Hello my friends,
I'm so sorry I have not been on in the ways I had hoped to. Life has a way of not always going according to plan. While some of you know a bit of what has been going on in my life, others of you are new, so I'll try to review. Over the last 10 years it's been one medical issue after another for our family. My Mom's second battle with cancer began in 2007, at the same time my Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my Grandpa was no longer able to take care of her as she was going through a very difficult stage of Alzheimer's where she was seeing things that weren't there and kept trying to run away to "go home to her Mom" who passed away years and years ago. But in her mind that was not so. We ended up moving them up to be where Mom was getting her cancer treatments. Eventually, I moved in with them to help with her care when my Mom fell and hit her head, causing a concussion and tearing the ligaments in her neck. My Mom did beat cancer once again, after a year of chemotherapy treatments and she is doing well today. My Grandpa got cancer at age 90, not long after Mom recovered, and we went through chemo with him as well, and he did amazing. He responded so well and recently the doctor told us that as a stage four patient, having gone this long without a recurrence, when it usually comes back much sooner, they consider him in complete remission and feel the cancer will not return. This was wonderful news! We cared for my Grandma for 8 years, the last couple of years she was bedridden, but by teaming up for her care, we had been able to give her 24 hour a day care until the last day of her life where we took her to a Hospice House because we were no longer able to meet the needs she had and they were able to do so beautifully. She was not even there 24 hours before she went home to be with Jesus, surrounded by those of us who loved her, singing to her as she went. It was a big adjustment trying to change your life when it had revolved around someone for so long. But things seemed to be getting back to a normal state and we were finding new routines and settling in to living what you might call more normal lives. My sister had a baby girl premature, but she did well. And then last summer my Grandpa had a stroke. He can do little for himself, which is very hard for him as he likes to be in control and be independent. He also requires full time care now. We are working to help him rebuild his strength, but the doctors don't feel he will ever really walk again. He can take steps with help, but at his age, it is a lot. There is much to this that is to difficult to get into the details over, but we are all doing our very best to give him good care at home. He has no desire to go to a nursing home, nor do we want him to have to do that.
And then that leaves me. I have been struggling with some back issues the last several years. Over time it seemed I just did not feel well. I would get sick and stay sick for longer periods of time. I would catch every bug that came around. My hair was shedding like crazy to the point my lower length was see through. It made me feel sick. I would trim and trim and trim and still, hair of differing lengths all over my head because the shedding was so odd and the regrowth reflected that. I eventually cut to just above BS length and even though it is not perfect, it looks better. Since it was a mess anyway, before the cut I decided to remove all the henna from my hair as it had gotten so dark and unnatural looking on me and my family was saying it was not a good look. I did it gradually over time by highlighting my hair. I still have a lot of reddish tones in it, but it's a more blonde color now, a honey blonde I guess. I may transition more back to my natural color, but this is fine for now. My hair is still shedding and I long for days past when my hair could grow long and not see through. I did not know what was wrong with me. I was finally able to get to some doctors this year. I had low Vitamin D, I have some sort of auto-immune condition, but they don't have enough information yet to diagnose me for anything specific, just elevated inflammation markers and a positive ANA, and some symptoms, but not enough to say oh yes, it's this one thing. They are not treating me with any drugs for it but are just monitoring me. The sun sensitivity (rashes in sun and feeling sick after) and fatigue are probably the worst ones on a daily basis, so I can't complain! My doc put me on an anti-inflammatory diet, which is similar to a Ketogenic diet. It is full of healthy fats so maybe that will in some way help my hair. And of course I'm taking D3 for my low D. My hope and prayers is that I can prevent the auto-immune issue from getting worse and developing more into a more harmful condition.
I also found out last summer that I also carry the cancer mutation gene that my Mom does. This has required more tests than usual, including MRI which I just completed, no results yet. I also need a skin biopsy done in the next couple weeks. It really has been one thing after another and it has left me so little time for this board, for which I am very sorry. I had not been able to afford to even keep up payments to remove the ads, but recently, a very sweet, wonderful member of this board, and though we've never met, my friend, sent me a very generous donation and so today I have been able to remove the ads for 6 months. I apologize to any of you the ads annoyed or were problematic. I know it is an issue that caused problems before and I really don't want ads on here unless it is a banner ad we have approved and is of use to you all. I would mention the donor by name but I know she would not like me to do so. But you know who you are and you have my great thanks!
I do hope to do more on the boards, but I can't tell you when that might be. I am open to suggestions if anyone has things you'd like to see implemented, and as I am able, I will do my best to do it. I know the main website page seems to work ok, but when our last server was lost, the free replacement has been spotty. I get very little email through the website so I'm thinking of changing the email address to the yahoo account instead. I am also considering making hairsticks pre-made, because taking custom orders has been difficult with the demands on my time and I don't like to keep people waiting. It doesn't mean I won't take custom orders, but that more pre-made sticks will be for sale, hopefully soon. I just need to revamp the website and that takes time too. I hope you will all bear with me. If you have any concerns with the board you want to share privately, or ever just need to reach me, please email me at thelonghairloom at yahoo.com Just change the at to @ I know you will want hair pictures and while I don't feel I have much to show right now, I'll see if someone can take a picture for me sometimes and I'll put it up for you. Thank you all for being a part of the Loom Family! Again, my apologies on the lapse of the ads.