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.
My 30day yoga membership expired today. That might explain my wondering:
- Why do so many women react so weirdly to my not-working choice? Spare me the horror and the defensiveness.
- How the heck does one perform a breast self-examination without visualizing and bracing for a lump?
- And, what's with all the fakes and flakiness?
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.
Towards the end of my treatment, last year, we rescued Sylvester. A sweet little abandoned duckling. He died the next day. And our hearts all broke. Last week, Lucy and Bayla were honoured with the opportunity to help nurture Bernadette. A sweet tiny abandoned kitten. She too passed away. Our heart break was worse yet. Lucy and Bayla have had to grow up fast. They've heard more than their share of sad stories. And, thanks to our history, the sad ones hit hard. Will they keep risking compassion? I hope so. Time to re-read Tuck... “Everything's a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way it is....” “You can't have living without dying. So you can't call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road.” ― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
Thank you so much for joining Mark, Lucy, Bayla and myself in our efforts to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. You donated $1130! Jenny Sinanan Morrie Johnson Mark and Maureen Blaseckie Val Willis Carolyn, David, Gillian and Jake Wright Lee Edward Fodi Laura Bergen Janice Toews Eden Spodek Tracy Bialecki Connie Crosby Rich Cantrell Greg & Andree O'Donnell Betti and Rob Stiff Bert and Rhoda Blevis Wilf and Barb Clavette Clare Rogers Orit, Sean, Lilly, Elliot and Jo Moore The Gupta/Gustyn Family Eden Spodek Be happy and be well. Love, Andrea xo
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. Perfect. Thank you, Kingi. Thank you, Jack.
When I was diagnosed in October 2009, I was vaguely aware of one woman who had been through the experience before me. I felt isolated. Targeted. Stupid. Alone. Sadly, I don't feel alone now. There are too many of us. And the numbers keep growing. Most of our moms didn't walk this path. I fervently hope that our daughters don't have to. This weekend, we're doing the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's Run For The Cure. Feel free to help by sponsoring Mark, Lucy, Bayla or me. Thank you.
Eighteen intensity-packed days condensed down to 2 minutes of feel-goodness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CszHU8dOB4M Thank you, Mark!
We fight about clean-up a lot at our place. About keeping the common areas tidy. Participating in household chores. During after-battle tears, yesterday, Lucy admitted "I know it's for our own good, Mom. So we'll know how to clean up." What? Then it hit me, I'd never really explained why we'd rather fight this battle than breeze through the tasks ourselves. That it's not about technique. And it's not just about comfort and justice and self-discipline and space. It's about the mind-game. Facing a mess and knowing we'll get through it. One tiny bit at a time. Accepting it's there. Deciding how to look at it. Making the first move. Occupying our minds while we do it. And following through til it's done. Like illness. Like recovery. Like fear. Like life.
A year ago yesterday, was my first day back to work. But yesterday, wasn't. Lucky, lucky me. Before cancer, I led a charmed life. And I knew it. I was happy. I was healthy. With two delicious daughters. And a vibrant relationship with a hunky, funky, fun-loving man. We had good jobs. A cozy home. Consuming creative, hobbies. Tonnes of passion. And shared our time with interesting, intelligent, authentic, fun-loving friends. I had stress. And I did torture myself. But I really did marvel at my miraculous life. And wondered how I'd stumbled into it. Who'd have guessed it would get even better. I love my life. Thank you, Mark.