Wednesday, November 18, 2015

UPDATE and let's say good-bye to these items

UPDATE: The infection I had before and after Halloween succumbed to the antibiotic. The fever that I had lasted for a week, no higher than 101, no lower than 99. Two weeks tomorrow, no fever--hallelujah. My blood counts from last Wednesday alarmed my chemo doctor into postponing Chemo Round Six. I'm glad that he did that although at first I felt awful about it because I wanted to complete all six as we'd planned. Listen to your body, Lynette. Since I could not put on my raincoat without getting out of breath--not enough oxygen going through my muscles--and had so few white blood cells to fight off another infection if I were to get one, I quickly realized that he was right. I've spent the last week sleeping well at night, napping well during the day, walking some inside my building once I could walk inside my apartment without getting out of breath, and getting back an appetite of sorts. Most of all, letting my body correct the blood counts, I prayed, as I added another week in between rounds.

iPhone pix

So, I went this morning and had the blood counts done again. A little while ago I had a phone call saying they were suitable and that I would have chemo tomorrow. Hallelujah! The last round. Whew. Been doing this since July 29.

I want to say good-bye to the flat item you see, the cover for the chemo port which I apply once I've squeezed anesthetic cream from the tube onto it and then stuck the whole thing on my skin with the cream covering the chemo port. I want to say good-bye to the tube, too. I am thankful for both of them because they keep me from feeling much of anything when the chemo nurse inserts the needle through my skin and into my chemo port. I'm not certain yet when I'll be saying good-bye to the chemo port itself, but the little thing embedded below my collarbone is a medical miracle in my book.

I want to say good-bye and thank you to the Zyrtec, the Decadron, and the Ativan, although each of them plays a really important part in getting my body ready to accept as best it can the Taxo, the chemo that messes with my blood pressure and takes almost twice as long to drip into me as it does into the average patient.

There are some fantastic anti-nausea drugs I want to say thank you and good-bye to, but they wouldn't fit into the photo in a pleasing way. Photographer's decision.

I have the chemo follow-up CAT scan on December 13 and the appointment with the chemo doctor to discuss whatever it shows on December 17. I know nothing yet about the radiation timeline.

Thank you for your continued prayers, love, and concern.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

UPDATE and another sight I'd like to see again

UPDATE: Much the same, thank goodness. Eating by the clock because I have no feeling of being hungry no matter the time of day, but I know that I don't need to miss a meal. Nothing much tastes right, but I'm managing with what Lamont and Leland have bought for me lately at Fred Meyer. They're such helpful, caring guys. I am blessed. Also, thanks to each of you for your continued prayers, love, and concern.


Led by a dachshund on a leash, pedestrians cross West Burnside at SW Broadway, downtown on November 4, 2011. I waited half way up the block for a 12 or a 19 so that I could go home.

Monday, October 26, 2015

UPDATE and something I miss right now

UPDATE: Still very little peripheral neuropathy or aching knees. Yes! The biggest side effect is fatigue, but I continue to listen to my body and take naps when I just cannot stay awake. I'm sleeping at night, too. Yes! Thank you for your continued prayers, love, and concern. Y'all are special to me!


I took this photo on a glorious October 25, 2008. Look at that fall foliage along the east side of the Willamette River! I miss seeing sights like this so much this fall. However, I'll be well and out and about next year, taking lots of photos with matching street level accessories, like the Broadway Bridge and the rail cars. I know that I will!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

UPDATE and we've had some hard rain off and on today, so I imagine these roses no longer look like this

UPDATE: I stayed up later last night but still got plenty of sleep. I've taken a few naps today, not as many as the last two days. I've enjoyed hearing the rain falling outside my partially open window. We really needed this rain. I wonder what it has measured at the airport.


Friday when I went for a walk, I noticed this fading yellow rose and decided to photograph it with the polarizing lens filter. I think the yellow came out true to what my eyes saw. I like that a whole lot!


One more fading rose blossom. I'm really going to miss the roses in the front yard at Albertina Kerr when they cease to bloom. I'm shocked that they're still at it since it's almost Halloween! I'm leaving the polarizing lens filter on the camera all of the time. Leland will help me remember to take the plain one with me if need be--I cannot remember when he said I might want to have it instead, dadgum chemo brain.


Here it is again, with a bit of surrounding greenery. I like both photos.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

UPDATE and an effort with my polarizing lens filter

UPDATE: Slept about 11 hours again. Not much peripheral neuropathy yet--hooray! I've had a hard time staying awake today, so I've just given in and taken the naps as they come. I hope to stay awake for the entire Mississippi State football game which started about an hour ago.


Yesterday I walked over to the Albertina Kerr thrift shop, Albertina's Closet, a nice little walk for me. I like to sit on the bench outside the front door. Here you can see the reflections in the glass--that's me sitting on the bench, reflected in the center of the right glass door. I decided to try my new polarizing lens filter on it.


Partial success here, but I kept trying, remembering what Leland had said about being at an angle.


Success, somewhat. I can still see some reflections towards the top of the glass, but the chair and its contents look pretty good, also the wicker shelf looks pretty clear, too. I'll find something else to try on before too long and eventually get better at using the polarizing lens filter to its best.

Friday, October 23, 2015

UPDATE and post Chemo Round Five dining last night

UPDATE: Slept almost eleven hours last night. Amazing! Today I've taken my post-chemo meds, had breakfast of baked frozen Grands buttermilk biscuits and frozen Jimmy Dean sausage links and Twinings English Breakfast tea. Then I got dressed and walked over to Albertina Kerr to enjoy the roses as they continue to bloom before shopping at their thrift shop, AK's Closet, and their gift shop which concentrates on jewelry, AK's Jewel Box--at least I think that's the name. I enjoyed myself and didn't spend too much money! The chemo went straight through yesterday, thanks to figuring out how to use Ativan and close monitoring of my blood pressure so that we didn't have to pause the Taxo--it still took from around 9:20 a.m. until about 3:04 p.m. to empty that bag, then the Carboplatin took 30 minutes after it was hooked up. Finally, after flushing the port in my chest and pulling out the needle, then covering it with a medicated band-aid, we were outta there and leaving the parking garage at 4:10 p.m. Hooray!


Over the last few days, I'd made up my mind that my post-chemo meal would be at my favorite neighborhood spot, the Blue Diamond. Here's what I knew would taste just right to my chemo-impacted taste buds. I ate half the deli turkey sandwich and salt-less tater tots. Yummy! I didn't photograph my treat to myself, two huge scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and two cherries.


Lamont's chicken strips and fries, from the Happy Hour menu. They smelled real good.


Leland's cheeseburger and tater tots. He likes his ketchup straight outta the fridge, nice and cold. I do, too! Thanks, Janessa, for always remembering!


My hand-decorated leftover box! For Halloween, no less! Thanks, Janessa!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

UPDATE and the Portland Oregon sign at night in the first photo, altered in the second photo

UPDATE: Chemo Round Five turned out mellow, as Lamont put it on our way home in his car. The Taxo didn't have to be paused because I took two Ativan in the first few hours which helped my spiked blood pressure readings to do back down instead of up which meant we did not have to pause the Taxo's flow from the bag into my blood vessels. I sat down in the recliner at 8:30 a.m., and we left the garage at 4:10 p.m. Thank you for your prayers, love, and concern.


Photo taken the night of November 26, 2010, on my way home from work. I made a special effort to be on the west end of the Burnside Bridge when the switch lighting the sign was thrown for the first time by the Mayor.


Here's my altered version, created later on that night for use as the header for this blog. I'm honored to be able to share my love of Portland with you in this way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

UPDATE and the Portland Oregon sign

UPDATE: Chemo Round 5 is tomorrow. Please pray that all goes well with this round, that I don't have any blood pressure spikes or hives. Thank you!


Another photo I'm glad that I took through the bus window yesterday morning.


One more, without the tree blocking it. I really like this sign and the fact that I get to see it very often.

Yesterday Leland bought me a polarizing filter for the lens so that I'll be able to alter the reflections and get clear shots of what I'm trying to photograph through the windows. I've got a couple of sweet sons, first Lamont found the perfect soft had for me on the day of Chemo Round 2 after I'd lost my hair; now, Leland's decided that I should have the best chance possible to take fine photos. Thanks, sons! I love you so!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

UPDATE and my interesting morning TriMet commute

UPDATE: Made it through today fine. Ate leftover meatloaf and rice for supper. Going to have pre-chemo blood work tomorrow morning, then an appointment with the chemo doctor. Chemo Round 5 is Thursday. Thank you for every single prayer, for your continued love and concern.


Straight out of the camera, a photo I shot through the 12 bus windshield when we joined the traffic stopped by a bridge lift on the Burnside Bridge. The giant square looming over the vehicles is part of the bridge itself. That's the Big Pink in the background, the multi-story building. I've never been stopped going westward by a bridge lift, only a couple of times going eastward, on this particular bridge. After we started moving again, there was no evidence that I could see of the vessel that caused the bridge to have to open to allow it to pass.


Same photo altered at BeFunky with HDR1. What's your favorite detail? Your most unexpected detail? My favorite, the lighted traffic directional sign in the pickup truck bed, it's two leftward-pointing arrows guiding your eye to the part of the bridge that is raised. My most unexpected, the bit of the bus driver's fan, top center, photographed along with lots of reflections.


Straight out of the camera, zoomed in on the raised part of the bridge.


Same photo, altered at BeFunky with HDR1. I used the HDR effect to give you the best chance to see details--I like how it increases the sheen on the Big Pink windows. By the way, it lightly sprinkled rain at this point in my morning commute.


Straight out of the camera. When I realized the part of the neon Portland Oregon sign could be seen past the pickup truck, I zoomed in for this photo. You also get a good view of the pavement and the lane markings on the raised part of the bridge. Plus, you're able to see the 20 bus way ahead of the 12 bus that I'm in. I'll bet the 19 bus had to stop not too far behind us. Once the traffic started to move again, lots of vehicles and at least three buses passed us, going east. Bridge lifts occur frequently in Portland because we're a city with maritime traffic which comes from the Pacific Ocean on the Columbia River and then onto the Willamette which all of our downtown bridges cross, plus the St. Johns Bridge which is north of downtown. It, along with the Fremont, the Marquam, the Tilikum Crossing and the Ross Island bridges do not lift because the were constructed with plenty of clearance and are much younger than those bridges which have to raise for river traffic of certain heights. There's one more which I assume will not have to lift because it's being replaced by a new bridge, the Sellwood Bridge.


Same photo, altered at BeFunky with HDR1. I like this one a whole lot because there are details all over the place, from houses over in the West Hills to birds on the lamp posts alongside the sidewalk. 


Once I noticed those birds, I decided to look at the photo's original size at Flickr. That's when I noticed two birds, one on each of the two shortest poles, at least they look shortest because most of their height is blocked by the lighted traffic directional sign. Both birds face north, their rusty red feathers smooth, their white tails glowing, the shapes of their heads discernible because they are in profile. I think they are hawks, and the rest of the birds are pigeons trying to ignore their juxtaposition with two birds of prey. I tried cropping so that you could experience these particular details. The result is so-so. So, if you like, please click on the image which will take you to my Flickr account. Once there click at the bottom right of the photo on View all sizes which appears when you hover over the downward-pointing arrow. Once there, click on view Original and scroll around to your heart's content. Do you think that's a drone flying visible between two poles to the right? Do you have any idea what kind of hawks these are? Are they even hawks? Thanks!