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

You are currently browsing the archives for May, 2010.

William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?

Since Andrea is at the I Can Do It! conference, I thought I’d do my best to keep publishing fresh content on the site.

While catching up on a backlog of the TED talk videos, I saw this talk by William Li on eating to starve cancer. The talk includes a look at how cancer forms and how certain foods and spices stack up against prescribed cancer treatments.

This video is definitely worth a watch. There’s also a short animated story at the end that serves as a nice dessert.

Related Posts:



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.

Mark Posted by Mark May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010 at 6:09 am.

4 comments

Dad and daughters weekend

I can’t remember the last time Andrea went away for the weekend which means her getaway to Toronto is long overdue. It’s just Lucy, Bayla and me. There’s lots of fun things to do this weekend. However, like most weekends in our house, they have accumulated a mess that needs to be cleaned up before anything else can happen. I’m really hoping they can tackle the backlog tonight so we can enjoy the rest of the weekend with no pressure.

By the way, we pulled together a short video about Sylvester last night. Here it is.



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.

Mark Posted by Mark May 28, 2010

May 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm.

1 comment

All My Bags Are Packed

I’m heading any minute now to the Hay House I Can Do It! Conference in Toronto.

Treatment kept me from Podcamp and BookCamp this year but I’m not missing the opportunity to soak up three days of inspiration. Hair or no hair!

Maybe I’ll even be a slightly better Me when I get back home Monday.

Enjoy your weekend!



Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 28, 2010

May 28, 2010 at 8:39 am.

5 comments

Zapping Cancer

As of 7:55 this morning, I’ll have notched 19 of my 30 radiation treatments.

And — touch wood — pinched muscles and speckled redness have been my only noticeable side-effects.

In an imaginative attempt to keep it that way, I spend my 10 minutes of daily zapping assigning little shields to each of my healthy and valid heart, lung, bone, muscle, throat and skin cells.

I watch as the healthy cells, with shields over heads, deflect the harmful rays onto any cancerous neighbours.

And as any and every cancer cell is dramatically blasted into oblivion.

I’m not much for action scenes, but this one I enjoy.

Related Posts:



Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 28, 2010

May 28, 2010 at 5:58 am.

1 comment

For Better or For Worse: Dear Sylvester’s Mom

Dear Mrs. Duck,

I am writing to you because I would like you to know that your duckling, the one who fell behind when you were swimming, did not drown all alone in dow’s lake. My mother went back and found him, slowly sinking into the water. When the man whom she asked to call the bird care center refused, my mom knelt by the water an hoped that he would simply, well… float over, and, wonder of wonders, he did! My mom scooped him out and gently cradled him in her hands all the way back to our home. When I got home, there he was, sitting in his water dish. We named him Sylvester, after a duckling that lived in my mom’s classroom when she was small. We each took a turn carefully holding him in our hands. Sylvester was so soft! When my dad got home, he took Sylvester to the bird care center, there, they found that his mouth was full of blood. Immediately, they stopped examining him and gave him some medicine to make him more comfortable. That night comfortable, loved and surrounded with other ducks, geese and all sorts of other birds, he quietly passed away. We all cried upon hearing this news. Anyways, I just really thought that you would like to know that your duckling enjoyed his final hours and that his life, though short, had an effect on many people. I’m sure that you are very proud of him.

Also, thank you very much for taking such good care of him while you could and for calling back for him. If you had not done that I think that he would have died all alone and his little life would not have been noticed. At least this way he knew that he was loved very much, not only by you but by my family and everyone who hears this story, Sylvester’s story. I will never forget about your little duck that little trooper, Sylvester.

Sincerely, your friend,

Lucy




Lucy (10) is the second youngest member of the Clan Ross-Blevis. You can read more from Lucy here.

Lucy Posted by Lucy May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm.

2 comments

From the Mouth of Bayla # 22 : One less family member

I know that it sounds like a human in our family died but sad to say ;it was Sylvester. He died yesterday night after he had been given medicine. I was so happy when we had saved him and we were all convinced he would NOT die but we were wrong. Now were all crying. Sylvester I just wanted to let you know I love you, we ALL love you. Sylvester, we will always love and remember you, Sylvester there will NEVER be a duck like you. All our love, Bayla, Lucy, Andrea & Mark. :-)



Bayla (Now 9!) is the youngest member of the Clan Ross-Blevis. You can read more from Bayla here.

Bayla Posted by Bayla May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm.

2 comments

Our Little Duck Died

Our beautiful little duckling has died.

During his examination at the Wild Bird Care Centre last night, it became obvious he was injured beyond repair (he was likely hit by a bike).

The caregivers aborted the exam. They gave him medication to ease his pain.

He died overnight.

Poor sweet little thing.

It’s hard to know if I did the right thing.



Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm.

12 comments

From the Mouth of Bayla #21: a new pet

Plop! A poor little duckling keels over in the water, he is starting to sink, little by little. Mom, wishing, that duckling could come to the shore, somehow. Whoosh. the current pushes the poor duck to the shore. Mom picked him up and brought him home!!!!! Then mom picked us up from school and told us that we had an adventure and she told us that “I’ll only tell you if we don’t get to the house in time.” So we got to the house and little Sylvester was sitting in his water dish.



Bayla (Now 9!) is the youngest member of the Clan Ross-Blevis. You can read more from Bayla here.

Bayla Posted by Bayla May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010 at 10:00 am.

Add a comment

Like Water Off a Duck

A tiny survivor entered my life today.

During my daily Gratitude Walk this morning, I spotted a family of ducks: four ducklings and a mom.

One little duck was being ferried around by his mates, his legs limply hanging and his body slightly submerged.

I admired them for a while and moved along.

Not long afterward, the little family caught up to me and hopped up onto the shore. The mother faced the water, calling and calling.

They were one duckling short.

Returning to the original site, I found the injured sibling. Struggling, lopsided in the water, one little mini wing flapping.

And sinking fast.

A passerby declined my request to phone for wildlife help so I stood at the waters edge and hoped the little duck would float into reach.

He did. I scooped him up and carried him home.

(Not the passerby. The duck.)

Our Wild Bird Care Centre helped me make him comfortable while I ran to radiation. He was flopped over to one side, his eyes closed and I didn’t like to leave him.

I hoped the whole way there and back that he’d be alive and revived when I returned.

He was.

I found him sitting in his water dish, eyes open and alert.

Patiently waiting for his drive to the Wild Bird Care Centre.

Sweet little Duck.



Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 26, 2010

May 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm.

8 comments

Happiness Is…

Psychosocial Oncology.

Again and again I’ve been bowled over with gratitude for the skillful and compassionate nurses, technicians and physicians who have cared for me during this journey…

As I’ve been rolled in and out of surgeries, cared for in recovery rooms, carefully injected with chemo and positioned to the millimeter for radiation.

And for the health care system that has foot the bill.

But some of the most spectacular, gratitude-invoking work to date happened last Friday.

I arrived at the hospital cracked open with despair and found my way to Psychosocial Oncology. I cried uncontrollably as I awaited an initial, impromptu meeting with a social worker. I was barely coherent as I unloaded my long list of troubles to the patient, level-headed young health worker who had generously squeezed me into her day.

And somehow, she put me together again.

She listened, she made notes, she spoke gently and logically. She divided my troubles into chunks and assured me we’d work each chunk, together.

And I was able to go on.

With immense gratitude.



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm.

9 comments

The most lavish party this town has ever seen

Some months ago I didn’t think there was going to be a birthday party for me this year — my 40th. The truth is, I wasn’t sure I wanted a birthday party what with everything that was going on in our lives. Andrea insisted she would arrange a party for me.

Imagine that. While going through chemotherapy, Andrea was committed to arranging a party for me. And she did.

Then came last week — the week from hell. Without going into details, our family situation and stress level was such that neither Andrea nor I felt much like celebrating. In fact, my actual birthday was a real bust. We canceled party-time care for our two daughters… twice.

Then, things turned around. Andrea, Lucy, Bayla and I escaped Ottawa for the day yesterday. We had a fantastic time being together away from our troubles and away from our usual surroundings. During lunch, Andrea suggested we bring Lucy and Bayla along to the party.

It was a perfect suggestion.

And… my party ended up being better than I could have ever expected. I was reminded how great my friends are and my family had a chance to meet others who are important to me: Rick Claus and his wife Kelli, Bob Goyetche, Jay West and his wife Ann, Bob Ledrew (OtherBob) and his wife Cat, Jamie O’Farrell, Julien Smith, Robert Farrell, Maurizio Ortolani and his wife Jacinthe, and Franc Epton and his wife Lisa. Thank you for being a part of my life, being at my party and for the incredible gifts!!!

I’m an amazingly lucky guy!



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.

Mark Posted by Mark May 23, 2010

May 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm.

9 comments

Glimmers

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
– Persian proverb

Heartfelt thanks to my dear friends Caroline and Jay for guiding me toward light during this very, very dark week.

And to Lucy and Mark for holding my hands.

Four twinklings in my murk.



Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm.

5 comments

Look Who’s 40

Happy Birthday, my sweet.

And many, many happy, happy returns.

ps. Check out a glimpse of Mark’s first 40 years in this beautiful post. Thank you, Mark.



Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010 at 8:22 am.

8 comments

This isn’t turning into the party hang out I hoped

I’ve been having a rough week.

  • gaping bald patches (especially at the front of my scalp — exactly like the irate Taxotere victims)
  • continuing harassment and threats from Josephine and Keith Ross
  • news from my medical intuitive of two new areas of cancer
  • distressing in-law challenges
  • continuing discomfort in my right arm, upper back and left leg
  • extreme parenting challenges
  • declined EI medical benefits
  • and the joy of sleepless nights

On the plus side, my good friend Caroline let me rant today as we walked to the hospital and back, so I’m feeling well enough to write this curse-free post.

ps. Andrea needs to care less…Andrea needs to care less…Andrea needs to care less…

Related Posts:



Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm.

24 comments

Simulated Sibling

A sister dim-witted and bland,
Kept her head seven months in the sand,
Not one card, call or meal,
Through the cancer ordeal,
Yet her insults we’ll grin and withstand.



More Limerick Therapy here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010 at 1:16 am.

11 comments