The circle of life…. sucks

We woke up early this morning and ready for our clinic day. Fernanda, who flew all night arrived just as we were getting ready and ran down the street before seeing us to grab me a coffee. Ronan and I went out on the street to meet her and I cannot tell you the wave of happiness that washed over me as I saw my friend and her gorgeous smile, waiting across the street for me with two coffees in her hands. I was so happy to see her and we held each other tight as we embraced for our hug. She has such a way with me and I am instantly comforted by her mothering instants. I often feel like she is not only helping me take care of Ronan, but she is so good at taking care of me as well. I usually have a hard time letting go and letting other people do things for me but with Fernanda, it just comes naturally. I feel like she is my female version of Woody, if that makes sense. She is a source of such strength and comfort to me, much in the way that Woody is. I always know that when Fernanda is around, that everything is going to be o.k. Trish asked me tonight how in the world Fernanda does it all. My reply was because she’s Mary Freaking Poppins. Seriously. There are not many women in the world like her. We have such a strong connection and I am often amazed at the way we sync so well. Many times, I will be thinking about her, and then 10 seconds later she will call or text me. Our minds seem to be thinking the same thing and all I have to do is look at her to know this. Words are sometimes not even necessary. I am so honored, blessed, and thankful to have her here with me. I will never get over her leaving her 5 beautiful babies and husband at home to help me and as much as I tell her this, she acts as if it is nothing, but it means the world to me.

After I reunited with Fernanda, we headed off to Sloan to get Ronan to the clinic for his platelets. He was not happy about going and being “hooked up,” as he calls it. But I assured him it would only be for a short amount of time. We arrived and the nurse got things moving pretty quickly. Ronan was entertained by Fernanda waiting on him hand and foot and we promised him a trip to Toys R Us after we were done. We finished with our platelets quickly and went to meet with one of  “The Team,” members to discuss the plan for the next couple of days as far as scans go. Ronan coroporated for his exam and we were soon out of the door and off to enjoy the rest of the day. We decided to walk to Toys R Us, which was about 3 miles away but Fernanda and I agreed that the exercise and fresh air would be good. Almost as soon as we started our walk, Ronan fell asleep in the stroller and remained that way the entire trip there. It was a fairly wet, dreary, New York day, but I am such a sucker for this weather that I enjoyed walking in the rain.

Toys R Us was a hit but it was packed full of so many people. With Passover, Easter, and Spring Break here, the streets of New York are just as busy as Christmas. We couldn’t escape there soon enough and hailed a cab back to RMH instead of walking again. Fernanda picked up food at Delizia’s for us and we ate it together on the second floor in the community dining area. After lunch, she headed back to where she is staying so she could get in a little nap. Ronan and I were both tired too, so we came back to our room to rest. Before we came back to our room we went to check to see if we had any mail. We were told we did and it was a big box from our favorite little boys’ line; Fore!! Axel&Hudson. We took the box up to our room and I helped Ronan open it up. It was full of the most adorable clothes and hats for Ronan, as well as the cutest little girl Fedora hats. I handed out the hats to a bunch of the girls here and they were so excited. I think the moms were more excited as they kept trying to see if they would fit their heads. It made me feel so good to light up the faces of these beautiful girls today. Thank you Denise, for allowing me to hand out such amazing gifts. Ronan, being the stylish kid he is, lit up like it was Christmas. He kept trying to wear three hats on his head at once as he said he couldn’t choose because he loved them all. Denise, if you are reading this, please know that you and your company are absolutely amazing to support pediatric cancer the way you do. You are inspiring, brilliant, and if the world were full of more people like your company, it would be a much better place. Not to mention, the quality of your clothes are to die for! I am so proud to put my little Rockstar in your gear. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Everybody needs to check out their website, I should have a link on the side of my blog. I will forever support you and your clothing line. It makes Ronan’s day to be all dressed up in your adorable boy clothes and hats.

After we woke up, Fernanda texted me to say she was ready to come back over so I could go on a run while she watched Ronan. My run didn’t end up happening as we went across the street to Barbra’s apartment, who runs the organization Candlelighters, as she had a Star Wars treat for Ro and I wanted her to meet him anyway. We stayed for about an hour and enjoyed the company of Barbra, her husband, another mom, and her son, Jack. It was soon getting late so we headed out to grab dinner before Ronan got too tired. We sat and I ate for Fernanda. She talked me into some protein and asked if I really wanted to eat it or if I was just doing it for her. I told her it was all just for her and I did the best I could on the food in front of me. She is such a mother hen, which is a very good thing for me now. There was some awful woman sitting next to us at dinner and I was wondering if I was the only one picking up on it, but I gave Fernanda my look and I knew she knew it too. She kept looking at Ronan and it was if she wanted to throw up her dinner. She kept giving us the dirtiest looks and I wanted to say to her, “I’m sorry, if the fact that my child has cancer bothers you so badly that you can’t  eat.” The look of disgust on her face was so obvious that I wanted to go over and strangle her. When we were walking out we got a few more looks or more like complete stares. I noticed them all and Fernanda did too. She totally gets what I was talking about yesterday on my blog. The staring is everywhere. If you’re at least going to stare, have the balls to come up to me and say “God bless you.” Or “We’ll keep him in our prayers.” Don’t just be rude and stare. Grow some fucking balls and be proactive about him, who has a name. His name is Ronan Thompson, and he lives on this fucking planet. Stop acting like he’s from outer space. Somethings gotta change because if this  keeps going on, I may go postal on someone’s ass. After dinner we came back to RMH and played with Ronan. He was tired from todays events, as we all were. Fernanda hailed a cab and went back to her place. After she left, Ronan decided he was still hungry and he wanted scrambled eggs to eat. I happily made them for him with extra butter and extra cheese. Anything to fatten my baby up. We sat while he ate and talked with some of our friends here. I’m not going to go into details but I am saying extra prayers tonight for a very special little girl here whose mother I have fallen in love with. She isn’t doing too well and watching what the mother and father are going through is heart wrenching. It is a place that no parent wants to be and all I can say is another big Fuck You to cancer because there are no other words.

While I was taking Ronan upstairs to get ready for bed I was talking to Woody. I guess he told me last night but I was asleep and don’t remember our conversation, but our little wiener dog, Monroe, passed away. As soon as he said those words the conversion we had the night before slowly started to creep into my head. I started sobbing hysterically. Our two dogs, Monroe and Douglas haven’t lived with us for about 3 years due to trying to sell our house, then selling it and moving into our new house, so they have lived with Woody’s parents who also had 2 wiener dogs. While my 2 were there, one of their dogs passed away so we just ended up leaving our 2 so they could be with the one dog Kay and Charlie had left. They were happy there, together, and Woody’s parents have the perfect back yard for the 3 little musketeers. We missed them a lot but life all of a sudden got so busy, and we would spend time with them when we went over to their house. Little Ro, as we called her was an itty bitty thing. She loved to lick you and be held and was always shivering because she was cold. She was the sweetest thing. Hearing that she passed away hit me harder than I though it was going to, considering what we are dealing with now. It still made me very upset as it’s watching the cycle of life and that is never an easy thing. Woody bought those dogs for me before we got married. They were our first, “babies.” Tonight, I will say a little prayer for my little mohawked Monroe. She was the best puck rock Dachshund that ever lived. R.I.P little Ro. I’m sure we’ll hear your barking all the way down from heaven:) We all loved you so much.

So tomorrow. Ronan has a CT scan at 11:30 and we are tying to do it without anesthesia which I totally think he can handle. We of course need this scan to be good and I know they will be good. I have faith, hope, and love surrounding me at all times, so it cannot go another way. Please pray for him extra hard tonight. I will update you as soon as I can.  Thank you all my beautiful souls. You keep me strong when I am at my weakest and you push me forward when I think I can go no more. With all of you on our side, we can get my baby boy through this. Cancer has no idea how strong of a child he is and who they are messing with. They picked the wrong Ronan “Fucking” Thompson. I wonder when Ronan does beat this if they would really let me change his middle name to that. I’m sure not, but writing it out cracked me up tonight. He surely deserves it. My strong son, my strong boy, he will not be defeated. He is going to come out the other side of this with such determination to do amazing things in life. I cannot wait to see what kinds of things he comes up with and I will fully support him in everything he does. A mothers love is an unrivaled force of nature.

Ambien kicking in. I’d better get off this computer before I start writing crazy things. Good thing I don’t have a car to drive;) Totally kidding. I am going to cozy up in my twin sized queen converted bed with the most beautiful boy in the world. Just don’t tell my husband.

G’nite peeps!!!! Have a beautiful day tomorrow. G’nite Daddy Woo, Liam, and Quinn. Miss you!

Extra special G’nite to my twins’ 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Martin. Hope you had a beautiful birthday day, Cindy. You deserve it so much for being the best teacher we’ve ever had. We love you so much.

xoxo

What else do you have for us, world???

I’ve done so well these past few days. Enjoying Ronan feeling better, enjoying Quinn, enjoying Woody, just living life being so thankful for what we have in the here and now…. trying not to worry about the future or what tomorrow may hold. Living in the present, in the moment, and nowhere else. It’s days like today that I am overcome with sadness. It’s days like today where the tears won’t stop. Some days, it’s too much for me to watch Ronan hurt. His screams and tears become unbearable. His suffering rips my heart out to the core. Yesterday, while our nurse, Julia, was flushing one of Ronan’s Broviac lines, it broke. Which means it has become too weak from too much wear and tear, which is not uncommon. She quickly clamped it off and called in another nurse to call the “Green Team,” which is the code name for Dr. La Quaglia and his helpers. He came to see us and decided that Ronan needed a new access system put in. They decided to put in a temporary line for now and in a few weeks Ro will either get another Broviac or a Mediport. Regardless, Ronan had to be put under anesthesia today and Dr. La Quaglia took out the Broviac on the right side of his chest and put in a new, temporary line in the left side of his chest. Ronan woke up pissed…. more so than normal. We went back to our room and soon an escort came to take us downstairs to floor 2 for an x-ray to make sure his line was properly placed. I could not get Ronan calmed down. The new temporary line was all bloody and he kept trying to rip it out. He screamed and cried for a good hour while I held him and let him hit me and listened to him tell me he hates me. He was screaming that his new port hurt and he wanted it out. There was nothing I could do but sit, hold him, and try my best to calm him down. I had Woody call a doctor and nurse down to come and  look at his new line, as the blood was worrying me. Soon they took us back for his X-ray and I sat him on the table while he was still screaming and saying it burned. The technician let me stay in the room and somehow I actually managed to get him to hold still for the picture. I was bawling the entire time. After his x-rays, a doctor and a couple of nurses came in to make sure there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. The blood had stopped and they changed the dressing and cleaned him up. I asked the doctor all the usual questions…. if this was normal, why is there so much blood, why is he is so much pain, etc. They explained everything to me and ended up making me feel better. By this time, Ronan was exhausted and as they wheeled us back up to the 9th floor, he had finally calmed down and he gave in and let his little limp body rest on me. I held him tight, rubbed his back as we were wheeled into an elevator full of people. An elevator full of people whose eyes were on us the entire time as I sat and let the tears pour down my cheeks because I don’t care and I cannot stop them today. Today, has not been a good day. Watching Ronan and all he is having to go through becomes unbearable at times…. no matter how strong I am trying to be. We are not getting out of here anytime soon. Woody thinks maybe Monday. This chemo has done a number on his ANC counts and has wiped him out. I’m sad for Quinn who only wants to be with Ronan and vise versa. The main reason for keeping Quinn here was to spend time with Ro and that has hardly happened. He asks me 10 times a day when Ronan can be released from the hospital. I am going to be heartbroken if it is not until Monday and Quinn has to go back to Phoenix without spending much time with Ro. So not fair.

Ronan is sleeping now and they have him hooked up to a morphine drip to help with the pain of his new line. I hope he wakes up not so upset about the new foreign object in his body. He has every right to be upset, mad, scared, confused. None of this makes any sense to him and I don’t blame him for being angry at the world. I am trying my hardest to be so very strong for him and to explain all of this to him in a way that makes a little sense to his young mind. It is all I can do today to not crawl up in a corner somewhere as I feel so tired and sad. I miss my support system back at home so much. They give me so much strength and love and not being surrounded by our dear friends and family has been harder than I expected.

Alright my sweethearts. This is all the update I can muster up the energy for today. Lots of love to you always. Thanks for checking on us and also a big thank you for all the people who have responded to donating blood and platelets. Means the WORLD to me. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I love you all so very much.

xoxo

Bravest boy in the world

We arrived to Sloan bright and early to start our plan for Ronan. Once again, you can never make a plan with all of this because as of now, our plan has changed. We headed back to Dr. Modak’s office and as soon as we walked in I looked at him and told him Ronan’s arm is worse and the pain is unbearable. I slowly pulled Ronan’s little arm out of his shirt to show Dr. Modak how swollen it looks now. He looked like he was going to be sick and was taken aback. This man is a doctor and to see the look on his face was upsetting to say the least. We talked with him and he decided we needed to hold off on the NK Cell trial and get Ronan’s pain under control. He sent us down for an X-ray as he was concerned Ronan may have a fracture due to how little he is using his arm. The X-ray came back and showed a lot of swelling, but no fracture. Dr. Modak told us what he felt like the best course of action was now which is to start radiating Ronan’s right shoulder today as well as admitting us to start him on his high dose chemotherapy. He said we could go home and do these things and Woody and I both said no way… we wanted to start ASAP. Dr. Modak made a few phone calls and now, we sit and wait to start Ronan’s radiation.

Woody looked at me in the waiting room with the tears welling up in his eyes. My turn to take over being strong for a while. I looked at him and I said, “What are you doing…. knock it off.” He just replied that he is upset because Ronan is in pain. I told him I was too, but that’s why we’re here now we’re not fucking around.  We’re not waiting until Monday, we’re not being put off, we are going to take care of this now so we can get back on track. We are in New York City for crying out loud and we are not wasting anymore time. I told you I feel strong in this city. Today I’m not sad. Today I am determined and strong. I know we are in the best place possible and Dr. Modak knows what is best. To say I love that man is an understatement; he is brilliant, smart, caring, and knows what is best for our son. Between him and Dr. Kushner; Ronan could not be in better hands. Knowing this gives me strength too.

After another grueling long day, we are finally settled in our room for the night. Today was a day full of dealing with a lot of Ronan’s emotions as he is beyond mad that we have to be at the hospital and not out romping the streets of NYC. We decided to check in until Sunday or Monday, so we could start Ronan’s high dose chemo tomorrow. Dr. Modak got us started on Ronan’s first session of radiation tonight. I cannot tell you how proud I am of my son. We went back to the room and Ronan was so upset and scared about the big table he was going to have to lay on. It took me 20 minutes with the 3 technicians ever so patiently waiting for me to get Ronan calmed down. He was so upset, and was crying and shaking. I sat and talked him through it, told him exactly what they were going to do, which was nothing scary at all… they were just going to take some pictures of him but everybody would have to leave the room, including me. He was not happy at all but after about 20 minutes, I got him to lay down into his little body mold that we had done earlier in the day. I looked at him in the eyes and told him how he could do this, without his sleepy medicine, and that I would be right back. He screamed for me as I left, but the techs strapped him down to protect him from falling and they came out of the room to start the radiation. I watched Ronan on 3 different cameras and I was able to talk to him the entire time on the speaker system. I watched as my baby held as still has he possibly could, his little lip quivering, being the bravest boy he could be. At one point I looked over at the Tech, tears streaming down my face, and told her this was beyond fucked up. Because it fucking was. It is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch in my life. Not that the radiation was painful in any way…. because it is not. The whole scenario of watching Ro on a monitor, having radiation because the cancer is eating away at his little body was much too hard to handle. I did my best to continue to talk him though it and the whole thing took about 15 minutes; but if felt like a lifetime. Nobody could believe my little guy held so still, without anesthesia. Everybody was saying how amazing it was that a 3 and a half year old held so still, for so long. I could not have been more proud. After we returned to our room, Woody soon followed. He had missed the radiation part due to collecting our things at the Ronald McDonald House. He asked how it went and I quietly said fine, but soon ended up in his arms, crying like a baby. He held me tight for a few minutes and let me cry. Guess I’m not feeling as strong as I was earlier today. Sometimes my little badass attitude can even trick me into thinking I can handle this, no problem. I have decided I am only human and only can endure so much. Tonight in my husbands arms is just where I needed to be. We are so lucky to have each other.

Ronan will do 14 more days of radiation and start Ronan on a different high dose of chemo tomorrow as well which will be a 5 day treatment. Here we go again…. another little detour along the way to getting Ronan well. What else do you have for us world?? I’m trying my hardest, but this is getting beyond annoying. I just want my baby better already.

After talking to the Orthopedic doctors, they have found that Ronan has a Lytic Bone Lesion on his right shoulder. It basically means that the bone is becoming hollow. I am telling myself it sounds scarier than it is; which is true. It is something that can easily be fixed as Ronan is young and his bone will heal. It is going to take radiation to take care of the problem. Radiation is very effective in Neuroblastoma, so we have all the faith in the world. They want Ronan to be careful with his arm, so he does not end up with a fracture and say the radiation should make the pain disappear in a few days. Crossing all my fingers and toes. I cannot stand seeing him this way.

This is all the update I can do tonight as I am beyond tired, but wanted to take the time to let you all know what was going on. Please continue to send our little guy all your love and prayers. He needs them so badly. Sweet dreams, friends.

xoxo

I would like to say a big FUCK YOU CANCER for doing this to my beautiful baby boy. I hate you very, very, much.

Never-ending tears

How much can one little person endure? It’s amazing because the strength of Ronan seems endless. All he has gone through so far… all he is going to have to go through still. I am exhausted just thinking about it. He is back getting his bone marrow aspirates done and MIBG scan as well. I didn’t tell him until we arrived here what was going on. He cried and said he did not want his sleepy medicine unless Dr. Maze gave it to him. I knew he was going to be upset about that. He was more than upset. He  threw himself on the floor while the tears poured down his cheeks. I told him we could call Dr. Maze and he could talk to him if that would make him feel better. He finally calmed down after that and we made the phone call. Nevermind the fact that it was 6:30 in the morning back at home. I put Ronan on the phone and watched his little face as Aubrey talked to him. It lit up and he kept saying o.k. and nodding his head. He then told him, “I love you,” and handed the phone over to me. I have no idea what was said to Ronan, but it worked for the time being and calmed him down. We were soon called back to the procedure room and I was able to hold Ronan as the doctor put him to sleep. I left the room freaking crying. Time to get used to all new doctors, people, nurses, etc….. We are so attached to our angels at PCH. I already miss Sharon, Kristen, Dr. Maze, Erica, Dr. Adams, Dr. Eshun, Elaine, Patty, and “A,” so much. They have been our family for 7 months now and here we are starting all over. I didn’t think it was going to hit me so hard, but today it did. Especially leaving Ronan in the anesthesia room with some new doctor whom I’m sure I’ll never see again. Don’t get me wrong, Sloan is beyond amazing. But this is going to take some getting used to.

Lovely. Lovely that I am a blubbering mess today. Lovely that as soon as I was called back to see one of Ronan’s main doctors, Dr. Modak, to sign papers for blood work that I immediately starting bawling. Lovely him took my hand and said “Tell me what’s wrong.” I couldn’t even get the words out because everything is wrong. I just told him I was worried about this arm pain of Ronan’s. He pulled up the latest  MIBG scan for me immediately and we looked at it together. I’m sorry, but nobody at PCH would have done that for me. As much as I love them, the fact that Dr. Modak was able to pull up the scan in 2 minutes and discuss it with me was something that would have never happened so quickly at PCH. And it should be that way. It should be that way everywhere. I should not have to wait days for results. We went over the new scan and he showed me that nothing has progressed. If anything, it looks slightly better. I was able to stop crying for the rest of the time while I was in his office. At least I can have that peace of mind for the moment. I was sent down to the blood donor room to have my veins looked. I made it halfway there before I started bawling again. The nurses kept offering me orange juice to calm me down. Made me laugh to say the least.

My friend, Ed, is in the city today and should be here any minute. There is no way I am going to be able to hold it together for him. He lost his little boy Jack to Neuroblastoma a few years ago. He and his wife have been so supportive of all of this even though we hardly know them. They are 110% behind our Sloan decision which makes me feel very good and just confirms that we did indeed make the right decision. I only was able to see Ed for a few minutes due to Ronan waking up from anesthesia as soon as he arrived. He woke up grumpy like always and wanted to just go back to the hotel. I grabbed the Starbucks Ed brought me and he helped me with the stroller downstairs until I was able to calm Ronan down enough to put him in it. What a sweetheart. We were planning on going to lunch but Ro baby was not having it. Ed grabbed a cab and we headed back to our room. I tried to get Ronan to rest a little bit but he was hell bent on going to FAO Schwartz. I bundled him up, threw him in the jogging stroller and ran up to FAO. We stayed for about an hour. He was tired and is in a lot of pain from his bone marrow aspirates that he had done today. He keeps asking why they put needles in his body. UGH. He is hurting tonight which kills me. I hate seeing him in pain and I know it’s bad because he never complains. After FAO, we ran back to our “hood” and went and grabbed our favorite pizza. He ate a lot as always and now we are back in our room. It is freezing out there and I am so exhausted today I swear I could fall asleep right now. It will be an early night for sure.

Woody is flying out tonight to NYC because Dr. Modak needs his blood by tomorrow. Nobody in Phoenix can send his blood that quickly so he is just flying in. Ronan has a CT scan at 11:30 tomorrow and we will fly home with Woody tomorrow evening. I hate to admit this; because I like to act like I’m such a tough ass and have everything under control; but……. these 3 days without Woody have been SO hard. I sometimes take for granted how helpful he is to me but I swear, never again. I could NEVER survive this without him. I miss him terribly and I am so insanely blessed to have him as a husband. He truly is the best thing to ever happen to me.

That’s all for tonight. An early update because I hear a hot shower and a very early bedtime calling my name. So thankful that todays MIBG scan showed no progressive disease. Maybe I will sleep a bit better tonight. I am anxious to get home, I feel like I’ve been gone a year.

xoxo, sweet friends.

P.S. Biggest HAPPY BIRTHDAY loves to my New York Miss Macy. This city is not even close to being the same without you:( Miss you so much. Kisses from NYC!

Scans are done… now we wait

We are home finally from our long evening of scans. Ronan started at 4:30 this evening and was not finished until about 8:00 tonight. Dr. Maze was there, as always, to give Ronan his anesthesia. He stayed the entire time, even though I was told that he would more than likely not be there when Ronan woke up. He was, and that meant the world to us. He is truly a doctor that goes above and beyond. The world would be such a better place with more people like him in it. He takes the time to go over everything with us… to make sure we are being taken care of, listens to our question and concerns and to give us advice. We will forever be grateful for him. He has made a huge difference in this experience for us. Ronan trusts him and truly loves him. He is only really like this with Dr. Maze and our wonderful nurse, Sharon. Those are the two people Ronan trusts the most… and those are the two people I trust the most. It makes a big difference when you can look into the eyes of the person who is taking care of your child and see that they truly have a passion and love for what they are doing. I see it every time I look into the eyes of the both of them. It brings me a lot of comfort and somehow makes me feel like everything is going to be alright.

Ronan woke up really grumpy from the anesthesia. He got a little sick to his stomach and slept the entire ride home. He is asleep now and I am hoping he stays that way for the rest of the night. Poor baby. He had a hard day and spent the better part of it being upset that we were at the hospital and not at home. It’s days like today that I feel so heartbroken for him. I just want him better and healthy so he can go back to his life before all of this. I did my best and was strong for him all day long… I spent the entire time at the hospital talking him through everything and trying to distract him. He just wanted to be home with his brothers. I don’t blame him; I did too.

I got to spend some time with Tricia and Marisa tonight. They both came to the hospital so I wouldn’t have to wait alone. It was nice to sit and laugh with them. They know when I need a good distraction and waiting for Ro to come out of anesthesia is always hard for me. Thanks girls for sitting with me tonight and thanks Marisa for checking my blood sugar levels;)

This weekend we are going to lay low and enjoy our family time together. Ronan will start round 3 of his “Magic Medicine” on Monday and I just found out that we will have to be admitted into the hospital for his treatment. The dose is stronger so they will need to monitor him all week. Not excited about that but like always, we will make the best of the situation.

We should hear back about Ronan’s scans some time tomorrow. Praying for good news and praying hard. Sweet dreams my friends.