There is no handbook to teach you how to celebrate Mother’s Day when you are the mother of a critically ill child. This will be my second time celebrating since my son was diagnosed with cancer. He is 5 years old and battling leukemia for the third time. 

Over the last 2 months it has been hard to find reasons to celebrate. Marky’s latest relapse of his cancer came only one day after his 5th birthday. In fact, most of our “celebrations” have been spent in the hospital – birthdays, Jewish holidays, anniversaries. As Sunday slowly approaches and the uncertainty of how we will spend it, another holiday at the hospital becomes more real. 

Last year Marky & I were featured in the Mother’s Day commercial for Sick Kids hospital. As I look back at the pictures from our day of shooting, I see big smiles full of hope. In fact, it was hard for both of us to keep a serious and somber face – something frustrating for the directors who were hoping to tug on the heart strings of the audience. At that time, we were about 1 year into treatment and the outlook looked good – the first half of intense chemotherapy was finished, and he had another year of mild treatments and life was starting to get back to normal. 

Fast forward to May 2019 – our world has been shaken again and again as disappointment continues to follow our sweet boy through his courageous battle. Later this month we are hoping that Marky will be able to move forward with the next step in new cutting-edge CAR-T therapy and that a cure for his horrible disease will follow. 

He’s only 5. He doesn’t understand why we can’t celebrate Mother’s Day like we usually do. In his mind, an entire day devoted to his mother is the greatest news in the world. So, like every day, I will open my eyes in the morning, take a deep breath and find my biggest and brightest smile. I will let my children and family celebrate me. I do not consider myself a cancer mom – I’m just a regular mom with two of the best and brightest kids this world has ever seen. 

This year cancer will not steal my Mother’s Day from me.