Inferno Fuckwad Bob

Ro baby. So, remember how I told you I was going to stop cold turkey, taking my Zoloft…. mainly because everyone told me not to. That I needed to slowly come off from it. I didn’t listen. I stopped taking it over two weeks ago. I did it, all by myself and I’m still here. I didn’t have any side effects. I just feel better. One less medication that I am on. I do not want to live my life with the help of Zoloft. Not that there is anything wrong with it. I just want to find another way to get through this pain and I don’t want any help from a pill. I tried this last night with the Ristoral I am taking to help me sleep. I tried not to take it. It was awful. I tossed and turned for a few hours, while lying next to your Daddy. I dozed off, here and there but the screaming in my head was too much to take. The dreams were too mean and vivid. I got up, around 12:30, and paced the house; looking for you. I took 2 of my sleepy meds and ate a bowl of cereal. I had not eaten all day long. I crawled up into Liam’s top bunk bed and fell asleep until 7 a.m. I woke up groggy, and felt hung over. Your Daddy looked worried as he could see the glazed over look in my eyes. He decided to take Liam and Quinn to school for me. It was a good thing, because I mentally was a wreck today. I don’t remember what happened next, but before I knew it, I was laying my head on the kitchen table, sobbing into your blanket, with your Urn in front of me. I went and grabbed the locket that Macy got me, that does not have a picture of you in it yet. I got out the scissors and cut open the plastic holder that keeps your ashes sealed. I found some glue, rubbed it on the inside of the locket, took my hands and picked up some of your ashes. I felt them for the first time. I kissed them and I took a little of them and sprinkled them to the inside of the locket filled with glue. Fernanda called. I ignored her phone call. I sat and sobbed with you instead. She called, again, about 20 minutes later. I picked up this time. “What are you doing?” she said. I couldn’t talk, so I didn’t say anything; I just sat and cried into the phone. “Where are you?!” she asked in her beautiful English, Spanish, and Italian accent. “Home,” I said. She said,”I’ll be there in 2 minutes.” And she was. She pulled up and I opened up the door, my face black from my mascara. I really need to freaking invest in some waterproof mascara at this point in my life. She grabbed me and let me cry all over her all white blouse. My angel.

We sat at the table for a bit. I told her what I had just done with some of your ashes. I said to her, what if these had been your beautiful blue eyes. She told me they were not. Your eyes, left long before you were cremated. I agree. She put her head down on the table with me and we sat and cried and talked. I told her I needed to get coffee if I was going to function at all today. We ran to Safeway and sat on the couch at the Starbucks. A woman came and sat down next to us. She overheard some of our conversation. We started talking to her. Turns out, she had a 2-year-old who had died, and she had lost a baby from a miscarriage as well. She told me how lucky I was to have a friend, like Fernanda… as she had nobody. All I wanted to do was take this woman home and love her. She does not have a Liam and Quinn to keep her going. She does not have a reason to get up in the morning. But she has found one…. whatever it may be. That is true strength. I told her about your website, and I gave her one of the MISS Foundation cards. I told her about them. She said she didn’t even know something like that existed. I told her to call them. I hope she will. I wish I could have done more for this woman today; but I did all I could do.

The rest of the day was a blur. Quinn went to Dr. Beth. He is so needing her now. As well as your brothers are doing in school…. which from what I can tell, they are excelling….. I know this outside help is so important for them now. I know in the long run, it will make a difference. We are choosing to face this head on, not bury it down in the ground. Their therapy is a big part of this so I plan on continuing it for as long as we need…. even if it is for the rest of their lives. I hope it won’t be, as I want them to be able to go on and live normal, happy lives. But to get them to that point, this is so necessary.

I went to see Dr. Joanne. It was a really long, intense session. I ended up being able to write out that grief worksheet before I saw her. I wrote it out this morning, in a really random, public place. I have struggled with the finding the words to fill it out all week. I have carried that worksheet all over with me, and when I sat with it today, the words to the questions just came pouring out. It took me only a few minutes to answer the 5 or 6 questions. One of the things I had to answer was, if I had to Name my grief; him/her, I’d call him/her…… ??? What???? I had to come up with a name for my grief. The name, Inferno Fuckwad Bob, just flew out of my head. That is what I wrote. I named my grief, INFERNO FUCKWAD BOB. I have no idea where in the world this name came from, but it is perfect. Dr. J sat with my sheet of paper and asked if I thought I could read it out loud to her. I told her No. She asked if she could read it out loud. I said yes. So she did. I think I cried while she was reading my words. I think I bawled pretty much the entire time I sat and talked with her today. When she got to the name of your grief part, hearing her say that out loud, made me laugh. She giggled a bit too, and told me she had heard some interesting names for Grief in her time, but this may have been the most interesting. It was at that point, that I knew that there was no other name in the world for my pain, my hurt, my grief. Inferno Fuckwad Bob, it is. I hope he is not always so present in my life, but for now he is; and I cannot ignore him.

After our session, I came home, threw on my hiking clothes and drove to The Inferno. I ran my butt off up the mountain. I saw Mountain Mike again, which was strange because I was there much later in the day than I usually am. He was coming down as I was running up. I took out my headphones to say Hello. We chatted for a minute, then he said for me to keep going as he didn’t want to keep me. As I got to the top of the mountain, I took my time to talk to you. I didn’t see the Eagles today, but that was o.k. I did some stretching and breathing. I put my headphones on full blast and got ready to run as fast as I could down the mountain. Just as I was getting ready to run, I got this text from Dr. Joanne.

Goosebumps ran down my spine. I had gone into the bathroom, after I left her office. I just needed to wipe down my face and dry my eyes. I was in the bathroom for maybe 30 seconds. I am always intentionally leaving your bracelets places…. on my hikes, random restaurants, grocery stores, etc….. It never even crossed my mind to leave one in the bathroom of her office building today. But she found one, in the sink. I asked her if it was the naughty or nice version. It was the naughty. I thought I was totally out of all of those, but apparently one found it’s way to Dr. Joanne. So random. So something you would do. I have hesitated about giving her one…. just not wanting to overstep my boundaries as I know not everyone is comfortable with the F word. I guess you had other ideas and know she is deserving of wearing it. Because she is a badass:) I am so glad, baby. I thought so too, but you made it happen. Thank you for that and for making me smile so big after seeing that text from Dr. J.

As soon as I turned my headphones up as loud as they would go, and starting running as fast as my legs could possibly carry me, without falling on my face, another little thing happened. I have decided one of the ways you are communicating with me, is through music. I had my iPod blaring, and you had decided what my playlist was going to be. From the time I started running, until I stopped at my car, these are the songs that came on, in this order. Pearl Jam, Given to Fly. Coldplay, Fix You. Band of Horses, No One’s Gonna Love You, and it ended with Katy Perry, Firework. I mean really, Ro. That was so sweet of you. It made me smile, cry, smile, laugh and blow kisses up into the sky. I love you so much, baby. I miss you so much.

The rest of the evening was spent at home with your brothers, Daddy, Danielle and Dave stopped by with their new puppy; Bash. We sat outside and played with him. Such a sweet, simple night. I often feel you around when Danielle is with me. She is one of the people in my life that makes me feel peaceful. I needed that tonight. Thanks, D. Love you.

Alright, my “not spicy, little monkey boy. I’m going to try to get some sleep. Really want to do boot camp in the a.m. but have not been succeeding in waking up for my 5 a.m. booty, boot camp call. Maybe tomorrow. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe. G’night my love.

xoxo

Boot camp baby steps

Ronan. 5 a.m. The alarm on my phone goes off. I grab it, although I have only fallen asleep a few hours ago. I look at my phone as it sings, “Fix You,” by Coldplay. It speaks to me. The words on the screen flash, “Please get up. Ronan would want you to.” I stumble out of bed, throw on my workout clothes, brush my teeth and run out the door. It is still dark outside as I drive down the familiar route to my destination. I think back to the last time I had been there. You were sick. I was so beaten down, out of shape and I remember feeling for the first time in my life, that the physical exercise that I was trying to do,was just too much. More mentally than physically. I pulled into the parking lot of Boot Camp today just as the sun was starting to rise. I carried my yoga mat and weights to the oh so familiar place. My heaven. There stood Tammy, just like always. I set down my things as she greeted me with a smile and a much overdue, long hug. I don’t remember the words that were exchanged, as it doesn’t matter. Words were not even needed, as it just felt right. I took off for our warm up laps and my feet felt light as feathers beneath me. I spent the next 45 minutes drenched in sweat and determination. At one point, we were all in our groups doing something on our mats. I cannot even remember what exercise it was…. the plank maybe. We were all yelling out our standard, “One havalina, two havilana, three havalina……. something Tammy makes us scream out during exercises…. Instead of havalina, I said Ronan instead. “One, Ronan, Two, Ronan, Three, Ronan……….. I pushed myself to the point of almost throwing up. I pushed myself and I didn’t care as the pain didn’t matter. All that mattered is that I there, and was doing the very best I could do with you pushing me to work harder. Boot Camp should be called Soak Camp because you leave there totally drenched. The combo of hard work and heat was enough to make anyone pass out. It felt so good to be there today. I am so sore already.

As I was leaving and telling Tammy thank you, she cornered me and told me she wanted me to commit to coming to her boot camp tomorrow too. I told her about my sleep and how messed up it is but she didn’t seem to care. She made me promise, if I’m up, I’ll be there. She pushes me and that is exactly what I need now. I’ll be there. If I want to start trying to heal a bit from the loss of you, Ro. I have to start doing some healthy things that will open me up. Living the life I am living has been awful as it is not a life at all. Baby step 1) Committing to Boot Camp. That is all I can commit to as of now. But it least it is a start. And it is such a huge release to me as I tend to keep everything inside. Getting it out while sweating my butt off, in nature, is so therapeutic. And Tammy is so gifted with her ability to motivate everyone, no matter what their situation is. She has such a feisty, pure, sassy soul that I adore. Even when she is yelling at us, I catch myself smiling.

After Boot Camp ended, I drove home and hopped in the shower. I got ready for the day, packed lunches, got the boys up, showered, dressed, and fed them breakfast. We were out the door right on time. Liam was so excited, Quinn was so nervous. I dropped Quinn off first, kissed him goodbye, told him I loved him and would see him at 3:15. I walked Liam down to his class, and he practically skipped into his classroom without even a kiss goodbye. I grabbed him, told him I loved him, and kissed him on the cheek.

I walked out of that school today, a wreck. I talked to you a lot, Ro. I looked for you in the backseat of my car. You weren’t there. I’m sorry. I drove home in a blur of tears again. I looked at my “To Do,” list and starting checking off boxes. I had the entire thing done in 2 hours. I ran some errands, met Woody and Uncle Jay for lunch. Jay was there before your Daddy. I sat across from him and just started bawling. He held my hand and listened to me blab about how my life has no meaning anymore. Well, at least from 9-3. How I had for the past 8 years, always been taking care of my babies, and now my big babies are off at school and my little baby is dead. I don’t know what to do with myself as I am not used to all of this freedom. I don’t like it. It should be illegal. But there is nothing I can do about it now…. when my plan comes to place it is going to be because it is right, not rushed. So for the time being….. I’m in limbo…. totally lost….. feel like a total loser…… feel scared….sad…. and empty. I came home a couple of times during the day and just held your ashes in your bedroom and cried on the floor for you. I yelled for you a lot in this house today. At one point, I almost threw up all over the laundry room.

My life is meaningless without you. Especially now that your brothers are gone for 6 hours out of the day. I know I want to start helping others….. I just don’t know if I am mentally stable enough to do that yet. It has only been 3 months. 3 months in 5 and a half hours. 3:30 a.m. will be here soon. I cannot believe I’ve lived 3 months without you already Ronan. I miss you so much. We all do.

I picked up the twins from school. I watched all the other mom’s, holding the hands of their 3.5/4-year-old siblings. O.k. I’m usually not like this, but it ripped my heart out. I wanted so badly to be holding you hand. Or fighting you to make you hold my hand because you always would refuse to and would run ahead of me instead. Baby Danger we used to call you. I sat and waited outside of Quinn’s class, sweating like a pig. Seriously, this heat has got to go. I smiled to a few people, but mostly just put my head down to avoid eye contact. There was no way I was capable of holding a conversation today. Quinn bounced out of the classroom, so excited to see me. I asked his teacher how he did, and she said she was the luckiest teacher in the world to have him as her student. Maybe she says this about every kid, but it was still nice to hear. Quinn is a good boy. I know he is a teacher’s dream student. Same with Liam. They are such good boys and I am so thankful for that.

Liam and Quinn were both so excited about their day at school. They gave it 5 out of 5 stars and said they loved it. That’s one less thing for me to have to worry about tonight. I am so happy they loved it so much. It means everything to me that they do well in school and are well rounded, good, kids…. especially considering everything we have just been though. That says a lot about them. I really couldn’t ask for better boys.

We returned home and I got Quinn ready to go and talk to Dr. Beth. He was nervous, but I explained everything to him as detailed as I possibly could. Dr. Beth greeted us in her waiting area and we just kind of got to know each other out there. We all 3 stayed out in the waiting area for a good 25 minutes. She then had Quinn come into her play office and I sat outside the window in a comfy oversized chair. I could hear Quinn in there giggling, as always. I waited patiently for him to finish up as I was anxious to see what they had done. When the hour was up, Quinn came out of the room and gave me the biggest hug. He then wanted to show me what they had done. I went in to the room that they had been in and sat down in the little chair in front of the whiteboard. Quinn had written out names of our family members: Mom, Dad, Liam, Quinn, Ronan. Dr. Beth said she and Quinn talked about how even though Ronan wasn’t here, he would always be in our hearts; forever. Quinn also had Luke’s name written down. Dr. Beth said Quinn told her all about Luke and how he came to the Ryan House to lay with Ronan and how much time he spent with him. Dr. Beth was very impressed with Luke and said he must have a very big heart. I told her that he has become a big part of our family and that he and Ronan had a very strong bond. I thought it was sweet that Quinn brought it up. It means so much to him.

We left there saying goodbye and Dr. Beth said she would talk to me about Quinn more tomorrow. Liam’s appointment is tomorrow at 5. I’m anxious to see how he takes to it. Quinn did quite well and said he wants to go back on Monday. Music to my ears! He needs this so badly and the fact that he has already taken to it lifts a little weight off of my shoulders. I spent the rest of the night telling the boys how proud I was of them for their great day at school, how much I loved and missed them, and how I had a good day too. Although, my day could not have been more painful, I could not tell them that. I knew it was going to be hard…. but today was ridiculous. I am surprised I survived. I usually get so tired during the days that I do boot camp, but my body does not seem to do tired anymore. It’s like I am running on electricity 24 hours a day. Adrenaline, maybe? Whatever it is, it’s not fun. I would love to be so exhausted that I have no choice but to fall asleep in a REM sleep for a good 6 hours. I wonder if that day will ever come again. I wonder if any of this will get any easier. I cannot take another day like today, but I suspect it will not be my last.

Ronan. Where are you?? I wish I could see you. I felt you at boot camp this morning. You make me go faster and work harder. I love you for that. You know when I need that push to get me going. Thanks for making me get up out of bed this morning. I love you to the moon and back baby. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

P.S. Our good friends, Brandon and Janette welcomed a new baby boy into their lives today. They named him Cooper Ronan. I cried looking at his sweet picture. He is perfect. Congrats Bunger Family!!

Learning how to live, half alive

Ronan. My heart is still heavy. My mind is still a mess. I didn’t cry today though. I have no doubt that my pillow will be soaked tonight when all is quiet and the memories of you trickle in. Night time is hard. I fall asleep and wish for you to wake me up with one of your famous, “Good morning, Mom!” You were always so excited for our days. Back when you were healthy I would pretend I was still asleep just so I could listen to you run to my room after you had woken up to give me a kiss and tell me good morning. It was one of my favorite things in the world. You would never want to get in bed with me and cuddle; instead you would demand that I get up to make your breakfast and wake up your brothers for school. I was always happy to do this for you. Everyday with you was the best day of my life. I can’t believe I will never have that again. I would give anything for you, Ronan. I remember how when I would take you out, how many people would stop me to tell me you were the most beautiful boy they had ever seen. I used to joke with Tricia that I felt like I was with a celebrity when I was with you. We called you our mini Brad Pitt baby. You had an impact on everyone even before you were sick just because of the beauty that people saw from the outside. They didn’t even know the beauty you possessed on the inside. I still can’t believe you aren’t mine anymore. I still don’t understand why you had to leave. I asked Dr. Maze if he thought that you heard me as I was talking to you before you went… those last few minutes when I told you it was time to go. When I told you to come with me, because we were getting out of this place. He says he thinks you did, as many people say a persons hearing is the last thing to go. I wish I would have said more to you. I wish I could have told you everything I was feeling in my heart but that would have been impossible. I know you know how much I love you. I will never get over the fact that I alone couldn’t save you. I’ll always think that I let you down because I couldn’t fix you. I know there was nothing I could do as your disease was so uncontrollable but that guilt will never go away. I am so, so, sorry Ronan. I would have traded my life a million times over for yours. I think about this every single day.

I’m not sure what just happened…. except for while I am writing to you I am of course listing to Pandora. I have it on the Coldplay playlist. Right when the tears where pouring down my cheeks, this random song came on. One I have never heard before but here are the lyrics…….

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I’m come
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

Whatever. I’m still too mad to think this is anything. But I will say that the piano playing this song was pretty. I miss you so much. I know I tell you this all of the time, but I will miss you for the rest of my life. I worry so much about you. I still cannot believe you are safe and happy without us. How could that be possible? I know I took better care of you then anyone. You deserve to be with me still. Your daddy watches me and the way I sit and am still with my thoughts. He knows I am tortured. I actually said to him that we made a mistake with your treatment. We should have done this, we should have done that, we should have been more aggressive. I know I am wrong about this. Nobody knew what was to come. Your daddy talked to all the best doctors and they all agreed with what we were doing. I told your daddy we should have had you scanned after every round of chemo. Nobody would have done this for us. But this is the only way we would have known that everything was spreading so rapidly. The day of your last scans, at Sloan…. Dr. Kushner’s face will haunt me for the rest of my life. He knew you were going to die. He couldn’t even look at me, Ro. Walking out of Sloan, they all knew you were going to die. But I wish they could have told me, instead of avoiding me and my tears. I don’t think badly of Dr. Kushner at all. If I saw him today, I would give him a great big hug and thank him for all he is doing to try to figure out this disease. I guess I’m just having a hard time because I feel like I didn’t get closure with him. I feel like he owed you more than the send off he gave us. But I also get that he is a man. A brilliant man and an amazing doctor. And I am sure he feels like he failed us and that is a hard pill to swallow. I get all that. But I also get that you deserved more, little man. Because you are going to change the world of this disease and I know someday he will be telling you thank you, Ronan. I will make sure of this. You will not be forgotten by him. And someday, I hope to replace a new image of him in my head from the awful one I am left with. I don’t want to carry that around with me forever.

I drew your name in the sand tonight while I was on my run. I went for a run on the beach in the dark. It is the only way I like to run now. In the dark, alone, where I don’t have to look at anyone in the eyes and I don’t have to see all the happiness surrounding me. All of that stings so badly. I don’t know if that pain will ever go away. We used to be that family. The perfect family that had it all. We had it all because of you. Now we are all so wounded, so empty. Although I did hear your brothers laughing today. I played with them all morning. I tried to stay focused on them, but my mind kept wandering back to how different everything would be about our day if you had been with us. Nothing about our day would have been the same; you changed everything.

G’nite my little man. Everyone is asleep now. Quinn is right next to me, all cuddled up with your blanket, GiGi. I’m going to cuddle up to him now. See you in my dreams, baby doll. I love you.

xoxo

No news is good news, yes??

I find it impossible that I am even still standing after today. Let alone, writing this post. I’m not sure how I’m even awake at this point. I didn’t much sleep last night and we woke up early to get Ronan ready for his day. He was mad that I woke him up from his peaceful slumber and even more mad that he had to drink his contrast before we could head to the hospital for his CT scan. I power talked him though it, although he fought me the entire time. Ronan is such a hard headed little boy and after battling with him almost the entire day, I am mentally beat. There was a lot of distracting, playing, bribing, and threatening today to get him through what we had to do. I have am so glad to be in our bed and over with today and am not looking forward to tomorrow at all. Scan days are always brutal and I know 110% that I would have crumbled today had it not been for Fernanda. She was such a big help.

We arrived to the clinic and were told that Ronan needed platelets again because his were still very low despite the platelets he received yesterday. We had plenty of time before our CT scan was scheduled so we went and got his platelets started. While we were getting them, Ronan fell asleep on the little couch next to me. Fernanda and I sat and watched him sleep and quietly talked. We both tried to block out the sounds of the screaming boy next to us who was about Ronan’s age. The poor thing must have screamed bloody murder for a good half an hour. I felt so helpless and so sad for the child and parents. I told Fernanda sometimes watching the parents go through this is almost harder than watching the kids. It is a lose lose situation for everyone involved and never gets any easier to see.

After Ronan was finished with his platelets, we headed down to get his CT scan done. I must have been told by 5 different people that he needed to be ready for anesthesia, even though I told everyone that he didn’t need it today. We got down to the CT room and sure enough the nurse came up to me and on her piece of paper says the word, Anesthesia, in big red letters. As soon as I saw this I told her that Ronan would not need anesthesia today. She looked at me like I had three heads and said that she wasn’t told this but that we could try it without, first. We went back to the room and I put Ronan on the table as he clutched onto his Star Wars guys. I had prepped him all morning for how he had to hold still and how it was going to be a piece of cake, just like radiation. He understood the drill and was very excited that I was able to stay in the room with him this time, unlike RT where I had to leave him all alone. The whole CT scan took about 10 minutes. He held so still and I acted out a scene from Star Wars for him with his Clone Troopers and told him all about the secret mission they were going on with him. He smiled the entire time and listened with his big eyes looking up at the CT machine. I was so proud of him; once again. He truly amazes me with how brave and strong he is. When we finished, all the techs told them how great of a job he did and he gave them all knuckles as he walked out the door. Such a little Rockstar, my Ronan.

I’m not sure where the rest of the day went. We had to wait around forever to get Ronan’s MIBG injection for tomorrow’s scans. We ran out for a bit and went to Dylan’s Candy Shop which I am totally over at this point. Four trips there, in the past 3 weeks for overpriced candy and you cannot even move in the store due to it being jam packed with people. If I never have to see that place again, I will be so happy. And this coming from me, an avid candy connoisseur, is huge. I’m done with that place. After Dylan’s, Fernanda was about to pass out from being on the “Maya diet,” which consists of not eating, so I took her to 4 carrots to eat. I pretended to eat a half of a sandwich for her, but she busted me and gave me a very stern but loving talking to about my lack of food. Ronan and Fernanda ate which was all that mattered to me. I did take a small Fro Yo to go and ate the whole thing for her. That’s the best I could do today.

I asked a few times if Dr. Kushner would read the results of the CT for me today and I got put off which I kind of expected. Everybody reassured me that if there was something that was not good, he would have come to talk to me. I hope they are not eating their words tomorrow. I’m going with the no news, is good news approach tonight so I can hopefully sleep a little easier.

We got back to the RMH later this afternoon and Fernanda hung out for a while. I practically had to force her out the door and told her to get some rest even though she tried to say she was coming back later this evening. I was not having it as she needs her rest too. My friends, Ed and Diane who are in town with their two little boys came by to see us. We had been looking forward to seeing them all day. They came armed with enough toys for Christmas. Ronan was in heaven not only because of the toys, but even more so because he had two boys to play with. He should have been wiped out from today, but he ran around here and played with those two until 9:45 tonight. It was so good for him and made him so happy. Thank you, Ed and Di. You two and your boys were just what we needed after a long and hard hospital day. I am so blessed to call you my friends.

Alright my dears. This is all I have tonight. I hope you all had a beautiful day full of many blessings. Tomorrow is a huge day for us and I am going to be channeling all of your strength and love. Sweetest dreams to you all.

xoxo