Happy Mother’s Day (And An Update)!

Filed Under: Misc.

First and foremost I want to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the moms reading. I hope you’re being treated well today (and every day), and being given all the love and respect you deserve.

I also wanted to share a personal update, because last Mother’s Day changed my family forever. The past year has probably felt like the longest of my life, as last Mother’s Day my mom was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer.

The past year for my mom

I’m so grateful for all of you who have sent your positive thoughts and prayers for the past year. I also wanted to provide an update regarding my mom’s condition, given that it has been a year, and since you guys have been so supportive.

Smiles last Mother’s Day, in spite of circumstances

My mom is the strongest person I know. She has been through more than I could possibly put into words.

Over the past year she has had two surgeries and has gone through an unbelievable 18 rounds of chemo. One of her surgeries had her in the ER for two weeks, as they removed cancer from 33 different tissues and organs, which was much worse than we were ever expecting.

I can’t even begin to imagine the pain she has been through, and it goes without saying that at times she questioned if the fight was worth it.

Late last year when she met with her doctor, she asked about her life expectancy, and at the time it didn’t look good at all (to put it mildly).

A positive update, at last

Just a few weeks ago my mom finished the last of her 18 rounds of chemo, at which point she had a scan done to see where things stood.

Much to everyone’s surprise (including her doctor’s), she is in remission, and cancer free. I can’t even begin to describe the level of joy we felt as a result of this, since we didn’t even think this would be a possibility for any amount of time.

Of course we recognize there’s a risk the cancer will come back — cancer is a journey with so so many ups and downs — but this is so much better of a situation than we were expecting up until that point, and we’re so grateful for that. She’s going to continue receiving treatment, but hopefully it doesn’t get in the way of her living her life as much as chemo otherwise has for the past year.

My mom, Ford, and Winston recently

What we’ve learned from this experience

The past year has honestly been the toughest year of our lives, but it’s also a year I’m so thankful for. The biggest lesson I was reminded of the moment my mom got diagnosed a year ago was to show your loved ones how much you love them. Whether that involves visiting them, picking up the phone and asking how they’re doing constantly, or whatever else. Life is a gift, and we simply can’t take it for granted.

Looking back at the journey over the past year, I’ve also learned a lot. Lots of readers had been in similar situations and provided some great advice, and I can’t help but repeat that. Most significantly, the past year has taught me:

  • Live in the moment, day-by-day; obviously there are bad things going on in the world, but appreciate what a gift life is, and don’t take it for granted, even when times are tough (like what so many people are going through right now)
  • Find balance; while the priority has been spending time with my mom as much as possible, it has also been good for my mental health to focus on work, traveling, etc., to distract myself
  • I can’t emphasize this enough, but don’t ever take your loved ones for granted; make them a priority, even during good times

Here’s to hoping that this COVID-19 situation stabilizes eventually, because it sure would be nice to take her on some great trips in the coming months. Go figure we had booked a cruise from Italy to Spain for the end of the month (per my mom’s request), and obviously that’s not happening.

Thanks again to everyone for their kind thoughts. This is a long journey, and we’re happy to be at the point we’re at now. And to everyone out there during these tough times, hang in there. There will be better days ahead.

Comments
  1. What a great Mother’s Day gift. Glad to hear the good news. Best to you, your Mom, Ford and Winston.

  2. That is wonderful news Ben. She looks great in the picture. Sending good thoughts and prayers for her, and many more healthy years to come.

  3. Congratulations, that’s amazing news!

    btw, did you make your mom a blanket made of Winston’s fur? 😉

  4. I’m so pleased to hear that, Lucky. Cancer is a rough trip, with some ups and many downs, both for the patient and those around. Wishing you and your mom many happy trips soon (and, please, not on a cruise ship ;).

  5. Well that’s bloody good news! Very happy for you and your family!

    Time to enjoy family life at home, and start planning some adventures away after that 🙂

  6. While I have come to enjoy these cocktail hours as much as the blog itself, today’s chat was the best by far. Not only did we get to meet Ben and Tiffany’s mothers, the whole experience combined with Thursday’s introduction of readers, made it like family. Most of the comments from others online and on YouTube it has been great fun during this time. Even if and when Covid passes enough that we can resume traveling and going out and about, I definitely thing a YouTube cocktail hour, perhaps monthly, would be a great addition.

  7. I am so so glad to hear this, Ben. Thank you for sharing, I know it makes me just generally hopeful and I find myself craving any good news these days.

    Wishing your mom and your family the very best.

  8. I bet this is ranking about the best Mother’s Day ever for your family!! I’m so happy to hear this news. Keep up the fight and celebrate every single day!! Happy congratulations!!!

  9. Great news Lucky! May you and your mother experience more great memories soon. Cherish your mother as she is the goddess that brought you into the world.

  10. I am cheered to hear the good news.
    Among family and friends are several who are living very comfortable and active lives way beyond what their docs had originally thought.

  11. It’s always great to hear such good news , and especially so in these times of gloom and doom.

  12. Fantastic news!!!! All the best to you and your family, and keep up the good work (despite all the negativity from the internet trolls out there); your blog goes hand in hand with my morning cup of coffee to get me started every day, and I appreciate you.

  13. It was nice to “meet” your mom yesterday during the brunchcast. Her love for you is almost palpable, Ben. I’m glad that the two of you still have many memories yet to create.

  14. Glad to read that things are better for you and your family Ben.
    You are absolutely right – do not take loved ones for granted.
    Always make them the highest priority and do your best to spend sincere time with them.

  15. @ Ben — I am so happy for all of you. I didn’t even realize 18 (!) rounds of chemo was a thing. That sounds horrific, but obviously it was worth it!

  16. I lost my Mum earlier this year. The loss was not unexpected, and she was only a few weeks shy of 95. Still, this is the first Mothers’ Day without her, so it has a certain poignancy.

    I have many things to be thankful for involving my mother, but most prominent at the moment, is that I am glad she died before this Pandemic. I could not imagine her being sick now when I couldn’t even travel to see her without a 14-day quarantine, and then the aged care facility she was in might not even allow me to visit.

    So, I give you my best wishes and even more to those who can’t see their aging loved ones during this pandemic. Happy Mothers’ Day.

  17. That is amazing – cancer is a b&*ch of a disease. Glad to hear she has done so well. 18 rounds of chemo is unbelievable! What an amazing woman!

    Like the person above I can not imagine what it must be like to to have a sick loved one during this pandemic. It is a horrible thing to go through in “normal” circumstances yet alone now.

    Hopefully the pandemic settles soon and you can take your Mum on many many adventures – she deserves it!

  18. @Ben- it is so great to read this update! I’ve never commented here but feel compelled to express how happy I am to hear of your mom’s progress. Your story hits very close to home as my own mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer three years ago and faced very long odds. Thanks to treatment– and also her strength and faith– she’s been in remission for the past 18 months and is doing great.

    I think you summed it up perfectly. While there’s certaintly a chance the cancer could come back, there’s a great sense of gratitude for the progress and for gift of being with our loved ones today! Thanks a lot for sharing, Cheers

  19. It is heartwarming to hear your mom is doing so well. I’ve lost three family members to cancer in the past 8 months alone, so anyone who can beat that crap into submission is an absolute HERO in my book!

  20. Ben, I’ve thought about your mom and glad to hear such happy news of her remission on Mother’s Day. Continuing to send healing energy her way. She’s so lucky to have such a wonderful and caring son and son-in-law.

  21. Best moms day post ever. And good photos too! Lovely. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience.

  22. Lost my mom to cancer several years ago. Reading that your mom Is doing well is the most wonderful thing that I have read or experienced today.

    Thanks for sharing.

  23. Hi Ben,

    I have been following your blog years and this is the best blog yet!!!!

    bravo from HK,

    Kyros

  24. What a great news to hear! Congratulations!
    I wish you and your mom will continue to have many enjoyable trips together in the future.

  25. Thanks for sharing this excellent news. Happy Mother’s Day to your mom. It was a delight to see her (and Tiffany’s wonderful mom) at the brunch Skype.

  26. Been following your adventures for ten years and this made me so happy to read. Best wishes to you and your family today.

  27. “Don’t ever take your loved ones for granted; make them a priority, even during good times” – truer words have never been spoken. So glad to hear your mum is doing better, best wishes to her, you, and the rest of your family.

  28. Fantastic news! It was so nice to see her (and Tiffany’s mom) at OMAAT brunch today. Once it’s ok to travel again, it seems like she really wants to see India.

  29. Your mum’s recovery be today’s #SGN. Thanks for sharing, and hope you’ll get some time travelling together soon too. Stay healthy!

  30. Wonderful news. She looked great on this morning’s brunch taping. Her stories were great. Lucky you to have mom who understood your passion so early in life.

  31. Great news – happy to read; your blog inspires me that I appreciate; =I live halfway around the world in China so appreciate your One Mile at a Time; happy to read about your Mom:) and nice photos; continued best wishes

  32. Wow, what a brave, brave woman. Thanks for the update, Lucky, and I wish your mom all the best.

  33. Thanks for sharing this with us! I wish your mom and all your loved ones ongoing strength, health, and all the best!

  34. I am so happy for you and your family. Life is a precious gift and sometimes we loose sight of that. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2017. It was completely caught by accident in the earliest moments. I beat it and in remission. It was a truly arduous ride. But, it really makes a person and others realize the blessings of life and the world isn’t going to end if your steak comes medium instead of rare or your football team looses the Super Bowl. Lots of recoveries happen bc modern healthcare, but it also comes down on the persons willingness to fight and support from loved ones. Kuddos to our family and that’s fantastic. My experience returned my life as to enjoying the moment, as each could be your last and cherish and spend as much time with loved ones you can. Plus if my flights delayed, inconvenient but I’ll get there. Happy to breath and kiss my wife and child. And say “I love you”.

  35. Wow! Best post I’ve read on OMAAT in weeks!!!

    Thank you for sharing with us, and a very happy Mother’s Day to your mother.

    I did not make it to brunch today, but am keen to watch it as soon as I can! Cheers

  36. Hi Ben
    This is the sweetest post ever and there are some great advices too. Let’s hope you can take your mom on some trip soon. Sending her lots of blessings

  37. This is very heartwarming. So glad your mom made it through. Still remember the moment my mom made it, even she is no longer here after the recurrence and 10 years fighting.

  38. what great news! congrats to your mom!
    here’s wishing you and your family, and the OMAAT community, good health and safety in these times.

  39. Very happy to hear your mom is getting better! This is awesome and I agree to be simply thankful for every day and every moment we have on this earth. I really hope all of you go on that cruise soon when all of this covid-19 has passed.

  40. That’s wonderful news Ben. My closest friend lost her battle with ovarian cancer at 41, so I know what a beast of a disease it is. Enjoy every day, it looks like your mum has some great years to come.

  41. So happy to hear your mom is in remission Ben. Your point about loving and appreciating people is so important. When my first grandparent passed away, I was filled with regret as I didn’t get a chance to properly thank them for everything they had done for me (was very very close to them). I did not repeat that mistake with other family members and make sure they know how much I love & appreciate them on a regular basis.

  42. Boy life is a journey. You can have the freedom to travel all over the world and it will never compare to the emotional roller coaster your on when a loved one is sick.

    We’re all human I suppose.

    So glad to see your mom is in remission.

    Thinking back on it it really makes me smile remembering the trips you’ve taken her on.

    I hope your father is in good health and staying sane also.

    Your a great son Ben.

  43. Great news.

    Life changes so quickly as we are seeing now. I just lost a friend of 35 years, I believe it was very preventable and it sucks.

    Enjoy it while you can.

  44. BEen a read for over 10- years and happy to hear the great news! Your mom is a fighter!

  45. Ben:

    Thanks for sharing the good news.

    Also, I just watched yesterday’s Mothers Day video brunch with your and Tiffany’s mom. Great event and convo! Both mothers were a blast.

    Best wishes.

  46. Ben you can’t imagine how happy I am for you! That’s absolutely fantastic news!!! I wish your mom best of the best!
    My mom has been undergoing her cancer treatment since late 2018. I know how its emotionally devastating and I couldn’t imagine how relieved you feel right now.

  47. Wonderful news! Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to hearing about your journeys with your Mom in the near future. Lots of love to all of you!

  48. I am so happy your mom is doing well. I lost my mother to cancer 10 1/2 years ago, I miss her everyday and you are absolutely correct you have to enjoy everyday because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow!

  49. Congratulations to your mom: such a brave and beautiful woman! Thank you for sharing such personal information and important reflections with us, dear Lucky. My very best wishes of health and peace to your mom, you, your husband and the entire family!

  50. Terrific news!! My wife is thriving after breast cancer surgery 3 years ago, but it was a hell of a chemo ride for the first year. Always grateful for the medical community and for supportive family and friends. Best wishes for happier and stronger days ahead!

  51. Absolutely amazing news about your mum! Congratulations! So happy for you all! I truly hope this is the last your dear Mum has to endure of this horrible disease. Keep her safe and healthy during this pandemic which preys on those with compromised immune systems and other high risk individuals. Take care!

  52. Ben,
    Thank you so much for the update….think of your Mother every time I read your Blog…which is often. So happy for all your family…what a wonderful Mother’s Day gift…

  53. So much chemo sounds horrible. Your Mom is definitely courageous. Moms are the true heroes of the world. Sending Best Wishes for all.

  54. Every day starts as a mystery for all of us. I hope you and your Mom have many more years to share. I will say the apple clearly didn’t fall from the tree. She did a hell of a good job raising you.

  55. Great news. Wishing Mom all the best for a complete recovery and years of good health ahead.

  56. This is fantastic news and an incredible Mother’s Day gift. I’m so happy for all of you, and I wish you all many great healthy years ahead filled with interesting travel and family experiences. Thank you so much for sharing!

  57. I’m so happy to hear this good news! Continued best wishes to your mom & your family!

  58. Ben, I’m glad that it sounds like you and mom had a very happy Mother’s Day indeed! As you know from flying, no matter how stormy or gloomy it is on the ground, when you climb above the clouds the sun is there brightly shining. It’s good to see that the sun is shining for both of you. May you have many more bright days ahead. May God keep you both safe.

  59. God bless your mom and all those who are fighting for their lives. May strength and peace be with you. ( a hug to Winston too )

  60. Thank you for this wonderful post and sharing the good news of your mom’s successful, yet very difficult, journey into remission. Your mom, you, Ford, your dad and Winston are all in my prayers.

    My heart goes out to everyone in this post who has been affected, or is currently affected, with cancer. Life is precious and is a wonderful gift. I wish for permanent cures for cancer, the common cold and Covid-19, among others. Until then, spend time now with your loved ones. its the memories you’ll always have forever.

    God bless you and your family. thank you, Tiffany, her great posts, and her family, too. Thank you for One Mile at a Time.

  61. This is wonderful news! I’m so happy for your family! More you have many more happy Mother’s Days in the future.

  62. Hey Ben!! So happy to hear that your mom is doing better!! This is such heartwarming news 🙂

  63. Thanks for sharing. So glad that your mom is doing better. It’s a tough battle.

  64. Great that she is better.
    Great that you’re sharing with all of us.
    You’re both “lucky” to have eachother.

  65. Ben- I’m so happy that your mom is doing so well. It lovely to have some really good news right now. All the best to her and to your whole family.

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