It seems like so long ago when I started my treatment journey for endometrial ovarian cancer and the 25 Days 25 Looks awareness campaign. It’s not something that is top of mind although somewhere in my brain lives the reality that I am a cancer survivor.
I recently returned to the Princess Margaret Cancer Center for my 6 month follow-up visit. I decided to wear red because it is vibrant and alive –like me! It is not one of my favourite colours but lately I like how it makes me feel when I wear it. This top is from Zara and I love the ruffle detail and lightweight fabric. Since the surgery has put me straight into menopause I need lighter layers that I can add and remove according to my body temperature.
Blogging about my treatment journey really kept my focus on the work and not on the radiation that was killing any lurking microscopic cancer cells. I connected with so many people online that were also sharing their journeys. One young women wore high heels to all her chemo and radiation appointments and shared her story on instagram when her result finally came back clear of ovarian cancer. In RL I met so many great radiation therapists and students at Princess Margaret and of course my surgeon/oncologist Dr. Marcus Bernardini who I would call a friend. He’s the Head of Gynaecology/Oncology but you wouldn’t suspect he holds such an important position from his caring and simpatico demeanor. Did I mention brilliant and stylish? I secretly call him The Dapper Doc. Right after my surgery we shared a moment about our Italian heritage and abbiamo fatto due chiachiere. (Italian for had a little chat) Can I say BFFs? Sure I can – it’s my blog!
After the cancer I feel I have been given a second chance to live the best possible healthy life that I can. I watch what I eat and try to make healthy choices at every meal – Nutella is sort of healthy right? I also discovered Barre and love how Classic Ballet makes me feel and look. My legs and butt have never been so toned. I’ve been going to Barre Beautiful since August which is dedication for me since I tend to get bored with my workout routine.
I’m excited to share that my 6 month follow-up appointment was all clear so the holidays will be that much more blessed for me. I look forward to new adventures and possibilities in 2018.
Click here to read more about my awareness campaign 25 Days 25 Looks or check out my guest blog on the Princess Margaret website.
If I am on your Christmas List please give generously to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation because I have everything I could ever need.
It’s a wrap on this initiative but the learnings and impressions will last forever. This post is a thank you to all who made it possible and came with me on this journey. I feel truly blessed to have you all in my life.
Here’s a reel of all 25 looks!
A deep inhale and a long exhale on the last day. Time to get my life back! It’s hard for me to realize that this is it – I’m done! I’ve had my 25th and last radiation treatment and will not be returning to Princess Margaret for awhile. I’ve learned so much through the experience of having cancer and going through treatment about the health care system, using social media for good, fashion photography and myself. I will definitely be sharing some of those insights in future blog posts. Now I’ll wrap it up with the final look in this series.
Day 25 Dress
I purchased this dress at Joe Fresh. I love the wrap top and bandana type print. For an inexpensive dress it is loaded with details. Ruffle skirt with lace trim and trim along the top. I knew this dress would look great with my red obi belt. I feel very chic and put together in this dress.
To style this look I went with a mix of vintage and new accessories. The flower hair clip is from Anthropologie and I love wearing it with wavy hair. The Fendi earrings are vintage – they were a gift and I’ve had them a very long time. The wedge sandals are from France. I purchased them while on vacation there many years ago. I love the wood heel with rubber coating. These sandals give me great height and are super comfortable!
Big Thank Yous
I could not have taken on this endeavor without the support of my family and friends. It makes me so happy to know that I’ve inspired people and demonstrated that having cancer doesn’t mean give up! It means put on a fabulous dress and fight with all the strength and style you have.
Special thanks to my photographer and creative partner Davide Tonizzo who’s instagrams are @davidetonizzo @davidelookbook. Check out his posts!
…and I’m off
There’s one more treatment left to go. I can’t believe that I’m nearly done. The time for me went very fast. I was so occupied with styling looks, writing, shooting, posting and replying to comments that the 24 days went by in a blink.
I arrived for Day 1 in armour with my floral moto jacket. I wore something substantial that I could cling to – like linus’ blanket – because everything was so foreign to me. Right out the gate the therapists were kind and explained what would happen. I felt I didn’t need my armour after Day 1.
Today I’m wearing a summery, strapless shirt dress to beat the heat. This look is so on trend right now and it’s the perfect dress for summer events. I received a lot of compliments today at Princess Margaret for this look. We shot this look using my photographer’s vintage Fiat X19. It provides an interesting juxtaposition between the vintage sportscar and on trend fashion and it’s fun to drive! Lucky I drive stick or this shoot would have been a disaster 😉
I’m a fan of the slogan tee as long as it’s not offensive. I don’t mind if it’s provocative but I draw the line at swear words or offending content.
I’m showing 3 possibilities for today’s look.
Flower Power by Joe Fresh. Words on a print background, like a floral, was a huge trend last year. I like the pale pink of this top and the sunflowers.
Super Dry – this Japanese brand never disappoints. The gold and turquoise on charcoal grey is what drew me to this t-shirt. I’m pretty sure it just says Super Dry and not anything offensive in the japanese characters. Fingers crossed.
On Day 3, I went to the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the AGO. I loved this quote so much I had to get the t-shirt. Her life and work are such an inspiration to me.
I decided on the Super Dry Tee and I love how this look came together with turquoise skirt and accessories.
Intersection Fashion and Art
I love exploring synergies between fashion and art. It’s a reoccurring theme on my blog. One of my fave artist is Jean Michel Basquiat. His dynamic and strong graffiti type paintings captured the turbulence of the 70s.
This t shirt is from Uniqlo’s SPRZ NY series from 2015. They produce a new collection every season with themes from art, popular culture, brands and logos. The skirt with orange batek print goes great with the tee and lastly chunky wedge sandals make my legs look lean and long.
Painting for the Soul
I’ve talked about diet and exercise, staying busy and keeping your mind occupied but you also need to nourish your soul or your core being. I am not an artist but I do enjoy painting when I’m inspired. This painting is a visual representation of my surgical scar. I’ve run the word “somontare” down the length of it because it is my mantra during this journey. It’s Italian for overcome or get over. Somontare would probably make a great tattoo as well in a scripty font…just thinking about it… I also included a work in progress which is for my parents. Flower Power!
Queens are Born in June
Today is the festival of me so I wore my fave dress. I love the way the pattern on this dress is loosely scattered at the top and then clusters together on the skirt. The sea green colour really brings out my eyes. I like to pop this dress with turquoise sandals and of course it’s always chilly on my birthday so I need to add a teal cardigan over top.
I thought it would be cute to add a photo of me as a little girl celebrating her birthday. Here is #6. A Festa Italiana with pizza and birthday cake! I hope I get that today too!
Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is featuring me as one of their guest bloggers. I appreciate the shout out and I am so fortunate to be treated by their world renowned doctors and radiation therapists. Check it!
Yes it’s a thing. Another way to show fashion looks is by using flatlay or off-figure photography. Place the clothing items on a white board and shoot it overhead.
I’m presenting 2 looks today because I had to change the planned outfit due to the chilly, rainy weather today.
Look #1 – I call this look Creamcicle. I use my white NYD jeans as the base and then added this draped orange top from Anthropologie. The accessories are as follows: Scarf – Italy, Necklace – Ann Taylor, Handbag – M0851, Wedge Sandals – Browns.
Look #2 – This is what I wore to Princess Margaret today. I call it Night Garden. Zara skinny pants with Ann Taylor dark floral sweater and an H&M faux leather moto jacket. The accessories are as follows: Scarf – Danier, Necklace – Italy, Shoes – Cole Hahn.
Another great thing about flatlay is it makes it really easy to tag clothing on Instagram.
Sometimes all it takes to lift your mood is putting on a pretty dress – like this one from Ann Taylor Loft. I love the lotus flower print on the black background. The subtle hint of blue makes it perfect to wear with a jean jacket and black laser cut booties.
Last Full Week
This is my last full week of treatment. I can’t believe that I have come to the final countdown so quickly. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to share my story with so many of you. I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and appreciate the likes and follows. I hope I’ve been able to provide some inspiration and encouragement to women battling cancer.
In case you missed it here is the link the CTV news clip from Friday!
I had planned to talk about a boho look and the restorative qualities of the siesta but then this happened.
Pauline Chan from CTV news dropped by to talk about fashion, makeup and of course 25 Days 25 Looks. It was a great experience shooting this segment and meeting an admired journalist. My segment aired on the 6PM news and if you missed click on the link http://ctv.news/Opti3LM
In summer I love a bohemian vibe. I’m artsy and summertime is when I channel that vibe by wearing boho pieces.
A perfect summer topper is a kimono top. it floats effortlessly over anything. I’ve paired this Italian knit kimono over a t-shirt and skinny jeans. I added a funky beaded necklace and some bracelets to create a unique, boho look.
TIP – Although viewed as a traditional garment, the Kimono can sub in for many wardrobe items.
* Trench Coat
* Evening Coat
* Tunic – very boho
To fight the fatigue that is a side effect of radiation treatments I take a nap in the afternoon. I’m Italian and travel to Italy often to visit my family there. If I’m visiting in summer it’s wonderful to have a siesta after lunch when the sun is at its’ peak. I always feel so refreshed after an afternoon nap and can enjoy the rest of the day and evening without feeling so tired.