Four years ago, my mom went up against cancer and beat it. She offered an incredible example of fortitude and light and continually surprised me with how she handled the situation. When I went with her to one or two chemo sessions, she always put makeup on, put on her best clothes, smelled magnificently, and baked something for fellow patients as well as medical staff. That's just the way she's wired. She would arrive and people would perk up, they'd forget they were cancer patients and chat a while as friends. This isn't me idolizing my mom, this is me telling you what I saw firsthand. She brings a light about her that you can't deny and her smile is one of the best gifts I can experience in this life.
Unfortunately, things don't come easy for Mom and she's lived a life with quite a few challenges, but she always keeps a positive attitude. 2018 is no different and right now she's lacing up her gloves to fight again, because that's how life is. As per usual, she's tackling things with a mindset I would wish upon everyone and that leaves me in awe. She has no illusions in regards to the task at hand, she knows it won't be easy or pleasant, but she's also well aware that attitude and mindset are the key not to merely survive but to live, to give her best, to follow instructions, to look for better options, and even under unpleasant circumstances, have a good time.
She has never played the victim and her only request is to be treated with the same respect and positivity that she treats herself. She doesn't want people to feel sorry or get sad. She doesn't need pity or suggestions on what she has to or doesn't have to do. She's done the research, she is an active member in her healthcare team, she's considered what needs to be done, and she will do what she understands what is best. She doesn't need to know statistics or what could happen. She needs smiles and positivity. She needs a joke. She needs plans down the road. She needs consideration and support. She welcomes thoughts and prayers but wouldn't mind the promise of a good cup of coffee, lunch, a good wine recommendation, or more things to look forwards to when she's done with this battle. She also knows nothing is guaranteed in this life and that there are plenty of things out of our control... but she also knows that there ARE things under our control.
How we face every single life situation is up to us. How we deal with things is up to us. How we fight and what we focus on is up to us as well. And she chooses smiles, and laughter, and light. The picture taken above was taken last week March 22nd. Exactly one week before her operation which is this Thursday, March 29th. If you want to send thoughts and prayers, by all means, do so. But if you really want to make her smile and help us out, leave her a toast to her health and what she has to look forwards to, because we already saw the next bottle of wine we'll be sharing and we wouldn't mind drinking to your health as well.
Peace, love, and maki rolls.