Dear Cancer,

I will never love you. You will never be my friend. You have taken my beautiful life and ripped it into shreds. I have watched you hurt my child over and over again. You have taken his beautiful strong body and tried to weaken it, his bright blue eyes and tried to dim them, his fierce spirit and tried to kill it. I have watched the tears he has cried, the pain he has felt, and the sadness you have brought. I have watched the way you have taken away our time together as a family, how you have tried to break us, how you have tried to rip us apart.

Do you see me? Do you see the pain in my eyes, the thousands of tears I have cried, the fear on my face? Do you know what it is like to have your worst nightmare come true and to not have any control over the outcome? What it’s like to watch the people around you be scared and feel your pain too? To watch them as they either choose to stay in your life or run the other way? The lessons you are teaching me are insightful indeed, but I would rather have learned them by being educated on Childhood Cancer. Not because you were going to put my baby through this.

Now, I sit and wait and fight. I have no choice but to take the lessons along the way with dignity and grace. To find the beauty in the ugliest days. You want to break me, but you won’t. You want to take my child, but you can’t. I will stop at nothing to destroy you and all you have done to our family. I will cry my tears in the shower and you may knock me down, but I will get back up.  The love I have for my son will get him through this; that I can guarantee. Someday, I will show you whose boss. Someday people will start paying attention and cures will be found. Until that day, I swear to you that I will stop at nothing to get rid of you forever.

I feel sad for you because you must not know what it is like to have a mother’s love. A love so deep and pure, that it can conquer anything. A mother’s love will get you through the toughest storms and keep you warm the entire time. A bond so strong, that it can survive the toughest waters. Each time I kiss the top of my baby’s bald head, I think of you and what you have done. Don’t you know that this child is half of me? Our bond is so unbreakable that it is if we are one. So, when you decided to pick him, you picked me as well. And I will stop at nothing to protect him and get him well.

So Cancer… I think it’s time for you to go. You are not welcome here and I hope you are prepared to lose this fight. We are much too strong of a team for you to destroy. You have made your mess and we will happily clean it up. When all is said and done, and you are gone forever we will go back to living our life the way it was before. Except this time, nothing will be taken for granted and the simplest things will now be the most beautiful. We will live everyday knowing how lucky we are to have the most 3 most important things: Love, Health, and Thankfulness. Life will once again be carefree and joyful. And although our wounds are deep; they will heal over time. We will get our life back as a family, before you came here like a Tornado and turned our lives upside down. Each day that passes by, is a day closer to getting rid of you forever. You have burdened our lives only to bring us more beauty than we ever knew existed. I really wish I could say thank you for all of this but I cannot. I am going to say a big Fuck you to you instead. SO FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!!!!!!! Have a really beautiful night. And no sweet dreams to you.

Sincerely not your biggest fan,

Maya M. Thompson

Rockstar Ronan’s Mom

The path is not clear, as the road is long

I feel like I’ve run a marathon today because of everything I got accomplished with a lot of help from my friends. This morning started off busy and I woke up overwhelmed by everything. We still had not heard back from Dr. Kusher from Sloan Kettering to see if he was o.k. with Ronan starting 2 more rounds of chemo here and then having him rescanned. We were waiting to get the green light from him. I called Fernanda and she said she would be over after she dropped her little one’s off at school to help me tackle my “to do” list. As soon as she got over here we started to go over the things we needed to get done. Soon after, we got a phone call from Woody and I put him on speaker. His exact words were, “I need you and Fernanda to take Ronan to PCH now and demand that they start him on his chemo or else we’re taking him to New York tonight. We left the house as soon as possible and it looked like a bomb went off in it. Auntie Karen was sweet enough to come over and tidy things up for me because I was afraid we were going to have to stay the night at PCH tonight and did not want Woody to come home to a messy house. Thank you to the best fairy godmother in the world. Woody would have had my head if he had seen that mess!! Fernanda and I busted into PCH to explained our situation as best we could. I knew getting them to start the chemo today was probably not going to happen, but we insisted that they put the order in and start it tomorrow at the latest. I don’t think they were too happy with us but we don’t have a choice and waiting even a day to get things going is not o.k.  We finally got everyone on the same page and tomorrow Ronan will start his 7th cycle of chemo; one he has never had before. He will be starting Temozolomide and Adriamycin which are supposed to be tolerated fairly easily. We will do these two rounds of chemo and then take Ronan out to Sloan Kettering for his scans. We are basically buying ourselves more time to make a decision and exploring every possibility for our son. If these two rounds of chemo work, and Ronan has less disease, we are keeping the transplant door open. We are also going to squeeze in a consult in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York. We have no choice but to explore everything that is out there.

Ronan’s chemo will be done at the clinic tomorrow and Friday so we don’t have to stay the night at the hospital. We will check in to PCH for the rest of his chemo Saturday-Monday. I feel very comfortable with the plan as of now. I have a great feeling that these two more rounds of chemo are going to give us the results we want to see and will lead us to the direction we need to go. I am so thankful for the beautiful soul of Doctor Adams yesterday in suggesting this. For the time being, we are back on track with a plan. This gives me peace <3

After we got home from the clinic, Ronan and I took a little nap together. It was so sweet. There is nothing more precious than having Ronan say to me, “I’m going to cuddle you mom.” And then nuzzle his little head into my arm. I wasn’t really tired but he was so cozy and peaceful that I fell asleep with him anyway. My friend Gay came over and helped play with Ronan so I could get some things done. She also got me a phone call with a woman named Karen Kudro. Her daughter, Hailey, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at age 5. They did a lot of her treatments at CHOP in Philly and Hailey is a healthy and beautiful survivor. I was so grateful that her mom took the time to talk with me today, even though they are in Disneyworld for Hailey’s Make A Wish trip!! She didn’t have to take the time to call Gay back at all, but did and she gave me a lot of insight that was very helpful. People out in this world are so amazing. I am blown away everyday by the kindness of strangers. Having this happen to Ronan has made me realize that I need to work so hard to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be; even though there are many days that I just want to give up, I just can’t and won’t. I find myself doing things I wouldn’t have normally done in my so called busy life before all of this. There is a lot less unnecessary anger in my life and I have such a high tolerance for not letting the little things get to me anymore. It is much easier to find the beauty in each and everyday than it used to be. The most beautiful things are the simplest.

After Gay left, Stacy called to asked if I needed her to come over to help me get ready for tomorrow. Nevermind that she had just worked a full day and had her gorgeous babies and husband waiting at home for her. I couldn’t pass up the chance to utilize her help. My pile of papers, bills, receipts, has been eating away at me and I told her Woody was about to divorce me over it. She showed up and we tore through everything and got a ton of my to do list done. Talk about an amazing feeling!! I could not have done it without her. Seriously Stacy, you may have saved my marriage tonight;) And my sanity. I can go to PCH tomorrow with a clear head knowing that most of what I need to get done, is done. Thank you my dear friend. I am the luckiest girl alive to be surrounded by these amazing women. Thank you all for taking such great care of us and helping in any way you can even if it’s little things like dropping off a coffee (Heidi) or calling to check if I need anything from the grocery store (Melissa:) Ed- (So excited about the Zico Coconut Water that arrived today!)  I have the best group of girlfriends one could ask for and every second of the day I am so thankful.

I am ready for what the world has to throw at me tomorrow and can go into my day with a clear head. One day at a time, baby steps. Today, I sent my Mr. Sparkly Eyes a text and it said… “Ronan is going to get through this, I just know it. He is so strong.” His response was, ” You and Ro are BOTH going to get through this.” He knows it, he feels it, he believes it. I like to call him my very own Master Yoda and the fact that he believes this is true, tells me my feelings are 100% right. Everybody I know feels this way and that says so much. It’s just like Woody said to me today which made me laugh out loud. He said, “Ronan is a superfucker. It would only make sense that his cancer is too.” He means it in the sweetest way possible… that Ronan is so strong, that of course his cancer is as well. It would only make sense that this is the road we have to take; Ronan wouldn’t have it another way.

Goodnight sweet angels out there. Goodnight Moon. Goodnight Ro Baby, Liam, Quinny Q, and Daddy Woo. Goodnight New York Miss Macy. See you in my dreams. Sweetest dreams to all of you.

xoxo

There is nothing sweeter than kissing the bald head of a cancer child

You
know how some things in life were just so meant to be? Things like
this seem to be happening to me often these days, but today it is
truer than ever. I’ve mentioned before my new friend, Macy, who did
not know me, but my blog was passed along to her through a friend.
She lives in NYC and sent me a message saying if there was anything
I needed, to please contact her. I went on Facebook, friend
requested her, and we hit it off immediately. She went to ASU as
well and graduated a year ahead of me. She is nothing short of
amazing. She came to the hospital this morning with her big bright
green eyes, coffee and bagels. She did not leave the hospital until
10:00 tonight. She stayed the entire day today, we had so much fun
getting to know each other and Ronan is in L.O.V.E. The two of us
have so much in common it is scary. I had the best day today. We
played with R, laughed, got to know each other, and Ronan
absolutely loves having her here. My little guy normally kicks
everyone out. He has loved Macy since the moment he laid eyes on
her. She helped me so much today, watched as Ronan had his broviac
dressing changed, helped me talk him though it, read him books, and
just loved on our little guy. It was a very special day to say the
least. How did I get so lucky to come across this amazing soul?? I
am amazed everyday by the blessings in my life. Love you, Macy….
can’t wait for you to move to San Fran so we can be closer to each
other!!

Ronan got his chest tube out today and everyday I am more
and more impressed by my little guy. It looked freaking painful,
and he didn’t even flinch. He just laid there and let them pull
this big tube out of the side of his abdomen. He is such an angel
with all of the poking and prodding, it is amazing to witness. Macy
was dying when he was getting his Broviac dressing changed. Our
nurse, Julia, was so good at doing it and was so gentle, but it
still hurts. He sat as still as he could and in his little voice
was saying things like, “I need a break,” “Please don’t rip my
skin!” and “Please I need a band-aid!” UGH. It kills me every time.
I about died when he was telling her not to rip his skin, but he
made sure to say please before. I mean, are you kidding me with
this kid?? All the nurses and doctors here are in love with Ronan
and cannot get over his big blue eyes and how well behaved he is.
I’m telling you, he is a brand new boy, his whole attitude is
different. He is showing cancer who is boss.

So, today we got word that the study we are on, COG, emailed Dr. Kusher to say that we needed to come home for Round 6 of chemo, otherwise we are going to be kicked off of the study we are on. I am beyond pissed. All of our doctors said it was o.k. to stay here, the doctors here are fine with it, but we are just now being told that it is not o.k., even thought he would be getting the same dose of chemo here than he would be getting a PCH. Does not make sense to me at all. I told
Dr. La Quaglia to please see if we could stay, but I have a feeling
it is out of his hands. I’m pissed. I am a girl who likes a plan
and we had a great plan in place. I wanted to get Ronan as healed
as possible and just get his chemo started pronto here and get it
done and over with. Now, I have to pack up everything, put my baby
on a germ infested flight because we didn’t have time to contact
anyone who could fly us home, risk his immune system, and
everything feels so rushed. I am beyond annoyed and I don’t know
why stupid COG is just now letting us know this. I feel very
unprepared and honestly, I am not ready to go back to Phoenix. I
was in such a funk there and the proof is in the pudding. Tricia
told me tonight that she was talking to Marisa and they have both
been saying how great I sound, how I sound like the old Maya. It’s
this city I tell ya. It has healed me a bit because everything here
has been so positive. The energy, the buzz, the doctors, the
hospital….. everything is top notch. Our doctors come by at least
twice a day, stay around forever, and the care here is amazing.
Even the lady who takes out our garbage comes walking in with a
smile and saying, “There’s my Ro baby! How you doing today,
gorgeous?” The freaking garbage lady knows Ronan’s name and is
always happy and smiling. New York has been a rebirth not only for
Ronan, but for myself as well. What if that all goes away when I
get back to Phoenix?? I know I can’t stay here forever, but I had
already prepared myself for another couple of weeks. The bottom
line is, I don’t want to rush anything with Ronan… the baby just
had a major surgery and I feel like letting him heal here is the
best thing for him. I’m letting it go… I don’t have a choice. I
can’t fight the COG people…. so whatever happens, happens and we
will make the best of it. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten spoiled here. The
care is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and they make you
feel like you actually do matter, like you’re not just another
statistic.

Today was full of exciting things. Ronan felt great, we played a lot. I made him some homemade slime which he loved, but
did not want to touch. My hands are still purple from the food
coloring. So funny. Guess who else made it a great day?!?! My
Tricia Boo! She is here, safe and sound. I almost fell to the floor
when she walked in the room. Instead, I cried and held her for a
very long time. I’ve missed my BFF way too much. It is going to be
so great to have her here. Macy got to meet her and they totally
hit it off. Ronan was in HEAVEN. He was so adorable, just sitting
in his bed, watching us girls gossip and laugh. Tricia and I
somehow got on the subject of the movie, “The House Bunny” and we
were doing funny lines from the movie since Macy has never seen it.
I have not heard Ronan laugh in days, but tonight as we were doing
our funny lines, he was watching us and laughing so hard from his
belly. Oh, it was the sweetest sound to hear. He must think we are
nuts, but he was loving every second of it. We had so much fun
tonight. I am so thankful to have TT here. Talk about a true
friend.

My last bit of exciting news for the night is insane! A
reporter from US Weekly contacted me because they heard about Jake
Gyllenhaal’s visit to Sloan Kettering though my blog! They want to
talk to me more about it and the girl was so touched by Ronan’s
story, she said to please let her know if there is anything they
can do. I emailed her back and told her I would be happy to talk to
her, but I was requesting two things. 1) For her to please get
Ronan’s website in US Weekly… anywhere. I told her how important
it is to raise awareness for what so many children are going
through. And 2) I asked her to please get my Liz a date with Jake!
I was half joking on the second request but thought I’d put it out
there. She sent me an email saying, Of course she would (not sure
if she was talking about the website thing or the date for Liz) but
regardless, she is calling me tomorrow. I’m going to try my best to
get her to help me spread the word on Ronan. And I only have the
nicest things to say about meeting Jake. He was a gem. I’m so going
to try to get him to take on childhood cancer as his charity. I
know he does a lot of things for animals, which is so amazing….
but these kids need a voice and I feel like he has the heart to do
it. Overload tonight. I had so much to share and could keep going
but my eyes are drifting off. Tonight, I am so thankful and so
blessed to be surrounded by such beauty. Ronan shows me everyday
what it truly means to be brave and strong. He is such an old soul.
My very own Master Yoda:) Sweetest dreams, friends. xoxo Ronan and
Macy!!