Mark mumbled early this morning some plans involving scotch and the ringing out of “this horrid year”.
But doctors believe breast cancer takes six to eight years to develop to a detectable size and this was the year we caught it, cut it out, clubbed it and commenced construction of kick-ass “KEEP OUT” mechanisms.
So I say, “Thank You, 2009.”
… and good riddance!
Other happenings that rocked our 2009:
Nortel (my employer at the time) seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada.
Not a huge surprise but it definitely rocked our world.
We adopt our pooch, Phaedra.
After 6 years of daily pleading, coercing, negotiating and plotting, we caved in. Little did we know she would become my very ownDr. White.
I leap from Nortel, and 22 years of software development, to a 12-month term position as a Technical Writer at EDC.
It was my first time without health benefits in my entire adult life, but it was walking distance from home and a chance to swap the stress of software development for the creative bliss of writing.
My “father”, Keith Ross, attempts to break into our home, spends who knows how long smashing on our front door, screaming through our mail slot and tearing out our mail slot and curtain.
As traumatic as this was for our entire family, it marked a clean endpoint of what has been an extremely painful, life long dysfunctional relationship.
I’m reunited with my long lost cousin, Kelly Clavette.
Kelly was my favourite cousin and a constant holiday companion throughout my childhood. We lost touch in our tweens. Thirty years later, Kelly and I “almost accidentally” reconnected and our renewed friendship with Kelly and her family brings our whole family true joy daily.
My diagnosis bridges the gap between myself and Mark’s parents, Rhoda and Bert Blevis.
Religious differences, unclear expecations and my own social anxiety had made my relationship with Mark’s parents a rocky one but the minute they received news of my diagnosis, Rhoda and Bert let bygones be bygones and promptly made themselves available to support our little family in any and every way. We couldn’t have made it this far (this sane) without their unbelievable support.
My diagnosis reunites me with my long lost brother, David Ross.
I’ve missed my little bro terribly and, regardless of the circumstances, I’m thrilled that we’re in each others’ lives again.
Mark abandons his own media endeavours and takes an exciting new position as a digital public affairs strategist with Fleishman-Hillard.
Health benefits and insurance and security, Oh My!
Our friend Caroline Coady announces she is cured of Stage 4 Colon Cancer.
Mark’s long time friend David O’Farrell loses his battle with cancer.
I revel in 14 years of Mark Blevis.
On December 22, 1995, while on a date with someone else and thanks to a huge number of coincidences, I met Mark Blevis. Lucky me! We’ve doubled the seven year itch and I’m still itching to be with this fabulous guy.
Thank you, 2009… Bring On 2010!!
Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.
Whether or not we believe this disease has intentionally presented itself to do so, it’s definitely encouraging me to learn and grow in ways that my stubborn adherence to justice, fear and inertia has always prevented.
So, while the medical gurus cut, stitch, poke, scan, radiate and infuse me, it seems my role in building a new, improved, bionic me is to grasp the many opportunities for learning and then to choose and use new beliefs, patterns and perspectives that will build a stronger, happier, healthier me.
I’ll track them here, one at a time, in no particular order. Let’s start with a big, small one:
Journey Learning #1: I can survive without coffee, sugar and red wine.
Somewhere in the midst of surgery or treatment or chemotherapy, your own genie is goingto claw her way out of your core. And there’s no putting her back in the bottle once she’s free. And that’s a good thing, even a great thing, because she’s going to help you sing your song and live your life for the rest of your days.
The person you were before cancer? She suffered from an overload of personal anxiety and cultural repression. Frankly, she wasn’t having as much fun as she could have had.
But she’s about to do something huge — survive a devastating disease
It was 3 a.m. on the second day of her first chemo cycle and Andrea still couldn’t get to sleep. So she occupied herself with plans for shaving her head before her hair falls out — a certainty with breast cancer chemo. That’s when she pitched her idea to me (I was also awake). Inspired by a cancer blogger who lives in our neighbourhood (See going bald), Andrea suggested we invite a number of our family and friends over for munchies, drinks, cake and the opportunity to be a part of her head shaving experience.
We invite you to follow our journey to making Andrea a breast cancer survivor. We’ll blog our experiences and thoughts and share audio, video and photographs of the process — from diagnosis on Oct. 6 to Survivor.