At 5:33 PM on September 11th, 2014, my mother died of metastatic ovarian cancer.
But she did not lose to cancer.
She beat cancer by how she lived, why she lived, and the manner in which she lived it.
My mother had a great fighting spirit, and we made sure she knew that she didn't have to fight this disease all by herself.
My father waited on her, and catered to her every need both in and out of the hospital.
My mother's older sister visits her each day and brings in meals from my mother's favourite restaurants to replace the bland hospital food.
My sister and I flew for 30 hours from Toronto to Jakarta.
My sister got a box of chocolate truffles from my mother's favourite chocolatier in Vancouver.
I brought 5 tins of Tim Horton's hot chocolate with me in my suitcase as it was another one of my mother's favourite sweet treats, and one of the only things she could still properly taste during chemotherapy.
Each time I made her a cup of hot chocolate at the hospital (when she felt well enough to have it), I thought, against my will: This could very well be the last time I have hot chocolate with my mother.
My mother fought like hell.
But when she got too tired to fight, we laid her down to rest and kept on fighting where she left off.
To those of you who are affected by cancer or know of someone who is, it is very important to know that this whole fighting thing...this journey...it is not a solo venture.
This is something that requires support.
Don't give up.
Don't ever give up.
Rest in Paradise, Mama.