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!

Mama and Ro baby take NYC <3

Ronan and I arrived to NYC yesterday morning 5:30 East Coast Time. The flight was great, fast and Ro slept the entire time. We headed to our hotel, checked in, and we were in our room by 6:30 a.m. Ronan was chipper and ready to play, but I told him how it was really only 4:30 in the morning at home so we needed to rest before our big day. He didn’t put up much of a fight, crawled in bed with me and we slept a couple of hours. You’d think I’d be a zombie tonight but I’m not. Must be that NYC energy. We woke up, got ready and headed over to Sloan Kettering. As soon as we arrived to the 9th floor it was party central. They were having a parade for Marti Gras. Ronan loved watching all the action. We spent the next 4 hours having labs drawn, getting his MIBG scan injection, and had an Echo test done on his heart. It was a very long day but we killed a lot of time by playing in the playroom and doing arts and crafts. As much as this sucks, today I found myself having the time of my life with Ronan. I feel so lucky to be able to spend so much time with him. I cherish every second I have with him so much. As the day was ending, we went to finish our last thing which was the Echo test. An adorable girl named Penny took us back into her room and I laid down on the bed with Ronan so he could rest on top of me while she did her thing. The test is really simple and was done in about 20 minutes. Ronan ended up falling asleep on me so I sat and watched Ronan’s little heart on the screen as it pitter pattered away. Penny kept telling me how beautiful and healthy it looked. As soon as Ronan’s little heart started beating away and we could hear it, I completely lost it. I told Penny I was sorry that I couldn’t stop crying and she smiled sweetly and told me that it was totally o.k. I explained to her that hearing his heart beat like that reminded me of when I first heard his heartbeat on an ultrasound. I will never forget what it felt like to hear his heart for the first time and now this. Who would have thought in a million years that I would be listening to Ronan’s heart on a monitor again due to cancer. So. Freaking. Unfair.

After the Echo test we scooted out of Sloan quickly to go back to our hotel and meet one of Auntie Karen’s best friends for dinner. We met Krista at Serendipity and it was such a treat. I’ve heard about her forever and it was so lovely to finally meet her. We had a nice dinner and Ronan and I shared the to die for Frozen Hot Chocolate. He was beyond tired from his day and ended up falling asleep in my lap. Krista and I had a chance to finally get to know each other and I can see why Auntie Karen loves her so much. She was a delight:) Just as we were leaving, Ronan woke up not a happy camper. We were going to take him to Dylan’s Candy Shop, but I decided that we’d better just head back to our room. Krista got us a cab and sent us on our way. We came back here and  talked to Woody, Liam, and Quinn via Face Time on our Macs. Ronan got a big kick out of that. The rest of the night was spent just hanging out and playing. Ronan finally fell asleep a while ago and he has no idea what we have in store for tomorrow. I have yet to tell him that he has to get his MIBG scan. UGH. He is going to be beyond mad that, 1) he has to get his sleepy medicine and 2) that Dr. Maze is not the one giving it to him. I did not want to tell him any of this today because I know he will sit and obsess over it. I’m not telling him anything until right before we go back so they can put him under. I am nervous for this MIBG scan even though we just had one not too long ago. Ronan has been complaining of his right arm hurting for a few days now. I had one of the doctors look at it today and we cannot see any bruising or swelling. So, of course my mind goes to the worst place possible which is something I’m not going to even say out loud. We will know by tomorrow if anything new is going on. I am sick to my stomach tonight. Ronan has also been complaining of his right leg hurting and I have pretty much been carrying him everywhere. I noticed him limping tonight. This has been going on for a while now and has been something we have just been watching closely. As I said before, if anything is going on, we will know by tomorrow. Pray that it is not. I’m thinking positive and just keep telling myself it is his bone marrow healing or growing pains. Please let it be one of those things.

As of now, our plan is to stay here until Thursday or Friday. We will then return around March 20th and that will begin our 5 week long stay. Woody will be coming out with me during that time for a while, thank god. It is really hard to be here without him. He is such a big help to me when he is here. We both really miss him this trip. It’s hard to be a single mom, in a different city, when your kid has cancer. It’s hard but I am strong and know I can do it. New York is going to be the best adventure yet.

That’s all for tonight. Sleepiness is starting to kick in. Let’s just hope it lasts. I am tired of waking up every night at 3 a.m. and not being able to go back to sleep. I call it the witching hour around here. G’night, sweet dreams, and lots of prayers for our Ro baby tomorrow. Love to you all!

xoxo

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.

Ronan baby takes NYC

Today, has been non-stop. We got up at 7 NYC time, got all ready and headed over to Sloan Kettering. Ronan was not happy and is still not happy about being here. He keeps asking for Sharon, our nurse back home, and said he doesn’t want to make any new friends here. He was so upset over having the blood taken out of his tubes (which is something he’s had done 100 times) that he kicked and screamed the entire time. We have met a lot of new nurses and doctors, all who have been beyond nice. I was a little overwhelmed walking in here. It felt a little like we were starting all over and just being told that Ronan had cancer. I quickly snapped out of it after seeing how much the doctors really do care here. Dr. Modak, who is part of the Neuroblastoma team, has an entire wall in his office full of pictures of Neuroblastoma survivors. Woody and I both got teary eyed over it. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen; a wall full of kids, young and old, who have survived this horrific disease. It meant the world to us, as parents. Everything here is very positive, inspiring and everyone wears a smile. We miss our few close friends at PCH but I think we will be o.k. here. It’s not quite as scary as I thought it would be:)

After Ronan’s blood work came back and was super high, they decided on the spot to harvest his stem cells. This is great news! It means everything will move a little more quickly. The Doctor even got his sugary date bumped up to January 3rd, instead of the 7th. We are so happy about that. The sooner we get the job done, the better. Everything here is really fast paced and precise. I like that; cancer is like a job to me now.  I know what we are here to do, and we are going to do the best job at getting it done.

Ronan is mad that he has been at the hospital all day. He is finally asleep while they are collecting his stem cells. We asked Dr. M about any restrictions as far as taking Ronan out in the city. He gave us the green light to take him wherever since his ANC is so high. I love a green light:) We are going to make the best of our time in the most fabulous city in the world. Ronan is so going to take it by storm and I know this is something we will look back on in a very positive way.

That was yesterday, I finally got the Wifi set up so now I can hopefully keep you all updated. The stem cell harvest went great yesterday but they did not get the amount they needed so we will have to go back on Monday to let them harvest again. Not a big deal… we are going to enjoy today and Sunday out of the hospital and have some fun in the city. Hope you all have a beautiful weekend!!

xoxo