Soaking up the sun

Last week I was walking up to one of my classes where students were waiting for the previous class to get finished so we could practice yoga.

One student looked at me and said something to the effect that I looked happy and smiling.

I said, it’s the sun!

We are transitioning into Spring.

Last week and this week we have had many days where Portland has been warm and sunny.

Last week I was waiting at the bus stop. It was warm. Lots of people were out and about. People were smiling, looked happy. One woman even cheered.

Yes, the people in Portland are happy for the weather change.

I thought the Winter was manageable. Not always fun or enjoyable with a few days of snow, many days of endless rain and gray skies.

With my teaching schedule I get out of the house regularly and exercise regularly as well.

But I do know that I thrive with the sun and warmer weather. I’m a true Arizona girl.

Since moving to Oregon a little more than a year ago I realized the best time to travel out of state is during the cold, gray, wet Winter to warmer places, such as Tucson and … Continue reading

Kid cares with (hot) chocolate

A former colleague of Curt’s has two family members battling cancer.

He also has a daughter. His daughter, who is 7, has decided to do something. She lives in New Jersey and is setting up a hot chocolate stand this Sunday to raise money for Stand Up to Cancer, which allocates 100% of the funds raised from individual donors to research.

One time one of Curt’s friend’s kid’s opened up a lemonade stand to donate toys to kids who were less fortunate than him. Curt and I drove about 40 miles to buy lemonade.

We can’t drive to New Jersey this weekend. So we bought some virtual cups of hot chocolate to support this amazing kid in her heartfelt efforts to be aware and kind and generous and giving and passionate.

If you want to support this awesome kid, you can use PayPal to paypal at, or use to lex at

According to her dad, who wrote a blog post about this, she’s raised more than $600 $750 $900 $1000 $1300 $1500, and we haven’t stirred a single cup of powder yet. Thanks, Internet. Her mind is blown.

The latest update from the dad says: 24 hours later after my initial tweet, she’s sold $2,000 … Continue reading

Take Them a Meal

I feel like cancer is affecting so many people I know and care about.

One of my friends, who is younger than I am, is battling testicular caner.

I think we can all agree that cancer just sucks!

My friend lives in Oregon. Curt and I are showing support as much as we can even though we aren’t nearby.

One of my friends set up a meal online sign-up sheet with Take Them a Meal. It’s a meal coordination where basic information can be shared about the meals needed for the recipient(s) and others can see who is taking care of dinner on what day and what they are bringing.

I, of course, can’t hand deliver a meal. But the site offers meal delivery services. So by today my friend and his family should have had a meal delivered from us.

I plan to sign up a few times to deliver meals as his chemo continues.

This website can be used to coordinate meals for anyone you want. For someone who is sick, for someone who just had a baby, for someone who just underwent surgery, for someone who is going through chemo …

It’s easy to create a … Continue reading

Dealing with grief

We don’t get over our grief, we change our relationship to it.- Lyn Prashant

Life is suffering, the Buddha says, and even if you’re not given to abstractions it’s easy to see that life can be hard. The added strain of a major loss can make your world unremittingly bleak.

Over the weekend my friend/co-worker/leader Perry died.

Perry had a very short battle with an aggressive cancer. His passing is a huge loss to my team, my company, his family and friends, and frankly, the world.

Perry had a huge and amazing presence. He stuck up for his team always. He was smart and caring.

I look to my friends/co-workers for support and love. But I also look to yoga to help me in this grief.

I agree with what this Yoga Journal article, which says, It’s in precisely these situations that the wisdom of the yoga tradition can be enormously helpful. Asana, breathwork, meditation—and, especially, the perspective on loss and death taught by the ancient yogis and sages of the East—can not only mitigate pain and expedite the grief process but also transform your experience of life after loss.

I did research to find specific … Continue reading

Research, fact check, be informed … and vote

I am a non-party Liberal. When I first registered to vote at 18 in Tucson, Ariz. I registered Democrat.

Once I become a journalist I changed my party affiliation. I decided to stay non-party once I left the journalism world. I identify more as a Liberal than as a Democrat. I vote Democratic because really in America there is only a two party system. And the Democratic beliefs are the closest to my mine.

As a Liberal some of the things I believe in are gay rights; women’s rights, affordable (or free) healthcare for all, immigration programs, paying taxes, helping others in need, Separation of Church and State, religious rights and I am pro-choice.

Today marks one month from the General Election. So I thought it would be a good day to post this. (I actually put the thoughts down on paper for this post months ago. I carry a notebook around for Go Fit Girl! ideas and posts. And it is filled with lots of good stuff.)

During the last California election I was chatting with two other co-workers (one in her 20s, the other in her 30s). We are all either Democrats or Liberals. And NONE of us … Continue reading

It’s all for the patients

As a real full-fledged grownup (though I really still feel like a kid most of the time) I have worked for only two companies: Gannett and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

I worked in newspapers (Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. and The Arizona Republic in Phoenix) for seven years as an editor.

A little more than seven years ago Curt and I moved to the Bay Area. I signed up with a temp agency and ended up at Onyx helping with filing in the Legal Department. I became a full-time employee in October 2005. I am still in the Legal Department working with the same boss seven years later.

In December 2005, Nexavar was approved in kidney cancer. Onyx and Bayer collaborate on this compound. I still remember our small Onyx team standing in the kitchen of the 12th floor building in Emeryville toasting to our success. A few years later Nexavar was approved in a second cancer, liver.

On Friday, July 20, KYPROLIS received accelerated approval by the FDA in multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer. Today we had all kinds of celebrations at work.

It’s hard to describe the feelings going through me today: pride, giddiness, happy, … Continue reading

Being grateful

I work for a pharmaceuticals company. One which focuses on developing therapies for the treatment of cancer.

In the almost seven years that I have worked there I have learned so much. My focus has always been in the Legal department.

I went from being a temp to an admin to a patent administrator to what I am today: Sr. Patent Paralegal & Trademark Administrator.

Even though I do deal with patents, patents for drugs that can save people’s lives, sometimes I feel disconnected from the real reason I come to work every day.

Today a multiple myeloma patient came with his wife to tell us their story.

I love that my company occasionally brings patients to us and reminds us why and what we do every day no matter what is important.

Their story was sad, touching, powerful, strong, funny and humbling. I took many things from their story today.

But the one thing that I keep remembering is be thankful just to wake up today, tomorrow …

Seems so simple, yet so powerful.

Continue reading