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

Looking for Me

In January, 2009, I was a busy woman. A stressed-out Nortel software designer. A hard-working mother to 7 and 9 year old girls. A passionate kidlit advocate publishing four podcast episodes a week.

I exercised tonnes. I moved fast. I hardly slept.

In April, 2009, after 26 years of systems analysis, programming and design, I leapt to a short-term technical writing position. I’d never identified with my occupation but without my high-stress, high-tech job, I did kind of wonder who I was.

But I was Andrea Ross of JustOneMoreBook. I was creating stuff. Life was exciting. And the twenty-minute walk to my cushy tech-writing job was lovely.

I was fine.

In September, 2009, in midst of that six-week diagnostic stress, I kicked our beloved podcast to the curb. Before that identity loss had time to hit, I’d been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Thus began another busy year.

In September, 2010, I returned to my short-term technical writing position. But the pointlessness, plodding pace and poisonous co-workers soon put an end to that too. On April 14, 2011, I quit. Ending almost 30 years of constant full-time employment.

And here I am. No podcast. No job.  And two tween-age kids who consistently resist me.

I could cook or clean. But I don’t.
I could get out and do stuff. But I can’t think what.

I know I’m lucky.

Now, who am I?

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

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Andrea Posted by Andrea July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm.

14 comments

  • Virginia

    I understand exactly what you’re feeling regarding who you are, trying to find yourself again after cancer. Being lucky yes, definitely yes!nnGood luck with your journey :)

  • Virginia

    I understand exactly what you’re feeling regarding who you are, trying to find yourself again after cancer. Being lucky yes, definitely yes!nnGood luck with your journey :)

  • Virginia

    I understand exactly what you’re feeling regarding who you are, trying to find yourself again after cancer. Being lucky yes, definitely yes!nnGood luck with your journey :)

  • CousinChristine

    You are Andrea, and you are awesome!

  • Nancy

    I get this feeling to simply write this – look back over that blog post and I think you’ll find your answer.

  • http://suddenalarm.blaseckie.ca Maureen Blaseckie

    The person inside does not change, just what the person does…podcaster, software designer, mother…those are job descriptions, not person descriptions.u00a0You are the same person who did all those things and still doing a lot of them too.u00a0nIt takes far more than one or two word job descriptions to sum up the experiences of a lifetime or even of a year and how those moments, memorable or otherwise, have shaped the person inside sitting looking out at the world. It sounds like today is a difficult day, go easy on yourself, remember that part of you is a child that needs cuddles and understanding. If no one else around you is doing that cuddling, then it’s up to the adult inside of you to hold her carefully, gently and take her for an ice cream…Seriously.u00a0nAs for the tweens…that’s the age they are going through: the dark side. Underneath their confusion at all the changes happening to their bodies and to their lives are the same babies you cuddled, cradled and loved. It’s hard to see that because they’re all pin feathers and rolling eyes at everything you say. Peek in when they’re asleep and you’ll see them as you remember them.u00a0nnxxoonmoe

  • http://www.WeCanRebuildHer.com Andrea Ross

    Thank you, Moe, for your wisdom, friendship and generosity. I’ll try.

  • http://www.WeCanRebuildHer.com Andrea Ross

    Puzzling. Thank you, Nancy.n

  • http://www.WeCanRebuildHer.com Andrea Ross

    Ha! Me and Rhino, right? Thank you, Christine!

  • http://www.WeCanRebuildHer.com Andrea Ross

    Thank you, Ginny. Let us know when you are close by. I’d love to meet you and your family.nnWishing you happiness and continued good health.

  • http://suddenalarm.blaseckie.ca Maureen Blaseckie

    try the ice cream first…;>)

  • Janice

    u00a0Maureen, you are very wise. nnIt is hard to be a mother of tweens and teens but it is also wonderful. They are still the same people as your babies were. You need a lot of trust. Trust is hard. Treasure all the smiles and spontaneous moments when they forget that you are the parent-enemy. nnI am also struggling with ‘who am I?’ I have been a care-giver for so many years and now my daughter is almost self-sufficient. But, I am still her mother, with a new role.

  • Andree O’Donnell

    Thank you for your honesty. I have felt the same way and have had very different experiences. I wish I could answer this question but I too am on the same path. I accept my titles and look forward to new ones as I evolve with each stage of my life.nnp.s. when I see you, I think wow, I feel lucky to know such an amazing, well rounded, interesting, strong and creative woman.u00a0

  • http://www.wecanrebuildher.com Andrea

    Thank you, Andree. You’re too kind. And I’m lucky and proud to have a friend as strong and talented and authentic and generous and fun and interesting as you.