A very wise friend of mine, who has also been through cancer, once told me that if possible I should try to do one special thing between each round of chemo. Four rounds, four special things. I enjoy special things. I will, in fact, heed this advice.
Round 1’s special thing was staying downtown with my friend from New York and having a ‘girls night’ in the city with our friends. Very special. Very distracting from my real life. Success.
This round, however, I sort of forgot about the plan until the last minute when it occurred to me that our superhuman college neighbor babysitter was headed back to school soon. This is quite possibly a sadder truth than my diagnosis.
In a matter of 3 days I whipped together a 24 hour sojourn to Lake Geneva with the huz. I booked us a room at this cool hotel that was made up of restored stables. I found it by Googling “most expensive hotel in Lake Geneva.” It came in #2 and listen, you never know when you are going to be diagnosed with cancer so…
We got there and couldn’t check in for hours so we started to wander. The first place we went was the sister hotel to the one where we were staying. It was the #1, ‘most expensive hotel in Lake Geneva.’ I was intrigued by it, as it was an old Victorian mansion.
There is a restaurant on the first floor and all building employees were dressed like it was 1923 and the house was decorated that way, as well. There were old hats everywhere and gilded, gold-leafed, everything. The place was dripping in drapery.
You guys, this place was so wacky we just got sucked right in to its vortex and next thing you know, we had upgraded our vacay to the top of the Google search and were booked in the Versailles Room for the night, with our own bespoke butler. I shit you not.
I’ll get back to the Versailles Room later. First I must cover Lake Geneva itself. Lovely. It was quaint, but trendy, a combination I enjoy. We sat down for lunch, our first official vacation meal and I am feeling good. Relaxed, non-cancery. Then this happened ’cause my body is an asshole and wanted to remind me I am indeed, cancery:
Fine, bloody nose at a crowded restaurant. I give approximately this many (____) hoots about sitting in a Wisconsin restaurant bald and with a cocktail napkin shoved up my nose.
Upon checking into Versailles, we were gobsmacked by its grandeur. This place was legit. If you want to go to the South of France, but only have time for Wisconsin, Baker House is where you should go.
Now please enjoy a menagerie of photos of me wearing hats throughout our stay for no logical reason:
Can we also discuss that the mansion housed THE fascinator that inspired the SnapChat filter?!
Until this moment I never realized how thin and amazing that filter makes your face. Dammit.
After a fun dinner at a trendy lakeside spot, I decided that an ice cream cone the size of my head was warranted. $16 later I still have cancer, so who cares if I eat like a drunk college kid? I’ll get healthy when I’m done being poisoned.
Upon awaking in a nonsensically adorned four poster bed this morning, we summoned Jeeves who promptly brought up coffee and tea to our specifications in sterling silver serving pieces along with a bowl of freshly baked croissants and champagne flutes of fresh fruit.
The message here is this: if you or a loved one ever go through cancer treatments, do as my prophetic friend suggested and treat yourself, if you can afford it, to something special between each round.
It needn’t be as extravagant as a stay with Jeeves in a turret, but it should make you feel special, make you feel like you before cancer. Each round of this terrible stuff we endure is worth a celebration and when you break it up into smaller pieces, it somehow seems more surmountable.
With our college girl gone (insert wailing here), next round’s ‘special’ probably won’t include an overnight night anywhere, but something equally as awesome like… a dunk tank installed in my backyard to stick it to those who have wronged me? I don’t know, just spitballing…