is extremely difficult. With prayer though, it can be done. I am still working on forgiving and forgetting. Letting go.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. This is a really hard one since Satan is constantly tempting us, luring us into sin. Look at the ten commandments. I don’t think any one of us can say we are not being tempted or have committed a sin. When you recognize that you have faults, you have sinned, asking God to help is a good thing.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power and glory forever. God is the ruler over all the earth, the heavens and everything else that surrounds us. We have no idea what heaven will be like or how much there is. Our brains would explode if we tried to comprehend it all. We don’t need to comprehend it. God has our backs. He has got control over all of it. Something I just don’t understand so I am more than happy to let God have it. All of it just like He has all of me. Amen.

Chapter 5 – Stephen Feldman and Frank McKnee

Here I was, talking to two men at the same time. This was interesting. Really, very interesting. This had never happened to me before. Having conversations with two different men. I did not let either man know that I was talking to the other.

Stephen and I had long, interesting conversations. He was a contractor who was working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Geez. I just cannot believe I kept talking to this person. Steven had a son who was overseas somewhere with his mother. I can’t remember exactly where but Stephen was trying to get his son into the United States with friends who were in Texas. He said his ex wife was not a fit mother and was willingly giving up the son to Stephen. I just kept listening to the stories and thinking, really, now? But I was getting pulled in. He kept promising that as soon as he was able, he would come to see me.

At the same time, I was having long conversations with Frank. He would call me at different times of the day. He was an artist and he did send pictures of his work. He was very talented and I told him he should keep painting. He did portrait work and he said he would paint a picture of me.

There were so many times I wanted to end it with both men. They both had distinct accents that I could not quite place. Eastern European, I thought. But both men just wanted to talk. Just wanted to get to know me and for me to get to know them. I was bewildered and did not know what to think. They did not talk about love or money or needing anything. Just wanted to talk. They kept making promises to see me as soon as they could. What could be the harm in that?

Lots. Neither one could meet me over coffee soon. It was always business trips, finish the contract, or under pressure to work. Frank’s father had died and left the business to Frank. So he needed to go to England, of all places, to sort through the details. Frank also had a daughter who lived in New York. The daughter had a daughter who visited Frank on occasion. He actually sent pictures of the granddaughter.  As I said previously, he recorded a song that he sang and sent it to me. I could see pictures and what appeared to be normal furnishings in a house in the background.

All of these conversations were happening not just over one or two weeks but two to three months. No talk about having or being in a desperate situation. Both men let me know they were well off. Not exactly how much but in general terms. Good, I thought. I’m not getting suckered in, I thought. Both men seemed to show genuine concern for me.

As time went on, I thought these men might actually be real. Stephen claimed to own a house in Texas. He also mentioned the city which I cannot now remember. Frank claimed to own a house in Miami, Florida. I googled both names and did not come up with anything. I tried to google addresses and houses but still came up with nothing. Also, when I googled their phone numbers, both were VoIP numbers with no name attached. That should have given me the best reason to block their phone numbers and have nothing more to do with them.

But I couldn’t do that. I kept answering their phone calls. I kept talking to both of them, and I was trying to decide between the two of them. Ladies and gentlemen, these things never end up well. But having a hopeful heart, I kept pressing on. More in Chapter 6.

 

Chapter 4 – Stephen and Frank

Yes, there is a chapter 4. Chapter 5 too. Probably Chapter 6. Unfortunately. You would think I would catch on and just leave it all alone. But after the ex’s comments and everything that I had heard through the years, I did hope that there was someone for me.

I did go out on a couple of dates. Dating is difficult after so many years of being married. Although, dating as a teenager and young woman was hard. Back in the 70s, everyone knew that going on a date with a guy meant that at the end of the night, you treated the guy back. You know. I just wasn’t willing to do that because I was a really shy teenager. Then when I started dating again, I still had those same thoughts. I just wasn’t willing to be a part of that.

I stayed with Christian Mingle. Bad idea but I was determined. Kept sending hellos to various men. I also tried out a couple other online dating sites. On one of them, I met several local men which was encouraging and actually met them over dinner. But, then one man who was in a city close to me suggested to meet for coffee. Great, I thought. Until he said that after the coffee if I was willing to go to his place. You see, he had strong sexual cravings and needed sex at least twice per day and if I was good with that.

You can imagine how quickly I ended that. It was as if my phone had thrown up on me. All I said was no and goodbye. I did not meet with him for coffee. I was debating about reporting him to customer service. But this was not Christian Mingle and, obviously, too many people would regard this as normal American male lustiness. I, obviously, was not a normal lusty female.

Then one day, I had emails from two men. Frank and Stephen. Interesting. Frank McKnee was dark haired and quite an attractive man. He was an entrepreneur and an artist who did paintings. He lived in Florida. Great. Stephen Feldman was blonde and drop dead gorgeous. Robert Redford is just so-so beside Stephen. But, get this, Stephen was a contractor for oil rigs and was currently working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He was out there until the project ended.

You know the expression, do as I say, not as I do? I just cannot believe I let myself continue with these two men. What was the possibility of meeting up for coffee with either Frank or Stephen? Zip when they apparently were con men. Why, oh why, was I so gullible and why did I keep talking to them? But I did. I thought, I know better. I will just chat with them and know this for what it was.

Except for a couple of things. I chatted with both men for a good month and during that time, neither one asked for money. In fact, Frank recorded himself singing a song for me. Frank also sent me pictures of his paintings. He was a really good artist. Stephen was so freaking handsome that I just wanted to keep chatting with him.

I am warning everyone, it was just the beginning. As is with all con artists, some just want to get the hook into you as deeply as possible so that you won’t be able to say no. If anyone thinks you can fall in love over emails and a phone line, please rethink that. Do not let yourself fall in love until you are actually face to face. I am so hoping to save you from the heartache of having your heart broken, and losing money in the process. I can safely say, more in Chapter 5.

 

 

Chapter 3 – Online Dating

Daniel was quite the con artist. I blocked his phone number. I was frustrated. Really? I thought to myself. Is this all there is? I also made certain to notify the administrators at Christian Mingle about Daniel Steiner.

Another way to know when you are dealing with a con artist is by the phone number. If they aren’t registered with a recognizable cell phone company, then you can be 99.99% certain that they are somewhere overseas. They will always be with a VoIP (voice internet Provider). Also, do a bing or google search on their name. Chances are extremely high that you will not find them anywhere.  Now that I am out of this online dating scene, I am pretty good at telling everyone the don’ts. Wish I would have listened to myself after Daniel.

But, no, I plugged onwards with Christian Mingle. I was determined to find that man. Or was I just angry over what my ex had told me? Or was I wondering if there was any man for me? Could it be that I believed that I was not good enough? That I did not deserve anything? After living with a man for over thirty years who let me know that I wasn’t good enough, I probably believed that.

I spent quite a few nights looking through the available men. I kept updating my information. I kept changing my introduction. I kept changing who I might be interested in. It seemed that any man that I might be interested in, was already busy chatting, with someone else. If I sent a wave, I might get a wave back but nothing else.

Then a man sent me a wave and wanted to chat. He looked interesting. I cannot remember the name. We chatted for a long time. He designed jewelry. He had a house in Raleigh and one in California. When I asked about meeting for coffee, don’tcha know he suddenly had to fly out to California to take care of business. A huge sigh from me. Sure. So I ended that one.

But he kept wanting to chat. He had all kinds of interesting things to say. I chatted back, knowing this would not go anywhere. This went on for quite some time. He kept talking about his house out in California. He kept saying he had to settle “things” in California before he could get back to Raleigh. Surprisingly, he never talked about how beautiful I was or that he was falling in love with me (typical with con artists). He also never once asked for money. I think I did google him and did find jewelry made by him but there were never any pictures attached. So finding his name was a good thing.

We did keep chatting but then I found Frank and Stephen. Or rather, they found me. To be continued in Chapter 4.

Love

Love is the most sought after emotion for all of us. When we have it, we rejoice. When we don’t, it causes stress, heartache, depression, tears and so on.

I found true love with my husband, Bill. I cannot begin to describe the feelings I have for this man. He is everything to me. I feel so bonded, so close, so like – yes, I will say it – his soul mate. I feel I fit perfectly with him. He makes my heart swell and jump. He makes my blood rush. When I am not with him, I can feel his touch. I can smell his scent. I feel warmth and strength from him. I would do everything for him. I pray passionately for him. I would actually give up my life for him without a second thought. Should I leave this earth before him, I will wait for him.

My children and grandchildren are everything to me. They will always be my little girls and my little boy. I will never stop thinking about them. I will always pray for them. I pray for their health and their safety and their happiness. I will always worry about them and when something happens to them, I will try to rush to them to help them. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. If someone told me to make a choice between one child or another, or my husband or my children, or grandchildren, I would tell them to take me. There is no choice for me. I love them all equally. Passionately. Whole heartedly. All of my heart belongs to them. Every inch. Nothing is withheld. When I die, before them, I will be waiting for them.

If I can love these precious treasures like that, then just think about God’s love for us. Think about how much Jesus loves us. It isn’t just some of us. It isn’t just those that are the most special, or those who belong to a particular religious group, or ethnic group, or part of the world, or whether you are a good person or consider yourself a bad person. Jesus loves each and everyone of us. Always has and always will.

The Passion of the Christ is a movie I will never forget. I went to see it with my oldest daughter. I kept my coat held up to my face during the entire movie. Every time there was a scene which I just could not bear to see, I would pull my coat over my eyes. The movie focusses on the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life. This movie really made me aware of how Mary, his mother, must have felt. I could see, through her eyes, how she watched her son as he went through the trial, then the beatings, then carrying the cross and then finally being nailed to the cross.

Oh my God! I thought. I felt her pain. I felt her grief. As a mother, you want to do everything you can to protect your child. All she could do was watch. I wanted so much to go to the soldiers and the mocking people and do something. Did she know this was part of God’s plan? Did she know this would happen? How could she bear it?

As I watched Jesus carrying the cross, I kept thinking, Why? Why are you doing this? For us? We don’t deserve this. Look at what we are doing to you. Look at what is happening. How could we do this to you? Every Easter prior to this movie, I knew what had happened to him but until this movie, and actually seeing it, it changed so much for me. I sobbed through the rest of the movie. I couldn’t drive home, I was so overwhelmed with emotion.

This movie drove it home for me. Really made it clear about the love Jesus has for us. Jesus took a thief into Heaven with Him. He will do that for each and every one of us who asks. Jesus loves us so much that He took our sin onto Himself and died for us. Is there anyone who could do that? Do you understand how deep that love is? This love is something that will change you. You can’t and won’t be the same person when you accept that love. Jesus’ love has the power and strength to overcome everything and anything that comes your way. Without that love, you are not whole. Not the person you could be.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Chapter 2 – Online Dating Scams

There I was. The first person to approach me was a through and through con. For all I know, it could have been a woman on the other end as I discovered later. The thing I was told was never give out your personal email to anyone on these dating sites.

So, there I am, looking through the matches I was given. I was wondering why so many people were busy chatting with others. I could not get a chat started with anyone. What was wrong with me? Was my bio not good enough or interesting? Was my picture not good? Was I too old?

Finally a man named Daniel started chatting with me. He was a contractor who lived in Florida. Florida? Don’t ever start anything with someone who doesn’t live in the same state. My mistake. I was intrigued. He was a very handsome man.

We started talking on the phone. A wonderful, deep voice with an accent. East European. Why was I being sucked in? I should have stopped. I should have said, thanks but no thanks. But I was sucked in by his promise of love and romance. Too much. Too fast. This went on for approximately one week. Just as I thought we would be meeting somewhere for coffee, he had to suddenly fly to Dubai on business. Warning lights! Flashing! Loud beeps! My brain heard them but not my heart.

We kept talking for another week or two. He was very romantic. He would call every morning, promising all kinds of wonderful, tempting things. I was being sucked in deeper and deeper. I knew better but after so many years of not being wanted or complimented, this was wonderful.

This is the typical format for these con artists. They first talk about love and promises and what they want to do once we finally meet. You are romanced right off your feet. Then comes the con.

One afternoon, I get a phone call from Daniel who is frantic. He had been driving back to the hotel late at night and a child ran out onto the street and he hit the child. The child was taken to the hospital and Daniel was taken to jail. Daniel needed bail money and didn’t know what to do as they had taken his wallet and passport.

I should have said good luck to you and hung up. But no. I was stupid and thought I was in love with Daniel. Many phone calls happened and Daniel finally asked for the bail money. I can’t remember how much he said he needed but I told him I didn’t have the money. Many more phone calls happened until I just said, I don’t have it and I wouldn’t send it. Suddenly, all phone calls stopped. Thank goodness because if I had been pushed one more time, I just might have sent that money. That is how desperate I was for love. Stupid me.

This is the typical scenario of all con artists. Let me tell you, older women who are divorced or widowed are quickly targeted. They know that older women who are on online dating sites, are a little desperate for love. For some reason, whatever smarts we have, go out the window when we are given the picture of a handsome man and then sweet talked. I was smart with the first bum and became suddenly dumb with the second one.

This is not the end of my story. There are more which I will share. I am writing these blogs in the hopes of saving you from being scammed. I did post Daniel’s picture on several places with the headline, “Do you know this man?” One woman messaged me and I told her my story. She was so grateful because he had approached her and she thought his story was fishy. She ended it with him right away. I hope I am able to save more.

 

The Pitfalls of Online Dating

It seems like so many couples I now know have met over online dating. When I ask them which service, ninety percent say with match.com. It feels like with today’s busy lifestyles, more and more people are resorting to this service. However, my experiences with online dating were horrible. If I can save even one woman or man from the pitfalls, I will be happy.

I had been in a horrible marriage for thirty two years. I was verbally abused, controlled and manipulated. I was made to feel worthless. I finally found the courage to break free. While we were separated, I was told by my ex that he would give me one year to come to my senses, then after that he would start dating. During that time, there was never one moment where he tried to take me out for coffee or dinner to just talk. During that year, I began to breathe. I did not think for one minute that I wanted to start dating or even look at another man. I needed time to be able to breathe and try to heal.

However, after one year, my ex calls me to tell me that he had gone to a dating service. He said he had roughly twenty women lined up to meet him. He picked out three potentials, then managed to settle with one woman. After the conversation, I hung up the phone and decided that I did not need to talk to him ever again. Like what happened to seeing if there is an attraction? What about trying to find that person that will connect with you?

Then I realized that I just wasn’t good enough. No man has ever, or would ever, look at me. I mean, my ex never complimented me. Never said I looked good. Never said anything positive about me. So it must be me, right? I would be alone for the rest of my life. When all I ever wanted was a man who loved me for me.

I searched out online dating websites and the first one I went to was ChristianMingle.com. At that time, I could sign up for free. However, your access was limited so I signed up for a monthly account. I was pretty active and I tried to fill out my details as much as possible. I mean, I thought I was safe on a Christian based dating site. I set out details for men that I would be interested in.

Got some bites pretty quickly. The first one was a sergeant in the US Military who was divorced. He wanted to know my personal email. Big mistake. Don’t give that out to anyone ever. There is an email account with the dating website where you can send and receive emails and you can do online chats. I didn’t give my email address out for this guy because I was wondering about him being in the military. Apparently, he was in Saudi Arabia.

I googled his name and it did come up. The news article that I found was maybe six months old. The article definitely said he was married with one son. During our emails, he said his son had died and he was divorced. I asked him how long he was divorced. I told him I found a news article from six months ago which said he was married. He ranted, actually ranted, about how news reporters were getting their facts all messed up and they lied about everything.

I had a friend and her husband who were living with me at the time, He was in the army perhaps fifteen to twenty years ago. He told me that when a person is on tour, you cannot participate in online dating sites. Especially when you are on tour. I asked this sergeant about what he was doing in Saudi Arabia. He suddenly shut down and said he had to go out on watch, or some other thing.

I admit it that I did try to mess with the guy as I knew he was a con artist. Every time he contacted me, I would ask questions that I knew he wouldn’t be able to answer. I found a number of articles on this sergeant and I would ask him things about the article, which this dumb bum couldn’t answer. Finally, I had enough and told him I would be reporting him to the website and said better luck next time. He ranted something fierce but I cut him off. I reported him and they quickly closed his account down.

This dummie was easy to figure out. Unfortunately, this was not the last experience with a con man. I had quite a few that I will share with you in the next blog. As I said, if I can save one person from doing some of the stupid things I did, I will be grateful.

Depression is a Downer

I am going to tackle a subject that should not be hidden or dismissed. Depression. One of the many mental illnesses that affect more people than we know. It has affected me.

I have been struggling with depression for more than 35 years. Probably since my mid twenties. At the time, I didn’t realize what it was.

My ex-husband is a narcissist. His parents had him on a pedestal which he loved. He expected the same treatment from me. I was an introvert and had no self confidence. He used that. He tried to control and manipulate everything I did. Everything I touched, he would take and “make it better”. It got to the point where I didn’t try anymore. When it was for myself, I would hide it and not show him. There were times I cried myself to sleep.

As he  climbed the ladder of success, things at home got worse. I was never given any credit for anything I did. Nothing I did was ever good enough. He always changed whatever I touched. It was especially horrible with our children which I always tried to hide from them. He was a good father when the children were young but once they started gaining independence, he changed.

I was threatened so many times to behave or he would take me to court and “clean my clock” or leave me with nothing. I was so intimidated and felt so worthless. So many nights, I would feel myself being sucked into a deep, black hole. There were nights I wished I could die. But, not once, did I think of ending my life. That was not up to me. That was for God and I would not go there.

It was during my children’s teenage years where I went to my family doctor to ask for help. I was told I had depression. My family doctor prescribed an antidepressant. There was one psychiatrist for our city (population size 600,000) in Canada. I would not be able to get an appointment with the psychiatrist for at least one year. Did I want to wait or just start on the antidepressant the doctor could prescribed. I went with what my family doctor recommended.

I finally found the courage when we moved to the States to leave my ex. I truly struggled with the decision. Every time the ex went on a business trip, I could breathe. The day before his expected return, I would start to have the shakes and I would cry. The straw that broke the camel’s back was an order that I was given before our son’s wedding. I couldn’t live like this anymore. I was seeing a therapist who gave me coping skills. But it wasn’t enough.

With the diagnosis of cancer, I was able to see a psychiatrist who has prescribed the proper antidepressant for me. The antidepressant has helped. However, when my oncologist started me on the estrogen suppressing medications, I am not certain if it was both the Anastrazole and the Letrozole or just one of them that put me into such a deep depression that I could not stop crying. Every night I would be sobbing. Such a deep, black hole that I was being sucked into. I couldn’t control it. I couldn’t stop it. I felt helpless. This wasn’t me.

There was never a day I couldn’t get out of bed. I could still perform everything I needed to do for the day. Seeing my horse was the best thing I could do for myself. However, the relationship with my husband was unraveling for me. I felt stupid, ugly, fat and undeserving of such a handsome man. I was falling apart. I was praying every day to God for relief. I wondered why this was happening. Was I seeing things that just weren’t there? I prayed and prayed.

One day, I started an argument with my sweet, wonderful husband. It just erupted out of me. I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know why I was doing it. I went upstairs to sob. I hurt and that black hole was sucking me in. I sobbed so hard and prayed. Slowly, I composed myself.

I sat up. It was like a switch had been flicked off. The black hole disappeared. I could breathe. Quite literally, the sun came out. If you have never gone through something like this, it is difficult to explain. It is a feeling of calm that comes over you. The tears are gone and I could breathe.

I know when I walked back downstairs and gave my husband a loving kiss, his eyes were pretty wide. He must have wondered, what the heck? I sat down beside him, took up my knitting and watched the television with him.

The next day was normal and I thought, I want to feel like this every day. How can I have this happen every day? I want to feel normal. God did hear my prayers. For over one month, I was being dragged by depression into the black hole. God pulled me out so I could see the sunlight.

Depression is a horrible illness. Trying to cope with it without medication or seeing a therapist is impossible. I believe in God but I know I need the medication as well. Just like a diabetic, they put their faith in God, but they need their medication to live. Hiding your depression is not healthy. Getting help for it and understanding that you need coping skills is vital.

Depression would not ever lead me to suicide. It has for others. I can understand it. But I would never do it. I have too much to live for. My husband. My children and grandchildren. My dear, sweet friends. My pets. And God. People with depression need understanding and compassion. That is all anyone could ask.

Maxitrectomy – I Did It

I did it! I went ahead and booked an appointment with the podiatrist for the maxitrectomy on both big toenails. The chemo drugs did such a number on the two big toenails and they weren’t growing in nicely. Plus they were uncomfortable.

This is my before the procedure picture. When my granddaughter asked me what was wrong with my toenails, I told her it was from some of the drugs I had to take for my cancer. After that, I never wore sandals again.

I was told the maxitrectomy is to remove the entire toenail and there is a 90% success rate that the toenail will not grow back. The doctor kept asking, are you sure you want to do this? I kept saying yes, I want them gone. The nurse suddenly turned and looked at the doctor with wide eyes and gasped. I asked her, what is wrong? Especially when the doctor kept saying I would be sore. The nurse laughed and told me that she thought I meant to have all of my toenails removed. No. That was not happening. Just the two big toenails.

The doctor went ahead and sprayed my toes with a very cold numbing spray then injected both big toes with an anesthetic. The needles hurt a little. But it was not bad. They left for a few minutes to let the anesthetic settle in. I asked to be lying prone as I did not want to watch the procedure. As long as I don’t see it, I am fine.

The doctor came back. Pulled off the gross toenails, which I did not feel. Then all I felt was some pressure as he applied a chemical to the nail bed. The chemical would eat away the source of where the nail grows from. This did not hurt either. Then both the doctor and the nurse applied gauze and bandages. They ran out of blue and I asked for purple. So one blue toe and one purple.

The nurse gave me detailed instructions on the care of my toes and I was good to go. The actual procedure took, maybe, five minutes. Absolutely no pain. Just tingling from my neuropathy. I made a two week follow up visit and walked out. Drove home. By myself. 

I was a little apprehensive the next morning before my shower about taking off the bandages. I wondered what kind of grossness would be waiting for me. Slowly, slowly took off the bandages. I was surprised. Not too bad. It looks like I painted my toenails red. The redness will disappear after a while and I was told that some oozing should be there for a few days.

Took my shower and let the water drizzle on my toes. Didn’t hurt. Dried off then sprayed the toes with the cleaning agent I was given. Didn’t hurt. Put the ointment on that I was given. That didn’t hurt either. It didn’t totally gross me out either. Walked around and there was no discomfort. With the neuropathy I just have a constant tingling feeling in my toes. They are on the numb side but nothing terrible. Not sure where all the soreness was or if it would begin.

Being impressed with myself, I took the above pictures, I sent them to my kids. My daughter-in-law has a total phobia against feet so I knew I would be reprimanded for sending her the pictures. My son and oldest daughter both reacted with, Gee thanks, Mom! So gross. My youngest daughter, who is in a nursing program said, I’ve seen worse. Feeling a little satisfied, I am still waiting for the soreness to happen. Nothing.

Through all of this, before the doctor did the procedure and he kept asking if I was sure and that it would be sore, I told him with everything I had already been through this would be a piece of cake. He agreed with me.

I still consider myself so lucky. I have gone through a lot. But when I think of every other cancer patient, I am lucky. I thank all my friends who prayed for me. Most of all, I am lucky to have a Father who loves me and is there for me. I have a plaque that says, Lord help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I together can’t handle. Amen.