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.
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.
Our insurer refuses to honour my critical life and disability insurance claim.
This was a cruel and devastating blow. Not only because they robbed us but after stringing us along for 4 months but because I’d been over-insured for the twenty some years leading up to my leap from Nortel six months before my diagnosis.
I want more. I want to crash out of this invisible armor I’m trapped in – to tear away the shackles and freefall, delirious and wild. I want to plummet naked into a velvet ocean at midnight and roll in the ecstasy of the waves. I want to peel back my layers and hold my raw wounds up to the sun for healing.
I want to slice through these suffocating wrappings and grab onto CORE ME – whoever that is – and never let her go; make her into the real me, the only me, for some to love and some not to love .. . and I want to not so painfully care who does and who doesn’t.
I want to feel, taste, devour it all – no filters, no censors, no gatekeeper telling me what is rightfully mine to take and what isn’t. I want rapture at the top of a mountain under a full moon. I want to absorb me, embrace me, the light and the dark, the glorious and the hideous, and cherish it all and laugh at it all forever.
Sarah’s back. “So what do you want?” she asks.
What do I want? “Caprese salad and a cup of pasta fagioul.”
If you’re new to this site, having discovered it in Courage, welcome! We hope you make your voice heard by sharing your thoughts and experiences as comments on our blog.
By the way… this isn’t the first time Andrea and our WeCanRebuildHer.com website have been in the news. Andrea contributed to the Ottawa Citizen‘s Miracles on Ice edition of the Saturday Observer (Feb. 6, 2010, section B) with a piece about skating on the Rideau Canal during chemo (page B3).
Mark is primary support, cheerleader and project manager of Andrea's recovery. You can read more from Mark here and on Mark's real blog, MarkBlevis.com.