You either love her...or you don't. I'm talking about Oprah. I happen to love Oprah and this past weekend I was able to check another item off my bucket list by seeing her on her in Minneapolis on her 2020 Vision Tour.
I can honestly say that it was life changing! It was a day filled with inspiration, gratitude, thought provoking moments, a roller coaster of emotions and a day I will never forget! I feel like it will take me a long time to fully process and appreciate everything that went down that day.
Twelve and a half years ago, in my hospital room on 3B, the Oncology ward at the Pasqua Hospital in Regina is where the circle began.
Let me take you there. It was during the 5 month stay on 3B where I was being treated for Burkitt's Lymphoma, a childhood cancer that I was diagnosed with at the age of 35. My prognosis was was good if I could make it through the rigorous chemotherapy treatments but I was just told that I would be spending months in the hospital away from my then 8 year old and husband. As you could imagine, it's not where I wanted to be and was having a difficult time of processing the news. Really anything they tell you after you hear the word C A N C E R is irrelevant. You just don't hear anything else.
One day, after my treatments began there was a knock on my hospital door room. The stunning woman with dark curly hair and bright red lips asked if she could come in. You see, she was an angel that was sent by our mutual doctor, Dr Salim, to give me a little pep talk. In her words:
Dr Salim had told me there was a young woman that was a patient of his up on 3B that he was concerned about. He wondered if I could stop in and share my story with you. When I knocked on the door, the blinds were closed and the room was dark. I told you my story and that "you got this". By the end of the visit we were laughing and I asked if it would be ok to open the blinds.
The woman that came to visit me was none other than Dionne Warner. Many of you reading this are familiar with this incredible human. For those that have not heard of Dionne, she is an 8X cancer survivor and has made it her life mission to inspire others and show them that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Her amazing story is here. They also wrote a book called Never Leave Your Wingman
(Dionne and I at Relay For Life, Regina 2009 & Dionne and her Wingman, Graham at Oprah)
As I remember it, she had told me I need to give myself a day to feel sorry for myself, have my pity party and then, I have a job to do...kick cancer's ass! It was exactly the conversation that I needed and from that day forward, my attitude remained positive and my heart full of hope. There were many other visits and and we became and remained friends ever since.
The circle is starting to curve...
At the same time, during my treatments, one of my best friends from high school, then living in Saskatoon, would come and visit me almost every Sunday. Our conversations deep, and full of tomorrows. Patti would never let me get to a place where I didn't think there would be a tomorrow. She was quick to pull me back to talking about all the things I would do once I was released from hospital.
One of those things was to see Oprah! Many of our conversations rallied around an idea that I had for a product that would help families with medical problems. It was an idea we discussed and plotted and were sure that if it got into the hands of Oprah, it would be something she would endorse. Girls can dream, can't they?!?
The circle is curving more...
Fast forward to 2019. Patti saw something on Instagram that Oprah was going on tour and we jumped at the chance to get tickets! I could hardly believe it! After Oprah's show went off the air in 2011, I didn't think I would ever get the opportunity to see her in person. In fact, we weren't really sure what her tour was all about. We just kew we were going!
Once our tickets were purchased, Patti found out that she had to have hip surgery... three and a half weeks before we see Oprah. So last weekend, we packed up Patti, her crutches, a wheelchair and all of the other paraphernalia needed for our trip...there wasn't anything that was going to keep us from going!
This is where it gets trippy. As we are heading into in the Xcel Energy Centre to find our seats, who do we run into but Dionne and Graham Warner. From Regina, SK.
(Patti and I, Oprah and I and Patti, Dionne and I at Oprah in Minneapolis)
I don't know about you, but I believe in "everything happens for a reason", timing and that things happen to teach us a lesson or something bigger than we can imagine. Out of all of the people in the world, and that would have to travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota...three people that spent A LOT of time on 3B! Call it a cosmic connection or fate or maybe only a coincidence but I feel it is more than that...I just need to figure it out!
The circle has come full circle.
I know I haven't even touched on Oprah herself and how incredible the weekend was. That deserves a whole blog post on its own.
TO BE CONTINUED...