Mother’s Day Cancer Medley

I wrote a post on Mother’s Day.  But I thought it would be more interesting to gather up some thoughts and sentiments from my fellow bloggers, excellent writers all ….

from Renee ~ Circling My Head

I love this special day that celebrates the person who was our first home.

To all of us that were lucky enough to have a wonderful mother (I know that many weren’t) I hope that you get to spend some of your day with her; whether touching her physically or only with your mind.

from Jennifer ~ CLERGYGIRL

It’s mothers day and it’s good to be here.  I hate to be dramatic but there was a time I wondered how long I would be able to be mom to my kiddos.  I suppose when they tell you  that you have a rare form of breast cancer that took the lives of 90% of women only 10 years ago, and they stage you at 4 before moving you back to 3, well, it just doesn’t bode well for your outlook.  I was thinking about that this week when I ran into one of the nurses who I met at my first visit to the chemo center.  She was the one who went through all the details of chemo with me and let me know what to expect.  As we sat in the waiting room we reminisced about that initial visit.  We both were teary eyed at that visit.  She’s a mom of 4 and is expecting another little one.  We are the same age.  I knew she was hurting with me back then.

But this time when we were together we laughed and cried happy tears.  Amazed at what has transpired over the course of 16 months.  She is celebrating today with her kids and I am celebrating with mine.   This morning I got breakfast in bed.  They brought me my favorite orange rolls and coffee.  And I got gift certificates tucked inside homemade heart-shaped cards from Starbucks, Cold Stone and Barnes and Noble.  Hmmmm…..I guess my husband does know what I like…, ice cream and a good book….lol!

I hope you are cherishing your children today, and delighting in all their little mother’s day creations.

from Sherry Lee ~ everyday possibilities

My mother passed away in 1997 and in honour of her memory, I thought I would participate as it isn’t possible to give her a gift or a card. This photograph was the last one taken of us together, Christmas 1996.

What are some traits that you have picked up from your mother (whether you like it or not)?
I learned to be resourceful in times of stress, distress or difficulty. I learned to be kind to others, to offer a helping hand and to do so without any motive other than kindness and doing a good deed. I inherited her sense of humour and her wit.

What is a memory of your mother that you go to often?
When I’m sad or down or need a hug, I think of all the times my mother was there for me when I was ill or struggling with something. My mother wasn’t a great one for hugs but she had a way of letting you know that no matter what you needed, she would move heaven and earth to make it happen.

What is your favorite feature about your mom? (scent, eyes, skin, smile, personality trait).
Her hands. I loved looking at my mother’s hands, holding her hand, watching her work.

Are there any mothers other than your own that you honour or think about on Mother’s day?
My mother-in-law. And when my sister was alive, my boys always gave her a card and a gift for an aunt on Mother’s Day as she was unmarried and had no children of her own, but was like a little mother to my boys.

from Daria ~ Living with Cancer

My sister D thought it would be nice to take our 84 year old mom out for lunch for Mother’s Day. She thought it would be a nice surprise if both I came and my other sister A came. We choose Saturday over Sunday as it would be less busy. We met at the Muggins restaurant at 11:00 am. As my sister A and I sat in the car … I said, there they are … so we ducked in the car not wanting to give away to my mom that we were joining them.

So my sister D and my mom wandered into the restaurant and my sister A and I followed a couple minutes later. As we got there, my sister D and my mom were coming out of the restaurant and going into the bar … apparently the wait was going to be too long … that is when my sister D noticed us. We said nothing and we just followed along. We went into the bar and walked a short distance and then my sister D and my mom turned back into us. They were looking for a booth but saw none. My mom glanced at us but it didn’t click. We followed my sister D and my mom for a few steps as they decided where to sit … once again, they turned and looked our way and that is when my mom finally realized who was following them around. She later said, she thought the lady following her looked like her daughter. It was cute.

from WhyMommy ~ Toddler Planet

For weeks, they’ve giggled together, huddled in conference and whispered ideas that suddenly stop when I enter the room.  They’ve planned, they’ve plotted, and today it paid off in spades.

My preschooler (oh! soon they will both be preschoolers!) popped out from behind the door this morning and said, “Happy Mother’s Day!” at the top of his lungs.  They got dressed quickly while I took a leisurely shower (Happy Mother’s Day indeed!) and took me out for breakfast at my favorite breakfast place.  You know, the one where you take visiting company and don’t think about it “just for us.”  Yum.

We came home to homemade cards and beautiful flowers, one bouquet picked out by each child.  Just what I always wanted.


So on this Mother’s Day I celebrate the life and love I have with my boys. The sands of time slip away faster than we can comprehend. Before we know it life has moved on and our tiny babies have become adults themselves. Joshua and Micah are growing into men so quickly. I still have nights I long for the days when they were still little enough to crawl into my lap. They may not be so little anymore but I still sing to them and hold their hands when no one is looking. No matter how far away they go or how tall grow they will always be my babies.

Still the truth remains time stands still for no one and so I encourage each of you today to hold your children close for they are precious. Our lives are woven and spun into beautiful tapestries each and everyday leaving our imprint and our mark for the generations who follow. So my question is this: What would you have them see ? Yes our time here is short, but our legacies are far reaching. Strength is not in standing tall indeed it is found in the fall. I have always taught my boys that failure is not in the loss. True strength and success is found as you pick yourself up off the ground, dust yourself off and put just one more step in front of the other. The many paths life leads us down are narrow and winding as we are led from one path to the next. I know the windows life offers each of us may be small, but they are still opportunities. Life lessons and life triumphs are wrapped together tightly so do not waste what time you have been given on the shortcoming life brings. Instead hold true, keep the faith and dust yourself off!

These are the lessons I offer my boys with love, grace and compassion. I pray as I sit here watching my babies sleep, life will offer them opportunity, love and grace even as I know it will offer pain and sorrow along the way. So right here and right now I offer them hope, strength and faith. God has given these precious boys to me, I have given them life, and tomorrow will give them uncertainty. But they will always have this beautiful, worn and in places tattered, woven tapestry to guide them through both the good and the bad times.
May this Mother’s day weekend be one of joy and love, memories both filled with tears of loss and triumph. May joy fill your hearts and hope rekindle the flames of true inspiration. May you be blessed and honored as mothers and thankful as fathers. May your children, both young and old, sit beside you threading the needle together as you weave your love, knowledge and history into their lives.
from Kairol ~ Everything Changes
I cannot imagine anything harder than being a parent and watching your kid have cancer. My mom has done it for nine years. Holy smokes. She is amazing and since it is Mother’s Day I thought I’d tell you why:
1. She lets me call her anytime of the night to cry or just talk on the phone.
2. She is a great listener. She gives opinions but is never judgmental.
3. She always lets me know she is a plane ride away, and she has hopped on plenty of planes when I need her. (Thank you Southwest for your cheapo Pittsburgh to Midway tickets!)
4. She runs into her local Barnes and Nobel to make sure they have enough copies of Everything Changes in stock, stops in at cancer centers to talk up my book to social workers, and she set up a table at her local Curves for people to buy copies of my book.
5. She is feisty while still being lady like. If someone spouts stupid cancer comments to her (like the time someone at synagogue said in reference to my cancer “God does not give you anything you cannot handle.”) she knows how to put them in their place while maintaining her dignity.
6. She has really valuable advice. “Honey goes farther than vinegar.” This helps when I am dealing with hospital administrators who I want to strangle.
7. She is funny. I have a horrible mouth and swear all the time,  so every once in a while she calls me her “fucking daughter” just to make fun of me.
8. She is a good, good person. Many Catholics have suggested that she be canonized as the first Jewish saint. She is always giving of herself to help people in need. She does it without ego, out of pure compassion and love.

Happy Mother’s Day Nancy Rosenthal!


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.


Mother’s Day Cancer Medley — 4 Comments

  1. These are wonderful Dennis and thank you so much for including me with all these other remarkable women. I remember wondering how many more years I’d have to be a mother to my children when I was first diagnosed…now I look back and give thanks for every day that I have had and the ones I know I will continue to have…each one more special than the day I became a mother. And I think of the mothers who are helping their daughters go through breast cancer and what a special challenge that is. We are blessed to have mothers. We are blessed to be mothers. These wonderful stories prove that.

  2. Dennis, So happy to hear the good results of your tests. I love your had me on the edge of my seat wondering how it would turn out. I am sure that is the feeling you had..we have been there.

Leave a Reply