When my mom was undergoing treatments for breast cancer nearly 20 years ago, she and my dad made a point of renting funny movies every night. Things that made them laugh. My dad drove her to her daily treatments, an hour away. As long as she was feeling up to it, they’d have a nice lunch afterward, or maybe take a circuitous route home. Something different. Something to enjoy together. Something to make them smile or, better yet, laugh. This was a healthy way for them to face the fearful and exhausting experience of cancer. They did it together, and they tried to find something good in each day. She sailed through treatments. She had great doctors. The tumor was found at an opportune time, i.e. at a manageable stage. Treatments were effective. But I’m also confident that the happiness they experienced each day helped too. Certainly with their mental health. I believe the happiness helped her body receive treatments and heal; that it helped strengthen her chemically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It fortified her and helped her heal.
Saturday April 20th 2013 will be the first annual Massage for the Cure event at Stairway Healing Arts Center. Massage for the Cure will fund Sarcoma research and help find a cure for this particularly aggressive form of cancer. I will be offering 1/2 hour therapeutic massages for $40, all day long. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Jennifer Hunter Yates Sarcoma Foundation. By scheduling a massage session on the 20th, you’ll help bring us one step closer to finding a cure AND you’ll be taking care of your own health at the same time. You can’t go wrong.
You can find out more about the Jennifer Hunter Yates Sarcoma Foundation and more about Sarcoma in general by clicking this link.
Please call or email me at the phone number/email below to make an appointment.
If you’d like to make a contribution but can’t participate on the 20th, you can simply send a donation. Please make checks payable to “JHYSF” and mail to me at the address below. Thank you!
Mandy Meyer-Hill, NYS Licensed Massage Therapist
When I pulled into my yard the green Subaru was parked at my back door, its rear hatch open, the back filled with stuff. Walking into the mudroom I found it alarmingly empty. The table saw was gone, the buckets of tools and plaster were no longer lined-up, the pile of lumber had vanished, the floor was swept of mud and sawdust. We ran into each other in the kitchen doorway, he with an armload of gear, me with a question. “You’re leaving?” I asked. “Yup,” he answered. “Almost all moved-out.” I pulled a long face and heaved a big sigh.
Then we both started laughing. This is our little joke. Then we hugged, and I thanked him profusely. You see, “He” is Marty, my favorite contractor. He is also family, husband to my sister Ruth. Marty had been mending plaster, putting up moldings, and tiling the backsplash in my kitchen over the last few days. He set up a small workshop in my mudroom for the duration. And created a bit of a mess each day. Last summer he did the same when he created a new upstairs bathroom for us. Marty’s been making his way through my 150 year old house, improving it 10-fold with his beautiful work. His personality and energy make the good experience even better. I tell him he’s like a masculine Mary Poppins: He finds a house in bad condition, works his magic, and when his job is done he moves on to the next home in need.
I’ve been wanting to write about Marty for a long time now. I even received his permission over a month ago. But I haven’t known where or how to start. I still don’t really. But I’m compelled to give it a try. Marty has a big story to tell. But it’s his story to tell, not mine. Marty is the world’s greatest uncle, brother-in-law, and contractor. Marty’s also a cancer survivor. Three times over. He’s also an amputee, as a result of that cancer. Doctors removed his left arm just below his shoulder when sarcoma hit him the second time. He continued his work as a contractor and builder throughout treatments. During that time he also created and built a beautiful home for my sister and himself. And when I say he did it single handed, I mean that quite literally.
Like I said, his remarkable story isn’t mine to tell. But as his massage therapist, I’m going to write about him, little by little. How could I not? To me, he’s a role model and a hero. So I’m going to give it a go over the next few weeks and months, here and there. Stay tuned.