Friday, April 29, 2016

1 Year Celebration

This month was my 1 year anniversary since my last chemo!! Hooray!

I can't believe it's been a full year already. When I first started treatment I couldn't even fathom this day, I tried to imagine it but all my mind could come up with was not being poisoned anymore! At most I thought life would go back to what it was before, never could I have imagined what an amazing year I had in store :)

It takes at least a year for all the poison to leave your system. Doctors and nurses recommended not going back to "usual speed" for 18 months. My hair is still super short, I'm still struggling trying to lose the extra chemo-weight, my nails just this month started growing normally, I still don't have my full range of flexibility and strength back, the area where my port was still burns and hurts with certain movements and my cells are traumatized. For my body this year has been a loooooong journey, but it's starting to bare its fruits. For my mind the year went by in a whirlwind, and my Spirit has just been enjoying the ride haha.

But as a celebratory acknowledgement I decided to post a picture and short blurb significant experiences that happened each amazing month I've been alive and cancer-free! I hope it helps you remember that life is about the choices you make and it doesn't matter what doctors, experts or anyone else says, you do what's right for you at your own time <3 <3

-May 2015: 
 A friend of mine threw a Life Celebration party once I was well enough after the last treatment to go out. This was the first outing with a big group I had and it was awesome to have so many friends come to celebrate with me <3 a great first month indeed :)

-June 2015
 I was finally able to walk around my town with my friends and see the street art up close instead of through the car's window <3

- July 2015: 
 I got to go on a celebratory trip with my family to 8 different countries in Northern Europe including Russia! And it was one of the absolute best trips I've ever made, mostly because of how much love there was and all the family bonding that occurred <3 #lucky #blessed ;)

-August 2015:

 I came home from my trip in time to finally enjoy the music scene in town (and the gorgeous beach weather)! This was also the month I went to NYC with a group to celebrate a friend's bachelorette. There was a lot happening that month and I was strong enough to handle it woohoo!  

-September 2015: 

 This was the month I got a chance to meet new awesome people, including two iggles IRL :D (if you've read my previous posts about pen- palling you'll know what a huge thing this is for me!)

-October 2015: Halloween month! The best month of any regular year <3 

One of my closest friends and I were finally both healthy enough at the same time to go out and enjoy all the fun Fall activities in the area. I got to participate in a lot of Halloween related activities and meet lots of friends including the iggles again :)

-November 2015: 

 I was gifted by the Universe the chance to go on probably my most life-changing trip so far to Hawaii. This is where life clicked for me and I fell in love with the entire Universe <3 Shaka! This is also the month I unknowingly met my new teacher and was led to my new school.

-December 2015:

Another one of my uncles came to spend the Holidays with us and we just had some Xmas cheer at home. Not a usual thing in my family so it was very appreciated :)

-January 2016: 

 I started the new year in the mountains reconnecting with nature and healthy enough to start snow-shoeing for the first time ever! Also got an all clear from the doctors and got my check-ups much more spaced out and I started my first year of school :D

-February 2016: 
 Met a great new friend! Got to enjoy the beautiful winter festivities around town and got my port removed!! No more hospitals again! :D I was  also given the chance to patch things up with one of the most important souls in my life and celebrate my bday in Nature <3

-March 2016: 

 Life back to normal, going to concerts with my bestie, creating art and doing school work. I also signed with a Manhattan based gallery to represent my photography!! Such a great opportunity :)

-April 2016: 
And we've come full circle, started this month hanging out with my family and I'm ending it celebrating an absolutely amazing year of health! 

Life happened in between, had to do homework I didn't like, argued with people, lost friends, got injured, my apartment flooded, I got caught in the day to day stress of doing and getting things on time, there were days when I would get scared for my health again, put too much pressure on myself, etc... Life is just life, our choices, mind-set and believes are what create the reality we experience, but whatever you're choosing to create I just want to reming everyone and anyone who might be struggling or be scared about life post-chemo, it goes on! Things get better and you get to choose how to live it! 💜

Every day you're on this planet is not a blessing out of nowhere, it is a choice, what will you choose to create and manifest for your next amazing year? Whatever it is, if you get out of your head and believe it, it will happen! And always be willing and open to receive endless surprises and abundance from the universe, believe me it does happen.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Agape Love

This month I've felt like I’ve been super busy and don’t even know what with… But for whatever reason I’ve really neglected my blogging. The only real adventure I had this month was at the very beginning when I went to Vermont for spring-break with my cousin and some more family members. 

It was so much fun but it was also very illuminating. Before I went on vacation we had just covered in school the importance of Agape love. That real, unconditional, transcendental love that is less about “I love you because…” and moves through “I love you in spite of,” to get to “ I just love you, always.” 
Unfortunately in our society we’re not used to this kind of love, romantic love is pursued above all else and is thought of as the best kind, which is sad, because that is one of the most conditional loves there are, and then we take for granted or see as “incomplete” all other forms. That is not to say Agape love cannot be achieved in a romantic setting, it is just not it's nature and you really have to work at it.

Agape love is what we should all aspire towards and even though it is the most rewarding, biggest and most beautiful form of love, it’s also testing. 

Being an only child I’m not used to having a lot of people around. I’ve always wanted a T.V.-like big group of friends but I’m rarely in groups bigger than three and my family is tiny by Italian standards haha! So in this adventure, going on a road-trip with six people in the car was super chaotic for me. Simple things like trying to get a conversation going that included everyone, deciding where to go all together or what the rules of a game were was messy to say the least; and at times I felt invisible and unwanted and that brought up a lot of self-esteem issues I still need to work on. But at the end of the trip once we all settled into each-other's energies, all compromised, agreed to disagree and didn’t judge each other, not only did we get to know each other better, but I feel we bonded even more <3 That agape love became apparent, it clicked for me that’s what it was in a larger extent and shone light into the things we each need to work on to be better versions of ourselves, including showing that unconditional love to ourselves first. 

Overall a wonderful vacation with integrated homework I didn’t become aware I was doing until I saw us all be a unit
and felt my heart expand. Agape love= I love them not because they're my family, but in spite of our different believes, interests, contexts and ideas of what family is. My soul loves each of their souls just because. And this was my most important lesson this month, maybe not a new one, but definitely one that at least I used to take for granted ;)