Sad to leave, but have to go

The update is we are coming home tomorrow. I am scrambling, have been scrambling for a couple of days now, mentally, I was not ready to go back to Arizona. I feel like I’ve taken these past couple of days to get my mind wrapped around coming home. I feel like I am ready now. Who am I kidding, I am not ready at all. Everything about this trip has been so positive and I am beyond sad to leave earlier than expected, but we cannot fight the COG on this. The COG is the Children’s Oncology Group and they are who is charge of Ronan being on study. We have to stay on study, we want to stay on study, because we really are hoping that Ronan is going to be chosen for 2 stem cell transplants, instead of one. If we go off of study, we won’t have any chance of getting a second transplant, and after the research we’ve done, we really feel like this will increase his chances of survival. So, in a nutshell, the COG is bigger than the doctors and we just have to follow their rules. Hard for me because I really just want to give them the middle finger. I just want what is best for Ronan, and as I said before, I feel like letting him heal fully here is what he needs. But things change and now we are coming home.

Also, Ronan has developed an infection in his broviac line. He has been spiking fevers the past few days and they thought it was just due to surgery, but they tested his blood and one of the cultures came back positive. This is a minor bump in the road considering all we have been through. It is something that Sloan has under control and has been reassuring me that it is something that is treatable with antibiotics. Well, they started the first dose of antibiotics last night and as I was holding Ronan, I looked down and his entire head was red and he started itching it like crazy and screaming bloody murder. I looked at Mace and Tricia who were both white as a sheet and said, “Call the nurse, he’s having a reaction.” Sure enough, I was told, he had developed what they call “Red Man Syndrome” to the Vancomycin. The nurse came rushing in and told me they would start him on Benadryl to get rid of the reaction. I was pissed. I wanted to know why in the world I wasn’t told that this could possibly happen, and I was informed that it happens to about 60/70 percent of the kids that get this antibiotic. Gee, I wish somebody would have told me this little piece of information, just so I could have been aware of it instead of being scared to death because I did not know what was going on with my child. What if he would have stopped breathing or something?!? We were soon able to get it under control and thank god for Dr. Maze, who I was texting during this entire thing. He took the time to calm me down and explain everything to me. We had a not so good nurse last night who did not seem to know anything and seemed very nervous about all the questions that were flying her way. Other than that, the nurses have been incredible and so has the care. Last night was rough but we got it under control and were able to get Ronan settled down and back to sleep. His fevers have stopped and we will get one dose of his antibiotic tomorrow at 7 a.m. with the Benadryl before, which takes 2 hours. We will hop on our flight after we see Dr. La Quaglia and as soon we land in Phoenix we will have to go right to PCH so we can check in and get Ronan’s second dose of the antibiotic. He has to have it twice a day for about 10 days. All of the doctors here have reassured me that we can still start his chemo, even with the infection, as long as his fever does not come back. I’m even more mad about having to leave here now. How mad is Ronan going to be knowing that we are going home, but don’t really get to go “home” and he has to stay at PCH for about 10 days. It would have been so much easier to stay here. STUPID COG. If you can’t tell I’m a wreck. My anxiety is through the roof and my nerves are shot after these past couple of days.

I sent out an email yesterday to somebody who shall remain nameless, asking if there was any possible way they could fly us privately back home. Part of my panicking was the thought of putting Ronan on a flight. Within the hour, I got an email back, and then a phone call saying, absolutely, they could get us back to Phoenix on their private jet. No worries that is was so last minute, no questions asked, they were just so happy to help. I cannot say thank you enough to you, SB and Mr. B. You have just given us such an amazing gift in helping with keeping Ronan healthy. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and I can’t wait for the day that I can personally thank you with a big hug and one of Ronan’s famous smiles. We are beyond grateful that there are such kind people in the world out there like yourselves. O.K…. SB….. I know you said no more thank you’s so I’ll stop. After one more huge, THANK YOU!!!

Last night was one of the most heart wrenching/fucked up/hilariously funny nights that I have ever had in my LIFE. Tricia and Macy (who now by the way are in LOVE with each other;))stayed at the hospital with me until about 1 a.m. Macy picked up Thai food (which was to die for) and we got some bottles of Sangria to go and smuggled them into Sloan. While Ronan slept, we ate, talked, laughed, cried, and laughed some more. Macy and Tricia got to see what my world is like on a day to day basis. Macy was bawling half of the time which in turn made me cry and our poor sweet roommate…. she had a crisis with a bloody nose, throwing up blood, and she was scared to death. She is the most beautiful 11 year old girl that I have ever met and she is fighting bone cancer. She has had 17 rounds of chemo and surgery on her leg. It was a privilege to share a room with her and her amazing mom. I tried to help with the bloody nose situation, since I have been there many times with Ronan. I went over and I tried to explain it to her and to calm her down but I wanted to just curl up and die. Her mom was on her bed holding her while her little girl sat and told me how tired she is of being sick, how much pain she is in and how scared she is. I started bawling, and when I finally went back to my side of the room, Tricia and Macy were bawling as well. In the 3 days that we spent with this little girl I heard her talk about all the things she appreciates in life and how she is so thankful for her “good days.” She is wise beyond her years and stronger than most adults. One of the most beautiful, inspiring, souls I have ever met with an amazing family who will no doubt, get her through this. Tricia, Macy and I bonded over so many things last night and Macy is now without a doubt, a friend for life.

I got all of our stuff packed up today while Tricia stayed at the hospital with Ronan. I came back to Sloan and Trish ran out to do some things. She is probably in the middle of cleaning our room at the RMH so we can be all ready to go tomorrow. Thank you, TT~ I don’t know what I would do without you. Macy came by to say good-bye to us and left me with a card. After she left, I opened it up and started to cry just from the words on the front of it. I’m an emotional wreak tonight. Ronan is depressed and told me tonight with his lip quivering, that he misses his brothers so much. Tomorrow is going to be awful. All Ro wants to do is to be home with Liam and Quinn but he can’t. I’m not even sure that the boys’ can come to PCH to visit due to it being RSV season. UGH. I don’t even want to think about how much Ronan’s heart is going to break going from one hospital to the next. Poor baby.

Tonight I say good-bye to New York with a heavy heart. I’m scared to go back to reality and back to my real world… I’m scared I’m going to lose the Maya that I have found while being in this city. As crazy as this sounds, this trip was one of the best trips of my life. Knowing that Ronan came here with a big job to do and it was so successful and positive, is maybe why it seems so hard to leave. I’m sure most of this is just my anxiety speaking. It will be wonderful to be home surround by my sweet twins, amazing husband, family and friends. I have missed you all dearly. I’ve just got to figure out how to keep this momentum going that I have found in this city. I will forever be in love with New York, Sloan Kettering, Dr. La Quaglia, Dr. Kusher, and the whole team of Neuroblastoma doctors. I will be back here next year to run the Marathon with Ronan in remission and waiting for me at mile 16. I love you New York! I feel so blessed to have had you heal myself and my baby!!

Goodnight world. Thanks for all of your love and support!!!

xoxo

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

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

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

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

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

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