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.

 

Need to Know or,…

My husband and I were having a discussion this weekend. There are many times when my husband will ask me something rhetorical just to see my response. Then he will answer it as well.

This weekend the issue came up about our past lives and what is going on with us now. I have told my husband pretty much everything there is to tell about my previous marriage. There are still issues going on that need resolutions and I am finding it difficult. My husband does not want to know much more about what is going on because it is stressful and frustrating. So anything that happens, I just keep it to myself and talk to my friend.

My husband has had two previous marriages that were very short lived. He has been in the navy and in the marines as a corpsman. Needless to say, what they say about navy men is very true. Especially when the man is as handsome as my husband. Also, knowing the culture and attitudes of both Canada and the US, I can just imagine what went on in his past.

I told my husband that there are things I won’t discuss with him. But they are pretty much everything that he already knows. I just won’t update him. Then he said there are things he won’t talk about to me.

I just sat there and thought out loud. So is it better for me to know about it or not? I am a writer so my imagination can take me places that would probably be far worse than what is real. Although, if I would know, it would eat at me. Could I think it through and then let it go?

This is a very difficult question to answer for anyone. Would you rather know or not? There are many times that people have questioned when they have found out that someone is cheating on their spouse. Do you tell the spouse that is being cheated on, or not? There have been television shows and movies about this issue. There have not been any good answers.

We are not just talking about spouses who cheat. It could be any number of issues. Would you want to know? For me, I really do need to know. Like I said, I have an over active imagination. I can be melodramatic but it is the way I am and with all the things I am going through, I think I deserve some slack.

I see as knowing what is going on as being honest with your partner. A spouse knows when something is not quite right with their partner. If you are truly in love, then there shouldn’t be any secrets. Whatever happened in the past, can be resolved, especially if it was against the partner. Or I should say, it needs to be recognized, resolved, apologized and forgiveness needs to happen. Otherwise, keeping secrets from your partner just festers. What other secrets are you willing to hold against your partner? If it was in the past and not against your partner, then your partner has a right to know.

There needs to be total honesty in relationships. If you can’t be honest with the person you love the most in the world, what kind of a relationship is that? Jesus hears and sees and knows everything. You can’t hide anything from Him. You need to be totally honest with him. And so it holds for the person you are bound to in marriage. Marriage is sacrosanct. It is what God intended for us.

Do I want to know or not? I know I do.

Survivorship Care Package

I had my survivorship appointment with the oncologist PA last week. We went through everything I need to know as a survivor. I like the word warrior better but I suppose that applies to someone who is fighting the disease, not after. The PA examined all the areas she needed to. I was glad because I am not good at checking for lumps in the breasts.

We talked about getting me on the next estrogen suppressing medication. Number 3 with only one more to try. This one is called Exemestane. The PA told me to wait another week or two before starting this one. She said most patients have hot flashes or joint pain with the medications. I seem to be stretching their side effect limits.

We went through all the doctors I saw through the lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. A print out was given with all the information of the size, type and classification of my tumor. We went through all the residual side effects. Fatigue, difficulty sleeping is at the top of the list. I do get tired easily but it is getting better. I still have neuropathy in the toes. This may be a condition I might have for the rest of my life.

Osteoporosis is also listed as a side effect. Funny that. I had osteoporosis since 2010. I had been taking Fosamax then switched to the twice yearly injections. I was sent for a bone scan prior to starting on the estrogen suppressing medications. My bones are now healthy and strong. Every doctor is totally surprised that has happened. They cannot explain how it happened. I was taking a good calcium/magnesium supplement. I was riding my horse five days per week. I consider it a blessing from God.

Anxiety and stress are another residual effect. Great. I am going through a lot of stresses right now. Just pile it on higher and deeper. I wonder if I can get a lobotomy. I am having arguments with Canada Revenue (Canadian IRS) who have been holding onto a sizable refund check to me for more than one year. I am being sued by my ex husband for the illegal activities he did during our marriage. Thankfully I have an excellent lawyer and I have so much documentation that I am certain we thinned out a few forests. I am also going through a huge personal stress. Please Jesus, help me with this one.

Another side effect is weight gain from the chemotherapy. Apparently every breast cancer patient gains weight. Even though the furthest thing from your mind while you are undergoing chemo is food. I had no appetite. Unfortunately, the things I did eat and could keep down were carbs. I ate some vegetables and fruit but so many things were just too hard on my stomach. I can no longer eat anything spicy. You do not want to be too close to me should I eat something spicy, or at least sit down wind.

I did gain weight. More than 25 pounds. After the radiation treatments and when I started to feel a little normal again, I was tired of running past mirrors. Or just looking into them and saying, “Oh, yech!” I finally got tired of this and was just angry enough with myself to look for a weight loss program.

I am the type of person that needs results now. Losing 2 pounds per week after starving myself to death was not an option. So with my determination in hand, I went to Carolina Health Center. I think they call themselves Align now. This diet is very similar to the HCG diet. I lost over 20 pounds in one month. That’s the way to do it. I want to lose another 7 pounds and then I will be at my goal weight. I have slowed down the weight loss now for the last 10 pounds and that is okay by me. I started having chocolate cravings and I knew if I waited until the end, I would probably gorge myself with chocolate. So I bought a couple cartons of delicious Ben & Jerry’s chocolate flavored ice creams. I was very careful in how much I ate. Still losing weight but at least enjoying chocolate in moderation. I also started adding nuts into the diet. Just a handful at a time but it is enough to curb the munchies.

The recipes with this diet are superb. I have tried almost all of the recipes and have been so happy with the flavors. All fats, carbs and dairy are excluded from my diet. Only hormone free beef, chicken, turkey and certain fish, certain vegetables and certain fruits. I have switched all my food to natural. Not organic but natural. All cosmetics are natural without oil. I am gradually changing all my cleaning products to natural.

I was told by the PA oncologist to keep my BMI to 25 or 26. This is something I can do. If this is going to keep me cancer free, I will do it. Gizmo, my horse, is so much happier that I am 20 plus pounds lighter. Some time soon, I won’t get winded when I am playing with my grandchildren. I am the one who cuts the lawn at our house. I will enjoy being able to push that lawnmower and not have to take breaks. Our yard is not that big.

Now I am a survivor. At some point, I want to get a pink ribbon tattoo with a pink butterfly and the word survivor. My husband is worried that I am going to get all tatted up. I won’t. I have the butterfly breaking free of the ball and chain on my back close to my shoulder. No one can see it really. The pink ribbon tattoo, I do want more visible and I think the calf will be a good place. Then that will be it for the tattoos. Maybe. Perhaps. I don’t know. Probably.

 

 

#2 – Summing up the Ten Commandments

“Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Exodus 20: 18-19.

No kidding. I would be afraid too. God told Moses that the people weren’t even allowed to touch the base of the mountain or they would be put to death. The people told Moses that he would have to tell them everything God was telling Moses. They wanted him to be the go between or the mediator. I think this is what God wanted.  Could you imagine everyone up on the mountain, listening to God? There would be questions, people wanting to eat or drink, people needing to use the facilities, interruptions galore. I could just see the mayhem now. There is at least one or two people who just can’t sit still.

God came down to the top of the mountain in fire and smoke and clouds. That would be pretty intimidating. (Also, answers my question about is heaven really up there? The Bible definitely says God came down to the top of the mountain.) I also would wonder about God’s voice. What did it sound like? Moses was lucky enough to hear it. He also knew the rules and knew what God expected from him. A few other people got to go up the mountain but they were only at God’s invitation. It was all respected.

However, the people definitely did tell Moses to be their mediator. They weren’t going to take any chances. God said that no one could even touch the base of the mountain or they would be put to death by stoning or arrows. I can’t imagine either one of those being a fast or easy death. Not unless someone had a really good arm and could make the first blow or arrow the fatal one. Moses was willing and he became their mediator. The ten commandments were the first set of laws for the Israelites.

The ten commandments are still relevant to everyone today. In my previous blog, I said that we are all sinful and that keeping the ten commandments is difficult. Probably next to impossible. It isn’t just keeping the commandment. It is everything leading up to the commandment. All your thoughts and actions before the final act of disobeying the commandment.

We don’t have Moses today to be our mediator but we have someone that is the best mediator of all time. Jesus. We are so lucky to have Jesus on our side. He was on earth in human form. He knew exactly what it was like for us. He walked with us, beside us. Talked to us. Had all the same things happen to him physically (and more) that we are dealing with. It doesn’t mean that we are home free. We can’t just keep sinning and think, oh well. It’s okay. I’ve got Jesus on my side. It’s just too hard to keep obeying these commandments and doing the right thing. I’ll just do what I can and then at the end, beg for forgiveness and Jesus will give me a free pass.

I don’t think that is how it is going to work. I think at the end of your life, you will be held accountable for everything you did. I know at the end of my life, I will be asking for forgiveness. I will probably ask God that He spare all the people I love. A lot of people believe that at the end times, Christians will be taken up to heaven. I will be that person who tells God, I can’t go. I need to stay behind and make sure everyone I love is saved. Well, this is for another topic.

The ten commandments apply very much today. We all need to look them over and think about them with deep honesty. With our whole heart. We need to say, oh my! These commandments are difficult but I will honestly try. When I mess up, I need to ask for forgiveness. We are all so lucky that we have Jesus looking out for us. There is peace in that.

Summing up the Ten Commandments

I thought I might be able to sum up the Ten Commandments in one post. That is not going to happen. It might take a couple of posts to sum up the ten commandments.

I was surprised to see how many people got the order of the ten commandments wrong. I was also shocked to see how many people got the actual commandment wrong. The fifth commandment is NOT Thou shall not commit murder.

The ten commandments were written a long time ago in a time that was different from today. No television, reporters, radio, internet, computers and fancy electronics. No google either. They were written for the Jewish people while they were out wandering in the desert. They rested before Mount Sinai and Moses went up to listen to God and record the commandments. Those commandments still apply to everyone today. They are just as relevant, just as applicable to each and everyone of us.

I found out that the ten commandments are known as the Decalogue, meaning ten words. Although the commandments each are more than one word. It also goes with “And God spoke all these words”, Exodus 20:1. I also saw that the first four commandments govern our relationship to God, while the last six concern our relationships with one another.

We all know that as humans, we need rules, laws and/or help to be accountable to each other. Unfortunately, too many people want to be free to do what they want. People want a quick fix to make themselves happy. Those who do not recognize a higher or superior being think that we are here by coincidence. Just make the best of your life and do what makes you happy. Those people are never happy and are always looking for something better, the next quick fix.

When we recognize that there is a God, things fall into place much more easily and our understanding of how we need to let God lead us, let Him govern our lives and give our love to Him, makes life better. We are then content and not always struggling to find that next fix. As a Christian, our fix is God and Jesus. That is why we need the ten commandments. That is why we need to try and follow them.

I saw that, as humans, we will never be able to obey the ten commandments completely. We will fail. As soon as you think you have one commandment down pat, another one comes up and rears its head. Then you think, wow, I didn’t think this one would come and bite me. We need to remember that we can always ask Jesus to forgive us. That is why Jesus died on the cross for us. He took all of our sins to the cross and died for us. I keep thinking, He must really love us to have done that for us. Yes, He does. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit want to be in a loving relationship with each and every one of us. I’m not sure how they can keep all of us straight but they do.

Once you realize that, as a human being, we are not in control. We have someone who loves us beyond all reason, beyond anything we could know, and He will do right by us. As long as you can say, I love you too, Jesus. I give my life to you, you are in the best hands possible. Following the ten commandments is difficult, but I would rather follow the ten commandments than anything else.

The Tenth Commandment

The tenth commandment. The entire commandment is “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17.

This is the only commandment that legislates thought. All the others legislate action. To covet is much more than just wanting something. The Hebrew verb, lachmod, means to want to the point of seeking to take away and own something that belongs to another person. That is just wrong.

There is nothing wrong with seeing something that someone else has and think to yourself, “Gee. I would like something like that too, so I am going to put money to the side and buy one for myself.” The problem happens when a person sees what another person has and wanting that item for yourself. When that happens, then how do you actually get that item? Steal it? Kill for it? Lie for it? You can see how covet means much more.

I think of coveting similar to lusting. A person is so filled with desire to own what another person has that they become obsessed with that item. All you can do is think about it. It fills your dreams and your day time thoughts. Lusting is not just limited to another person’s spouse. People have lusted or coveted after a car, artwork, jewelry, house, and the list does go on. People have murdered to possess someone else’s “goods”.

Whatever belongs to another person must be regarded as sacrosanct. This coveting thing started with Eve. Satan tempted her by telling her about the forbidden fruit. If she would eat it, she would be like God. She was not intended to have the fruit but she was envious and coveted the fruit.

Not all our desires are bad. Our desire to do something useful motivates us to work. Our desire for friendship moves us to become part of a community. Our desire for food motivates us to eat. Our desire for intimacy, including sexual intimacy, moves us to seek marriage. The deepest of all our desires needs to be to know God. To let God and Jesus into our hearts. Every person should have this desire.

Neighbor in this commandment goes beyond who lives in your neighborhood. It does mean anyone, anywhere. Even if it is a celebrity or someone you see in passing. When the commandments were written, people did not travel far. They only knew the people in their village. Today, our neighbors have reached much further with the internet and by all the social media we are able to tap into.

We need to be content with what we have. Too many of us start to wish “if only,”. Problem with if only’s is that there is always another one that follows. The if only’s spiral out of control. A person may think, but I want the best it can be. It was the best it could be in the beginning. You can drive yourself crazy thinking it could be better. Being content does not mean make do. It means be content with what you have. Strive towards getting to know Jesus better. He is everything you really need.

 

And Another Medical Procedure

 

I told you how the Taxol chemotherapy drug does affect people. I was told it could affect my toenails and/or fingernails. Fortunately, it only affected my toenails.

The podiatrist I saw back in May, gave me a biotin supplement to take for two months and gave me a polish to apply to my toenails. He then said I should come back in three months.

I recently saw him and told him the left big toenail was not comfortable and that I was not happy with it. I wasn’t too concerned with the right big toenail. He took off a large portion of the left toenail and sent it to the lab to see if there was any fungus type thing going on. He removed a lot of the right big toenail and said it was not doing well either. He said that both big toenails would probably never return to normal and would always give me issues.

I asked him what my options were. He suggested matricectomy which is the surgical and chemical removal of the toenail. He said it can be done in their office. He explained how it would be done. Or I could just leave the toenails the way they are. I have not worn sandals at all since my toenails have grown back. They are just so ugly, as you can see by my picture. The doctor says that once the toenail is removed, you can’t really tell that it isn’t there anymore. He said I could even paint the skin area and no one would notice. There are several videos on toenail removal. I started watching one and then chickened out. I don’t mind needles and different procedures but do not want to actually watch them being done.

Before we decide to go ahead with the matricectomy, the doctor has requested to see blood work on my liver functions. He wants to make sure that the area would heal well after my chemotherapy treatments. At this point, I am wanting to go ahead and get it done. One more thing to look forward to.