Fatima Ali, a former contestant on the popular Bravo reality TV series Top Chef, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Ewings sarcoma in 2017.
Despite having undergone the various treatments that doctors thought would take care of the cancer, Ali just revealed to everyone that her cancer has nevertheless returned and she only has about a year left to live, regardless of any additional treatment she may seek.
Fox News reported that Ali was a star in the 15th season of the popular competitive cooking show for aspiring chefs. She had planned to open her own restaurant in New York City.
Cancer has returned
Ali shared the dismal news of her disease, which attacks bones and the soft tissue surrounding bones, in an essay for Bon Appetit that was surprisingly upbeat, as she also revealed some of the goals she hopes to achieve in the limited time she has left.
“The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone. My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen,” Ali wrote.
She added: “I was looking forward to being 30, flirty, and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose.”
Ali remarked on how “funny” it was that “when we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living. When that choice is yanked away from us, that’s when we scramble to feel,” she said.
“I am desperate to overload my senses in the coming months, making reservations at the world’s best restaurants, reaching out to past lovers and friends, and smothering my family, giving them the time that I so selfishly guarded before,” she continued.
A full itinerary
Ali also wrote about the many restaurants she wanted to patronize in her final days, the many people she wanted to reach out to, how the hospital and medical staff she’s seen so much of over the past year have become like a second home and family to her, and how “everyone’s amazed that I’m taking it so well. But when you hit rock bottom, there really is no place to go but up.”
“An odd sense of relief has settled inside me, knowing that I can finally live for myself, even if it’s just for a few more precious months,” Ali added. “I was always deathly afraid of being average in any way, and now I desperately wish to have a simple, uneventful life.”
Some people who receive the word that they only have a year left to live figuratively die that day, nearly shutting themselves down completely as they await their inevitable and swiftly approaching end.
But this woman, who had so much drive in life, isn’t ready to be done just yet, and she plans to try to fit as many life experiences into her remaining time on Earth as possible.