“A man and what he loves and builds have but a day and then disappear; nature cares not - and renews the annual round untired. It is the old law; sad but not bitter. Only when man destroys the life and beauty of nature, there is the outrage.”
- George Macaulay Trevelyan (1876-1962), English historian; son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan. Educated at Cambridge, he became professor of
modern history there in 1927 and was master of Trinity College from 1940 to 1951. He was a master of the so-called literary school of
historical writing, and his reaction against “scientific” history has had tremendous influence.
Vol. 21, No. 5 • Mailed monthly to over 13,000 homes in the Gateway & Parkrose Communities Free • SEPTEMBER 2005
FEATURE ARTICLES Memo Calendar Memo Pad Business Memos Loaves & Fishes Letters Home
Artist proof attitude is everything
Composting company trashes plans for Wilkes site
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Artist proof attitude is everything


Ilena Lacaden poses with her painting, “Autumn’s Path,” on display locally with some of her other works of art at Dixie’s Golden Girls Gifts and Hair Shop in the Menlo Park Plaza Shopping Center.
Posing with one of her paintings, “Softly Spoken,” Ilena Lacaden has found that in life, attitude is everything. Her works of art are on display and on sale at Dixie’s Golden Girls Gifts in the Menlo Park Plaza.
Ilena Lacaden is proof that if you’ve got a good attitude, anything is possible.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis seven years ago, Lacaden (pronounced luh-KAY-den), like most people with MS, struggles with tasks that others find easy to perform.

MS is a devastating disease with no known cause, and there is no cure, only medication to help slow its progression.

“I have my good days and my bad days,” she calmly admitted.

But because of her stellar attitude towards life, Lacaden has developed into a talented artist.

Her lively and interesting art can be seen at Dixie’s Golden Girls Gifts in the Menlo Park Plaza at 12427 N.E. Glisan St.

Lacaden is a resident of the Hollywood District of Northeast Portland.

Born in Portland, she grew up near Southeast 117th Avenue and Ankeny Street, graduating from David Douglas High School. Except for a brief time living in Hawaii, she’s a born and bred native Oregonian.

For years the insidious disease MS was misdiagnosed.

But the signs were there.

“One whole side of my body was lopsided,” she explained. “And on one side of my face, the muscles weren’t right, my face limped down, it didn’t look right. When I smile, my muscles don’t hold it up well.”

The 63-year-old Lacaden said that on the left side of her face and on the right side of her body the muscles were weak.

“I would drop things,” she said, “and I fell a lot. The falling was frustrating.”

One spill was so severe, surgery was needed to reassemble the bones in a broken ankle. She still has a pin in that ankle.

“I went to five different doctors before I was diagnosed,” she said. “It was a nurse who listened to what I was saying, and then I was given an MRI.” The magnetic resonance imaging squashed any question: it was definitely MS.

For MS patients, each new day can bring either the contentment of a seemingly healthy body or the misery of not being fully functional.

“I never know (day to day),” she said. “I can say I’m doing this or that, but that’s today; I never know what tomorrow will bring.

“Some days I’m not able to drive,” she continued, “some days I’m in the wheelchair, some days I’m fine, some days I’m walking with a cane. As the day progresses, I get weaker. My morning time is my best time, if I want to get anything done.”

Lacaden’s attitude is pragmatic, indeed, but it’s also an attitude of optimism.

“You can’t pretend it’s not there,” she said. “If there’s something I need to carry or do, I have to do it in the morning. I’ve gotten better because I’ve learned not to do those things in the late day or evening, because I’d be setting myself up for failure.”

Taking a mean spill is not only a blow to self-confidence, it can also mean having to depend on others.

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