Happy Halloween!

Hope you all had a great Halloween! We had a wonderful one… Ro was able to trick or treat and everything! We started off at our friends, The Tarbell’s house for some great company and delicious homemade pizzas by Mark himself. After that, we went over to our friends, The Willits for some trick-or-treating. Gay drove about 12 of us around in a golf cart for a good couple of hours. Wheehew!! It was a golf cart full of all boys! Such fun!! Ronan kept right up and was running all around until left there around 9:30. It was late for a school night, but everyone was having such a good time that it was hard to wrap it up. Thank you to our wonderful friends tonight for celebrating with us. It was very special to us to have Ronan out and about. Tomorrow, we start Round 4 of his magic medicine. We will be in the hospital until Thursday or Friday…. assuming all goes well. Please keep our little guy in your thoughts and prayers… hoping he will get through this round as easily as all of the others.

We’ve had a great break from the hospital but it’s time to knock this round 4 out. One more check mark off our little guy’s list. He is not psyched about having to go to the hospital tomorrow, but hoping he will not put up too much of a fight. I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween and enjoyed your kiddos to death. Goodnight to our army of angels out there.

xoxo

Truest intentions, purest of hearts

I need to get my shit together today. My house looks like a bomb went off in it, I can’t stop crying, and I think I just picked my nightgown up off the floor and beat the crap out of my bedroom wall with it. Don’t worry. Ronan didn’t see this… he was playing in the other room. He did hold me though, while I cried in his lap. He patted my head and held me. I needed to let some things go today, and I did. Everyday is so different from the next. I never know waking up what the day will consist of, how I will feel, or how Ronan is going to act. The inconsistency in my life makes me nervous and anxious. Today, I have had a pit in my stomach the entire day and I can’t seem to get rid of it. The reality that surrounds us is overwhelming at times. Thank god for good friends who I can call on. My friend, Gay, called me right when I needed her most. My friend, Pamela White (who has been a GODSEND) let me vent and gave me advice…. Little Jack’s mom, Laurie, always puts me at ease. Just hearing her voice and the updates on Jackers helps me get though the days. To people who are walking to the end of the earth and back for us, to the people who refuse to let go of my hand, to the people bringing dinners and helping with Liam and Quinn, to the people who know just how to make me smile…. Please know how thankful I am for you. The fact that you are walking though this with us and supporting us so much, means the world to our family. We are so lucky and thankful for all of you. It speaks volumes about the kind of people you are in the way you choose to live your life and I will FOREVER be thankful, humbled, and amazed<3 You all have changed my life and the way I view the beauty of family, friends, and strangers. You have taught me to question everything and accept nothing but the best for me and my family.

Last night I went out for dinner with 3 of my dearest friends. I was able to let go a little bit and live in the moment surrounded by strength and love. I went to the best restaurant in town, Tarbell’s, with my friends, Niki, Jen, and Lindsey. The place was packed, food was amazing as always, and the service was above and beyond. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I was with the bosses wife;) I sat with my 3 darlings, for 3 hours. We shut the place down and I left there feeling extremely blessed to have spent the evening surrounded by those 3 incredible women. They are more than friends to me; they are my sisters. I would trust them with my life and the life of my children. They are the type of friends who would never let me down or let me fall without picking me back up. I need them more than ever at this time in my life. I get that I am asking a lot from my friends right now…. but my true friends, are the one’s I have to ask nothing of; they just give and do because  they have the inner strength to see me through this. Their intentions are true and pure… there is no bullshit or superficialness. I worship them and if the tables were turned, I would be there for them in a heartbeat. They know this of me… they get the bigger picture of all of this.

Once Liam and Quinn got home I put everything that has been going on inside my head, on hold. I made them a snack, took them for shaved ice, and we went outside and played in the backyard for 2 hours. We took every ball in our house and put it in our big, grassy yard and played soccer and dodgeball. Ronan had a BLAST. He ran, kicked and threw his balls for an hour straight. The strength and power that boy has when it comes to anything physical is insane. He is so coordinated and fast. We took a bunch of glow sticks when it got dark and shaped them into frisbees and threw them up in the air and at each other. It was an evening full of laughing and playing. Woody came home, scarfed down some dinner (thanks Jules) and took Liam and Quinn over to The Village for basketball practice. My poor, tired, husband. He worked so hard today.. and I can tell he is exhausted. But he will never let us down or complain about anything. He came home with a smile on his face and a big kiss for me and off to practice they went. Love that man.

I feel like a kept woman with Ronan. Seriously. The little man decides my every move. I’ve got to get some control back with him. My sweet Sarah, whom Ronan LOVES… came over to peel me off my floor today. Ronan threw a fit about having her here. I can’t win. I need help, want help, ask for help…. but Ronan is so territorial of “his house.” He wants nothing to do with visitors and ends up slamming doors and screaming in his room the entire time someone is here. And Sarah is like family to us. He let her stay for a little bit after I bribed him with a toy and we played Star Wars with him. Sarah took over with the playing and I was able to get a few things done around here. Then we “locked” Sarah in the laundry room (that was the only way he would let her stay) so she could fold my laundry. Sarah the Saint. She has been so helpful to me and I know she would do whatever I needed her to, if Ronan would just relax a little. I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done before we check into the hospital for Round 4 of chemo on Monday. Tomorrow, we go to the clinic and I am hoping to help in Liam and Quinn’s classroom for their Halloween party. That leaves me Friday to get everything done. The weekends are usually pretty busy around here and I don’t want to spend my time getting caught up when I could be spending it with my boys.

So tired tonight… but one last thought….All of his kisses mean that much more. Every smile, laugh, hug, I love you, that come from Ronan, wash away all of the sadness and anger that I feel… for a few moments. It doesn’t last long, but it is oh so sweet.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Dr Seuss (Thanks Dana)

TGIF!

It’s the weekend! So excited to spend it with my little family. Today was a typical day for us. Big boys went to school and Woo went to work. That left Ro and I home alone. We spent the day enjoying playing outside, carved a pumpkin, and I took him to the drive through car wash that he loves to go to. He was really giggling and laughing when we were getting our car washed. He loves to watch the colored soap spray all over the windows. It was cheap entertainment and a nice little break from being stuck at home. He took a nap and I worked on some things for his website. It’s been fun doing the research on it and figuring out what I want it to look like. It’s been a good distraction for me to say the least. I talked to my friend Laurie today for a bit to get caught up on Baby Jack… the little boy who is a few months ahead of Ronan with his treatment for Neuroblastoma. She sounded so great and Jackers is doing amazing. I am always amazed at her strength and positivity. She is a good role model for me and Jack is such an inspiration. They are an amazing family and so deserve all the good things that are coming their way.

Liam and Quinn came home with their “report cards” from school today and they were so excited to show me. They both ripped them open and we went over what they said. I could not have been more proud of them. They are becoming such little men. We played outside and waited for Woody to come home. Woody and Uncle Jay came home around 4:00 with pizzas and beer. They stopped at A.J.’s and brought home a bunch of things for “Game Night” at the Thompsons. They started a game of  Risk with Liam and Quinn about 3 hours ago. I kept Ronan busy so they could play and it is still going on. Ronan had a nosebleed tonight so I tended to him and after about 20 minutes, it finally stopped. I was praying that we wouldn’t have to go to the hospital. Hoping it won’t start up again in the middle of the night. I know his platelets are starting to dip down but I think if I can keep him sleeping, he should be fine. He had a rowdy day.. lots of running and playing.

Not sure what else this weekend has in store. Liam and Quinn have a basketball game tomorrow but we won’t be taking Ronan. Now that it is turning into that time of year when the flu hits, etc…. we won’t be taking him out at all. Time to put him back in his bubble. I am going to have to get very creative as far as keeping him busy at home. Thinking some paint supplies and lots of arts and crafts are in our very near future. We have been working a lot on his school stuff and he is still fighting me on it a little bit; but I know he is learning. I hear him repeating things when he is playing and he thinks I am not listening. Stubborn little boy.

I’m going to have to say that my husband has been extra amazing lately. If that is even possible. I have no idea how he does all he does. I am so impressed by the way he is handling everything. Keeping his law firm going, being such an amazing daddy, and doting on me 24/7. If anyone is carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, it is him. I am so thankful to be married to such a strong man who can take care of his family. There is nobody in the world who I respect and love more then him. After all that we are going through, he has kept the best attitude and positivity. He really is one of a kind and I will forever stay madly in love with him. I am thankful that my 3 boys have such a strong male role model in their lives. I know how important that is in forming what type of men they will grow up to be. Thanks Daddy Woo<3

Throughout this journey I have come to see things in such a different light. Life will never be the same again for us, but I honestly think it can be better. I have such a new appreciation for the littlest things. It is a life full of nothing but pureness and simplicity. It’s like we have been given a new chance to soak up all the things we do have and enjoy them to the fullest. Life is too short to be unhappy or worry about petty things. We are making the most of what we have, right now, in this very moment. There is no point in worrying about the future because it is the here and now that matters most. A hard lesson to learn, but a beautiful lesson indeed.

I am going to leave you with a quote that I came across today when I was doing my website research for Ronan. <3<3<3 LoveLoveLove<3<3<3

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.  ~Dr. Seuss

Magic Medicine… Day one, Round 3

This chemo is going to be rough. This is the stuff that causes major vomiting… and a few other side effects that we will PRAY hard, do not happen to Ronan. Hearing loss is a big one. High pitch hearing loss to be exact which I can absolutely live with, if it means keeping him alive. I am hoping and praying that Ronan tolerates all of this well, without a hitch. If he can get though these 4 days, this baby can get through anything. Our poor roommate next to us. He is an older boy, feeding tube in his nose, his parents are nowhere in sight… working I’m sure. Every once in a while I hear him on the phone, crying about how he can’t eat. Poor sweet boy. As awful as all of this is, I am so thankful that I am not a working mom and can devote all of my time to taking care of Ronan. We are so fortunate for being in such an awful situation. I can’t imagine having to leave Ronan in the hands of others to go and work. Thank god for Woody, I thank god for him everyday of my life.

Today has been great so far. We spent the morning home, getting ready for our week here. I have the laundry all done, house all clean. Niki stopped by to bring me coffee and Ronan actually came out of my room and played with her for a bit. We headed over to the clinic to have Ronan’s counts checked to make sure he was good to go to start this round of chemo. Ro was very excited about seeing our nurse, Sharon and followed her around the clinic while we were there. We didn’t have to wait long to get a room which was nice. We got checked in very easily and fast. Once we got up here we played in the playroom for awhile. Ronan was full of energy. He is sleeping now.. he didn’t nap today and is taking a late nap. They are going to start his first dose of chemo soon. I am anxious to get it started asap. The sooner we get it over with, the better. Trish is going to come by and bring me dinner and Woody is going to pop in as well.

We are in the same exact room that we were in when we were first admitted to the Oncology floor. It gave me major anxiety, walking in here. I tried to talk myself out of a panic attack but it didn’t work. I almost passed out on the spot. I am fine now.. I had Woody stay with Ronan so I could go downstairs and have a conversation with myself about how I need to suck this up and be strong for Ro. This whole floor brings back so many awful memories for me. It was a very hard 3 weeks when we were first here. I keep telling myself if I survived three weeks of this before, a week will be a piece of cake. Fucking cancer. I still can’t believe this is happening to our precious baby. It is a parents worse nightmare.

It’s going to be a long night. We are still waiting to start the chemo. It has to be double approved by the pharmacy before they can even deliver it, and the person who has to approve it, does not even get in until 9:00 p.m….. hopefully Ronan will stay asleep during the whole process and will not have any side effects. Trish came to visit and brought some homemade pumpkin soup. It was delicious. Woody also came by and brought CPK for all of us. While they were here, Dr. Maze stopped by to check in. It is always nice to see him, Ronan talks about him all the time and always asks me if he is going to carry him to sleep. So sweet and funny. We talked to Liam and Quinn tonight and it sounds like they are having a great time in Colorado. They got to spend some time with one of my best friends, Susie, who lives there. Wish I could have been there with them. Ronan talked to them both on the phone tonight. He misses them just as badly as I do. I hate that they we all have to be away from each other so much now. I will never stop being bitter about that.

Wish us luck tonight. Hopefully Ronan won’t even notice the chemo and will sleep right through all of it. Goodnight dear friends.

A long week ahead

Our weekend was a great one. Ronan is still refusing to act or look sick which makes this whole thing so much easier on us. I can tell his beautiful eyebrows are starting to go, but his full eyelashes are still hanging on. He looks so beautiful. On Friday we had family game night and just played at home. Ronan was of course thrilled to be spend the night with this big brothers. On Saturday Liam and Quinn had their basketball game. We were brave and let Ronan go. He was in heaven. His BFF Winston came to watch as well. It was their first mini reunion. They were both shy at first and wouldn’t even look at each other. Ronan stayed right on my lap. By the second half of the game, Ronan went to sit by his big brothers on the court and Winston soon followed. They sat by each other, talked, played, and laughed. I had to fight back the tears. It was hard to see but also beautiful to watch. Ronan took off his hat during the game and I could see other parents staring at him… also hard for me to see. I am fully aware of how sad our situation is but being out in public with him, seeing the look in other people’s eyes makes it so much more sad and real. I am so happy we took him out though, I think Woody is starting to realize that it is o.k. as long as we are making sure he washes his hands a lot and we don’t have him around people who are sick. We won’t be going to the grocery store or anything like that with him, but I think it is important for his well-being to get to do some of the same things he used to be able to do.

Saturday night we had Kay, Charlie, and Uncle Ron over to watch the ASU game. The Devils won, so it was a good night here. Liam and Quinn went home with Mimi and Papa because they had to get up early on Sunday to leave for the airport. They left for Colorado for the week for their Fall Break. Ronan was very upset about that, he was crying really hard as they got into the car. We finally got him settled down, but he is still talking about them and saying he wants them to come home. It’s better that they are gone and off doing something fun. Ronan and I have a very long week ahead of us. Last night Auntie Karen and Olivia came over to watch Ronan so Woody and I could go out for a bit. We were both tired but agreed we should take advantage of sneaking out for a bit. We didn’t do much… went for a drive and then stopped at Target. When we came home, Ronan was asleep so we hung out for a while and listened to Wood’s 45 record collection together. It was a very sweet date night. Simple but sweet.

Today, Ronan and I will head over to PCH around 1:00 to get checked in. We will be there for the entire week for Round 3 of his magic medicine. I am trying to have a positive attitude about it as far as staying the entire week in the hospital goes. It sucks that we can’t be at home… I know how much better Ronan does here. I will just have to keep his spirits up by bringing lots of things to read and we will have to go for a lot of walks. I don’t want his little legs to get weak again by sitting in a hospital bed all week.

Woody will be flying out to NYC on Thursday to meet with the doctors at Sloan Kettering. I am excited for him to get out there, talk to the doctors, and then I can be sure that the path we are choosing for Ronan, is the right path to take. New York is my absolute favorite city and I’m trying not to be sad about the reason Woody is going out there. It has always been our favorite place to visit together. Someday we will go back, as a family, and celebrate Ronan being healthy and cancer free.


Yesterday was the Susan G. Koman breast cancer walk in Phoenix. SO MUCH PINK! AMAZING! Pediatric Cancer awareness was last month. Did you see the sea of Yellow anywhere? Take a minute to think about that. Pediatric Cancer is the #1 killer of children of all childhood illnesses combined!

Staying sane… or at least trying

Today was an easy day. It reminded me of our old life which was nice, but bittersweet as well. We spent the day at home and ran to the hospital for about an hour. Then we went and got shaved ice and headed to see our favorite friend, Halle, at our dry cleaners. It was a quiet day around the house until the twins got home. We spent the evening playing and laughing. My friend, Bethany, dropped off dinner. It was very therapeutic to see her. She is someone I don’t know very well, but I feel like I do. We grew up in the same town, I was friends with her younger sister, and Bethany and I connected last year though Facebook. Her little boy, Madden, went to preschool with Ronan. She was trying so hard to hold it together for me, but we both ended up crying a bit. It was nice to talk to her, to hear how her family prays and thinks about us everyday…. it was nice to have a bit of my home in front of me.

Liam and Quinn had basketball practice tonight and are still gone with Woody. Ronan is already fast asleep. I kept myself busy tonight picking up the house and venting to my father about some things that are bothering me. UGH. I am tired of keeping things inside and he made a comment to me earlier today that upset me. I called him back and told him I thought he was being insensitive. I should have just let it go, but I couldn’t. I think it may be best to separate myself from some people for a while. I can’t deal with the day-to-day drama anymore. I am tired of having people compare what they have went through in their life, to what we are going through. For most people, life is what you make of it. It’s called choices. We didn’t have a choice with Ronan getting cancer, but we do have a choice of how we can handle it. I am trying to stay sane and focus on my beautiful husband and children. I am trying to focus on all the positive things like how well Ronan is handling everything. I see a light at the end of the tunnel because I know Ronan is going to win. My beautiful baby will not be destroyed over this disease; we will get him through this.

Tomorrow we have a big day. We check in to PCH at 3:00 for Ronan’s scans. He has an MIBG, Bone marrow, and MRI. I told Ronan today all about coming back to the hospital tomorrow because I wanted to prepare him for his long day. He told me it was o.k. and asked if he was going to get put to sleep by Dr. Maze. I told him yes, and he said it was o.k. because, “He’s so nice, mama.” It was really sweet. Ronan is getting very used to his new way of life. It still makes me mad and it’s still not fair but I am thankful that my angel baby seems to be coming to terms with it and is accepting that this is just the way his life has to be now. I hope he understands that it won’t be like this forever. Someday, we will have our beautiful life back, and we are going to appreciate everything so much more. Sometimes, I think I am lying to myself when I say that because I did appreciate all the things we had. I guess it is a lie that I am going to continue to tell myself throughout this whole ordeal because thinking that life is going to be so much sweeter and better after all of this gives me strength and pushes me forward.

Today when we were at the hospital, Ronan asked me where Auntie Karen was. She is out of town for the week on a much deserved, fun, vacation. He told me he wants to see her and misses her. I told him I miss her too, but we will see her next week. We love you, Auntie Karen. We hope you are having the best time and Ronan can’t wait until you get back so he can tease and love you. Goodnight to you all out there… I hope you are hugging your loved ones extra tight, every night.

My husband is my hero

I think I have officially cracked. I’m sure I’ll have lots of times where this is the case but I think it happened yesterday. That’s where my family, friends, and husband come into play and put me back together. Especially my husband. He is my rock, my pillar of strength, my everything. I tend to overdo things in my life… this has pretty much always been a theme of mine. I’ve been overdoing everything, except the most important thing which is connecting and being present with my family. I have been keeping so busy… so overly busy… I guess so I didn’t have time to sit and truly think about what is going on. I mean, I know what is going on… but it is easy not to think about it when you have too much on your plate. This has been my coping mechanism. So the last few days, I’ve taken some time away from researching, blogging, emailing, etc…. it felt nice. Woody and I have had some good talks. Somewhere in the middle of all the chaos I forgot about my best friend; him. And I know why. It’s easier for me to not look at him in the eyes and to not see his pain. It’s easier to be too busy, because it’s hard for me to see him hurting and I don’t want him to see how scared and sad I am. But he knows…. I married one of the smartest men out there… it’s one of the reasons I love him so much. He sat me down and told me that I need to put my faith back into him and trust that he has already done all the research, talking with doctors, etc…. He did this weeks ago. I guess I just got lost in the shuffle of all of this… by obsessing. It has been my way of dealing with things. It’s not the right way and it’s not the healthy way. I see that now. I’ve got to trust the people around me more, trust the doctors, trust in all the prayers and good energy. It’s hard for me… but the person I trust most in my life is my husband. 110 percent. He is the most amazing man in the world and I know with him by my side we will get through this. Some people search their whole lives for what Woody and I have and never find it. Even though all of this, I still think I’m the luckiest girl alive. I’m going to focus more on being in the present… I can’t think and obsess about the future. I am here, Ronan is happy, and that is all that matters. We have to make the most of our good days with him because as of now, these are the good days. He is home with us and everyday I have to remember that the days we are together as a family are the best days of my life; no matter what our circumstances are. Ronan, Quinn, and Liam need to have things as normal as possible and that is going to be one of the main things I focus on. I have to bring back the balance and harmony in our lives.

After hounding Phoenix Children’s Hospital for 24 hours, we received Ronan’s CT and Bone scans back. I am just going to touch on this and say that it looks like the chemo is doing what it is supposed to be doing. It appears to be working but we will know much more next week after our second set of scans. This is very good news for Ronan and for our family. Please continue to pray for our little fighter… he has such a long road ahead of him.