Ronan. I’m in route back to Phoenix. I spent the afternoon with Dr. Sholler. I came here for a very specific reason. I am leaving here with the answers I wanted. I am leaving here with clearer vision of my plan. I am leaving here feeling strong, motivated, and ready to kick some ass. I have no doubt everything that I am going to do, is going to get done. I know what I am doing is a very big job. But there is no job too big when it comes to saving the lives of these kids who are fighting this awful disease. It’s the freaking least I can do. They are the one’s doing the really, really hard work. The least I can do is make it easier for them and a little less scary. The least I can do is give back to this world that I love so much now. The only world that I seem to flourish in and love. I don’t belong in any other world anymore. This is my world. I’m not running away and going back to the pretend world that I know I could have if I wanted it. The one full of pretend dinners, pretend problems, pretend complaints. Everything in life is fixable when you have your health and everyone in your family is alive and well. I don’t live in that kind of world anymore. I cannot go back to it and abandon all of this. That would kill me. This I know. This life without you is hard, Ronan. But I can live in it by trying to fix all I the problems that I see. I can live in by trying to help others going through this. I can live in it by pouring everything I have left of myself into it so I can live a new life now. This is the life I want. This is the life that I will fight for. I will make this world better for others going through it. I have people say to me all the time, “Isn’t it hard for you to be around this?” “Isn’t it hard for you to be at the hospital?” “It must be hard for you to still be a part of this world.” I usually just reply that it is not hard. That is the only world I feel like I belong in. I don’t know how to explain it. I must be crazy, right?? Maybe. But crazy feels good to me.
A winking kind of weekend
After a whirlwind of a weekend… it’s now just Ronan and myself snug in our bed. I don’t even know what went on this weekend except it was lovely. And a blur. We had a weekend full of non stop fun, laughing, eating, walking, crying, and fighting (3 boys, it happens). In other words, it was a weekend full of complete and utter chaos. Just the way it should be when you are the parents to 3 little men. We enjoyed our time together as a family and with Macy. The boys’ are over the moon for her and she was a godsend. She helped me out so much and has an infectious way of making everything better. Thank you, Mace. For everything. You have no idea how much it meant to have you here with me and my family. I love you so much.
Today was a little hard. Having everybody leave at the same time was sad. My Liam, who I tend to think deals better with all of this than Quinn, had a hard time leaving today. I may be wrong about him dealing with all of this better. He is more mature than Quinn, but all of this is still really hard on him. Macy, Woody and the boys were all upstairs in our room and we were getting ready to go downstairs as their car was waiting. I looked over to see tears pouring down Liam’s cheeks and he was saying he didn’t want to leave. This in turn made me cry, Macy tear up, and Ronan as well. I held Liam tight and promised him that he would be back soon. I tried to give him a pep talk about all the fun things at school that he was getting to go back to. How great it would be to get back to baseball, his friends, etc. I tried my hardest to be super encouraging and excited for him but all I was thinking in my head that was this was all bullshit. Bullshit that I have to be separated from my family, bullshit that we are going through this, bullshit that we can’t all be back in Phoenix together. Fucking bullshit and there is nothing I can do about it. So I lied through my teeth today and told my first-born how excited I was for him to get back to Phoenix, and how great everything was going to be. I wanted nothing more than to hop on that plane with everyone. But I have learned that getting what I want nowadays is not so simple. Everything I want, I cannot have. This is a hard pill to swallow when you are used to having it all.
After the boys left, I held on to Ronan tight as he cried. He kept saying that he couldn’t believe Liam and Quinn had to go back to Phoenix and that it wasn’t fair. I played with him and tried to distract him from the obvious. After a couple of hours, the two of us cuddled up in our bed and fell into a deep sleep for a few hours. I woke up first to my phone ringing and it was Woody saying they were waiting to get on the plane. I could hear Liam and Quinn in the background and I told Woody how sad we were. He said he was sad too, and it gets harder and harder to leave us. We said our goodbyes and I cuddled back up with Ronan. He woke up about 20 minutes later, full on sobbing about wanting his brothers. I talked him through it and gave him a really long bath to try to make him feel better. After his bath he looked at me and said in his squeaky little voice, “You make me happy.” My heart fell to the floor. He always knows the perfect words to say to me when I need it most. We spent the rest of the night playing in our room. We made a quick run to the store to pick up some food. Ronan has been eating non-stop which of course, makes me very happy.
This weekend I heard Ronan say at least 20 times that this was the best day of his life. It was beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. Ronan also learned how to wink and practiced the entire weekend on Macy. It is the CUTEST thing alive. To see my little boy, with a grin on his face, winking non-stop on a pretty girl. OMG. No girl stands a chance against Ronan at the age of 3…. let alone during his teenaged years. Macy got a big kick out of this as she cannot wink herself. It kept us all laughing and Ronan was so proud of himself. He told me tonight that it was a winking weekend. He is such a big flirt.
As much as I enjoyed our weekend together, I was also filled with a ton of anxiety. Scans coming up, my family leaving, etc…. As much as I tried to let go; I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. Last night around 7:30 I told Woody I was going out for a run. He was happy to watch the boys for me and I was so thankful. I hadn’t run in over a week which causes me major anxiety alone. I headed out in the rain to do my usual 8.4 loop. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I wasn’t going to let a little rain stop me as running in it is one of my favorite things in the world. A little rain turned into a full on storm but I refused to turn around. It was raining sideways and Central Park was empty except for me, the crazy mama whose son has cancer. I thought to myself, “If I see another person running out here, their child must have cancer too, because nobody in their right mind would do what I am doing now.” That’s exactly how I felt. My anger pushed me through and even the rain slapping me in my face good. I’ve realized that I now crave any kind of physical pain. It makes me feel good to feel something besides the own pain that eats at my soul 24 hours a day. A break from the emotional pain of all this is something that I crave. It is my only escape. After I made it back from my run (slayer free, little M) I am not kidding you when I say I returned back to our room and had to wring my clothes dry as they were more than soaked. I looked like I had just jumped into a pool fully clothed and had about an inch of water in my shoes. But after all of that, I felt a release that I really needed. Even though I think my body went into shock after my run. It was a hard run at a fast pace and because my workouts are no longer consistent, my body knows it. After a hot shower and a lot of water later, I felt better. My sweet husband offered to run out at 9:30 at night in the same pouring rain to get me some things at Target. He took Liam with him and they grabbed a cab and off they went. They came back with new sheets, a duvet, a duvet cover, and a few other things for me. I looked at him, as he was drenched, sitting on the bed as I helped him get out the sheets so I could wash them, and I thought to myself, “What a good man. What other man in the world would run out in the rain at 9:30 at night to try to get me some things to make our place feel a little more like home?” Not one. Woody is seriously one of a kind. I’ve known this about him since our first date. It’s not often that someone ends up begin everything you could have ever dreamed of and more. I am thankful everyday of my life for that man.
Our place at the RMH leaves little to the imagination. We have spruced it up as much as we can, but it is a far cry from my home sweet home in Phoenix. I am still grateful though. I don’t know what we would do without this place. We are making the best of it and have done little things here and there. We pushed the little twin beds together and turned them into a king sized bed. The things like the Star Wars decals that a family sent us now decorate one of the walls. I’ve also turned on of the walls into “Ronan’s fan wall,” and have started to put up drawings and pictures that people have sent. This led me to an idea….. I know so many of you read this blog, and often times I wonder what your beautiful faces look like. I wanted to ask if you would take the time to send us a picture of yourselves so I can put it up on Ro’s wall. It brings such a smile to my face to know I have all of you cheering us on and I would love to be able to see what you all look like. I thought it could be a fun little project that Ronan could look forward to. He loves to talk about all of you, even though he doesn’t really get all of this in the grand scheme of things. I often just tell him how he has people all over the world, who love him and who are helping to get him better. He loves to hear this.
Alright my lovelies. We are finally getting somewhat sleepy around here. I hope you all had a beautiful weekend. Scans are on Wednesday and Thursday so keep our little guy in your prayers. He needs them and so do we. Sweet dreams.
One flew over the coo coo’s nest… and that one is officially me
When going through something like this I’ve learned that at times you will feel crazy. And at times, people will make you feel like you are going crazy… and tell you things like you need medication. But somehow… if you are strong enough, you pull it all together… get all the little voices out of your head, refocus, and find your way back. It can take something as simple as taking a drive, screaming your lungs out and just taking 30 minutes to be alone, to bring your strength and sanity back. Game on, cancer. You have pushed me down but I will not stop fighting back.
I have also learned that I can no longer take things day by day. My world now consists of hour by hour. One foot in front of the other. Apparently, there is a certain way you are supposed to act and behave when your child has cancer. I have not been following standard protocol because I am only human. Until you have walked in the shoes of a mother who’s child is sick, you cannot pass judgement or tell them what is right or wrong. I know I am making mistakes, but they are my mistakes to make. As of right now, I am thankful I am able to pull myself out of bed in the morning and take care of my baby. That right there is a victory to me in it’s own right.
I said from the beginning of all of this that this blog was going to get ugly. I love the days that I am happy, positive and full of light. Unfortunately, this can’t always be the case. This is my blog… my honest blog and a lot of it is going to be the way that I am feeling. I will of course update you on how Ronan is feeling, his progress, his victories…. but there is going to be some other things in here that are not so fun to read. If you are not down for that…. the bus stops here. This is my outlet and my truth and I won’t be shut down.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I can update you on how Ronan is doing. To say he is doing amazingly well is an understatement. He is so full of spunk and energy it’s like we have 3 Ronan’s running around the house. He enjoyed his weekend playing with his Nana and brothers. There was a lot of Nerf gun shooting going on in our house. Tomorrow we will check his blood levels to see if we are ready to start the harvest of his stem cells on Tuesday. If that is the case, then we will spend 1 or 4 days down at the hospital depending on how easily the harvest goes. Thankfully, the process is very simple for being so complex. They take the stem cells out of his broviac so it is just a matter of how quickly the collection goes. It still makes for a long day so I will have to bring lots of things to keep our little guy busy; in bed. Lots of books, coloring, and movie watching. Maybe I’ll bring one of his Nerf guns so he can shoot the nurses;)
My mom leaves tomorrow after being here for a week. I will have to say that I wish I could have been a little stronger and sane for her visit, but I cracked. I spent the whole week feeling like I was drowning and suffocating. I can’t help the way I am feeling or when my emotions take over. I’m sorry for making my mom worry so much about me because I am going to be fine. I took out a lot of my anger on her because she is my mom and I am angry about a lot of things. So, I apologize for that… nobody deserves to suffer my wrath.
I wanted to take a minute to say a huge thank you to all my Kelso Kids who supported Ronan and walked the Relay for Life for him on Saturday. Liv and Jen…. you two are my hearts. I can’t thank you enough for rallying together to making Team Ronan happen. And Olivia, your speech was beautiful. I am so proud to have you up there as my friend, talking about my baby. He is a fighter and in a couple of years we will be there walking it with you; with Ronan as a survivor.
Goodnight to all of our angels out there. Please continue to pray and send your strength our way.