Writer’s Block, pressing on with my professional & personal projects, my first French Survivor Friend and GVHD of the V……

Hello fearless followers,

It has been a beautiful last few weeks filled with lots of interesting insights post BMT. The good news is I am still healthy, cancer free, and moving forward. However, I am struggling with some personal issues, as well as a bit of GVHD.

I have had a bit of writer’s block and I think it has to do with my French language progression, as I have been interviewing, as well as having full dinners a Francais, and that sometimes makes it difficult to dig deep into my English emotions and put pen to paper. It will come, I just need to give it time and continue to focus on French, and finding a balance between both languages. Life could be worse. 🙂

As for what I have been doing professionally, I have a few consulting projects keeping me busy for le moment, however, I am determined still to find the right opportunity whether it be consulting long-term or on a permanent basis to again give me a better balance between home and professional life. As I told my American Doctor who visited this past weekend, I am happy my professional life is picking up here in Paris, because I am by no means able to be at home 24/7. I need socialization, coffee clutch at work, as well as connectivity to the world around me. However, I have been spending a lot of time at home, as this is where I keep my office currently, but as business picks up I will be looking for a shared space where I can go to everyday to give myself a sense of motivation to leave the house for something other than a medical appointment, Yoga or a Spin class. However, I am happy to say I am filling my spare time as of late while working on a passion project with my Stem-Cell transplant sister in fighting Leukemia crime, Jess. Jess just rounded out 8 years post transplant and could not be thriving anymore than she already is. We are building a platform together, a podcast actually, with content for Cancer Survivors. No matter what stage they are in the Survivorship game, we want to be able to provide them support, some laughs and also some key insights that we both gained throughout our diagnosis, relapse, and recovery processes. Stay tuned for more on this, as it is in the infancy stages but we are making progress weekly!

En fin, I made a friend this past week waiting for the BMT gynecologist. She is about 4 months behind me from transplant and doing fabulous. Lovely, and I hope I see her again. I had such a camaraderie in the clinic at Moffitt, it is nice to have a Survivor friend over here. Next time we will exchange numbers, as we have the same Doctor, which means most likely we will be in the Clinic for our routine appointments together. On another note, for those of you who have followed the blog for quite some time, you know the mention of GVHD has come up not consistently but quite often over the past 19 months since transplant. It is a complication of transplant that can be dangerous as well as helpful when it comes to the Graft vs Leukemia affect. Alors, I finally had my rendez-vous with the Gynecologist specific to allo-genic stem-cell patients and she discovered something I had not considered, while waiting to finally meet with someone in this arena who specializes in all-transplanted patients back in America. It was a tough to take at first, as when someone is speaking to you in another language it sometimes takes time for my mind to catch-up to what she is actually telling me, but also because she was saying, I have GVHD of the Vaginal region. J’ai de la chance, the truth is anything is better than cancer, but the idea of getting back on multiple topical medications as well as one oral, had me feeling a little down last Friday. The good news is GVHD means that your leukemia is in fact not coming back, as the Graft vs Leukemic affect is incredible for this quite candidly, but it is something I will have to manage for quite some time to be able to 1. have a baby naturally (no C section) and 2. feel feminine again. It is all worth it, and my adorable Doctor could not have been kinder, as she was not only schooled in areas down below, but she understood skin after transplant, recommended certain products, told me to stay away from others and scheduled a mammogram, as this is necessary before starting any fertility treatments, as they can put you at risk for breast cancer. I could not be more impressed as well as thankful for the level of care i receive at Hospital Saint Louis, as Moffitt was absolutely amazing during treatment as well as in the early days post, and the relationship I have with my Doctor there was certainly written in the stars, but I have been really searching for someone like this Doctor to guide me on other matters outside of just being CURED, and to be more precise, the tissues that have been affected by the life saving stem cells of my twin brother.

I am so lucky everyday when I wake up to be realizing my dreams here in the city of Light, even if that means it takes time, and a lot of perseverance and patience (two things I learned a lot about during treatment). It reminds me daily how cancer prepared me for the 2nd chapter of my life, cancer free forever, and forging ahead towards a new normal of greatness. (a greve included here in Paris) With that, I trust the universe is guiding my plan and not only wants me to witness my full potential personally but professionally as a Parisian as well. Not much else to say besides Joyeux Noel et la vie est belle.

Thank you for continuing to follow my journey to theoneandallie.

Bisous bisous from me to all of you!

Allie

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