Archive for April, 2012
Lynn’s Comments: Since getting diagnosed with breast cancer about 4 months ago, I have been extremely resistant to joining any breast cancer support group. I recently started attending an art therapy class in downtown Toronto and the same organization, called to inform me that there was a Breast Cancer Support Group starting. So, I reluctantly decided to add my name the list and received calls in the past few weeks, reminding me when the actual group was starting.
I got to the group and there were ladies of various ages. In a way it was relaxing to be in a room full of women who could understand exactly what I was feeling—the good, bad and ugly. I shared my experiences and learned a few things as well. I spoke about my fertility preservation experience in January 2012 of this year and the outcomes of it all. What I realized that these were women who have overcome the challenge of breast cancer, were now part of my extended community. I prefer not to use the word “survivor”, but enjoy the term “Cancer Graduate” as Lisa Ray has coined. The journey of cancer is definitely an educational one in life lessons.
I have gotten tremendous support from the community at large, friends and family, but now the support was coming from women whose lives mirrored my own. In many ways, I see these women as Angels with wings. The subway shut down right after my support group session ended, so I had to roam the streets of Toronto before finally getting on a streetcar to head home.
One lady then struck up a conversation with me and ask me if I was feeling okay. She could see the mask on my face and the fact that I had no hair. She said, “you know, I’ve been there too”. You see, she also was a women who had overcome breast cancer and for her it’s been 10 years. Two young girls heard us talking and the one girl, got up and offered me her seat. I so badly needed a seat at the time, as my legs were aching. I was very grateful. There are thoughtful and kind people in this city, that I know.
Lynn’s Comments: I first heard that Oprah was coming to Toronto in March 2012 when a family friend came over to visit at our home. I was so excited when I heard the news that I then decided to post on my Facebook status, “Universe I am manifesting Oprah tickets, thank you, thank you, thank you!”. Within 8 minutes of updating my status on Facebook, a lovely women named Arpana responded and said she had a ticket for me! I was so excited and delighted to say the least. I have been watching the Oprah show since 1988 and always wanted to see her show live as an audience member.
After learning that I had a ticket to the Oprah Life Class Tour in Toronto for the following month, I did a happy dance around my house and savored the great feelings associated with my happiness! Being on medical leave and in treatment for cancer, this gift of a ticket really uplifted my mood and is the best gift ever! Just imagine wanting something for 24 years and it finally happening—it’s such an amazing feeling!
I committed to go to the Oprah Life Class even though I was still in Chemotherapy treatment. I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime to attend the show and I certainly wasn’t going to let cancer or any type of cancer treatment stop me from attending. The big day arrived on April 16th, 2012 and I took the subway downtown to the Metro Convention Centre. I brought a salad and two boiled eggs to ensure I had food for that afternoon and energy to keep me going. I went to the front entrance of the Metro Convention Centre and realized that I had to enter the event from another entrance. I got a call from Priya who was already lined up with Reshma, and I asked if I had enough time to get some more food, and she said yes. I then decided to purchase a veggie hotdog and fries, to ensure I had enough meals for the day and began my walk over to the long line to join the ladies and my soul sisters for the day!
My last Chemo treatment was on March 30th, 2012 and this big day for the Oprah Life Class was 2 weeks later. I walked over to the long line and found both Reshma and Priya around 12:30pm that day. Miraculously, I wore comfy shoes and managed to stay standing for 3. 5 hours until we were admitted to the Metro Convention Centre and lined up inside. Much later on, just before we were admitted to the show, I had chosen to sit down on the ground for awhile, and I had a good rest while I watched Priya make a sign for the show. We were admitted into the Hall for the show and walked diligently to find seats for all of us. Luckily we found seats in the centre aisle and we were situated in a good spot.
As I sat in the audience, I thought about how grateful I was to be there. For me, the Oprah Life Class was definitely a dream come true! and part of my bucket list of one activity that I was able to check off on my list! It was very fitting that the theme of the Life Class was about Forgiveness and just what I needed to hear during my time of healing from a cancer diagnosis. God does give us exactly what we need, that I know!