Skin, Selections and Sisters……

Cou Cou Tout Le Monde,

Hope everyone is gearing up for the weekend and the upcoming Holiday! I am getting stronger everyday and especially this week, as it was particularly busy. On Monday, I had my weekly appointment with my Doctor as everything continues to moving in a positive direction. It is slow, but I have to remember that this is a marathon and right now I am at mile 8.

I am getting more of Tony’s sensitivities as far as skin, etc. I will take this over Leukemia any day, however, my vanity is not taking it as well, because of course I have a rash now on my face. It is getting better, but my skin is even more sensitive now than it was before the transplant. It is a good thing I cannot be in the sun for a while! 😉 Welcoming the new skin I am in!!

Some other interesting news, Tony and I have been selected by the Pharmaceutical company, who’s drug saved my life after the acute liver failure due to the high doses of chemo I have received over the last almost 2 years.  They would like me to tell my cancer story leading up to the day the best NP, Nastasia (who happens to be French), found my VOD. VOD was the scary moment when my liver started to fail and decisions needed to be made quickly before other major organ failure ensued and it was a long road back from the ICU. My team at Moffitt reacted quickly and carefully and used essentially the newest drug of the future to reverse the effects of my VOD. I was on this medication for 21 days, 4 times a day for about 2-3 hours. It is why I was in the hospital as long as I was. (Most transplant patients are out of the hospital within 30 days, as you engraft quickly with your donor cells. Especially when they are strong, like Tony’s). I am so excited to share my cancer story and also have Tony be a part of this, as he knew exactly what VOD was as soon as Nastasia made her diagnosis very early in the morning on May 11th. He did a lot of reading and researching of all the drugs I had been on for chemo and the possible side effects that could happen post transplant due to the chemo drugs. This is something to look forward to and something I feel incredibly passionate about; giving back to the cancer fighting community and sharing my story of triumph even in the darkest of hours. My amazing Doctor, Uncle Mike, as I call him, suggested the company speak to me. 🙂 What can I say, I am incredibly blessed here in Tampa, VOD and all.

One other thing I want to talk about today is how blessed I am not only with an amazing team of Doctors, fantastic Pharmaceuticals, but also friends that are like Sisters. Every week I am amazed by the texts I receive from my closest friends. Even when I do not respond all the time. In fact, if they call, most of the time I do not answer, as I really do try to digital detox as much as can throughout the week to clear my head and focus on nourishing and healing my body. There are a few I want to call out today, because they are two people I met by accident, but two people who make me better everyday. Their common thread: Baltimore. Much like my UA family, who are completely and utterly unmatched, are two friends I met in Baltimore. One is Lee and the other is Sarah. Lee I met by accident through an ex boyfriend and not only has she been a rock and confidant, but she is my soul sister. We talk star signs, yoga, acupuncture, holistic healing, and she has changed my life. When things were really difficult during my VOD she checked in with my family almost everyday to see how I was and asked what she could do. She organized the prayer call, rallied the troops, in between her busy business meetings and I am eternally grateful for ALL of this. I always wanted a sister (ask Sam, he was dressed up like a girl until he turned 5, hehe), but I know now why I do not have sisters and it because my friends are my sisters. (and my sister in law, Colie, of course) Sarah is so special, it is hard to begin why I love her so much. We met on my very first day at Under Armour, and knew she would be my friend for life. We were both veteran garment district gals who had made it to Maryland unscathed, with bright and new perspective. She stayed many nights at UMD with me, only knowing me a few short months, as they injected me with poison and a drug that I swear would glow in the dark, she was unmoved by all of it and my rock many nights in some of my darker days. She introduced me to her then boyfriend, now husband’s family, and they treat me as if I am the long lost cousin, always sending cards and inspirational messages. THEY ROCK. She is my total opposite, introverted, pensive, brilliant but the total yin to my yan. And now that she is in NYC, being bad ass career woman and Mom, and I am in Tampa, she literally calls me 3-4 times a week, Facetimes me with her beautiful baby girl as well as her hysterical Hubby and 90% of the time I do not answer. But it does not matter, because she always makes time for me when I finally get around to calling. I need a friend like her, especially now, as she is always there and always making me laugh as we trade stories for the week. She is once again, like a sister. I have been truly blessed by Baltimore. #Framily

Thank you all for continuing to follow my journey to a better, cancer free life and I look forward to what next week brings as far as healing and moving forward. You all are bright lights and beautiful people.

Gros Bisous et Bon Weekend-









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