Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

October 24, 2014

New Plasma, New Me


It was the Thursday before Columbus Day Weekend. I had an early morning flight to New Jersey the next day to spend the weekend with my family. I hadn’t left Boston in a while so I was really looking forward to a change of scenery. Though eager to get out of town, I’d been experiencing increasing anxiety. I knew something wasn’t right; I was seeing black again. A part of me didn’t want to say anything out of fear I’d be sent back to the hospital. Alas, I spoke up. We ran the tests. It was back. I was relapsing. My heart was pounding with fear. I thought I’d been on the mend – WTF?

I was admitted for the 3rd time in 4 months. A 4th MRI and 2nd lumbar puncture was performed. I endured yet another 5 days of IV steroids. To add to my extensive resume, I underwent 4 days of something called “plasmapheresis”. In layman’s terms, a plasmapheresis is the filtration of one’s blood. A central line catheter was implanted on the right side of my chest for easy access to my veins. Lovenox and insulin shots were injected into my belly sometimes multiple times a day. Finally, I was discharged on October 16th with the central line catheter still intact. The next morning, I had my last plasmapheresis treatment as an outpatient followed by the explant of the catheter.   

That was easily the most stressful week of my life. I didn’t even know what to make of it at the time. I was confused, sad, and frightened. Why was this happening to me? I couldn't help but feel so much anger towards my own body for hurting itself without any rhyme or reason. I lost sleep. So many questions were running through my head - Am I going to survive? Will I ever get married and/or have children? What if I can’t dance again let alone walk?


I felt like a prisoner. I kept thinking to myself, “If this is how the rest of my life is going to be, then I don’t want to live like this.” I remember looking over at my mother, who was stressed beyond belief yet trying so hard to reassure me that everything would be okay, feeling guilty for considering euthanasia. I had hit an all-time emotional low. I lost faith in my own body and the quality of my future. I had never felt like this before.

But then, something happened…something visceral. From the moment that catheter was removed from my body, it was as if all the stars aligned. I felt a magical sense of liberation. I left every bit of negativity back at the hospital that day. There isn’t an ounce of fear, anger, or sadness left inside of me. I feel “lighter” and the happiest I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m fearless now (actually, that’s a lie – I’m still deathly afraid of mice, rats, and wild turkeys). But that moment was truly miraculous.

Since then, I’ve been on a natural high on life and I’m hoping it lasts. Sure there are going to be challenging days, but I believe that I'll be able to weather through tough times with finesse. Despite everything, I believe now more than ever, that I am blessed. Blessings can arise from unexpected places. I've made a promise to myself that I’m never going to allow my illness dictate my life. I’m striving to live a happy, fruitful life to the best of my ability. And I will get married and become an amazing mother some day. 

With all the cuts and bruises on my body, I look like a war veteran but I feel like a reincarnated baby. I'm not religious by any standards but I've thanked a higher being every night for making me feel the way I've been feeling. I'd rather live a short happy life than a long miserable one. I’m so grateful that happiness was the end product of that nightmarish week. Every day, I’m learning and one thing’s for sure - life can be as beautiful as you allow it to be and I won't have it any other way. xx

PS: Someone passed this quote along to me. The relevancy is so uncanny it gives me the chills!

October 12, 2014

Flower: The Converted Bostonian - 4 Years Later

I may not have children , but I have a blog. This year, my sweet little sunshine turns 4 years old. Damn, we've been through a lot together.

I started my blog in 2010 at Boston University as a senior year project. Never in a million years did I foresee that the role of this blog would evolve in my life the way that it has.

Initially, I started by casually reviewing venues of wining and dining, clubs, and lounges. Then, I upgraded to reviewing places of luxury living (spas &salons), hotels, tales of traveling, uber, you name it. Most recently though, I've found the most satisfaction in writing about life & its many revelations, dating and relationships, and friendships. Oddly enough, I've found myself maturing and learning through my ramblings.



This year in particular, my blog has played a major role in my life both professionally and personally. On the professional front, "Flower..." has opened a blogosphere door to Ms. Taniya Nayak of Restaurant Impossible of HGTV. Additionally, I've been invited to give a lecture to BU public relations students this Fall semester. 

As fruitful as the professional opportunities have been, the personal benefits are beyond priceless. This once silly hobby has turned into a therapeutic and powerful tool in my new initiatives.

Given my recent health occurrences, this blog's given me an outlet to vent and share insights with someone who may benefit from reading it. My blog's presented me with a springboard to make a difference by starting a foundation, developing a meaningful voice, and becoming a symbol of hope regardless of whatever hardship someone is presented with. 

Despite this dismal evening being spent on a hospital bed at MGH feeling like absolute crap, I feel grateful that I have this beautiful channel of communication to unleash information and emotions through. This year, I am not only going to thank my viewers for continuing to support me but I'm specially going to thank my blog for being such a reliable source for me in so many ways over the past few years. I hope to grow with each other even more so and see where life takes us for years to come.


Happy birthday sweet Flower. Xx

October 07, 2014

All Eyes on Beirut Couture


Beirut – the Paris of the Middle East breeding tri-lingual folks, a beachy city only driving distance from ski resorts, and of course, the birthplace of celebrated fashionistas [cough, Mrs. Clooney]. Beirut, for many reasons, is the Middle East’s best kept secret…

I’ve been following designers and their careers ever since I can remember. Though I can’t afford their designs (yet) I love drooling over their collections every season.  As I was Pinterest-ing last night, I came to an interesting conclusion which prompted me to write this post - all three of my favorite designers are from Beirut – giving me one more reason to finally visit this amazing city!

Let’s be real here for a second: generally when people think of Lebanon, I imagine that the first thought isn’t about high fashion. However, this country has given birth to some of the most talented fashion designers of our time - Elie Saab, Reem Acra, and Zuhair Murad.




Elie Saab: Hands down, one of my favorite designers of all time. His designs ooze femininity and sophistication. Oftentimes, Saab seems to remember his roots by adding a hint of the east in his creations. Whether it’s one of his structured taffeta gowns or flowy silhouettes, Saab’s work speaks for itself. Celebrity clients include: Queen Rania of Jordan, Aishwarya Rai, and Halle Berry (styling her for the Academy Awards became a turning point in his career)






Reem Acra is best known for her luxurious line of bridal wear typically ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000+. She expanded her designs to evening gowns in the early 2000’s becoming a regular at the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes. Acra’s craftsmanship is evident in the meticulous beading and intricate embroidery of her designs. Celebrity clients include Madonna, Angelina Jolie, and Jessica Alba.





Zuhair Murad is on a different level altogether. Every one of his carefully crafted creations is a showstopper. He has a remarkable aptitude for blending elements of eastern and western cultures into his collections. Murad is one of those designers who knows how to keep his admirers on their toes; his collections are simply breathtaking. Celebrity clients include Miley Cyrus, Marion Contilard, and Jennifer Lopez.


While each designer has their unique styles, they share the common denominator of creating universally beautiful pieces with elements of the Middle East. Each designer has a knack for designing gowns tailored to perfection. Saab, Acra, and Murad have established themselves as masters of their craft on an international platform. They’ve been recognized around the world with clients ranging from royalty to Hollywood. Hollywood A listers are continuously sporting all three designers’ gowns on the red carpet and you better believe that I’ll soon be one of them… Until then xx ;)

October 03, 2014

Boston Medical Aesthetics, Downtown Boston




In my opinion, the growing popularity of Groupon/Living Social etc. has led to the devaluation of services frequently featured on the sites. One of the most affected industries is easily the beauty industry. When I worked at a medical spa five years ago, clients didn't flinch once when they learned that a laser hair removal package would cost them well over $6,000. Now, clients don't even want to pay a fraction of that because they can purchase a package for 90% off. This behavior has led businesses to not offer that elevated experience they once used to since most clients are oftentimes "hoppers" and looking for the next best deal. However, this hasn't stopped Boston Medical Aesthetics...


Boston Medical Aesthetics (BMA), located in the heart of Faneuil Hall, is in its own echelon when it comes to service quality and delivery. Owned and operated by nurse practitioner, Jennifer Canesi, BMA offers a wide variety of services from Botox & fillers, laser hair removal, chemical peels/microdermabrasions, Sclerotherapy, and now CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting is a revolutionary solution that freezes and eliminates unwanted fat cells without surgery or downtime. (Www.coolsculpting.com) BMA is one of the select few practices in the Greater Boston Area offering this state-of-the-art technique of noninvasive weight loss management. Under the direct supervision of esteemed plastic surgeon, Michael Tantillo, Jennifer offers free evaluations to determine whether or not a patient is eligible for CoolSculpting and/or other services.

I highly recommend Boston Medical Aesthetics for many reasons. Jennifer's no-pressure, "non-salesy" approach makes a patient feel comfortable and at ease. She exudes confidence while explaining treatment plans and will never push something on you if she doesn't feel it's necessary. At such a young age, Jennifer has built a loyal clientele who continue to see her because of her expertise, excellent care, and of course her notably kind demeanor. Check out BMA's beautiful new office located at 21 Merchants Row in Faneuil Hall.