December 11, 2012

Pamela J Phillips Obituary

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:32 am by heathervescent

Pamela Joan Phillips

There will be a Memorial Service for Mom on Saturday, December 15th at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 10am. The address is: 1716 Northwest Davis Street  Portland, OR 97209 (map link)

We will have a reception directly afterwards at 11am. Anyone can say something, tell a story or share a memory about mom at the reception. You may bring a photo or artifact to share. Link to Facebook event.

February 1st, 1946 – October 21st 2012

Nonni and Aedyn

Nonni and Aedyn

Pam was born in Whittier, California to Norman Hangen and Grace Brown. After graduating from High school Pam set off to see the world. A flight attendant for over 35 years, she started her career in the golden days of air travel when flying was fun and glamorous, working for TWA and later American Airlines. It is nearly impossible to comprehend how many places Pam visited and the sights she has seen. Her fondness for travel and seeing the world was something she enjoyed sharing with family and friends. Anyone who ever traveled with her was lucky to experience how to really take a vacation.

Pam was a woman of fabulous style and exquisite taste, to many she may have seemed to be perfect in nearly every way; in fact her kids believed she was actually Mary Poppins for most of their young childhood. In 2007 Pam moved to Hillsboro, OR to start the next chapter of her life as a doting grandmother. She never slowed down, even when diagnosed with ovarian cancer in early 2009. She believed everything happened for a reason and the reason for her fight with cancer was to give her the experience and opportunity to write a book she believed could help others.

Her children will miss her endless suggestions, wearing out the grand-kids and general love and appreciation of everything they did even when what they did wasn’t that great. She was a good mom and a great Nonni.  She was a generous and compassionate woman who knew love.

Pam leaves behind her brother Gary Hangen and his wife Ledeen, her daughter Heather Schlegel, son Chad Schlegel and his wife Shanon and their two children Aedyn and Sadie.

Her obituary can be found here as well.


October 23, 2008

Where to Start???

Posted in Beauty, community, Fun, Health, History, Life, Personal, Portland, travel tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:57 pm by pdxfirefly

Hello readers!   In this weblog, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on personal growth as well as some interesting tidbits.   Welcome Aboard!!!

The way my blog is set up, with the exception of this post,  the most recent entries are at the top .   One way to access the older entries is to click on a particular month in the Archives section.  There are some interesting stories in there, so be sure to take a look!  You may click on a category in the box to your right and it will bring up all posts in that category — for example- 9/11, stories,skin care, recipes or swifts.  Or… you may type a topic (Andrew De Leon) (9/11) in the search box and that will bring up any post related to that topic.  For additional hints please read the page on “How to use this site” page at the top right column.

If you click the ‘follow’ button at the top left, you will receive a notice every time Portland Firefly publishes a post. You will not recieve any spam or ads.

To see the beautiful video trailer for my book, TIE ONE ON, A HEAD-SCARF TYING GUIDE FOR CHEMOTHERAPY PATIENTS go to the TIE ONE ON page (to your top right) or click on this link. ONE ON may also be ordered by going to

And so, readers, I welcome you to Portland Firefly and I look forward to your comments.  If you do write a comment, be sure that you click on “submit” to send it to me.  I must approve all comments before they appear on the blog, so it is possible for you to send me a personal note stating that you don’t wish it to be made public.

Now, “Buckle your seatbelts for takeoff!!!”

November 7, 2012

Pamela’s Memorial

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:44 pm by pdxfirefly

Hello All,

We are having Mom’s Memorial Service on Saturday, December 15, 2012. It will be held at St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.

10am: Service

11am: Reception

All all welcome. We ask that you bring a photo or memory artifact to share your memory of this fine woman.

You can RSVP in the comments or view and RSVP the Facebook Event here.

October 25, 2012

Last Flight

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:33 pm by pdxfirefly

Dear All,

This is Heather, PDXFirefly’s daughter again. I am sorry to say, that my mom, and your dear friend has left on her last flight in this world. Her flight departed on Sunday evening, just before 7pm. She had her seatbelt buckled, her tray was stowed and her seat was, well in this case, very much reclined. She was calm and peaceful and serene. I am sure she had a fantastic view of the clouds on her last flight. She was surrounded by my brother, me, her little dog, Mercedes, and a fantastic woman, Kori, who was taking care of us all.

Her last days were filled with family and friends. One of my favorite memories, from Friday afternoon, was sitting around her bed, with two of her friends as she got a pedicle – teal of course. We chatted and laughed, and it felt like any normal friday. Except it wasn’t. It was mom’s last friday. Saturday, my brother brough his family over and mom spent special time with everyone. It was her last visit with them. Her brother, Gary, spent much of last week here with us all too. Sad circumstances for everyone to be together, but there was lots of love.

Although not much acknowledged on the blog, my brother, Chad, has been phenomenal in taking care of mom through her battle. I would like to mention her P.E.O. sisters, who have given much much support. I want to thank Dee, her editor and dear friend, for everything. For especially jumping on an airplane with no notice to be with us in mom’s last days. Finally, I want to thank all you, dear readers. For your prayers, for your comments, for your support and for being mom’s friend. I convinced mom to start this blog many years ago and I’m glad she’s been able to connect with you through this medium.

I would like to share stories about mom. So if you have any you’d like to write, on your own blog, or email them to me (heathervescent at gmail dot com) along with any photos, I will try to post them. Through this process, I have gotten to know my mom as you know her. Not just as being her daughter. She was a pretty fantastic mom, and over and over I hear about what a fantastic friend she was as well.

Mom fought a huge battle. She asked for a miracle, and I believe she was given one. That’s why I think she was with us for as long as she was. We all wish she was with us now. And in some ways, I like to think she is. I don’t know about you, but I have a version of mom in my head. It’s not the full mom, just the person I know. I can always talk to that person in my head. It won’t be the same as calling her up on the phone, like I did a couple weeks ago. But it’s better than nothing. I will miss her a lot.

xo for now,


October 18, 2012

Firefly Update

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:02 am by pdxfirefly

Dear All,

This is Heather, PDXFirefly’s daughter. It’s been a while since Mom has been able to update the blog, so I wanted to write a quick post. I will ask her to dictate something to me to post later. Short story, Mom took a turn for the worst a few months ago. She was coming back from a trip and the cancer came back rearing it’s ugly face. We’ve tried a lot of the things we tried before, but they are not working very well. Her number keep going up. For the past two weeks, Mom has been staying at home, leaving only to go to the Doctors appointments. She is not getting better. We don’t expect her to get better.

Now would be the time to share how much you love PDXFirefly. Call her if you have her number. You can email her, but she hasn’t checked email in a few weeks (I am slowly going through them over the next few days). Text her. And of course, send your prayers and loving thoughts. If you want to see her again, I suggest you immediately get on an airplane to PDX.

I hope to have an update from PDXFirefly later today.

Thanks to all of you who have supported my Mom through this journey, this battle. Your support means so much to her and to us.



October 4, 2012

Writers Quote

Posted in community, Fun, History, Life, Personal tagged , , at 12:43 am by pdxfirefly

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. ~~ Gustav Flaubert

October 1, 2012

More Andrew Fan Art

Posted in Andrew De Leon, community, Fun, History, Life, Personal tagged , at 12:14 am by pdxfirefly

Here is some more fan art……….

September 29, 2012

Please Pray for Warrior Firefly

Posted in Health, History, Life, Personal tagged , at 6:23 pm by pdxfirefly

Dx IIIC in 3/09   with PPC, Ive been in almost constant chemo for 43 months….. only had 9 months off here and there. I forget how many recurrences I’ve had — 5 -6- -7-.

Theses last 6 weeks have been particularly difficult. The three months prior to that, my ca climbed to 4344 while on differerent chemos. Last ca was 5456 -still climbing.

I’ve beeen on cytoxin for the last 2 1/2 months… with lots of side effects.  Mostly in bed the last few weeks. tired.

I get ascites drained twice a week —any where from 3 liters to 4 1/2 liters each time…    Then I must go for hydration …. then I’m exhausted….just trying to help my body heal and praying that that the Cytoxin will finallly start killling the tumors.

I feel miminallly better than I did 5 weeks ago. but I can no longer clean  my house, drive, shop, or even take my dog for a walk.  I saved money for a trip to Israel and that is what is  paying for these necessary sesrvices.   even have disabillity sticker for my drivers…

I’m prettty tired, but fatigue is a side effect of cytoxin.   The worst thing is the ascites….I get so full of cancer fillled fluid that I look 9 months pregnant and cannot breathe easily.  Then relief after drainage, but not a fun procedure… 9 tiimes so far…   I’m too tired to even go out to lunch!!! no fun!

Please keep me in your prayers that this Cytoxin will stop the Ascites and help bring my numbers down…..

Warrior Firefly lives here and is Loved!

September 27, 2012

Interesting Quote

Posted in community, Fun, History, Life, story tagged , , , at 12:24 am by pdxfirefly

Conscious is being aware of something;

Conscience is wishing you weren’t.

September 25, 2012

Firefly Health Update

Posted in Health, History, Life, Personal tagged , , , , at 8:14 pm by pdxfirefly

As you  know I have been very ill for many weeks.   I have now had two rounds of Cytoxin and I do think it’s helping.   But there are a lot of other  very unwanted and new side effects that have joined in the act.

I now have to have almost daily hydration sessions at the doctor’s office.   My abdomen is swelling up  with liters and liters of fluid that must be drained twice every week…..  but more on all that in another day or so.   This little post is just to let you know thar Portland Firefly is still fighting her Warrior Battle bravely and consistently.

Please keep me in your prayers…….

September 16, 2012

Uplifting Quote

Posted in History, Life, Personal tagged , at 12:10 am by pdxfirefly

So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up.

September 12, 2012

Encouraging Quote

Posted in Beauty, Fun, Life, Personal, story tagged , , , , at 12:20 am by pdxfirefly

Success doesn’t make Champions; Challenges do.

September 1, 2012


Posted in Andrew De Leon tagged , , at 10:06 am by pdxfirefly


Rest up and enjoy your friends and family and we are all waiting to to see what you decide to do next.

August 30, 2012

New Chemo Regime Started

Posted in Health, History, Life, Personal tagged , , , , at 12:50 am by pdxfirefly

Well as you know, Portland Firefly has been very ill.  My Cancer tumor indicator (CA- 125) numbers have been very high (30 is normal). My numbers have been hovering in the 4856 range for three months now ~ even chemo cannot bring the number down and actually I have been feeling very ill.

My Son accompanied me to my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and the doctor drained an additional liter of cancer filled fluid from my abdomen (I felt much better immediately) and then started me on a new chemotherapy.  We are praying that this one will work since my cancer has not seen it yet.  It is called Cytoxin.

I am writing this on day two after this new chemo was administed and I am doing OK.  I also recieve a ‘cocktail’ of other drugs along with the chemotherapy so I usually have  energy for a day or so and then I crash about the middle of day three and stay out of commission for about a week.  But since I have never had this drug… lets see how I react to it!

Update:  Very tired…even missed phone calls due to my chemo coma (so tired I didn’t hear the phone). But in a weird way, I feel like it is working…. Very nauseated… very tired… very hopeful…. prayerful…

August 29, 2012

Did Andrew Make the Finals?

Posted in Andrew De Leon, Life tagged at 8:29 pm by pdxfirefly

I’ll get right to the sad truth…. No, Andrew did not go through to the finals.

The judges were horrible to him last night, even though this was his best performance.  The judges decided months ago that a singer was not going to win this show… and the judges had their little ‘cheat sheets’ in front of them telling them what horrible things to say to Andrew and also had their little ear bugs (producers talking to them in their ears pieces) telling them what to say…

And Sharon!! How unkind and rude and unbelievable she was to him.  That was the rudest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say to someone’s face.

But, do not be too dismayed…. you will have the chance to see and hear Andrew De Leon again, for this amazing talent will not go away for long.

August 28, 2012

Vote Andrew into the Finals

Posted in Andrew De Leon, Fun tagged , , , at 9:11 pm by pdxfirefly

This is a link to Andrew De Leon’s stellar performance of Ave Marie tonight, 8/28/12 on AGT.   (You might have to click on it and wait a minute for it to begin.)

He not only looked GREAT, but his performance was perfection and he certainly deserves to go through…..

The phone number to vote for Andrew to go through to the Finals is: 1– 866-602-4801. VOTING IS OPEN UNTIL 5:00 am EDT 8/29/12.

He was first up tonight which is a tough spot to be in, and then the judges are dissing all of the singers tonight… If they did not want singers in the show, then make that a rule at the auditions, not going into the Finals with this talented young artist.   Andrew is one of the few people who know who they are and who is Sharon to tell him to change who he is?…. One week she tells him he is a star, that she in is in love with him and then she tells him to change his goth look.  She is wrong, wrong, wrong. Andrew did not deserve the horrible remarks by Sharon especially….

Andrew Looked FABULOUS tonight Firefly loves the feather epaulets….. And He performed perfectly!

Andrew is in the AGT Semi-Finals Tonight

Posted in Andrew De Leon, Fun, Life tagged , , , at 6:42 am by pdxfirefly

Last Tuesday, Andrew De Leon was voted through to the semi-finals of AGT.  There will be two nights of semi-finals (tonight and next Tuesday).  Andrew is performing tonight sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 pm. Voting begins at 9:55 pm.  You will want to vote for Andrew tonight for sure because there is some tough competition tonight.  The results show is tomorrow night Wednesday at 9:00 pm on your local NBC chanel.

This is what he wore last week when he performed Unbreak My Heart in Spanish. The judges broke his heart in Vegas and his fans Unbroke his Heart last week by voting for him!

“I’m so happy to have made it to the semi finals! couldn’t have done it without all of your love and support! thank you so much for voting and I look forward to the next performance! I love you!”

August 25, 2012

Difference Quote

Posted in Andrew De Leon, community, Fun, History, Life, Personal tagged , , , at 12:00 am by pdxfirefly

You’re not like the rest of them; someday the best of them will realize they were wrong.

Be proud of what you are and remember, Difference is the most common type of Ordinariness.  So you do fit in.  Be Brave!

August 23, 2012

Portland Firefly Health Update

Posted in Health, Life, Personal tagged , , at 8:13 pm by pdxfirefly

I was not feeling well the last few days ~ actually starting last Thursday while I was in Dallas at my annual Harmonica convention (which I was too ill to attend last year).

As of Sunday night I knew that I was more than just extremely tired so I moved my blood work to Monday am and requested to be seen by the PA (Physician Assistant) as my Doctor is on a family emergency this week.  She (PA) saw me on Tuesday afternoon and my CA 125 is now higher than it has ever been before… 4856. (last one was 4343~ 30 or below is normal).
My suspicions were confirmed as she sent me to the hospital for a CT Scan which showed ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdomen).  I was very uncomfortable as I looked like I was 9 months pregnant –Not kidding!  I could hardly breathe, and had no appetite and felt very ‘toxic’.  I had to wait until Wednesday morning until they could insert a port into my abdomen (yes, it did hurt) and draw out the cancer filled fluid — There were 3 liters and that is 6 1/2 pounds.  I started to feel better almost immediately.

This means that this chemo is also not working and I will see my doctor on Tuesday morning for a reevaluation of the situation. I have ‘gone through’ about 5 chemos at this time.

I am still very worn out and must try to build myself up with protein before they knock me down with a new chemo again.
I am starting to get tired.

August 21, 2012

The 12 Wildcard Acts ~ August 21, 2012

Posted in Andrew De Leon, Fun tagged , , , at 12:06 am by pdxfirefly

These are the tweleve wildcard acts that will be seen on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 (8 pm/7 central) on NBC’s America’s Got Talent Wildcard Show.  You will get to vote to put through the top four.  There are some very good performers and exciting acts, so be sure to vote for your favorite!  Huuummmmm? I wonder who Portland Firefly will be voting for on Tuesday night???? ANDREW, of course!!

UPDATE:  TO VOTE FOR ANDREW: 1-866-602-4811



Sharon’s picks

All That! – The male clog dancers

Lindsey Norton – The young female dancer

Bandbaz Brothers – The circus act that did not originally make the top 48

Jake Wesley Rogers – The singer

Howard’s picks

Horse – The man with the nuts of steel

Ben Blaque – The crossbow shooter

Todd Oliver & Irving – The animal comedy act that Howard told to be a little bit edgier

Spencer Horsman – The illusionist

Howie’s picks

Jarrett & Raja – The pair of magicians

Sebastien – The young mariachi singer

Andrew De Leon – The opera singer tragically cut before the top 48

Cristin Sandu – The balancing act that fell apart on the live show

It will be a good show!

August 20, 2012

AGT Wildcard Show ~ August 21, 2012

Posted in Andrew De Leon, Fun, Life, story tagged , , , , , at 12:05 am by pdxfirefly

This is the YouTube elimination show link: during which the wildcards were announced on August 15, 2012.   If you go to minute 37, and start watching then, you will see who chose whom for the wildcards.  The names are never announced, they just show the picture of the act.

Andrew De Leon was the last one shown and he was one of Howie Mandel’s four wildcards. If you blink, you will miss it!

Also you can go to the contestants link and it will have Andrew’s picture highlighted, which means that he is back in the competition. Hooray!

The America’s Got Talent Wildcard Show will be this Tuesday night, August 21, 2012, 8:00 – 10:00 pm. It usually is one hour earlier Central and Hawaii time (7:00 – 9:00 pm).  Be sure to watch and even more important ~~~VOTE for Andrew.  The voting usually begins at 9:55 pm (8:55 pm central) and continues for two hours. Vote often!!!  Be sure that you vote during the correct time zone for the telephone that you are using.

August 19, 2012

Chibi Form Andrew De Leon

Posted in Andrew De Leon, community, Fun, History, Life, story tagged , , , , , , , at 12:20 am by pdxfirefly

Chibi Andrew De Leon used with permission of the adorable, talented artist, Mallory Gillentine. Firefly adores this one!

This young Andrew De Leon fan’s original art really tells a story.   Andrew has given encouragement and confirmation to many searching teens.   Self-doubt, low self-esteem, and lack of purpose are so common with this age group.  What Andrew has done, by acknowledging his ‘freakness’, is confirm that it is OK to be different; that it is OK to be unique; that it is OK to be yourself and that you do not have to match anyone elses standards of beauty or acceptance.  This young man has made an enormous positive impact on so many hurting, searching teens.  His enormous creativity comes through in many areas and this confidence in his own creativity has made it possible for other creative youths to express their creativity in positive endeavors as well. Many of his fans are highly creative, writing poetry, writing and performing songs, making videos, and of course you have seen some of the art that has been generated by his inspiration to his fans.

Kudos to you, Andrew!   For the encouragement you have given your many fans!!! And, of course, for your beautiful voice!

August 18, 2012

Advice from Howie for Singers

Posted in Andrew De Leon, Fun, History, Life, story, travel tagged , , , , , , at 12:38 am by pdxfirefly

While critiquing a singing group a few weeks ago, Howie, one of the America’s Got Talent judges, gave every singer some valuable information.

He said that the voting is basically a popularity contest.

And that the more the singer is liked, the more votes he will get.

Also when the song is known and liked by the voters, (past voting has revealed that) then he will receive even more votes.

Ah yes, once again confirmation of what American Idol judges(on another network) have said for years… Song choice is critical to winning any competition.

August 17, 2012

Andrew De Leon Is AGT’s Favorite Wildcard

Posted in Andrew De Leon, Fun tagged , , , at 12:03 am by pdxfirefly

YES!!!! Yes!!! Yes!   Andrew De Leon is coming back to America’s Got Talent as a Wild Card!

Are you excited!   I know that many of you are!  I know I am.

Portland Firefly is especially happy because she will once again be able to hear Andrew’s heavenly voice.  She also hopes that Andrew started recording his first album while not having to compete these last (I think it has been) six weeks.

Be sure to watch on Tuesday night and then vote!  You might go over the voting rules now so you are familiar with them when the time comes.  One thing I did read is that if the lines are busy then call back in a few minutes,,,, but do not miss the alloted time frame for calling in your vote.  Also, if you have a phone in a different area code, then that area code is the time parameters for your voting… this could be a different time zone from the one in which you actually are calling from.

August 16, 2012

Andrew De Leon’s Twitter

Posted in Andrew De Leon, community, Fun, History, Life, story tagged , , , , , at 12:00 am by pdxfirefly

Ok, now that it has been announced that Andrew De Leon has been chosen as a Wild Card for America’s Got Talent, many of you will want to follow him on Twitter.

There are several fan clubs with his name on it and you might want to follow those as well, but there is only one true Twitter account of Andrew De Leon; he has given Portland Firefly permission to publish it here.

Ready for it… here it is:   AndrewLeoDeLeon.  If you go to this twitter account, you will see a picture of him standing diagonal in the photo with a greenish background.  Be sure to click Follow so Andrew can keep you up to date.

This is what you’ll see at the correct twitter account:    Andrew Leo De Leon‏@AndrewLeoDeLeon

Singer, Metal head, LOVE horror films! LOVE classical music 🙂 (Real Andrew De Leon)

To follow his official Twitter:

PS: This drawing is by Lauren Buitte and is taken from Andrew’s Twitter Profile Picture.  Lauren, you are an amazing artist!

Used with Lauren’s permission.

August 13, 2012

America Wants Andrew Back!

Posted in Andrew De Leon, community, Fun, History, Life, Personal tagged , , at 12:06 am by pdxfirefly

Andrew De Leon has been a crowd favorite since he first set foot on the stage. America wants him back!

Andrew De Leon has been a crowd favorite since he first set foot on the stage. America wants him back!

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