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

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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Have We Done Hair Off Glasses On? (7 months)

Way over-gelled today, but getting nice and long!

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Sorry about the photo quality. We were scrambling and ended up taking the photos at the Oat. “Not my best work, though. She wanted to look 48. I nearly airbrushed her into oblivion. Ended up checking ‘albino’ in the form



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 2, 2010

November 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm.

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Have We Done Hair Off Glasses On? (6 months)

And, thanks to chemo-induced menopause, my face is becoming furry!

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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 October 2, 2010

October 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm.

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They Make Me Feel Dressier**

I never would have guessed I’d miss my Groucho Marx eye brows.

Even after I’d lost them, I would have laughed right out loud at the thought of coaxing them back.

But, tonight I did just that.

I googled growing eye brows and then slathered mine in coconut oil.

We’re hard on ourselves. It fuels the economy. But after years of berating my body, my features, my traits, it feels good to know that I’d rather be me.

With or without the caterpillar brows.

**



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 29, 2010

September 29, 2010 at 10:15 pm.

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Have We Done Hair Off Glasses On? (5 months)

It’s Curly!

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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 1, 2010

September 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm.

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Have We Done Hair Off Glasses On? (4 months)

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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 August 3, 2010

August 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm.

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Happiness Is…

Being Me.

It’s a month, today, since my final radiation treatment.

In these four glorious weeks, I’ve been living it up and lollygagging with good friends and good family.

I’ve grown some eyelashes and some hair.
I’ve stepped up to the scariness of public speaking.
I’ve coasted obliviously through a significant earthquake.
I’ve enjoyed schedule-free summer days with Lucy and Bayla.

I’m now two weeks into my five years of hormone therapy and — touch wood — its been blissfully imperceptible.

My white blood count is still low (I had a good cry over that news this morning). And various muscles and joints are still struggling with the effects of chemo.

But I feel like myself again — only better, stronger and happier. Really.

I am the rebuilt me.

And, with every thought and every choice, I’m working to stay that way.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.



More Happiness here.

Andrea Posted by Andrea July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm.

16 comments

No More Free Electrolysis

I shaved for the first time today.

Never thought that’d be exciting news.

But it is.



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 15, 2010

May 15, 2010 at 6:46 am.

4 comments

Have We Done Hair Off, Glasses On? (1 Month)

If you look super hard, you can see sparse, white(!) peach fuzz.

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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 May 2, 2010

May 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm.

19 comments

Chemo Brane

I didn’t opt for the regular brain MRIs and chemo brain study, so I don’t know for sure how my grey matter fared, but here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • memory leaks (I keep losing things because I simply can’t recall where I put them)
  • crazy word snafus (even though my brain says the appropriate word, my fingers type “duo” instead of “duel”, “link” instead of “leak”, and “your” instead of “you’re”; questioning spelling of simple homophones like “here” and “hear”; and even completely reversing words when typing)
  • word loss (when speaking, I know which word I’m searching for but just can’t find it)
  • balance burps (I have little balance challenges where I otherwise wouldn’t have had)
  • short attention span (I’m actually hoping this is just due to fatigue)
  • constant spouting of Arrested Development quotes (no, wait, I’ve always done that).

If this is the extent of my impact, I’ll consider myself lucky.



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 April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010 at 5:45 am.

8 comments

Okay, Is There A Carbon Monoxide Leak In this House?

I continued to work through the diagnosis, the surgeries and the corresponding recoveries.

I put my head down and powered through the chemo.

Maybe it’s catching up to me now. Or maybe it’s all my recent celebrating, real-life and staying up way past eight.

Whatever the reason, I’m spent.

Procrastination now drags my daily exercise to almost the full day and, due in part to my hole-falling-into experience on Sunday, I’ve had to replace my daily jog with a second leisurely stroll.

But I’m alive.
And healthy.
And happy.

And grateful.



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 April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010 at 10:45 am.

2 comments

T Minus Six Days and Counting

It’s Day 15 of my final round of chemo and my discernible symptoms are down to just stinging, watering, unable-to-hold-focus eyes and the unexplained patches under each.

Six more days ’til I’m out and about.



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 April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm.

11 comments

Are We There Yet?

Today is day 10 of my final chemo cycle.

Yesterday was fabulous.

Today isn’t.

Either way, only eleven days to go.



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 April 10, 2010

April 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm.

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At Long, Long Last…
and well worth the wait

All winter long, I’ve looked forward to being on this side of chemo.

And now, unbelievably, here we are!

It may be tedious, but I’m so thrilled to have reached what seemed for so long like an unattainable mirage, that I just must document this fabulous, fabulous day.

A Play by Play of this Beautiful, Long-Awaited Day:

9:06 a.m.

The morning drop off.

We’re pretty excited.

10:15 a.m.

Enroute to blood work.

Hope, hope, hoping that my counts are all fabulous and we go ahead with the infusion.

10:30 a.m.

Last pre-chemo bloodwork done. Yay!

A bit abrupt and shocking, but no problem at all.

11:30 a.m.

Waiting for bloodwork results and — hopefully! — chemo — and making friends in the lovely hospital lounge.

12:30 – 2:50

Blood counts are fine! On with the last infusion!

Thanks to a 70 year old firecracker named Helen, our chemo pod was full of laughter and good cheer. A fabulous final chemo experience.

2:55 p.m.

Ringing that bell!

Klunking, actually, but absolutely awesome!

3:23 p.m.

All done. Heading home.

Happy.

3:40 p.m.

Look who was waiting for us at home. A protective critter from our friend Caroline. Thank you!

I adore armadillos and this cheeky, cheery, luck-dispensing chum makes me giddy with joy each time I pass by him.

5:30 p.m.

A happy, happy trek to the Gratitude Statue.

Spring celebrated this exciting day in all its glory. As I made my way to and from the Gratitude Statue each day throughout this challenge, in deep snow or icy wind, I thought of the sleeping bulbs that lay in wait along the trail. And I dreamed forward to today.

It was well worth the wait.

9:00 p.m.

A massive celebratory basket of joy arrives from Aunt Barb, Uncle Wilf, Kelly, Ian, Luke and Jade. Thank you!

And a fabulous excuse to have a nice long telephone chat with each to dream of the big celebrations to come.



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 April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm.

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Ack!

I’m still feeling the effects of chemo#5 and we’re already just a week from chemo#6.

But (big but) this will be the last one. So…

WooooHoooo!!!



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 25, 2010

March 25, 2010 at 6:18 am.

3 comments