MRI, CT, and Pet scan results…. kind of

After what seemed like the longest day ever; we returned home around 7:30 tonight. Ronan insisted we stop at CPK for pizza so we met Woody for dinner. I ate my one meal of the day, Ronan didn’t eat a thing and ended up just making me hold him while I ate. As  soon as we got in the car I was almost instantly sick to my stomach. I told you I don’t do well with food anymore…. we got home and I threw up my entire dinner. Awesome. Ronan is so used to seeing me do this now he just looked at me and said, “I sorry Mama. Do you want your toothbrush?”  It was the sweetest, saddest thing ever. He then asked to be put in my bed and for me to go to sleep with him. That is precisely what I did. I curled up beside him and 5 minutes later we were both sound asleep. I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus and am physically  and mentally beat. Ronan woke up around 9:30 tonight asking for some pizza, carrots, apples, and whipped cream. Nice combo. What Ronan wants, Ronan gets. He ate all of the food that I got him and went back to sleep. We have another early day tomorrow at PCH trying to finish up his Audiology test and then going to the clinic for a possible platelet transfusion. When they drew his labs today, his platelet count was low. “A” wants them checked again tomorrow and told me he will more than likely need to get them.

After Dr. Maze came to get me when he was done with Ronan I returned to a very sleepy little boy. I sat quietly and let Ronan wake up on his own and Aubrey tracked down Dr. Wood for me so he would come down and go over the MRI,CT, and Pet scan results. The results are all preliminary results, but I’ll take them. Dr. Wood told me that the Neuroblastoma is still showing up in a few areas, which he expected. Ronan’s shoulder bones, his upper thighs, and his spine all seem to have some Neuroblastoma left in them. The activity has decreased immensely and he said for as much cancer as Ronan had in his body, in no way shape or form, did he expect it to be gone entirely. This is what the Stem Cell transplant/radiation/antibodies will do. Remember, Ronan had Neuroblastoma in every bone in his body; even his pinky fingers.  I asked Dr. Wood if he saw anything he was concerned with and he said not all, that Ronan is making great progress. I wish I could say a huge sigh of relief came over me today, but I am still left with a feeling of numbness and sadness. Ronan’s results are amazing and I am elated that his cancer is responding so well; but the bottom line is my beautiful baby boy has cancer and I just want it gone. Now. I know, I know…..this is not a sprint it is a marathon. We will get him there but for some reason today was a hard day for me. Harder than yesterday. As I said before, all of these results are preliminary and we will know much more next week after he does the MIBG scan. That is on February 10th. As of now, we are moving forward and preparing to go ahead with transplant.

I have not spoken to anyone on the phone tonight except my dear Fernanda. We talked about Ronan’s results and I listened to her as she told me how she took the time today to research what exactly needs to be done for isolation and she made out a list for me that she got from the internet of other Neuroblastoma moms. I mean really, Fernanda. Never in my life will I be able to thank you enough for all the things you are doing for me without me even having to ask. I am so thankful for you every second of the day. Fernanda’s list includes everything from scrubbing down our isolation room with a toothbrush (not even kidding), to making sure every item of clothing is bleached and sealed in a bag before it goes into the room. She told me to stop doing my laundry for the next two weeks and to leave it at my door so she can pick it up and I won’t have to waste time on that bullshit so I can fully be focused on Liam, Quinn, and Woody. I said to her, “Well what if I like doing laundry?” She then told me that the only reason I like doing laundry is because it gives me a sense of normalcy and nothing in my life is normal at the moment so to knock it off. I had to laugh as this is so true. Laundry makes me happy because it is the one thing that I freaking have control over in my life and it is something that will always be consistent and never change. It’s true; I absolutely love laundry:)

I am trying to wrap my head around giving up complete control of my life once this isolation thing starts. Just the thought of this gives me such anxiety. I think I need to make a list of the things I can control, just to make myself feel a little bit better. I have no idea what that even will consist of because my “normal” life is pretty much going to be gone. All I have to say to this right now is HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I still cannot believe any of this is real. Shouldn’t this be a movie that I am watching in the theaters or something?? This cannot be real life, this cannot be my life or Ronan’s life. I will never stop shaking my head and the tears will never stop. This is all too much. What I wouldn’t give to complain about the things I used to complain about like having to take Ronan to the grocery store because he would NEVER sit in the cart and would insist on running up and down the aisles which would drive me crazy. Or how I would feel so overwhelmed with my daily “to do” lists….. what a joke. Nothing in my old life was anything to ever complain about.  I would give anything to have my worries of the day consist of what I was going to make for dinner and how I was going to squeeze in Ronan’s nap for the day because of all of the “things” we had to do. My past life all seems make believe, like it was never really real and it was all just a dream. I could sit and cry just thinking of all the things I was ungrateful for and how much I miss what we used to have. That won’t do me any good tonight though. Tonight I am not going to sit and cry myself to sleep because today was a day full of good news. I have to remind myself that on days like today, I am not allowed to be sad. Ronan is working too hard so I will take tonight to be thankful for the progress he is making and be proud of what a strong little boy he is. He is the bravest soul that has ever existed.

Tonight, while we were waiting for my car from the valet, I caught a glimpse of myself holding Ronan in the doors to the clinic. It was another one of my out of body experiences as I looked at my refection and almost didn’t recognize who this person was with her baby boy draped over her body. It was me but I felt as though it wasn’t. It took my breath away for a second and I almost felt like I was going to faint. Had nothing to do with the fact that I had not eaten all day I’m sure;) It had everything to do with the fact that I will never get used to the fact that I am now a mom to a child with cancer. I will never accept this and I will never come to terms with it. This is just a moment in time, a sick and twisted way of Ronan having to prove how much he deserves to be on this earth. It’s my way of proving how much I love my son by fighting as hard as I can fight to keep him here and surround him with every ounce of love I have in my body.

God, am I even making sense tonight? I feel delirious and all fired up at the same time. One day at a time, one step closer to Ronan’s wellness, right Auntie Karen:):) She always tells me this…. love and miss you so much. Hope you are having fun in Cali:) Thinking of you there makes me smile because I can picture all of the laughing and fun you are having. That makes me happy and gives me peace tonight. You know what else gives me peace?? All of you. When I get pissed at the world, I think of all of you beautiful souls out there who love Ronan so much and who have faith that his journey is meant for a very special reason. Having you all believe in him and love him so much means everything to me. So thank you a million times over. You all give me strength when I need it most.

Ahhh….. my New York Miss Macy is calling me right now. Perfect timing as she gives me the giggles like no other and I can’t think of a better way to end the night. I am beyond blessed to have the most amazing friends. Love you all! Sweet dreams!!

xoxo

This picture says everything tonight. My favorite animal is a Giraffe. Ronan’s is a Zebra. Keep on holding on baby. We will get you through this.

The silence scares me because it screams the truth

A week. It’s been a week of sharing a room. Hospital beds. Hospital clothes. Hospital T.V. Hospital seconds/minutes/days/nights. Hospital tears. Hospital depression. Being home last night for the entire night with my twins felt so good that it hurt. I took them to breakfast this morning and we looked just like the perfect little family. Just another mom with her sons’ on a gorgeous Sunday morning, happy, smiling, laughing. Nobody in the restaurant knew the reality of my life. They didn’t know that soon my horse-drawn carriage was about to turn into a pumpkin. They didn’t know about the 3-year-old that I have with cancer who was waiting in his hospital bed for his mom to return. That’s my reality everyday and nobody knows the pain and sadness that comes with it. It hits me hard during times like this… when I get a second of my sweet life back and then have it ripped away from me once again. I fucking hate hospitals. I fucking hate RSV season. I fucking hate cancer and all the time it is stealing away from my family life. How lovely that I was able to go home last night and spend 30 minutes with my husband and try to act normal the way a husband and a wife do, but then that turns into him saying to me while looking at an old picture of our 3 boys… “I just keep thinking, did he have cancer then? Fuck. How long has he had this?” That in turn makes me cry and I get to sit and stare into my husbands eyes as he watches me cry because some days are harder than others. Today is one of those days. Do you know why my little 7-year-old who was exhausted from the days events stayed up until midnight  with me last night insisting we finish watching “Talladega Nights?”  He told me he didn’t want to go to sleep because he didn’t want the time with me to end. I couldn’t agree more and he is so right in the way he is feeling. Just pile that on top of the things that are ripping my heart out at the moment and smashing it on the floor.

Today, I couldn’t pull my shit together and had to have my friend, Gay, come and sit with Ronan so I could get out of the hospital for an hour and cry my freaking eyes out. The tears wouldn’t stop pouring and I thought getting out of the hospital would help; but it didn’t. It’s was one of those day. Bloody, bloody, Sunday.  Sarah the Saint stayed with Liam and Quinn all day today so I could come back to the hospital and Woody could go to the office and work for the entire day. Ronan has been a handful with a lot of energy, but is still not wanting to leave his room. He keeps talking about going home and wants to know why he can’t because he says he is all better. I try my hardest to explain things to him as simply as possible but he doesn’t get it. None of this makes sense to him and it shouldn’t.

We still have our baby roommate, with no parents in sight. The nurses have been working non-stop tending to him. The second they try to put him in his crib, he starts to cry and will not stop. Poor thing. All he wants is to be held. Makes me sick to my stomach. Reminds me to be thankful. Thankful. Thankful. Thankful. Things could be so much worse. Ronan’s counts were still around 50 today. The same as yesterday. They have got to be higher tomorrow… I don’t expect a major jump, but in the low 100’s would be nice. We just want to go home. We have isolation coming up soon and this is cutting into our time with Liam, Quinn, and Woody.

I’m being rotten tonight and I know it. Time for a positive attitude adjustment. I feel better after my day of tears. Guess I just needed to clear my head and let some things out. I’m going to snuggle up with Ro now and do my favorite nighttime activity which is to watch him sleep and wonder what that sweet little soul is dreaming about. I hope only beautiful things. G’nite dear angels out there. Thank you Sarah and Gay for your help today. I don’t know what I would do without you two. Love you.

xoxo

Living is easy with your eyes closed

I have no idea what day it is even…. Wednesday I think? The days and nights are so blurry here and it is so easy to lose track of the time, days, and nights as they all seem to blend together. I do know that today is my dear birthday bunny, Jen’s birthday. Happy Birthday my sweet friend. Thank you for being a rock for me these past 5 months. I love you dearly<3 I hope you had a beautiful day.

My morning started off great with my friend Melissa bringing by coffee and her gorgeous smile for me. Ronan wasn’t up for visitors, kicked her out of the room, so we went into the hallway and caught up for a bit. Ronan would scream for me every so often so I would come and and tell him I was looking for Dr. Wood. He seemed satisfied with that answer so I was able to go back into the hallway and finish my conversation with Melissa. After she left, I was able to get out of the hospital today for most of the day. It was much needed and Mimi Kay and Papa Charlie came and sat with Ronan for me. So thankful. I can feel myself going a little stir crazy. It was nice to be out and about today. I returned around 5 to a happy Ronan and our 3-year-old roommate, Angel, who had been left alone almost the entire day. He sat and told me that his parents were never coming back. These are the same parents who left him alone last night for about an hour and when I went to ask Angel where they went he replied, “They went to smoke.” OMG. I spent the next 2 hours tonight tending to him and sharing Ronan’s popsicles and toys. I felt bad for the little boy. A 3 year old should not be left alone, EVER! He started throwing things at Ronan which in turn, made Ronan upset and the two of them were screaming back and forth at each other. Ronan ended up in tears because the roommate said to him, “You’re a bad boy!” Ronan looked at me and said, “I not a bad boy, mama!” I told him of course he was not but that didn’t stop the little tears from sliding down his cheeks. He is so tough but really got his feelings hurt tonight. There was not a nurse in sight up on 3 to handle this, so I did best I could. That floor 3 is a little coo-coo. Dr. Eshun gave us the green light to move to the 2nd floor tonight, thank god! We moved down here after the Angel incident and his parents had still not returned. We are just happy to be out of that room and down to our fun floor with the BEST nurses in the world. They were all so excited to see Ronan and he was just as happy to see them. The 2nd floor is like our second home now… it was weird to be here, but not with our “family.”  Somebody even wrote, “Rockstar Ronan,” on the whiteboard where all the nurses/patients info goes…. so cute that they know his nickname:) We are happy campers to be back down here and Ro baby is sound asleep. His ANC was still at 0 as of this morning. UGH. Please let it come up tomorrow. We are itching to get out of here and be back home.

Somebody sent some goodies tonight and I have no idea they  came from, as there was not a card. It was a bag full of some Star Wars toys, some fun books, Coffees for me…. Any takers??!?! Please let me know who you are… I would like to give you a proper thank you. It made our night! Ronan has been having a blast with his coloring books and little light saber racing car. THANK YOU!!!!!

I’m getting anxious and homesick tonight. Hoping I can unwind with a movie or something. I could seriously use some yoga in my life right about now. I feel like I have a lot to say, but my mind/body/soul is shutting down. Hospital exhaustion is kicking in. I am so thankful for my thoughtful husband and the Bose Headphones he bought me for Christmas. Music is saving my life through all of this…. thanks Wooddawg for being so thoughtful all of the time. You are the best gift giver in the entire world. Hope you all have a beautiful, blessed night. Sweetest dreams!

Extra special dreams tonight to my dear Charisma. I told you all the stars would end up aligning for you. More good things to come your way my dear. I can feel it!!

xoxo

What am I doing?? Not sleeping.

UGH. I should be sleeping. I can feel myself getting tired. I tried to sleep. I really did. I cuddled up with Ronan and he was sooooo snuggly. He soon fell asleep. I did not. As soon as I started to drift off, the nurses started coming in and out. Checking his fluids, blood pressure, giving him his anti-nausea meds, and they finally started the chemo around 1:00 a.m. This means we will be here until Saturday now. I’m not complaining. I’m not going to have a breakdown like last time. I am seriously thankful that we are moving ahead. I am thankful that he is strong enough to start round 5. One more round after this, which we will do in New York City, and Ronan will be finished with all of his chemo. I think it is going to be bittersweet. I have learned to depend on the chemo just for the fact that I know it is killing his cancer. Being off of it seems a bit scary to me. All of the unknown of all of this is scary. I just have to remember deep breaths and one day at a time. This baby is so precious to me. I guess I have such a strong bond with him because he is my last baby. Even though I would have 10 more if Woody would let me;) Kidding, but I do love being a mommy and having babies. I think it is the greatest gift on earth and I am so proud to be the mommy to 3 amazing boys.

I am a little freaked out by something. Maybe not freaked out, but I don’t know how to explain it…. So I’ll just tell you. Every summer, when I am in Washington I take my journals home with me and write my heart out. I write about things we are doing, funny things the boys have said or done, what I am feeling, etc….. I take my time in Washington and just purify my soul. It is very slow paced there, very peaceful, very quiet and I have a lot of time to reflect on things. A few weeks ago, I remembered something I had written in one of my journals while I was in Washington and I couldn’t remember if it was real or not. I went and dug it out and sure enough, in my writing, there it was. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, grabbing my journal, and scribbling down, “This is going to be the hardest year of your life. If you can make it through this, you can make it through anything.” I’ve been thinking about this non-stop now, since I went and re-read it. It is freaking me out. How in the world did I have such a strong feeling about something that it caused me to wake up in the middle of the night and write it down. I don’t know what possessed me to write such a thing, but it was written in early August. Ronan was diagnosed August 12. I never thought this would be what I was up against. But it is… and I’m not sure what this all means; but somehow I knew it was fucking coming. And I know I have to fight my hardest and pour everything I have into Ronan, Woody, Liam and Quinn. Ronan will beat this, we will survive this as a family, and we will win. We will have a positive story to tell after all of this is said and done. Ronan is the strongest little boy out there, and I know if anyone can beat this, it is him. He is fighting everyday and will never stop. I, as his mommy, will never stop. The outcome of this will be beautiful and life changing. It just has to be.

2 a.m. O.K. Really going to try to get some rest. Thanks for listening to me, thank you for being my outlet. G’nite, again<3

TGIF!

It’s the weekend! So excited to spend it with my little family. Today was a typical day for us. Big boys went to school and Woo went to work. That left Ro and I home alone. We spent the day enjoying playing outside, carved a pumpkin, and I took him to the drive through car wash that he loves to go to. He was really giggling and laughing when we were getting our car washed. He loves to watch the colored soap spray all over the windows. It was cheap entertainment and a nice little break from being stuck at home. He took a nap and I worked on some things for his website. It’s been fun doing the research on it and figuring out what I want it to look like. It’s been a good distraction for me to say the least. I talked to my friend Laurie today for a bit to get caught up on Baby Jack… the little boy who is a few months ahead of Ronan with his treatment for Neuroblastoma. She sounded so great and Jackers is doing amazing. I am always amazed at her strength and positivity. She is a good role model for me and Jack is such an inspiration. They are an amazing family and so deserve all the good things that are coming their way.

Liam and Quinn came home with their “report cards” from school today and they were so excited to show me. They both ripped them open and we went over what they said. I could not have been more proud of them. They are becoming such little men. We played outside and waited for Woody to come home. Woody and Uncle Jay came home around 4:00 with pizzas and beer. They stopped at A.J.’s and brought home a bunch of things for “Game Night” at the Thompsons. They started a game of  Risk with Liam and Quinn about 3 hours ago. I kept Ronan busy so they could play and it is still going on. Ronan had a nosebleed tonight so I tended to him and after about 20 minutes, it finally stopped. I was praying that we wouldn’t have to go to the hospital. Hoping it won’t start up again in the middle of the night. I know his platelets are starting to dip down but I think if I can keep him sleeping, he should be fine. He had a rowdy day.. lots of running and playing.

Not sure what else this weekend has in store. Liam and Quinn have a basketball game tomorrow but we won’t be taking Ronan. Now that it is turning into that time of year when the flu hits, etc…. we won’t be taking him out at all. Time to put him back in his bubble. I am going to have to get very creative as far as keeping him busy at home. Thinking some paint supplies and lots of arts and crafts are in our very near future. We have been working a lot on his school stuff and he is still fighting me on it a little bit; but I know he is learning. I hear him repeating things when he is playing and he thinks I am not listening. Stubborn little boy.

I’m going to have to say that my husband has been extra amazing lately. If that is even possible. I have no idea how he does all he does. I am so impressed by the way he is handling everything. Keeping his law firm going, being such an amazing daddy, and doting on me 24/7. If anyone is carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, it is him. I am so thankful to be married to such a strong man who can take care of his family. There is nobody in the world who I respect and love more then him. After all that we are going through, he has kept the best attitude and positivity. He really is one of a kind and I will forever stay madly in love with him. I am thankful that my 3 boys have such a strong male role model in their lives. I know how important that is in forming what type of men they will grow up to be. Thanks Daddy Woo<3

Throughout this journey I have come to see things in such a different light. Life will never be the same again for us, but I honestly think it can be better. I have such a new appreciation for the littlest things. It is a life full of nothing but pureness and simplicity. It’s like we have been given a new chance to soak up all the things we do have and enjoy them to the fullest. Life is too short to be unhappy or worry about petty things. We are making the most of what we have, right now, in this very moment. There is no point in worrying about the future because it is the here and now that matters most. A hard lesson to learn, but a beautiful lesson indeed.

I am going to leave you with a quote that I came across today when I was doing my website research for Ronan. <3<3<3 LoveLoveLove<3<3<3

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.  ~Dr. Seuss