The Birth of Maya Inca Thompson

Ro baby. I feel like I have a lot to say tonight. Although my mind is tired, but restless. Bad combo. Today was a blur. I got by with A LOT of help from my friends. I have so many “life,” things to get caught up on, that it leaves my head spinning. Melissa and Marisa came over to help go through everything I needed to do. They went through mail, organized receipts, Melissa did my calendar and helped me make all the appointments that our family needs…. Dentist, Eye Doctor, Hearing Doctor, Check-up for me, counseling appts, booked me for the Sedona Grief Retreat, etc…… It was never-ending. Thank GOD for those two. I feel like we made a pretty good dent in getting things under control around here. Fernanda and Heather stopped by too. It felt good to have them here as I was pretty shaken up. Before anyone arrived, I pulled into our driveway and just started bawling, knowing that I was coming home to an empty house without you. Marisa arrived soon after and I opened the door as she was holding baby Max and just grabbed her and started crying. I told her I couldn’t believe this was my life now. A quiet, empty house. She got all teary, but I distracted her by grabbing her little love bug out of her arms and holding on to him, while kissing him everywhere. I got felt such a wave of happiness wash over me as I loved on her baby boy. He is so sweet and came right to me, no question asked. GOSH. Babies are so good for the soul. I’ve always been obsessed with them. Max healed my heart for the hour and a half that he was here. Aren’t babies just he most amazing things in the world??? So innocent, pure, and healing. Little Max will have my heart for the rest of my life. It may have a little to do with his amazing mama too. And Gracie Boo. Hearing Marisa talk today, about you and Gracie was so painful. She was your first girlfriend. I’ll never forget your first play date. You must have only been about 6 months old. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

After the girls left, I threw on my hiking shoes and headed out for The Inferno Hike. It was hot, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I ran up that mountain, screamed your name for a while, and than took an entire bottle of water and dumped it all over my body. It felt so good. I sat with you and nature for as long as I could withstand the heat. I threw my headphones back on and hauled ass back down the mountain. Every time I am there, I always leave about 10 of your F U Cancer bracelets on a random tree. Just hoping someone will find it, take one, be curious, and read your story. I like to leave pieces of you everywhere I go, so I often leave your bracelets in random places. It makes me feel like you are with me and you are with others. It makes me feel like you will help someone by making them aware of your story. It makes me feel good. I always wonder who finds those bracelets and if they are respectful and curious enough to Google your name to find out who you are. Or if they just look at them, ignore them and throw them on the ground. I would like to think not… but you never know. It is a chance I am willing to take.

I have something I’ve meant to tell you. A funny something. I had the chance to meet Tricia’s brother, Travis, a few weeks ago. He has been in the Peace Corps and has just left for Costa Rica to go and work on an Apple Farm. I tell you, those Tinney kids. I told Tricia I was so proud of her and all of her siblings. They are all doing amazing, wonderful things with their lives. Traveling, helping others, exploring, and finding out who they really want to be in life. I love that. When I was hanging out with Tricia and Travis, we were telling Travis about our “Gangster names.” Tricia is T-Lash, Quinn is Q-Dub, etc….. It’s just something silly we make up. Tricia told Travis I needed one. Out of nowhere, within seconds, he pulled out Inca. It was such a beautiful, crazy, funny name to me that it has totally stuck. I’ve decided that “Inka,” is going to be my bad-ass alter ego. Inka will be who I summon within me when I need to make something happen, but feel a little nervous or scared to go about it. Inca will make everything I want to happen, happen. Or she will at least try her hardest and not give up. Inca is going to give me the strength to kick ass when I feel like I cannot kick ass anymore. I love it. Thank you, Travis. Everyone should have an alter ego name. I’ve always longed for one, but never felt like anything was right. I am glad I was patient enough and your gift was given to me; not forced. It was organic and pure which I LOVE.

Just to give you an idea of the amazingness of Travis… I’m going to share with you some things he has written. I hope it’s o.k. with him. If not, Tricia said I could do it!! Love you, Travis and Tricia.

Inka,

Had fun hanging out with you Liam, and Quinn. I know I would have loved the rockstar. “The past is always there, May it be beautiful”  Arti (This not a long e sound at the end, more just a really hard T.) Kiriloo (first i is long like eye, second one is short) Bulsoon. Arti Kiriloo Bulsoon. Be well and feel free to drop an email anytime.

your friend,
Travis
Here is the next one he sent to Tricia about his Costa Rica adventures:
Hey yo,

Well. Let me begin by saying that things are well, and I am feeling great. Things went perfectly as planned my travel days, and I arrived with little to no problems at my ultimate destination, which was a farm near a surfing town called Dominical. As you all probably know I was planning on volunteering at this farm for as long as possible. I had corresponded with the owner of the farm, Brian, since March. He advertised his farm as an Ashram where him and his wife live with a couple other members. There were to be a series of discussions concerning spiritual topics ranging from courage or acceptance to god itself. I arrived to the farm on Thursday. Brian picked me up from the surfing town, and I immediately was a little surprised that he did not seem friendlier. Not asking so much about my travel. We arrived at the farm, and it was awesome. It is literally in the jungle. He lives in a tiny cabin in the jungle, and has for 36 years. On the website I found him on he said that volunteers work as much as they like depending on how they are feeling, and true to that when I arrived he said that he wanted me to rest. However the first thing we did was make juice. I was exhausted from traveling 30 hours straight, but energized to be there so I made some juice with a smile on my face. The juice was really good. Made with all fruit on the farm. The inside of the hut was dim, no shortage of bugs and mosquitoes. The two other volunteers that were staying in the guest cabin came down for dinner. We had a nice salad, but the other volunteers were surprisingly tense, and I was really the only one trying to drive any conversation at dinner. Those 2 left, and it was just me and Brian. It gets dark around 630 and by this time it was about 730 and I was ready for bed. Brian started playing dissident minor chords on his electric piano that was directly under the shelf-ish bed I was to sleep on. I waited for a few minutes. He kept playing so I hopped onto the bed and waited a couple minutes. Then I figured he wasn’t going to stop so I just decided to lay down and give it a go. While I was laying there I began to get really scared and feel very xenophobic. I wanted to tell him I was going to leave the next day, come home, and never leave a small space that I would pick. It didn’t help that I was exhausted, but I was thinking that I didn’t really know this guy. I am in the jungle. There are really poisonous snakes on the property. Look up the Fer de lance. I had no phone, or internet, or even a pocket knife. Eventually he stopped playing and I managed to get to sleep.
  The next morning I felt great. I knew that I wouldn’t respect myself if I backed down to my fear, so I decided to just take it as it was and go for it. That day I was up at 5 maybe 5:30 at the latest. I told Brian I had a crazy dream, and that I am really interested in dreams. He replied that dreams are useless expressions about our confusion. I thought, that didn’t go well. I worked that day all day. until sundown. Of course I rested here and there, and we all ate lunch together. Saturday I woke up at 6:30, when the other volunteers were to come down for breakfast. We all ate breakfast and at some point brian said to me, “You do need to get up earlier.” I thought that it was strange, but I thought not problem. I was excited to get up earlier because it meant I got to go outside and chop down jungle with a machete, which is awesome to do. I was still feeling good and brave, and I had slept much better that night. I went out and worked all day. Until sunset. With occasional rests for a couple minutes, but the other volunteers went to sleep at noon and I worked until 6.
   I swear to you that I am not exaggerating any of this. In fact Brian said, ” I wish I had three volunteers like you.” There was another guest cabin under construction that I was going to start sleeping in because his “wife” Paty was coming for the weekend. On his profile he said that they were married and at least insinuated that the marriage had been for a long period of time. They in fact were not married, but planning to get married in December and just recently had there one year anniversary. So I set up my tent in the unfinished cabin that was basically just outside in the jungle. We had found a family of scorpions in there earlier when cleaning the cabin. Huge cockroaches the size of mice. It was basically outside. At some point that day I was walking down the steps to the cabin and the step broke. I told brian, and was very surpised how upset he was. Since he claimed to be a yogi, and anger is not really something that yogis like to dwell in. Anyhow he said it wasn’t my fault and that it was the other volunteers bouncing up and down the stairs, then scolded them later. That night I slept in the tent in the unfinished cabin. I woke up at 530 and did yoga with paty and the other volunteers. She was so nice and open, and really just a gentle and caring person. After yoga I began painting a roof high above the rocky ground under the very hot sun. (No one falls don’t worry). It was really hot and I was working very hard. I painted for about 3 and a half maybe four hours straight until I was very faint. I didn’t feel well and decided I had to go lay down. While walking across the roof I stepped on a sky light that was made out of some other material and cracked it making a hole about 5  inches long. I knew he was going to be pissed. I went down and told him, and he told me “guy you don’t watch where you are going, go away and think about your responsibility, get out now.” He said a couple other things that were along the same lines. So i showered up and decided to tell him I was confused about how angry he seemed to be. I would pay for the damage without a problem, but I wanted to say that I cam there to be his friend and learn from him and his farm. I really thought the whole talk was going to end in a hug. I got out of the shower and approached him. This is more or less exactly what was said. Probably less.
“Well what do you have? What did you come up with?”
“Well I think that…”
“Ya, what”
“Well.”
“Ya what, huh what.”
This was him interrupting me and mocking me. I told him I would like to say somethings and would appreciate it if he could listen. I started by saying that I really thought the farm was great and that he had done something special there. That is about as far as I got and he told me “you are a heavy footed loud mouth….and you eat too much! You need to leave”
and that was that. I was pretty upset, but just packed up my stuff, said goodbye to the other volunteers, who were absolutely astonished, and left.
Now I am in the surf town! Tomorrow I am going to start surf lessons. What a crazy few days. Love you guys write me whenever. I should have more regular internet now.
Travis is only 25, but he has done and seen so much in his life. I love that he is following his heart, which will eventually lead him to his destiny. I love that he is helping others while feeding his soul. I love his free spirit. Ronan would have loved him. I am so glad I finally got to meet one of the many Tinney siblings. They are all so unique.
LIttle one. This is all I can write tonight. I’m keeping your Daddy up and I need to be respectful of him and his sleep tonight. So much more to say, but he puts up with so much. I’ve got to try to simmer down, but I feel better having talked to you. Love you so much my “not spicy,” little monkey boy. Miss you every second of the day and I always hope you are safe. G’night my love.
xoxo

INFERNO HIKE. F U CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pain is my Peace

Ro baby. Hi my spicy boy. It’s time for my love letter to you tonight. I’ve missed a couple of days of writing. I always hate when I don’t get to write to you. I’m learning that this writing thing is like a beautiful, tragic, love story. One that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop writing because I never want it to end. It’s my way of keeping you somewhat alive, I guess. It helps me, even though it may seem like nothing is helping. I think today is Monday….. I think. Crap. I’m wrong. It’s Tuesday. The days are still blurry and the things that go on in my days are all jumbled together. I remember yesterday…. somewhat. I didn’t wake up for boot camp. Sorry Tammy. My sleeping is still out of whack. I stopped taking my Ambien and started trying Ristoral. We shall see. The first night I took it, I still tossed and turned and had very vivid nightmares. So I went to basically not dreaming at all for the past few months to having such excruciating nightmares that I woke up 5 or 6 times during the night drenched in my sweat. I wandered around the house. Looked outside at the moon for a while. Sat in your room. I fell back asleep around 4 a.m. There was no way I could get my booty to boot camp. I dropped your brothers off at school after sleeping until 7, then I went hiking at 9 a.m. It was bloody hot. I was determined to sweat all of the demons out of my body from the night before. Sweat them out I did. It must have been about 104 by the time I got to the top. It felt good. I did the same thing today. Same time, same place, with nobody else in sight. I love how empty the mountain is. Once I get to the top, I sit there for about a half an hour and cook in the sun. I talk to you out loud a lot. I always cry. I tell you, hi. I tell you I miss you. I ask you where you are. I tell you I’m sorry. That I need your help to get me through this. I tell you I don’t know what to do without you and I always tell you I hope you are safe. It’s become therapeutic to me. As I was running down the mountain today…. full speed with Katy Perry blasting, it dawned on me. This exercising is the ONLY thing that gives me some sort of relief from all of this pain. It is during this time that I have to focus on not breaking my neck as I plow down the hill as fast as I can. I focus on my body and pushing myself so much that the physical pain hurts. I don’t stop no matter how tired or out of breath I get. I want to stop sometimes, but then I think of you. I like the physical pain as it gives my mind a break. It is my church, my meditation, and it is slowly becoming my peace.

Oh, Ro. You made me smile tonight. Just as I am writing to you, the thunder starts, the lighting, the buckets of rain. You know how I love the rain. I’ll never forget that one day with you. We had just moved into our beautiful house. It was your nap time and it was pouring rain. We made a bed on the floor in my room and sat and watched out the french doors in my bedroom as the rain flooded everything. We sat and watched and listened. We rolled around and laughed and I don’t think you ended up taking a nap. You little rule breaker, you. It was pure bliss. I remember that moment, and how happy I was. I felt like the luckiest mama in the world to be there with you, watching the rain. It was one of the sweetest, most simple moments of my life. I have Quinn here with me now. We made a bed on the floor in the same spot the two of us did. We are watching the rain, together. We are missing you, together.

Last night, we had Curriculum night at your brothers’ school. Holy anxiety attack. I about lost it. It was way too stuffy in the cafeteria, way too many people, and way too long to stand still. At one point I whispered to your daddy that I had to leave. He just grabbed me tight and told me it was o.k. That I could do this. I stuck it out. Melissa was there, close by. She knew I was about to flip out. She said she almost grabbed me and ripped me out of the cafeteria. I so wished she would have. But I survived. Don’t ask me how, but I did. We had to go to your brothers classrooms after the cafeteria. I went to Quinn’s, your Daddy went to Liam’s. I did o.k. there. I was strong and fought back the tears as a picture of you popped up on my phone, randomly. My mind started racing about how I would never be taking you to school again, how I would never get to meet your teachers, your new friends, etc….. I quickly wiped the tears away and tried to get back to focusing on the task I was there to do. I left the classroom quickly when the talking was over. I didn’t stay to sign up for things with the other mom’s. I couldn’t mentally do it. I went to find your Daddy but he was still in Liam’s classroom. Just as I was getting ready to sit down outside, Melissa came and found me. My sweet saving grace. She didn’t want me to sit alone, so she sat and waited with me for until your Daddy came out. Thank god. I had the chance to say hello to some moms that I really like though. That was nice. It is always nice to get a hug from some friendly faces. It’s funny though all of this, you really see who are genuinely, good-hearted people. I feel like I have a gift for this now. I had the chance to give somebody a big hug that I have wanted to do for a long time. One of my busy, little bees. It felt so nice to hug her and tell her thank you. I want to do that with everyone who helped and I am going to set something up, as soon as I get myself a little more organized and my head on straight. I am hoping that day will come sooner rather than later.

Today, I hiked again. Bloody hot but worth it. I don’t mind the heat the way I used to. As long as it involves an escape for me, I’m down with it. Bring it on, Mo Fo. I am getting my butt up for boot camp tomorrow though. I have my alarm set. I have to otherwise I know what happens if I don’t. I sit and obsess about it all day long. Add it to my list of things I’m fixated on now. Boot camp or Bust. Who’s going to start joining me???? Hello my friends…. I’ll take all the motivation I can get to get there. If I had you all, counting on me, I would be less likely to skip days. www.phxbootcamp.com. Get your butts there with me. Stop making excuses. I promise, it will change you life:)

So, Ro baby. I’m nervous to tell you this…. but I actually had an o.k. day. Just o.k. but it was a better day than I’ve had in a long time. I had lunch with one of my busy bees. It was lovely. We talked about The Brightest Star in the Sky event next year. I got to know her a bit and loved every second of it. Pure heart, smart, caring, and no hidden agendas and passionate about making a difference in this world. She had me at hello 🙂 I’m so thankful to have had so many people step up to the plate, to teach me that they care more about shopping, vacations, and wine drinking. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but adding a little something more to your life in such a meaningful way is good for everyone. It’s good for the soul. And a good soul can make all the difference in the world. After our lunch, your daddy picked me up so we could go to our therapist together. I was honestly dreading it. I feel so disconnected to everything now. Having to reconnect with your daddy, in front of a stranger, gave me a lot of anxiety. But once we got there, within 10 minutes, I knew this was going to be a good thing and something we desperately need. It was hard and we didn’t even get into the hard stuff yet. It was mostly an introduction and then she wanted a background on us and what we had just been through. There were a lot of tears, a lot of not being able to speak because having to re tell the story of you is so unbelievably painful. But we did it as best we could. And we did it together. I am proud of us. I liked this lady too. She knows stuff and I liked her honestly. We will go back together, I’m sure for a long time, as this is not something we can work through overnight. This is also something we cannot do without outside help. We both know this. Afterwords, we spent some time together and it ALMOST felt good to me. ALMOST. My pain is not capable of letting me feel good about anything now, but it is the closest I’ve come in a long time to feeling this way around your daddy. He is the most amazing man on the planet. I know this. As hard as all of this is, I think we will be o.k. I know there are no guarantees in life, but what we have is too amazing to throw away. He is my best friend, despite my brattiness that I often display to him. I don’t mean to, which is why I have to figure out how to deal with all of this pain, instead of taking it out on him. He is my easiest target and does not deserve any of it. You don’t get a better man/father than the Wooddawg.

Alright my little man. I’m tired. I’m going to try this Ristoral tonight We shall see. I love you to the moon and back, my blue eyed boy. I miss you so much and hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, my dear.

xoxo

                                                   I LOVE US….. FOREVER TOGETHER.

Princess Leia and Captain Rex take on the world… or at least the halls of Sloan-Kettering

Last night was a little better than the night before. We have had a really, really, extra sweet nurse, Alex, the past 2 nights. She is adorable, looks like she is about 12, and really gets along well with Ronan. She is super patient with him, very calm, and is very doating. He meshes well with her which makes it nice on my part. All of the nurses are great here, but Ronan seems to have a connection with Alex. Reminds me a little of Arica back home, one of our favorite nurses on the floor of PCH. Miss her. I asked Alex what we could do last night to make sure we had less beeps. She tried her best, but the stupid “asspole,” went on beeping most of the night. “Inclusion in line, Inclusion in line!” is what it said. Which basically means there is a bubble in the fluids he is getting which causes it to beep every half an hour or so. Very disruptive and as my Charisma would say, “RUDE!” Ronan also had to be woken up twice to be given his morphine, which was not fun at all. He was a very mad little boy about it. After about 20 minutes of fighting, he swallowed his medicine and went back to sleep. Seems cruel to wake a sleeping child but rules are rules around here.

My mom came to relieve me around 11. Ronan was in a much better mood this morning when she arrived. We were sitting in our bed playing, when we got a special delivery via fax. A message from our very own “A,” back home! It was the sweetest note written to Ronan from her. I read it out loud to him and he got the biggest kick out of it. She even drew a monkey at the bottom of it for him. So sweet and thoughtful of her. It made both of our days. After our special letter, I gave Ronan his bath. He once again, sat and bathed all of his Star Wars guys which kept him busy. I told him goodbye and slipped out for my daily break. So thankful that my mom is here to help. She has had a lot of nice bonding time with Ronan. It is special for both of them. I went back to the RMH and thought about going on a run, but my left shoulder was killing me today. I decided to go around the corner to the Asian massage parlor I discovered a couple of weeks ago. It seriously looks like something out of a sketchy movie, but one thing I love about this city is you can never judge a book by it’s cover. It is the cheapest/best massage I’ve ever had in my life. Forget that there is almost no privacy as you are separated from other customers though sheets hanging from the ceiling that separate your beds…. the two times that I’ve been there, the place has been empty. A very well hidden secret I suppose 🙂  The women there give the BEST massage I’ve ever had in my life. I left there with still some pain in my shoulder, but it is better than it was. Thank you, ah sookie sookie now. (that was for you, daddy woo)

I returned to Sloan to find my mom chatting with Dr. Kushner. He stopped by to check in. We talked about Ronan and how great he looks and he told me him not having an ANC for this long is normal, considering all he has gone through. He also told me it’s great to see how well he is tolerating the chemo as he does not look like a sick child whose just completed his 8th cycle. He is such a tough little man. We talked a little more about our plan of attack but nothing will be confirmed until we see the results of Ronan’s scans, which are next week. Scanticipation begins. UGH. Dr. Kushner also sat and talked to me about running, because he is an avid runner himself and we usually always talk about it. He gave me some great Central Park tips which I always enjoy. He really is a very nice man.  Every time I look at him, I can’t help but obsessing over how brilliant he is. I cannot imagine the way his mind must work…. he has revolutionized so many things in the Neuroblastoma world. I really have to focus when I talk to him, otherwise I catch my mind wandering thinking about how he does what he does, eats, breathes and sleeps this disease everyday of his life. I’m curious as to how he came upon devoting his life to Neuroblastoma. So many questions, never enough time.

While I was out today, I caught up on things like mail, bills, emails, phone calls, etc…. I got to hear the voices of a few of my dear friends…. Fernanda, Tricia Boo, Niki, Danielle, Marisa, Pam, Amy, Lindsey, Auntie Karen, and Mr. Sparkly Eyes. I don’t get a lot of time to talk on the phone here due to being at the hospital so much. When I’m out alone, walking the city, I try to return a lot of my calls. It was so good to talk to my friends today. Good to hear their voices and to check in. Miss them all much.

Ronan and I spent tonight like we always do. We walked the halls for about an hour, shooting anybody that came our way. He was Captain Rex and I was Princess Leia. The nurses, janitors, doctors, patients, are great at playing with us. We came back to our room, played Star Wars, then called Liam and Quinn. It was good to hear their voices and I always love to hear the conversations between my 3 monkeys. Adorable. I cuddled in bed with Ronan and we sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” together just like we sing every night while I rubbed his back. It didn’t take much for him to drift off to sleep… it’s late here, midnight now and he fell asleep only about a half an hour ago. Sweetest dreams to the sweetest little boy. I whispered that I loved him to the moon and back and kissed him on his cheek. He tastes like milk and sugar.

My Tricia Boo is taking the Red Eye here tonight. Cannot wait to wrap my arms around her! She is staying until Sunday and Niki got in today as well. Double YAY! Niki is here with her kiddos and I am going to try to see them tomorrow. I only wish Ronan would be discharged so he could see his friends too 🙁 Keeping my fingers crossed that it happens by this weekend. I was telling Mr. Sparkly Eyes tonight that we have been inpatient for almost 3 weeks now. He feels awful and wanted to know how I was doing. I tried my best “Mrs. Positive Attitude,” and replied that I was making the best of it. He then went right to, “Cut the bullshit and tell me how you’re  really doing.” Can’t get anything past that man and it made me laugh out loud. I am such a fan of the bluntness. How am I doing this?? I honestly have no idea. I texted Woody in the middle of the night 2 nights ago to say if he didn’t bust us out of here I was going to murder someone. I have my moments of temporary insanity, but then they are usually quickly washed away by a flash of happiness, gratefulness, or beauty that comes my way… even if it comes in the form of something as small as Ronan telling me I look pretty and thanking me for being his mom. I swoon for his little, kind words. They mean everything to me.

Alright my sweethearts. Tired tonight and going to try to get some rest. G’nite and sweet dreams to you all. G’nite my Big Daddy Woo. Enjoy our cozy bed and cuddle up to my Liam and Quinn for me extra tight. I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO MUCH.

xoxo