October 30, 2009
To my friends from Dallas that I keep running into …. Please email me so I can give you some more info… See you soon!!!! ~~~~ Portland Firefly
October 26, 2009
Be kinder than necessary. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle..” Unknown
October 24, 2009
It’s a leaf peeping week-end here in Portland — well at least Saturday will be. With no rain in the forecast, it’s a good day to pack up Mamma , Grandma and the kids and take a little picnic lunch (sandwiches) and go for a little drive.
Murray Blvd is always spectacular at this time of year. And Boone’s Ferry Road between Terwilliger and Kruse Way is a beautiful ‘rural’ drive in the city. Also Barnes Road up and over the hills is pretty delightful. Then there are many ways to drive near one of our beautiful tree-lined rivers. Don’t forget to stop and visit one of our many beautiful parks…. a good place to eat those sandwiches you brought along!
I hope you enjoy this dry Saturday and don’t have so many errands to do that you can’t take time to enjoy the beauty of this season. Rain is scheduled for Sunday!
October 23, 2009
Every woman needs to have the emotional and physical resources to protect herself. Portland Firefly came across this web site for a school that teaches several different classes on self-defense. A class such as this will give one the tools to help fend off an attacker.
As a disclaimer, I have never been to this school, nor attended any of their classes, but for $45.00 for a 3 hour class it certainly sounds reasonable.
“Real strength is having the confidence to be who you are in the world. Tulen self-defense builds strength from the inside out. You learn to set boundaries and to respond to any situation with calmness and confidence. You gain a sense of power and competence that will benefit all aspects of your life.
Tulen self-defense is simple to learn and highly effective. Inspirational and experienced martial arts instructors teach how to live strong, assertive lives and prepare participants to respond to real life situations. We offer dynamic, practical skills for all ages and abilities. Our courses affirm the limitless power and potential of each individual.”
October 21, 2009
Many of you have asked me to devote one post to the symptoms of ovarian cancer and primary peritoneal cancer. This is the answer to that request.
First of all I want to stress that it is possible to get ovarian cancer even if you have had a total hysterectomy (including removal of ovaries) as I did. As women, we MUST learn to listen to our bodies and to be able to describe the changes we are feeling in them. WE must be pro-active and assertive in seeking medical care. Portland Firefly was very fortunate that her inital doctor (at the urgent care center) immediately suspected the possibility of a cancer diagnosis and he ordered many of the tests that led to that eventual diagnosis by my primary care physician after a hospital stay for many more tests.
I was very ill and I knew it. I was sick in a way that I have never been sick before. I had been experiencing more and more fatigue over the previous two months. My waist and abdomen were getting larger (bloating, but I didn’t ‘feel’ bloated) but my jeans were still loose around the hips and thighs. I started feeling a little queasy, then the diarrhea started. I noticed that my skin color was very bad ~~ I was ashen grey. It was only after staying in bed for three days that I drug myself to the Urgent Care Center three blocks away where I was sent to the hospital for admission. I was too sick to be home alone and I knew it.
The following is copied from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition website: http://www.ovarian.org/
“Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, especially, in the early stages. This is partly due to the fact that these two small, almond shaped organs are deep within the abdominal cavity, one on each side of the uterus. These are some of the potential signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
- Upset stomach or heartburn
- Back pain
- Pain during sex
- Menstrual changes
If symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, consult your physician.
Persistence of Symptoms
When the symptoms are persistent, when they do not resolve with normal interventions (like diet change, exercise, laxatives, rest) it is imperative for a woman to see her doctor. Persistence of symptoms is key. Because these signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer have been described as vague or silent, only around 19% of ovarian cancer is found in the early stages. Symptoms typically occur in advanced stages when tumor growth creates pressure on the bladder and rectum, and fluid begins to form and accumulate in the abdomen (bloating).”
Portland Firefly wants to add that these symptoms may also include:
An unexplained weight loss or gain of 10 pounds.
Constipation or diahrrea
Pelvic, back or leg pain
Initially, I thought that I had the flu, and so with the flu season upon us, please do not mistake ovarian cancer symptoms for the flu. Remember run, do not walk, to your doctors if you have a few of these symptoms. Do not wait. Insist on a complete pelvic exam, a transvaginal ultrasound and a CA-125 blood test.
This is the website of The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and Southwest Washington: http://www.ovariancancerosw.org/
The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition web site: http://www.ovarian.org/
October 19, 2009
Did anyone else notice how extremely beautiful Mt. Hood looked on Friday morning? I have seen this mountain looking very beautiful on many occasions, but this one was the best.
Earlier in the week, Portland was very cold and we had some rain…. that means snow on the mountains! Prior to that time Mt. Hood had been almost totally brown due to the void of snow, so it was a dramatic change to see it snow covered.
But it was not just the snow that created the magical effect I noticed. It was the fact that there was a huge cloud shrouding just the top fourth of this majestic peak. But then the sun was shining brightly on it. It was truly as though someone had painted an ethereal scene for us to view. And I guess God did do just that!!!
October 17, 2009
Portland’s local Hanna Anderson Outlet store in Lake Oswego is having their special sale now through Sunday, November 1st. If you have a little one, this is the place for high end clothes.
This doting Nonni (Grandma) was there along with young Mother’s and other Grandma’s and even a few tag-along Grandpa’s when the sale started on Friday morning. It was crowded, but not too bad, it was probably much worse on Saturday.
http://www.hannaandersson.com for more information.
October 15, 2009
Portland Firefly had the opportunity to attend the Star Wars Concert here in Portland last night. It was totally awesome!! I loved it and I would encourage my readers in other parts of the country (are you listening Kansas City?) to get their tickets for this spectacular event.
The show actually begins immediately after you show your tickets at the door and walk into the outer areas of the venue. The excitement and energy level is through the roof! There are displays of some of the original Star Wars costumes. But that is not enough…. throughout the outer arena areas there are costumed characters who are very happy to pose with you or your child for picture-taking.
Here in Portland where drivers are noted for allowing other drivers to transfer lanes politely (cut into another lane), most everyone was respectful of allowing each family to have their moment with Darth Vader (yes, Darth Vader in person!), as well as other costumed charcters, for a special once in a lifetime photograph. Darth was very accommodating either choking your throat, or battling you with a light saber or just standing next to you looking tall and menacing!!! Your choice!!! Star Troopers were aplenty as were other notable characters.
Portland Firefly felt that these exhibits were worth the price of admission. But wait…. she has yet to enter the arena and take her seat….
The show consists of a full symphony orchestra with choir performing the music from the six Star Wars movies all composed by one of my favorite screen composers John Williams. Then you add an enormous high definition movie screen behind the orchestra and project scenes from the six movies that accompany the music.
The lights dim, and the orchestra plays the THX theme and a brief overture. The audience applauds wildly. We loved it.
That was the expectation but that wasn’t enough for the show’s producers…. Oh, no. The show had not really begun yet because the narrator was yet to be introduced. When the narrator was introduced, the crowd really went wild. It was Anthony Daniels –The actor who played C-3PO!! What can I say? A beloved character anyway, he was the perfect choice to narrate each upcoming vignette.
Portland Firefly did happen to notice that as the audience was applauding the orchestra after their superb playing of the ‘cantina’ theme that the Conductor was also applauding the orchestra. That was the only time I saw him do that. So he was pleased as well and I couldn’t help but to wonder that they must have had a difficult rehearsal!!
No one was ready to go home after the performance and the deafening applause was rewarded with a wonderful encore! We left satisfied but still wanting more!!! It was a wonderful event ~ not perfect, there is some room for improvement~ totally suitable for children of all ages –well maybe over 5.
My advice is … if you are even thinking of getting a ticket, just do it! You will not regret the decision. May the force be with you……
October 13, 2009
William Morrow, 340 pp., $25.00
Captain Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed the plane on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 has written a book which was released today. His book is titled ‘Highest Duty’ and is autobiographical as well as telling the remarkable story of Flight 1549. I think that it is a must read for anyone who flies regularly. But Portland Firefly wants to read it because, lets face it, Sully is just such a likeable person and I want to read his story.
October 11, 2009
Tomorrow, Monday, October 12th is Columbus Day. The United States celebrates this anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America, (which occurred on October 12, 1492 in the Julian Calendar and October 21, 1492 in the modern Gregorian Calendar) as an official holiday. The day is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States and as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many Latin American countries.
This is yet another reason to proudly fly your American flag all day long.
October 9, 2009
Occasionally, Portland Firefly will look at the offerings on Craig’s List. The other night, I decided to look over the Best of Craigs List. I was not disappointed….
If you want a few good laughs, go to these posts. Since I strive to keep my blog clean I have only included posts that I feel would be inoffensive. They might offend someone, but not anyone that reads this blog!!!! FYI, there are some crude posts on CL, so beware. But if you click on just the following links you will avoid the crude ones …. so enjoy!
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/pdx/1260502759.html Ashley’s bike
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/stl/1279187759.html Garage Sale etiquette
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/1264528443.html apology to seniors & veterans
I hope some of these make you laugh as they did Portland Firefly. Enjoy!!
October 8, 2009
Portland Firefly has some very good news ….. in fact Portland Firefly has some great news to share with everyone!!!
This week, at my regularly scheduled appointment, my Doctor gave me the option of not having any more Chemo at all or continuing with what is termed ‘maintance Chemotherapy’. In any event I have at least one month without Chemotherapy to think about it. Yea!!!!!
I was so nauseated last session with just one drug, and every time I have Chemo, the side effects become more intense. I am so-o-o-o happy to have the option of not having to put poison into my body for a while.
Right now I would like to think ~and sometimes I do~ that I am cured. But intellectually I know the cold hard facts of this horrible cancer and I know that the possibility of recurrence is very real. The only variable is when…. it decides to come back. I have put myself on the 7 year (or longer) survival plan. I would be so happy with seven more years. But right now I am thrilled with the fact that I’ll most probably definately have the next year!!!
October 6, 2009
While shopping last week, Portland Firefly was wearing her comfortable scarf wrapped around her head. It is an especially pretty scarf ~ long and soft and muted in color. She was also wearing her newly Saturday Market purchased necklace.
I was concentrating on searching the aisles of Marshall’s ~ a store I had not been in months ~ and I was just enjoying being able to get out again even though I was starting to get tired. A man walked by me and did a casual double take ( I am getting used to them) and said “Your scarf is beautiful.” As I turned full face to look him right in the eyes he said “The way you have it tied is unique and you look stunning, absolutely stunning.” I thanked him and as he was walking away, through the tears in my eyes, I told him “Thank you. You made my day.” As I continued my browsing, the tears came and I thought that he seemed so kind and genuine. I was reminded of the phrase from the play “A Streetcar named Desire” where the heroine says something about relying on the kindness of strangers.
Since I live alone, there is no one around to give me compliments. And I do try hard to look nice whenever I go out. Usually I will get surreptitious stares ~ not malicious~ and wondering looks because of my turbaned head. Little girls especially find looking at my scarf irresistable – turning their heads around even as they are pulled along by their parents. Occasionally a woman will comment on how my scarf has been interestingly tied. But I don’t think I have ever been stopped by a stranger and told that I look stunning.
I thank the kindness of that stranger for that special compliment.
October 5, 2009
This is the beautiful mural in the light airy Chemotherapy Room that Portland Firefly has been ‘visiting’ for the last six months. I usually try to sit where I can look at it and relax and contemplate or sleep. I find it very soothing to look at.
October 2, 2009
Every year Allure Magazine publishes an issue with what they call “The Best of Beauty”. These are new products that the staff and editors at Allure magazine have tried themselves and voted on for inclusion in this annual issue. If you are looking for … say … a new mascara, body lotion, nail polish, etc. you can check their website for their recommended products. At the store, if I see the round red Allure symbol on a product that I am considering purchasing, I always buy it because I feel it has been road tested by my peers and must have a degree of quality to make the cut.
Some of the awarded products that I may purchase this year include the Sallie Hanson Insta-dry nail polish (drys in 1 minute); The Dove Body Wash with Nutrium Moisturizer (people undergoing Chemotherapy have dry skin) and the Georgio Armani Beauty lasting Silk UV foundation
October 1, 2009
This morning I slowly awoke with the remembrance of an unusual dream. In fact I think I was still dreaming as I was coming into consciousness. Maybe I just wanted the dream to continue because it was such an interesting story.
Well, it was interesting to me, because it was about me and I was in the dream. The scene opens in a lovely grassy field where you might have a picnic . Except the feeling was that of a festival. Pretty soon a group of people came into view — they were the festival . The best way I can describe them is that they were like a band of gypsies in appearance – with colorful clothing, dark hair and having strong interesting features. Not fine features that made them pretty, but chiseled, then rounded features that were varied and almost ugly, but not. Their features were strong and rugged and pleasant; the word that best describes them is swarthy. They were dark, strong, rugged and exuding strength. All of which made the men handsome in an extreme way, not in a pretty-boy way.
And they were very strong. The men formed two towers; but towers of men with only one man on the bottom supporting each tower of men. Not only that….the men on the bottom were bent over backward to support the others! I was impressed with their strength! I had to talk to them. And just as our conversation began, I woke up! No, that’s not the whole truth. I woke up just after one of them kissed me on the cheek! Maybe he is my Prince Charming and I am Sleeping Beauty. After all, I did wake up after he kissed me
Ok, I don’t think I even want to know what it means, but you are free to give your opinion! I actually think that they may represent my Nobles, which is what I call my Chemo drugs because my Nobles are strong and powerful and effective! And they are killing my cancer and I love them for that!