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

You are currently browsing the archives for January, 2011.

Happiness Is…

Hoop…. instead of Poop.

Today was a rough day.
Huge thanks to hooping (and Sophie) for the hour-long escape from care.
And to Lucy for joining me.



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 at 11:35 pm.

4 comments

This Poo Shall Pass



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 January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm.

3 comments

You Have High Self-Esteem, Right?

My weaknesses, my wrinkles, my weight, waste and wussiness.

My inner-critic’s bounced right back to full-time abuse.

It’s powerful. It’s persistent.
But it’s no match for my gratitude.

Those bullying thoughts bombard me.
As they always have.
But I bash each one. Because I’m glad to be here.

I’m alive. I’m healthy.
And, bit by bit, that inner-critic’s going down.



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 January 29, 2011

January 29, 2011 at 7:54 am.

8 comments

Personal Drainer

Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.

– Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail

Let me ask you something. Is this a business decision, or is it personal? ‘Cause if it’s business I’ll go away happily. But if it’s personal, I’ll go away… but I won’t be happy.

– G.O.B. Bluth, Bringing Up Buster



More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea January 28, 2011

January 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm.

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Bellyflop… On Ice

Me, zipping home from work on the perfectly groomed canal.

One skate-sized hollow.
Crack.

Me, on my belly wondering if my knees still work.

It’s been 20+ years, and thousands of kilometres, since I’ve been blades-up on the canal.

And, though my knees are swelling as we speak and I’m bound to be achy tomorrow, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d imagined all this time.

Fear of a curious crowd got me right back up, despite the pain and shock. And I skated another 6km.

I’m stronger — and luckier — than I thought.

Thank you, skate gods.



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 January 27, 2011

January 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm.

5 comments

Bees??

Congratulations to Lucy and Bayla on qualifying for and participating in their very first school-wide spelling bee.

And to Lucy for taking second place.



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 January 26, 2011

January 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm.

5 comments

Mr. Media Strikes Again

My handsome husband had his first live, national TV appearance, unexpectedly, yesterday.

That guy is just unflappable.

You can watch his clip here.



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 January 26, 2011

January 26, 2011 at 8:23 am.

5 comments

Surfboard

My port-a-cath has been out two months, today.

I can hardly believe it’s gone.

And I can hardly believe it was actually there.

I am so grateful.



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 January 25, 2011

January 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm.

1 comment

Er… Maybe My Blog Should Just Redirect You To Julien’s

What’s great about the world of awesome is that it’s totally subjective. You don’t have to care about the ways I do it, and I don’t have to like yours. The main judge is yourself, and whether you like yourself more than you did yesterday or last year.

This is only true if you are honest with yourself.

(and… Doing something prestigious does not equal being awesome. In other words, awesome does not look the same close-up as it does from far away.)

Julien Smith, The Short and Sweet Guide to Being Awesome (click on over. His post is, of course, awesome)



More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011 at 9:17 am.

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Preventative Compassion

In minus a million sunshine on the gloriously glassy canal, two Rideau Canal Skate Patrolers took time out, today, to patiently teach a newcomer to skate.

Not much makes me happier than a frosty afternoon on our fantastic skateway.

That did.



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 January 23, 2011

January 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm.

7 comments

I’m not fit to run a company, and I don’t deserve a fancy phone.

If I were more gutsy, I would have quit my job today.

Actually… if I were more gutsy, I probably wouldn’t have felt like quitting.

Either way, I did get a fancy phone today. Unexpectedly.

So, I’ve got that going for me.

Thanks, Mark.

I guess I’ll go back to work tomorrow, afterall.



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 January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm.

4 comments

And That’s Why You Always Leave A Note

I thought I’d squeaked out of chemo with just some swapped homophones and fatigue.

As it turns out, memory issues are only issues if you remember you’ve forgotten stuff.

Today, I noticed this note, stuck next to my home work/sew station.

“Jan 15″ was three days ago. And I have absolutely no idea where I was supposed to be.

On the bright side, neither does Mark.
And it’s his writing.



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 January 18, 2011

January 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm.

9 comments

Inertia Major

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud became greater than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin (via Marcus Buckingham, The Truth About You)



More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea January 16, 2011

January 16, 2011 at 11:51 am.

1 comment

Posts I Didn’t Write

My new-found respect for sleep means my waking hours are (unevenly) divided between parenting and working.

And that writing and reading and sewing and building and lots of other projects are put off to another day. A cancer-free day, thanks to all that sleep.

So, here are the blog posts I didn’t write this week. Thoughts that have been swirling in the crevices between earning cash and being mom:

  • On Doing-For and Doing-With
  • The Canal is My Small Town
  • Sometimes I Just Like to Think Ma Thoughts
  • Just Like Nothing Happened

And here are some thought-provoking posts, thankfully, someone else did write:



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 January 14, 2011

January 14, 2011 at 8:10 am.

6 comments

And That’s How You Narrate A Story

Mark recently shared with its makers the story of a happy family who almost lost everything and the one husband who had to keep them all together — I mean, how Marketcircle‘s Daylite Productivity Suite saved his sanity.

Here it is:

If you’ve ever had to deal with a cancer diagnosis in your family, you’re probably familiar with the changes it imposes on your life how it plays with your cognitive focus. This is what my family experienced when my wife, Andrea Ross, SMS’d me on October 6, 2009 with two big-small words: “It’s cancer.”

After I overcame the shock, I realized I would have to be Andrea’s chearleading champion and primary support. I half-jokingly announced to anyone I spoke to that I was taking on the role of project manager of Andrea’s treatment program. I also realized I would have to be coordinator of the family members and friends who emerged as our support system. In the process, I had to learn the medical language of cancer.

Daylite was the perfect tool to stay on top of our new life. It was my co-pilot. I maintained contact records and meeting notes for our new world which included a surgeon, medical oncologist, radio-oncologist, Breast Cancer Clinic case worker, Patient Designated Nurse (PDN) and a home care nurse. There were surgical prep appointments, an arsenal of tests, three surgeries and all the related recovery information, nuclear medicine appointments, energy treatments, blood tests, six chemo treatments over 18 weeks, six weeks of radiation treatment (30 in all) and port-a-cath flushes.

If that’s not enough, our family still had to function as one. Daylite helped me keep track of our daughters’ (then eight and ten years old) extra-curricular activities and invitations from friends and family who hosted them for playdates, ski outings, dinners and sleepovers.

I depended heavily on Daylite’s ability to link appointments, phone calls, emails and contacts to task and projects. I kept good notes in the details and meeting minutes fields. I can’t think of a feature of Daylite that didn’t help me keep my wits about me.

Daylite Touch was a fantastic tool, as well. I used it to stay on top of everything wherever I was. Having said that, I couldn’t have the 3G features of my iPhone enabled in most of the hospital, and I was more than conscious of the stigma attached to taking “handheld notes” during face-to-face meetings. So, I kept handwritten notes using my Livescribe Pulse Smartpen (livescribe.com) and attached the PDFs into appropriate records in Daylite. This saved me missing important information and allowed me to avoid a double entry note system. It was a snap!

I’m excited beyond words that Andrea’s been given a clean bill of health. The busiest part of her treatment program ended in time for us to enjoy an amazing and re-connecting summer. She returned to work in September. She have another four years of Tamoxifen and has lingering discomfort from the assault on her body. You learn to love life and live it all over again.

Did Daylite save Andrea’s life? No. Mine? Perhaps. We’ll never know. What I do know is there’s no way I could have kept my wits about me while tracking of all of the goings-on using any other personal organization software – definitely not as efficiently or effectively.

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.

Andrea Posted by Andrea January 11, 2011

January 11, 2011 at 7:57 pm.

3 comments