Monday, March 17, 2008

What an incredible weekend

It is Monday night and I am still on a high from an incredible weekend. On Saturday, three great friends had a birthday party for me. It was so nice to see so many people that I care about and have made an impact in my life. When everyone sang happy birthday to me, I was overwhelmed because I do not remember ever having that many people sing happy birthday to me. I could go on and on about the generosity of my friends with their gifts and I will cherish each one. I had people from every walk of my life join me for the party; college friends, co-workers, friends from church and several friends I have met along the way. It is actually a little scary when people from different areas of your life meet. You are a little afraid of the embarrassing stories they will tell each other. We played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and they had a piƱata that I was able to whack and take out some aggression.

As you can tell from my last blog, I had a rough night on Saturday and I woke up with an asthma attack and was coughing a lot. Saturday morning I made the mistake of taking my cough medicine at the same time of my regular morning meds. I ate breakfast and then I started to feel queasy. All of a sudden I sneezed and that was it. I barely made it to the bathroom before I threw up my breakfast. I was so frustrated because I was looking forward to the party and did not want to feel bad for it.

I also debuted my new wig for the party. Friday afternoon, my awesome friend Jen and I went wig shopping. I tried on several wigs and found one that was just "me". I was able to broker a deal and got a great price on it. I was a little nervous about it, but one of the reasons for wanting it was an event that was taking place on Sunday and I did not want to wear a hat or scarf.

Sunday was my actual birthday and it started with a friend calling me and wishing me happy birthday. I then went to church and a fabulous brunch at a friend’s house. The best part of the weekend was Sunday night. About three weeks ago I found out that Sheryl Crow was coming to PAZO (an awesome Tapas restaurant in Baltimore) for a fundraiser for the Ulman Cancer Foundation for Young Adults. I looked into the concert details and found out the seats were $400 each or through a company sponsorship. Since I somehow had never heard of the Ulman foundation I did a little research on the web and found that they are located right in my back yard (Columbia). As I was browsing their website I saw a link for young adults with cancers or survivors to apply for a scholarship to go to the concert. When I looked into the application I noticed that they were due on March 3rd. It is a good thing I have a fax machine at home, because it was 7pm on Monday, March 3rd when I saw the information and started filling out the form. I was sure I was too late to make the deadline, but filled it out anyway. I faxed my application around 8:30 and the following Friday I got the most awesome news that I received one of the scholarships – two tickets!!! I was feeling pretty poorly that day with my bronchitis, but it made my day.

Well yesterday, my friend picked me up and we drove to the city. We was given access to the area right in front of the stage. They had two opening acts and when I saw someone from the foundation I went to say hi. I was told there was a surprise in store for me. After the first opening act - Cancer Dancers from New York (http://www.dancersagainstcancer.org/) the MC talked about the sponsors of the event and shared that one sponsor felt they could not fill all the seats and wanted to donate tickets for 10 young adults with cancer or survivors to attend the event. They called all the scholarship recipients to the education table and said they were going to take a picture. After meeting some incredible ladies that are surviving cancer we were told that they are taking us on the bus to meet Sheryl Crow.

Can you believe it???? Me, just a crazy hippie girl was going to meet Sheryl Crow. It was so surreal. She is so nice and she remembered my name and that it was my birthday. They took our picture and after talking for a minute or so I floated off the bus to tell my friend that I actually met her.

Now, I am sure you are saying "what an incredible birthday, can it get an better?" Well, indeed it can. I was about 15 feet from the stage Sheryl Crow came on for her act. During the first song I went up close to the stage and smiled at her. I really believe that she saw me and smiled back. After a couple of songs, Sheryl talked about the scholarship recipients that she was able to meet just before the show. And then unbelievably she said that two of the people she met had birthdays today and she said my name and that of my new friend Suzanne. We raised our hands and then Sheryl Crow started singing happy birthday to me. Just the day before I was amazed to hear 40 of my friends sing to me; and then the next day Sheryl crow and 300 other people sang Happy Birthday to me. WOW - I think I am still floating.

After an awesome set including several new songs from her new album “Detours” (http://www.sherylcrow.com/discography/default.aspx/pid/439) she ended her performance with an oldie. I was able to meet a few of the ladies I met while waiting to get on Sheryl's tour bus and we went out for a drink. PAZO had such good drinks and food. I don't remember the last night I so much to drink and I was a little tipsy, but the whole night was so fun. I wore a new red dress with a scarf I bought in Italy and my new hair. I was told many times that I looked great. I think sometimes in your life you just need something like this to give you a pick you up. I am starting treatment again this week and this is just what I need to give me the energy to get through it.

It is 24 hours after I got home from the fundraiser and I am still on a natural high. I could not sleep in this morning because I was still so excited. I kept telling everyone today that "I MET SHERYL CROW". Can you believe it? I could not have asked for such a great birthday weekend. Thank you to all those who made it possible for me to have such an incredible weekend.

Well, I need to get some sleep and I wan to post this before my laptop battery is going to die. More later - Alli

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