Tag Archives: Body Treatments

Kimberly’s Story

On October 5th, 2016 we had the honor of working with 9 beautiful Breast Cancer survivors. They each wrote about their journey in their own words. 

One of the most feared things a woman can hear is “You have breast cancer.”

My journey began like many others.  I was going about my life, paving my way in the world, and never for a moment, thinking about breast cancer.

The summer of 2003 was like any other, and it came.  I felt a small something on the outer part of my left breast.  I had an old mammogram order that had expired and thought to use it anyhow.  I called for a mammogram appointment and they scheduled me for a month away.  My husband thought that was a bit far out so I called back the next day and it just so happened they had a cancellation that day. I went in with my expired mammogram order and they did not realize it was expired until after my mammogram.  The Radiologist came in with the first of my bad news.  “You have many suspicious micro calcification’s,” and wanted me to get an ultrasound right away.  The next day I got my ultrasound… Same results… not good… I need a biopsy.

After a recommendation from Margaret McCoy I went to Dr. West at the Breast Care Center in Orange.  His opinion was the same… I need a biopsy and if it is cancer, a mastectomy was my only option.  June 9, 2003 was my biopsy.  The surgery went fine and I was on my way back home.

A couple days later as I sat in my living room by myself Dr. West called with the news no one ever wants to hear… you have cancer.  This is where my journey began…I spent sleepless nights searching the web for information about breast cancer.

I’m not really sure when that moment passed.  After the initial shock and hysteria wore off, I created a believable illusion that I was okay.  That I could handle whatever cancer handed me because I was a fighter, and I was tough.  I let autopilot take over as I phoned friends to break the news.  I hate those words. YOU. HAVE. CANCER.

I met with Dr. West to learn my options.   It was all too much to take.  Without a second thought I made the decision to have a bilateral mastectomy.   I needed to do everything I could do reduce my risk of developing a new breast cancer in the future. I just wanted to get rid of this “cancer” thing in my body.

I found a web site called Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.  The moment I logged on to the site, I felt like I had arrived.  I was surrounded by a cyber sorority.  Women from all walks of life with one common bond.  They were all mad as hell, and not taking cancer lightly.  After a few days on the discussion boards I had a core circle of friends.  These girls were my salvation.  I learned more from them then I did from any of my doctors.

After meeting with Dr. West, I met my oncologist, Dr. Margileth.  As the doctor looked over my chart the next agenda was to talk about additional treatments… Chemo. I told him I would decide if I liked him if he let me keep my hair.  He then gave me a couple of options.  Given my stage one option was to take a lighter dose of chemo over a longer period of time and I could keep my hair.  That was it… I wanted it.

I left the office with a plan. Cancer thought it had one up on me, but with my plan set in motion, I leveled the playing field.  Cancer was missing one important piece of information–  that I only play to win.

First on the agenda… a bi-lateral mastectomy from Dr. West and Dr. Hagstrom, my plastic surgeon, would come right behind him and recreate the breast Dr. West removed.  Using my tummy fat and 12 hours of surgery I had my new mounds.

It was not an easy recovery but it was very doable.

Next on the agenda was Chemo…

I went into chemo like it was my first day at school; determined to divide and conquer.  My wrists were piled high with pink bracelets.  I wore pink from head to toe, I was ready for war.  My best friend Jeanne Shroyer sat by my side at every chemo party we went to, that’s what I called it… “My Chemo Party”.

On weeks to come, life was anything but normal.  I went to a class called, “Look Good, Feel Good.”  I remember sitting in this class and they offered me a wig and I said “no thank you I’m not going to lose my hair”.  At that moment a women across the table lifted her wig off and said “that’s what they told me”.  I know the look on my face told it all but I kindly said “I’ll wait”.

I quickly learned how to be my own best advocate.  I researched, and read books.  I joined every online cancer community that was available.  Within these cyber walls, I found a sisterhood that welcomed me with open arms.  If I had a question, my sisters had the answer.  When I experienced side effects from treatment, my sisters knew how to ease my pain.  Although I had a huge support team of family and friends in my corner,  I knew they could never fully understand.  I knew that they wanted me to be okay, so I swallowed my hurt and put on a brave front.  With my cyber sisters, there was no need to hide.  When someone was sick, we prayed.  When someone was sad, we listened.  When someone had surgery we sent gentle hugs.  When someone was dying, we put our own fears of death aside, and mourned a life that was not done living.

It was the beginning of the next chapter of reclaiming my life.

I had a lot of good days, and I felt like the worst was behind me.  But, the downside of having so many friends in the cancer community is the reality that some of them will have a recurrence, and some of them will die.  I realized early on, that just because I got better, the fight against cancer wasn’t over.  I felt this rite of passage from the sisterhood, this sense of duty to help women through the emotional roller coaster of cancer.  I began to mentor women going through breast cancer on my own.  In 2008 Janelle Basham and myself were asked to take over the Bosom Buddies, a breast cancer support organization founded in the early 90’s by Carolyn Knight, Margaret McCoy, Linda Johnson and Cathy Zaitz  all of Canyon Lake, CA.  It was a club dedicated to support woman in their struggle with breast Cancer.  Our mission as a Bosom Buddy is to Educate, Inspire and Support newly diagnosed Breast Cancer Survivors during their Breast Cancer Journey.

This experience is more than I ever could have imagined.  I am a part of something that is so much bigger than me, and for that I am so grateful.  I have the chance to give back what I’ve received.
It brings me great joy to celebrate being a survivor, although it has come at a price.  I have lived through triumph and hope, just as I have lived through sadness and loss.  I celebrate to honor the lives that cancer has cut short.  I celebrate for my sisters who are sick, with hopes for brighter days ahead.  I celebrate those that came before me, and those that undoubtedly will come after me.  And when the day arrives, when we finally have a cure for this life changing illness, that will be the greatest celebration of them all.

 

Check out Kathy’s Story HERE

Check out Debbie’s Story HERE

Check out Janelle’s Story HERE

Check out Maja’s Story HERE

Check out Crystal’s Story HERE

Check out Mary’s Story HERE

Check out Laura’s Story HERE

Check out Sylvia’s Story HERE

Janelle’s Story

On October 5th, 2016 we had the honor of working with 9 beautiful Breast Cancer survivors. They each wrote about their journey in their own words. 

When I think back to 2004 when I got those piercing words,”you have breast cancer,” it seems almost like that was another person.  She was a younger woman that seriously thought she was superwoman and could do just about anything.  Now I know I need God to carry me through each day.  I know with all my heart, everything I have gone through is for a “bigger reason” a “bigger lesson”.  I was one of the lucky ones.  I had a GREAT OB GYN that had given me a base line Mammogram when I was only 38 because of a small non-suspicious lump I had found when I was in college.

When I think back on how God guided my steps to being cancer free I still get very teary and know his hand was in it all. I had begun running into one of my neighbors often!  I didn’t see her very much because she home schooled her kids but suddenly I ran into her everywhere.  I remember the day she invited me to her sister Dayna’s fundraiser.  She had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at the young age of 38.  Dayna was to become my Guardian Angel here on earth.  My appointment had come up for my yearly Mammogram. Soon I got a bright pink slip in the mail that said ”RE-Check” in six months.  I know myself very well.  I go 150 miles per hour and I know that I would have gladly tucked that slip into my day planner six months out had Dayna’s face not come into my mind and remind me that breast cancer does not discriminate. Anyone can get breast cancer, even a young woman of 41.

I asked my doctor for a biopsy and then after I convinced a Specialist it is what I needed to have, I got my biopsy. I was standing in my kitchen the day I got the call that would forever have me wearing pink ribbons and fighting for other women’s lives…  I had breast cancer. This is where one of the gifts of breast cancer began.  All my friends and family rallied around me.  I had one dear friend set up all my doctor appointments at the Joyce Kiefer Breast Cancer Center in Santa Monica. She too was a Survivor and another Angel that would help me through my journey . I had prayed for years that John, my husband, would get another pilot job but with his excellent insurance I was able to go to this very amazing hospital. My prayers were not answered for a reason.  I met with my female surgeon and was told that my breast cancer had been caught so early, just calcification, stage zero. I received a simple lumpectomy and I was already to go back home and get on that fast track of life that exhilarated me daily.  I remember spending the night with John, my sweet husband, at a near by hospital and being more sure than anything that the next day I would cross the street , go into that hospital and my surgeon would give me a clean bill of health and send me home.

What I got was my Doctor drawing on a paper of other areas of cancer they had discovered and the bomb of all bombs that I would need chemo and lose my hair.  I was also told I would need more surgery, either another lumpectomy or a mastectomy.  I remember the picture that immediately came to my mind of the mastectomy I had seen in a medical book.  As I looked into my husbands eyes I knew he was thinking the same thing. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I had always been so healthy. I had always had a nice body and nice breasts. I felt the hope being sucked out of me.

The next thing that happened was the most wonderful thing. It was my miracle.  What happened next made every difference in my attitude and thought process.  I was told to meet with a plastic surgeon that would explain all my options.  I barely remember the drive to his office or what we talked about.  The amazing office was on the penthouse floor of a very nice office building in the 90210 zip code.  I remember the beautiful fresh flowers in the office, but what I remember most of all was the look in my plastic surgeon’s eyes.  There was empathy and warmth.  We went over my options and then he opened this book of patients he had done reconstruction on. I felt my heart rejoice and I felt like I exhaled and breathed for the first time since I had been given my new diagnosis.  At that moment I became a breast cancer SURVIVOR! I knew I could once again look like a woman, look like me.  Beautiful reconstructed breasts all shapes and sizes filled the pages.  The pages were a very bright light in a very dark place. The book was hope. The breasts were hope.

One day at home my doorbell rang and in walked Kimbo Slingerland.  She would become the most important part of my journey, “my soul-mate”.  She was determined, full of life and very matter of fact.  She told me she had done a bi-lateral mastectomy.  She showed me her breasts and I felt like I had an answer.  Another Angel came to my door and she too showed me her reconstruction and I called my Surgeon that day and asked her what she thought about me taking both breasts.  “I think it is a wise decision” I knew with all my might and faith I would fight this once! I knew I wanted both breast off!  Being alive meant more to me than keeping my natural breasts.  I had three beautiful children that I wanted to see grow up. I had a wonderful husband I wanted to grow old with.  I have never once regretted my decision.  They did find cancer in the other breast I removed voluntarily.  I had taken my health into my own hands and made an aggressive decision that was right for me. God has carried me through my breast cancer journey.

I feel blessed that I was given the choice to have the reconstruction surgery at the same time as my mastectomy. I received my double mastectomy with reconstruction on my 42nd birthday.  I had everyone in the operating room sing to me.  My birthday present to me was my life. I also had melanoma cancer removed from my left arm that was much more deadly than my breast cancer if I had not found it while looking at pictures in a books at the hospital library waiting for my pre-operation consultation. God was guiding my steps.  I remember waking up from surgery with my little nipple less mounds, but as little as they were, they were there. I remember my husband peering into my eyes and another lesson of my journey became apparent.  Nobody that really loves me cares what I look like they just love me for being Janelle.  Sometimes when I look at old pictures with my old body I do get tears in my eyes.  But… I am alive and one of the lucky Survivors.  I feel blessed by God to be able to help other Breast Cancer sisters with their journey.  My song is sweeter and my future’s so bright!

 

Check out Kimberly’s Story HERE

Check out Kathy’s Story HERE

Check out Debbie’s Story HERE

Check out Maja’s Story HERE

Check out Crystal’s Story HERE

Check out Mary’s Story HERE

Check out Laura’s Story HERE

Check out Sylvia’s Story HERE

What We’re Loving Right Now: Farm House Fresh Inspired Treatments

Reconnect with wellness this month. We all lead busy lives and do not always leave time for ourselves in our day-to-day routine which can make us forget the importance of our individual wellness. Here at Glen Ivy we offer not only a place to sit back and relax, but also a place to reach your utmost wellness. This fall treat your body to a regular Farm House Fresh skin or body treatment to keep yourself not only glowing but healthy as well.

Golden Pear Body Treatment $100-$160

Did you spend too much time in the sun this summer leaving your skin dead and rough? Our Golden Pear Body Treatment is designed to exfoliate and bring your body to its softest yet!

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Reconnect with your inner-self as you relax and enjoy an exfoliating treatment with a Farm House Fresh Barlett-pear infused Brandy scrub to renew and refresh your skin and yourself to start the new season. This treatment is filled with fine grain sea salt and rice bran oil to create that fall glisten and silky smooth skin.

After the scrub, you will be massaged with a Farm House Fresh Shea Butter that contains natural citrus and vanilla oils to take your skin to the ultimate level of softness. This treatment will give you a chance to remember that taking care of yourself and your wellness is important, especially at the start of a new season.

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Holy Guacamole Facial $115

 Receiving a regular facial is much more than just some time of indulgent pampering. Facials have great benefits to the health and wellness of your skin for both short and long term. Give your face the wellness it deserves after a few months of the summer sun with our Farm House Fresh Holy Guacamole Facial!

This facial is specific to not only pamper your skin, but to revive it with infused high potency organic plant botanicals.

First comes the deep dip of a refreshing cool hydration with a revitalizing mask packed with fresh avocado butter, extract and oil. These help to deliver key fatty acids and vitamins to your skin which then moisturizes what is parched and dry.

Finally, your skin will be immediately soothed with a blend of antioxidants and anti-irritants which includes Green Tea to lock the hydration in to create that healthy and replenished glow.

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Warm Autumn Evenings Under the Stars at Glen Ivy

After overwhelming demand, we have decided to EXTEND our evening hours through the months of September and October. Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean the fun has to! For only $35, you can enjoy our pools, lush gardens and other amenities in the warm autumn evenings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Price starts after 4pm and extended hours go until October 29.

Want to know what entertainment we have planned? Be sure to check out our Autumn Entertainment Guide. We have yoga, live music, DJ’s, dive-in movies and AMP Radio planned for you in the next upcoming months!

Summertime Treatments Are Here!

With summer right around the corner, Glen Ivy is launching 3 new treatments that are sure to start your season off right including the Holy Guacamole Facial, and two Golden Pear-based options that will help repair your skin from the heat and sun. Regardless of the time of year, Glen Ivy’s prime location offers the endless summer where guests can revel in sunshine and relax in the famed mud baths and lounge pools year round, however these signature treatments will only be available through Labor Day.

The Holy Guacamole Facial is designed to revive the skin with an infusion of high potency organic play botanicals. This facial is a revitalizing mask, which is packed with fresh avocado butter, extract and oil to deliver key fatty acids, vitamins and moisturizes skin. Parched skin from the summer sun is instantly soothed with a host of antioxidants and anti-irritants, locking in hydration and leaving your skin with a healthy glow!

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The Golden Pear Body Treatment will leave your skin polished to perfection! It is a Bartlett-pear infused brandy scrub filled with a fine grain sea salt and rice bran oil that will leave your skin glistening and soft. It is finished off with a massage with a Shea Butter that is like sunshine in a bottle and scented with citrus and vanilla oils!

The Golden Pear Pedicure starts with a nectar-infused soak that will revive your senses with a blend of antioxidant and vitamin-rich natural oils, which nourishes your skin. Next, a Bartlett-pear infused brandy scrub filled with fine grain sea salt and rice bran oil will leave your skin glistening and soft. Finally, relish in a massage with citrus and vanilla scented Shea butter that will take your skin to a whole new level of softness.                                                                                  

Book your treatment today!

Golden Pear Pedicure
50 Minutes $50 | 80 Minutes $80
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Golden Pear Body Treatment
50 Minutes $115 | 80 Minutes $160
Book Now

Holy Guacamole Facial
50 Minutes $115
Book Now

Relax, Exfoliate and Re-hydrate in 80 minutes!

If you are looking for the perfect pampering session to help you relax, unwind, feel great and leave your skin feeling silky smooth then the 80 minute body treatment is perfect for you!

If you have never had a body treatment before, then you are truly missing out. The 80 minute body treatment combines the relaxation of a massage with the exfoliation and hydration of your skin to leave you in a peaceful bliss.

First,  your massage therapist will ask you to lay on your stomach and then will being to massage your neck, shoulders and back, while also paying special attention to those areas of concern that you discussed in your pre-massage. After, you are in a state of relaxation from your massage; a scrub is applied to your back, arms, hands, legs and feet. Each limb is worked on one at a time, and the scent of the scrub smells delightful! The gentle yet grainy texture of the scrub feels so good on your skin that you know you will leave feeling silky smooth. The massage therapist uses a warm towel to wipe away the scrub from your body, using a buffing motion to ensure that not a grain of scrub is left behind. After your skin is buffed and smooth, the massage therapist will then apply a creamy, rich, hydrating moisturizer to your skin in a massage motion. Again, on each limb as it is worked on. The scent of the moisturizer will drift you away to a tropical paradise and you will be hoping that the service is not over yet… and it’s not!

Just when you are about to feel like you might have to wake up from your peaceful bliss, your massage therapist will then ask you to turn onto your back. What else could there be you may think? It gets better! The whole scrub and moisturize process is done to the tops of your arms, hands, legs, and back (you may also get your abdomen exfoliated as well if it is to your comfort level). After, each limb has been buffed, polished and moisturized your therapist will then place warm towels on your feet and wrap you up like a cocoon using sheets and blankets. At this point you are so relaxed that the warmth and swaddle of the blankets will help you to remember how nice it must be to be a little tiny baby. While you are relaxing in a swaddle session, your massage therapist will then proceed to massage your scalp, and face using cool stones. When this is over the therapist will then massage your neck and shoulders to work out those last areas of tension that most of us carry due to stress.

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When the service is over you will probably not want to move, or blink your eyes, you will want to just fall asleep and not think about anything else other than how amazing your service was. This service is a must have and the ultimate means of pampering. Your skin will feel silky smooth and the scent and feel of the moisturizer will last all day. This is the perfect service for a bride to be, or a special event where you want to look and feel your best. Don’t miss out on this luxurious treatment that’s so much more than just your typical massage.

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