Right Now

Drum 🥁 roll please…

  • Right now I’m loving my Rejuvenique oil by MONAT. It’s an essential oil I’ve been using for my face and hair over the last six months. Not only do I “swear” by it, I’m officially giving it a #monimusthave, something I don’t do often unless I 💯 believe in a product.
  • I’m enjoying the transition from winter to spring and attending a lot of happy hours 🍾 Not just to have a beer or cocktail but to meet interesting people I might not meet in my neighborhood. I ventured to the Renaissance Hotel in Plano, TX yesterday and wow! It’s gorgeous and so inviting. The “R” above is just an example of its eclectic style and chic lighting. Did I mention I also met someone, too 😍
  • Pastels are typically a Spring must have in my closet but I’m more into muted pastels plus prints. My top above is from Anthropologie and is a light rayon blend that feels smooth on my body. I’m trying my best to only invest in things I absolutely adore and this top for that criteria to a tee.
  • I’ve decided that I will only use the words “I love you” or “I love” unless I really do. Sometimes I catch myself throwing the “Love” word around like water. Must stop now…
  • Last, but not least (and not pictured), it’s Holy Week! It’s been a time of sincere reflection and rest. I’m great full to have had a few extra hours to myself contemplating my life, asking God for guidance, the universe for positive and simply being still. I strongly encourage everyone to take time for themselves, even if it’s not tied to a religious reason.

Let me know how you are doing! I want to hear your story.



Wind Therapy

I’m not sure what’s going on with Mother Nature but yesterday’s wind by the bay was incredible. As I tackled my daily walk I couldn’t help but sorta dance in it! 💃🏽 Read More

Exposed: Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis

It’s been exactly 15 days since my last post and I feel as if it’s only been 2. Since I’ve written, I’ve visited Austin twice, accepted a 30 Day Squat Challenge, started my volunteer assignment at Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, and began another MBA course. I also had my very first Blackberry Iced Latte thanks to the folks at Green Light Coffee. Phew! I get tired just writing about two very short weeks but I’m smiling because this time last year I was not moving much. Based upon my iPhoto and video library, early 2016 was still a period of health uncertainty. I’d regained most of my physical strength post chemotherapy but my brain was still healing—“running on fumes” and experiencing bouts of “turbulence” as noted by my doctors. Therefore, if I couldn’t acknowledge my limitations caused by Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis via Ovarian Cancer, neither could my doctors, family, or friends. These moments simply came and went as my brain found new neural pathways for my body to function.

This disease is so rare and at times crippling. It leaves not only you, but your caretakers at a loss of what to do. Everyday is a new day and with it comes memory recall and sometimes short term memory loss. It’s both strange and sometimes isolating. I often feel as if I’m living in some sort of Groundhogs Day that isn’t serving me much except for the fact that I can easily forget the good, bad, and ugly which leaves little room for regret. Seriously, I’m not sure why my life’s plan was set out to be like this but thanks to an ample amount of therapy and prayer I’ve come to know this:

To live in fear is to be crippled beyond your mind and body.

How I cling to these words and thoughts is not because of physical or mental strength. Yes, each day I embrace exercise and diet with trust that I’m not going anywhere, as in dying, and my cancer is in “remission.” I’m no longer scared because of my faith and trust that God wants me in this place, at this moment. A little grace from the man upstairs and a bit of effort on my part has healed me beyond the rounds immunotherapy that are quite hazy and not missed at all.

I’ve wanted to write about this journey but I’ve been too scared to share my feelings and even what little video I’m okay at looking back at with caution. I then reminded myself that this disease and cancer does not rule me! Sure, this digital throwback exposes me beyond my wildest dreams so might as well share, learn, grow, and maybe, just maybe, shed light on a rare medical perplexity that’s living inside of me (or maybe someone you know) everyday.

xo Moni

PS. The video posted above is of me experiencing involuntary movements and tremors due to Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis via Ovarian Cancer – Teratoma. If this looks like you or anyone you know, I urge you to consult with your doctor asap.

Moni - Austin, Texas
Picture of me as of May 2017

Get Sleep

img_4218As I type this blog I’m lying in bed and it’s roughly 12:30 am Central Standard Time. I should be sleeping but alas another night of  sleep is passing me by because:

  • I slept in this morning
  • I generally don’t keep normal sleeping hours. PHD in Night Owl right here.
  • I ate too much ice cream at dinner and now I’m hyped on sugar

Maybe admitting all the above, most specifically the ice cream bit, is TMI but I’m at a crossroads of exhaustive sleep or peaceful bliss. Also, thinking that seize this moment and blog about how much sleep I should be getting I’ll be inadvertently be blessed with deep sleep? After writing that last sentence I’m guessing this is a lofty idea however I do believe in the power of positive energy so this post is to simply say the following:

Get sleep (Moni).

Whatever efforts you or I can put into respecting sleep is worth our time and energy. Why? Because our bodies repairs and re-energizes themselves during sleep tenfold as opposed to daylight hours. Sleep is right up there with oxygen and when nights like tonight creep into our lives’ sleep cycle it’s time to reflect and adjust our sleep regimen. Meaning, we could put more energy into sleep prep – what we do before I turn into bed. Here are some examples:

  1. Sit for at least 30 minutes and review the day in silence. No phone or TV allowed.
  2. Listen to music as I change into my Pjs
  3. Light a candle as I fold down the bed
  4. Massage my feet with Aveda oils (my favorite)

If you happen to try any of my sleep prep tips above let me know if they work. I’m intent of giving them a go (again) and hopefully our paths will never cross again at this ungodly hour.

Buenos Noches.

Eat Your Greens

img_5249Ask yourself one question: Did I eat anything green today?

I’m guilty of going an entire day without eating one single green thing, not even a Gummy Bear. Why is this a not-so-good thing? Because “Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health” according to Jill Nuddinow, MS, RD. Not only do greens have an incredible source of fiber and nutrients, they’re protectors of the heart and diseases such as diabetes.

As a cancer survivor I can attest to the benefits of eating greens, not because they may or may not prevent a relapse of remission, but because they just make me feel good. The following usually transpires after a consuming greens:

1. Happiness
2. Regularity (female cycle)
3. A natural glow about my face and skin

Let me what you think about greens. How do you cook them, how often do you eat them and what’s your favorite> Inquiring minds want to know.

Greens shown are from my kitchen in good ol’ South Texas!