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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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

Happiness Is…

Evolving.

On April 14, 2011, after 25 years of full-time employment and with no new position in the works, I quit my job.

That evening, I tiptoed timidly into the world of dance. Burlesque, unbelievably. Then celebrated with red wine, Mark and our good friend, Laura.

In the six weeks since then, I’ve turned down a full-time systems analyst position, booked our long-dreamed-of cross-Canada train trip, joined the speaker roster for PAB2011, contributed daily to Mark’s new company and endured ten grueling hours of choreographed belly dancing.

Sure, I’ve continued to torture myself with self-doubt, -criticism and -loathing.
But I’m better, stronger, happier than I was.

I’m alive.
And I’m evolving.



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea May 27, 2011

May 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm.

28 comments

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

March Forth

I’ve been in a weird place, lately.

Somewhere where I don’t know where I am.

I’ve fallen off my anti-cancer wagons. And then beaten myself up, accordingly.

I’ve slipped into my pre-c self-loathing. And then beaten myself up, accordingly.

I’ve tried and succeeded. I’ve tried and failed.
I’ve floundered.

But we’re alive, healthy and happy. March break is just around the corner. Mark’s employment story looks bright.

And the canal is still open — and perfect. March fourth.

March forth.



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 4, 2011

March 4, 2011 at 8:12 am.

6 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

Here Comes the 10:15 Conniption, Right on Time

In the first few years after it, Jay and I laughed that our 7650 kilometre coast-to-coast cycling slog had eliminated all chances of future adventure.

Once-thrilling ski and bike tours, tough as they were, left us unfulfilled.

Our bang bar was just too high.

Turns out cancer raised a bang bar of its own.

Mark lost his job Monday.
It blindsided us both.

But we’re all alive and healthy.

We’re concerned, curious and quite run down.

But this challenge, tough as it is, is well below the bar.



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 4, 2011

February 4, 2011 at 7:22 am.

10 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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Everyone’s laughing and riding and cornholing except Buster.

Well, it’s Groundhog Day… again… and that must mean I’m up here in the frozen north, tip-tapping my keyboard and listening, obliviously, to the intermittent vacation plans and reports of family and friends.

I’m typically teflon to travel tales. But this morning – they’re touching something.

Janice rebuilding in New Orleans. Natalie and Mike asanaing in the Costa Rican jungle. Betti, Kathi and countless co-workers counting down sleeps to the sunny south.

I popped back, this morning, to glimpse my 2010 wood-chuck-chucking self and realized: Hey, I’ve escaped  Punxatawney. And I am the woman I wanted.

Now, I’ve got places to go and people to be.



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 2, 2011

February 2, 2011 at 7:21 am.

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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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