A New Lease on Life

My parents have been married for 38 years, yet, on every anniversary, my mom asks my dad for a “newlywed extension.”

Well, last Friday, my mom certainly got an extension on her lease on life.

She’d been diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in November, and the past few months have been difficult for our family, as she fought tooth and nail for her own life. (Never doubt the will of an Italian woman from New Jersey.)

They’d declared her “free of disease” several months back when her surgery and chemo got everything, but she had one last CT scan last Friday, and by some miracle, the doctor called her back that same afternoon to tell her what we’ve all been waiting to hear — she’s officially in remission!!!! I cried happy tears into my beach blanket, and I felt bad that I wasn’t home to give my mom a big hug. (So I tried to do the next rational thing, send her a bottle of bubbly, and it’s apparently very very difficult to have bubbles same-day delivered in Bergen County.)

I’m not sure how I got so lucky — having such an awesome mom AND having her come out the other side of this major health scare. She’s not entirely out of the woods yet — she’s still having some chemo side effects — but she’s starting to return to her regular ways and has requested a “party in the city with all my New York friends.”

I don’t know what I did in life to earn me the amazing support I received through this either — from my boss being so understanding about time I took to see my mom, to you lovely readers who reached out with kind words (shouts to Shane, who even met up with me to tell me her mom’s story) to the lovely lady I pay to help me work through the tough stuff. But one friend has continually gone above and beyond — from throwing a surprise cookie swap, to talking to my mom about what she’d seen working at Sloan Kettering, to helping my mom out of bed after her surgery (she’s a PT) to just being there when I needed to laugh or cry — and I am a very lucky lady to count her as a friend.

My mom was treated at NewYork-Presbyterian, and we’re also incredibly lucky that my parents live so close to some of the best hospitals in the country, with doctors who are super up to date on all the latest studies. Cancer is such a scary word, and I hope we can find a cure for it. I’ve decided to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund for my next marathon to help women like my mom.

Because I love her so much, and I’m so happy to have her back. I told her that this whole process was like running a marathon (most life analogies can be compared to running, no?), and this badass little lady just crossed the finish line.

23 comments on “A New Lease on Life

  1. Sana

    So so so sooo so happy for you and your family! I currently work in ovarian cancer research and it makes my heart so happy to hear such good news!

    Reply
  2. Shawna

    having a wonderful mom is truly the best blessing in life. so glad to hear yours is doing so well and praying her health continues to get better and better. love hearing mama/daughter stories.

    Reply
  3. Susan Fiehl

    The best possible outcome once you’re on the difficult winding path of cancer treatment. I am so pleased to hear this great news, Theodora. Kudos to your Mom and her doctors who struggled and vanquished this dread ailment and prayers for continued strength and good health in all the years to follow. I’m sure your support and encouragement played a huge role in arriving at where she is today, as well! Best wishes to your whole family! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Kate

    Long time reader. First time commenter. I’m so thrilled to read this news about your mom!!!! Hope she continues to do well!!!

    Reply
  5. Mom

    Thank you so much for everyone that has taken their time to wish me well and give me such support I am filled with gratitude
    And appreciation
    My daughter gave me a bracelet that read never give up I will live by this!!

    Reply
  6. Emily

    So incredibly happy for you to hear this news!! I raised money for OCRF a few years back by running my first marathon (Rock ‘n Roll DC), and Melissa and the OCRF team are absolutely amazing! Best of luck with your fundraising and training, and continued love and light to your mom on her recovery journey!

    Reply

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