I disappeared for a while, I am aware. It has been a tough couple of weeks for me, I am working on two different books, I am fighting cancer again… the regular stuff, right?

Jokes aside, I have been doing a particular annoying kind of radiotherapy but I’ll be done thursday and I am not ready to talk about it yet, I need to talk about something lighter!

So today I would like to discuss the shining world of instagram with its pros and cons, but mostly I would like to shed some light on how, as always, it is not what we face but how we face it, instagram can be both magical \or a torture instrument it all depends on how we approach it.

Personally I love instagram, I think I have the number one requirement to thrive in that enviroment: I do not take myself too seriously, I don’t want to look cool, I don’t particularly care, I honestly have fun sharing cute\funny things and, as I am starting to share my thoughts more and more with new tools such as stories and live videos, I am also enjoying the answers I get.

The biggest critic that is moved against instagram is that it portays a false reality, guess what: people are fake! …. uhm, duh!! Isn’t it the same as when we go out on a saturday night everyone is excited, well dressed, they just want to drink a glass of wine and talks sex or sports? no one wants to tell you how miserable they are feeling since their kids aren’t sleeping for days or their spouse is not talking to them currently (yet again). I want to defend these folks, they don’t owe you shit and honestly a little bit of self respect in these times and days would be much appreciated! Also people some times just mind their fucking business, you know the saying “ if you want to live up to hundred just drink a cup of shut the f**k up” !
I am saying this because honestly I’d like to ask all the people complaining about others being fake that the problem is not the gorgeous lady that take selfies with make up on the problem is YOU, you think she’s like that all the time and you cry why you don’t wake up like that…

This takes us to the other big problem of instagram. Nowadays girls keep watching these pictures of beautiful women and they feel so bad, first of all let’s all face something: we are not the prettiest of them all, now please watch yourself in the mirror and repeat it a hundred times. We cannot be the prettiest of them all, first of all cause there are too many of us, and second because the concept of absolute beauty is stupid, and third… who gives a fuck? I want to be the most talented of them all writers, and if on top of that I can be cute with a nice style I like it, if not… guess what?

BUT I realize that saying this from my experience might be “easier” (  which is a paradox but hey guys, life is a paradox) so if you really cannot survive the gram without self doubting yourself please keep in mind it’s all staged!

there’s a beautiful italian model Alice Basso who took a selfie of herself with the “wrong” lights and the “right” lights, she’s still gorgeous in both but you can see her going from a 10 to a Victoria Model’s Status in no time.

Bottom line: to those who say I make cancer look easy, I don’t want to. It is in no way my idea to make those going through this path insecure because they are dealing with it differently. It is a nightmare, I am tired, I am fed up, but I think it’s nobody business and portraying this on a public platform would only bring me a kind of simpathy that I am honestly not at all interested in. I want to keep fighting and keep aiming high, and when I’m too tired to do that I shut down on the couch privately with my family, as everyone should do, instead of vomiting their hate or frustration on the internet. It is what I call self love or self respect (or mainly just some good sense!) and we should all use it a bit more!

So guys use instagram to have fun, be more active on it, and just don’t give it, or the people you see in it, too much importance!!!

With love always

-XX-

La Lisa

I recently came across two philosophyes that i knew nothing about: minimalism and the slow living revolution.

The fact that i accidentally found these two movements via an hashtag might be considered  by many a coincidence, while others might call it fate, personally, i think it’s serendipity.

So… what is minimalism?


I did some researches and i have found numerous answers and i guess it’s because there are numerous ways to be a minimalist, it can be as radical as owning only 100 objects and living in a tiny house or it can be just something you “add” to you every day life ( kind of ironic since you add to your life by subtracting … ) the definition that most resonated with me is that minimalism is about simplicity.

To me it can be as easy as asking yourself “do i need this?”

It’s easy but actually revolutionary.

Do i need this fabolous pair of shoes? (who are you kidding, yes you need it ! Go fucking buy it!!!)

Do i need this person in my life? Does this person add to my life ?

(and by add of course i don’t mean anything material but, does this person help me in my personal growth? Does this person bring joy or laughter or positive energy to my mind? Or does this person only complain or criticise? Please be aware your mind is not a bin and no one should ever be allowed to put their trash in it)

Slow living revolution:

This is also a complex multi-faceted subject, i actually discovered just today that it all started in italy (my country) with the slow food movement and from there stemmed the slow cities movement, there are about 75 slow cities in italy and numerous others around the world ( 17 in poland, 11 in south korea and… 2 in the usa, just saying… )  the concept of slow cities is relatively easy: they use technology to improve people’s lives rather than make them more complicated, they have to respect the traditional geographic resources, one of the major exponents of this concept is carlo petrini who is the mind behind the slow food project.

Beside the slow food and slow cities movement there is something called slow living revolution. Living slow doesn’t mean to be lazy or not to have goals but it means, as author and main exponent carl honore put it, living at the right pace.

I think in the past year, after my third cancer diagnoses ( i have been in complete remission since last october, but my life has drastically changed as i am now living taking lots of pills and medicines ) i moved toward those philosophies without even knowing it, and it has help me a lot.

Of course going through such big adversities forces you to prioritize, you find yourself with increasingly less and less phisical energy but more and more enthusiasm towards life, this means that you need to know what you really want to do, who you really want to meet, and let go of all those events, activities, people, you were once meeting just because ( i am sorry to tell you: just because you didn’t want to be stuck on the couch with your spouse or, even worse, with yourself )

It started with a lot of people decluttering and events decluttering ( i used to be a creature of the night and now i dare you to find me anywhere past 10 pm and if you do so it means it’s something kind of special or that i am having a blast!) And after a while i also started to sell some of my (too) many bags&shoes with rewards both economical and spiritual in a way, let me be honest though and say that i started when my husband moved in with me and i realized that i had no space for his stuff, but i wanted him to feel as welcome in what was now our home as he was (and still is!) Welcome in my life, now ours.

Decluttering felt really good and i want to do more and more of it, without exagerrating of course…

If you could ever saw my make up area ( not bag, not bags but area) and the number of skin care products i own you would understand i could never own 100 objects nor less, but i do not think that is the point… to me the point is: schedule time for naps, and just laying down, schedule time to think and wonder, schedule time to watch a cake baking in the oven, and let go of all of that doesn’t serve a purpose in your life.

I hope you enjoyed this post that was especially meaningful to me!

In love and light

-xx-

Lisa

Isn’t that the ultimate question?

Yet people bring it up around the table like it was an easy talk

I can not ask myself if I believe in God without hearing an interior voice going: ” cancer, cancer, cancer”

( imagine that in a fire alarm kind of sound )

Yet, I believe I’ve found myself closer to God after last year, when I found out that my cancer had spread yet another time.

Most people think (and I was one of them) that the closer you are to death the more you need a Powerful God that can either save you or promise you a better world ahead.

That is one of the reasons why I refused God for so long and with a certain strength, I didn’t want to be weak and naive, I wanted to be the strong person that walked into, literally, nothing without a sugar coating it.

But then I had a taste of fire and I’ve seen people burned down to their fucking ashes and I’ve found grace there.

I never thought there could be grace in such desperate places.

Grace comes from God. There’s a peaceful state that I believe can not be entirely human.

Yet I do not claim to have found any truth, I am only saying that I understand that I do not understand, but there’s a power out there and I am willing to talk to that power and ask it miracles for me, and for all those that need it.

That doesn’t mean that when it will be my time, as late as possible cause I have a lot to do on this journey, I won’t be like

“Hey dude, I know you are almighty and everything but I swear, there’s room for improvement on earth!”

I assume he’ll look at me, check my receipt and be like:

“GUUURL! What ya doing up here? You’re supposed to be in hell! Guards!”

(Yes, God talk slang. Y’all got a problem with that?)

Where do you stand in this God thing?

Love and light,

-xxx-

Lisa

First of all: for all non cancer people and all the care givers… why do we get scanxiety?

You get into the hospital take a ticket and wait your turn,. after checking in you go underground, it gets cold. You seat in a room with people that are waiting to confirm if they have cancer or not, if it has come back, and if it has how bad it is this time.

Ok so now you are seated in a tiny room. Everyone is silent, and as messed up as you, but for some reason they think it’s a good idea to share all the worst stories someone has ever heard about cancer and recurrences. Now there’s no way you can avoid the thought (the thought you have tried to avoid all the week, if not month): in an imprecise amount of time you’ll be in a closed machine, with a plastic armour on your chest and face, unable to move, with a loud noise to constantly remind you what’s going on, claustrophobic yet?

What do you do?

Before the scan:

1) while you wait bring your headphones and listen to some cool music

2) Bring crossword puzzles, it will give you something to do

3) Do you knit? It’s time to start. You are a man? I don’t care, do it anyway!

4) try to list five things you love or you are grateful for

5) Express yourself. You will be dealing with technicians, not doctor or nurses. Their goal is to get you in the machine as fast as possible, have you not moving while in there and get you the hell out of there. Remind them you are a human being. I perfected my puppy eyes, I tell them I am scared of the machine, I tell them I have had cancer 3 times and I am in my thirties, I ask them to tell me when we are pass the middle of the exam ( which to date they never did but hey ????????‍♀️ ) … it’s my way to resist the system and still feel like a human being, find yours!

6) take some xanax! Ok maybe this should have been number one, but guys … it won’t work alone! You also need a lot of good thoughts!

7) think about your wonderwall. It might be a special place, a special moment, a special person. For me it’s the ocean, the sea, the waves. I am a yoga teacher in training so… I know it’s hard. Try harder.

8) when you are in the machine you’ll think about all the place the cancer might be this time I want you to visualize you kicking this thought and replacing it with number 5 or 7 you will need to do this 600 hundreds times.. fine, first of all it will keep you entratained and remember: a winner is nothing but a loser that never gave up, so when you fail, try again… and then try harder.

9) when in the machine try to think about something you know by heart: a mantra, a prayer, a song, and repeat it. Lose yourself in that.

10) once you are out I hope you live in a country where weed is legal and get some! If not … netflix, pizza and wine should do the trick! Relax and try to forget about it

I guess you have noticed a pattern here, it’s hard guys. It’s fucking hard. But I believe you can choose, you can choose to be tougher than all this crap and power through it. It’s the only way and you have to do it for yourself. Crying won’t help you, a mental breakdown won’t help you, complaining the whole day won’t help you. Fighting harder will make the trick, it will carry you through.

I don’t mean it will heal you, that’s a combination of treatments and luck, but you will live the best life possible under harsh circumstances… that is the best victory/revenge possible!

ALSO how about you give your friends facing treatment a real card? I am in love with these by Emily McDowell

I can’t wait to hear your tricks to deal with scans, and what care-givers think about this!

With love and light

-xx-

Lisa

I am about to share the story of how and why I decided to color my hair and some amazing tips on keeping your mane healthy and shiny !!

What was I supposed to do with my hair at 29 after getting cancer twice and losing what I had considered my major beauty-trait for the previous 28 years?!

I went through all the colors of the rainbow, of course!

It started off pretty shy with just some splash of color on the ends …

First transformation turned me into a bright green-haired fairy, but that was a mistake and I have no evidences of that crime 😉 !

After that I tried a nice turquoise and that was my favorite, I felt so punk-rock-chic all the time !

The last color was a oh-so-romantic violet (the most appreciated of all by popular vote )

Everyone asks me how I kept my hair healthy during that time, here’s what I think I’ve done right !

1) I bleached my hair only once and I didn’t go all the way to that white/blonde color but I stopped a couple of shades before, let’s say a barbie blonde.

Also I didn’t do it myself I went to a hairdresser that I trusted and that used products that I trusted as well. Afterwards I only used pigments on my hair or gloss and that is not damaging at all

2) I kept the hair short during that time and I trimmed frequently!

3) I applied drops of oil on a daily basis

4) I would deep condition my hair once a week either with coconut oil, some mask that I bought or with some home made mask based with egg-olive oil-yogurt-avocado-banana I tried it all and it works great!

5) genetics… sorry !

And this is a reality check that goes for all girls, sometimes we are blessed with some amazing traits and we overlook them to follow what is impossible. I can color my hair cause I have thick hair, but I cannot eat burgers everyday cause I have a bad metabolism! ( I eat them every other day and I try to embrace my curvy figure, but that makes it for another post…) So all these advices are good and real but only if your hair are not the thin type !

The story of my hair doesn’t end here; I did try one more thing… extensions (in part 3)!

I hope you enjoyed the post, let me know what you guys think!

Xx

Lisa

I have never felt so blessed in my life before.

I am about to get married to the love of my life in my dream place (the maldives) with all the people I love, and I can hope for an healthy life.

The fact that I know how fragile everything is in reality, makes it even more special to me

I believe that those who are blessed and lucky in life should try to give back in as many ways as possible. I don’t believe you have to become a UN ambassador to do so or to give half your money away (unless you feel like it, then please do! In that case, please do not tell us about it!

I am not one to quote the bible but remember when it comes to charity “Your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing” )

I once would have felt guilty for experiencing this kind of bliss, now I don’t because I know I deserve it (I just wish more people were in the same state right now!) and not because I have been through a lot of pain and I had cancer three times but (surprise, surprise!) because I am a fucking child of the universe and we all deserve to be happy!

So here’s a reminder to myself – that I think might be useful to others as well – on how to give back this great energy and put it back out there to share with others.

1) Be a mother, be a sister, be a friend to the people that surround you. Don’t be one of those that feel so deeply about injustices from far away, make sure to go visit your own grandma or to check in on a friend who need it most.

2) Be aware. In order to be there for the people in your community (and I mean your friends, your co-workers, you child’s teachers … you know who they are) you need to keep your eyes open and ask: “how are you?” And sometimes be like: “no, really… how are you? I might be wrong but I feel there’s something going on with you” let them know you are there.

3) Offer your time. Time is the most precious thing we have because well… once given it can never been taken back and we can not buy more. So give your time, spend it with your friends and family, no instagram, no whatsap, no phone what so ever.

4) That is very italian of me but prepare food for people, don’t just buy some cake and it bring it over to your friends. Make something with your hands, while you prepare it listen to music, get your hands dirty, put your heart in it, have fun.

5) if you have a skill teach it, or give it away. I speak Russian and I often find myself interpreting for lost people, that is just an example of a simple way give kindness

6) Ask simple questions as: ” can I do something for you? Do you need something?” Do not wait until help is required, offer it freely.

7)listen. Listen without giving your opinion. It’s not that needed. Listen without judging, without being the focus, forget about yourself. Just lend your ear and wait

8) For people without kids – like me – baby sit your friend’s kids! You don’t know it but you might be saving a life 😉 ( and yes I am taking about the kid’s life! And yess I am totally joking!)

9) Give compliments freely. Whenever you think something nice about someone say it, whenever you notice something ugly about someone try to also notice something positive about them, even if only silently in your mind. Let’s stop being so judgy one of each other. The world needs it, people need it.

10) Be Kind. Be overly kind. Be un-necessary kind. Be kind in a weird way.

I hope to inspire someone with this and more so to keep inspiring myself to act like that!

-xx-

Lisa

I used to identify myself with my beautiful, long, mermaid-like hair.

I had struggled with my body image before (I used to be a chubby kid and grew up to be a curvy woman) but my hair always made me feel unique, special.

Just to give you and idea this was me

Then cancer happened.

I didn’t do any chemo when I had it the very first time, but I did it the second time around on my first recurrence.

I was resigned to the idea of losing all my hair, as long as they could get me rid of that stupid cancer I was down to do anything possible.

The week before my first round of chemo though – the so called red devil- I set down on the couch and thought to myself:

” it’s 2014 I can’t believe there’s not a way for me to keep my hair during chemo!”

And there actually was one: I found out about dignicap and when I wrote to my oncologist I also found out they had the machine in my hospital but she didn’t mention that to me ( yeah… that’s crazy but ????????‍♀️ ).

I still had to color my hair their own color and to cut them short to increase the possibilities of the dignicap to work …

and this was me afterwards

WELL… Let me be more honest for my fellow cancer fighters, I did look like that but mostly I looked like this:

(AKA kinda pale, no lashes, no brows –  but my hair still holding on pretty well! And yes that is my furry baby, yes I know he is lovely!)

That’s how the dignicap looks and that’s the face of a woman who willingly decides to do 6 hours of chemo instead of 3.

When you decide to use the dignicap in fact you have to keep it on two hours before the chemo and two hours after. That’s because the cold cap works by vasoconstriction, basically the cold makes your veins smaller and the chemo doesn’t go to you scalp (but it goes to your brain and your bones and everything else it does NOT affect your treatment).

I used it then, but last year when I did chemo again I told myself I wouldn’t do it furthermore.

“luckily”  this time around I did a kind of chemo that didn’t make my hair fall.

Just for the sake of a little figurative recap:

FROM hair goals

To hot brunette

A little preview: part two will be about when I died my hair all the colors of the rainbow and part three will be about when I put extensions to try to have my hair like they used to be only to learn, yet another time, that there’s no going back in life, only forward!

But that’s another story…

XX

Lisa

Did I mention I am a three times cancer survivor? I think I did. If I didn’t … well, I am.

I will save the story for another time but let’s say that my last ( but definitely not least, as it was super aggressive ) cancer recurrence was last year and I am pretty over it ( meaning my body scans are CLEAN ) but I am still doing some therapies, some IVs, injections, pills…

I have less energy than I used to, but I’ve changed my life – and I am super lucky I was able to do that – and now I only do what I want, I also say everything that passes through my mind… so probably I will die stabbed by someone !

That’s because usually people reach this level of honesty/spontaneity much later in life… I’m afraid if you start in your thirties that might prove to be challenging for the people around you!!! ( just kidding, kind of… ).

All of this to say that I feel I am over it, and I have filled my life with so many awesome people and awesome activities that I don’t really have the time nor the energy to waste thinking about cancer coming back or other negative thoughts.

My subconscious though apparently does… so I am finding myself having more and more nightmares where I find I have recurrences in weird places, doctors are not treating me, assasins try to kill me 3 times or many bad things that follow me and come back three times etc etc.

I believe there is not much to do about it actually, it’s just my brain processing the trauma and I am actually grateful for this ( again, kind of…) and I am trying not to stress about it or to give it too much relevance.

I am just sharing this because I guess it’s something many people go through for all different kinds of reasons, not only cancer!

Today marks my first serious post guys! But don’t worry tomorrow I’ll have plenty of time – going to the hospital for blood works/check up- to write about the beautiful neighborhood of Monti in Rome !

Xx

Lisa

With this blog I want to share all the adventures I have the pleasure to live, so… what’s next in my life?

In the next month or so I’ll visit Rome, Sardinia, Milan and Cyprus, therefore you can expect advices, pictures and thoughts about where to go, what to do along with my take on those places !

Over the next year I’ll get married several times ( with the same awesome dude of course! ) … first time being in the Maldives In August, then in may 2019 in BresciaItaly – and maybe also in Los Angeles with an Iranian ceremony during the fall … so lots of advices for destination weddings, weddings in general and maybe some cheesy posts about love, sorry but I can’t help myself!!

In December my second book should be released … and that’s pretty exciting news for me!

The first two months of the next year, will be dedicated to an around the world journey that will take me and my -by then- husband into amazing places like Ushuaya-argentina- Japan – Botswana – Vietnam and much more…

I figured that with so many exciting things ahead I should keep a diary … so why not share it with other people and get some ideas and good energy flowing ?

Last but not least I also happen to be a 3x cancer survivor, I am sure at some point updates about my health and my recovering journey along with the painful story behind it will make an appearance…

That’s it for my first post, I hope I gave an idea of the many things I’ll be writing about even though I could not fit all my interests in this short page… so let’s keep in touch !

Xx

Lisa

Picture taken in New York