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?

About Andrea

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

  • janice

    Happy Birthday!!!!! I am so happy for you for your year, your sprouts, your family, and all that gives you joy (especially Phaedra). nnYou are 7 years younger than me and your kids are 8 and 6 (average 7) years younger than mine. You have so much to look forward to – watching those lovely young women grow.nnOn October 3, 2 hours after you start your race, I will be starting mine, in Calgary, to run for the cure. You are added to my (unfortunately long) list of family and friends who are breast cancer survivors.nnLots of love, Janice. xoxoxo

  • steve

    I only laugh at Jerry & Larry material (probably cuz it’s all I know).rnIn the meanstead, I’m wishing you a Happy Birthday, Andrea. The numbers are sequential, so this year will be just as rewarding and sans discomfort and diminishment. Have a gr8 party you guys.rnAs Ever,rnsteve.

  • Hey Steve, nnThank you for your good wishes. Our celebration Saturday won’t be the same without you, but we’ll photoshop you into the photos — and splice your only-you laugh into any other media we produce. You will be sorely missed.nnps. do you remember Janice, below? I’m pretty sure we hung out a bit during her wild 4 months in Ottawa.

  • Thank you, Janice. I’m sure looking forward to lots and hoping we can even squeeze a train ride out to see you in those seven years.

    Darn! I hoped you’d be joining us in Ottawa October 3. I’m glad to know we’ll be running together, sorta.

    Hoping you’ll be out this way very soon, even if it doesn’t coincide with the run, and that you’ll stay at our place and visit a while.

    Lots of love,
    Andreanps. do you remember Steve, above? I’m pretty sure we hung out a bit during your wild 4 months in Ottawa.

  • Tracy Bialecki

    Happy Birthday to Lucy! Happy Birthday to you Andrea! Sorry we won’t be at the party but we will be celebrating with you in spirit, have a terrific time! Love, Tracy

  • Up top! Yeah!

  • Tim Coyne

    I SO wish I could be there on Saturday. You look great!nnTim

  • Jay

    Happy Birthday, Andrea!! What a year youu2019ve had. I love this post and the accompanying picture. Itu2019s so great to see you in this place of strength and joy. Canu2019t wait to celebrate with you twice this week!

  • Thank you, Tim. We wish you could be there too. It’s been too too long since we’ve seen you but we are reminded of you often and we both truly get great joy just bringing to mind your smile, your twinkling eyes, your cheeky wit and fabulous stories.nnps. that photo is the pre-diagnosis me. unfortunately. from my birthday last year!

  • Thank you, Jay! I cannot wait to celebrate with you *twice* this week!nnUnfortunately, that photo is the pre-diagnosis me from my birthday last year. Guess I better replace it

  • I’ve replaced the misleading photo. I’m a better, stronger, happier me, but I still look like hell and I guess the photo was sorta false advertising.

    Funny. When I was making this post, I searched all the photos from August of last year and found no photos of me on my actual birthday, and barely any photos of me at all.

    During my treatment, I took photos of myself constantly.

    I guess it’s a good sign that things have returned to normal that now in looking for a decent photo of myself from the weeks leading up to my birthday this year that I wasn’t able to find a single one. Decent, that is. In focus and not at some ungodly kid-taken angle.

    So here’s a photo of my cake from last year. nnFull disclosure: I didn’t have cake for my actual birthday last year. I picked this one up for myself on the way home from work on a whim one day weeks after my birthday while awaiting results of my various tests.

  • Jay

    You so so so do NOT look like hell! I love that you picked up that cake for yourself last year!

  • janice

    Sorry I can’t make it in October – too much going on here. nnI think I remember Steve – I would if I saw him. So our wild 4 months in Ottawa was wild by your standards? We went out EVERY night, if only for coffee. I thought you just lived like that. We laughed a lot.nnWhat a fabulous birthday present you got 11 years ago. Although labour is not the best way to spend the day, the results are worth it. I LOVE it that you picked up a cake for yourself weeks after your birthday. I bet you had lots of help eating it.nnIn 7 years you will be like me – 52 with a graduate, heading for post-secondary.nnTake care – XOXOnJanice

  • Hiromi

    Happy birthday to you and Lucy! Sorry that we will miss the get-together on Saturday. I saw your post about Mosaika – we still haven’t gone, but are planning to make it before Sept 12!rn

  • I remember tonnes of outings laughing coffee “celebrating” with Mike and Bill. Feeling like we were living in residence as we gathered each of us up from our block-apart homes. Several parties, some skiing, lots of great humour and mostly lots and lots of laughs

  • Ktysick

    Happy Belated Birthday Andrea and Lucy!rnI hope you both had wonderful birthdays. I look forward to seeing you all next year.rnrnLove Kathirnxoxo

  • Many many happy returns of the day, Andrea. I could never guess you are 45 (in age; of course you are much more so, in your wisdom). Wishing you many many more happy birthdays with Mark, Lucy and Bayla (and their families).

  • Thank you, Hiromi!nnWe’ll miss you on Saturday and hope to have many opportunities to chat, laugh and celebrate with you soon.

  • Thank you so much Sriram. nnFunny, 45 would have seemed old to me this time last year. Perspective is everything, eh?nnI hope you, Priya and your whole family have a fabulous time in Coimbatore this weekend celebrating your cousins engagement, and a safe trip home.nnBe well,nAndreanxo

  • Thank you, Kathi!nnWe look forward to getting together with you next year too.nnLove,nAndrea

  • bobledrew

    Aw, wish I could give you a birthday hug in person!

  • bobledrew

    And no, you’re not the only one who gets ’em.

  • 🙂 I misunderestimated you.

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