Ronan. It’s been so long since I’ve written on here and I feel so much guilt for that. Not only that, but I miss writing on here to you so much. I’m hoping to wrap some things up soon which will free up some free time so I can start writing to you again on a regular basis. So much has been going on and it would take me hours to catch you up on things. I don’t have hours tonight as I have to get back to my other writing soon. For the most part, things are going well. The foundation is still massively busy and we have some great things coming up for the month of September. My hometown just put on our 3rd Annual 5k and it was such a beautiful success. So many beautiful faces came out to run for you and I am still in such awe of the way my little town pulls off such an amazing event. It just gets better and better every year. Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work organizing this, all the amazing volunteers, everyone who donated items, and all the people who came out in support of my baby boy. I know how much work pulling off something like this is and I am forever grateful for your love and support in this fight. Thank you again so much. Also, a huge thank you to Ashtown Brewery for an awesome event after the run. Best Brewery in all of Washington. Fo’ shizzle.
So, do you want to hear my VERY dramatic bedtime story tonight? I’ve got a good one as it just happened a few nights ago and I feel like I am still recovering from it. We are out in Washington for the summer like we always are. I am now feeling like every time we are here, I have a major freak out about something, but this one was the worst. That little Poppy sister of yours just turned 2 in April. She is the perfect mixture of a girly girl tomboy. She is my insanely smart, fiery little girl who has decided that TuTu’s are her favorite thing in life as long as she can be playing in the mud in one while being covered in bruises from her rough and tumble ways. She makes me laugh constantly with the way she speaks in full sentences and uses words that are way too big for a 2-year-old to be using. I am amazed by her and the way she lives her life so vibrantly and big, for being so tiny. Needless to say, she is the love of the my life just like the way you and your brothers are. I am so thankful everyday to you for her. She brings us all so much happiness and you know we need that around here. Anyway, back to my story… sorry I got off track, I’m that annoying mom that could blab about my baby girl all day long. I also am borderline obsessed with the age of 2. She is a lot like you at this age and it makes everything so bittersweet.
Let’s back up a bit. Your Poppy sister also has that light skin that bruises very easily. I guess I started worrying about her bruises about 4 months ago. It was like a little bird was sitting on my shoulder just pecking away at me and the voices started slowly creeping inside of my head. Bruises can be an early sign of Leukemia. I now know all the freaking early signs of every pediatric cancer out there and bruising easily is one of them. For the past 4 months I’ve pretty much ignored the voices as your sister has been nothing but healthy much like you which seems like a sick joke. I went on with life and got us all ready to drive us out here for the summer (solo road trip is a story for another time).We arrived safe and sound and ready to be in our favorite place on earth for the summer. My soul aches for the Pacific Northwest so badly as I miss it so much. Everything started out wonderfully, we had a great family vacation in Sunriver, Oregon, but then the, “My stomach hurts!!!!” started up from your Poppy sister. You know this is one of my triggers. My stomach hurts to me really means she probably has cancer as that is one of the first things you said to me a couple of months before we found a huge tumor in your abdomen. Poppy started saying it off and on, usually before bed when she wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep. I told your daddy. He told me it was nothing and kids get stomach aches. Yeah, but kids also get stomach aches and cancer and die, too. I know both worlds very, very well. I kept my eye on her carefully the following weeks where I watched her act like a totally healthy child.
I sing to Poppy a lot. We listen to music non-stop. We were in my old bedroom one day and as I was getting her down for her nap she looked up and me and goes, “I gonnnnnnaa hold yaaaaa, gonnnnnnaaa kiss armsss, Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, big jet plane.” I started bawling. She just looked at me and started singing louder. “Gonna take you for a ride on big jet plane..Mama! Twinkle Twinkle Star!” It took me a minute and I had goosebumps all over my body. Big Jet Plane was one of your favorite songs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was the song I always sang to you, especially right before you died. She continued to beg me to sing to her, while she squeaked along with me, singing most of the words spot on. I fell asleep crying and holding her little body close to mine. She is doing so many of these little things that keep you so close to all of us, especially to her. I woke up from my out-of-body experience feeling a bit jet lagged to say the least, but so thankful that she keeps you so close to her heart even if she doesn’t even fully realize she is doing so. It means everything to me.
That evening, I was getting Poppy ready for her bath when I noticed 5 suspicious bruises going down her spine. They were perfectly round and in the shapes of small circles. I fucking flipped out. I felt my stomach drop. I immediately snapped a few pictures of them and sent them to our favorite lovie. (P.S. Names have been changed to protect the innocent). He told me the pattern of bruises were strange and wanted to know what we had done during the day or if she had fallen or had any kind of trauma. I told him no, that we just had a normal day and she was being her rough and tumble self. He told me not to worry which was completely lost on me. I was ready to throw Poppy in the car and either drive her to the hospital in Portland or all the way home so I could have her checked out there. After bath time, I took her upstairs to brush her teeth. She hates having her teeth brushed and fights me on it every night. Sometimes I just let her do it, but every couple of days I have to basically hold her down and scrub away. On this particular night, I don’t know if I scrubbed too hard or what, but her top gums started bleeding everywhere. Another sign of childhood leukemia. The sight of blood was enough to fly me over the coo coo’s next. I handed her to my mom and went completely mad. I started pacing back and forth. I called your Daddy and was crying hysterically. I listened to all of his rational reasoning but nothing was going to calm me down. I called our other little lovie, Rach, in New York. I seriously think this is how our conversation went:
Me: Rach! sobbing. I think Poppy has Leukemia. more sobbing. I told her all the reasons why.
Rach: O.k. I promise you she doesn’t, but let’s talk this out. Poppy cannot have Leukemia, this sounds more like an anemic thing. If it will make you feel better, you can take her to get checked out. You can have her blood looked at. Do you want me to call the hospital in Portland right now? I’ll make sure they get you in and treat you like gold.
Me: Sobbing, still. I don’t know. Let me try to calm down, I’m not thinking clearly. I want to have her checked, but I’m not sure I can take her tonight.
The phone call went on for a bit longer. I also talked to your daddy again. Texted with Rach some more. All in all it took 4 different people, 3 of them being doctors, to calm me down. My mom was a wreck from watching me be a wreck and I don’t even want to tell you how upset I was that your brothers had to witness a bit of this as well.
After I was able to calm down, I tucked your brothers and sister into my bed where I watched them all sleep as I tossed and turned all night long. I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Poppy woke up, ready to take on the world as always. I usually want to take on the world with her, but I had decided that the world had to stop until I could confirm for sure that she did not have Leukemia. I texted our lovie the pictures again. He showed them to another doctor. He called me. “Sweetheart. What do you want to do? If you want to get her checked out, go and get her checked out, if nothing more for your peace of mind.” I asked him to fax in a doctor’s order to have her blood drawn at a local place in town. I got her ready, dropped your brothers at Nana’s cafe, and took Poppy to get a mother fucking pokie in her arm.
She was such a trooper. Oh, in no way did she corporate. She was straight pissed off once she knew what was happening. I had to hold her as she kicked, screamed and cried while I told her over and over how sorry I was. After the blood draw was over, the nurse tried to put a sparkly band-aid on her. She ripped it off and said, “I DON’T WANT A SPARKLY BAND-AID!” Little badass. I scooped her up in my arms, put her in her car seat, and called our lovie to tell him it was over as I cried and did what I do best which is beat myself up for being a fucking maniac. I know I’m not really a maniac. I’m just a mom who has been through the worst thing possible and because of that, my worry is constant. My worry never goes away. I don’t know how to fix that, but for the most part I manage it as well as I can.
“I feel horrible for putting her through that. This is not my finest moment in life, you know.” I continued to cry.
I got the whole, “Hey, don’t do that. Don’t beat yourself up over this. You did what you had to do. What you did is not an overreaction after all you’ve been through. You have every right to worry about this. Let’s just wait for the results and what ever happens, we will figure it out from there.”
I then put Poppy on the phone where he talked her while she smiled that gorgeous smile of hers at me. The pokie had already been forgotten by her, but not by me. I’ll never forget what I had to put her through to make sure that she was safe and the healthy child she deserves to be. I found out a couple of hours later that all of her blood work came back completely normal. I let out the sigh of relief that I have been holding in for months. I finally feel like I can breathe again and I know that won’t last forever, but for now it is enough.
Ronan, I must continue the rest of this later. It has gotten so late and my head is pounding. It just started to rain here and that seems like a little sign from you to shut things down and go to sleep. I miss you so much. So very much.
G’nite. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.