Thanks to the bazillion people who shared with me the video of the San Francisco OB/GYN holding a pre-op Dance Party at Mt. Zion (where yours truly was born) before she underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer, I’ve seen it more than a few times. And if you haven’t seen it, you’ve probably been A) trapped under a very large rock or B) too focused on Jennifer Anniston’s new haircut to care.
In my multiple viewings of the video that went viral, I’ve had the opportunity to have different reactions to it I will now share:
1) Reaction #1: Pure awesome
I won’t deny it – my first gut response to watching this now ubiquitous video was being totally blown away…by her sweet dance moves! If we’re really being honest here, I didn’t really register the magnitude of her bravery, song selection, or ability to turn a somber moment into a moment of celebration on its head right away. I was laser-focused on her groovy dance skills. And that smile. I love that particular move she’s mastered where she waves her arm in the air, kind of like a modified Beyonce “Single Ladies” move, but with her own spin on it. And she never got tired – a solid six minutes of grooving out to this song – she’s still burning, yearning, turning with an enormous grin on her face. Loved how she played peek-a-boo with the sheet that covered her IV arm, and even managed to add a semi strip-tease with the hospital gown into the mix.
2) Reaction #2: Gimme Deets
The next thoughts that filled my head where questions, and I had a lot of them: who was this woman? how did she manage to put this together? what kind of planning did this require? did she know the staff in the operating room? is this even legal? is she wearing a headband? I didn’t have to dig deep to find answers. She’s an OB/Gyn in San Francisco and has 2 children and had decided a few weeks ago to have a dance party in pre-op. This required finding the right nursing staff and doctors and anesthesiologist who would comply. Didn’t the people in the operating room look like they were super pumped? I loved their infectious smiles too. Since the video was taken yesterday, I’m now curious how her recovery is doing and how she’s feeling day 2 post-op. I hope she’s doing well.
3) Reaction #3 Would I ever do this and what would my song be?
Let’s pretend for a moment that the answer to the first question is yes. (I’m not sure it would be.) Then the next question is critical. Choosing a Pre-Op Dance Party song – in which you hope becomes viral which would lead to you being featured on HuffPo, and then on the Today show with the remote (a girl can hope can’t she?) possibility of meeting Matt Lauer (sigh) – becomes a life-changing decision. It’s not unlike choosing a signature Karaoke song. (You must to have one at the ready) As far as Karaoke Songs go, I’ve been hounding M for years to choose one. I’ve narrowed it down to “Don’t Go Breakin’ my Heart” or “Islands in the Stream,” but I think he favors “I Don’t Know Much” (But I don’t know what kind of dream world he lives in if he thinks I can hit the high notes.) But the question remains: what is the song that makes you want to throw caution to the wind, get up and dance without hesitation? For me, it would be either “Freedom” by George Michael, “Roam” by B52s or “Kiss” by Prince. What are yours?
4) Reaction #4 Let the Tears Flow
My last reaction was that of overwhelming emotion and sadness for this disease that affects so many good people. If you watch the video in its entirety there’s a moment at the end where she looks as though she’s reconciled that the song will end soon which means that the Dance Party will be over and the surgery will begin. She gives a look to one of her fellow dancers and it caught me off guard. The look was pure “Okay. This is it. We’re going to do this now” and my emotions just took over and I sobbed. For her. For her kids. For me. For my kids. And for anyone and everyone who’s been affected by cancer. It’s a club I belong to now in which I didn’t ask to be a member.
Keep Dancing! (even if it’s in private)