'Top Chef' Alum Fatima Ali Reveals She Has 'a Year to Live' After Cancer's Return

Following her January surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her shoulder bone, Top Chef alum Fatima Ali had revealed that her cancer has returned "with a vengeance."

Ali, 29, wrote in an essay for Bon Appetit Tuesday that "the cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone," saying that doctors have estimated she has "a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen."

Soon after competing on the Bravo cooking competition show's 15th season, Ali was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

"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," she wrote in the essay.

Over the last year, Ali has spent much of her time in the hospital, even being visited by Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi prior to her surgery in January.

"I've spent more time in sterile hospital rooms in the past year than I have in my own apartment," she wrote. "This has become my new home, and the staff a part of my family. I wonder if I'll accidentally call my nurse 'Mom' when she sneaks in to check my vital signs in the middle of the night."

She added, "My blood pressure always stays on the low side of calm. 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."

The New York City-based chef added that her terminal diagnosis has emboldened her to take on new challenges.

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"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," she continued. "I call a local hair stylist to come to my hospital room to dye half my hair platinum blonde and buzz the rest. He panics a little as he's setting up, whispering to my brother in his thick Italian accent. 'The dye… it won't, uh, burn her scalp will it?' I tell him to carry on even if it does. It's the only sense of control I feel like I have right now. I have embraced my alter ego. She doesn't hold back."

Photo Credit: Instagram / Fatima Ali