January 30, 2010
Years ago my Daughter sent me the very best birthday card in the whole wide world. I loved it the moment I saw it and I framed it and have kept it out ever since. I still love it; it is my favorite card ever.
It is elegantly girly and the front of the card says “ The Fabulous Woman in me greets the Fabulous Woman in You” And on the inside it says ” Have a Fabulous Birthday!”
I think the reason I love it so much is because she is a Fabulous Woman and I recognize that fact. And she acknowledges that I am a Fabulous Woman. It is pretty special for a parent when your adult child discovers your unique wonderful qualities and acknowledges you with such love!
January 27, 2010
Last week when Portland Firefly had her lab work done, she had the opportunity to visit with another woman in the waiting room at the Cancer center. She seemed somehow familiar to me, but I just thought that it was because she had such a warm friendly smile and approachable outgoing attitude. We had a nice visit before I was taken back to the lab to have my blood drawn. As I was leaving the inner offices she was still in the waiting room but this time she was speaking to a woman whom I recognized as facilitating the Chemotherapy class that I took last March when I was first diagnosed with Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma.
Seeing the two of them together made something click in my ‘chemo-fogged-out’ brain and I realized why she seemed so familiar to me. The two of us were the only people in the chemotherapy class ten months ago. We had begun our cancer journeys together and here we both were ~ still alive 10 months later. She has a different cancer than mine, but hers is also extremely rare (although mine is rarer!). She is also on the downside with her Chemotherapy; she only has six more weeks of chemo and then she will be done. Her cancer will most probably be in remission 7 weeks from now! What wonderful news for her and I rejoice with her in that good news!
We felt a bond with each other and since we do not live too far from each other, I am sure that we will “do lunch” sometime or a movie or just get together to visit.
January 26, 2010
On January 31st, the Grammys will be broadcast live from Los Angeles. During the program Michael Jackson will be honored with a tribute. Part of which will be broadcast in 3-D.
Jackson will be a focal point of the show, with an unprecedented posthumous tribute. The Grammys will broadcast a 3-D clip the singer made for his hit “Earth Song,” a video that was to be integral to his comeback concerts in London in July 2009 – shows that never happened because of his June 25 death in Los Angeles.
Usher, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson will perform alongside the clip, which Ehrlich says will be the first time an awards show will feature 3-D.
“There are these incredible images of the beauties of nature, and then they are seen through the eyes of a little girl, and that girl falls asleep and when she wakes up, she is witness to the destruction of nature,” said Ehrlich. “It’s all about questioning what our values are.”
Viewers can get free 3-D “Grammy” glasses from Target stores nationwide from Jan. 24 through Jan. 31, when the 52nd annual Grammy Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS (8 p.m. EST). TV viewers can see the clip without the glasses, but won’t see the 3-D effect.
Jackson will be honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy during the show.
The above information was taken from an AP story.
Portland Firefly had the opportunity to view a TV commercial in 3-D last year and it is totally cool! Be sure to stop by your local Target store and pick up your free 3-D glasses!
January 25, 2010
Portland Firefly has been so very fatigued these last several weeks. Oh, there are days when I am able to accomplish several chores but then I am totally worthless the next day! I also think that the dark circles under my eyes are deepening; at least they seem more prominent to me. I also find that I need more sleep at night. One night last week, I slept for 11 hours! And that was on my ‘good’ week (the week just before my Chemo)!
January 24, 2010
Jan 26th is Election Day and another day that you can fly your American Flag. Will you be flying yours? Be sure to turn in your Ballot before 8:00 pm Tuesday night!
January 23, 2010
The Brides Against Breast Cancer organization is having their annual sale here in Portland this weekend, Jan 22 – Jan 24th. It is at the Doubletree Hotel at Lloyd Center. For brides looking for a wonderful bargain on a unique dress this is the ‘must attend’ event. The gowns are beautiful and are often one of a kind designer or sample gowns that would normally sell for up to $9,000. The gowns range in price from $99 to about $800. Be sure to eat a high protein breakfast before you go and take a power bar and a bottle of water with you to keep you thinking straight while you make this important decision! If you can take a friend with you too.
Happy shopping for your dream dress!!!!
Friday, January 22,
General Sale – Free Admission
Friday, January 22, 11 am – 8 pm
Saturday, January 23, 10 am – 8 pm
Sunday, January 24, 10 am – 5 pm
Executive Meeting Center Portland – Lloyd Center
1000 NE Multnomah
Portland, OR 97232
For more information, please go to this web site:
January 17, 2010
I go to my public library several times a year. I am not like some who frequent those buildings weekly or even monthly.
I need to have a reason to go to the library. Maybe my printer isn’t working right and I need to print off something; that will motivate me to go. Or perhaps I’m taking a trip and want to get some travel books; then I’ll go. Or maybe I want to learn a little bit more about a specific topic, then I’ll go.
But when I do check out books, I don’t just check out one or two. I usually end up checking out about as many as I can carry! This gives me the option to obtain information from many different sources and then to decide what information applies to my situation.
This is the problem…. I never manage to get through all of those books in the regular allotted check-out time frame. It is a good thing that I have library email reminders to remind me when my books are due.
This is my normal procedure…. I will let the books sit around the house (sometimes in the car) until it is time for them to be returned the first time. When I read my reminder email, I will ‘frantically’ call the library and renew all of the books for another three weeks. Now I must start reading them… well at least start browsing the ones I think I want to read in greater depth. This leads to two stacks of books ~~ the ‘renew again and read’ stack and the ‘return before I get fined’ stack.
It is then that I finally set aside time to read the books I want to read and return the ones that I have schlepped all over for four weeks ( usually five) or more! And so after six weeks, and sometimes even another three week remewal, I will finally have started to read the books I checked out !
What about you? How do you read library books?
PS: Oh, any books that are on ‘hold’ for someone else I return immediately.
January 16, 2010
Certain counties in Oregon have a special election coming up on January 26, 2010. This is the first election of the new decade.
I love the fact that Oregon has mail-in ballots for all voters, not just absentee voters. Our ballots are mailed to us and then you simply mark the ballot, put it in the ‘secrecy’ envelope, then insert that envelope into the mailing envelope. Then the important thing to do next is to remember to sign your mailing envelope. This is extremely important because your signature will be compared to your signature on file at the election office. They must match. This is also how the board of elections determines that each voter has voted only once per election. The outside envelopes are removed from the ‘secrecy’ envelopes. The secrecy envelopes are then mixed up and opened, so your vote is indeed secret.
The measures on the ballot are measures 66 & 67. Please be sure to cast your ballot and be sure to turn in your ballot to the designated Ballot Drop-off Sites before 8:00 pm Tuesday January 26th, 2010. If you choose to mail your Ballot, it must be received at the election office prior to 8:00 pm on Election Day.
January 15, 2010
“Son of Cloud”
Born August 5, 2009, San Diego Zoo
Weight at 12 Weeks: 12.5 pounds
The San Diego Zoo has announced the debut of another Baby Panda. The zoo has set up a ‘Panda Cam’ for you to see the cute 5 month old.
The San Diego Zoo has had a love affair with giant pandas ever since two of the black-and-white bears came to visit in 1987. After years of red tape and tons of application paperwork, the Zoo and China agreed on a 12-year research loan of two giant pandas, Bai Yun and Shi Shi. A brand-new exhibit area was built for the panda guests, which has since been expanded and renovated and is now called the Giant Panda Research Station.
When Portland Firefly was on the panda cam the other day, the baby panda was hanging upside down from a tree limb…. so-o-o cute!!!!
January 14, 2010
Portland Firefly wants to give a big heartfelt ‘hug’ to those that wrote encouraging comments for my “Weary” post on 1/12/2010.
Michelle as always, I value your insights and wisdom and friendship.
Charles, I certainly remember our conversation after church that day and have wondered how you, your family and brother (?) are doing. Thank you for letting me know that I somehow helped you out that Sunday and thank you for encouraging me. And yes, I am very girlie! And you look so strong that one would have never guessed illnesses as a child. God is certainly in control of our lives.
And sweet jj. I know that you area faithful reader and I appreciate all of your prayers for me and your friendship. You are beautiful inside and out.
January 13, 2010
I was too, shall I say, weary by the time I finished writing my last post that I didn’t feel like looking up the Biblical cite that I wanted to share with you. So here it is for you today….
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; They will walk and not be faint.”
January 12, 2010
Portland Firefly has been debating whether to write this column for the last 12 days. this morning at church I decided it was OK to tell you what I have been going through. Again the object is to maybe help someone else who may be going through similar emotions.
We all become discouraged sooner or later in our life. The are many reasons for our discouragements… physical, mental , emotional, environmental, seasonal.
These last 12 days or so Portland Firefly has been struggling to fight the depression and discouragement of her situation. Oh, nobody knows because I keep it to myself like most of us. I thought that it would go away in a day or two, certainly in a week; but now it is almost two weeks later and I am still feeling weary, overwhelmed, depressed, discouraged.
Yes I had Chemo 14 days ago. I have been on Chemo since March, 2009 and it will continue until the end of October 2010. I am about half way through and I am now starting to feel very weary and worn out from the fierce battle I have been fighting inside my poor body. My beautiful body, now scarred from surgery, getting fat from Chemo drugs, too tired to dance the night away even once a month much less four times a week as I did pre- Cancer. I never had great hair, but I used to have hair –now it is scarves and wigs. I don’t care how great you tell me I look in them, I am tired of them. Too sensitive to ‘off-gassing’ fumes from carpets and draperies that I have to ‘step-outside’ for fresh air at stores and buildings. Eyebrows and eyelashes disappearing again slowly but surely. Skin so dry that it tears if I scratch it too hard. Then it takes a month or more for the scratch to heal because of my lowered blood counts and immune system. Skin so dry that you should not take a long hot healing shower, because it only makes your dry skin dryer. Numb toes and feet that only get more intense as therapy progresses. Having people refusing to let you get off the phone when you politely tell them you need to hang up now because you are ill. Noticing how the once non-existent dark circles under my eyes are deepening. The wonderful Port-a-cath that ‘bothers’ you night and day just because it is a foreign object in your battling body.
Oh, I make myself get up and get dressed and go out of the house most days. even when I’d rather just stay in bed. Most of the time people tell me that I look really good when I go out, but they have no idea the effort that goes into looking good these days. I told my doctor that I should just go out looking the way I feel and then maybe people would understand what I am going through. Knowing me as she does, she said she doesn’t ever see that happening. And she is right! I won’t even answer the door unless I look presentable.
Yes, Portland Firefly is weary, worn out, discouraged, despondent, downcast and depressed but she found hope this morning. Here is it for all of you to read…from Isaiah 40:28-31
January 11, 2010
Well, Portland Firefly does like to watch The Bachelor. Last Season on the Bachelorette I was so disappointed when Jake the pilot was sent home. He was my favorite from the very beginning — of course he would be, he’s a pilot! And so I was very happy when he was announced as this seasons Bachelor.
Afer watching the first episode, Portland Firefly would like to make her predictions for the final six! OK, here goes…..
Tenley, Ali, Ashley, Elizabeth(Nebraska), Gia and Valishia.
But, I have one question, how can Valisha be a homemaker? That usually denotes that someone is married/ has children. I need more information!
Right now, my top three are Ali, Elizabeth and Tenley.
As of now, my favorite is Tenley because she seems so sweet and sincere, but I am waiting to find out more about Elizabeth and Ali.
The biggest mistake he made … I think Jake let Emily go way too soon; she deserves a second look!
January 10, 2010
The Rock Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, is once again coming to Portland on January 25th, 2010.
Monday January 25, 2010 at 7:30 pm at Keller Auditorium will be the only performance of the groundbreaking Andrew LLoyd Webber musical in Portland, Oregon this year. For tickets ($31.00 – $62.75) contact the Keller at www.pcpa.com.
January 8, 2010
Portland Firefly is sure that you have all heard about the movie Avatar. It is James Cameron’s first movie since Titanic debuted 12 years ago. Avatar is a Sci-fi fantasy allegory about the Na’vi who inhabit the planet Pandora and the people who want to mine their valuable nobtainium. It is an action adventure fantasy with such a high energy level that I do not recommend it for small (under 8 or 9) children.
If you have not seen it —– just go and see it.
It deserves all awards that it will receive.
Do not even think about not seeing this groundbreaking movie.
At the end of the movie, people in the theatre broke out in applause and the total movie is so unlike anything you have ever seen before that the entire audience just sat there during most of the credits at the end of the movie. When was the last time you saw that happen? The movie is long —2 hours and 30 – 45 minutes. Be sure to arrive ahead of time, scope out your seats, then take turns going to the restroom and getting snacks. You will definitely want to enjoy the previews as they are also in 3D.
Portland Firefly strongly recommends that you see this movie in an IMAX 3D theatre as opposed to a regular 3D Theatre. You will pay a bit more, but it will be worth it. I believe that there is only one IMAX 3 D in Portland and this is at the Bridgeport Shopping Center. tickets are pricey, but worth it. www.Fandango.com/IMAX
January 7, 2010
The Lan Su Garden is located at Northwest 3rd Avenue and Everett Street. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information: www.lansugarden.org .
January 6, 2010
Sunday’s at church, there is a brief time where the pastor has us ‘greet those sitting near us’. Most people introduce themself and put out their hand to shake yours in return. Since I started Chemotherapy 10 months ago, I do not shake hands — with anyone — anywhere.
So, the problem becomes what to do so as not to offend people? I simply look them right in the eyes, smile a warm smile and say my name and then say something like ” I don’t shake hands because I’m undergoing Chemotherapy now and my immune system is compromised.” and then quickly add ” What did you say your name is?” This gives them a minute to assimilate the information I have just given them while answering a question that they know the answer to and don’t have to think about…. their name. I can then make a comment about another topic or go on to the next person.
I have tried to develop the right combination of politeness along with education wrapped up in graciouness. And for me it seems to be working.
January 5, 2010
The other day, Portland Firefly had the privileged opportunity to visit with a woman whose 81-year-old Mother is battling lung cancer. She is trying to decide if a further course of three Chemotherapy treatments is advisable now that she has completed her series of Chemo and Radiation.
The Chemo that she received in conjunction with the radiation is of a lesser dosage than what she would be receiving for her series of three and she understandably has some concerns about the side effects. After 10 months of Chemo and with almost another year facing me, Portland Firefly likes to think that she might have some well-known first-hand knowledge on the subject of chemotherapy.
I tried to relay some of my experiences to this concerned daughter. I also tried to emphasize that ‘it is only three Chemotherapies’. It will be all over with in only seven weeks. From my point of view –seven weeks is nothing compared to the life-saving possibilities. Seven weeks is nothing compared to the 52 weeks that I’ll be continuing Chemotherapy.
Sure there will be some side effects that may continue for several months, but that is where one must weigh all the pros and cons. For me a longer life span was of paramount importance. I am willing to sacrifice some of my quality of life for a longer life in the long run. And, of course, there is always the hope and prayers that I will have a cure and therefore a VERY long life.
Portland Firefly wishes this elderly Cancer Sister wisdom in her decision.
January 4, 2010
Last month, Portland Firefly mentioned that there are several child car booster seats that have been recalled… and that parents should check the installation of their childs car seat occasionally. At the time, I did not have additional information to share with you, but now I do.
There is a website www.chldsafetyseat.org which gives the Child Passenger Safety requirements and gives you the calendar for the carseat safety clinic that will be near your home.
No appointment necessary, drop in between posted hours. Please read vehicle owners manual and car seat instructions prior to attending. A certified technician will be available to work one on one with parents and caregivers to ensure that they can install their child restraints properly. Each seat check takes 20-30 minutes.
“Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and trained volunteers will check for correct installation, damage, recalls, and size and age appropriateness. Each seat takes about 30 minutes to check but the peace of mind will last for months!”
I hope that this will help to save a child’s life.
January 3, 2010
As you know, I have been continuing on an additional year-long course of Chemotherapy. But, life goes on around us even if I am too ill to go out; and such was the case last week.
I felt well enough to take out my trash barrels early this week. But I was too ill to bring them back in the next day when they were supposed to be returned to their ‘out of sight’ waiting place. In fact I was too sick to even care how long they might have stayed out on the curb and didn’t even peek out the draperies to see if they were still there. But two days later, I opened the door to look out and a kind neighbor had moved the trash barrels to their appropriate place.
These were the tracks left by the good Samaritan as they moved my barrels to the side of my house. Since I have several kindly neighbors, I don’t know which one did this particular ‘good deed’, but Portland Firefly is indeed appreciative and thankful. I am indeed blessed to have such caring neighbors. And I want them to know how even such a small thing as ‘bringing in the barrels’ can have a healing effect for someone who is ill; as it is one less thing that the sick person has to figure out how to get done.
Thank you, Neighbor.
January 2, 2010
In October, just prior to my trip to Spain, I made a list of many topics that I wanted to write about. My plan was to write while waiting to board my flights, while on the plane and also in the Hotel in the evenings.
Well toss all of that out the window; and here are the reasons why.
First of all, I knew that PDX has free wifi at the airport and I also checked Dallas and found out that they also have free wifi, so I packed up my little computer purchased just for the trip (and the chemo room) and took it with me.
PDX was great; there is free wifi available at almost every point in our award-winning airport. But I only had a few minutes to get online before my name was called for my first class boarding seat. No problem, I thought, I’ll nap on the way to Dallas, wifi at DFW and pay to wifi on the flight over to Madrid. Little did I realize that when leaving PDX, I was leaving the best computer experience that I would have on my entire trip for the nest 10 days!
The wifi at DFW is only available at certain kiosk locations and you need to have a USB port access cable. I tried to bring every accessory that I thought I would need for my little netbook, ( headphones, charger cable, European electricity adapter plug, serial numbers, etc.) but since this was my first outing with it, I never thought to include the small USB cable that I had never used and even had no idea what it was used for. So there it was at home while I needed it at DFW!
But I persevered. I discovered how to write some notes instead of accessing my blog on the internet; planning to copy the notes to my blog when I reached Spain so you would have something to read while I was gone. As you know, that didn’t happen either, because there was a period of almost two weeks where nothing was posted for you to read, because I couldn’t access my blog. Believe me, it was harder on me than it was on you!
My plan to blog on the flight from Dallas to Madrid was foiled because there is no internet service offered on International flights. That is the reason I ate, drank, and watched movies all the way to Madrid!!!
I figured that I’d catch up in the hotel which advertised free internet service in the room. Except they forgot to tell me that I needed … you guessed it… a USB cable. But… they would be happy to rent me a USB cable for 3 euros per day for my 3 day stay there! Not knowing what I might need at our time share on the Mediterranean, I decided that I might just be farther ahead to purchase a USB cable. I had seen an electronics store very near, so I went over there and purchased a 3 meter (long and very heavy) Spanish USB cable for 7.9 euros.
The internet access worked just fine in my Hotel room in Madrid, but I was unable to access my weblog for some ethereal reason. At the time share which charged an enormous amount of Euros for internet access for 24 hours (and where the noisy bar was the only place that you could access the internet) I also could not access my weblog.
Now I am starting to get caught up on some of the topics I wanted to write about. This was not going to be one of them, but I wanted to share my experience with you! Hope you enjoyed it! And be sure to take your USB cable with you when you travel! You know I will!
January 1, 2010
Portland Firefly would like to wish all of her readers a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2010. May you experience joy and love in abundance.