I am happy to report that this Holiday season I am cancer free for the first time in a very long time (since I always had minimal residual disease since my diagnosis in 2016, until my remission chemo this past Spring, + my totally perfect plan B cocktail aka bone marrow transplant). I continue to get a little bit of my life back every single day, dis-ease free. Thankful for all of the above and very excited for the New Year and all it will bring. In life, love and the pursuit of a beautiful dis-ease free future! Forever cancer free is the way to be, but certainly there are trade-offs as a lot of my fellow warriors know.
Fortunately, for me, my biggest trade off post-transplant after the liver faux-paus, is having satisfactory skin that I am comfortable in. 😉 Truth is, anything is better than the big C, but this new skin is not only tough for me to look at on a regular basis but also a bit itchy and extra extra sensitive. I am trying to not focus on this for the foreseeable future as I believe with time it will get better and the discoloration and pigmentation will fade. Hormones and all my medications that keep me alive on a daily basis are most likely to blame for a lot of the skin sufferings. However, I went to the dermatologist today and he sent me for a loop. A loop that involved the words “potentially permanent pigmentation,” followed by a long emotional text message while hysterically crying to my love, followed by a missed Trader Joe’s trip (I plan my TJs excursions around when it is not busy) and then a feeling of utter exhaustion from the emotional roller coaster I just took myself on. Le sigh. I had to call on my angels, God and the universe to set me straight just so I could pull out of the parking lot. Good news, they answered.
Truth is the tears today were tears that I have been holding back for weeks. Partially because of the frequent stares I get from strangers when they see my skin without make-up and also from the draining of my funds. I really try to not let these things get to me, as I cannot even begin to tell you how much money I have spent on healthy, non-toxic skincare products to help fade the hyperpigmentation. But today, it all came crashing down. The products so far have helped a little but reality is, everything worth it, takes time. Especially when you are immune suppressed, in temporary menopause and #stressing about germs at every given second. I am not going to get a chemical peel or try something that could be potentially dangerous, although a quicker fix, so I have to be patient. No longer a “patient,” but practicing patience with my skin. My Puerto Rican and Italian genes are going to love this. 😉 Patience is not a Puerto Rican virtue but here’s to hoping! 🙏🏽
I have also wasted a great deal of emotional energy testing and becoming the lab rat essentially for many “eco-friendly,” and “organic” labeled sunscreens. This absolutely added to my emotional breakdown…….Only to find out that I am allergic to almost ALL sunscreens except Avene products, which funny enough are from France but often currently out of stock in the US. In sunscreen summation: basically all non-toxic entities, including My pre-cancer life, remission romance and my new and improved skincare regime point to France. Life is certainly funny that way!
I update this blog so I can educate my Family and friends on what is going on, to alleviate worry but also let everyone know how I am progressing. But…..I really write this every few weeks for my fellow Warriors. Those still in the war, those in the remission romance, those rebirthing right now, survivors stepping into their new life #100days and most of all in honor of those who were lost in the battle.
Thanks to all who continue to read and continue on this journey with me, remember the best is yet to come!
I am forever grateful to be on the journey to theoneandallie. ❤️