Champagne for my forever friends and Empathy for my survivor friends!

Cou Cou Tout le Monde,

Hope everyone had a wonderful week as Fall grows closer and closer, and cozier weather is upon us. (except for those in South Florida, we have at least another 2 more months before we feel any fall “feels”) Good news, I survived and “thrived” at my dear friend’s wedding last weekend in Rhode Island. It was a true celebration of love and for me a coming out party of sorts as I continue to step into my “new” life. Merci Beaucoup to the Mr. and Mrs.

I have struggled with meeting new people and seeing people outside my tight-knit circle as a result of my skin situation (mainly just hyper-pigmentation still slowly fading), as well as “stranger” danger (eek germs!). This weekend thrust me into a group of people I had never met, but also gave me the opportunity to enjoy special moments with some of my forever friends. A true to moment to “thrive.” There was enough Champagne to sink the state of Rhode Island and more love than anyone could possibly imagine, not only between the bride and groom, but their closest family and friends surrounding them.  The 12 piece band played “Don’t Stop Believing,” and I was reminded once again how truly blessed I have been even through this less than ideal journey. (pun intended) My parents were my escorts, as two is always better than one (#twinning). I bustled the bride with her super-sweet sister, sat next to one of my funniest friends and her hubby and across from one of my soul-sisters. (even met and gave my blessing on her new beau, ha). I also reconnected with a my Floral Park, NY favorites and laughed until it hurt. It was as if we had been transported back 5 years in time to the Memorial Day weekend in Mark’s Mother’s backyard where we pretended to be having “petit dej” a Provence. This past weekend was truly Champagne for my forever friends (sparkling perrier for my post-transplant self). Cheers to the Bride and Groom. #domsgotthepower

It was such a breath of fresh air to breathe in the beautiful beaches of Rhode Island (with SPF 50 and my sensational sun hat), but it also had me thinking about some of my fellow survivors. Survivorship sometimes seems to be one of the harder parts of this journey, as not everyone gets to say they are a “survivor,” and are taken from us too soon. After losing Rick two weeks ago, and hearing another” wild wild west” warrior went into early relapse, it breaks my heart a little and makes empathy top of mind. I have learned through this process to finally have empathy, first and foremost for myself. It is necessary for survival and moving forward….but then I ask, how can I have that same empathy for others? Others who’s family’s are left wondering what went wrong and why them? For those still struggling for survival? It is something I am working on everyday.  As a result, I have to ask all of you, when you think about how lucky you are to breathe and wake-up everyday, without the plague of cancer’s past present or future weighing on your mind, to have empathy in EVERY single day for yourself and whatever you are carrying, but also for others. I especially ask for empathy for my survivor friends. Some of you may or may not know, but I was blessed back in Baltimore with a survivor soul sister, Jess. She has guided me even before I relapsed. She epitomizes strength and survivorship. I would not be here without her understanding and empathy. (as well as expertise) She is almost 9 years out of transplant, THRIVING and a true testament of how transplant changes your life for the better. For my local Baltimoreans reading check out her Yoga classes, you will not be disappointed and certainly leave feeling like life is a little bit lighter. Check out the link here for her schedule:

For all of you reading, let’s Make Empathy Great Again….

Until next week, Bon Weekend et Bisous




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