Lots of fun updates today! Warning: long blog post ahead, sorry.
Before I start, I had my next Herceptin treatment appointment Wednesday before Nina and I flew out for the Oprah show. They said my white blood counts were a tad low and gave me a mask to wear on the plane. Um, I don’t think so, but Nina and I got some funny pictures and laughs out of it at the airport and on the plane. We were giggling like we used to in church when we were little. Ha!
Ok so yesterday was the Orpah show!! Nina and I arrived in Chicago late Wednesday night and stayed at the Marriott on Michigan Avenue. We arrived at the Harpo studio the next morning a little before 7am. Our names were on the audience guest list and we cleared through security pretty quickly. We knew we weren’t allowed to bring in cell phones or cameras so we left those at the hotel. They held the audience in a holding room before we were let into the studio room. There were several rows of chairs lined up with big screen TVs all over the room showing clips from past shows and a bunch of still shots hanging on the walls, including one of Oprah and Richard Gere ~ my ALL TIME FAVORITE movie star!!!
After about an hour in the holding room, they made an announcement that we would all be filed into the audience shortly; there weren’t any assigned seats, and the parties were not guaranteed to be sat together. They said there were a couple people who had special seating though and then asked for “the Murray party” to please step forward!! They then escorted Nina and I to our 5th ROW ISLE FLOOR seats reserved near the front of the stage!!! We were so excited!
They played one of those fun Lady Gaga songs and had everyone up dancing and cheering. It was such a fun time. Then one of the producers appeared on stage and explained how they were going to do a few trial run rehearsal type things and explained how Oprah sometimes calls on audience members who may make a funny face or something asking for their thoughts. If and when she does this, the audience member would stand up and speak into a microphone over their head (not seen on TV) but shouldn’t lean into it since that would look funny. Anyway, one lady stood up and asked a question, then of course I had to raise my hand and couldn’t resist the opportunity. We were just asking general questions so I asked what door Oprah was going to walk out of, hoping it was the door behind the isle where we were sitting. They said normally it was but that she would be coming from behind stage that day. The producer then asked me my name, who I was with, where we were from and how we got tickets. I explained that I emailed the Oprah show about how Dr. Oz’s show on medical mistakes saved my life and told the quick general story. Then the whole audience started clapping and cheering for me!! It was so exciting!
The show started moments later and out walked Oprah!!! I was so excited and did not stop smiling the rest of the show. It was such an exciting hour and the time flew by really fast! The topic of the show was Skype, the free Internet web cam phone service that she’s done on her show several times this season. They were skyping in people from all over the world (no one famous). It was really neat seeing the behind the scenes activities like in between commercial breaks. I made eye contact with Oprah at least five times, which was so surreal and I couldn’t believe it. The taping of the show went exactly as it does on TV, lasting one hour with timed intervals for commercials in between, just like the live shows.
After the show, I thought they were going to do an Oprah After Show for the Oxygen channel but they didn’t for this show. I also mentioned in a previous blog post that we were at the finale show but I don’t think we were because they had two other shows they were taping that afternoon. Anyway, they announced the show was over, Oprah left the stage and they told everyone to file outside like they did when we came in. But before they asked everyone to leave, they asked for “the Murray party” to please step forward again I thought I was going to meet Oprah and my heart sank. We didn’t but they had a nice gift bag for me waiting outside, which was so thoughtful. I mean, how often do you hear someone getting Oprah tickets, reserved seating and an Oprah goodie bag!?! I’m so thankful!!
After we got out of the show, several people came up to me outside and thanked me for telling my story, told me how brave I was or just wished me well and offered prayers in support. Oh yeah, and the producer asked the whole audience before the show to make sure they said a prayer for me and Nina. 🙂 It was so sweet.
Outside the studio, there was an Oprah store where of course I spent a fortune on Oprah souvenirs, including a duffel travel bag, two magnets, two pairs of PJ pants, a book, Oprah’s magazine, which I later subscribed to that night, and an Oprah engraved picture frame for my Dr. Oz picture. We took down the nursery upstairs (yes, we already had one set up) shorlty after the miscarriage 😦 and I now have my Dr. Oz pictures hanging in the place of where I was going to hang baby pictures on the shelves that Dan made. That makes me sad, but at least I can replace those far reaching thoughts with happy thoughts about Dr. Oz and Oprah.
After we left the Oprah store, Nina and I took another cab back to our hotel. On our way back, we talked in awe about the morning, how exciting it was, and how we couldn’t even believe it happened. I told Nina how the past few weeks have been so exciting and that I didn’t want them to end. In the midst of a miscarriage (after 3+ years of trying) and a metastatic cancer diagnosis, I wouldn’t have thought my life would be so exciting, fulfilling and fun at the same time! I was kind of sad though that those exciting times were coming to an end. I had met Dr. Oz, went to the Oprah show, and the show with my picture on set would be airing soon. It would all soon be over and just a pleasant memory in the past. But little did I know, I had emails awaiting on my blackberry when we arrived back at the hotel; it wasn’t over quite yet!
I checked my cell phone and blackberry when we got back to our room, which again we had left in the hotel room since they weren’t allowed at the Oprah show. I had an email from another Harpo producer and another one from Dr. Oz Himself!! They asked me to call into Dr. Oz’s show on Oprah’s XM radio channel today to tell my story on air!! Oprah has a national channel on XM satellite radio and Dr. Oz has a daily show on there. They were going to be talking about the upcoming Oprah show on Tuesday (the one where my picture will be on set) and wanted me to call in and tell my story on the radio!! I was honored and agreed right away!!! They dialed me into the show this morning and it’s going to broadcast either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday on the Oprah channel, which is channel 156 I think. During the taping, Dr. Oz mentioned my blog and asked me what it was again! When I told him the address, he said “we’ll have this all on Oprah.com”!!! Oh my!!!!! So I guess the exciting times aren’t done yet and I’m enjoying every minute of it while they continue!!!
Here are some pics from the Oprah show (after we rode back to the hotel to get our cameras and returned to the studio about an hour after the show).
Now for my next update, sorry this is such a long post this time. I talked to my new friend at the wig place. She explained how one of the places I gave her didn’t work out because she lives in a different county but that they referred her to a sister clinic of some sort in her county. She called to get an appointment there but learned they weren’t accepting new patients because of the increased demand of financially aided clinics and lower donations from people due to the economy, the same reason Dr. Oz was speaking at the clinic in Mooresville. Anyway, she said they said even though they weren’t accepting new patients, they were accepting her because of my oncologist’s referral. She thanked me again for all the referrals and said how she wouldn’t have gotten an appointment if it wasn’t for me. I’m not trying to brag or get recognition by any means, but it was just nice to hear that I could help but I was saddened at the same time to hear that some people have such a difficult time just getting seen and heard. She hasn’t had her mammogram yet but has one scheduled. The doctors were alarmed to hear that the other doctors weren’t ordering her a mammogram because of all her lumps. I told her I didn’t expect her to keep me updated if she didn’t want to but she said she will keep me posted. I have the donations ready for her too when she needs them! Thanks again everyone!