Every once and a while you need to stop and just relax. It is next to impossible to do that these days with deadlines, phone calls, doctor’s appointments… the list goes on and on. And nothing makes it harder to relax when you are battling illness. Almost a year ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and I am using this year to embark on Kristie’s Big Adventure to try and complete as many goals in a year as possible. This is nothing, however, compared to the fact that my mother has also been fighting lung cancer for a year. As she is a fairly private person, she has kept her illness on the down-low, but I asked if I could share a bit of her story so you can see why a day of relaxation was over due for her.
Almost one year ago to the day, my mom got the bad news that a tumor was in her lower right lung. Being a smoker for so many years, it may have been inevitable, but she has been smoke-free for over 5 years, so it seemed a little unfair. However, she never showed any fear or worry about the diagnosis. From the beginning her attitude was, “Okay, so what’s the next step?”
Well, the next step was an intense daily chemo regimen followed by radiation treatment. Throughout the whole process, the prognosis was great, the tumor was shrinking and besides some tiredness, her side effects were minimal (and she looked great bald. So jealous.)
Then, in February, she started having a problem with fluid building up in her lungs and had to do a rather painful procedure called a pleurodesis that had her in the hospital for a while. Other than boredom and the occasional annoyance at the nurses, she really was a trooper through the whole situation.
Once she was out, though, it turned out that she needed to go through another round of chemo. Great news to get before Mother’s Day, right?
I knew I wanted to do something special for her, and I kept thinking, “Spa Day.” I don’t know why, since she has never been crazy about massages and facials. Somehow, though, I just felt that she was holding in a lot of stress and might just be open to the idea.
Then Lesley at Bucket List Publications sent me an awesome email – Spa Sydell would treat us to a Mother / Daughter day at the spa so we could check that off our Bucket List -it was perfect timing all around!
We set up our day on a Sunday morning. It was quiet when we arrived to the Midtown location; the staff was friendly and very attentive.
First on the menu was an hour long Swedish Massage. We were put in a couples suite so we could see each other through a window. I had Patricia start on me. She performed a wonderful combination of Swedish Massage, Acupressure, and a little deep tissue on my neck. I was definitely a noodle at the end.
Then,it was on to our facials. Barbaretta was amazing! After assessing my skin, she got to work with steaming to open my pores while cleansing my face and performing a gentle exfoliation. She also treated me to an additional shoulder, hand and foot massage. For a moment I thought I was getting a mini-manicure when she placed my hands in plastic baggies, then slipped them into heated mitts. Then I realized that was just her way of letting me not be able to defend myself while she performed pore extraction. Who knew there were so many nerve endings on the tip of one’s nose? Then it was onto a moisturizing mask and she finished off with a soothing face cream. I couldn’t keep from touching my face afterward, it was so smooth!
Then it was on to the mani/pedi. I sat this one out, since the tragic loss of my two large toenails while training for the 50 Mile Carolinas Challenge Walk last spring. My mom got the full treatment and left with her toenails a bright “Cajun Shrimp” color and her fingernails trimmed and buffed to a high shine.
After 3 hours of pampering, we were new people! After a yummy lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen, we felt ready to tackle the week (chemo for her and Dr.’s appointments and traffic court for me – boo).
Spa Sydell Midtown
Hmmm, maybe some shopping after?
Do we have to give the robes back?