100th Post

This is an exciting and special day not only because it marks one year since my liver resection surgery, but also because this post number 100 on my blog! Double yippee!

What started out as a way to keep in touch when my husband and I moved to China has turned into a resource for cancer survivors and illness sufferers. Oh and in-between, I chronicled six months of living in France. What a ride!

To commemorate the moment, I wanted to share a few of my favorite and most popular posts. It was really fun to look back. I love how this blog has served as a history of my life.

Thank you for reading.  Here’s to the next 100!

Most popular posts:
Waiting for Hair: The Toll of Chemotherapy and Cancer
For me, losing my hair wasn’t hard — it was the waiting for it to grow back that has been the most challenging.  And for the hair update, click here.


2014, 2015 & 2016

Living Universal Truths on My Cancerversy
September 1st is my cancerversy and the universe conspired for some incredible things to happen.

Testing My Confidence
My terrifying debut to the french language.

Belgium: More Than Beer and Chocolate
Christmas in Brussels, Bruges and Ghent.

My Night in a Brothel
Spending the night in a 24-hour Asian spa – sketchy or awesome? Both.


Favorite posts:


At the End of the World on Cancer Survivor’s Day

The Ordinary World
My journey through cancer and to the Camino de Santiago.

Lessons Learned in Advocating
Your life depends on not letting your guard down for a moment. Here are some of the important advocating lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Why I’m Kicking Italy to the Curb
Where my obsession with the Camino de Santiago all began.  To read all my Camino posts, click here.


Holly visits China

Hol(l)y Crap
When one of my best friends visited me in China.

The Adventures of Henri & Moi
Driving a manual car in a foreign country is terrifying.


My Night at the Brothel

Fabien went to Japan this week with a couple friends, so I’ve been left to fend for myself. My friend, Julia, had some vacation time to burn, so it worked out well that both our boyfriends were out of town and we were women in need of some relaxation. I suggested we finally head to the all night spa that she had told me about months ago. And so we boarded the train Wednesday evening and within an hour and a half we were being greeted by 10 singing women spa employees. Weird.

They immediately whisk you to the female locker room and give you a key tag with a number that services are charged to. The attendant screamed as us to take a shower and threw a towel down. Strange. So we did as we were told and when I got out of the shower, I couldn’t find Julia. Another attendant said something I didn’t understand and motioned for me to follow her. Hell bent on not being kidnapped and sold into sex slavery I decided to find Julia instead. Once I did, we were given pajamas and cleared to enter the spa area. I was just grateful they make everyone shower up before coming in with God knows what on their body.

It reminded me of being in a casino except there was no gambling and everyone was in pajamas. Low overhead lamps, neon lights, curricular booths, women dressed scantly clad and lots of people smoking. The cool points were that there were leather recliners with your own personal TV screens everywhere, free buffets and so many activities to occupy your time. Sauna, steam room, 5 pools, hot tubs, pool and ping pong tables, bars, restaurants and kids area (yes, there were tons of kids there). For our first activity, we decided on a 2 hour aroma therapy massage. After we ordered it up, the hostess asked us if we’d like to choose our girls. Bizarre. Um, I’ll just take one that is free of any sort of STD, thanks. The massage itself was actually one of the best I’ve had and my masseuse was nothing but professional. However, it sounded like the guy in the next room had the best “massage” of his life. Creepy. After that, we were ready for bed, which would be in one of the big leather chairs. Surprisingly I slept really well with the exception of someone’s kid crying several times throughout the night and people having loud conversations on their cell phones. This just reinforced the fact that there is no common courtesy in China.

The next morning Julia and I had one of the most amazing cups of coffee I’ve ever had, fresh fruit and foot massages, all while we watched a movie. This time my masseuse raped my foot with his hands. Basically, it just hurt and I asked him to stop several times. He responded by telling me we was trying to work out the pain and that I should relax. No means no and after I protested further, he eased up. Then I got a foot scraping, which sounds scary but I can assure you that my feet are as soft as the day I was born.

I’m positive there were some sketchy things going on but overall, the place was pretty awesome, clean and, for the most part, classy. For about a hundred dollars I got a few hours worth of massages, ate great food, drank, had a relaxing night and another authentic experience.