October 31, 2011
Happy Halloween to all you ghosts and goblins out there! The sun will set about 5:00 pm so your little ones can go out trick-or-treating nice and early and still get to bed by 8:00 pm! (Yeah sure!) Hey! Don’t eat all their candy while they are sleeping!
October 29, 2011
Last week, I had to mail something from the post office. Since I went on Saturday morning and the PO was closed, I planned to use the self-service machine which I have used before. No Problem. Or so I thought!
When I arrived, there was no one else in the lobby and no one using the self-service machine. Well, the machine was very slow and I was having trouble with the transaction. A man arrived and stood behind me. I wanted to have tracking on this package, but that didn’t come up as an option. Meanwhile the man behind me starts making rude comments. He continued making rude comments, bullying me the entire time I was trying to finish mailing my package.
He was wearing an US Marines baseball cap and due to the size of his paunch, my impression is that it has been several years since he was in that branch of the military service. Now you all know Portland Firefly is very patriotic and I greatly respect and honor the sacrifices that military families have made for our country. BUT…. that does not give anyone a sense of entitlement to be mean and rude to anyone just because he had to wait a few minutes for his turn.
I am not used to dealing with bullies, so it was several minutes (in fact I was on my way home) before I recognized his bad behavior as bullying. How I feel for children who are bullied at school!
October 27, 2011
Well, I had my blood drawn again yesterday (in preparation for my Doctors appointment on Friday) and my CA 125 is again elevated. Two months ago, it was 19 (normal is 35 or below); last month it was 20 (1 point is no big deal); and this month it is at 99!
This came as no surprise to me as I have been feeling mildly symptomatic for the last several months. But… I also have been feeling very well and my energy level has been high. This has enabled me to start sorting through things which is something I have not had the energy to do for over 4 years.
Because quality of life is very important to me at this time, and the chemo will make me feel worse than the cancer makes me feel, I will forego chemo this month. Not to be concerned…. I will certainly resume chemo when I feel it will do me the best good. Besides, there is a drug shortage of many chemo drugs specifically, Doxil, the one that I was last receiving.
This rise in my CA 125 level will prompt me to have the ‘what are the possible scenarios regarding life expectancy’ conversation with my doctor again. I remember the somber tones and the difficulty that my Son had the first time he uttered the phrase “What does this mean in terms of life expectancy?” That was about 18 months ago and I remember seeing him swallow hard as he searched for just the right words to say. I have outlived the average life expectancy by 6 months so far and for me the end is not anywhere in sight. Not for at least a few more years if my great attitude has anything to do with it! Now for me, it is just another expected test result. We just have to decide what will be done next.
I am not worried about it, so PLEASE don’t you be worried about it.
October 26, 2011
Look at the date!
Christmas is just two short months away!
October 25, 2011
When young, I took ballet lessons in Whittier at the Mona Frances School of Cecchetti Ballet (for many years). Mona Frances was a Ballerina of the highest caliber. At our little Whittier ballet school, she brought in George Balanchine and his New York ballerinas to teach us his new ballet “Graduation Ball’. Mr. Balanchine returned for the opening performance and he ran into my girlfriend and I while we were waiting in the green room at Whittier High School Auditorium for our entrance on stage. He said that we “looked too beautiful to be little school girls”. I guess we were just natural beauties and had never really worn much make up so the stage makeup really made us look very pretty… which was NOT what he wanted. So, back to the make-up room we went and put freckles on our faces and that pleased him. I have never forgotten that vis-a-vis encounter with that great ballet choreographer.
At rehearsals at the ballet school, Mr. Balanchine’s new York Troup wore very revealing short cropped tops (quite risque for the early 1960′s) and he chastised them in front of the ballet school dancers. I think he wanted to impress Miss Frances (as we always called her). She had red hair and always insisted that we dance to live music and there was always a pianist present at each class.
My pink toe shoes are from that time and there is a very unflattering photo of me in costume for Graduation Ball. Oh, and I have performed in the Nutcracker as well, so I am very familiar with the choreography and beautiful music! Also somewhere in my important papers you will find my Cecchitti Examination certificates. I worked very hard to achieve the different grade levels and each one took several years of training to even be eligible to take the hours long dancing exam.
October 13, 2011
As I was trying to get home before the 3:00 pm school traffic, I was rejoicing because I was going to make it home before three-o-clock! I was 2 miles from home and all looked great as I turned from the shopping mall onto the main street that would lead me to my neighborhood a few minutes away. Well, that was short-lived! As I came down the hill I could see cars stopped for at least a half mile up ahead. I groaned. Then as I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw the car behind me pull out around me to my right and take a right on the next street. The car behind him followed and the car behind her followed too! Hummmm, I pondered. I have never even noticed Cherry Street before, but those three cars didn’t hesitate to take the previously un-seen street.
It looked like a great option. If it was an alternate route, I’d be home in a few minutes and I will have learned a new way home. If it turned out to be a fluke, then I would have learned something new about Portland! I love adventure… so… I followed the other three cars.
And it came out at a very familiar street. I was on my way home! This was one of those times that intuition was right! And I could get home in time to miss all of those school busses!
October 11, 2011
I am starting to become ‘symptomatic’ I’ll be having my blood work done in a few weeks at the end of October with my doctor’s appointment to follow. I called yesterday to make sure that I was on the ‘short list’ for my chemo drug, Doxil and today I was informed that there is no doxil. Who knows what drug my doctor will come up with to give me; I ‘m sure glad that she is the expert and not me!
October 4, 2011
Some of you may know that there is a drug shortage for many cancer treatment drugs. Here is a petition if you want to sign it. After you sign on the petition, it will take you to a page where they ask for a donation. Just close out the window and your petition will be accepted without a donation. Thank you.
Drug Shortage Petition
Many women in treatment for ovarian cancer have been affected by the drug shortage.
In an effort to foster action, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has put together a petition.
Please click on the link below to view and sign the petition.
October 3, 2011
There is a HEIGHTENED TERRORIST ALERT for all Americans abroad because of the recent assassination.– and possible retaliation is feared by the State Department. And….London has always been a hotbed of terrorist activities.
so…. The State Department and Portland Firefly are recommending
1. Always be alert to your surroundings
2. Avoid large (mob) gatherings.
3. Always have an escape plan/ route (‘The emergency exits are located…”).
4. Know where there is safe cover available when transiting public
transportation places such as trains.
5. And airports can be very dangerous as well.
Most of all… TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS - If a place doesn’t ‘feel right’ to
you …. then get out and explain later.
This instinctive feeling saved the lives of several Americans as they were entering a restaurant. They didn’t stay and the restaurant was destroyed by a suicide bomber.
October 2, 2011
As you know I love to go and watch the Swifts at Chapman School. The nightly show is a Portland exclusive and a special tradition! Every fall, I try to go at least once; and it is usually only once a year. But this year it is different. My PEO Chapter attended earlier in September however my family couldn’t come that night. So last night the family (and a few friends) went to see the spectacular air show by natures creatures.
There were a lot of birds early in September, but not as many as there were last night! Also the first time we went this year, we never saw one raptor (hawk) getting his dinner. But last night was a different story! It was more fun last night because there was more action.
The Vaux Swifts were just beginning to fly down the famous Chapman School chimney when the crowd saw the big black bird come swooping into the flock of Swifts. The crowd ‘oohed’ in unison as the flock scattered in the air. Disoriented, the hawk kept flying then disappeared. But only for a while. Soon he was back for another try. No luck this time either. And it actually looked as if the flock of tiny Swifts were chasing that big old black hawk away! They circled and dodged each other for many enchanting seconds. Then nothing and the crowd went back to watching the birds fly into the chimney.
And then I felt it…. at the same time I saw it … the Hawk was on a diving run and just a few feet right over my head! Zoom! I think I heard the rush of wind on his wings he was so close to us on this dive bomb run! Again it looked as if he missed.
Ah. But Mr. Hawk was still hungry and was not about to give up. The crowd was in for two or three more thrilling hunting passes. The flock scattering each time. Finally the hawk gave up (did he get his fill?) and the last of the little Swifts went into the chimney for their nightly rest. The crowd applauded in joy and appreciation and collected their picnic baskets, blankets and trash and headed home with smiles on their faces.