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

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Oh BOLO Me-o ♫

I had no idea this event existed. Thanks to my friend, Laurie, I'll be there. I hope you will too. BLOG OUT LOUD 2011 WHERE: The Prescott, 379 Preston Street, at Preston and Beech WHEN: Thursday, July 7, 2011 from 7pm to 10pm WHO: 20+ bloggers reading their favourite post from the past year; plus several photo bloggers displaying their art WHO'S INVITED: Anyone who likes to hear good 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 June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm.

2 comments

Bold. By Default.

One million times I backed out of this jolt. But having publicly announced and collected input for a 5 minute spiel about standing up to fear, it seemed the embarrassment of backing out might actually dwarf the embarrassment of flopping. So I did the jolt. And I'm glad I did. Because life is better when we take bold steps. Thanks to Alexa Clark for the jolt photo.

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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 June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011 at 7:26 am.

10 comments

Happiness Is…

A 21-month attagirl from oncology.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm.

6 comments

Digesting PAB

For the 53 hours since PAB ended, I've been squeezing my brain, hoping to shrink the PAB2011 experience down to a blog-post-sized blurb.

My mind, my chest, my eyes are still swelling with swirling ideas and images. Huge laughs, huge smiles, huge buzzing, tingling emotions. Huge gratitude for the privilege of belonging. This morning, as we attended Lucy's grade 6 graduation, I realized that the stilted, tension-filled ickiness of that sweltering gym, thick with twelve years of inter-parental encounters, was the anti-PAB. And that helped boil the weekend down to its core... PAB gets me. It lets me be me when I'm there. And seems to do the same for us all. PAB's about expressing, not impressing. It's about connecting and creating and stretching and sharing. It's a slingshot into life. Thanks to everybody for the photos (and for the weekend, of course).
More PAB 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 June 28, 2011

June 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm.

10 comments

Happiness Is…

Genuine, generous, creative, talented, inspiring, fun-loving PABsters.
What a wonderful weekend. Huge thanks to everyone who made it so. Photo credit Martin Jones.

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 June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm.

1 comment

Happiness Is…

PAB
Here's a window into why. Cannot wait for PAB2011. Thanks to Bob Goyetche for the photo, above. And huge thanks to Andree for making my PAB2011 weekend possible.

More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011 at 10:01 am.

1 comment

Gratitude vs Self-Loathing: Still Wrestling

Thank you, John, for inviting me into your beautiful Women and Classic Cameras series, for your kind words, and for the opportunity to step up to big fears. 

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 June 19, 2011

June 19, 2011 at 9:36 am.

1 comment

Happiness Is…

Taking Bold Steps.

More than once, I walked home crying. But I made it through my first ever dance class. And I'm absolutely thrilled that I did.

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More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea June 17, 2011

June 17, 2011 at 10:22 am.

8 comments

Healing Humiliation: Wise Words from Julien Smith

I've been planning my PAB2011 Jolt. But I'm choking. Luckily, I remembered this sanity-saving advice from Julien Smith. Here's a tiny taste....

Do things that you consider embarrassing.

You must try this. Find your internal filters and break them, one at a time. Notice how society, like an ocean, smoothes over the waves you make, until what you do gets eliminated, or becomes the status quo. Work with this.

-- Julien Smith, The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck If my Jolt is a flop. I'll handle it. Eeep.

More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea June 8, 2011

June 8, 2011 at 8:59 pm.

4 comments

Baby Steps

Yesterday was the end of term dance recital at our local community centre. What a fabulous show. Hundreds of talented young people filled with energy, confidence, excitement and joy. Even my belly dancing class troupe performed. Did I join them? No. Did I drop out of the class? Yes. And yet watching that 90 minutes of dance just thrilled me. My timid tip-toeing into dance has opened life up. My burlesque is bashful. My belly dancing, a flop. But I'm trying. And, although what I hoped would be an introductory class turned out to be a seasoned troupe, I'm undeterred. I've signed up for five new dance classes. I may never make it into a recital. But, you know, I'm really hoping I do. And that's definitely a whole new me.

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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 June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm.

11 comments

Talk for Walking

I'm always pleased to hear that my blog has reached people. Especially those on their own versions of this journey. Today, I heard from Alex in London, England. She asked if I had any advice for post-treatment life. I thought I'd share my response here...
Hi Alex, Congratulations on completion of your treatment and thanks for your very kind message. Hmmm. Advice for life after treatment? I guess my advice would be: lower your standards, enjoy each day, face your fears, exude gratitude and try not to stress about prevention. It seems easy to find tonnes of advice on how to try to prevent recurrence and I made a tonne of lifestyle, food, habit changes during my treatment. But the best advice I have for myself (or you) is probably to be good to myself: and that can mean to remember to be moderate about the anti-cancer stuff. Not to beat myself up because I go weeks or months without eating brazil nuts or almonds or ginger or green tea or flax meal. To accept that I drink coffee and red wine etc. That I have the occasional run of late nights. Oh, and unsubscribe from all cancer blogs! (I do check in on my cancer-friends from time to time, and catch up on their stories, but getting a steady stream of daily cancer-news was not having healthy results for the post-treatment me) And here's a great bunch of advice. Wishing you many years of great health and happiness. Andrea

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More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea June 5, 2011

June 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm.

4 comments

Happiness Is…

Healing, Growth and Resilience.
I am immeasurably grateful for all three.

More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea June 2, 2011

June 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm.

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Ease

I don't dream of flying, fulfillment or fame. Even my life-long boat, plane and elevator disaster dreams are almost always preempted, these last few years, by the horrid-family-problem theme. But last night I had an absolutely, extremely, wonderfully atypical dream. I dreamed the path I was walking was littered with bills. So many bills, here and there, that I began to leave most of them, stooping only to snag the curled and crumpled red fifties. I didn't feel greedy. Or guilty. Or even thrilled. I felt lucky. Tickled. And I awoke feeling good. It was so out of character, I just had to ask google:
A dream of finding money suggests that the dreamer is becoming aware of their intrinsic value to themselves and others, from a spiritual, rather than a material perspective. It can also indicate a recent success or imminent achievement in their waking life in which their self worth is visibly manifested. Often this dream indicates that the dreamer possesses special artistic or creative abilities that they are in the process of becoming aware of... Dream Message You are worth more than you think you are, and should not feel reticent about taking the chance to prove your value to yourself and others. As you become more aware of your own self worth, you will become more confident at exploring opportunities in your waking life that are to your advantage. (Ian Wallace, Finding Money)
I'm glad I checked.
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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 June 1, 2011

June 1, 2011 at 11:53 am.

9 comments