September 30, 2011
I had my regular doctors visit the other day. Actually it was delayed by about a week because of an illness in my doctors family. No problem. I have been feeling well, so I went to the appointment in high spirits.
Since I am feeling well and my CA-125 only went up one point (from 19 to 20) we decided that I didn’t need to have chemo yet. We had a thorough and very good conversation as I wanted to touch on End of Life issues with her again.
Yes, we have had this conversation a few times over the course of my illness and it is always better to have this type of discussion when you are not in the middle of chemo brain and feeling sick. Usually one or both of my children are sitting in on the conversation, but today it was just the two of us. We have a strong respect for each other and acknowledge that we are a team in this fight. She ( I have a fabulous woman doctor) is the general and I am the warrior. The general directs the battle and the warrior does the fighting with the weapons available to her. However this warrior has the option to question and disagree with this general but I usually leave the decisions to her because I trust her with my life. Literally. And she knows that.
I am so lucky to have her for m y doctor!
September 29, 2011
Today is National Coffee Day. Several chains including 7-Eleven and Krispy Kreme are giving away free coffee today. Enjoy!!!
September 28, 2011
Early in the summer, one of my neighbors had a garage sale. Of course I attended and actually purchased several boxes of beautiful note cards since I write a lot of thank you nots. As we were leaving the sale , I noticed something shiny in the gravel next to the hedge. As I looked at it more carefully and intently, I realized that it was half of a shiny quarter ticking out of the gravel/dirt. Since my arms were full of my new purchases, I told the owner about the quarter. As she came over to look at it, I left assuming that she would pick it up. A few days later, I saw it again; I guess she didn’t pick it up. Now on my daily walks, I try to look for the quarter at least once a week. After several months, it is still there!!! It is sort of like a treasure hunt on my walk, just to look and see if it is still in its special spot!
September 24, 2011
This morning, I woke up early and was able to get right to my errands. So, Mercedes and I went and did our errands at the few stores we needed to visit and we were back home by noon. What a great feeling to be able to accomplish something positive without a lot of crowded stores! Now to start sorting papers!! Ugh!
September 23, 2011
Since I have been feeling well these last several weeks, I have tried to get a lot done. This often means going to stores and (since I am looking to change my living situation) and apartments/condos. It is difficult to get much done with doggie in tow. Two weeks ago I had a conversation with my neighbor where he indicated to me that they would love to adopt a little dog, but because his wife is blind ( and some other items) this particular shelter refused!!??? They are a wonderful retired couple and so I asked if they would like to have Mercedes for a few hours while I went to the store or other errands where she couldn’t ride along. They were really excited at the idea and so Mercedes has been at their house several time the last few weeks. It is a win/win/win situation as far as I am concerned! And all this came from a casual conversation between neighbors!
September 18, 2011
The chemo drug that I have had most recently, Doxil, is in short supply. It has been unavailable at most cancer centers for the last three months. As you know, I had Level 4 (the worst) side effects with my third dose of Doxil and my doctor gave me a little chemo vaca while my body recovered from the Doxil. I am doing well, and feeling good and some of my energy has returned. This means that I am able to get a few things done that have been calling to me for the last three years!
Here is a link to a CBS News video about the Doxil shortage: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7381127n
September 14, 2011
Today, Dr. Oz’s show focused on the amount of arsenic in Apple juice. Yes, the poison ~Arsenic~ in the juice that we give to our little ones!
The results are astounding! Most of the juices are made from apple juice concentrate. And the majority of them use concentrate from CHINA, which has no controls over the amount of arsenic allowed in products. The concentrate is shipped to the US in big barrels and the US companies are mixing it up with water. After it is boxed up it is sold in our grocery stores and served to our children. It is not tested by the FDA to my knowledge.
Arsenic is a toxic poison. Extreme amounts can cause death. Smaller amounts can damage individual DNA, cause cancer, brain problems, and other things. Not what we want for our children!
Usually apple juice that is made from concentrat from the United States is safe. Be sure to do your homework regarding this issue…
10 parts of arsenic per billion parts is what is allowed by the USDA. Dr. Oz had several products tested from grocery stores all over the US. I know that you have had at least one of these and most probably so has your child!
Minute Maid 2 – 3 parts
Apple & Evie 3-11 parts
Motts 4-16 parts
Juicy Juice 2 – 22 parts
Gerber 6 – 36 parts
For more info go to: www.doctoroz.com
September 13, 2011
This weekend, my Son’s best friend was married and as the best man, he had to attend. My Daughter-in-law also wanted to go to this California wedding. Call in the babysitter! Yea! Nonni was asked to stay with the little ones 3 1/2 years and 5 months old! I knew from the outset that I would probably not get much sleep, and I was prepared for that, mentally, physically and emotionally. No problem. But what I was not prepared for was my noisy sleeping beautiful granddaughter. She sighs and ‘talks’ in her sleep! Needless to say, I had a nap this afternoon even if I didn’t really want one!!! I will say that my 3 1/2 year old grandson was PERFECT. Went to bed on time (well a little bit later than usual) and slept soundly through the night.
Would I do it again if asked? ABSOLUTELY! They are my reason for living in Portland!
September 11, 2011
Today is September 11th. 9 / 11
This is the 10 year anniversary of the terrorists attacks on our country. This is a reprint of my annual September 11th post because I actually had 5 of the terrorists on board my flights the summer of 2001 during their reconnoissance flights. My comment to Mohammed Atta caused them to modify their plans from using all American Airlines planes to using two from United Airlines. After I recounted my story to a working American Airlines Flight Attendant, she looked at me, gave me a hug, and said “You are a hero. You saved some of our planes and crews and passengers.” I told her that “ yes, there were two less American Airlines planes, but two more United ones. So I don’t feel like a hero at all.” Of course, I had no idea that I had been conversing with the ringleader until well after 9/11 and I saw the terrorists names and pictures. Here is my true story.
At the time, I was an active Flight Attendant for a major United States carrier. Yes, one of the ones that lost planes, crew members, and passengers. And no, I did not know anyone on board any of those historic flights and even though I lived in NYC for a number of years, I did not know anyone who was murdered in the attack on our country that day.
I was at home between flights thinking about packing for my regularly scheduled flight the following morning when the phone rang before 9:00 am. It was my Mother calling to the midwest from her California home. She did not greet me with “Hello.” But her anxious voice said my name, and then,”Is that you? Are you home?’ Then with audible relief in her voice “Oh, thank God! Are you alright?” I was puzzled and probably replied something like “Yes, I’m alright. Why wouldn’t I be alright?”
She then said “Don’t you know what is going on?” I said, “No. What is happening?” My mother then asked if I had the TV on. When I said, no, she told me to turn it on. When I asked her, “what channel?”, she said, “Any channel.” I watched the attacks in unbelief trying to wrap my mind around what my eyes were seeing…. trying to process the visual information that just didn’t want to process mentally. To this day, when I watch the documentaries of the attacks, I still cannot totally comprehend the magnitude of the events of that day.
It reminds me of my reaction to the plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa years earlier. Over and over I watched the news reports trying to imagine the horror inside that plane as the plane tore apart while on fire . You will recall, many passengers survived finding themselves alive in the tall Iowa cornfield that graced the runway. The cool moisture of the tall cornstalks may have had a beneficial effect on the flames. Remember that whenever the fuselage of a plane ruptures you are provided another possible exit; take advantage of it. But believe me, no Flight Attendant will have to tell you that!
The attacks of 9/11 were very well planned . I know that they were in the planning for many years and a lot of money was spent in their careful planning. I am convinced that I had six of the terrorist/hijackers on at least two different flights of mine and that I personally spoke to at least 4 of them on separate occasions during their reconnaissance flights prior to 9/11. A chilling retrospective thought.
The first time was out of Florida. This small-in-stature middle eastern man was a passenger in coach sitting about seat 10A on our MD-80 aircraft. The flight was moderately light, about half full. At that time we were still serving drinks and meals in coach! After we finished the meal service, this man told me that he was in flight school in Florida and that he would like to go look around the cockpit.
When I inquired what type of aircraft he was training in he replied that he was going to be a Captain on a 767. I found that almost unbelievable knowing how much our Captains have to go through in order to become qualified on the wide-bodied aircraft. And the years of flying that were needed for them to become senior enough to hold a Captains bid with the major air carriers.
I politely told him that I would check with the Captain, but I knew the answer even before saying I would check with the Captain. I asked him for his boarding pass so I could present it to the Captain and I remember his unusual name –Hani Hanjour. I remember the conversation well, because it was such an unusual request. Sometimes we would allow children to come to the cockpit during flight when there were none of the security cockpit restrictions that are now in place. After making the Captain aware of the request, I told the man that he was welcome to stop by the cockpit after the flight to visit with the pilots. He never did stop by the cockpit. I confirmed that he was Hani Hanjour from the photos I saw later of the terrorists.
The other incident occurred out of Newark, probably in early August, 2001. You will recall that one of the 9/11 flights departed from the Newark airport. There were five middle eastern men on my Newark-St. Louis-San Francisco flight; three in the rear of coach, one near the front of coach, Marwan al Shehhi, and one in First Class. Same type of airplane – an MD-80. I was working in coach and three of them had seats across from the back galley, but were very interested in the boarding process. They were standing up in and around the rear galley, blocking the aisle to the rear lavatories and just generally “in our way”.
I recall that there was a lot of conversation ( in Arabic) between them and again, this is behavior out of the ordinary, so I remember it clearly, even several years later. All of them did not speak English and finally one of them asked me if there were still passengers coming on board. I told him that we still had twenty minutes before departure. With a very concerned look on his face, Mohammed Atta asked me if the “flight was going to be full? ” I remember replying very matter-of-factly, “We are always full, if not overbooked out of Newark.” He replied something like, “even on Tuesdays?” I said “Every single day, every flight I’ve ever worked out of Newark has been full.” He was very concerned by this bit of information and it prompted more intense conversation between the three men.
You will recall that 9/11/01 was a beautiful warm late summer Tuesday. Even during the recon flights during the summer of 2001, they already had the date of September 11th established.
The rest of our conversation went like this: He (Mohammed Atta) asked me about other American carriers out of Newark that flew to San Francisco. I told him that I just didn’t have that information and that they would have to check another carrier. I now firmly believe that it was my comment to Mohammed Atta that prevented the loss of one more American Airlines plane and crew. I believe that my remark “Every flight I have ever worked out of Newark has been full.” caused the terrorists to rethink their plans and change from American Airlines to United Airlines. I am sorry though for the terrible loss of crew and passengers of the United Flight 93 that the terrorists hijacked out of Newark. By the way, United Flight 93 was also scheduled to fly from Newark to San Francisco which is the same route that my flight took the day I had the terrorists on board for their recon flight.
Mohammed Atta was the ringleader terrorist and the reconnoissance flights in August , 2001 were their means of finalizing their terror plot.
You will recall that September 11, 2001 was a bright and beautiful Tuesday. This means that they had their plan in place MONTHS before the actual attacks. He actually asked about the loads on other air carriers and I told him he could check, but I had no way of knowing how full other carriers were on certain flights. You will recall that all of the hijacked flights were carrying very light passenger loads.
One of the men I spoke to on this flight was Mohamed Atta, the terrorist pilot who flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the first World Trade Building Tower.
Hani Hanjour was another of the terrorist pilots; he flew the American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon.
Marwan Al Shehhi was one of the terrorists on my Newark flight’ he was the pilot that crashed the second plane, United 175, into the second world trade tower.
I never used to turn my TV on in the morning. Now, I turn it on most mornings, just to get the news.
I will fly my large US flag on 9/11. It is a day we need to honor our country and those who lost their lives.
Will you please fly your flag also?
September 9, 2011
Today it looks like the website for my first book, TIE ONE ON, A Head-Scarf Tying Guide for Chemotherapy Patients will go ‘live’. I am setting up my paypal acount and finishing up some of the corrections…. Wow, I’m slowly getting there!!!! Hooray! I’m really excited… wait until you see it. It is BE-e-a-u-u-ti-ful-l!! And the Video Trailer is really cool, too. Yes, I’ll be putting the link up when it goes live!
September 8, 2011
This Sunday is the 10th anniversary of September 11th. I already have my American flag flying.
Today, I went to Dollar tree and purchased 8 small flags on a stick. Tomorrow, we will put them in the front yard of my neighbors houses. I want everyone to remember and honor the lessons of that day! The Portland Port of Authority has lined Airport Way, the road leading to the airport, with large American flags. I bet it is beautiful!
Fly Your Flag!
Well, September is the time of year to pack up a picnic dinner, take the kids and head out to Chapman School in NorthEast Portland to watch the swifts as they perform their aerial show before they go to roost in the school’s old chimney. Now through the end of September is the best time to go….
Will you see me there???
September 7, 2011
OK, so little Miss Mercedes is really coming along. She has a very cute personality and on days when she has to stay home alone, she is very playful when I return! She will run around the chairs and table in a circle, with one of her toys in her mouth, just daring me to chase her! I chase her a little bit one way, then we go the other way, then back again. On those rare times when I almost catch her, she turns up the speed and gets away! If I want to be really ornery with her, I will take another toy and I’ll hold it up off the ground and dare her to come and get it! She will drop the toy she has in her mouth and jump up to get the toy I am holding, then run off again! She will stop, turn, look at me, lunge toward me tapping both front paws on the floor as if to say “Come on! See if you can catch me this time! I dare you!” All I have to do is to make a slight move toward her and she is off and running! If I don’t follow, she comes back and tries again, “Come on! Chase me! Play with me!” She is so cute!
Since I get tired easily, I had to devise a method of letting her know that play was ended (I’m tired). So, I taught her baby sign language for ‘all done’. She is a fast learner and when I do the sign for ‘all done’ she immediately takes her toy and goes and gets in her bed! She is usually tired,too!
September 6, 2011
OK, so I am checking out at Bi-Mart after getting my 30 Seconds Cleaner and I am just about finished with my transaction when I see it. The little cardboard display stand focusing my attention on Nostalgia Gum! Yes, there they are … the burnt orange colored wrappers of Clove gum, the blue wrappers of Black Jack gun and then the white wrappers encasing (my favorite) Beamens! I purchased one of each and had black gum in my mouth before I exited the check-out stand! Mu-m-m-m, it had the same licorice flavor that my 7 year old brain remembered! This non-gum-chewer will treat herself to a piece every day!
Do you remember Black Jack, Clove & Beamens?
September 5, 2011
I hope that you all enjoy this National Holiday and that you are flying your flag today!!!!
September 4, 2011
I have always been a spiritual person and have desired the same for my children. But I came to Christianity very late in my life – long after I had the ability to greatly influence the spiritaul leanings of my children. Oh, I did give them a good foundational background and they know very well where I hold my faith. But they are not there. I have continued to pray for them and with them when possible.
But today as I was coming home from church, I had the radio on and something very revealing was said. ‘Coming to faith is something that is given by the Holy Spirit”. I cannot tell you the burden of guilt that was released form my heart. For I was feeling that if only I had become a Christian when my children were small , then they would have embraced Christianity more firmly. But no! That is not my burden to carry any longer… they will come when they are moved by the Holy Spirit. A big sigh of relief for me.
September 2, 2011
Hello Readers. My book, TIE ONE ON, A Head-Scarf Tying Guide for Chemotherapy Patients is now available. Currently I am in the process of have a dedicated web-site created that will have paypal capabillities. But for now you may order directly from me.
TIE ONE ON retails for $30.00 with shipping extra. BUT….if you order directly from me, your cost will be $25.00 with free shipping. This will include a personalized note as well as an author signed copy.
Send your check or MO for $25.00 to :
P.O. Box 5151
Aloha, OR 97006
Books will be mailed immediately, but plese allow two weeks for delivery.
If you order 10 or more books, they are $20.00 each ($200 for 10) with free shipping and also author signed.
Thank you for your orders.
September 1, 2011
Tomorrow, September 2, 2011 is WEAR TEAL DAY. This is a way to advance awareness of Ovarian Cancer, its signs and symptoms. So get out your teal, aqua, turquoise colored tops, capris, shoes, and wear them with purpose! Oh and paint your toe nails teal, too!!! You are gonna end up loving it!