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

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Order Some Joy

“What do you want?” Sarah asks me.

What do I want?

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.”

We close our menus and clink our chiantis…


Juicy Joy – 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self. Lisa McCourt. (This book is not yet published. You can snag a sneak peek by signing up for Lisa’s newsletter, here.)





More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010 at 9:15 am.

1 comment

Woohoo!

Last month, I invited you to join me in my effort to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by sponsoring me here.

In the 6 weeks since, you’ve raised $4000!

(….and made me the 3rd highest fundraiser for the Ottawa-Gatineau run, so far!!)

Huge, huge thank yous to:


Lee Edward Fodi
Snookie & Norman Lomow
Sheree Fitch
Pam Hunter
Anita Neubert
Bob Goyetche
Kevin Chouinard
Evelina Vezarov
Heather Duggan
Mare Swallow
Todd and Christie Bastianon
Ana-Maria Popescu
Lori-Ann, Curtis & Olivia
Laura Bergen
Paul & Sheri Goulet


Bob Ledrew
Tanya Snook
Robert McCarty
Richard Christie
Chris Brogan
Tom Tentoglou
Mary Lee Hahn
The Gupta/Gustyn Family
Andrew Quayle
Glen McGregor
Carla Howatt
Anne Wiltshire
Jan Annino
Zetta Elliot
Mitch Joel
Sue Murphy
Carolyn Dittburner
Linda Corsini
Corinne Demas
Kaveh Adel
Heather Jopling
Barbara Reid-Crysler
Geoffrey Butler
Bert and Rhoda Blevis
Armeda Vanderwoude
Wilf and Barb Clavette
Clare Rogers
Denise Doyen
Garry and Kathi Tysick
Stephanie Calmenson and Mark Goldman
Carol Heyer
Diane Greenseid
Cathy Arneson
Nancy Pevey
Lane Smith and Molly Leach
William Flanagan
Orit Fruchtman
Diane DeGroat
Sally Ito
Hugh Brewster
Paul Zelinsky
Tania Carriere & Gerry Gaetz
Marla Frazee
The Sinanan Family
Carol Grannick
Coreen Corcoran
Rich Cantrell
Patricia Kahn
Sriram Venkatarman
Stacey MacNevin
Ebony Haywood
Joan Buzick
Tanglewood Books
Mary Antolovich
Jay Schmidt
Daniele Rossi
The Bonsall/Small Family
Joanne Lennon
Greg & Andree O’Donnell
Betti Stiff
Cher & Mo Willems
The Giassa/Whammond Family
Whitney and John Hoffman
$4000!!!! $3000!!! $2000!! $1000!

WOooHooo!!

What generosity will the remaining 34 days of sponsorship bring?



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 August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm.

3 comments

The party was off the hook

We’d been waiting for last night for a long time. It was our opportunity to thank our amazing support network and collectively celebrate great health. We invited 140 people who were instrumental in getting us through the last year. Of course, this is a time of year when people are squeezing the last few hours of summer into their lives. About 50 were able to join us.

It was an incredible evening of hugs, smiles, laughing and lots of food and wine. And after the party wound up, a few hardy friends came back to our house and kept the celebrations going till nearly 3am.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come and be a part of the fun. And… a MASSIVE THANK YOU to our dear friends Athina, Tracy and Jessica (the amazing staff of the First Avenue Day Care) for sharing their space and for being the best hosts ever!

Photos of the party are now online.



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 August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010 at 10:07 pm.

1 comment

Happiness Is…

Celebrating life with good, good friends.

(to enlarge, click image twice — or view details here)



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010 at 9:46 pm.

2 comments

Twisty Paths

By the time you reach 101, you will have learned many lessons. For instance, you will have learned that almost nothing turns out according to plan. And you will know that when we get what we wish for, it is often because we have followed a twisty path.

After Hamelin, Bill Richardson. Annick Press. 2000.



More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm.

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What’s The Surrogate Doing Here?

Summer schedules are busy. And the last week before school may be the craziest time to book a celebration.

But celebrate we must.

We will miss saying huge in-person thank yous to our absent friends.
We hope our gratitude beams reach you wherever you are.



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 August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010 at 12:28 am.

2 comments

Happiness Is…

A Successful Shopping Spree.

I had dreamed last year, while planning our Quebec City getaway, of discovering some funky new hand-made winter clothes.

My diagnosis hit just days before our trip.

As I wandered that gorgeous city, barely daring to notice its inspiring art and creatively concocted clothing, I was pretty sure my shopping days were done.

But they weren’t!

I’m happy to report that, yesterday, Lucy and I spent the entire day in the Byward Market — and boy did we have fun.

We shopped like there was no a tomorrow.

And even though I’ll never look like this gorgeous gal, I decided it was now or never for those funky arm thingies I adore.



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm.

8 comments

Soul Supplements

Last month, I invited you to join me in my effort to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by sponsoring me here.

In the few weeks since, your generous gifts of financial support for cancer research and moral support for our little family have infused all four of us with gratitude and with joy.

Along with your donations of close to $4000, I’ve even received the following juicy little notes of encouragement that feed my soul:

Andrea, I don’t find the right words to describe how much I admire you for the way you have managed to go through the battle with cancer, and for what you are doing right now… I wish you all the best!!
– Ana-Maria

Go, Andrea!!! You inspire me. Cheers.
– Mare

Kudos to you Andrea for all that you have been through and for remaining strong, as well as, giving others hope. Have a great run!
– Pam

xooxoxoxo
– Sheree

Wow.. Andrea you are a true inspiration.. Bravo!
– Snookie & Norman

Best of luck on the run & your battle!
– Kaveh

Thinking of you and sending warmest wishes!
– Corinne

Best wishes Andrea for good health and happiness
– Linda

You continue to inspire, Andrea!
– Sue

Stay healthy
– Mitch

You’re such an inspiration, Andrea–good luck!
– Zetta

We all believe in you, Andrea. thank you for this opportunity. go, go, go, girl! thank you for your love of children’s books.
– Jan

Run fast. Wobble a bit. Laugh at funny things.
– Chris

Congratulations! If you’re looking to build a posse to run with on the big day, let me know.
– Tanya

Go Andrea Go!
– Bob

Never, for one moment, doubt the possibilities that lie ahead. Count us among the many that stand behind you.
– Tania

Good luck, Andrea!
– Paul

You go, Andrea!
– Hugh

Go Andrea!
– Diane

I wish you all the best and hoping for a speedy recovery.
– Cathy

For Andrea, lots of good thoughts and encouragement for your run!
– Diane

Go, Andrea! You have our thoughts and best wishes.
– Stephanie & Mark

Made in support of Andrea’s and my grandmother’s, Marion Morris, cancer battles.
– Denise

You inspire us Andrea.
– Clare

Go Andrea!
– Barb

With you all the way! We know that you will make it on all accounts!
Rhoda & Bert

Sending lots of love
– Barbara

You are amazing
– Andree & Greg

Andrea, I can only imagine what the last 9 months has been like for you. What’s obvious from your blog is you’ve faced it with strength & optimism! I’m glad your treatment is over & I hope you stay cancer free. Have a great summer with your girls. Good luck with the run.
– Joanne

It is awesome that you are doing this, Andrea!
– Jay

You are awesome Andrea!! xoxoxo
– Mary

We wish you the best!
– Joan

All that is yours by Divine Right is now released and reaches you in a perfect way under Grace.
– Ebony

Andrea -you are an inspiration!
– Stacey

Dear Andrea, wish you all the very best in life. Great initiative in running for breast cancer awareness and raising money for the Foundation.
– Sriram

Have followed your journey and am so proud of you and Mark.
– Rich

With wishes for a sustained recovery and a lifetime of productive years.
– Carol

Go Andrea, go! We applaud your efforts and thank you for running to raise funds and awareness. Love to you.
– Jenny

Thank you!

What wonders will the remaining 40 days of sponsorship bring?



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 August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm.

6 comments

Look Who’s 11

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Lucy!

And many, many happy returns.

Love,
Mom
||:xoxoxo:||



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 August 24, 2010

August 24, 2010 at 12:01 am.

4 comments

Incredible. I’m Having an Incredible Year

On August 24, 2009, I turned 44.

Twin digit years being lucky, I slipped into this one with humble hopes for undefined improvements.

Within a week, I’d found that lump.

It’s tough to fathom the changes that followed.

And the improvements.

I could have done without the terror, the discomfort and the physical and financial diminishments. But the net gain this year has truly been incredible.

This year I learned that life is short. That I am strong. That people are good. That my supporters are many.

And the importance of practicing joy.

This twin digit year leaves me a better, stronger, happier me.

I am immensely grateful to Mark, to Lucy, to Bayla and to everyone whose words, smiles, meals, notes, playdates, care and thoughtful actions helped create this incredible year.

And I am thrilled that I will have a chance to say some thank yous in person this Saturday as we celebrate life, good health and good, good friends. I can’t wait.

p.s. Does anyone other than Mark, Mary, Jay, Caroline and myself laugh out loud at these Arrested Development titles, I wonder?



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 August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010 at 8:54 am.

23 comments

Happiness Is…

Sprouts.

My much anticipated birthday present to myself arrived this morning.

Five huge trays of microgreens: Wheat grass, kale, mizuna and pea shoots.

We did a long giddy happy dance, shoved our mouths full of sprouts and sang happy birthday as we swigged some freshly squeezed juice.

Huge thanks to Butterfly Sky Farms. Mmmmmmmm.

Related Posts:



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010 at 10:46 am.

4 comments

An Eerie Artifact

As part of the ongoing archeology that our household shuffle has inspired, I recently unearthed my log notes from the day of my diagnosis.

It’s mind boggling to see, captured right there in blue and white, that unexpected twist on an average office day.



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 August 21, 2010

August 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm.

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Tossing Timid

“Fish eating’s like anything else in life, Elijah. If you go at it ‘specting something bad to happen, all you gunn do is draw that bad thing to you. You caint be timid ’bout nothing you do, you got to go at it like you ‘specting good things to come out of it. If I’s to worry bout bones choking me, it’d happen every time I et fish. Ain’t nothing further from my mind”

Elijah of Buxton. Christopher Paul Curtis. Scholastic Press. 2007.



More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea August 20, 2010

August 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm.

2 comments

From the Mouth of Bayla # 26 :Meech and Dows, Rideau canal and um Meech?

For the past couple of days our family has been staying at Bill’s house.

Lucy and I have gone exploring a lot, we have found salamanders, frogs, red squirrels and foot-tall 2-feet- long animals that coincidentally look a lot like Phaedra.

We haven’t spent a lot of time at Meech Beach (as our dad used to call it) because Bill said it had leeches.

We would like to thank Bill for letting us use his home for a week.

:-)



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

Bayla Posted by Bayla August 19, 2010

August 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm.

2 comments

Time Flies

Seems only yesterday Lucy had her two-month check-up.

She was 23.5″ long.
And beautiful.

Today was her 11-year check-up.

She’s five foot two.
And beautiful.

Unbelievable.



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 August 13, 2010

August 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm.

8 comments