Quinn Does Not Have Brain Cancer and I Am Not Dying

Ronan. Quinn does not have brain cancer. Thank you for that. He just suffers from migraines, like your daddy. Brain cancer worries to rest. For now. It was a busy weekend. I spent most of it, hanging out with your brothers. They had a basketball game on Saturday. I felt so proud, watching them. Basketball has become therapeutic to them. Your daddy spends so much time, practicing with them. It’s showing on the court for sure. They are strong, fast, and aggressive. You heard me right. Aggressive. This coming from the two most gentle giants, to walk this earth. As their mama, watching this fire that burns within them on the basketball court, makes me so proud. I know it comes from you. I love watching them play. I hate how my eyes wander over to the other side of the court to where the 5 and 6 year olds are playing. I always picture you out there. You would have been the best player, rocking your Nike headband for sure. I told them after their game, how proud I was. I told them how much you would have loved watching them play and how you would have been yelling and screaming for them. The not having your little squeaky screams around, will always destroy me. Always.

I was tired Saturday, after being out for most of the day. I had a date night with Liam and your daddy took Quinn to the ASU football game. Liam and I cuddled on the couch and watched a movie. It’s still hard for me to sit still and just watch a movie. I did it for Liam. I made him a pizza and popcorn. I may have burnt the pizza, but he didn’t mind. He was just happy to have me cook it for him. On Sunday, we had a nice little treat. Our friends, Robyn and Kyle, flew in for the night. Kyle asked Robyn, if she could go anywhere for one night, where would she want to go? She said to see me. I was over the moon about the two of them, coming to visit. They got in Sunday afternoon and we spent the day just hanging out and lying low. Your daddy and Kyle did a lot of guitar playing and singing. Robyn and I did a lot of trying to find me something to wear for The Gold Party (I still having nothing to wear because I refuse to spend an insane amount of money on a dress!) and talking about you and Ezra. I hate that she gets this in what seems to be the exact same way that I get this; but I love this too. I don’t feel so alone when I am around her. I swear to you, she knows my pain almost exactly. She loved Ezra, that much. She knows her perfect life will never exist again, because her perfect life was when Ezra was here. I know that, too. We feel a lot of the same dark things that I don’t really want to share on here. I can go to the darkest of the dark places with Robyn and not be scared that I am being judged or criticized. She is one of the few people I can do this with and it’s all because cancer killed her fucking kid, too. Fuckwad asshole that cancer is.

I took her on a night hike with Kassie and your brothers. I huffed and puffed all the way up the fucking mountain. Robyn laughed at me and the way I had to have my hands on the side of my hips, so I could keep my balance. It is a lot of work carrying a Poppy in my belly. My inner insane workout goddess is not happy, but what’s a girl to do? I can’t do much, so I continued to huff and puff up to the top of the mountain until we arrived at our church. It was dark, quiet and peaceful. We did our little list of the things we were grateful for. Robyn said lists like that were hard for her. They are always hard for me. I made your brothers do one, too. I told them we couldn’t leave the mountain until it was done. They said some cute things. Things 9 year olds should say. Quinn’s last one was he was grateful for his health. That got to me, in a good way and a sad way. I was proud of him for saying his health but it also made me fucking pissed at the world that I know he only knows this, due to you dying. We got down the mountain, in the dark. I didn’t fall. Yay, me. Poppy wouldn’t have been to pleased about that one. We came home and your daddy and Kyle had cooked us all dinner. We gathered around like the unconventional family we are, but nothing has ever felt so much like family since you’ve been gone. Kyle had your brothers in stitches. Kassie just looked like an angel. Robyn just feels like home. Your daddy makes everything safe. Liam and Quinn, remind me of you. Our kitchen table was filled with laugher, pain, sadness, and beauty… all in a very safe, yet dark world that we exist in. I have decided I don’t really feel like I live anymore, Ronan. I exist if anything. I can get by, existing and working the rest of my life to exist in a really, really, really good way. By helping others and opening my heart to these beautiful people, that I am so lucky to know. So lucky for being so unlucky. Talk about ironic.

Robyn and Kyle left today. I was sad to see them go but so glad that they came. My phone rang from my OBGY’s office. I didn’t pick up, on purpose. I had blood work done there last week. I knew they were calling to tell me I had some deadly disease or that Poppy is dying. I listened to the voicemail and called back. My heart was racing. I waited to talk to someone. I was preparing myself, for the worst like I always do with every situation now. I had the talk in my head with Liam and Quinn about how I was dying or how Poppy could not be born. This is automatically where my mind goes and I’m not proud of it but it is not anything I can control. I think I was about ready to hyperventilate on the phone when the lady came on to tell me everything came back fine, except my thyroid looked off. “What do you mean, I’m not dying and Poppy’s not dying!” I wanted to scream. Surely something bigger had to be wrong? Surely the other shoe was going to drop, right?? Not today, Ronan. Not today. Not even today when my very special friend had her very hard surgery. One she thought she might die from. I told her I had talked to you, and she would not be dying. I was right. Everything went great. Thank you for that. You know I could not survive, without her.

I’m going to go now. I’m tired, but what’s new. Seems to be a theme around here. This Poppy pregnancy is for the birds. But I will try to be grateful for this gift that is growing inside of me. I am grateful, Ronan. Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful, but it is a lot harder than I had anticipated. I wasn’t mentally prepared for all the grief that was going to consume me, too. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.


21 responses to “Quinn Does Not Have Brain Cancer and I Am Not Dying”

  1. I’m so glad Quinn doesn’t have cancer.. Thank you Ronan ❤

  2. Sounds like you had a better weekend!! Always in sour thoughts!! I’ve told me boys about Ronan and even though they have never met him, they talk about him all the time. He’s touched so many people!! Your whole family has! I drew a picture of Ro for you and emailed it to you……it was my 5 year olds idea. He loves him to pieces!

    1. And I totally meant “our” and not “sour”!!!!!

  3. thank goodness Quinn is OK!! Yay. So glad your friend came to visit. So sorry that f*cking cancer took Ronan and Ezra away from you guys. I promise to help spread the word to everyone I know about this beast called Childhood Cancer. Too many great kids have been taken and are suffering because of this monster. Bless Ezra. Bless Ronan. Bless Ty. Bless Liam. Bless Philip. Bless Donna. Bless Talia. (damn it, this list keeps getting longer – the more I read the more names I learn – I really f*cking hate cancer.)

  4. I really think you are an amazing person. Every time you update, even if it a semi happy I cry. I even find myself thinking about your family many times throughout my day and even find myself thinking that if I could change places with Ro, I would do it in a heartbeat. When you said Quinn had to get a MRI I was so worried it might have been something much worse. Also I wanted to share a story from today. My Rockstar Ronan t-shirt came in the mail today. When I opened the box a woman with a little girl asked me if i followed your blog, too. We had a long talk about Ronan and your family. When I was leaving the little girl said to me, “I think the baby is a gift from Ronan so his family can smile more.” You and Ro have affected so many people. I wish I lived semi close to where you live so I could participate in fundraisers, but if anything were to come to IN I would do whatever I could to help. I wish I could donate money more than I have but I’m financially challenge given I’m a broke college kid. You are amazing and I honestly believe that Ronan will be the cure for cancer.

  5. Oh Maya-you write so eloquently from that very special private place…in your heart. I am grateful I found you, Ronan and your story. You touch lives Maya and I hope you know how fortunate I feel to read your posts. I will continue to spread the word about Ronan and to fight for childhood cancer.

  6. RoMama,

    So happy to hear Quinn is okay. Happy you and Poppy are doing good. Happy your friend that walks that fuckwad road was able to spend time with you. Lil poppy will add some smiles and happiness to your family.

    Always RoLove!!!

  7. Maya-
    I don’t know how I came across your blog…well yes I do it’s from Taylor Swift’s song Ronan. My friend that lost her daughter last year in August told me about the song and I could not stop crying after I listened to it, for two reasons 1. Your story 2. My friends story. Your stories are kind of similar only her daughter was murdered…but they were the same age, both had beautiful blue eyes:) She was 3 months pregnant when she lost her daughter and she was in no shape to carry that baby…but she did, and now I have a beautiful 7 month old niece that all of us adore! I cannot tell you how much your story is helping me, helping me open my eyes to what a gift being a mother is…I am no longer looking at is as a job…it’s a gift. Thank you so much for being so brave, and sharing Ronan’s story with us, it makes me strive to be a better mother everyday. Also, it helps me understand how my friend must be feeling, as she does not express all the pain she is feeling, it helps me know what to say to her. I shared a little piece of your blog with her last night and she said “hmmm, that’s exactly how I feel.” I hope that I will find some answers in your blog, a way to help her get through her loss as well…I know the pain will never go away, but how can you help someone feel “better”?

  8. So glad to hear Quinn is okay. I’ve been on edge since that last post. I’m so glad you had a good weekend with Robyn and Kyle, Maya. You, Woody and the boys totally deserve it. I feel awesome, I’m rocking both Ezra AND Ronan bracelets!!!

    Hang in there with that Poppy and take care of yourself!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I cried for days when I first started your blog a few weeks ago. It still makes me sad when I read it but it also makes me happy to see how much you loved Ro and how strong you are being. Your story has touched me so much because I am a mother to a 3 year old little boy and every time I see a picture of Ro, I see my son and it makes me so sad. And we also reside in AZ, so yout story hits close to home. You have helped me become a better, more patient mother, and I just want to consume every second that I have with my son. This weeked I thought of you alot. On Sunday my son was being a typical 3 year old, running aroung making messes, etc. Since reading your blog, I have been able to be more patient and pretty much let him get away with anything. But on Sunday he was really testing me. I got very frustrated at one point and began to scold him. But I swear at that moment I thought of little Ronan and it helped me to calm down and I felt Ronan tell me to just relax.
    Another moment I thought of you was last night. My son woke up in the middle of the night vomiting and sick with some stomach issues. He woke up nemerous times and I immediately thought of you. It was so hard to see my baby sick from just a stomach flu and you had to see your son suffer from Cancer. I cannot imagine having to go through that, and honestly I dont think I could do it. Before I would dread the nights my son would get sick because I would get little sleep and then have to head to work early in the AM(selfish, I know!). But last night I embraced it and felt greatful to be able to take care of him. So there I was at least 3 times last night and early into the morning up to the minute I had to take off to work, happy as can be. Washing clothes, changing bed sheets, and taking him baths, all with the help of you! So thank you again. I pray for your family every night! May god bless you and give you strength. And I am one of the ones that not only read your story, but take it to heart and want to help in any way I can! 🙂 We were at Walmart on Saturday and I had my son put change in the Phoenix Childrens Hospital donation bin, then he wanted to put dollars so we did that as well 🙂 I will make sure he knows he is fortunate to be healthy and that he needs to help children who are not as fortunate so that he can help make a difference.

  10. I am so happy that Quinn is fine; too bad he has to get migraines, though. 😦 Anyway, Maya, I just wanted to tell you that you have to be the strongest woman alive! This past week was a rough one. On Thursday, I had noticed some strange red dots under my 3-year-old son’s skin. At first, I thought chicken pox but then I reminded myself that he had been vaccinated for that. I then thought, well maybe it’s an allergic reaction to chlorine, since he had just gotten out of our hot tub. So, I put him in the bath tub and the spots got worse. I called our pediatrician and we couldn’t see him until 4:15 that afternoon. My son was acting totally fine, so I figured it was weird rash or something. Well, we get to our appointment and everything is going as normal. They weighed him and measured how tall he was (40.5 inches, he grew 4 inches this summer). We waited in the exam room, as normal and our pediatrician comes in and asks me how I am doing (he was also my pediatrician growing up) and then turns to Cullen (my son) and says, ‘what’s going on with this little guy?’ I told him that I wasn’t sure; that he had these strange red dots all over him and that I thought it might be a rash or chicken pox. He literally looked at them for maybe 10 seconds and said, ‘these are not chicken pox or a rash. This is petichae.’ I had no idea what that was and so I asked him. He told me that he was basically bleeding under the skin and that it most likely meant that his platelet counts were low but they would only know for sure after they did blood work (which they did STAT). I asked what caused it and he started listing some things and then he said the word: ‘LEUKEMIA.’ That word hit me right in the gut, took my breath away. It took everything that I had to hold it together in that office, watching my baby boy get poked and seeing his blood go into a tube. My pediatrician said that he had wished I could’ve gotten into the office earlier and that this was serious. He gave me his personal number and took mine into his phone as well and sent us on our way home and told me he would call me within 2 hours to let me know the test results. That was the MOST AGONIZING, PETRIFYING 2 hours of MY LIFE!!! He called with some good news: Cullen did not have leukemia but his counts were VERY low. They were down to 5,000 (normal range is 150,000-450,000) and that I was to immediately take him to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids (about an hour drive from my house). He was not sure what was going on exactly but he suspected ITP (which can also be fatal if left untreated due to internal bleeding). We didn’t get to the hospital until 7:30 pm. Cullen was bruising so easily; he looked like someone beat the crap out of him. We were admitted to the Hematology/Oncology floor (which was the most heart wrenching sight). Cullen started his IVIG treatment around midnight. They also had to give him steroids which made (and is still making him) and SUPER grumpy boy! It was terrifying seeing my baby hooked up to an IV and not being able to do anything for him or really know what was going on? The doctors at DeVos confirmed ITP which they suspected was triggered by a viral infection that in turn caused his immune system to turn on his platelets and start destroying them. I have ABSOLUTELY NO idea how you endured an even worse predicament. I just got a little ‘taste’ of that pain that you feel everyday and it has had me ‘wigged’ out for days. Being on that floor and seeing these beautiful, amazing children fighting for their lives was humbling but saddening. Cullen even played with a couple of little boys with cancer that were about his age and it was devastating seeing them not being able to do all the things that Cullen was doing (like shooting the basketball). I have been doing all that I can to make people aware of childhood cancer and I have been spreading the word about Ro. I have so many of my friend/family following your blog, buying Ronan’s tees, and just making people aware that it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I voted for The Ronan Thompson Foundation in the Chase Community Giving thing; I have spread the Dell video. I am trying to help make a difference but I know it’s not enough. I wish there was something I could do for these children at DeVos (or anywhere and everywhere, for that matter). I have been thanking God, EVERYDAY that my baby is going to be okay and that he doesn’t have leukemia. I was already kissing and hugging him more than ever since I first heard about Ronan and your story and now, since this, I haven’t let him leave my sight. I don’t want to be a crazy, over-bearing mom, but I just feel like I cannot soak him up enough in a day. I just cannot get enough of him. As soon as my doctor mentioned the word leukemia to me, my thoughts went right to Ronan and you. I thought to myself, ‘am I going to have to fight along side my baby to save his life? Am I going to have to watch my baby become ill and weak? Am I going to have to endure the same pain and loss as Maya?’ I just didn’t know what to do.. I cannot imagine your pain. That is why I say, you are the STRONGEST woman in the world!! You and Ronan are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers! ❤

    1. Hazel O Callaghan Avatar
      Hazel O Callaghan

      So glad your little boy is ok x lovely mail

  11. I had no doubt that Quinny would be just fine. He has his little brother looking out for him every step of the way, as does that special friend of yours!
    So glad that Robyn and Kyle came to visit you!!! Out of the shittiest situation, you sure have met some beautiful people.
    Love you.

  12. Soooo glad everyone is healthy and that there was a great night hike. I hope (kinda hopelessly wishing) that we can do a night hike on Friday night…


  13. I just want to thank you for sharing Ronan with all of us. I have a 9 yo, 10 yo, and an ALMOST 21-month old, and have really learned to count my blessings because of you.
    My husband and I heard Ro’s song on the radio last night, and we both sobbed the whole way through. We take for granted so many little things, even those that we find momentarily irritating, and your story has helped both of us to take a breath and be grateful for what we have.
    When I stumbled upon this blog a couple weeks ago, I had heard about Taylor’s song, but hadn’t actually listened to it, and didn’t know the whole story behind it. As I read through some old posts, I cried like I never have before. My husband got home from work as I was reading and as I filled him in our your story he too began to tear up, for you and Ronan, but also because his sister died from cancer when she was 7 – some 30 years ago. We ordered bracelets for our family, and our older boys – after hearing what they represented – wear them constantly and are eager to share, with anyone who will listen, what they are for.
    We are fighting with you, for you, and because of you.
    I hope that you find strength and purpose in the outpouring of support that you receive. YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. RONAN HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE.

  14. Maya, I was looking through Taylor swifts newest songs and found her song about Ronan. I immediately became interested in your story and spent the whole night, reading your blog for hours and hours. I am only 15 and your blog and Ronans story has touched my heart more than anything. I want to read your blog everyday and follow you on your journey. Ronan sounded like the most amazing little boy and he is truly beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you, your family, and anyone close to Ronan. very happy you are doing so much better and so thankful Quinn is okay!! your family is an amazing family and everyone out there knows it. god bless you all! With love, Kate

  15. Maya, I have been hesitant to leave a comment on here but I just thought you should know that I think you are an amazing mom! Ronan’s story is so inspiring and I know that it will change my life forever. I know how much you like music so I thought I would suggest a song that is on The Killers latest CD, called Be Still. It made me think of you and it made me cry. Anyways, short and sweet is how I like to keep it.

  16. I heard this song and thought of you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7IbQyG9PL4

  17. I’m skipping over everything else & going straight to wardrobe. Are you tied to the idea of a dress? How much are you showing?I have seen a ton of sparkly gold stuff out there, everywhere from Kohl’s to Nordstrom to Forever 21. I’m seeing you in a white/cream jacket & pants and sparkly gold top. Also I don’t know if you guys have Charming Charlie (I know they do in CA) but for fun shiny accessories I would go there. Pregnant ladies get to wear what is comfortable, and you are going to have a long day/night. So be comfy & sparkly & have the best time, and as we say every year at our St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, let’s hope we don’t have to do this again.

  18. Maya…I just recently hitched a ride on your very long trek of the last two years in a matter of days. I came across your name/blog through a commenter on another blog I follow last week. Out of curiosity, I checked you out and was immediately so touched by your story that I couldn’t stop reading. I had to go back to your Day 1 and literally read every post up through June 2011, when after crying my eyes out (I think I scared MY 4 year old a little), I just couldn’t take any more of the heartache you were feeling every moment of your waking hours.

    I decided to fast-forward to the present and just start following you as you post, so I read your last few days posts and just finished with this one. I was hoping that time would have eased your mind and your heart somewhat from the sadness and grief that you’ve felt…it makes me very sad that you don’t feel like you’re really alive anymore, and that you are so full of fear for yourself, your family, and your little one to come, that you immediately assume the worst will happen. I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through….nobody should have to go through it ever in life. I don’t know how long it will take until your heart is semi-healed…..I don’t think it ever truly will be, but I wish you some peace at the very least. Life is cruel, senseless and it’s disheartening to walk around in an existence that can rob you of the very thing you cherish most even as you’re begging for mercy from the bottom of your soul. Maybe the only bright lining in that dark cloud is that Ronan had such an amazing mom as you, and the amazing famiy that stuck so close together through the storm. He was blessed to have you and you were blessed to have him.

    Thinking of you,

  19. I know you get thousands of comments. I know you probably haven’t the time to read them all. But, I have to say this post touched me. Not even touched, more like grabbed me and shook me. My little boy, Seth, passed away last year. A months and a half after his 4th birthday. The words of Taylor Swift’s song brought me here, and the words of this post and your most recent one feel almost like I could have written them myself.

    My 3 year old got sick last week. I was terrified. Headaches, vomiting, fever. The exact same symptoms Seth had. I took him to the doctor just KNOWING they were going to tell me that I was going to lose him too. It ended up being only strep, but when I read this… It captured exactly how I felt. How I still feel every day.

    And I just want to reach out and say stay strong. You are not alone. And thank you.


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