Friday, March 26, 2010

Doing Things We Couldn't Do Seven Months Ago

Seven months ago my friend Patty C. came to take care of me for a weekend post-transplant while Marty took Mark to college. Marty was comfortable with this arrangement because Patty is a Nurse Practitioner, comfortable with flushing my catheter and deciding when a visit to the the emergency room was in order. I was in bad shape, but fortunately we made no visits to the ER.

Patty and I had planned to take a mini-vacation 18 months ago but it somehow didn't work into our plans. 18 months ago I was cancer-free and able to go away to a spa and have a massage. Then the nemesis returned and spa-ing or anything was out of the question. Don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today?

Recently, since I've been feeling like superwoman, I started researching our spa vacation. Patty had the month of March off and I needed to get out my house and away from my computer. We decided to go to the Newport Marriott which opened a spa last year. We got a great room rate that included discounts at the spa. To top it off, it was restaurant week in Newport: $15 3-course prix fixe lunches and $30 3-course prix-fixe dinners. We had a great meal at the Red Parrot--too much food. Our room at the hotel had those big comfy duvet-covered down comforters, the kind you sink into with a big ahhh.

Patty got up early and went to the gym. I made coffee, watched CNN (hey, my kids will be covered under our health plan until they're 26--taking no skin off anyone's noses), and started a new book by Ann Patchett, one of my favorite writers. It's called Truth and Beauty and it's about a friend of hers who succumbed to cancer after 20 years of battling a horrible disease. Why do I pick these books?

We tried to sneak into a conference breakfast but made the mistake of asking if it was sponsored by the hotel. We went to Panera's across the street and had really good coffee and toasted bagels. Then it was back to the hotel for the treatment we needed and deserved--massages. An hour later, oiled up and looking like asylum patients in our white robes, we transitioned back to this world in a room that had piped in new age music, herbal tea and organic snacks. Patty and I made plans to come again as soon as we could get a good rate.

A little shopping at the Gap, lunch at The Mooring, which included cream of scallop soup, Caesar salad and triple mousse yumminess, our self-indulgence was at an end. We went back to the hotel parking lot, climbed into the pumpkin van and headed back to the mainland.

All told, we spent $476 for the spa and hotel, plus food which was very inexpensive. In addition to the massage, I had an emergency manicure when we first arrived yesterday. It's already starting to chip, the reason I rarely get them. Except on occasions where I am Queen for the Day.

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