Monday, August 31, 2015

UPDATE and I made it to work and back today!

UPDATE: I worked today from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., without needing a nap, dining on tidbits of cheese and crackers and fruit at my desk while I kept working--four hours means you don't qualify for a lunch hour, but I certainly didn't need one, and I know beyond any doubt that I'm not ready for however many hours you need to work to qualify for a lunch hour. I rode the bus to work with one transfer and not too far to walk from that last bus to the office. I rode the streetcar--boarding it right in front of the office, then transferred to the bus for the last leg of the home-bound commute. When I got off the bus two and a half blocks from home, I walked straight into Subway and got a six inch tuna on wheat with lettuce and tomato, a individual-sized bag of chips, and a cup of Coca-Cola. I walked on home, sat down in my apartment, and ate all of that Subway stuff. Now I'm ready to make an effort to stay awake until bed time and do it all over again tomorrow. Well, not the Subway part probably. I need to cook something to eat, but I'm not sure I'll have the energy this evening. We'll see. Thanks for every single prayer--I felt each one!

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When I got off the bus at NE Couch and NE MLK to transfer to another bus for the rest of the work-bound commute, I saw the progress that has been made in building these two. I just read online that the one on the left will be 21 stories tall and is named Yard, not the Yard, just Yard. I'm not very happy about the changes in the view, nor am I happy about what the apartments in these two are likely to cost. Too many people are no longer able to live in inner Portland unless they have high-paying jobs. I believe that the city commissioners have dropped the ball about affordable housing in Portland. Shame on them.


Here's a short video that shows how the taller building on the left looked on June 10. Oh, well. I hope the building turns out to be not as ugly as lots of those which are being built in Portland's residential neighborhoods, also with crazy high rents, things like $1400 for a 570 square foot studio!

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Not happy to be missing the Big Pink, I walked down to the corner for a look across the Burnside Bridge and took this photo to show you what we're missing.

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Here's how I looked right after I arrived at the office today. Ready to go! I'm holding up my bus pass which we get for free--the best perk I've ever had--with its brand new 2016 sticker. The 2015 one expired today, so I'm thankful that I got to go back to work today early enough to get it before signing in at work.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UPDATE and left at the bus stop

UPDATE: Slept well, doing OK today. I am still surprised and thankful at this turn of events. Feeling this strong allowed me to go to my sweet friend Casey's wedding. She married Cristina in lovely Woodlawn Park in Northeast Portland yesterday late afternoon--the rain stayed away for the entire ceremony! The wonderful reception after the ceremony took place at The Village Ballroom, complete with family toasts, great food and lots and lots of dancing to the music CD that Casey made for the celebration. Everyone had a great time, smiles, joy, and laughter all around! Lamont and Leland took me; we had a great time and are happy to have shared this with Casey and Cristina and their families and friends.


Tomorrow I'll be at the bus stop in time to catch one to work, for the first time since June 23. I won't be leaving anything behind when the bus arrives. I'll work four hours (10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and then take a bus home. I'm looking forward to getting back to some sort of routine out in the world, that is, until the next chemo treatment. We'll see how soon I can go back part time after it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

UPDATE and they'll need a change in clothing, if the predicted weather comes true.

UPDATE: I felt a bit better today than yesterday. I'm going back to work on Monday at 10:30 a.m., four hours a day. I'm really looking forward to it! My next chemo is September 10. I hope I'll do as well after it as I am doing now.


These young ladies enjoyed their summertime clothes back in July, 2009--no rain in sight. Now, if the weather report turns out as predicted, they'll need protection from the rain tomorrow. Not that the weather has done as predicted pertaining to rain lately, at least in Portland. I hope it does rain because we need it!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UPDATE and I finally felt like sitting outside in the shade!

UPDATE: Slept pretty good last night, too. I am so pleased with that! I have felt OK in the brain and the body today, too. I am amazed that for two days in a row I've felt that way. Amazed! And oh so thankful! Y'all are a big part of this progress, with your prayers, love and concern. Thank you so much!


While I sat outside in my folding aluminum lawn chair, watching all sorts of vehicular traffic and pedestrians, I noticed my neighbor Birdie and her Daddy walking back to the building. I said, "Hi!" They walked over for a visit. Birdie's Daddy asked, "Do you want a picture with her?" after I kept on praising her coloring, her shiny coat, her sweet personality--which I always do because they are all true. Naturally, I wanted a photo, so I handed him my phone. Here's the last one he took; right afterwards, she gave me some sugar on my chin! Y'all not from the South may not realize that means a kiss, but, I promise, that's what it means. I'm a lucky ol' lady, y'all!


Here's the first photo, with her sweet face looking up at me. It is wonderful to have such good neighbors!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

UPDATE and National Dog Day

UPDATE: A bit stronger today, walking in the hallway of my building, making loops on the carpeted floor. Less peripheral neuropathy, too. I believe I will be able to return to work on Monday, part time, barring any unforeseen changes. Thinking this way and feeling this way is a real blessing.

Daddy and his bird dogs, Joe and Jack.

It's National Dog Day, y'all. Here's my Daddy with two of his quail hunting dogs, Jack and Joe. He's not hunting them right then, he's walking them, training them. I believe this was taken in the mid-1960s. I love this photo a whole lot. Daddy hunted for many years with my Uncle J L. When they got a mess of quail, my Mama's mother, Mama Sudie, ended up cleaning and cooking them. I don't remember thinking that they tasted like all that, but the older folks liked to eat them--she fried them in her iron chicken-frying skillet on the gas stove in her kitchen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UPDATE and an on the road shot, thanks to Leland's Honda

UPDATE: I slept for a longer period of time last night! When I woke up at 4 a.m. in the recliner, I decided to try the bed and wedge pillow for my upper body and the memory foam pillow for my head. I really cannot tell you if I went back to sleep for real because every time I became aware of being in the bed, my brain was thinking the second I became aware of being there. For two hours this happened, although I believe I dozed some because what awoke me at 6 a.m. was the sound of my phone reminder to shut my windows. I have that reminder on perpetual repeat because, back when I was up and around, out and about, I needed it, just in case the temperature and air quality meant that I'd opened some windows. Don't want to leave them open and unlocked whenever I leave the apartment.

Anyway, I've been awake two hours and am about to take the morning meds, now reduced to just three and none of them are anti-nausea because I have NO nausea. Hooray! I have a headache, tiny amount of peripheral neuropathy in lower legs, none in hands right now. Hooray! We'll see how my energy level makes it through today, but, to tell you the truth, I feel like I could use a nap any minute. Thanks for your continued prayers, love, and concern. I feel every single one of them!


The day after I learned that I needed that second surgery, the robot one on June 25 that removed the metastatic tumor from where it free-floated in my abdominal cavity, Leland and Rachel took me to Sauvie Island to pick blueberries. On the way back into the city, not a long drive at all, I took this photo through Leland's windshield. It's impossible to ride by the St. Johns Bridge and not want to photograph it, y'all.There's another one of these gorgeous supports on the eastern side of the Willamette River. Thanks for the chance to get this photo, Leland and Rachel! I had a great time picking blueberries and being with you two!

Monday, August 24, 2015

UPDATE and view from the rooftop garden at my work building

UPDATE: Well, I've not felt very well today; slept in the recliner and the bed last night, but never could tell if I had really been sleeping because I came aware so frequently. Today, tired, tired, tired. Took a long nap in the recliner in the afternoon, but thankfully Lamont called at around 5 p.m. and woke me up, so that I hope I'll stay awake until a reasonable bed time. We'll see. Also, I have a red rash patch on the inside of my right calf--not itching, thank goodness. Plus, the occasional peripheral neuropathy and achy all over feeling. Not been a good day, but, since there is no nausea, I'll take it as it is.

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


Whenever I go back to work, I want to be sure to go to the rooftop garden and take a look around the city from that vantage point. This is one of my favorite views because it includes the neon Portland Oregon sign, over on the west end of the Burnside Bridge. I've always believed myself to be blessed with the job that I have, that I will be able to return to one of these days. It's the people that I work with who make it so great, not just the view!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

UPDATE and the marquee and facade at Hollywood Theatre, the vintage theater I'm able to go to on the bus, when I feel good enough! Plus, the facade of the Laurelhurst Theater, which is close enough that I can walk, when I feel good enough and the weather cooperates!

UPDATE: No nausea, even without the anti-nausea meds--I've made it past the number of days that I'm prescribed to take them. Hooray! Less peripheral neuropathy today, too. Another hooray! Still very tired, but I've managed to stay awake all day so far. Maybe I'll sleep longer than a couple of hours at a time during the night. I am thankful for all of your continued prayers, love, and concern.


Here you see the results of two successful fundraising campaigns, one to install a marquee reminiscent of the theater's 1926 original, plus a recent campaign to clean and restore the gorgeous facade, along with other needed repairs, etc. I went to see Straight Outta Compton and am glad that I saw it although I know little about the real people it supposedly portrayed and I wonder about the degree of verisimilitude in the film. Still and all, it was an emotional ride for the entire movie.

Here's some info about the marquee, from the theater's Web site:  

The new neon, illuminated sign is the latest sequel to many other Theatre improvements. New auditorium seats, digital projection systems, screens and sound systems were recently installed as well as a fresh coat of paint inside and out (done by pro-bono worker extraordinaire Joel Hamberg.) The marquee was funded by grant funders, businesses and over 1,100 people who donated to a Kickstarter campaign.

And here's some about the facade project and what else is planned at the same time:

Starting July 13, we’re beginning a $265,000 building project to restore and repair the facade and roof of our historic 1926 theater. This project will include the in-depth cleaning and restoration of the Theatre’s stunning façade, the re-tiling of the Theatre’s period clay roof, and the repair of water leaks throughout the building. Which means:

• We can re-open and operate our former box office window • We can proceed in partnership with the Columbia River Theatre Organ Society with the installation of a functioning pipe organ (now that our organ loft is dry) • The Theatre as a structure will be stabilized and weather-resistant for decades to come • This Portland landmark will be more beautiful than ever!

This exciting restoration project is made possible through the generous support of the Kinsman Foundation, Jackson Foundation, Pacific Power Foundation, ESCO Foundation, Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, and Collins Foundation, and through the ongoing support of the Hollywood Theatre’s board of directors, members, and donors. Thank you!


For comparison, here's photo of the previous marquee and the facade before any restoration and repair. At two different times during their runs, I saw Win Win (fabulous film with the the wonderful Paul Giamatti) and Jane Eyre (the 2011 version, totally gorgeous and breath-taking in all aspects).


I enjoy going to the movies here, too, especially when the weather's right for walking the eight blocks there and back, when my health permits. Plus, neon always gives me a thrill! I went to see Kingsman: The Secret Service--a totally entertaining movie loaded with mayhem and violence; I believe I can say that because there was little blood and flesh flying around, exploding on the screen. Both Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson played their characters to perfection!

Here's some info about the Laurelhurst, from its Web site:

The Laurelhurst Theater became part of Portland's cultural and architectural history when it first opened in 1923. The original single screen could seat 650 people and was one of the first art deco style theaters of the period. Over the years the Laurelhurst has been added onto and now offers four auditoriums with modern amenities but still maintains its classic appeal. Now celebrating our 15th year as a theater and pub. Thank you Portland!

Enjoy microbrews, wine, pizza, salads, wraps, popcorn and candy. All of which may be brought into the auditoriums to enjoy at your table while you watch your movie.

The theater's four screens bring the best of modern cinema, Independent, art and classic film to Portland's movie lovers.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

UPDATE and, yes, I'm posting photos of eating out again, at 3 Doors Down Cafe and the Bijou Cafe. One must have achievable goals when going through chemotherapy. Mine include dining out where I know the food is perfect, along with the service. Just like I always have at the Blue Diamond, too.

UPDATE: Slept a bit better, for longer periods of time in between waking up with some peripheral neuropathy humming through my lower legs. I'm thankful for any periods of sleep during these nights. So far today, the anti-nausea meds continue to work, hallelujah! I don't feel very well overall, like I've got the flu, achy here and there. However, no nausea is such a gift that I can deal with the aches and the humming. Oh, there has been some success in the area of "plumbing difficulties," too, for which I am grateful.


3 Doors Down Cafe, the third place that Mama and I ate out in Portland, back on our first visit in the summer of 2004. I took this photo on July 19, 2015, a little over eleven years since that first meal. Included on the menu as Pearl Bakery Bread with white bean spread, you see here the long-time-neighborhood-favorite-restaurant's popular lead-off dining delight.


Sunday's a great day to dine at 3 Doors Down Cafe because of the Happy Hour selection. I love these mini meatballs with marinara and mozzarella. A perfect consistency to the house-made meatballs combined with the taste of the equally house-made marinara, and that fresh mozzarella--gosh, I really do love this dish! And that Pearl Bakery Bread makes for the best way to finish off the marinara, for real.


My other small plate, an appetizer that I also love, anything that involves duck confit. Here you see bruschetta of duck confit, honey-herbed whipped bellwether jersey cow ricotta cheese, arugula, grilled black plums. Totally mesmerizing with every bite. I well remember my first ever duck confit. I walked back to the kitchen and announced to one and all, "Now I know why ducks have legs!" Sounds mercenary, sorry. It's the truth. (At that time both of my sons cooked at 3 Doors Down Cafe, so I got away with walking to the open kitchen and saying hello and laying on the praise!)


The table's set at the Bijou Cafe, downtown Portland, Oregon. The second place where Mama and I ate out on our first trip to Portland--the first place, hardly memorable so as not to be named here. Bijou Cafe, outta sight wonderful ever since, mine and Mama's favorite breakfast/brunch place throughout the years.


My Bijou Cafe breakfast on that spectacular day, Thursday, March 15, 2012, when I went to the NCAA March Madness games, an entire day of college basketball. This omelette, salad, and pancake held me for hours and hours. I knew that they would, from years of experience.


Chicken, black bean nachos. Perfect. They prepare the black beans at The Blue Diamond PDX, y'all. They are so good! As are the rest of the ingredients on this smooth-tasting treat. I never eat all of them at one sitting. They warm up very well in the toaster over inside a foil pouch that I make. Yummy out the wazoo!


The only place I've ever had a French dip is The Blue Diamond PDX. Why mess with a good thing?

Before too long, I'll feel well enough to dine out again. I've got some great places to choose from, including Killer Burger which you saw on Wednesday's post.

Friday, August 21, 2015

UPDATE and breakfast today, plus the meds all lined up

UPDATE: This is known as Day Three, in the round of chemo lingo. Last time as the day progressed, this is when that I felt achy all over, like the flu, but with aches of a muscular kind settling in my knees, then the peripheral neuropathy started, what I describe as a high-speed humming feeling of the tissues inside my skin, from the top of my shins down into my ankles and feet. During that night, the knees continued to ache, the peripheral neuropathy spread up into my thighs, too. We'll see what happens today.

Yesterday the anti-nausea meds worked. They are Zofran and Compazine. I'm also taking Pepcid, Senna, and Docusate Sodium. Those last two are supposed to offset some of the "plumbing" difficulties brought on by the chemo and the Zofran. Compazine makes you drowsy--I can testify to that because I slept off and on all afternoon yesterday. Zofran can give you a headache, too. I had one at the Oncology Center Wednesday, not too long after they had me take two of them--Tylenol kicked it in the butt. Since I'm only taking one here as prescribed, I didn't get a headache yesterday. I hope that's the case today.

Yesterday around 10:30 a.m. I surprised myself when I was able to walk outside in the overcast for a couple of blocks. Since I slept sporadically last night and feel drowsy still, somewhat lethargic, I'm not going to try that today. Well, unless I perk up later on. Don't want to take a walk with nothing to hold onto as I go along, especially if my body isn't behaving itself.

Thank you for your continued prayers, love, and concern. I feel it all and need it all. Y'all inspire me to make my best effort throughout this whole process.


Here's the breakfast that I ate prior to taking the morning meds. Toasted King Hawaiian hamburger bun, with Land o'Lakes butter, green grapes, the last of the cherries until next season according to the produce guy at Fred Meyer, Twinings English Breakfast Tea, and water. Plus, those meds, lined up in the background.