Tonight was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time. My heart is so full of love that I feel like it could explode! The Diamondbacks game was a huge success and I heard the tickets that were sold for our foundation almost SOLD OUT! Thank you all so much for coming and for those who could not come but still bought tickets to support Ronan. A huge thanks to Becky for coordinating everything, giving us an awesome tour, and making sure we were all taken care of. I am so happy I finally got to meet you. I smiled, laughed and cried tonight and it all felt good!
I finally got the chance to meet a very special young man, Will and his mother. I have heard about Will since day one of Ronan being diagnosed. Dr. Wood spoke of him very early on. Will is a Neuroblastoma survivor and is 18 now. I was soo honored to finally meet them; I have been dreaming about this day for a very long time. I talked with them for a bit and completely broke down and the tears came pouring out. They were tears of happiness, sadness, and hope. So much hope. Will is a beautiful boy and I can tell he is much wiser than other kids his age. He’s got a twinkle in his eye like he has a secret. Maybe someday he will share that secret with Ronan. I know that Will and his family will forever be a part of our lives and I can’t wait to get to know them better and to introduce Ronan to them.
The kids had a blast at the game. Woody and Liam didn’t make it which I was sad about. They planned on coming but then got tied up at home with Ronan having a bloody nose. It turned out to be fine, but by the time they were ready to head over to the ballpark, the ASU game was getting ready to start. You know our loyalty to those Sundevils… nothing gets in the way of that:) They headed to the football game instead. I think Quinn had enough fun for the both him and Liam though. I really enjoyed being surrounded by all of my friends’ kids tonight. I saw Quinn laugh and giggle more than I have seen him do in a very long time. Those Willits’ boys know how to have a good time. With parents like theirs, it’s easy to see where they get it from. Thank you Gay and Barry for bringing your 3 beautiful boys and supporting and loving us. Everything is so much more fun when you all are involved:) I wish I would have taken more pictures tonight. I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot. Tonight I needed to relax and let go just a bit and that is just what I did. We sold a lot of shirts at the game! Mainly to friends and family. My friend Jen and I went down into the lower 100 level to see some of my other girlfriends who were sitting down there. Lauren, Heidi, and Christy and their kiddos had a section to themselves so we joined them for a bit. Jen and I made quite a stir with our huge bag full of tee shirts. Soon, strangers were asking what they were for. I used my strongest voice possible and told them they were for my son’s Foundation and he has cancer. The man behind us bought one instantly for his wife. The woman two rows back wanted to know how much they were and when we told her 20 dollars, she said she would like to have one, but couldn’t really afford it. 5 minutes later she said she changed her mind, because it was for such a good cause and handed us a 20 dollar bill. The woman next to her only had 10 bucks and said she didn’t need a shirt but wanted to just donate it to him. I instantly started BAWLING. And not the kind of cute cry where the tears just innocently roll down your cheeks, but the kind of bawling where you are a total mess and can’t stop. Thank goodness I was surrounded by my friends. They hugged me, kissed me, loved me and Christy even came and sat on my lap and fed me peanuts:) I think it was the kindness of the strangers that did it. They don’t even know Ronan, but they know he is worth fighting for and they are willing to fight for him. I hope these people tonight are blessed with many things in their lives. I truly believe in good karma. I know it exists and someday, they will be repaid.
After the game, Jen, Ashley and I headed to Chelsea’s Kitchen for some dinner. We were starved and Chelsea’s is my favorite neighborhood place to go. We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table so we sat outside and just enjoyed it. We watched Ashley(who is 7) do back bends in the grass, pick flowers, and play in the fountain. We quietly talked about the present time and the future. I have known Jen since the 8th grade. She was a year older than me in school and I have always worshiped the ground she walked on. She is smart, athletic, funny, beautiful, and someone who tells it like it is. I LOVE people like that. She just moved back here about 5 months ago and I now know that someone put her back here with me for a reason. She was meant to help me during this roller coaster of a ride. She is someone who you can put in charge of something, and it gets done, no questions asked. And if anyone knows how to get things done, it’s Jen. Plus, she makes me laugh like no other. I feel like we have connected souls and being around her always makes me feel at peace. She has a calming effect on me. I don’t feel that way around many people these days, but with her it is always there. After dinner we walked out to the valet to get our car. The cute 18-year-old boy who went to open my door saw that all 3 of us were wearing matching shirts. He goes, “You all have matching shirts. Do you mind if I ask what they are for?” Now, because of the rawness of my situation, and the core age group of my target audience which is usually parents and grandparents, I guess I wasn’t quite prepared on how to answer this question to an 18-year-old valet boy. So, I just blurted out my normal answer which is, “It’s the Foundation for my 3-year-old son who has cancer.” He then responded, “Oh, well that’s cool. Good luck with that.” Bless his heart. Jen and I were hysterical once we got into the car. Not only was his response priceless but it reminded us of one of my favorite skits on Saturday Night Live called Debbie Dower. If you don’ t know what I’m referring to, you really should Google it and watch it for a laugh. Basically there is this girl, Debbie, who is always the downer of the party. Whenever her friends take her out or have her over for a good time she ruins it by telling awful stories the entire episode. They play this wah wah type of music throughout the skit and it has always cracked me up. I was totally Debbie Downer to that 18-year-old valet kid. I swear I could hear the music playing in the background during our conversation. It was worth it though because we cracked up about it almost the entire way home. Ahhh the little things in life:)
I came home to a sweet Ronan and even sweeter Karen all cuddled up on my couch. It melts my heart to see those two together. Thank you Karen for taking such precious care of my little guy so I could go out and celebrate him and his amazing fight. He is sleeping peacefully next to me and I am going to whisper sweet nothings in his ear about all the people who love him. Friends, family, and strangers. Thank you again, to all of you. Thank you for loving us, believing in us and supporting us. We will forever be grateful for all of you. Goodnight and blessings to you all!!
Come see us in section 310 Row 5 seats 5-13! Thanks! Sorry for the late coordination!!
DIAMONDBACKS FOR RONAN!
Support The Ronan Thompson Foundation and Neuroblastoma by buying tickets to the September 25th 5:10 pm Diamondbacks game! A portion of every ticket sold goes directly to The Ronan Thompson Foundation. Pass this on! Click HERE to buy tickets – $20, $34 or $40 seats.
Use code name Ronan
A HUGE thank you for everyone who made this possible!!! See you at the game!
If you are going to the game, come see me before you go into the stadium. I will be outside by the Will call booth. We have tee shirts for sale. 20 dollars for adults, 10 for kiddos! Hope to see you all there!
Tomorrow at the baseball game, we will be selling Rockstar Ronan shirts! They arrived today and my sweet friend Jen was kind enough to bring them by. It was going to be too big of an operation to bring them into the ballpark to sell…. legality issues…. After talking with Jen tonight, we decided it will just be easier to pick a spot outside of the ball park to sell the shirts. Location to be announced tomorrow morning. My brain has shut off for the night so coming up with an answer is not possible. The shirts turned out so cute. We really threw them together last-minute and a HUGE thanks to Tim Haines at Pinnacle Prints for working with us and getting the shirts to us so quickly. So, more on this tomorrow.
My friend, Charisma Lee Carpenter, flew out to Toronto today to help raise awareness for Ronan and childhood cancer. There is going to be a ton of press there and she is so excited to be helping to raise awareness at the Rally for Kids with cancer. I am in awe of her and how proactive she is being. TRUE friendship has no limits or boundaries and she would go to the end of the earth for us. I am so thankful to have her in my life. She is also another one of those angels walking around on earth. Not to mention one of the kindest souls I have ever met.
Tomorrow is a big day in my hometown. The New Hopes “Cruise for the Cure” is a huge fundraiser and this year they have chosen to honor Ronan. I am so touched by this and all who are involved. That’s the nice thing about coming from a small town. Everyone, even the people you don’t know well, when something like this happens, you automatically become family. The support my parents are getting brings me so much comfort and peace. I can’t be there to take care of them and tell them it’s going to be o.k… that Ronan is going to be o.k… thank you all for doing it for me. My mom will not be able to be at the car show. She is so upset but she has a huge wedding event that she has had scheduled for months and will be there catering it. My step-dad, brother, stepsister, Connie, and my niece, Jadyn, will be there though. I wish I could be there so badly to help out. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. I promise when we are back there next summer, I will give each and every one of you the biggest hug and smile you’ve ever seen in your life:) And Ronan too:)
I am going to try and get a little sleep now. Love and blessings to all of you!!
After a great day, Ronan is still feeling well. He is as feisty and spunky as ever. He spent the night trying to beat up his brothers. I got out of the house for my follow-up eye appointment and then I went off to my hair appointment after. Or so I thought. I got to my salon and it turns out my appointment is not until next Thursday. I’m not exaggerating about my brain not working properly. One of my alter ego names is going have to be, Franny Forgetful Pants. One of my mom’s nicknames for me has always been Fancy Pants. I’m going to have to change it now. I can’t keep track of anything and I have yet to go out and get myself a day planner to write everything down in. My iPhone just isn’t cutting it. Also, I shattered my iPhone screen tonight. When it happened Ronan goes, “Nice one, mom.” He made me laugh so hard by saying that, that I didn’t even have time to get mad at myself. I’m telling you, I cannot be trusted with anything. Anyway, after I got to my wrong date hair appointment, I headed to the grocery store. I was on my way there and still thinking about Sloan-Kettering. It has been on my mind all day long. We have already decided that Woody is heading out there to check it out. As I was thinking to myself, I decided that I wanted to ask our dear friends, the Kotaliks, if E.J. would consider flying out with Woody to New York to meet with the doctors. I hesitated but had to follow my heart so I sent Karen a text around 6 that said something on the lines of, I have a huge favor to ask of you… would E.J. consider going out to Sloan with Woody? Not an hour later I got a text back from Karen saying that they were wondering how to offer for one of them to go with Woody and that God had answered their prayers. Karen had been on the phone with a good friend of hers about an hour before my text and was asking her advice on how to offer their help, without making us think we were not capable of making this decision on our own. Then, she received my text. I called Karen and instantly started crying. Talk about somebody listening and making sure we are one hundred percent connected to each other. Karen told me tonight, we are family, we are not alone in this fight, and between E.J. and Woody, no stone will be left unturned. I feel so much more confident in our decision to follow up on this now that E.J. has agreed to go with Wood. The two of them will come back with the answers; I have complete faith in that. It would pointless for me to go…Plus, I couldn’t leave Ronan. E.J. will be the perfect partner, another set of ears and somebody who will play devils advocate with everything the doctors say. Plus, his brilliant mind won’t hurt at all:)We are so lucky to have them with us on this journey. I don’t know what we would do without them. Our entire family feels this way. Karen is Mimi’s best friend, Liam and Quinn’s Godmother, and our angel with a set of wings. I swear she has them. If you remember at the beginning of my blog, they are two of the people we called late in the night to help us decide on which treatment we were going to go with at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. They have been with us from the beginning of all of this.
While I was at Fry’s tonight and as I was checking out I noticed a set of donation flyers for Komen at the register. The point of these are so people can donate money to breast cancer and they have a bar code on the bottom so the checkers can just scan them and the money you donate goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I asked the guy checking me out about it and he didn’t know a thing. I then asked to speak with a manager and asked him how they decide on the foundation they are going to support. He said he wasn’t really sure, but he gave me the number for the corporate office. I am going to try to call them in the next few days. Why wouldn’t they support a month for Childhood Cancer Awareness?? It gets such little funding. The more I have researched, the more I am blown away. Cancer is the number one killer of children; yet you rarely hear about it. Before all of this, I had not even given it a thought. Something has to change. Could you imagine if Oprah would listen to everyone about this and do a show? She could make such a difference on spreading the word and awareness. Somebody has got to listen. All children deserve to be fought for. My Ronan deserves to be fought for. This is not something that we can just sweep under the rug.
Tomorrow we have a big, exciting day. Not really, but I like to pretend like we do. It helps me get through the day a little better. Trish is coming to visit though. She has been out of town for a week and we are dying to see her. The whole time she was gone, she was so panicked about being away from us that she was having nightmares about it. When she called me 2 nights ago to tell me about her anxiety and her bad dreams I told her to knock it off. She has to have a life still and to be able to enjoy it. But talk about a true friend. Someone that even when she is away, I know she is thinking of us all day and night. We can’t wait to see her tomorrow. I may have to get her to go with me for a little car ride to the Mac store so I can get my phone fixed and she can wait in the car with Ronan. I am sure Ronan will be thrilled just to get out of the house for a ride in the car. My sweet little pup.
Goodnight to all of you. Thank you for following us, praying for us, and loving us. You make us all stronger.
We had a great day at the clinic. Ronan’s levels are still o.k! They have dropped a little, as to be expected, but they should be on the up and up by this weekend. Hoping we will be able to keep him home with no signs of fever to send us in to the hospital. Another weekend at home is what we are hoping for. We met with a new doctor today and I liked him a lot. He is part of the Oncology team… a bit younger than the other doctors we have seen (yes, married. I checked his ring finger, Sarah;). He seemed very knowledgable and passionate about what he is doing and the approach we are taking. He 110% believes in it. Woody interrogated him about everything from the treatments we are doing, to the statistics on it, to Slone- Kettering. He had an answer for everything. Our social worker, Marsha, was in the room and after the doctor left she told Woody she very impressed with the questions he was asking. That’s my brilliant hubby for you. I am so thankful for him and his amazing mind. I couldn’t have a better man standing by my side during all of this. We have decided that Woody is going to fly out to New York in the next few weeks to meet with the doctors at Sloan. A second opinion never hurt anyone. I finally heard back from Dr. Maris at CHOP. This is what he said:
Dear Ms. Thompson,
We are happy to provide a consultation, but this should be arranged through your medical team. Please know that there are national standards for approaching neuroblastoma, and it is very likely that Phoenix Children’s (which is a great place) is doing exactly what we would do here. Please feel free to have your physician contact myself or Dr. Mosse directly.
John M. Maris, MD
Giulio D’Angio Chair in Neuroblastoma Research
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Oncology
Director, Center for Childhood Cancer Research
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
I will be talking to our doctors to have them follow up with him. A third opinion would be great as well. We had such little time to make our decision and although in my gut I do feel like we made the right one… I feel like in order to be sure, we need to hear from some other experts.
Ronan is playing away and is glad to be home. We had a his broviac dressing change and it was not that bad. He is starting to trust Sharon, our nurse, a little more now. We are very excited to see my mom on Sunday. Ronan keeps telling me he wants her, NOW! He is very excited about her coming and can’t wait to see all the Star Wars things she is going to bring him:) I also wanted to tell everybody who has sent gifts and cards, thank you. We have started putting them away in Ronan’s closet so we are not so overwhelmed by the toys. We plan to let Ronan open them while we are in our 20-60 days of isolation during his stem cell transplant. All the new things to play with will help to pass the time in our “cell.”
I am going to try to get my little seal to nap now. He is full of such spunk and energy but really needs his rest. Wish me luck;)
I feel like the Tasmanian devil today. It’s been a whirlwind of zipping around my house getting things done, researching on the internet, talking to people at CHOP in Philly, Sloane-Kettering, homework with the boys, getting Quinny to the doctor(thankfully Woody took him) for a sinus infection, and taking care of Ronan. A busy day to say the least. I’m trying not to second guess anything, but I want to make sure we have all of our bases covered. I can’t look back at anything we are doing with Ronan and have any regrets. I really do feel like we are in good hands at PCH, but I still have to put my feelers out there to be sure. I am just feeling unsettled tonight. I want proof that what we are doing is working. I am trying to be patient but it is becoming harder and harder everyday. I feel like every success story I am hearing involves Sloan-Kettering. But it is so hard for me to imagine taking Ronan away from our home and his brothers. We will cross that bridge when we come to it… I just need to sit back and settle down. That is actually bullshit. Sitting back and settling down is not going to fly anymore. I am his mother, he is my baby boy, I need to know everything possible is being done to cure him of this disease. For good. In the meantime, I will be doing everything and anything I can to reassure myself that we have made the right decision. I feel a little better knowing that Woody has been in contact with Dr. Kushner at Sloan. He has been so great about talking things out with Woody. So thankful for that. I can’t even get Dr. Maris at CHOP to return my phone call or email me back. I will be sending him Ronan’s info as well.
Ronan had a good day today but I can tell his levels are starting to drop. He was a little less active and pretty clingy. He slept a lot today and this evening he had a slight fever. It’s gone now but I will be watching him like a hawk tonight. We go into the clinic tomorrow morning to have his blood levels checked and his Broviac dressing changed. UGH. We had a lot of quiet time together today and tonight. Liam and Quinn had basketball practice so Ronan and I played outside while they were gone. Well, not so much as played, but sat in a chair and enjoyed the cooler weather. We watched the clouds roll in around us and I prayed out loud with Ronan for him to be healed, forever. Then it started to rain on us. We sat and let the rain drops fall and I told him they were washing away his owies. He agreed with me and giggled. We watched “Earth” again tonight and after about 20 minutes he asked me to turn it off because he was tired and wanted to go to sleep. He is out like a light now getting the rest that he needs. We have a busy day tomorrow at the clinic. I’m beyond beat but I know that I won’t get much sleep tonight. One day I will enjoy my sleep again, but not now. Too many nightmares and to many things to keep me up at night. Goodnight to all of our angels out there. I hope to see some of you at the baseball game on Saturday!!
Ronan is napping. I was trying to nap with him, but then Woody came home. We had a little pow wow session about what the next steps are. He has been on the phone with the hospital Sloan-Kettering in New York City for the past half an hour. Depending on the next set of scans that Ronan has, which should be coming up soon… I will find out tomorrow when he will be scheduled to have them….we have to make some decisions. We are on our knees praying that the scans come back and show that the chemo is working and the cancer is disappearing. As Woody said today, they have to be working.. look how perfect he looks. I couldn’t agree more. If the scans come back and show that the chemo is not working, we have decided we will take him to New York. We won’t have a choice. Woody told me today that I may have to stay for a year or two in New York with Ronan. He wanted to make sure I could handle that. The thought of leaving my big boys, hubby and home made my stomach turn. But of course I would go in a heartbeat if it meant saving our baby boy. If what we are doing is not killing his cancer, we will have to go a different route with his treatment. I am trying not to think that way.. but we have to have all our ducks in a row. Regardless of staying here or not, we are almost positive we will be taking Ronan to Sloan for his surgery. Dr. La Quaglia, the surgeon of the angels(his nickname) has agreed to operate on Ronan to try to remove the mass out of his abdomen. Our plan is to try to shrink everything with the chemo, and hopefully we can shrink it to where the surgery won’t be so complicated. I will be working on getting all of Ronan’s information to them by next week. They want to see everything. It’s scary to think about the future now; everything is so uncertain.
Ronan is hitting his low point today. I can tell by the way he is acting. He is a little less active today. Not much, but a little. He is sleeping so hard right now too. His little body is working overtime. I will never stop saying the words, it’s not fair. It’s not fair and it will never be fair and nobody will ever be able to fix this. We will never get this time back as a family and this pain will never be forgotten. Stupid cancer.
P.S. The hoarding pile, as Woody likes to call it, is gone:) Check mark, please:)