You must have been a beautiful baby

Ronan’s counts are still rising. He had a great day. I came to the hospital this afternoon with Liam and Quinn. The 9th floor blocked off the playroom for us so Ronan could play with his brothers. We stayed in there for about 3 hours and the boys played their little hearts out. The twins then left with Woody to go back to the RMH so Woody could shower and get some work done. I stayed with Ro for the rest of the day and evening. We played out of our room most of the day, and walked the halls shooting people and playing in the playroom. Ronan took a red marker today and colored all of his arms and said it was blood from his battles. Pretty much anything goes in the hospital as far as I’m concerned as long as he is having fun. I gave him a good bath afterwords in a little tub of water on the floor. He’s all clean now and just fell asleep as he didn’t nap today. Woody is on his way back here to stay the night so I can have some time with L and Q.

We have some scans set for Friday and Ronan will be discharged after that. They keep changing the set of scans we are having but as of now, I believe it’s the CT and Bone Marrow on Friday and the MIBG next week. That is the last I heard from one of the doctors earlier today, but that could always change. I asked New York Miss Macy if she could take Liam and Quinn for a few hours on Friday so they don’t have to sit in the hospital with us and wait. She happily agreed and I know the boys are going to over the moon about spending some time with her. It will be so helpful to us to have them off somewhere having fun, rather than sitting in a hospital.

So anybody that knows me, knows that I have been obsessed with taking pictures my entire life. Just a hobby that brings me much happiness and always has. Taking pictures of my kids is definitely my favorite subject. I have over 11,000 pics on my iphoto… so to say I’m obsessed is an understatement. All of my pictures on my iphoto are now defined to me as, this was our life before Ronan had cancer and this is now our life after. Sad but true.  Going back and looking at pictures before all of this is painful to me and makes me break down in tears. Every picture of Ronan before all of this makes me sick to my stomach as I would have never in my life have imagined this happening to him. He was such a gorgeous baby…. how can he now have cancer???  I sit and look at all of our pictures before all of this and we were such a happy family. We have so many beautiful memories and we were so blessed. I get so angry that all of that has been taken away and we have to work so hard to now find our happiness in the hardest of times. Today, as I was pushing Ronan’s asspole around the halls as well as trying to carry his gun, Star Wars guys, and his Crayola markers that he called his “Missles,” I was overwhelmed with anger. I caught a glimpse of him walking down the hall as I followed behind and he almost tripped over all of his lines. He looked back and goes, “Mom, I can’t carry my tubies and my guns.” I wanted to punch a freaking wall. It makes me sick that my 3-year-old has to worry about tripping over his lines. I am also pissed because Ronan has his 4th Birthday coming up and all I wanted was for him to be home. Instead, we will have to celebrate it in the hospital. All he wants to do is go back to Phoenix and he tells me at least once a day that he is never going to get to go back home and be with his brothers. I tell him that is not true, but no matter how much convincing I try to do, he argues with me and does not believe me. In his head, he thinks we are going to stay in New York forever and he thinks he is never going home. So much for a little boy to try to understand. Too much for a little boy to try to understand. As happy as he is, I also know that he is worried and sad and there is nothing I can do to take that away no matter how hard I try. That is my venting for the evening. I feel a little better now. Not really, but I am trying to convince my self otherwise.

I left the hospital late tonight and came back to RMH with Liam and Quinn. We went down to the common area and worked on some of their homework that their wonderful teacher, Mrs. Martin sent with them. I cannot tell you how good it felt to sit and help my boys with their homework, like a normal mom. After we worked on homework for about 30 minutes, we played the board game Operation. I have not played that game since I was a little girl. We had so much fun playing it together tonight. We are now all snug in bed and Liam and Quinn are watching CSI. A bit mature for them, but they both say they love it. My 7 year olds are now going on 30….. They are growing up way too fast:( Makes me sad.

Tomorrow is a new day. One more day closer to getting Ronan out of the hospital. Cannot wait to see Miss Macy tomorrow. Cannot wait until Friday, when we can bust Ro out of there and all be together outside of Sloan. Sweet dreams, my friends. Thank you for checking in with us. Have a beautiful day tomorrow.

xoxo

Ladies and Gentleman….. we have an ANC!

Finally! Ronan’s little immune system is coming back. It was only at 200 today, but it if finally making an appearance. I was starting to get really worried and frustrated. This can only mean good things to come… it means Ronan will more than likely be able to get out of this hospital soon and enjoy some freedom. They are not giving me a discharge date yet… but I am pushing for tomorrow. I have not heard what time his scans will be tomorrow and am waiting to speak with one of the doctors. I am trying not to get too nervous… but these scans have to show us good news so we can figure out what our next step is as far as Ronan’s treatment goes.

We have played non-stop today. It was a big arts and crafts day in our room. I went on a hunt and found us everything I could find to let us make a mess and have some fun in our room. We got messy with glue, paints, markers, stickers. We have been up and about a lot and I even got our nurse to unhook Ronan from his “asspole,” for about 20 minutes so we could run around crazy in the halls. He was so excited to be unhooked and kept telling me it was the best day ever. He is going to be so happy when we finally get out of here.

Liam, Quinn, and Woody are on a plane as we speak. They are landing around 8:00 tonight. It will be so nice to have them here and to all be together. The plan is for them to come to the hospital, sneak in a quick visit with Ronan, and I will take the boys back to the RMH and Woody will stay the night here. I am thinking this is a good idea as I have not been out of the hospital in 48 hours and I am starting the freak out a bit. I need fresh air, I need a shower, I need a full night of sleep. It will be good to spend some time with the twins too. It kills me how much I miss them.

I am waiting to talk to one of the doctors on the floor. I asked our nurse about the scans and she said that they had changed them until next week. 5.4.3.2.1- Remain calm. I told asked her to please get a doctor in here as we were not  told about these changes. I also explained to her that Woody was flying in tonight just so he could be here on scan week, which we were told would be tomorrow and Wednesday. After speaking with the on call doctor, she told me that “The Team,” met tonight and decided that they wanted Ronan’s counts to come up some more before doing the scans. Especially since they are doing a bone marrow test. They want his bone marrow to recover more before they go in and test it. I understand fully, but it still is frustrating. But it’s not in our hands so we once again will just have to roll with it. If his counts keep coming up we will do the scans at the end of the week. If not, next week will have to do. It will be fine either way. Woody and the boys are leaving on Sunday but Fernanda will be here Monday-Friday so she can be with me. So thankful for the amazing friends surrounding me and helping me through this. I can’t wait to see her and cannot believe she is leaving her 5 kids to be with me. The thought alone is enough to make me burst into tears. So.Very.Blessed.

Woody and the boys arrived safe and sound. They came directly to Sloan and Ronan and I sat in the lobby and waited for them in front of the elevators. He was so excited to see his brothers and Daddy. It was a quick reunion, as Liam and Quinn are not allowed on the floor. I grabbed my things, kissed Woo and Ro goodnight, and headed out for some much-needed fresh air and time with my favorite twins. We dropped our bags off at the RMH and then I took them to get something to eat. I was worried that Delizia’s was going to be closed, as it was already 11 p.m. I was happy to find out they stay open until 1 a.m. My kind of place. I sat with my two boys and listened as they chatted away. They had so much to say tonight and I was in heaven. I had my usual soup and they both chowed down on pizza. While we were in the middle of dinner, I had remembered that I forget to leave Woody saline solution for his contact lenses. I texted him to ask if he needed his things and he said he did and that he was hungry as well. I told him that I would bring him his things and pizza. The boys and I gathered up our things and went back down to Sloan to drop everything off to Woody and Ro. We had such a good time on our rainy and windy walk there. No complaints at all from my little men who were beyond tired; they were just happy to be with me. I so felt the love tonight. I love my Liam and Quinn so much. I miss them so much when I am away for so long. This is going to be a good week. Quinn was so excited talking all about New York Miss Macy coming into town. Liam goes, “Who’s Macy?” Quinn’s response was adorable. He goes, “You don’t know who Macy is?! I can’t believe you don’t know who Macy is. She’s one of mom’s funnest friends.” I was dying at his response. It’s like Macy is a celebrity in his eyes and everyone should know her. Beyond adorable. I can’t wait to spend some time with her this weekend with my boys. Wooddawg is excited too. Spirit Hoods will reunite!!

I’m all tapped out tonight and I’ve got Quinn in bed sound asleep beside me. Liam is in the bed next to us passed out as well. It’s pouring down rain here and that is my favorite thing in the world to fall asleep to. Hoping for some peaceful dreams tonight and to get a full nights sleep. We shall see. Sweetest dreams to you all. Have a beautiful day tomorrow. Love you. Go Ronan’s ANC!!!!

xoxo

The knot

The knot in the pit of my stomach is back and stronger than ever. So bad, that I am convinced I have an ulcer. I spent most of the day trying to get things done, while begin doubled up in pain. I also had to hang up the phone with my mom because I couldn’t even finish our phone conversation due to having to throw up. You see, it’s not enough that my child has cancer. At least before now, he was acting like it was not affecting him at all. It is now. I watch him as he favors the left side of his body more than his right, as he winces as I pick him up and tells me not to hurt him, as he keeps his little right arm stiff by his side because it hurts to use it. It’s not an effect from the chemo…. it is pain related to the Neuroblastoma eating away at his body. The MIBG scan showed a lot of activity in his right shoulder still. I’m convinced this is why he is now in a lot of pain. He won’t tell me though. I’ve asked him 50 times today and he refuses to tell me he is hurting. That is how stubborn and strong he is. This is why he will beat this fucking disease. No matter how hard it’s going to be; he is not going to give into the pain.

Try watching your 3-year-old suffer this way while feeling helpless as FUCK. Try to go on while acting as normal as possible, like every second of your day is not filled with excruciating pain. I cannot even go into the details of tonight but I will just tell you as I was sitting on the bathroom floor with my husband I just wanted to crumble up and die. He is hurting as badly as I am, even though he is trying so hard to be strong. I’m tired of being strong and I’m tired of watching him try to be strong. Nobody is strong enough for this shit. Don’t get me wrong, we can both put on a good show but at the root of all of this is pain beyond belief. I don’t even know how I made it through today. I was a zombie and ended up at my Tricia Boo’s house pretty much broken beyond repair. I sat with my friend and she watched and listened as I tried to put my feelings into words and she tried to fix the things that I told her were wrong. Nobody can fix this. The truth of it is, the damage is beyond repair at this point. Unless somebody were to magically heal Ronan overnight, I will live with this pain for the rest of my life. I don’t know how much more I can take. Somebody throw me a freaking bone already and give us some good news. I cannot stand to watch Ronan hurt while knowing I can’t fix it. I am sick to my stomach thinking about all the active cancer cells in his body just eating away at him and causing him pain. How can something so evil be going on in his sweet little body? I will never understand this. It is so cruel horrific. This isn’t a freaking ear infection or a broken arm. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for that.

We got home late last night. I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. Ronan is happy, in spite of his pain. Nothing makes him happier than being at home. We have to go back to New York sooner than expected. We have to be back by March 17th. I need more time. Time with my twins, time at home, time to wrap things up before we go away for god knows how long. We have to get Ronan back to New York asap to start the high dose chemo as well as the NK Cell trial.

I’ve got to get in the right mind frame for New York. I know once I get there, I will take it by storm. But it is going to be hard to leave here. Mostly leaving my twins behind. My heart is literally ripped into shreds. I know they are in the best hands in the world, but that does not make this any easier. But we have no choice. We have to get Ronan better and New York is are only chance. I cannot believe New York Miss Macy is not there anymore. I am beyond sad about that. Tricia told me I had to find a clone of her that lives there. I’ll be accepting applications via email. Yeah right. Impossible. There is only ONE New York Miss Macy in this entire world. My little ray of sunshine is gone and I wonder how I will survive.

Time for bed my peeps. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow Ronan will wake up and not be in pain. Please. Please. Please. I can deal with him having cancer as long as I don’t have to watch him act like he does. I can’t take the physical signs…. it is more than I can stand.

Sweet dreams, my lovelies.

xoxo

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!

Not following the yellow brick road

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! RO, MAMA, AND NANA WENT FOR PEDICURES!!!!

I wish I could tell you all that I have not updated my blog for a few days because I have been so busy soaking up all of my precious time with my amazing family. That we have had such a fun filled, fantastic weekend full of no worries whatsoever. But, that is not the case. The weekend started out that way. We left PCH on Friday happy as clams, ready for transplant and for a great weekend. We took Ronan on Saturday to the twins’ basketball game and had a wonderful time. Afterwords, I came home with Ro and my mom and we were playing outside in the backyard enjoying the sunshine and warmth of the day. 30 minutes later Woody arrived, came storming outside, demanding that he needed to have a serious conversation with me and needed to have it now. My stomach instantly dropped, my heart fell to the floor and I knew something was wrong. He said he had just gotten off a lengthy phone call with Dr. Eshun and they had done the randomization for one stem cell transplant or two. We were randomized for one. I knew this before Woody even told me. Woody had asked me 3 days prior to this if I thought we were getting one transplant or two. I looked him dead in the eye and said, “One.” He goes, “How do you know?” I told him I just had a feeling. This is not the news we were hoping for. My head started spinning and it was as if we were right back to where we started, at day one of Ronan’s diagnoses. Although Ronan has made great progress, Woody and I have done enough research to know that not enough of his disease is gone for us to go ahead with just one transplant. This cancer is too strong. I spent all of Saturday crying my eyes out, trying to wrap my head around all of this, and Woody went straight into Woody mode and armed himself with as much information as possible as far as other alternatives. He figured out who we needed to call today to get answers from. He has spoken with several doctors from New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta. Time is not on our side and time is not our friend.

The one thing that every doctor that Woody has talked to, cannot figure out is why is Ronan’s Bone scan is negative, his Bone Marrow clean, his VMA (urine test) is negative, yet he has so many spots left on the MIBG scan. Dr. Kusher believes that the Neuroblastoma, is still in Ronan’s bone marrow, not his bones. We are at a crossroads with what to do and are looking at basically two different options. As of now, we are deciding between an MIBG therapy in San Francisco or heading to Sloan Kettering to start 3F8. As soon as we heard that  Ronan had only been randomized for one stem cell transplant, we pulled him off the COG study we have had him on. There is no point in following their rules anymore. Although Ronan’s path is not clear, I have no doubt that we will find our way through this maze. I keep telling myself that Ronan is so unique and such a special little boy, that he was not meant to follow the yellow brick road on this journey. He was meant to make his own road full of yellow, purple, red, green and every other color you can possibly think of. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because Ronan was not meant to have a transplant at all as it wasn’t the right answer. I have felt uneasy about his whole transplant thing from the beginning. I know what my heart and gut are telling me what the right answer is… but I think it is going to be a day or two until the answer is 100% clear. Woody and I are doing everything possible, with the help of my dear Fernanda who has been a godsend, to find out what all of our options are. We are still meeting with our transplant doctor tomorrow, Dr. Adams, but we will not be starting transplant on Thursday like we had originally planned. Just goes to show you how tricky this disease is and you really can’t ever prepare for anything. Talk about having the rug pulled out from underneath you. I told you Ronan was a rule breaker…. I really believe he was not meant to follow this protocol…. he is going to make his own.

I was a mess this weekend but tried to go on with some normal things we had planned. On Saturday night, Woody and I went over to Tricia and Max’s house with our friends, Danielle and Jay. We had fun, but I told Trish the next day, you know your in a bad place when not even Danielle’s toxic margaritas can mask your pain. We came home from Tricia’s around 1 a.m. and I tossed and turned the entire night. On Sunday, I had a dinner planned with some of my girlfriends and I refused to cancel. I joined Jen, Stacy, Jocelyn, Fernanda, Gay, Heidi, Bethany, Shelby, and Melissa, for a very special dinner that was supposed to be my “sending off” into isolation, but turned out to be, o.k…..here is the new news and what we are facing…now what the fuck are we supposed to do??  I tried my best to enjoy myself and when you are surround by the most beautiful women in the world, it is impossible to not enjoy yourself. I had to let go just a little bit and I have to trust in this new plan that is going to present itself. I texted my Mr. Sparkly eyes today and told him that decisions are begin made for us and we just have to trust. He believes this too, there is something bigger than us guiding us in the direction we need to go. I truly believe this with all of my heart.

What I am asking from all of you is just your continued prayers and love and your belief that we will make the right decision for our baby boy. Whatever path we choose, or whatever path chooses us, there is no looking back. We refuse to second guess anything we have done or are going to do. To live like that is foolish and we are very aware of that.

Hopefully by tomorrow, we will have a clearer vision of what we are doing as we need to get Ronan started on his next treatment as soon as possible. As far as Ronan goes, he could not be happier. He has been loving being at home with his brothers and playing outside. He looks amazing and his spirits could not be better. I am reminded everyday by looking at him what a gift he is as well as Liam, Quinn, and Woody. I am such a blessed mama and wife.

Please, no tears for us yet. Trust me, I’ve done enough crying the past few days for each and every one of you. This is a blessing in disguise. It HAS to be.

On to the next step…. Transplant here we come!

Wasn’t a lifetime ago that I was sitting in the cafeteria with Auntie Karen, E.J. Tricia, Max and Woody as we went over all the options for Ronan? Wasn’t it a lifetime ago that I had to leave the table because I was hyperventilating and Tricia followed me and I told her there was no way I could do this?? How could it be possible that so much could change in the blink of an eye, and here we sit 5 months later with everything on paper, telling us the results from Ronan’s scans.

Bone Scan- No definite focal abnormality

Bone Marrow– No definite focal abnormality

PET-CTMIBG– Still has a small amount of activity in his knees, pelvic bones, shoulders, and spine but it has greatly diminished.

MRI– No abnormality in the brain.

24 hour urine test- negative for Neuroblastoma

This is good news. This is a huge victory for Ronan. But I still cried. I cried because I am his mother and I just wanted everything to be gone already. The doctors did not expect Ronan’s results to be any better than this, due to how tough this cancer is. That is why we will do the Stem Cell Transplant, Radiation, and Antibodies. Yesterday was a hard day though. I called Fernanda first… because it was her words I needed to hear. She let me cry and then told me all of the reasons why this is happening, how fucked up it is, but how this is Ronan’s journey, and I cannot compare it to anybody else’s because he is so different. She told me how lucky we are that he is responding so well, as unfortunately, some children do not respond at all. He is on his own path and is going to do this his own way. She is so right. I felt better after talking to her and made a couple other phone calls. I was running late to my hair appointment and was a mess by the time I got there. My sweet hair girl, Katrina (the one who shaved Ro’s hair for me) knew something was wrong as soon as she saw me even though I told her I was fine. 10 minutes later I was bawling in her chair as she wrapped her arms around me and held me. I told her about the scan results and what we had coming up. She is the best and is so good at letting me vent. Thanks, K<3 Love you.

Don’t even get me started on the fucking Audiology test yesterday. We had to finish it up and when we were done, the asshole Doctor looked at me and started saying things like, “Definite hearing loss, it’s permanent and will never come back. You may want to consider what kind of quality of life you want for him.” I wanted to reach across the table and strangle the mother fucker. The way he delivered his “news” was harsh, cruel, and just plain rude. I felt like I was sitting back in Dr. Robinson’s office for the first time having Ronan’s eye looked at when I ended up walking out of the appointment. I tried to argue with him, but his results are his results, he said.  WTF ever. I will not be going back to see him again. We know Ronan is going to have high pitched hearing loss, and big deal, we can deal with that. This guy made it sound like Ronan’s life was now going to be completely ruined. This is not the way you present your findings to a mother who’s child has cancer. We’ve got enough on our plate as it is and this is the last thing I’m concerned about right now. I’m made my complaint and will continue to do so against this asshole. If you are going to be so cold and ruthless, you should not be working with children.

Ronan has been in a happy mood since we got home yesterday. This will be his last weekend here for awhile so we are going to soak it up. He has no idea yet what is coming up next. How do you explain to a 3 year old that they will be going into isolation for god knows how long?? You don’t. I will tell him on Wednesday night, as little as possible and try to explain it in the most kid friendly way I can. I have a lot to get done before Thursday and thankfully my therapist squeezed me in on Tuesday. I’ve got to get myself ready as well as Ronan. We will meet with Dr. Adams on Tuesday to go over everything. I am excited. Excited that we are moving forward and that Ronan is doing so well. I am excited to get this Stem Cell Transplant done and give my baby a whole new immune system free of this evil cancer. He is going to have another birthday to celebrate once he gets his immune system. He will be the boy  with the most birthdays ever;)

This weekend we have the twins’ basketball game, my mom and I are having lunch with my dear friend, Lisa, Woody and I are going to Tricia and Max’s tonight, and tomorrow night all of my sweet girlfriends are kidnapping me for a dinner out send off. So excited to see them all!!!! It is going to be a great weekend and I am going to enjoy every second of it.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! Thanks for checking in and spreading the word about our little Rockstar!

xoxo

GRRRR… New York Miss Macy! Mama Bear is in full effect. LMAO!!!!!! I totally think this will keep me warm in the hospital!! Love you my crazy friend!!

Bone scans results…. kind of.

We started off this morning with Ronan’s Audiology test. It went alright… but we were not able to complete the test due to Ronan’s lack of cooperation. He was able to get through some of it in which the Doctor played high frequency sounds and Ronan would put a dinosaur into a bucket when he heard the sound. He did pretty well, but the Doctor is suspecting Ronan has a bit of high-pitched hearing loss. He is not confirming anything as of now. We are supposed to go back Friday to see if we can finish up the test. I refuse to believe Ronan has hearing loss… I don’t know why because it is very common side effect after going through so much chemo. Actually, I do know why. It’s because Ronan is different and is going to overcome any obstacle that comes his way. So what if he didn’t put the dinosaur in the bucket the second the high-pitched sound came on. He’s tired, mad, and sick of people testing, poking, and prodding at him. I wouldn’t corporate either.

After the Audiology test, we headed over to check in for Ronan’s scans. While waiting, I noticed a little girl who looked familiar to me in the waiting room. I have heard about her since Ronan was diagnosed, but have never met her. I’ve been on her website though so I knew the little girl was Ava. I went up to her mom, Chrisie, and asked if she was Ava’s mom and she said she was. I introduced myself and she knew who I was because I had emailed her awhile back. I thanked her for helping me out with my questions and we were able to update each other on both of our kids. I met Ava’s Grandmother and her Dad as well. They look like the nicest family in the world. What Ava is going through is beyond heartbreaking but she seems like a very strong little girl. All of Ava’s treatments are done at Sloan Kettering, even though they live here. Ava was here for scans today so please keep her in your prayers as well. Here is her website if you would like to visit it: www.caringbridge.org/visit/avaholder. Ava’s Neuroblastoma has relapsed twice, but she is still here and still fighting hard. I will scream and very loud, “FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!!” for Ava. Makes me so angry. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her entire family while they were waiting for Ava to come out of Anesthesia. I am so happy I had the pleasure of meeting them today. What are the odds really? They are never at PCH and just happened to be on the same day I was there with Ro. It was meant to be. I feel so blessed to have finally met them and sweet little Ava. She is a little spitfire just like Ro 🙂

As we waited for Dr. Maze to come and get us for Ronan’s Anesthesia, he fell asleep in my arms. I sat and watched him sleep so peacefully. I took that time to think about what a long way he has come since first being diagnosed. I found myself in a comfortable state of mind full of peace and quiet. I sat with him in the dark and prayed for his scans to come back with the results we are hoping to see. I felt a wave of warmth in my heart wash over me because I felt, once again, that Ronan is going to be o.k. He is going to beat this and go on to live a normal, happy, long life.

Dr. Maze arrived and we were taken back to the room where they were getting ready to do the bone marrow procedure. He let me hold Ronan as he always does while he gave him the Propofol to go to sleep. I held him and watched him get sleepy and listened to him cry out, “Mama, mama, mama,” for me. He doesn’t like the way the sleepy medicine makes him feel. I told him I loved him and would see him soon and set him down on the bed. I gathered up my things, took one look back at my baby, and Dr. Maze yelled at me to go and eat something. I had to laugh to myself because at the beginning of all of this, Dr. Maze was so proper and reassuring. Now he knows me so well and knows that  I am so used to all of this that he is comfortable barking orders at me to eat something. Gave me just the chuckle I needed to get out of there without even tearing up like I normally do.  Woody met me at the cafeteria and I managed to eat a little salad, but pretty much just sucked down a giant Coke instead. An appetite is something that I am still having a hard time with, especially on scan days.

After Woody left, I sat in the waiting room and waited for Dr. Maze to come and get me. I tore through the piles of bills that I needed to get paid and the next thing I knew, it was time to get Ro. He woke up groggy and grumpy like he always does. Dr. Maze went back and looked at the scans for me and came back telling me as much as he could. Our Doctor, Dr. Eshun, is in New York City and will not be back to read the results for us until next week. Dr. Wood, who has followed Ronan since the beginning is here and I sent Dr. Maze a text asking him to please have Dr. Wood call us to go over the scans because next week is way too long to wait. I got a phone call from “A” tonight instead. It was hard for me to talk to her, as I had Ronan screaming in the background and had to run outside to even hear her talk. She said she could go over the results from the bone marrow and bone scan for me in a very limited way. As she put it, in her medical terms…. she told me that there was “No focal discreet abnormalities in the bones anymore.” Um… what?? She may as well have been speaking another language. I couldn’t think of what questions to ask, as I was distracted by Ronan and my nerves were a wreck. I said to her, “I have no idea what that means, but is that a good thing?” She said indeed it was a very good thing and that is just what they would want to see. She told me Dr. Wood would call us tomorrow or Friday to go over what exactly this means and to discuss things further in detail after they do the MRI, CT, Pet Scan tomorrow. Those scans will tell us in more detail what is going on now. All I know is “A” was not alarmed about anything and that alone will help me to sleep a little bit better tonight. I will let you all know the “formal” results when we get them, but as of now, there is nothing to be alarmed about. The treatment we are doing is working and that in itself is a huge victory in its own right.

We are all exhausted tonight and Ronan has another big day of scans tomorrow so I am going to try to get some sleep. Please continue to send your strength and love his way. His diagnoses has been beyond devastating to us, but the way he continues to beat all of the odds is beyond inspiring. He fills me with such hope and love every second of the day and it is the love that I have for him that will get all of us through this.

G’nite and sweetest dreams to all of you.

xoxo

Goodnight moon

Home. After over a month of being in and out of hospitals, between Sloan and PCH… we are home again. So sweet. Yesterday, Ronan’s ANC was only at 80… today it jumped up to 240! That is very high for just one day. Ronan’s little body is fighting so hard to come back after being beaten down so badly. After Arica, our amazing friend/nurse, told us the great news about Ronan’s ANC.. she still wasn’t sure if we could go home or not. She said she didn’t want to get our hopes up because we were scheduled for scans as an inpatient for tomorrow, so that may mean they may just make us stay the night again. My sweet friend, Fernanda, came to sit with Ronan so I could run home and shower. She texted me about a half an hour after I left to tell me the doctor came in and told her that after Ronan received a transfusion of platelets, we could be on our merry way. I was so thrilled to hear this news as I was not expecting it:)

When I returned to PCH, Ronan was sleeping and when I walked into his room I had to laugh at the snow cone tent/stand that Fernanda bought for Ronan, along with his very own snow cone maker so they could sell snow cones to the nurses. Can you even stand the cuteness of this right now?? I can’t. It was the most adorable thing ever. What an amazing heart and imagination she has. Arica was telling me that when they were making snow cones, all of the nurses were like, “What is that all that noise?” Arica said she was laughing and told them, “Oh, don’t worry.. it’s just Ro making snow cones with his snow cone machine.” Only Ronan with the help of Fernanda would pull something off like that while stuck in the hospital. The thought of the two of them doing this together makes me so happy. Thanks, Fernanda, for everything. For all your help with Ronan these past couple of weeks and hauling all of our things to my car for me today. I don’t know how I would have managed without you, my dear:)

As we were getting ready to leave PCH, we were waiting for one of our doctors, “A” to come and talk to us about the weeks upcoming events. She arrived from the clinic all flustered, panicked and excited. She was jumping up and down about Ronan’s ANC and said how amazing he was that it spiked so high in one night. Talk about being passionate about her job. I love seeing that in someone who is caring for my child. A lack of passion in life is fatal. I have always felt this way and seeing “A” as often as we do, she is one of the most passionate people I have ever come across. Makes me love her even more. She told us that one of the scans Ronan was supposed to have this week, the MIBG scan had to be delayed due to the iodine not being able to get here from Canada due to the big storm. I told her not a big deal at all, as I know the situation is not in her hands. She was also trying to figure out a way to squeeze in one of Ronan’s bone scans tomorrow with all of his other scans, so we could limit the amount of times that he has to be put under anesthesia in the next two weeks. The only problem was Dr. Maze had a certain time blocked out for Ronan’s anesthesia, and throwing another scan in cut into something else he had scheduled. His office didn’t think he would be able to do it so they were going to have to get somebody else.  Just as she was telling me this, she looked down at her phone and started jumping up and down saying, “Yes, yes, yes! Thank you!!!” She then told me, “Nevermind, Aubrey moved whatever he had and will be there to do all of the scans.” She was smiling and saying how she was going to have to bake him cookies now for this one. What a good friend and a good man he is to us. He knows how important it is to us to have him do Ronan’s anesthesia. Thank you, Aubrey…I have decided that you are first a good man, and than a good doctor 😉

Ronan had his EKG and Echo Heart scan done today just to make sure everything is working properly. He was of course a great little trooper about having yet another thing done to him. I did have to bribe him into leaving his room to go for these scans by letting him take the 5 pounds of candy that Macy sent him from New York. Thanks Mace! Nothing like a little candy straight from Dylan’s Candy Shop to get the morning started! You spoil my child rotten and he loves you all the more for it! I love you for making me laugh the entire day with your ridiculously funny 4 minute long voicemail. You have no idea how much I needed that one today:)

Home today has been heaven on earth. To have all of my boys’ under the same roof is a dream come true. I did spend most of the night unpacking our 20 bags and doing laundry. I couldn’t stand the thought of having to wake up to them in the morning and then having to come home from a long day at the hospital tomorrow to them staring me in the face. The boys helped as much as they could and Woody cooked dinner. It was a nice, normal, happy night. It feels really good to all be together again.

Ronan knows the drill for tomorrow. I have been preparing him for it all day as far as having to get up early to go back to the hospital so Dr. Maze can give him his sleepy medicine. I find if I prepare him for things, he is less likely to throw a fit. He told me tonight it’s o.k. to go back to the hospital, as long as he doesn’t have to be “hooked up” as he calls it, to his pole. I told him he would not have to be hooked up, he was just going to get his sleepy medicine for pictures and we would go home after. He is being very cooperative with all that is being thrown his way. I am so lucky to have such an amazing little boy. He never ceases to amaze me.

Tomorrow is a big day for Ro. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He will have his audiology test first thing, his bone marrow scan, and then his bone scan. We know from the scans in New York, that the Neuroblastoma was not detected in his bone marrow, but we will have them rechecked at PCH and have the bone test done as well. When Ronan was first diagnosed, he had Neuroblastoma in everyone of his bones and 5-10% in his bone marrow. We know that it is now gone from his marrow, but his actual bones may be a different story. We will hope and pray that it has drastically decreased. It cannot be any other way.

Tonight, I am happy to sleep in my own bed with my little bug curled up beside me. I was able to tuck in Liam and Quinn which means the world to me now. Who would have ever thought something so little would mean so much in the grand scheme of things. Tucking in my little boys’ is the happiest place on earth for me. I am very thankful for the nights that I am able to do this and will cherish them for the rest of my life.

G’nite to all of you beautiful souls out there. Thank you for all the love, thoughts, and peace you are sending our way. Nobody said this was going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it. The love that surrounds our family is something we are so thankful for. Sweetest dreams to you all.

xoxo

I never understood before
I never knew what love was for
My heart was broke, my head was sore
What a feeling

Tied up in ancient history
I didnt believe in destiny
I look up you’re standing next to me
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, i don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine
And it’s brighter than sunshine

I never saw it happening
I’d given up and given in
I just couldn’t take the hurt again
What a feeling

I didn’t have the strength to fight
Suddenly you seemed so right
Me and you
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It’s brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine

It’s brighter than the sun
It’s brighter than the sun
It’s brighter than the sun, sun, shine.

Love will remain a mystery
But give me your hand and you will see
Your heart is keeping time with me

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It’s brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine

Let the hiding begin….

Hello. Hope you all are well. I have officially gone into hiding. So much so, that my 3 besties had to bust into my house on Sunday morning to make sure I was o.k. I felt like I was on that show, “Intervention.” I don’t mean to shut everyone out; but it’s what I do best. Being home has been great and I have been loving spending time with Liam and Quinny. I could easily stay in my house and never leave again because when I do go out, the anxiety is still too much. Woody practically kicked me out of the house last night and made me go to a movie. I picked up Linds (my go to last minute girl… thanks mama) and we went to see “Black Swan.” Good movie, but I should have picked something a little less dark. After I dropped off Linds, I was driving home and the tears started up and I couldn’t get them to stop. I had to pull over because I couldn’t even focus on my drive. I’m not going to tell you what thoughts were consuming me…. but I’m sure you can guess. I still don’t think this is real. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that my perfect little boy is so ill. It seems like yesterday that he had a head full of hair, and was running around always looking for trouble. I can’t tell you how much I miss that little boy. The little boy that I could never get mad at because one look at those bright blue eyes and that mischievous smile and I was done. I always ended up laughing at whatever naughty thing he did. Well, most of the time:) Now, I get to watch as he is too weak to walk and wants to me to carry him all of the time. Now I get to lay next to him and know that every breath he takes is a blessing and every kiss he gives me is a dream come true. Every tear that falls down my face is for him and I think about what sadness was like before all of this. Before all of this, sadness should have not existed in my world because I absolutely had nothing to be sad about. Everyday is a struggle for our family; nothing is easy anymore. I am doing what I can do to push through the motions, I am doing what I can do to survive. I am still numb to everything around me, except for pain. I feel that every second of the day.

We got a call from Radiology today and we have all of Ronan’s scans set up. February 2nd, Ronan will go under Anesthesia for his Bone scan. February 3rd, he will go under Anesthesia again for his MIBG, Pet scan, CT scan, and MRI. These two days are going to be very telling for us. After these scans, we will know exactly where the cancer is left in Ronan’s body and from here we will find out when we start the stem cell transplant. We already know that it is clear from his bone marrow; but the MIBG scan will be the most telling of them all. A MIBG (iodine meta-iodobenzylguanidine) scan is a test used to find tumors of a specific origin. This scan will light up Ronan’s whole body to show us where the cancer is still active. Of course we will be praying that it has diminished immensely. Ronan has come too far and worked too hard for it not to.

So, this is my update for today. Tricia was officially concerned because I have gone off the radar; so here you go Tricia Boo. I’m here, or I’m here as much as I can possibly be. I haven’t been talking to anyone so I hope none of you are offended. I miss you all but just need some time to get back in a routine at home. I miss my New York Miss Macy dearly. I will think about the time I had with her and Tricia in New York when I need to smile. The time spent with those two and Ronan meant the world to me. It felt so good just to be and laugh, even though we were in a hospital with my baby who has cancer. True friends that can make you smile and laugh during the hardest times in your life, are the truest of the true. I love you both so much.