A day in the life of a cancer survivor…..survivor soliloquies continue a June 25th, 2019….and beyond!

Today is a Tuesday, I almost always have labs on Wednesday at Moffit at the end of each month. I know tout va bien but let’s be real, for my frequent followers, ptsd likes to remind me about 24-48 hours before the lab draw of the following:

1. that life is a blessing

2. DO NOT be bogged down by the dangerous inner dialogue that sometimes seeps into my brain

3. I am cured and the CBC and chemistry is to keep me safe after all I had chemo running through my veins for a very long time

Little did I know that the PTSD cue and all the BIG change in my life would come at once. Alors the inner anxiety is at work, so I constantly remind myself: I am here. For a reason. I am grateful. Another day. Wow. Incroyable. I am cured. And candidly, cancer was my catalyst for change. I became a better and more positive person. So….How can I make the most of it? Another butterfly sign across from me at the airport. I am safe. Le sigh

The good news is the closer I work towards curing myself of codependencies, the better I am at managing the mania that sometimes takes over my mind. So…..here’s a big one.

Alors after a long time and thoughtful consideration, I am on the verge of quitting my cushy and candidly “cool” job. On top of moving to another country to reunite with my forever fiancé (ie. Soon to be Husband) as well as figure out how to speak french like a professional. But le plus importante choisie, to find my purpose that is aligned with the authentic allie i am becoming in the place that makes me feel the most centered and that I can truly reinvent myself in. Le sigh.

Truth is being codependent is in my nature. I was born a twin for crying-out loud. However, as I cruise toward a more fulfilling and “french,” life I am better at cutting the codependencies off at the chord (yes they’re like umbilical chords). Sometimes via meditation but most of the time it just happens as I shift my perspective and work towards healthier holistic life. Mind. Body. Spirit…..With one caveat, the codependency that saved my life, HELLO my twin brother’s seriously amazing stem cells. They are for keeps and I think all my spirit advisors would concur, this codependency is candidly quintessential to my cancer free life. Can I get an amen?

So here’s to my new beginning and maybe coaching others out of their co-dependencies as a career long term?

The good news is, I am grateful for everyday I get a chance to reinvent myself and also the freedom to be able to do that because of the company I am currently leaving. I could NOT have come to this conclusion so calmly without their full support and understanding. To be candid I am going to miss the chaos as much as the Camaraderie and my most trusted confidants and colleagues. But….my choice now is to live authentically and most importantly suivant mon cœur et être avec mon amour. But I’m on the hook until mid August with UA and I am eternally grateful to finish up some of the best work I’ve ever done that I know I can apply to whatever I will be doing long term in the city of Love and Light.

Cheers to this eclipse saison that has just begun and I can guarantee you that my next chapter will involve a conversation about root chakras, more survivorship soliloquies and my new French doctor, who will follow me when I am away from my beloved angel sent from above Dr. Michael at Moffitt.

But for now….Bisous bisous et Bye Bye Baltimore!

La vie est belle.

Grateful for every single day I get to be….

The one and Allie

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Learning to Live in Abundance All Day Er Day!

Hello friends and fearless followers,

It’s been a busy few weeks back in Baltimore and I can honestly say I am so grateful and happy to be able to come full circle. Reintegrating into the office life has been less hectic than I anticipated and I have a lot of WOMEN within UA to thank for that. #letsBFrank

With that, I have been learning to lean into abundance and be grateful for all that is before me. Accessory Advocate (my new job), awesome apartment with my closest Baltimore copine, my cube mates who make everyday I walk in the door a little brighter (Katie G, Paul & AP) are just a few notable mentions.As sometimes, being back in the real world, it is easy for me to get sucked into my personal melodrama, and unfortunately some of my old bad habits of negative self talk and less gratitude, more sulk-i-tude ie. My skin is not the same and never ceases to disappoint me on the daily, or I have 5 lbs of water weight around my belly as a result of hormones and refusing to have hot flashes on the regular, and I want to be fit like I was before I had cancer and finish another marathon or half at least to feel a sense of accomplishment……and then I listened to a podcast. (My new workout music) It was about abundance, and how to conjure up more but also how getting up everyday and showing up to life is a hard enough job in and of itself so maybe go a little bit easier on myself and be a little less critical. NOTED.

With that, I am “loving” leaning into abundance. For me it started by #1: no longer comparing myself to others. I have been on a much different journey than just about anyone my age and I have to remember that at the end of the day that makes me unique and according to my fiancé, extra special. I cannot compare and instead be grateful for my own journey and where it has taken me and where I am going as a result. The possibilities are abundant. Don’t I know it. Like now it’s #official, I conquered cancer, next please.

Another part of living and breathing in abundance is being thankful for what I have and that does not necessarily have to be material. For example, one thing at the top of my list of daily gratitude is my Health. Leaning into this word specifically helps me manifest more health holistically into my life. Social health, career health, relationship health and even financial health can all be something I manifest as a result of leaning into the idea of abundance of health. Call me crazy, but guess what girls (and guys), it works. I have seen so much abundance appear in my life from being thankful for my health, and as a result I feel like I am able continue to maintain a positive attitude, access my intuition that tells me I am cured and continue to heal from the trauma of the past two and half years between diagnosis, relapse and the best part of it all, surviving.

How about this week, everyone reading along, think about how you can lean in a little more to what you are grateful for? I bet you will feel better by the week-end if anything is causing you angst or irritation, and good things will absolutely appear. They might even be super small but if you awaken your senses through this gratitude practice, I can promise you there will be little signs of hope or as Honey calls them, “God winks,” to let you know the universe, when you spread love and gratitude, is always on your side.

Here’s to leaning in, living abundantly as you open yourself up to infinite possibilities for perpetual happiness and positive vibrations through gratitude.

Go manifest some Good.

This week I am celebrating 13 months post transplant, 12 months post VOD disaster turned gift from God with all the amazing people I have met on that journey and 1 month of being engaged to the best man I ever met at a bar😉! Anniversaries are everywhere and so is abundance and goodness I could not be more grateful for both. 💯

La vie est belle.

Bisous tout le monde!

Theoneandallie❤️

Totally Tony & Too Much to Talk About After Twenty One Days of Silence…….#thankful

Sorry for my silence these last 3 weeks. I have to admit the emotional roller coaster I was on leading up to my 1 year biopsy had me in heavy state of mind. Although my intuition never steers me wrong, I was without a doubt making myself crazy with fear and unfortunately wasting a great deal of energy on unnecessary emotions. This my fellow warriors and followers is life after transplant. More simply stated: Survivorship. One of the most beautiful things life has to offer after being dealt a diagnosis as detrimental as leukemia, is this gift of life once again. I am so blessed and grateful for that, as it is more beautiful than I ever anticipated……but I would be lying if I said it was not challenging at times to keep my emotions in check and quiet the noise inside my head, especially at pinnacle milestones.

The bonne nouvelles is that I am 100% donor cells in marrow and in peripheral blood. Seems those healthy stem cells from my handsome twin brother were just what the Doctor ordered. Can I get a witness? So happy. So blessed. So in awe of every step of this journey. The truth is, this journey is about the destination. And this destination of 1 year was the 1/2 way mark to officially being called “cured.” So much to be thankful for and so much to celebrate…..seriously.

And with that, we did. A few days before I was blessed with the official good news as it came from my one and only Dr Nieder. Candidly I was not quite keen on the idea of a full on celebration but I am so happy my parents pushed me to to party with some really special people who have walked this path with us this last year.

I have to admit I have been on cloud nine ever since May 1, not to mention, my boyfriend upgraded his status to official Fiancé a few days before, so it’s really been all about the “feels” as of late. My fiancé is so “Effing” amazing it is hard for me to not be too forthcoming about our future together but I know for sure the best is yet to come!

On another note, my old friend early, “menopause,” has also been playing tricks on me, making sure I remember to be grateful for everyday and remember this is a journey…..just one emotional breakdown at a time ;). Truth it’s not always about the destination but the stops along the way on the journey, partnered with the lessons we learn. And every milestone a new lesson in menopause has been the motto. 😉 It’s something I must manage as it not only affects my mood but sometimes my overall mental state. (Its best friends with ptsd, they feed off one another) it’s better than cancer and as I age it will continue to become less challenging. I am 33 and the reality is, transplant had its downsides but ridding myself of disease was top of mind so I chose to do whatever it took to rid myself of disease, even though it was a 60/40 chance it would be detrimental to my reproductive health. Unfortunately, I am now learning that early “menopause,” is one of the most painful side effects in young adults after transplant, especially with the mood swings due to managing the hormonal mayhem without putting me at risk for secondary cancers. #estrogenups&downs

En fait, as I write this post I am On my way back to Baltimore to step back into my role with UA and I am overwhelmed with emotions. I know a lot of it is hormonal anxiety but I have to remember I have had so much support surrounding me over the past 15 months that it’s hard to believe that I’ll be by myself, more or less, without my “blood,” by my side (but always in marrow) so a major thanks to Lee, Bob & Barbie who are holding it down in the B, helping me to wake up in Charm City surrounded by some of the best. #blessed

Not much else to mention other than how grateful I am for every single day I get to share my story and help other survivors stay strong and steadfast on their journey back to health! Menopause is just part of the beautiful mess of bone marrow transplant, but truth is I wouldn’t have it any other way as the gift of bone marrow from my twin brother was exactly what I needed to propel me into the best part of my life with my family, fiancé and friends à côté du moi. 🙂

Thanks for following, for praying and for walking along this path to pinnacle health with your hearts.

Bisous bisous

Allie

Meditation Flashbacks…..so thankful for my amazing friendships! #foreverfriends

Sometimes flashbacks of heavy times past hit me during my meditations. This past Sunday was one of those days. As my weekly dose of estrogen started to kick back in and gave me a nice boost of sera-t-on in as well as emotional overload, I started to cry during my meditation thinking of how lucky I am that I am alive and always surrounded by people who love me.

The emotional fire-starter that struck me during Sunday soul meditation, I know I will never forget. It was the flashback of January 2018, when my doctor told me I was relapsing. Real talk: trauma is trauma and sometimes thinking about it involves tears, to remind you how far you’ve come but that it takes time to truly move forward. I also remember the details of this day so definitively, from my Dad disappearing on a plane to share the disappointment with the rest of my family, dial-ing up my Austrian Doctor friend in NYC hoping he’d give me a less dreadful reaction to the diagnosis, loving Lee, picking-me-up from the Doctor’s office, determined to make the best of the worst situation: which included wine, restaurant week at my favorite Argentinian spot and allowing the tears to just flow, For a few hours. Freaking out over a phone call I needed to make, and finally

phoning the man I had recently started seeing more seriously and explaining the situation. Scared of what the voice on the other end of the phone would say. We were already an ocean apart and I could not expect him to want to continue on while I finally fought cancer and could not carry-on a normal relationship for quite some time. It was heartbreaking in ways I never imagined. But if you read my blog religiously, you know that new man in my life at the time, has become not only a boyfriend, but one of the best things that ever came out of cancer. Without it, I know I never would have met him. Because the person I was before cancer could not possibly have manifested this man into my life. He is so special, safe and stable, strong and seriously sweet. #allthefeels

Ahhh, enough about mon amour, I enjoy that our relationship is private but he’s so genial not to gush about…..but back to the memory of bone marrow’s past, the universe works in mysterious ways….I had asked my girlfriends to come in town for an early bday celebration before the bone marrow biopsy bump in the road. These angels allowed me to forget or at least try to, about the impending protocol that lie ahead of me and instead of pouting we decided to party-on and pretend like everything was right in the world. Like it would be a little over 6 months later. Two of my closest copines carried me through the incredibly difficult days leading up to the remission chemo and have been by my side spiritually, and sometimes physically, ever since.

I suddenly started to cry during my meditation on Sunday soir when I remembered the last hug the three of us shared, outside my Baltimore abode. With their arms around me I knew I would one day be alright but I still did not want to let go. That hug saved me from myself and reminded me that angels are not only in heaven, as they were right there with me.

Last weekend I had dinner and a day of dancing around Miami’s design district with Amazing Amy, so maybe that conjured up some of my crying as it reminded me how lucky I am, and how grateful I am for the people outside my bloodline, who also love me and carry me every single day. (That’s you KLL, C&A as well as my JMJ. And let’s be honest so many more, but let’s focus on these 4 today)

Today is 11.5 months post transplant and I am grateful to say that Love is so strong and sometimes it shows up so unexpectedly, you just have to surrender. I can honestly say I have more of it in my life than I ever imagined and it makes me happier and happier each passing day.

So the story goes, souvenirs from sad situations will some how show themselves sporadically, but the silver linings and love that I have found within this specific souvenir, signifies exactly why I am here, sharing the story and still on the journey to the “oneandallie.” L’amour je t’adore

Spiritual Partnerships , Spring Solstice and Celery Juice…..

11 months post transplant this week! So in awe everyday of getting a little bit of my life back as immune suppression lowers and I continue heading towards the one year milestone marker! The first 1/2 of this marathon is almost complete. (It’s really a two year timeline from transplant to be” considered officially”cured, good thing my angels above have me covered)

I am especially thankful these days for my “spirit junkie” side, as I was listening to an Oprah Super Soul podcast the other day entitled “spiritual partnerships,” I realized I have so many. With JM, my twin brother, my survivor soul sister Jess, Rockstar Roseanne, always present AP and Amanda, Suzanne, C Lo, SD and loving Lee….the list goes on…..it is clear these people have become more present and permanent staples in my life over the past 3 years for a purpose. And I believe it is because I finally started moving towards my most authentic self. These relationships are so powerful because they are sans the superficial. I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many spiritual beings helping me strive to be the best version of myself. The truth is these soul partnerships really did not start to manifest spiritually until sadly I was diagnosed with cancer. And they are not necessarily the easiest amies to make. So right now I am, once again, thankful for the chaotic cancer chapter of my life, as it changed the spiritual side of me so much as well as brought some of the most beautiful spiritual, soul-growing, gifts into my life. Many of these partnerships have taught me how to live more from my spirit than from my ego-self. Letting go of that side of me and being able to have authentic conversations, has allowed me to persevere through some of the most difficult of moments this past year. I live everyday in gratitude for the authentic awesomeness and awareness that continues to fill my soul. And my spiritual partnerships are part of the journey and continue to help me ground myself in making the most out of my life while being authentically allie! ❤️ #newlife=bestlife

Spiritual partnerships, sigh, give me all the feels. So….Spring solstice started bringing me new survivors to inspire me to keep pushing forth my passion projects. Today I was Sitting in the Moffitt waiting room on a Monday morning, trying to manage my PTSD, usually starts about 30 minutes prior to my appointment, which candidly was much less than in appointments past. (can I get an amen?), I struck up a conversation with a 3 time cancer survivor, she had Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and now she has a mix of Hodgkins/Non Hodgkins. She is going for her second auto-transplant and all I want to do it tell her she’s going to be okay. It’s going to be a totally wild ride, but after, she’ll never look back. Meanwhile, as I was out in the waiting room flapping my gums with my new friend/fellow survivor and warrior, I missed my lab draw! Little did I know they had been calling my name, good news is, Dr Nieder did not mind, he had other more pressing patients to see and he saved one of the “best,” for last. By one of the Best I am meaning, best in health. I am thankful for that. Having a little mentor moment with my fellow warrior made me feel so full afterwards and realize once again, I am here for a reason and I am ready to continue to counsel others on this journey back to health and to finding their best self. Stay tuned for more on this mantra!

Champagne or Celery juice? That’s been my drinking dilemma as of late. Craving a cocktail I think is normal, especially now that I am back to work and who does not want a good glass of wine to come off the week? But, for ma foie, my new cocktail of choice, is the mean green, liver cleansing machine, with a squeeze of lime! C’est parfait! It is cleansing my liver, but also helping heal my gut. Since transplant I have become a serious sufferer of seasonal allergies, which FYI, all starts in the gut. With immune suppression slowly tapering, they have absolutely improved but there’s still work to be done. The celery juice challenge I am on has been interesting for a few reasons, 1. At first I had a little skin reaction, of dry, chapped spots on my skin, I phoned a friend who has been a celery juicing pro for quite some time now, her boyfriend experienced the same side effects! I continued my celery juice journey and today I am at day 20, and feeling better than I have, holistically, in a long time. So 2. My skin is brighter and most importantly 3. my liver levels keep lowering at a more rapid rate. Especially my Alk Phos, if only my ALT would get it check. Other benefits include cutting my cravings for caffeine as well as kept my sweet tooth tied over. I am happy to say, that I am officially a celery juice believer. Better late than never on this plant based, holistic healing trend. Unlike Cancer…..Champagne can wait…..celebratory champs are seriously in order come April 25th so for now I’ll keep to the celery and look forward to future soirées!

Thanks again for all who wait and wonder what theoneandallie is up to! Continuing to lean into love and gratitude daily and candidly I know it’s a big part of what keeps me healthy as a whole.

Lots of love.

Xoxo

Allie

Survivorship Soliloquy 2.0: Struggling with Survivorship Guilt and the loss of a Stem-cell Sister

Throughout the last 12 months I have not only managed to beat cancer, finally, reunite with my twin brother, fall in love, receive a new immune system, and FINALLY start to focus on my future without the fear of cancer coming back ALWAYS creeping in (time and less blood tests and bone marrow biopsies help silence this voice), but I have also made many new friends who have either fought or are still fighting cancer. I am eternally grateful for all of the above. However, these are some really special people and I am humbled to know them and will live everyday honoring those who were lost in the fight. Surviving for me meant finally making my dreams come true and stepping into my most authentic self, but it also has its side effects, just like some of the best things in life! There is always a catch, when anything is worth it but continuing to be cancer free and courtageous, I know is what is best for me.

The text came this past Sunday morning……as I had been crafting a column on “survivors guilt,” but was still searching for my words to do this specific subject justice. So I’ll start now…….For myself but mostly for my fallen soldiers. (This is a soliloquy so there will be some more chapters to come)

The husband of a close copine from the Wild Wild West texted this past a Sunday morning that his wife, would finally trade her warrior suit of armor for some angels wings. She is a Mother, a wife, a friend and fearless survivor who was dealt a seriously shitty hand in leukemia and SO much more. But one thing I will always remember about her is she NEVER gave up her positivity or lost herself in the battle with leukemia. She stayed as tremendously strong for her three daughters as her body endured some of the most ruthless regimens. She took down each leukemic blast with grace even when they reared their ugly heads when she finally felt she was in remission. She is one of the reasons why I share my story for survivors. I will forever hold our friendship in my heart and now know I have another angel above me, pushing me towards my passions and helping me persevere through the pain and PTSD this monster has put on me.

Surviving is truly half the battle and it’s 3 prong for me. Spiritually (soul) surviving, and knowing I am safe now, physically surviving with the silly side effects of the stem-cell transplant and knowing that holistic health is wealth, and mentally surviving, which means instead of allowing PTSD and survivors guilt to gut me, honoring the past, living in the present and staying hopeful for the bright future ahead.

This is what my sweet Ivie would have wanted me to do. And for her, my fallen sister in stem-cell transplant, the world!

You are forever in my heart and I know from what you endured, you have forever changed the world in aid of finding the cure for frenetic leukemic cancers like yours. You have left your mark on the world and all leukemia warriors will now live in gratitude for your grace and gumption to never give up and gregariously go after any treatment option possible. I will never forget one of the last things she said to me, “We have to stop killing people with chemo,” and girlfriend, I plan on using that powerful statement, that has stayed with me, as a sounding board for solutions in helping people survive a cancer diagnosis without destroying their bodies and making it detrimental to their holistic health.

Surviving is where I am in the journey right now….and I know with angels like Ivie, one day soon I’ll be thriving!!!!

This is the journey to the one and allie.

Xoxo

I have not abandoned theoneandallie!!!

Hello everyone,

I hope this post finds all of you well this winter season. I apologize for not being more on top of theoneandallie, I have been quite busy these days with baby showers, beating a nasty cold and being back at work! Cannot complain about the cold, as candidly, this is proof that my immune system is in fact doing its job and fighting it off. No fever, so I am going to keep moving forward, drowning myself in Dandelion tea (and honey) and hope this icky thing clears come Monday.#manifesting

Baby showers are all the rage in my core group of galpals in NYC. In fact, I have 3 that are pregnant and due within just months of eachother. I love being pseudo-auntie to all these little love bugs that are slowly making their way into the world. Last weekend was one of their baby shower’s and sweet Sarah, who kidnapped me right before my 100 days post transplant and gave me a sanctuary of a staycation close to Moffitt, is on the home stretch and we came full circle from her baby shower 2 years ago, when she ended up in the hospital with a bad bacterial infection, right before giving birth. I remember returning from France, re-newed and refreshed but also anxiously awaiting the arrival of the cute as can be Catherine. Finally on the Friday, September 15th I was able to hold my friend’s first born. Feels like things really are moving forward, and anytime we can come full circle from the past 3 years of ups and downs, I am eternally grateful. These are all signs from the universe that the BEST is yet to come.

Beating this cold has been a bit brutal considering that its HIGH allergy season in South Florida. Every time I start to feel relief, I try to step outside for some sunshine, under a hat and with SPF 50+ , of course, and I am smacked in the face with the Spanish moss. For my warriors reading along, the allergies are real post transplant and I know my twin is terrible sufferer from seasonal allergies. (hey it’s better than cancer) So…..partner that with 7 rounds chemo, which essentially ruins the barriers your built up overtime to protect you from the inevitable allergies that are all around us, and a little topper of immune suppression and it is a recipe for serious sinus situations. The good news is, I had my 10 months post transplant appointment this past Monday and I was aymptomatic at that point, with some more HEALTHY white blood cells to boot: they lowered my immune suppression, took me off one of my liver protectants and I admit I was feeling lighter than I had been as of late. I love when this happens. In conclusion, I think this little cold I have caught should move out sooner than later. Here’s to a clear head and less coughing as Mercury enters retrograde on March 5th, as this will conjure up some chaos all on its own, so I plan to be cold-free before making my way to my bed Monday evening. (more on that in the next post) J

Being back at work, even from a far, has been a major milestone for me. For someone who spent the past 10 years totally focused on moving up the corporate ladder, having to be forced to take a back seat and do a detailed “deep-dive,” on what was happening in my life has allowed me to “re-define” my relationship with work. I have begun to trust myself more in making the right decisions as well as honed in on the experience I have gained throughout the various companies I have worked for versus constantly second guessing myself. I also have an incredibly supportive boss, which is such a breath of fresh air in the Fashion industry. She cares about my health and knows that diving back in head first is never a way to move forward for the long term, so, with that I am slowly easing back into the fold and am forever grateful for the love and support I felt from afar from my teammates throughout the past 12 months.

Thanks for letting me share my stream of consciousness, could not continue moving forward towards the future, cancer-free and with courage without all of your support and love, from both near and far.

Cheers to the Week-End wonderful followers and fellow warriors!

Bisous Bisous

Theoneandallie