You must have been a beautiful baby

Ronan’s counts are still rising. He had a great day. I came to the hospital this afternoon with Liam and Quinn. The 9th floor blocked off the playroom for us so Ronan could play with his brothers. We stayed in there for about 3 hours and the boys played their little hearts out. The twins then left with Woody to go back to the RMH so Woody could shower and get some work done. I stayed with Ro for the rest of the day and evening. We played out of our room most of the day, and walked the halls shooting people and playing in the playroom. Ronan took a red marker today and colored all of his arms and said it was blood from his battles. Pretty much anything goes in the hospital as far as I’m concerned as long as he is having fun. I gave him a good bath afterwords in a little tub of water on the floor. He’s all clean now and just fell asleep as he didn’t nap today. Woody is on his way back here to stay the night so I can have some time with L and Q.

We have some scans set for Friday and Ronan will be discharged after that. They keep changing the set of scans we are having but as of now, I believe it’s the CT and Bone Marrow on Friday and the MIBG next week. That is the last I heard from one of the doctors earlier today, but that could always change. I asked New York Miss Macy if she could take Liam and Quinn for a few hours on Friday so they don’t have to sit in the hospital with us and wait. She happily agreed and I know the boys are going to over the moon about spending some time with her. It will be so helpful to us to have them off somewhere having fun, rather than sitting in a hospital.

So anybody that knows me, knows that I have been obsessed with taking pictures my entire life. Just a hobby that brings me much happiness and always has. Taking pictures of my kids is definitely my favorite subject. I have over 11,000 pics on my iphoto… so to say I’m obsessed is an understatement. All of my pictures on my iphoto are now defined to me as, this was our life before Ronan had cancer and this is now our life after. Sad but true.  Going back and looking at pictures before all of this is painful to me and makes me break down in tears. Every picture of Ronan before all of this makes me sick to my stomach as I would have never in my life have imagined this happening to him. He was such a gorgeous baby…. how can he now have cancer???  I sit and look at all of our pictures before all of this and we were such a happy family. We have so many beautiful memories and we were so blessed. I get so angry that all of that has been taken away and we have to work so hard to now find our happiness in the hardest of times. Today, as I was pushing Ronan’s asspole around the halls as well as trying to carry his gun, Star Wars guys, and his Crayola markers that he called his “Missles,” I was overwhelmed with anger. I caught a glimpse of him walking down the hall as I followed behind and he almost tripped over all of his lines. He looked back and goes, “Mom, I can’t carry my tubies and my guns.” I wanted to punch a freaking wall. It makes me sick that my 3-year-old has to worry about tripping over his lines. I am also pissed because Ronan has his 4th Birthday coming up and all I wanted was for him to be home. Instead, we will have to celebrate it in the hospital. All he wants to do is go back to Phoenix and he tells me at least once a day that he is never going to get to go back home and be with his brothers. I tell him that is not true, but no matter how much convincing I try to do, he argues with me and does not believe me. In his head, he thinks we are going to stay in New York forever and he thinks he is never going home. So much for a little boy to try to understand. Too much for a little boy to try to understand. As happy as he is, I also know that he is worried and sad and there is nothing I can do to take that away no matter how hard I try. That is my venting for the evening. I feel a little better now. Not really, but I am trying to convince my self otherwise.

I left the hospital late tonight and came back to RMH with Liam and Quinn. We went down to the common area and worked on some of their homework that their wonderful teacher, Mrs. Martin sent with them. I cannot tell you how good it felt to sit and help my boys with their homework, like a normal mom. After we worked on homework for about 30 minutes, we played the board game Operation. I have not played that game since I was a little girl. We had so much fun playing it together tonight. We are now all snug in bed and Liam and Quinn are watching CSI. A bit mature for them, but they both say they love it. My 7 year olds are now going on 30….. They are growing up way too fast:( Makes me sad.

Tomorrow is a new day. One more day closer to getting Ronan out of the hospital. Cannot wait to see Miss Macy tomorrow. Cannot wait until Friday, when we can bust Ro out of there and all be together outside of Sloan. Sweet dreams, my friends. Thank you for checking in with us. Have a beautiful day tomorrow.

xoxo

Ladies and Gentleman….. we have an ANC!

Finally! Ronan’s little immune system is coming back. It was only at 200 today, but it if finally making an appearance. I was starting to get really worried and frustrated. This can only mean good things to come… it means Ronan will more than likely be able to get out of this hospital soon and enjoy some freedom. They are not giving me a discharge date yet… but I am pushing for tomorrow. I have not heard what time his scans will be tomorrow and am waiting to speak with one of the doctors. I am trying not to get too nervous… but these scans have to show us good news so we can figure out what our next step is as far as Ronan’s treatment goes.

We have played non-stop today. It was a big arts and crafts day in our room. I went on a hunt and found us everything I could find to let us make a mess and have some fun in our room. We got messy with glue, paints, markers, stickers. We have been up and about a lot and I even got our nurse to unhook Ronan from his “asspole,” for about 20 minutes so we could run around crazy in the halls. He was so excited to be unhooked and kept telling me it was the best day ever. He is going to be so happy when we finally get out of here.

Liam, Quinn, and Woody are on a plane as we speak. They are landing around 8:00 tonight. It will be so nice to have them here and to all be together. The plan is for them to come to the hospital, sneak in a quick visit with Ronan, and I will take the boys back to the RMH and Woody will stay the night here. I am thinking this is a good idea as I have not been out of the hospital in 48 hours and I am starting the freak out a bit. I need fresh air, I need a shower, I need a full night of sleep. It will be good to spend some time with the twins too. It kills me how much I miss them.

I am waiting to talk to one of the doctors on the floor. I asked our nurse about the scans and she said that they had changed them until next week. 5.4.3.2.1- Remain calm. I told asked her to please get a doctor in here as we were not  told about these changes. I also explained to her that Woody was flying in tonight just so he could be here on scan week, which we were told would be tomorrow and Wednesday. After speaking with the on call doctor, she told me that “The Team,” met tonight and decided that they wanted Ronan’s counts to come up some more before doing the scans. Especially since they are doing a bone marrow test. They want his bone marrow to recover more before they go in and test it. I understand fully, but it still is frustrating. But it’s not in our hands so we once again will just have to roll with it. If his counts keep coming up we will do the scans at the end of the week. If not, next week will have to do. It will be fine either way. Woody and the boys are leaving on Sunday but Fernanda will be here Monday-Friday so she can be with me. So thankful for the amazing friends surrounding me and helping me through this. I can’t wait to see her and cannot believe she is leaving her 5 kids to be with me. The thought alone is enough to make me burst into tears. So.Very.Blessed.

Woody and the boys arrived safe and sound. They came directly to Sloan and Ronan and I sat in the lobby and waited for them in front of the elevators. He was so excited to see his brothers and Daddy. It was a quick reunion, as Liam and Quinn are not allowed on the floor. I grabbed my things, kissed Woo and Ro goodnight, and headed out for some much-needed fresh air and time with my favorite twins. We dropped our bags off at the RMH and then I took them to get something to eat. I was worried that Delizia’s was going to be closed, as it was already 11 p.m. I was happy to find out they stay open until 1 a.m. My kind of place. I sat with my two boys and listened as they chatted away. They had so much to say tonight and I was in heaven. I had my usual soup and they both chowed down on pizza. While we were in the middle of dinner, I had remembered that I forget to leave Woody saline solution for his contact lenses. I texted him to ask if he needed his things and he said he did and that he was hungry as well. I told him that I would bring him his things and pizza. The boys and I gathered up our things and went back down to Sloan to drop everything off to Woody and Ro. We had such a good time on our rainy and windy walk there. No complaints at all from my little men who were beyond tired; they were just happy to be with me. I so felt the love tonight. I love my Liam and Quinn so much. I miss them so much when I am away for so long. This is going to be a good week. Quinn was so excited talking all about New York Miss Macy coming into town. Liam goes, “Who’s Macy?” Quinn’s response was adorable. He goes, “You don’t know who Macy is?! I can’t believe you don’t know who Macy is. She’s one of mom’s funnest friends.” I was dying at his response. It’s like Macy is a celebrity in his eyes and everyone should know her. Beyond adorable. I can’t wait to spend some time with her this weekend with my boys. Wooddawg is excited too. Spirit Hoods will reunite!!

I’m all tapped out tonight and I’ve got Quinn in bed sound asleep beside me. Liam is in the bed next to us passed out as well. It’s pouring down rain here and that is my favorite thing in the world to fall asleep to. Hoping for some peaceful dreams tonight and to get a full nights sleep. We shall see. Sweetest dreams to you all. Have a beautiful day tomorrow. Love you. Go Ronan’s ANC!!!!

xoxo

Princess Leia and Captain Rex take on the world… or at least the halls of Sloan-Kettering

Last night was a little better than the night before. We have had a really, really, extra sweet nurse, Alex, the past 2 nights. She is adorable, looks like she is about 12, and really gets along well with Ronan. She is super patient with him, very calm, and is very doating. He meshes well with her which makes it nice on my part. All of the nurses are great here, but Ronan seems to have a connection with Alex. Reminds me a little of Arica back home, one of our favorite nurses on the floor of PCH. Miss her. I asked Alex what we could do last night to make sure we had less beeps. She tried her best, but the stupid “asspole,” went on beeping most of the night. “Inclusion in line, Inclusion in line!” is what it said. Which basically means there is a bubble in the fluids he is getting which causes it to beep every half an hour or so. Very disruptive and as my Charisma would say, “RUDE!” Ronan also had to be woken up twice to be given his morphine, which was not fun at all. He was a very mad little boy about it. After about 20 minutes of fighting, he swallowed his medicine and went back to sleep. Seems cruel to wake a sleeping child but rules are rules around here.

My mom came to relieve me around 11. Ronan was in a much better mood this morning when she arrived. We were sitting in our bed playing, when we got a special delivery via fax. A message from our very own “A,” back home! It was the sweetest note written to Ronan from her. I read it out loud to him and he got the biggest kick out of it. She even drew a monkey at the bottom of it for him. So sweet and thoughtful of her. It made both of our days. After our special letter, I gave Ronan his bath. He once again, sat and bathed all of his Star Wars guys which kept him busy. I told him goodbye and slipped out for my daily break. So thankful that my mom is here to help. She has had a lot of nice bonding time with Ronan. It is special for both of them. I went back to the RMH and thought about going on a run, but my left shoulder was killing me today. I decided to go around the corner to the Asian massage parlor I discovered a couple of weeks ago. It seriously looks like something out of a sketchy movie, but one thing I love about this city is you can never judge a book by it’s cover. It is the cheapest/best massage I’ve ever had in my life. Forget that there is almost no privacy as you are separated from other customers though sheets hanging from the ceiling that separate your beds…. the two times that I’ve been there, the place has been empty. A very well hidden secret I suppose :)  The women there give the BEST massage I’ve ever had in my life. I left there with still some pain in my shoulder, but it is better than it was. Thank you, ah sookie sookie now. (that was for you, daddy woo)

I returned to Sloan to find my mom chatting with Dr. Kushner. He stopped by to check in. We talked about Ronan and how great he looks and he told me him not having an ANC for this long is normal, considering all he has gone through. He also told me it’s great to see how well he is tolerating the chemo as he does not look like a sick child whose just completed his 8th cycle. He is such a tough little man. We talked a little more about our plan of attack but nothing will be confirmed until we see the results of Ronan’s scans, which are next week. Scanticipation begins. UGH. Dr. Kushner also sat and talked to me about running, because he is an avid runner himself and we usually always talk about it. He gave me some great Central Park tips which I always enjoy. He really is a very nice man.  Every time I look at him, I can’t help but obsessing over how brilliant he is. I cannot imagine the way his mind must work…. he has revolutionized so many things in the Neuroblastoma world. I really have to focus when I talk to him, otherwise I catch my mind wandering thinking about how he does what he does, eats, breathes and sleeps this disease everyday of his life. I’m curious as to how he came upon devoting his life to Neuroblastoma. So many questions, never enough time.

While I was out today, I caught up on things like mail, bills, emails, phone calls, etc…. I got to hear the voices of a few of my dear friends…. Fernanda, Tricia Boo, Niki, Danielle, Marisa, Pam, Amy, Lindsey, Auntie Karen, and Mr. Sparkly Eyes. I don’t get a lot of time to talk on the phone here due to being at the hospital so much. When I’m out alone, walking the city, I try to return a lot of my calls. It was so good to talk to my friends today. Good to hear their voices and to check in. Miss them all much.

Ronan and I spent tonight like we always do. We walked the halls for about an hour, shooting anybody that came our way. He was Captain Rex and I was Princess Leia. The nurses, janitors, doctors, patients, are great at playing with us. We came back to our room, played Star Wars, then called Liam and Quinn. It was good to hear their voices and I always love to hear the conversations between my 3 monkeys. Adorable. I cuddled in bed with Ronan and we sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” together just like we sing every night while I rubbed his back. It didn’t take much for him to drift off to sleep… it’s late here, midnight now and he fell asleep only about a half an hour ago. Sweetest dreams to the sweetest little boy. I whispered that I loved him to the moon and back and kissed him on his cheek. He tastes like milk and sugar.

My Tricia Boo is taking the Red Eye here tonight. Cannot wait to wrap my arms around her! She is staying until Sunday and Niki got in today as well. Double YAY! Niki is here with her kiddos and I am going to try to see them tomorrow. I only wish Ronan would be discharged so he could see his friends too :( Keeping my fingers crossed that it happens by this weekend. I was telling Mr. Sparkly Eyes tonight that we have been inpatient for almost 3 weeks now. He feels awful and wanted to know how I was doing. I tried my best “Mrs. Positive Attitude,” and replied that I was making the best of it. He then went right to, “Cut the bullshit and tell me how you’re  really doing.” Can’t get anything past that man and it made me laugh out loud. I am such a fan of the bluntness. How am I doing this?? I honestly have no idea. I texted Woody in the middle of the night 2 nights ago to say if he didn’t bust us out of here I was going to murder someone. I have my moments of temporary insanity, but then they are usually quickly washed away by a flash of happiness, gratefulness, or beauty that comes my way… even if it comes in the form of something as small as Ronan telling me I look pretty and thanking me for being his mom. I swoon for his little, kind words. They mean everything to me.

Alright my sweethearts. Tired tonight and going to try to get some rest. G’nite and sweet dreams to you all. G’nite my Big Daddy Woo. Enjoy our cozy bed and cuddle up to my Liam and Quinn for me extra tight. I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO MUCH.

xoxo

Just another hospital night, yo! I don’t miss my bed at all!

 

Tonight, my heart is peaceful and content. My mind is quiet; which doesn’t happen often anymore. Tonight, I am once again filled with a peacefulness that everything is going to turn out o.k. I’m not sure why. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I’ve been so caught up with my worrying and trapped in a dangerous place where the darkness tries so hard to take over. It consumes me most nights… especially hospital nights. Not tonight. Maybe it was the fact that I had a much-needed day out of the hospital today and these little breaks seem to help me. Maybe it’s the fact that Dr. Kushner and Dr. Modak came to see Ronan and could not believe how well he looked for having a 0 ANC. Maybe it’s the fact that I got to listen to Woody tell me how well Liam and Quinn did at baseball tonight. How when Liam got up to bat, one of the coaches told him to hit this one for his brother and he cranked the ball out of the park. Or maybe it’s the fact that I just spent the last hour walking the halls of the hospital with Ronan while we both carried our toy guns and shot every person that came in sight. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the things above. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is it’s moments like this that keep me going, pushing forward, with my head held high. These little moments will carry me though to the other side of this awful mess. With Ronan in my arms the entire way.

Last night was rough. Rough as in I got very little sleep due to our stupid “pole” or “asspole” as I’ve decided to name it, going off every 20 minutes. BEEPBEEP!!!! BEEPBEEP!!!!BEEPBEEP!!!!! So. Freaking. Annoying. Every time this happens, I have to push our little red button and say, “We’re beeping!” The nurse either comes in right away, or it takes 15 minutes. Not fun for anyone. Our poor roommates included. The nurse also had to wake Ronan up twice last night to give him his oral morphine since they took off his Fentanyl patch a couple of days ago. They are slowly trying to wean him off all of his pain medication and he is now down to a really low dose of morphine. Try getting a 3-year-old to cooperate taking a medicine he doesn’t like, while waking him up from a dead sleep. Needless to say, there was a lot of screaming and fit throwing in the middle of the night. Brutal. Rough night indeed but we survived; once again.

Today, we had Ronan’s last day of RT on his arm. It’s nice to be done with that. It seems like it has really helped his pain and I am thankful. My mom came to the hospital, armed with a bag full of toys. For a small town mama, she is sure doing well getting around this big city. Proud of her ;) I was able to leave the hospital and Ronan with my mom with promises of my return with new Star Wars guys. I went back to the RMH, showered, and got ready to meet my friend, Ellen for lunch. Ellen is the mom of Phoebe, our last roommate at Sloan. They live about an hour outside the city and she emailed me yesterday to say her parents were going to watch the girls for the day so she wanted to know if she rode the train in, if I could come and meet her. I jumped at the chance and we had a lovely day catching up. I loved hearing all about Phoebe and how she is doing. She is such an inspiration. They will both be at Sloan on Monday so considering Ronan is up for it, we will make sure we get over to the hospital to see them. Such a nice family who so does not deserve any of this and it sucks we are getting to know each other because both of our kids are dealing with cancer. Why can’t cancer pick on the real jerks in the world…. Hello rapists, child molesters, child abusers, murderers?? Cancer does not discriminate but it should. Leave us nice people and our kids alone. A-hole cancer.

After my day with Ellen, I walked the entire city in search of a couple of new Star Wars toys for Ro. He would have had my head if I had come back to the hospital empty-handed. Mission accomplished. He was very happy with my findings. I returned to find a very sweet boy waiting ever so patiently for me. Best thing in the world to come back to this dreary hospital life to. He melts my heart like butter. I also came back to find some beautiful mystery New Yorker had dropped off some goodies for us and I think, donated blood, as they left a little key chain that Sloan gives you for doing so. They also left the sweetest hand written card and only signed it, “A New York Friend.” Dear New York Friend…. who are you, you lovely person, you??? Would love to meet you and tell you thank you in person. Your gifts were so thoughtful and sweet. I had just run out of my stash of Coconut Water too. Thank you, my mystery NYC friend. You made this mama smile today.

Ronan has been so occupied tonight by watching things on YouTube. Mainly Star Wars things and we have been cracking up. I’m going to put a couple of his favorite findings on my blog. Hope you all enjoy them. Thank you, once again for your love and support. Thank you for keeping our family close to your hearts. It is such a gift to us. G’nite my sweet friends. Love you all!

xoxo

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