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

A Fresh Chapter

Happy New Year!

We’ve begun a fresh chapter: The Something Of Our Ways.

Hope to see you there…

 



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 9, 2012

January 9, 2012 at 3:48 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.

11 comments

Hmmmm

I would have much preferred to be the subject of the “Instant Stress Relief!” or “Make Good Sex Great” article.

But whatever.

Prevention Magazine. October 2011. Pages 94-95.



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 8, 2011

September 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm.

5 comments

Living What Counts



More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea August 9, 2011

August 9, 2011 at 11:38 am.

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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.

Andrea Posted by Andrea July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm.

14 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

Up here, Michael.


In October 2009, I was desperate to have both breasts removed.

Thanks to my insistent surgeon, I didn’t.

They’re small. They’re lopsided.
There are scars on both.

But they’re here. And so am I.

Lucky me.



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 May 20, 2011

May 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm.

1 comment

Ooooh! Look at all these Parts!

When Mark lost his job last month, a friend grinned,
“When one door closes, another opens…
Sometimes, 17 others open.”

And it’s been true.
Possibilities have been popping up ever since.

Possible new paths for Mark.
And, surprisingly, hints of possible new paths for me.

Just hints, at this point. Vague invitations that may mean crossroads ahead.

But, several of them.

Open doors (even hints of open doors) are deliciously scary.



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 March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011 at 8:22 am.

9 comments

The Something of My Ways… Wisdom?

I took a timeout from teleworking today to enjoy a walk with Phaedra.

As my ever-burgeoning buttocks bounced happily behind me, I wondered what tweaks to my daily habits might reverse that jiggling trend.

A young man caught up to me on the all-but-deserted pathway, “You’re going to think this is very forward of me, but I’m a personal trainer and…” bla, bla, bla.

The lengthy exchange was pleasant and professional and I returned to my walk feeling triumphant at having successfully deflected all compliments and steered clear of a pitch.

It was only as my mind was drawn back to my jiggling behind that I realized what I’d done.

How often do I nip opportunity in the bud?
Why do I put pride ahead of progress?
And, what’s the scoop on this Marvin guy? I wish I’d got his last name.



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 February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm.

2 comments

Happiness Is…

Fresh Starts.



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea February 3, 2011

February 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm.

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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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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

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

You Bet Your Life

“Every decision you make is one you should be comfortable betting on. If you’re not, you should be making different decisions.”

Julien SmithHow to Waste Your Life (January 2011)



More Borrowed Words here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm.

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It’s just that I was constantly being called to the phone, or I was asked a question, or I was being resuscitated

I’ve been back at work for seven weeks and, while I’ve enjoyed the geeky problem-solving, the feelings of accomplishment and, best of all, the cash, my huge challenge is time.

With 8 packed and hurried work hours, bookended by the commute, delivery and pickup of Luba, and morning and evening chores, I’m scrambling through days and letting loads of life slide.

Hyper-healthy eating takes tonnes of time. And my millions of physiotherapy, oncology, port-a-cath flush appointments, plus the getting there and wait times, really put the squeeze on my already rushed ragged routine.

I had assumed that I’d be returning to a three day work week. And, given my uber-productivity, I hadn’t dreamed I’d be denied.

But my employer couldn’t oblige.

Hmmmmm.



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 November 4, 2010

November 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm.

3 comments