I want to say a little something about Oprah.
(And so apropos because I had written this to post today and when I opened up my Amazon account this morning – there she was in the headline!)
With both bouts of cancer I spent significant time in front of the television: Law and Order, NYPD Blue, ER, Northern Exposure, Friends, Frasier, Cheers, Ellen, Mad About You, The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, The Wonder Years, Golden Girls, Beverly Hills 90210, Party of Five, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The View, Dr. Phil, Crossing Over with John Edward, Martha Stewart Living, The Daily Show, Sex and the City, The Sapranos. Even Blues Clues and Rugrats filled my days. From the moment my eyes opened, until the moment I drugged myself to sleep, television was my world. And The Oprah Winfrey Show was inescapable.
During my first stint I was debilitatingly nauseated for nine months straight. Every single day for nine months. Every. Day. No medication helped. I didn’t want food. I didn’t want magazines (forget books). I really didn’t want anything except for my health back. For nine months I stayed in bed and watched TV (every single day!).
The second time around the chemo had improved, but it was the radiation and bone marrow transplant that knocked me down. Physically I was spent. Breathing wore me out. I couldn’t even walk without assistance. It took about a year after the actual transplant before I returned to the living. Most of that year was spent in front of a TV.
Back to Oprah.
Every day that I watched TV eventually I turned on The Oprah Winfrey Show. During her time slot not much else was on. She reigned. Plus, Oprah was always helping someone, giving away cars to entire audiences, or interviewing someone who had followed their passion and changed their life. She exuded kindness, possibility and fulfillment. You need a little bit of that when everything around you has gone to hell. I drank the Kool-Aid. She had me convinced that it was possible to follow my dreams and find fulfillment.
Cancer ended. TV ended. Life moved on. But with the combination of the clichéd lesson learned from “battling” cancer and Oprah’s brain washing, I truly believed that life was about what mattered most. Not about being the coolest, looking the hippest, making the most money, knowing the trends or even being the smartest (all of which had mattered to me at one point or another during my 20ish years on earth pre-cancer). What mattered was exuding love, forgiveness, hope, authenticity and aspirations toward fulfillment of my own and others needs. It’s not easy. I’ve failed miserably, often. But I’ve always tried and in many ways succeeded. Life changed. Totally cliché, but that’s how it goes.
And now my thanks to “Oprah”.
Without Oprah’s promises (to me!) lingering in the back of my brain, and truly without the support of my loving family and friends, I wouldn’t have started this crazy, insane idea of selling homemade body care products at bazaars, in stores and definitely not on a website (that I created! – What?!?!). The Oprah I speak of isn’t really a person – Oprah is a mindset. The idea that it’s okay to do something you love and feel fulfilled by. That putting in the effort and trying really hard is what counts, especially when the people who love you and that you surround yourself with have your back.
I’m just starting this Oprah-induced journey, so I have no idea where it will take me, but I’m loving every second of it. Thank you to ALL of the Oprahs in my life who had my back and pushed me to just do it. I love you all and will be forever grateful!
Much love and happiness,