Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007 - "Jonna's Body, please hold!"

Happy St. Paddy's Day, Bloggy!

Yes, it was St. Paddy's Day all day long and I totally forgot!! That's so not like me, so, alas, none of my friends received any St. Paddy's Day cards from me! I'll try to be more clued in for Easter (grin).

Well, getting home late last night and not getting to bed before 2am took a bit of a toll on me today (chuckle). I guess I'm not as young as I used to be!! I mean, I DO remember the days when we'd do a show, then all go out for beer and pizza until the wee hours of the morning (usually until we got kicked out of the restaurant because they wanted to close up)... and still manage to carry on with the next day with no problems. Heck, there were many a late night like this on a weeknight and I'd get up and go to work, as if going to bed at 2 or 3 or 4am was totally normal.

Anywho, I did get up at 8am, but I was pretty darn tired. Hahaha... and it didn't seem to get any better so at 11am, after accomplishing absolutely nothing other than taking the dog out for a walk in the pouring rain, I decided to lay down for a wee nap. HAHAHAHA!! Some WEE nap!! I woke up 5 hours later... at 4pm!! Yikes!! So out we went again in the pouring rain for Bridget's walkies, then I had to get ready because Greg and I were going to a benefit performance of Jonna's Body, please hold! This was a benefit for the BC Cancer Foundation that my dear friends, the Maedels (Jim and Cori) gave me tickets for. It was being held at Shaughnessy United Church over in Shaughnessy and at first, we kind of wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. The play was being done right in the church with the stage being where the altar is. There was one chair and a curtain hiding the actual altar.. with a couple of lights and tha was it for the set. Hmmmm.

But what a treat we were in for!!! The play was a one woman show performed by Jonna Tamases and is all about her personal journey with cancer. She has had three bouts of three different cancers and rather than let the disease run her life, she used the experience to put together this show and enlighten audiences all around North America.
Jonna's Body, please hold!
is a hysterical yet informative production that will make you look at this disease with a whole new eye, and even if you think you know a lot about cancer and treatments, you are bound to learn something new. What amazed me was that her show was inspiring and she is a true gift... a joy to watch and such a ray of sunlight. I am not one to gush about actors or shows. I've been around the biz so long it takes way too much to super impress me. But Jonna with her one chair and altar-hiding curtain, did exactly that. I was blown away by her performance and would love it if all my friends could see it, it was that moving! Greg felt the same way and, after living in New York and being in the business himself for over 18 years, it takes one special actor/actress to pull this off :)

After the play, Jonna came out and had a question/answer period with the audience. Even then, when she was not performing, she was a beacon of light. I could not get over how positive and happy she was. I strive to feel that love of life that she feels!

I did get to talk to her after the Q&A period and we had a very nice little chat. Part of the show she talked about how, when growing up she always had a "plan"... to party, to have fun, to get married, to start a family and to live happily ever after. Then the cancer came along and that put all her plans on hold while she fought the battle. Then the second cancer came and her plans still had to be put on hold. Then the third cancer came and she was still on hold and getting downright angry because time was passing by and she couldn't work on her "plan". She finally gave up the plan and went in the completely opposite direction. She worked for the circus, traveling around the country as a clown. She met another clown, whom she ended up marrying and now they travel together doing this show. Totally different than her original life's plan. I told her that, coming from an outsider's perspective (me), it's quite obvious that she has this incredible gift where she can share information with people, no matter how hard the message, and become an inspiration to those of us who have to go through the battle and MAYBE this was her life plan all along, she just didn't realize it. Her eyes just sparkled when I said that and she said, "Thank you... thank you for understanding because that is exactly what I came to realize much later. I AM doing what I was meant to do and I had to go through these experiences to get here. Meanwhile, I did marry my prince charming so that part of my original life plan did happen along with my new plan."

She is a total inspiration... and if anyone is in Victoria on March 24th, she will be doing the show there for the Victoria branch of the BC Cancer Foundation.


PS: Anyone who is reading these blog entries, if you want to make a comment, please do! Any comments that are written on my blog automatically get sent to me in email as well as here. Just click on the word "Comments" at the end of any of my entries. It will take you to the comments page and list anyone else's comment who has posted. On the right of the screen there will be a blank space that you can write your own comment, then click the submit button underneath your comment. It will be added to the others who have commented for that particular entry... as well, it will be sent to me in email :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Cheryl! It's Lisa M. I don't post much here (although I read your entries) because I can't remember my google name and password but I just want to tell you that I so enjoy hearing your stories and all that goes on during your journey. The show (Jonna's...) sounds fantastic! I'm so glad you got to see it and I'd love to see it, too. I'll check out the link later.

Good luck and I'll say prayers for your chemo treatment tomorrow! I'm so inspired and awed by your strength and courage. You are the best! Lisa

Melinda said...

Hiya Cher! Yes, all the best on the start of your chemo tomorrow. As always, I'll be thinking of you. I'm sending good vibes for a non-sick chemo experience. Just keep telling your brain to "get rid of those bad cells"! That's what I keep whispering in Murphy's ear [my dog, who also has cancer].

Chet said...

HIYA Cheryl,

I have been posting comments and i am sending good thoughts anmd prayers your way for your first Chemo session. You will do well, you spirit and attitude always get you through.


me & the Princess