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

Happiness Is..

Bold Steps.
I was completely honoured to be selected to read a WeCanRebuildHer.com post at Blog Out Loud Ottawa, last night. This reading followed an extremely low week for me and I had barely scraped myself together enough to attend the event, let alone participate. I'm immensely grateful to the many friends and magical powers that got me through this week of self-inflicted torment. And I'm grateful to Lynn and the BOLO gang for including me in this fabulous evening. Wishing you health and happiness. Andrea xo http://youtu.be/viduQMyhXJQ

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Andrea Posted by Andrea June 15, 2012

June 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm.

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Happiness Is…

Surviving and thriving.
That's us, to the right. Two years ago today. Moments after sharing the bad news with Luba. So early in a surreal journey. Behind that smile, a big part of me thought life was over. All of me hoped it was just beginning. We headed to Quebec City that week. As planned.  I tossed and turned in the hotel bed, hoping I'd somehow fall asleep before Lucy, Bayla and Mark finished watching "The Corpse Bride", "Beetlejuice", "Edward Scissorhands" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas". I was awoken, one of those nights, by a ringing thought: This was the beginning of "The Spicy Me". Before this ordeal, my aim was to get through life. To make it to some far off end without losing any of the fabulousness I'd stumbled into. New territories and aspirations were reserved for Luba. As a matter of course. Two years ago today, I opened my eyes. I became alert. Aware. Present. Grateful plus. I started examining. And choosing. And imagining more. The two years since then have brought trauma and mourning, recovery and joy. I've made friends. I've taken chances. I've explored new territories. I've become the Spicy Me. I'd never choose cancer. I never want it again. For any one. And I'm supremely grateful for the efflorescing goodness I've been treated to since that mind-boggling beginning. Two years ago today. I'm aspiring to many, many more good years. By the way.

More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011 at 10:29 am.

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Irascible Me

My 30day yoga membership expired today. That might explain my wondering:
  • Why do so many women react so weirdly to my not-working choice? Spare me the horror and the defensiveness.
  • How the heck does one perform a breast self-examination without visualizing and bracing for a lump?
  • And, what's with all the fakes and flakiness?
I'm off to soak up a slice of this gorgeous sunny day and kick this ridiculous cloud to the curb.

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 October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm.

5 comments

Happiness Is…

Preparing for Hallowe'en
I'm not big on the actual event. Trick or treating. Candy. Dealing with the door. But I adore the month-long preparations. The colours. The crafts. The googly-eyed desserts. The rhyming, creativity-packed picture books. The manic costume creation. Two years ago today, as I prepared for those long-awaited test-results, we splurged on Hallowe'en. Filling our craft-store basket, despite the expense. I thought it was my last Hallowe'en. It wasn't. Lucky, lucky me.

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Andrea Posted by Andrea October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm.

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On Happy Endings

Towards the end of my treatment, last year, we rescued Sylvester. A sweet little abandoned duckling. He died the next day. And our hearts all broke. Last week, Lucy and Bayla were honoured with the opportunity to help nurture Bernadette. A sweet tiny abandoned kitten. She too passed away. Our heart break was worse yet. Lucy and Bayla have had to grow up fast. They've heard more than their share of sad stories. And, thanks to our history, the sad ones hit hard. Will they keep risking compassion? I hope so. Time to re-read Tuck... “Everything's a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way it is....” “You can't have living without dying. So you can't call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road.”Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

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 October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm.

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Thank you

Thank you so much for joining Mark, Lucy, Bayla and myself in our efforts to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. You donated $1130!

Thank you for the research you have made possible. Thank you for the spirits you have raised. Thank you for the families you have buoyed. And thank you for all the little girls who may live without breast cancer's shadow. My sincere thanks to all of you for your generosity and your moral and financial support: Amanda Kelman Jenny Sinanan Morrie Johnson Mark and Maureen Blaseckie Val Willis Carolyn, David, Gillian and Jake Wright Lee Edward Fodi Laura Bergen Janice Toews Eden Spodek Tracy Bialecki Connie Crosby Rich Cantrell Greg & Andree O'Donnell Betti and Rob Stiff Bert and Rhoda Blevis Wilf and Barb Clavette Clare Rogers Orit, Sean, Lilly, Elliot and Jo Moore The Gupta/Gustyn Family Eden Spodek Be happy and be well. Love, Andrea xo

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 October 2, 2011

October 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm.

4 comments

Bracing for Pinktober



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 September 30, 2011

September 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm.

3 comments

Happiness Is…

Jack Layton.
Look what the postman just delivered. A cozy, upbeat reminder of our dearly missed Jack. Straight from his beloved T.O. Peace.... Love.... Jack Layton. Perfect. Thank you, Kingi. Thank you, Jack.

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Andrea Posted by Andrea September 29, 2011

September 29, 2011 at 11:05 am.

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Feel Free

When I was diagnosed in October 2009, I was vaguely aware of one woman who had been through the experience before me. I felt isolated. Targeted. Stupid. Alone. Sadly, I don't feel alone now. There are too many of us. And the numbers keep growing. Most of our moms didn't walk this path. I fervently hope that our daughters don't have to. This weekend, we're doing the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's I'm running for the cure, October 2, 2011. You are invited to join me in this effort to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation by sponsoring me. Just click here.Run For The Cure. Feel free to help by sponsoring Mark, Lucy, Bayla or me. Thank you.

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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 September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011 at 10:04 am.

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Happiness Is…

Eighteen intensity-packed days condensed down to 2 minutes of feel-goodness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CszHU8dOB4M Thank you, Mark!

More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011 at 8:41 am.

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Happiness Is…

The many wise, warm, wonderful women who enrich my life.



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Andrea Posted by Andrea September 24, 2011

September 24, 2011 at 7:51 pm.

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Happiness Is…

Weekly evenings with Jay.
A lot's gone on in the past twelve years. Hopes and upheaval. Disappointments. Triumphs. In work, relationships, parenting and health. And through it all, there's been a weekly evening with Jay. Sanity. Sage advice. Laughter. Perspective. Whatever the week brings, my evening with Jay makes it better. Those evenings make me better. I think sometimes about our 18-years-younger selves. Saying our first hellos. With 7,550 km and ten provinces of cycling ahead of us. And all we never dreamed about those next 18 years. And I think of the years ahead of us now. The venting and celebrating of our sixty-something selves. And that makes me smile. Thank you, Jay. And thank you, Mark, for making those evenings possible. All these years.

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Andrea Posted by Andrea September 23, 2011

September 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm.

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Mind Games

We fight about clean-up a lot at our place. About keeping the common areas tidy. Participating in household chores. During after-battle tears, yesterday, Lucy admitted "I know it's for our own good, Mom. So we'll know how to clean up." What? Then it hit me, I'd never really explained why we'd rather fight this battle than breeze through the tasks ourselves. That it's not about technique. And it's not just about comfort and justice and self-discipline and space. It's about the mind-game. Facing a mess and knowing we'll get through it. One tiny bit at a time. Accepting it's there. Deciding how to look at it. Making the first move. Occupying our minds while we do it. And following through til it's done. Like illness. Like recovery. Like fear. Like life.



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 September 21, 2011

September 21, 2011 at 11:47 am.

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Happiness Is…

Three glorious, sun-filled days. Eating, drinking and being merry. With fabulous, fabulous family.



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Andrea Posted by Andrea September 18, 2011

September 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm.

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The Time of My Life

A year ago yesterday, was my first day back to work. But yesterday, wasn't. Lucky, lucky me. Before cancer, I led a charmed life. And I knew it. I was happy. I was healthy. With two delicious daughters. And a vibrant relationship with a hunky, funky, fun-loving man. We had good jobs. A cozy home. Consuming creative, hobbies. Tonnes of passion. And shared our time with interesting, intelligent, authentic, fun-loving friends. I had stress. And I did torture myself. But I really did marvel at my miraculous life. And wondered how I'd stumbled into it. Who'd have guessed it would get even better. I love my life. Thank you, Mark.

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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 September 16, 2011

September 16, 2011 at 8:21 am.

6 comments