Nikhil Joshi, M.D.
Doctor, Author, Leader
Nikhil Joshi is a young physician, writer, and speaker. He is passionate about furthering his ability to touch the lives of people positively.

Dear Mom

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

This is the last blog post I will ever write, and probably the absolutely only one without any profanity- so let’s start off with me saying you’re welcome. Now let me say what I should have started by saying- thank you. Thank you for the breakfast you’ve made me every morning since I got sick, thank you for being entirely strong, thank you for inspiring me every day, thank you for giving me life twice. Most kids only have their mother do that for them once.

2013 wasn’t an easy year for me. Team Joshi really got the shit kicked out of them. But you were always there to help me bounce back, you humoured me as I travelled half way around the world doing the things I normally do, which included falling in love often, eating delicious food and generally getting into trouble. You never let your fears for me invade our conversation even when things were unimaginably scary for you. I am not an easy son to have. I am stubborn, and principally only concerned with my own opinion. I know that I’ve lived a life that has challenged many of your values in the name of the radical freedom I believe all human beings are gifted and burdened by. Like most things- I’m sorry for that, but as you know I’m unwilling to change.

I once told you I was haunted by how much I took up space in our families life. How everything seems to just be about me, how I felt like a tremendous emotional and economic burden. And you told me to shut the hell up, that as family we face everything together, that there was nothing I could have done to keep the events which happened from happening. And I let go of my guilt at that moment and I’ve never looked back.

There are lots of people in the world that others look up to. To me they’re all a bunch of phonies. Nothing has seemed more significant to me than the way you’ve lived your life since your retirement. I know our world places a premium on work, and change and blah blah. It’s all crap Mom, the real secret is what you showed me- a life where every action is made with love. It never failed to reach me that I’ve spent this time dealing with my illness and people call me an inspiration now, when truly it was me just reflecting you, the way a mirror reflect light. They see me, and they read me say “this is fucking bullshit” and they loved me for it, but you were the one who when I said the words aloud told me “Yeah it is. And it’s okay for you to be angry”.

It’s okay. It’s finally fucking okay. The one thing I wasn’t okay with before I was diagnosed was the possibility that I could die and not be there for you and Dad as you aged. I remember when I was 16 you gave me Robert Munsch’s “I’ll love you forever” and I swore in my bed that night that I’d fucking die before I’d give up on the family. Then I guess there was the real possibility that I actually could have, and that was just fucking monkey balls. Anyways, we’ve just suffered through this goddam thing and oh shit I’m cursing and I really shouldn’t, so um, sorry, but thank God its finally fucking over. I don’t care that we suffered, I don’t care that it was bad, we got through it, it’s done Mom. Let’s just having a glass of wine and head out to dinner. Better yet let’s just cab it.

Thanks so much and I Love you and Happy Birthday

9 Responses to “Dear Mom”

  1. H

    I have read your blog from almost the very beginning. I have loved your writing, it is genuine. I have laughed and cried while reading your words. I don’t even know you and I pray for your health and happiness…..strange right? I am not sick, nor do I have someone close to me who is sick but reading your blog sure has helped me put things into perspective and not sweat the small stuff so much. This post especially has touched me unlike anything else, perhaps it’s being a mother myself and knowing that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my son. Your mother sounds like a wonderful lady and most likely, I think, the reason you’re pretty wonderful yourself.

    I am happy your blog has ended, because it means your darkest days are behind you, but I will surely miss reading it. I will have to check out your books, I think you are an exceptional writer and i’m not quite ready to stop reading your words just yet. That sounds a little stalker-y, I know, but I mean it in the best, unstalkery way possible. Be well.

    Happy birthday to your mom!

  2. Pali Kamra

    This is beautiful. Congratulations. All over with. New day starts with love and happiness. Have a great celebration today. Love Pali aunti

  3. Mona Sidhu

    awwww Happy Birthday Aunty! such a sweet and true reflection of the person I have grown to love. PS- Nik what happened to not having profanity….lol you started off so well but that last paragraph made up for the lack there of above.

  4. Lisa

    First off, I just want to say, PLEASE keep blogging! I have been following you from the beginning and I have throughly enjoyed each new peice you wrote. I am somewhat embarassed to admit I am 37 years old and have never truely followed any blog ( apparantly I was doing some other very important life experience or something). You have truely made me appreciate many of the things I used to take for granted. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Now go marry that girl, get back to work and keep on BLOGGING! Best of luck :)Lisa

  5. n

    i just googled doctors with cancer and got here.. congratulation for finishing of ur treatment. i too finished my cancer treatment in january first week. and i am resident in anesthesiology. till now i am not able to accept myself as patient. may be becoz of this doctor thing and seeing cancer pt daily in front of me (i work in cancer hospital). but i am glad my treatment is over.. i havent read all of ur writing but whatever i hav read, i feel related specially last one.. all the best for future..

  6. Dana

    I have read all your blogs and articles. My niece was a nursing student at MUN and she sent me your link. She is just a few years younger than you. I am so very happy that you are well. You are a blessed man and I think you know this. Your family, their love and your inner strength ( tho you had no idea how strong you were until tested ) saw you through. I think modern medicine is key but only with equal measures of love, faith and courage. God Bless and you are lucky your mom did not wash your mouth with soap 🙂 YouMunsch’s “I’ll love you forever” are a good son! I also have a good son just a little younger than you. I also have him given him Munsch’s “I’ll love you forever” . And as mom’s – that is what we do.

  7. s


  8. Kathryn

    Oh, Nikhil, who knew you had such a gift for writing?

    I always thought you were so busy mouthing off and getting pissed that you had no time for the creative arts despite your visible ‘sensitive side’. I guess that’s one thing cancer’s given to more people – ‘the world according to NJ’!

    I’m sorry you got sick and very glad you’re doing better now. I’m sorry I didn’t know because I would have sent you some energy healing or prayers – not that you needed them but I’d have felt some satisfaction in my belief I might be helping.

    I hope to see you soon in HC library with an unhealthy shot of something destined to make you sick in a good way! I’m just picturing you crawling off the sofa looking very fragile after another night of not making it to your room. Hey – I just realised you must have been practising the ‘sick man’ look for years in preparation for your recent illness?

    Much love to you, Kathryn (Esther Benjamins Trust)

  9. April Pink


    I had the pleasure of meeting you for the filming of your book release and I have been following/reading your blog since the beginning. I just saw the video for the first time and I will definitely be picking up your book the next time I’m at the bookstore. Your writing is phenomenal and authentic and I truly enjoyed every single blog post! Congratulations on getting through your treatments and I wish you all of the happiness, love and health you deserve (and that’s a lot). Cheers!!


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