A New Normal

You know that friend you want to talk to but haven’t for years. As each year goes past, it becomes harder and harder to reach out. That is what has happened with this blog. I have wanted to write something for a while but haven’t because: we don’t have certainty, we don’t want to share bad news, or we are afraid sharing good news some how jinxes the good news. Well, it is time and this is my update.

On the medical side, things are going well. Anne has had a couple of clean scans. She is still on chemo and will be for a while, however they are stretching out the time between cycles, which will give her a better quality of life. We continue to be optimistic and so do her doctors. It isn’t easy and I continue to be extremely proud of her. Each time she has to walk into the infusion center, I can’t believe how brave she is or how she can smile her way through the process she knows will leaver her tired and weak for days.

On the family side the kids continue to do great. Things are different. I want to say we are back to normal but we are not. However, what we are is our new normal and we are embracing it. In the new normal, each kid is stepping up and defining who they are and what they like. It turns out Oxford isn’t an easy place to go as an undergrad and Dax is putting in a crazy amount of work. When he isn’t reading thousands of pages or writing novella sized essays, he is leading the school’s Starcraft team. McKane is continuing to show he has similar academic chops and is enjoying science bowl and Envirothon at his high school. We aren’t public school snobs, but it is nice to see a product of the largest public school district in the country handing it to the expensive local private schools. Kieran is choosing some of his own studies and is starting to get into programming and is learning Japanese. Asher does a good job of being the center of any group of kids any age she is around. She has had a great soccer season and is playing on the city’s all star team.

Really, you are going to take pictures at security?


This is my mom, she beats cancer before breakfast.


Who looks the most like mom?


Asher kicking the ball

You know what comes in small packages.


Anne and I love seeing them all doing their thing and growing up to be good and engaged people. Anne’s focus continues to be on healing and regaining her travelworthiness. Her current progress is the result of much work on her part, the prayers and support of many people and excellent medical care. Again, thank you, to everyone who helps us in so many ways.

For me it is time to get back to work. Since Anne was diagnosed, she has been my focus and keeping the family safe, together and growing has been my purpose. I consider us extremely privileged because I have had the opportunity to back away from my profession and put my energy into the family. During this time, I have also had some amazing opportunities on the side to work as member of a board of directors, to consult some amazing companies and to advise some future stars of the tech world. I plan on continuing to aid those companies as much as I can, but it is time for me to get off the sidelines and get back in the game: Anne tells me so, my psyche tells me so, our pocketbook tells me so, even my doctor tells me so. I am not sure what I will do yet. I will spend the next month or so exploring some options. I have already been approached with some potentially great opportunities. When I figure out which one fits into our new normal, I will remember to write about it here.

PS – Anne pointed out that this post is more like a Christmas letter than a Sixintheworld post. Well since we didn’t do a Christmas letter, consider it both a letter and post with a nice sunset picture.

One of many great sunsets this year.

15 thoughts on “A New Normal

  1. Thank you for the update on everyone. Continue to live in that postive world and know others are out here with lots of prayers and support.

  2. I will put Anne’s name in our church prayer book so there will be hundreds of people praying for her every day. Thank you for sharing a beautiful letter. Great photos too. Good luck.

  3. Thanks for the update, Tom, and am so happy Anne is doing so well. Chemo treatments are not a lot of fun, but Anne’s smile and wonderful nature are more than a match. Please give her a hug from the Poobah.

  4. Anne, I am your mother’s friend from WAY back in New Castle High School, and I know how much you are on her mind. Enjoy your own kids as they make their own identities and then watch YOUR success as they play out their own futures. It’s like an unending movie that you directed! Enjoy them now before they take their shows on the proverbial road. Marilynn Wales Garvey

  5. Tom and Family – so good to get an update on the happenings in your family. Thanks for sharing.
    kitty stewart

  6. Thank you so much for the update, Tom. I think of you and your family often. You all continue to be an inspiration on how to get through the difficulties in life with strength and spirit. Take care!

  7. I really enjoyed receiving this update. My mind gets blown away when I think of the fortuitous timing of your around the world adventure. There is a strong lesson there to seize the moment lest it passes away, never to become an option again.

    Thank God that Anne is fighting her setback so well. I am also delighted to hear how your kids have embraced the new normal. It’s wonderful to know you will now be delving into new opportunities for yourself.

    Well done Andrus family, well done (((hugs)))

  8. Really, really delighted to hear all your good news. While the new normal has its requisite adjustments, may each of your precious family members continue to enjoy all the good things of life!

  9. As an avid traveler, I followed your family during your world travel aventures…before the Oprah show taping :) . I, as a stranger, really empathize with what your family is going through and it is nice to hear updates. The reality check for me is to live every day to its fullest as you don’t know what tomorrow brings. I pray for Ann’s health.

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