The reality show that nobody wants to watch, but they cannot turn off the T.V.

Jesus. Fucking. Christ. Pardon my french tonight. Actually. Do not. I’ve about had enough. Ring Ring goes the iPhone. Dr. Cassidy’s name pops up on the screen. My heart sinks….. why is Ronan’s eye doctor calling me?? The one who checked out Liam and Quinn. I pick up the phone.

“Hello,” I say in the voice that I’m now told sounds like a 15-year-old.

“Hello, yes is Quinn’s mom available?” The nervous kid on the phone asks.

“This is she.”

“Yes, Hello, this is Nick from Dr. Cassidy’s office. I just wanted to go over Quinn’s results with you as Dr. Cassidy had a chance to look over what was found.”

“O.K….. is there something going on that I don’t know about?”

“Well, um…. well…. we had a chance to look them over and I just wanted to talk about some things with you.”

At this point, I am crying in the phone……

“O.k., what is it?”

“Well, the spot that showed up. We went over the results and the spot is benign, so I just wanted to tell you that,” says the kid whom I am now ready to strangle.

“Well, I knew that yesterday. I wouldn’t have left the PCH yesterday, without thinking differently. You’re scaring me. So, please tell me, once again that this is nothing. I do not need to have this checked out again in 6 months, right?”

“No, no you don’t. I just wanted to reassure you,” the kid Nick, says into the phone.

Reassure me? I thought to myself? This is reassurance?? Wow. I may have forgotten what the feeling of reasurrence feels like in this life, but I am pretty sure it does not feel like somebody just threw you off of the side of a cliff.

I couldn’t even say goodbye. I just hung up the phone. What the fuck is going on, I think to myself. Doesn’t this kid know that he is calling the mother of Dr. Cassidy’s former patient, who died? Doesn’t he know that things need to be presented to me, a little differently? Doesn’t he know not to hesitate when telling me the “good news?” I do not understand what is going on in the world. I am serious about that sign that I am going to start wearing around my neck. I am also going to change my voicemail and it is going to say, “Hello. You’ve reached the voicemail of Maya Thompson. My 3-year-old son, died of cancer. Please choose your words, carefully. And FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I get it people. We as a society are not handed out life skills when it comes to knowing how to treat/deal/embrace somebody whom has just lost a child. EMBRACE THEM. Because that is what we need; as bereaved parents. It is to be embraced. Not ignored and pushed aside. We as a society are taught to ignore that babies die all the time. Unborn, born, infants, toddlers, children, tweens, teenagers, and young adults. It happens, every single day. But it is like a dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about it. Like if you do, you will be next. We as a society are too scared to acknowledge it and we choose to look the other way because this is what we are taught to do. But doctors. Such bullshit. And these doctors, trained doctors whom work in the medical field and deal with these things everyday…. how do they not know how to be a little more kind to the parents?? Surly it cannot be that difficult. It is called empathy. It is called kindness. It is called love.

Maybe I need to cut this kids some slack today because he was not aware of who he was calling. Maybe I am being arrogant to think that he did in fact know about you. How couldn’t he, Ronan? Doesn’t everyone? To me the death of you, is so huge that I feel like John Lennon was murdered all over again. That everyone, in the world, is mourning your loss. So to me, today, that kid that called me, did know. And if he didn’t know, he should have known. Because you were a patient there. And you are worthy of that entire office knowing. And I am worthy of a phone call that should been handled a little more gently.

You want to know what one of the worst feelings is? When I know people know about you but they pretend they do not. So, they choose to either avoid me or if they do approach me nothing is said about you. Do you know how much comfort it brings to a mom to just hear the words, “I am so sorry about your son?” It is something that anyone can say and it is a reminder to me, that you are worthy of them being sad. Even if it is even only for a second and then they can go on about their day.

I feel like the whole world has gone mad. And if I were to turn on the news tomorrow to see that a UFO had landed, I would not at all be surprised. You died. Nothing else insane that happens in this world, would even phase me. It’s just a matter of waiting now for what’s next? Because surely this is only the beginning. Fucking bullshit of a thing called life.

This morning I woke up, feeling like I had been hit by a truck? Did you just die all over again? I had no memory of where I was (Quinn’s bed) How I had gotten there (thanks Ambien) and what had happened the night before (thank you again, Ambien. You are better than than the roofie I once thought I had been slipped, but it was really only too much tequilla!) Apparently, I had a big party in the your brothers’ room, all by myself. I woke up to 2 huge empty bottles of sparking water, 1 empty coke can, 2 Sugar Daddy wrappers crumpled on the floor, NERDS candy spilled everywhere, my laptop open and the some very messy words written in the 3 of my 50o journals that I am now hoarding like a pack rat. The self destruction plot continues…….

My head was heavy and Quinn’s pillow was drenched. I must have been crying for you in my sleep. It literally took me a few minutes to let my reality sink in. I had to force myself to remember that you had died and the events from PCH the day before with Quinn, started to trickle in. FUCK. I so do not want to get out of bed, I thought to myself. Quinn came bouncing in the room, full of such happiness and love. I had no clue where Liam was, then I remembered that he had stayed with your Mimi and Papa the night before.

Showtime Mommy! Time to get up! Time to start your day like Ronan is NOT dead! Ready! Set! Action!

Somebody please turn off the fucking cameras.

Lights out. Show over. This episode has been canceled.

I survived the rest of the day. I powered through. I got an email from somebody from the AZ Republic saying they wanted to feature me in a story on the Valley’s 20 Most Inspirational Women.



Not Me.

You, Ro.

Always, you.

G’nite my baby doll. I miss you so very much. I hope you are safe. I love you.


23 responses to “The reality show that nobody wants to watch, but they cannot turn off the T.V.”

  1. Perfect photo with the post.
    I know this isn’t a “touching” comment so to speak, but you’re fucking awesome. Honestly, I am still amazed at everything you do, or don’t do, say, or hold back from saying. You deserve to be noticed as inspirational. You are. You inspiring others in ways that are so powerful, those other people start inspiring people. It’s like an inspiration “pay it forward” kind of thing. Either that, or whatever magic you have inside of you is so great, it’s spreads further than just to the people who know you. It’s spreads THROUGH them…

    (Did that even make sense?)

    Hope so.

  2. Oh Maya… My heart breaks. Fuck cancer!!! and these professionals should know how to handle situations a little more empathetic.

    Love that picture of Rockstar Ro!!!

    Omg! That’s amazing. Az republic 20 most inspirational. Hell yea!!! You definitely are!

    Peace and strength

  3. That photo at the end made me laugh and cry at the same time. Such a beautiful photo…such a beautiful life cut so tragically short. I never thought I could learn anything from a 3 year old…I was wrong. I used to ignore charity tins…walk passed those collecting from charity with my head down thinking i needed the money more. Now I buy the pins, ribbons and pens that are set up at point of sales at the supermarket. I empty my purse of all my coins and have vowed to donate more money and more of my time. I may not have much to give but I will give what I can. Because of you, Maya…and because of Ronan. Always because of him. I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. I keep smiling at the ‘people think I’m quiet because I’m shy…’ That made my night.
    I think it is so incredible to see you being recognized by the az republic. One of many things to come your way via sweet Ronan’s life that will prove to shine a big spotlight on childhood cancer! Sleep well~xo

    1. Michelle, thank u for always leaving the sweetest comments. I feel like you are an old friend:)

  5. He was so beautiful Maya. My heart breaks a little more every time I see those eyes and that smile. Thank you for your words. You inspire me in many ways.

  6. Im with you on the doctor thing. Where is their compassion? This should be taught in Med school. Compassion 101. My 3rd late miscarriage 2 years ago was in result of doctor error. You think he would tell me this? Oh no. I knew. I knew my body more then he thought and I confronted him and he had some bullshit excuse that couldn’t possibly involve him. Today, I met his NP, she confirmed what I knew all along, he made a fatal error. Nice. Sick. Really? What has this world come to? Compassion would of made the situation less stressful, maybe not better, but at least I would of considered him human! A little love goes a lot further then silence and the cold, no eye contact misery, that so many doctors give.

    Very neat to see all the ways Ronan is working through you! Fuck cancer! You’re doing an incredible job!

  7. It is like a sick and twisted joke, poor Quinn getting an abnormal read on a CT that requires an MRI? Really? You all so clearly know that there is no FAIR in this world, additional reminders are not required. I have read and reread the post from yesterday and now today…completely astonished in what you went through, that you made it. Ronan certainly must have been holding you both up. It is the only way. I am sorry that Ronan is gone from your arms and that EVERYONE isn’t mourning his death, Maya. BUT please know that many do (though many is still not enough)…and some stranger just started crying as she drove along the highway on her way to work on a random Tuesday . Just because. Because Ronan died, because others will also on that day and each day going forward, because 20 minutes away at St. Louis Children’s….too many kids are fighting on 9W.

    I am so sad for you, Woody, Liam, Quinn, and all Ronan lovers out there.

    I am so happy that Quinn is fine. Sending you all much much love.

  8. Maya, I tell everyone about Ronan and your family and I’m often surprised by the response I get. Several people have actually told me I should stop reading your blog! They are saying things like “why would you put yourself through reading that sadness?” And “it’s just better not to think about bad things like that.” Can you believe this shit?! I had made an assumption that everyone would see the greatness that I see in you, in Ronan, in bringing awareness to childhood cancer. I was wrong. And it makes me sick. I’ve been trying to make a difference in my own way. I donated blood for the very first time yesterday. When they started checking me in, I started crying. Of course this concerned them and they thought I was crazy. And then I just said, I’m doing this for all those that can’t do it for themselves. Then the lady that was sticking me with the needle said, “Well you know you’ve just saved 6 baby’s lives.” 6!!! When I walked in that donation center that morning I was feeling a little guilty that this was my only contribution to making things better but after hearing that I could possible save 6 babies…That’s pretty amazing. Continue to do what you do Maya. You’re a wonderful crazy spirit and you and Ronan inspire me daily to be a better person.

  9. Oh, how I love that picture of him!! He was soo beautiful. AZ republic, awesome! Such an honor, and all because of Ronan! Hope you have an “okay” weekend. Much love to you Maya! xo

  10. So exciting about the newspaper article. You are THE most inspirational woman. Thinking of you & Ronan everyday.

  11. Good job, Maya. That is not facetious, nor is it sarcastic. It is heartfelt and simply stated. You did a good job being a great Mom for Quinn. You did a great job being the best Mom possible for Ronan. Seriously. You did the absolute best you could both times – because that is what you do. The outcomes are out of your control – out of your hands.

    Love your idea for the voicemail message. Could you look into raising funds with it? Maybe you could get a 1-800 number or something that people could call and hear your voice saying exactly what you wrote and their call would cost them money which would go towards the foundation? Just a thought.

  12. Jeeze, you just can’t catch a break! You can never catch a freakin’ break Maya! I too live in a world where I assume EVERYONE knows about Ronan and his life. So every time I put a post out about him/childhood cancer and I get no response, MY HEAD SPINS! Because I’m like, what the hell is wrong with these people? You will comment about something else (insignificant) I have written, but you won’t take 2 seconds of your selfish life to comment on something that really matters?! UGH. Just so you know, I live in that world too Maya, where I assume everyone knows you and Ronan. I have even found myself talking about you guys in my daily life without a second thought…. that’s how much you get to people 🙂

    By the way, I wanted to tell you that a childhood friend of mine just got a job as a Nurse at PCH and I just KNOW she will make a difference in all those kids’ lives. She is the sweetest, kindest, most beautiful soul ever! She listens to the best music and just got back from a trip to Vietnam!! She’s a badass and I am so glad that she chose to go work there. I just know Ronan would have LOVED her. Take care Maya, keep breathing…

  13. Oh for goodness sakes! People need to get a clue, think less of themselves and more about others. At least every once in a while. I think of you constantly and always hope some, any, a little bit of the peace I beg for comes to you…
    I hope you have a nice weekend…

  14. I love this picture of Ronan’s beautiful smile and his “gummies”.
    I know you said that you were going to Sedona this weekend. I hope that Ronan’s strength will guide your way during the times you think you cannot continue. Sending so much love and strength to you this weekend because I know you will need it. Love ya Maya girl. ❤

  15. I always acknowledge someone’s child if they passed away, but then I burst into tears. Or at the very least my eyes well up and I get choked up, so then the other person undoubtedly feels the need to make ME feel better. How the hell does one express that they think something is devastating and fucking unfair without crying? Something I need to work on, for sure.
    Having three boys myself, I’m a bit partial to boys, and Ronan has to be one of the most delicious boys I’ve ever laid eyes on. Just delicious.

  16. And another thing–there is no one more deserving of you for the newspaper’s recognition. You are doing wonderful things in honor of your sweet, precious son. I know you couldn’t save the one life you most wanted to, but you are surely saving countless others. What an amazing legacy…

  17. You are so inspirational, and when they interview you, and hear Ronan through your words, it may get through that more needs to be done for children’s cancer. I told my husband I wish we were still in Phoenix, because I want so badly to be apart of what you are doing. How you are changing the face of Childhood Cancer. It is so important, and everyday I read, and see pictures of Ronans sweet face, I cry. Everyday I cry for your son. It’s just so wrong and things need to change. I have been trying to find the courage to go into Radys Children’s Hospital and volunteer. I am scared to death to be honest. I know I will do it though. That is my personal goal. I have no excuse, I live right across from it. I would never in my life even known you could do this, if it weren’t for you and Ronan. I will do of for Ronan. I am so sorry, everyday for your loss. And if I ever see you in San Diego….or Phoenix….I would absolutely walk up and tell you how sorry I am, and give you the biggest hug. Thank you for everything. I will never in my life take a minute with my kids for granted…and I will continue to tell your story. Everyone should know about your precious love.


  18. I frequently find myself in situations where I want to do or say something comforting, but I don’t know what is best. Your blog has helped me so much in giving me insight that anything is better than nothing. Thank you for that. Your story is heartbreaking and you are amazing.

  19. I just wanted to say that you are truly inspiring and deserve recognition! I think of your family often and every time I read something about your life since Ronan has been gone I just cry. I never knew him but I know he was amazing and a beautiful little boy. I hope this weekend will help you in some way! Just know that the whole world might not know about Ronans life and death but so many people do and it has forever changed us.

  20. Maya, thank you for sharing so much. There is not a day I don’t think about cancer. I’m very aware now and committed. Thanks to sweet gorgeous Ronan. And all those who have gone before or are battling now.
    Ronan and your family story has truly changed me. Keeping me in the present, being grateful, yet aware.
    Thanks. May strength continue to find you when you need it most.

  21. Maya, thank you for sharing so much. There is not a day I don’t think about cancer. I’m very aware now and committed. Thanks to sweet gorgeous Ronan. And all those who have gone before or are battling now.
    Ronan and your family story has truly changed me. Keeping me in the present, being grateful, yet aware.
    Thanks. May strength continue to find you when you need it most.

  22. Maya–just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you and your return from Sedona. Hoping and praying that you are headed home to Woody, Liam, and Quinn with a tiny bit of peace that you didn’t have on Friday. ((((Hugs))))

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