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

Ordinary is the new extraordinary

As part of the process of rationalizing something for myself, I’d like to tell you about a few people we know.

The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre and Chemotherapy Clinic have some amazing volunteers. Patricia and Dave, in particular, come to mind. When they greet you, you feel like you’re someone and you’ve arrived someplace you want to be. They happily escort you wherever you need to be and answer any questions you have. They’re just happy to do that for you; never mind that you may be stressed or feeling physically or emotionally crappy. They can turn around your attitude, feelings and outlook. If you ask them, though, Patricia and Dave will tell you they’re “just volunteers” and love helping out.

Most parents in Ottawa know or know of Little Ray. He’s the co-founder of Little Ray’s Reptile Adventure, a reptile zoo in the south end of the city. His collection includes abandoned pets from owners who had no clue what they were getting into, and he has even received wild reptiles that were rescued and in some cases confiscated by the authorities.

Besides his zoo and its amazing demonstrations, parties and eco-education programs, Little Ray is regularly invited into schools, conducts home-based birthday parties and exhibits in fairs all over the place. His passion for animals, education programs and life is completely infectious. Over lunch with Little Ray yesterday, I was caught up in how he can make you excited to learn and enjoy life. If you ask Little Ray, he’s “just living his dream”.

Meanwhile, Little Ray carried on about how inspired he is by our website and our transparency as we share Andrea’s journey to becoming a breast cancer survivor (see Little Ray’s blog post about being inspired by us).

For a good chunk of our journey, many people have remarked to Andrea and me how inspiring we are. Besides Little Ray, I received three emails with that message yesterday. I generally have difficulty understanding and accepting that idea. And then, when I consider how we view Patricia, Dave, Little Ray and many other people in our lives, I realize that ordinary may be the new extraordinary.

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.

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Mark Posted by Mark January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010 at 6:00 am.

2 comments

  • andreabeaty

    Andrea,
    I LOVE your hat. It's like a fantastic funky flower! LOVE IT!!!
    So glad you are getting treatment in a place with kind people who make the the process brighter. Some places forget that the patient is a person and not the medical condition being treated. Makes all the difference finding people with the right attitude.

    I have a funny thing to send you guys next week when I get back to Chicago (and the snow) from a week visiting my sister in North Carolina.
    Have a great week.

  • http://www.WeCanRebuildHer.com Andrea Ross

    Thanks, Andrea — I love it too — aren't I lucky to have such a generous talented knitting friend? And, yes, we are definitely lucky to have had almost exclusively kind, caring, friendly, thoughtful health care professionals — and the others will make good blog-fodder! We're keeping our eye out for Dr. Ted!

    Thanks for following our story. We're looking forward to your your funny delivery. Enjoy the warm weather.

    Andrea