Thunder from Down Under


It’s Saturday morning.  I awake on my own only to realize it is already 11am!  Wow.  I must have overslept.  I mean really overslept.  I should be up with the kids already.  Chris needs to go to work.  Why am I still sleeping?   Just as these thoughts cross my mind, Chris walks in to the room still in his pajamas.  He simply very sweetly says, “Take your time getting up.  When you are ready, come to the kitchen for your breakfast and your surprise.”  Okay . . .

Slowly, I make my way to the kitchen table to find my breakfast and a folder in front of me.   My eyes are wide.  Oh no.  I don’t know if I am ready for a surprise yet.  Chris tells me to open the folder and informs me that he has taken the day off work.  He tells me that he knows I need to get my mind off my impending surgery that is petrifying me so he has come up with a plan.  A shocking one.   As I begin to see maps, hotel reservations and tickets in the folder, he tells me that I need to pack a bag.  In a few hours my friend Camille will be picking me up to take to me to Palm Springs for the night.  There, we will be meeting my other good friend DeAun, who lives 20 minutes away from the hotel.  Oh, and last but not least, he has bought the three of us tickets to the male revue show, Thunder From Down Under.  What?  Really?  Oh my gosh.  This is crazy!! Seriously?   With my mouth gaping open in shock,  he reminds me that I saw them in Las Vegas years ago for my last bachelorette weekend.  And according to him, I couldn’t stop talking about them for weeks.  I don’t remember these guys being that good, but then again, I do have chemo brain.

I must admit that I am still so tired and weak from chemo that I am not thrilled for a bit.  Oh my gosh.  I don’t think I have the energy.  I just want to sleep.  And my legs are still so weak.  I don’t want to move.  But, as the day goes on, I begin to get excited.  I find myself singing as I pack my bag, and relishing in this moment of spontaneity(something that went out the door when I had kids).  Cancer girl is heading to Palm Springs to watch boys in their undies.  This is so ridiculous that I think it might be good.  Not a bad surprise from my husband.  Not bad at all.

As Camille arrives, Chris gives me a bag full of food, champagne for the hotel, and two cds that he has made with my favorite songs for the drive.   I feel immensely special in this moment.

Our drive is fun.  It is full of songs, good conversation, laughter and catching up.  It really doesn’t even seem like a two and a half hour trip.  We arrive at our hotel, eat our dinner that Chris has packed, and drink our champagne as we get ready for our night out.  We then uber to the casino to meet DeAun before we head to see “the boys.”  I still cannot believe this.  I am enjoying every single moment and the show hasn’t even started.

As we make our way to our seats, the room is pounding with the energy of 600 women screaming in anticipation.   I will not say hollering or yelling, because it is not.  It is full on screaming.   I am not sure I have ever heard anything so loud.  I am giddy with excitement, and have the giggles of a teenage girl.   And . . . here they go!!!!!! The crowd goes wild.  Oh my goodness.  What can I say?  The guys from Thunder from Down Under are amazing, and they really are Australian.  I don’t think this trio of girls could ask for anything more.  Cocktails in our hands,  great music,  great energy and good looking men dancing in their undies with Australian accents.    At one point, Camille turns to me and says, “We are literally sitting on the edge of our seats.”  I look down.  She is right.  We are.  Thunder from Down Under is that good.  DeAun, Camille and I scream, laugh, dance and howl the night away.  I have completely forgotten that I have cancer and am bald.  Completely forgotten.  As in it is not even a thought in the front, back or side of my mind.

The show sadly ends too soon.  Boo.  And boo some more.  As we leave, the girls ask what I want to do.  I don’t even hesitate and tell them that we should do a little gambling and dancing.   Why not?  Apparently, I have turned wild, and I love it.  I might as well enjoy the rest of this carefree night.  So, we do just that.  Gamble and dance.  It is so fun.  I don’t want it to end.  We say good bye to DeAun after a few hours as she has just flown back in to town today and is exhausted.  I am just happy I got to see her for a bit, because I miss her.   Now, it’s down to just Camille and me.

As we head back to do a little more gambling,  we run straight into 3 of the Thunder from Down Under guys.  I KNOW!  Before I realize it, we are chatting with them.   Yes, it’s true.  Both of us are talking and laughing with these guys.  We tell them that we are celebrating me being done with chemo.  They seem genuinely happy for me, and give me hugs.  I’ll take it.

Camille and I laugh the whole time because they literally have groupies in incredibly tight dresses standing around waiting for them, and yet they are chatting with us.  Both of us married, and me bald.  Of course, Camille is quite hot so that does help.  Perhaps I can be the charismatic one.  Finally, calling it a night,  we walk out of the casino at the same time with the down under boys and say goodbye to them.  We laugh all the way to our hotel about how they had groupies and yet they were more interested in our story.  We both agree that it is because we couldn’t have cared less.  We were just having fun.  It is a nice ending to an amazing night.  Camille and I arrive back to our hotel and drift off at 4am.  That’s right.  Four in the morning.  I am a tiny little bit proud of myself.

The next morning, we head back to L.A..   On our way, we find a Taco Bell drive thru for breakfast.  I have my reservations, but it turns out that an egg and cheese burrito is actually really good after a wild night.  I wish I would have ordered two.  Next time, I will know.   As we make our way back home,  I realize how tired I am.  Really really tired.  My legs feel like jelly.  I know I will pay for this night for the next several days.   With a lazy smile on my face, I ask myself if it was worth it?  Heck ya, it was.  And as it turns out, my husband does have a good memory, because I will be talking about Thunder from Down Under for weeks.


Author: jillmbarber

I'm a full time mommy to three young children and a part time commercial actor. In March of 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is my battle. This is my story.

2 thoughts on “Thunder from Down Under”

  1. I just relived the whole night reading this! I love how dancing, drinking champagne, and hollering at hot men was the support you needed and that I could do that for you 😉 Even bald, you are simply a blast. Thank you again Chris for such a memorable night.

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