It's all that matters.

Hey guys, its been a while.

And it’s not because I’ve been binge-watching The Office.

Even though I’ve continued to binge-watch The Office.

Because, you know, I’ve gotta finish what I start.

But man, it’s been hard. Season 8 was really meh. (That was the first season without Michael Scott.)

But in general The Office has been great. It’s just nice to cap off weekday nights with some good vibes.

Especially when you have a lot of stuff on your mind.

Still, I’m glad it’s almost over so I can move on with my life.

Only a few more eps to go.

Can’t wait for Steve to come back at the end.

It’s striking what a difference one person can make.

How big an impact one very special person can have.

And in life, we all treasure those very special people that we are so lucky to have in our lives.

But anyway, that’s not the reason I haven’t been able to write.

Some stuff happened in the last couple weeks.

[And, of course, it all happens the same week I was scheduled to start the next phase of a new job. (I’ve been doing some work with a kewl startup in SF—remotely, of course. Gotta pay the bills, you know. Cuz DONUTS sure ain’t.)]

I guess that’s sort of the way life works.

When stuff happens, it happens all at once.

First, we found out at my mom’s last scan that her tumor had grown 15-20%.

That bad news hit me like a Conor McGregor left hook—the main fear, of course, being that her body is now building resistance to the medication she’s taking that suppresses the tumor’s growth.

And in a way, it wasn’t a complete surprise because my mom hadn’t been feeling well since her trip from China.

With this cancer thing, you walk around smiling, but in the back of your mind, you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And based on the doc’s assessment at the time, she was originally scheduled to start radiation treatment today.

Later that same week, I got news that my dear friend, Pawan, most likely didn’t have much time.

I’ve written about and mentioned Pawan a few times here on DONUTS.

(I’ve also made some videos of him [with one more in the pipeline] that may or may not be shared here at some point.)

I’ve known the guy practically my whole life.

Since second grade, pretty much.

And he’s always been a very special person to me, a person who has had an inexplicable impact on my own journey.

Pawan had been battling leukemia since fall of 2016, and he was in LA to start a clinical trial.

And it’s when they were prepping him for the trial that he contracted pneumonia.

From there, things precipitated suddenly and quickly.

The doctors didn’t think he’d make it through Tuesday night—after they started putting him on morphine, which is basically the end stages at that point.

The warrior that he is, Pawan passed away Thursday afternoon, at peace and surrounded by his loving friends and family.

He’s survived by his wonderful wife Kinnari and his beautiful son Sahil, who had his first birthday just a few months ago.

The running joke at the time was that Pawan was trying to make it until his birthday, which was Friday.

Even in death, my man just wanted to party.

Til the very end, he just wanted to have fun.

What a guy.

What a champ.

RIP old friend.

You were far too young—but even in your limited time, you’ve accomplished more than most, many lifetimes over.

We love you so much.

As my sister Nina consoled me at the time, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another…”

“His energy will be passed on and live through his loved ones”

“Maybe that’s why they say ‘passed away’. He will live on.”

And, you know, she’s right.

Because if there’s one thing Pawan was never lacking—it’s a TON of energy.

An undeniably immense individual who touched everyone around him.

And I will forever count myself lucky to have been one of those people.

I am truly blessed.

I’ll probably write more about Pawan at some point—but I’m not ready to do that yet right now.

Anyway, my mom is doing well.

Last week, she met with her doctors and, as it turns out, according to the parameters of the clinical trial that she’s on, unless the tumor has grown over 30%, then they don’t officially consider her body to have built resistance to the drug.

And so, for now, the status quo returns.

There is some speculation, mostly on my end, that the stress of the China trip allowed the tumor to gain some traction despite her treatment’s continued effectiveness.

That last minute trip to China happened because my grandfather, who lives in Shanghai, hasn’t been doing too great. He recently checked in full-time to a hospital.

He also turned 100 this month.

Many of his old students came to visit him. (He was once the superintendent of the local school district. A really respected dude within his community.)

(Also, my sister and I shot a bunch of video of gramps during our trip in 2016—which we’d like to turn into something at some point. Stay tuned, I guess.)

But that trip did a number on my mother. Between the long flights, bad diet, no exercise, and just general familial type stress, it definitely didn’t help.

And so the hope is that this last checkup was a minor hiccup, and the treatment is still working as intended.

We’ll find out soon enough.

The other silver lining is that it doesn’t seem to be spreading, which is great.

And when the time does come, the doctors expect the radiation treatment to be relatively effective.

So that was all good news.

It’s funny, my mom was actually kinda disappointed—that she isn’t going to have radiation treatment now.

She just wants to get it over with, lol.

“I just wanna kill it!” She whines to her doctor over the phone.

“Let’s zap it NOW!”

But her doctor was like, newp.

(And also because she’s on this clinical trial, they have relatively stringent rules about that sort of thing.)

Incidentally, my mom has been feeling much better recently.

She’s been eating really well, and she’s ready to get back in the gym.

And she’s been keeping herself very busy with her various business stuff, her various projects.

My mom’s always had her hands in all the cookie jars.

So we are all feeling very positive.

This past weekend, she was practically giddy.

We checked out this estate sale in the City of Poughkeepsie Saturday morning, and she legit lost her mind and bought a ridiculous amount of stuff.

You can check out a portion of her take in the top photo.

Ridiculous.

That’s not even all of it!!!

It was multiple car loads of stuff.

We literally have 3 cars that we can’t park in the garage because it’s already full to the brim from all the stuff this crazy woman buys at garage sales.

She just loves digging for buried treasure.

And it’s the stuff that my dad and I always rag on her about.

NOOOO, NOT MORE STUFF.

YOU CRAZY, CRAZY WOMAN.

YOU NEED TO STOP THIS CRAZINESS.

NO MORE.

YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.

But to see my mom so happy, so giddy, so in her element this weekend.

Like I couldn’t even.

Even my dad, who’s generally a hard ass (and an anti-clutter minimalist) couldn’t help but smirk.

Because those tiny moments.

They’re the moments we live for, the ones we cherish, forever forged into the catacombs of our mind and the depths of our spirit.

The ones that really matter and that we never forget.

A sliver of hope.

A glimmer of happiness.

To see my mom smiling, laughing.

To see her enjoying life so purely and fully, lost in the moment.

It’s moments like that that make it all worth it.

So here’s to Pawan.

And here’s to my mom.

I love you both dearly.

Top photo: Just a bunch of stuff.