The most wonderful time of the year

Christmas in New York truly is magical, even under our circumstances. Today, we spent the morning hanging out at the Ronald McDonald House, just enjoying the activities that they had going on. Around one, I skipped out, hailed a cab, and went over to pick up Liz so we could do a little holiday shopping. I had yet to get Wood a thing and talk about waiting until the last minute. Today really was the only free day I’ve had alone to do his shopping. Liz and I walked the streets of New York for 5 hours straight. It was busy, chaotic, and so much fun. We had the best time together and I feel so lucky to have her in my life. She is such an amazing young lady and truly is like a sister to me. The streets and shops were full of people everywhere and I could practically feel the city buzzing with the excitement of the holidays. I loved every second of being right in the middle of it. Today, I enjoyed a day of escaping our reality for a few hours…. even though Liz and I talked about Ronan a lot, we spent most of our day just enjoying our surroundings. It was a wonderful Christmas Eve day. Tonight, everyone came over to the Ronald McDonald House and we hung out. Ronan had a couple of meltdowns… he’s tired tonight; but happy. Liam and Quinn have been great and we have really been enjoying them. They love staying here with us. RMH does such an amazing job of having fun activities for the kids to do and everyday there is something going on. We feel so blessed to be staying here for such a long amount of time. It is a very safe, fun, positive, environment. I just know Quinn and Liam are going to look back at this Christmas and remember it as being a fun time, full of lots of laughter and love.

I wonder what you are all up to. I wonder if Christmas means more to you this year? It does to me. All I want for Christmas is for my family to be healed, my friendships to be stronger, and to have Ronan healthy. It was so hard for me to see his tumor on the scan yesterday. It made everything so real and seeing the very first scan, when the tumor was everywhere, took my breath away. It was so huge before. I just don’t know how that thing was growing in my baby and we had no idea. His stomach did not protrude at all…. he acted and felt fine. The doctors could not even feel it when they pressed on his stomach, yet it was everywhere. Such a scary thing. It it wouldn’t have been for his little left eye, we would have never known what was going on. I am thankful every single day that it metastasized up into the orbit of his eye… otherwise whose knows when or if we would have caught this.

Tonight, Karen, Olivia, and Liz went to church here at 11 p.m. I wanted to go with them, but felt like I needed to be with my boys. Karen said she was going to pray extra hard for Ronan, for me. What a beautiful gift they have given me this Christmas. I couldn’t ask for more. The thought of all 3 of those beautiful souls, sitting in a church in NYC, praying for us brings tears to my eyes. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. I know he is going to be healed, I know he is going to grow up and be the most amazing man, there are too many people thinking and praying for it to go any other way. Too much love surrounds this little boy of ours.

This Christmas, I would like to say thank you to all of you and leave you with a little toast. To all of my family, friends, strangers, near and far…… thank you for thinking of Ronan and following his journey and believing in him. A toast to all of you. Cheers!

To Nearest

To Dearest

To The Truest

To The One’s Who’ve Been There

To The One’s Who Who’ll Be There

To Dropping Everything

To Honesty

To NO Judgements

To No Doubts

To Loyalty

To Trust

To Humbleness

To Knowing What Matters Most

To Having Our Back

To Asking For Nothing In Return

To Accepting

To Loving

To Kindness

To Living Your LIfe Full of Being Selfless

To All Of You, Who Know This Is True, And Know It Is Your Soul We See Shining Through.

Happiest Holidays!!!!!!

Clinic Day

Ronan and I went off to the clinic this morning to do his usual Monday checks of his blood and platelet levels. Poor little guy is having bad tummy aches from the chemo last week. A lot of diarrhea and him saying his tummy hurts. I talked to “A” about this and she said it is a normal side effect from the chemo and to just watch him. She expects it to last most of the week. If it goes into next week, then we will have to do something about it. As for now, we just have to make sure he is staying hydrated. His counts are dropping, but still look o.k. We will expect them to continue to bottom out until the end of the week, then hopefully they will start to come back up. After the clinic, we went upstairs to meet with Dr. Jan who is one of the psychiatrists at the hospital. We only got to meet with her for about 10 minutes due to Ronan’s tummy hurting and him not wanting to be there. She is trying to help me work on some boundaries with Ronan.

We are still waiting to hear the finalized dates for New York. We should know in the next couple of days. It is going to be here before we know it. I am trying to mentally prepare for everything. As long as I have all my ducks in a row here, I should be fine.

Today, I spoke with Lin Sue Cooney from Channel 12 news. She has been playing phone tag with Woody since last week. They want to do a story on Ronan and our family and asked if they could come to our house to shoot tomorrow early evening. It was very last minute, but I am not going to turn down that opportunity. I will let you all know when it is going to air when I find out. I am assuming they will have to edit, etc…. Either way, I am honored. Channel 12 is the only local news channel I watch. Watch out world, this is just the beginning! Little Ronan is going to bring so much light and hope to this disease…. he will be the poster child for it. We have to find a cure. Everyday I hear of more and more babies not surviving. It is gut wrenching to read about and rips me to pieces. I try to stay away from stories like that, but it’s like a bad car accident…. sometimes you just have to look. As much as I try not to, it is a horrific reality check for me and keeps me focused on what we need to do to keep Ronan kicking cancer’s ass.

Tonight we played a lot of baseball outside. Ro has been running around like mad. There is no stopping my little guy. He runs circles around his 7-year-old brothers. I’ve never in my life seen a child like him before. He is so strong willed and determined. I dream about the day that he can just be carefree and happy and not have to live the life of going back and fourth to and from the hospital.

My sweet friend, Jules, brought over dinner tonight and it is always a treat to see her. We tried to catch up for a bit but it was busy around here with homework being done and Ronan wanting attention. We sat and ate dinner as a family, watched a little football, and Ronan fell asleep around 8:30. He didn’t nap today so he was tired tonight. After he fell asleep, I ran to the grocery store so I actually have food in my house. Ronan has been quite upset that there has been a lack of string cheese around here. We are all stocked up for a while. It’s amazing how much food 3 little guys go through. I seriously need to buy stock in Gatorade.

My friend, Gay, is coming over tomorrow to help me get ready for our channel 12 news story. She is going to help me put away all of our Halloween decorations and things like that. That women is a force to be reckoned with. I am SO lucky to have her as a friend. I hope someday after all of this is over to take a big trip with my very special girls to celebrate them and all they have done for me. A girls trip will definitely be in order and way overdue. We have so many plans for when we are done and over with this bullshit. So much of it is just going to consist of being together as much as possible and enjoying every little second of being healthy and free. Our lives will forever be changed, but we are going to change them for the better. This won’t get the best of our family<3 Nobody can take that away from us.

Last Friday night I went down to my beautiful friend and neighbor, Niki’s for a few cocktails and girl time. Tricia and Jen joined us too and I cannot tell you how good it felt to just be with them. We sat, talked, laughed, cried, and laughed some more. I swear this is the first time I have really laughed in months.  And I mean, laughed so hard that you can’t breathe and your stomach aches and hurts. It felt so good to feel something other than pain. I know I am surrounded by amazing friends when they can get me to feel that way and to just let everything go, even if it is just for a few hours. To my Niki, Tricia,and Jen…. thank you for being the beautiful souls that you are and the sisters I was meant to have. You have no idea how much that night meant to me. The only thing missing was our Lindsey and Marisa. <3 <3 I thought about them the whole night though and it felt like they were there in spirit. I love you all.

To all of you keeping up with Ronan and this blog, I think about you everyday and I am so thankful that you are touched by his story. It is going to be a long journey but it is going to be worth the ride. Sweet dreams, friends. Be thankful for what you have, who you are, and all the blessings you have in your life. You never know when something could take it all away<3<3 I pray that none of you ever have to experience what we are going through… we will walk this walk for you and hope you take the lessons along the way.