We Can Rebuild Her
Better than she was before… Better, Stronger, Happier. A Breast Cancer Journal

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Happiness Is…

Closing the oncologist chapter.

This morning, I unexpectedly graduated from my oncologist’s practice. Time to update AboutMe:

ExplorerWife. Mother. Yogini. Friend.





Stumbling and fumbling, but getting back up.

Surviving and Thriving.
And intending to continue doing so.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

May 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm.


Happiness Is..

Bold Steps.

I was completely honoured to be selected to read a WeCanRebuildHer.com post at Blog Out Loud Ottawa, last night.

This reading followed an extremely low week for me and I had barely scraped myself together enough to attend the event, let alone participate.

I’m immensely grateful to the many friends and magical powers that got me through this week of self-inflicted torment.

And I’m grateful to Lynn and the BOLO gang for including me in this fabulous evening.

Wishing you health and happiness.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

June 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm.


Happiness Is…

Surviving and thriving.

That’s us, to the right. Two years ago today.
Moments after sharing the bad news with Luba.

So early in a surreal journey.

Behind that smile, a big part of me thought life was over. All of me hoped it was just beginning.

We headed to Quebec City that week. As planned.  I tossed and turned in the hotel bed, hoping I’d somehow fall asleep before Lucy, Bayla and Mark finished watching “The Corpse Bride”, “Beetlejuice”, “Edward Scissorhands” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

I was awoken, one of those nights, by a ringing thought: This was the beginning of “The Spicy Me”.

Before this ordeal, my aim was to get through life. To make it to some far off end without losing any of the fabulousness I’d stumbled into. New territories and aspirations were reserved for Luba. As a matter of course.

Two years ago today, I opened my eyes.
I became alert. Aware. Present.
Grateful plus.

I started examining. And choosing. And imagining more.

The two years since then have brought trauma and mourning, recovery and joy. I’ve made friends. I’ve taken chances. I’ve explored new territories. I’ve become the Spicy Me.

I’d never choose cancer. I never want it again. For any one.

And I’m supremely grateful for the efflorescing goodness I’ve been treated to since that mind-boggling beginning. Two years ago today.

I’m aspiring to many, many more good years.
By the way.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

October 6, 2011 at 10:29 am.


Happiness Is…

Preparing for Hallowe’en

I’m not big on the actual event. Trick or treating. Candy. Dealing with the door.

But I adore the month-long preparations.

The colours. The crafts. The googly-eyed desserts.
The rhyming, creativity-packed picture books. The manic costume creation.

Two years ago today, as I prepared for those long-awaited test-results, we splurged on Hallowe’en. Filling our craft-store basket, despite the expense.

I thought it was my last Hallowe’en.

It wasn’t.

Lucky, lucky me.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

October 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm.


Happiness Is…

Jack Layton.

Look what the postman just delivered.

A cozy, upbeat reminder of our dearly missed Jack. Straight from his beloved T.O.

Peace…. Love…. Jack Layton.


Thank you, Kingi. Thank you, Jack.

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Andrea Posted by Andrea

September 29, 2011 at 11:05 am.

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Happiness Is…

Eighteen intensity-packed days condensed down to 2 minutes of feel-goodness.

Thank you, Mark!

Andrea Posted by Andrea

September 26, 2011 at 8:41 am.

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Happiness Is…

The many wise, warm, wonderful women who enrich my life.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

September 24, 2011 at 7:51 pm.

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Happiness Is…

Weekly evenings with Jay.

A lot’s gone on in the past twelve years.

Hopes and upheaval. Disappointments. Triumphs. In work, relationships, parenting and health.

And through it all, there’s been a weekly evening with Jay.

Sanity. Sage advice. Laughter. Perspective.

Whatever the week brings, my evening with Jay makes it better. Those evenings make me better.

I think sometimes about our 18-years-younger selves. Saying our first hellos. With 7,550 km and ten provinces of cycling ahead of us. And all we never dreamed about those next 18 years.

And I think of the years ahead of us now. The venting and celebrating of our sixty-something selves.

And that makes me smile.

Thank you, Jay.
And thank you, Mark, for making those evenings possible. All these years.

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Andrea Posted by Andrea

September 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm.


Happiness Is…

Three glorious, sun-filled days.
Eating, drinking and being merry.
With fabulous, fabulous family.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

September 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm.


Happiness Is…

Carefree times with my healthy, happy, healing, better-than-ever Sweet!

Andrea Posted by Andrea

August 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm.


Happiness Is…

Healthy New Addictions.

Library loans have been strictly forbidden from our book-crammed, chaotic home. Until now.

This week, Lucy and Bayla got their first library cards.

Lucy’s a big-time reader. So, she was pleased.

Bayla’s a big-time shopper. And a bigger-time geek. So, she’s been over the moon.

Audio books. Wii games. Wii nights. Board game nights. NFB Fridays.

And, above all, surfing the catalogue. Selecting, “holding” and swiping out.

And flipping Eva Ibbotson CDs in and out of the boombox.

Hope this habit’s a long one.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

July 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm.

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Happiness Is…

A healthy, happy husband

(and fabulous, free health care)

Huge thanks for your good vibes and for our good fortune.

xo xo xo

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Andrea Posted by Andrea

July 25, 2011 at 8:24 pm.


Happiness Is…

Past, Present and Future Fun.

Can’t wait!!!

Landscape photos thanks to ecstaticistBugMan50 and naserke.

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Andrea Posted by Andrea

July 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm.


Happiness Is…

Second, and third, and nth chances.

Yesterday, was frustration. I guess I should say, I let myself be frustrated.

One small effect, and propagating cause, was the absolute blackening of this pot. Followed by my many frantic, frustrated, fruitless attempts to boil and scrape through the thick, stuck, edge-to-edge char.

Turns out time, rest and water did what no amount of swearing and straining could.

And that’s just one of the many nth chances I’ve been treated to today.

I am grateful for each one.

Now to treat myself to some of the same.

Andrea Posted by Andrea

July 20, 2011 at 10:56 am.


Happiness Is…

Reuniting with our Lovelies.

The house is a mess again.
The bickering has begun.

But we missed our little girls and we’re just joyous to have them home.

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Andrea Posted by Andrea

July 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm.