It’s 3:25 a.m.? Rise and Shine Insomnia!

Ronan. Not crying. Not crying. Not crying. Who am I kidding. #cryingallday. Everything hurts. Nothing gets easier. I don’t miss you less. Who is the jackass that made up that “wise saying?” That pain becomes less as time goes on. Obviously someone who never lost a child. I met a friend this morning for coffee. She lost her daughter to cancer. Her baby, was 21 when she was diagnosed. Twenty freaking one. And it was to childhood cancer. If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you, nothing will. It scares the shit out of me and I know what it’s like to lose you to cancer. It scares the shit out of me, for Liam, Quinn, and now this Poppy baby. Cancer can strike at any time and the fact that options for all these kids is so limited, is beyond bullshit. I know the pain of losing a child, at any age, is awful. But I think about my friends daughter, and the fact that at her age, she knew what was happening. That destroys me. And I hurt for my friend who had to bury her child who was pretty much an adult. And now has to stay here and is expected to go on with this so called life. It’s all so unfair. We talked about how painful this is, how time does not make things better, but how we both know we will see our babies again, someday. But how not physically having them here, is so very difficult. We both ache for our children so badly that it makes every single bone in our bodies throb with pain. Especially during the holidays. Everything seems heightened to the max.

After I left my friend, I ran to the store. I was on a mission to grab some things for our very empty refrigerator. Mission accomplished without having a breakdown. I came home and started whipping up the pies that I had promised your Mr. Sparkly Eyes. Homemade crust. Homemade whipped cream. An apple pie first. I had my iTunes on. Of course my Taylor Swift playlist was playing. I like to listen to her when I bake. I had just put the apple pie in the oven when your song, “Ronan,” came on. I always skip over it if it comes on my playlist. Not because I don’t love it. Because I do. So much. I still think it is the most beautiful song that I have ever heard. But because I know what happens when I listen to that song. I end up with a black mascara filled face and usually huddled up on the floor somewhere. I had my hand on my keyboard to skip it, but I told myself that today, I would listen to it. I let it continue to play. I let the tears come, too. Every single lyric, makes me lose it. I wanted you so badly, to be in the kitchen cooking with me, like we used to do. I so badly, wanted my little sidekick and partner in crime. The song finished. I cleaned myself up and continued on to my pumpkin pie. I let myself get lost in my baking. They turned out beautifully. I hope they taste as good as they look. Tomorrow, I will bake with Macy. She wanted me to wait for her, to do our pies.

I wonder if my sleep will ever be the same again. I fall asleep easily much of the time, only to wake up like clock work around the time you passed away. Your daddy knows I’ve been having the worst time sleeping. He looked at me the other morning and asked what was going on, that I was having such an awful time sleeping. My eyes started to tear up and I just said, “Because I don’t know where my child is.” That is how I feel. Like you are missing and not actually dead. Missing but I’ll never be able to find you. I will forever go on searching for you in this messed up world full of things that don’t make sense.

Macy is here now. Tomorrow is here, too. I will do my best to get through the day. I miss my mom and your Papa Jim so very much. I am thankful for the friends that are like family who will help us get through the day. I would give anything to be with you, through. I will take this Macegiving to count the things that I am thankful for, on one hand. That is about the best I can do. I think that is pretty good, considering our circumstances. Last year I probably would have said I was thankful for nothing. This year, I know the things in my life that I will be thankful for and my list won’t include stupid black friday. My list will include the things that are truly important such as the health of your brothers, this Poppy baby, your daddy, our loved ones and for all the people who have been touched by your story and who are helping keep you alive in a way. As always, I am thankful for you and that I am your mama. I am not thankful to that asshole cancer. I would like to rip it’s face off with my bare hands. I’m working on it but my revenge will never serve justice for your death. Nothing will. I don’t even want fucking justice. I just want you back. I just want this to all be a dream and to wake up now. I am so tired of this life without you.

This is all for now. It’s 4 a.m. I’m not tired but my eyes burn and my brain is mush. I am going to try to get a little more rest before I have to take on this day. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby boy.

xoxo

P.S. Dear lovely little blog readers. I love you. I hope you have a great day today filled with all of the simple things that matter. Thank you for not being thankful for any of the shallow things in life, but for the things that truly matter. Thanks for learning this lesson and letting it make you a better person. Please keep all the other people out there, who may be going through a hard time, in your thoughts. I have a bunch of families that I will be thinking of, not just our own. I am truly thankful for all of you. I love you. This was our last Thanksgiving with Ronan. I was so happy. It was my best Thanksgiving, ever. I love you, Liz. I love you, Ronan. I am forever so very sorry I couldn’t fix you.

An Inferno Dark Death Hike that should have resulted in a Heart attack.

Ronan. Someone had a party in your room last night and it was not you. That would have been me and my friend, Ambien that I have not taken for weeks now. It’s funny how just when you think you are making progress with little things like a normal sleep schedule and BAM! Out of nowhere, 10 giant steps back. Where is my natural sleep remedy, your New York Miss Macy when I need her? And why does that girl always relax me so much that I sleep like a baby when she is around? Insomnia strikes again tonight as well. Good times around here.

I had a meeting this morning. I felt like a zombie. I took your brothers with me. They quietly sat at the table with us and ate their breakfast. Not a peep was made. Sometimes they are so good that it makes me want to scream, but I was thankful for it this morning. After my meeting in regards to the Sept. 29th event, I ran your brothers to basketball camp. I went by Dr. JoRo’s office to sit and get some things done. She has been letting me use it while she hasn’t been there. I think I was pretty productive but I ended up crying hysterically when one of my MISS mama friends, popped her head into the room to see how I was doing. I tried to say fine, but the tears that followed told the truth. She came and hugged me and sat with me for a while. She told me about the dream she had of you. She asked if there was anything she could do. I just told her no. That there was nothing, anyone could do. She said she knew. I left there shortly after that as I had to pick up your brothers. We came home and spent the rest of the day, hanging out. I made them lunch and tried to do all the normal things that a normal mom does during the day when she does not have a dead child. It still feels foreign to me to go on with normal day to day things. I would give anything back to go back to our cancer world where all I did was take care of you and your brothers when I could. It is such an unfair world but it is so much less cruel than this. Your daddy came home and I told him I needed to go hiking. He took your brothers to Costco and to play basketball for me. I headed up to Camelback around 6:30 p.m. It was still so bloody hot out. I hiked that mountain as fast as I could. At one point my heart was racing so quickly that I thought to myself, I wonder why my body doesn’t just give out and have a heart attack right here. I wonder if this is what it feels like? I was panting so hard trying to get up the last stretch that I could not even breathe. There was some dude behind me. Ummmm, no way was I letting him beat me. He didn’t. I won the little made up competition in my head. I fell to the ground at the top as I could not even stand. I sat there and tried to get my heart rate to come down. I was dry heaving but due to not eating the entire day, I had nothing to throw up. I know I should have been up walking about but my legs would not let me stand back up. I soaked up the bright pink sunset. It was gorgeous up there. I spent way too long at my church, but that tends to happen to me up there. I could sit for hours and talk to you. It was already dark as I headed back down. Dark on Camelback is not a good or safe thing. The trail is steep, rocky, loose gravel everywhere. I did my best to navigate my way down with the little light that was left shining from the moon. I left my headlamp in the car. I was in a fuck it all mood today so fuck it all is what I did. The headlamp did not stand a chance of making it into your little backpack. I got down, somehow. Guided by you of course. It’s the only way I get through things now. I came home, threw off my drenched clothes and got in the shower. I felt so tired that I was sure tonight was going to be an easy night of sleep. I snuggled up to your daddy. I tried to be peaceful but that did not work. I ended up throwing pillows, tossing and turning only to wake him up from his very peaceful sleep of slumber. I told him I was sorry, I loved him, but had to get out of our room. He said it was alright but I know how much he misses me when I don’t sleep in our bed with him. Maybe I’ll attempt to go back there later.

I found out something from Fernanda today. Something that she didn’t tell me but she should have told me. I am just thankful that it is you, who is watching over her and taking care of her to make sure she is o.k. I know she has been talking to you a lot and asking you to help her with some things. You are being such a good, brave boy by taking good care of her so nothing can happen to her. I need her here, for a very long time. Remember how good of care, she took of us? I won’t ever forget it. Now it’s your turn, to take care of her, o.k. baby boy. I know you always are. Thank you for that.

I’m queasy probably from the way I over did things today. I’m getting sleepy. I think I’ll go and cuddle up to that daddy of yours. Goodnight baby doll. I’m so sorry. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

Cowboy Boots and Little Big Baby Steps

 

 

Ronan. 3:30 a.m. like clockwork, I am up. I have been sleeping well still, but it’s at this time that I am up and my mind is racing/missing you so badly that I cannot fall back asleep. I have a ton to do tomorrow, too. Seems like I have been doing a lot lately. I worry that I am not taking enough time to be sad/grieve for you on the days that I am so busy and so productive, that I don’t have time to sit around and cry for you. It feels wrong, but I also understand that in order to change things, Ro, I have to be strong some days. I cannot give in to my grief, everyday. If I did, I would not carry out what it is I am here to do, which is a lot. It is so much that I know I have people around me going…”Yeah, good luck with all that.” I don’t need luck. My luck ran out a long time ago when your disease took a turn for the worst. The only thing I need is the one thing that I have a never-ending supply of. That is passion. Passion for you which is going to get me everywhere. It is going to help me achieve everything that I set out to do for you. It is going to change the face of this disease. I already know this.

Today. I don’t even know what I did. I sat at my Starbucks office for hours. I met your Sparkly for a bit to take a break and to talk to him about some things I have going on this week. I went to him for his advice/insight/let’s play devils advocate. He’s always good for that. I told him my idea/ideas/the few people I have reached out to and who have reached out to me. I smiled a lot today around him which does not happen much. I always seem to be freaking crying. He looked at me and told me, “Look, your pain, this pain, is so much. All of your anger and sadness that you are feeling, it is never going away. But look what is happening. If you can channel it into the right direction, like you are doing, you are going to help so many people. You are going to make a huge difference. I know you can do this. You already are.” Then he made me laugh by saying, “And what in the hell are you wearing today? Your dress, cowboy boots, bright nails, and a smile? You are something else.” I know I am something else, because I am your, mama, Ro. And I know you always loved it when I would wear my dresses and cowboy boots. Little things like that, remind me of you, and make me happy. You would have insisted on wearing your boots, too. And I know your nails would have been painted, just like mine. You loved your fancy nails and my who cares if you are a boy, let’s go get a pedicure date. Maybe by this age, you would have stopped letting me paint your toes, sparkly. I hope not. We always had so much fun doing that together.

I ran home, dropped off my 50 notebooks filled with my evil plans to destroy the world, and went to pick up your brothers from school. I got to hear all about how Quinn gets to go to a pizza party for having so many points for his reading tests and I got to see Liam’s 100% on his spelling test. Little overachievers they are. I thought about how lucky they are, to be alive and living life as it is such a beautiful thing. I don’t think many people realize this. I think so many people, take it for granted. I am reminded of this, every second of every day due to not having you here anymore. It is both a gift and a curse. We got home from school and we did their homework. I got them ready to go to the Suns game with their basketball team as an end of the season treat that they do every year. Your daddy was supposed to go with them, but had your Papa take them instead due to a dinner I had to go to and he wanted to come with me.

Your daddy came home from work and ground rules were laid. “Are you sure about this?” he asked me. I told him that I thought that I was. “How do you know this is the right person, to be talking to?” I just sat and looked at your daddy. “My gut. My instinct. Because I have a feeling and it is a strong feeling. Because I met this person once and something about his eyes, told me I could trust him and that he was a kind, honest, good person who can give me some direction and insight. Because I am following my heart and that has gotten me this far.” We left for dinner. A dinner where we talked about you and some ideas. A dinner where I was told 2 things that I have been learning through out all of this which are, never take no for an answer, because there is always a way, to get a yes. And that word passion came up again. I was told all things are possible, when you have that and you choose to dream really, really big. It was a dinner filled with love, big dreams, big plans, yes you can do this and here is how you get it done, laughter, tears, support, and teamwork. And all of this came from going off a gut feeling that I had. I left that dinner holding on to your daddy’s hand and was reminded that I have the best teammate ever. Him. He looked at me and goes, “Well, what did you think?” I smiled at him and told him I was really glad that I listened to my heart. He told me that he was too. We made some plans on how we will proceed and the steps that need to be taken next. Little, big baby steps I’m calling them. I am trying to keep up, to move slowly, but some very big things are happening that I just have to keep up with. There is no stopping this now, Ronan. Moving forward is the only way to go and I cannot wait to see what you throw my way, next.

It’s 5 a.m. now. I need to try to sleep for a couple of hours. I love you. I miss you. I really, really, hope you are safe. I’m so sorry I can’t take care of you anymore. I am trying to take care of you, down here, there only way I can now. By doing all of this, for you. I won’t let you down. I love you, Ronan. Sweet dreams.

xoxo

Romama’s Busy Day

Ronan. I don’t have time to dig my hole this week, because due to a last minute invite…. I am so busy. And so tired. But in a very good way. I got an email from a lovie from T-Gen a few days ago. She wanted to tell me that Dr. Giselle Sholler was coming into town for a conference. She attached the info. I looked up the conference info and it said registration was closed. I emailed this lovie back and said, “Please, if there is anything you can do…. I’d love to attend this conference!” About an hour later I got an email back saying that I could indeed attend the conference and T-Gen would happily take care of my registration fees. So nice, Ro. I told your lovie, thank you so much! She replied back with, “Anything for Ro.” Thanks so much, T. You have no idea how much this means to me.

The conference is Monday-Wednesday and it’s all on Pediatric Cancer Genomics. Otherwise known as a foreign language to me, but I think I’m starting to understand parts of it. Just when you think you are starting to understand pieces of this childhood cancer thing….. you find out that you really have not a clue. I did not get home until 7 tonight and getting someone to help with your brothers was so last-minute as well. Thanks Sarah, so much. You saved me. I sat in a room full of so many amazing people. I felt honored to be among them. I saw your Dr. Eshun there. He is such a kind soul. He look surprised to see me. I gave him a smile and he tried to just shake my hand like he always does as he is so polite. I grabbed him for a big bear hug instead, like I always do. He asked how we were and wanted to know what I was doing at the conference. I just smiled and told him that if I was going to be an advocate for you, that I felt it was necessary to educate myself on what it is that I am advocating for; besides the obvious. I told him how I have been quietly watching Dr. Sholler from afar for a while and how I was interested in T-Gen as well. He said to me, “You probably know more about this stuff, then I do.” I just laughed and said I doubted it, but I was a fast learner. I told him I’d see him tomorrow. He smiled and said to have a good night.

Tomorrow the conference starts at 8 a.m. but I won’t get there until after I drop your brothers off at school. It goes on until 6:30 or so. It’s a long day but it’s a good long day to have. I love to learn and it comes easier to me when it is something I am very passionate about. You would be the passion behind this, of course baby doll. I was sitting in between 2 men all day. The one to the right kept falling asleep and snoring. I almost elbowed him and said, “Seriously dude?! My son died from cancer, can’t you at least act like your interested in being here?” I kept trying to read his name tag to see where he was from. It said his name and that he was from COG. I tried to give him the befit of the doubt, like maybe he had bad jet lag or was sick. If that were the case he should have just went back up to his hotel room because he slept though pretty much everything. The guy on the other side of the guy I was sitting next to looked nice. I caught a glimpse of his name tag. He was there for the Team Finn Foundation. I grabbed my phone and googled him right away. I don’t waste any time. I read about his son, Finn who died from Rhabdomyosarcoma. I grabbed Finn’s dad on the arm and held it there. I said, “I Googled you. I’m sorry about Finn.” His eyes started to tear up. “I lost my son, Ronan, almost 9 months ago to Neuroblastoma.” I don’t remember what we said next. I think Finn’s dad asked me, why I was here, besides Ronan. I said that was the only reason I needed to be here, was for Ronan. He is my teacher now and he knows I need to learn everything I can on this so we can hopefully help them if we believe in what it is they are doing. If I am going to support T-Gen, I need to do my homework. This is not a test I can flunk. This is not a test you can do over. I am here to learn what they are going to do with pediatric oncology that it will impact this disease in a big way. I am here to meet Dr. Sholler, so I can at least tell her thank you for being so kind to us as she was going to take Ronan on one of her trials in San Diego, but then your little liver starting failing baby…. and there was nothing else we could do. We were trying to get a plane to take us out there and everything. But you were dying even though we still had hope. So much hope. You organs, just started shutting down, one by one. I’ll never get the mental image of your skinny little body out of my head. It will haunt me for the rest of my life. I think about so much, all the horrible treatments you were put through. So much chemo, pokies, oral meds, sedations, surgeries, radiation….. none of it worked because if it did, you would not be dead. Your daddy asked me the other day, what I thought would have happened, had we done nothing? I can’t answer that question yet. Did the chemo kill you faster than just letting you be???

I remembering after you died that I was in such shock. I was sitting with your Mr. Sparkly Eyes and I just said to him, “How did he die? I mean, what happened?” I don’t  medically understand how he could just die.” Sparkly sat and explained it to me in a way that I could understand. Basically all of your organs started failing, then stopped working. Your heart just stopped beating. I thought why couldn’t we just get him new organs and a new heart? Somebody had to have those just lying around, right? How could his heart just stopped beating? That’s impossible! He loves me too much! I still think this way. Sometimes my heart feels so full of love like it did tonight when I met Finn’s Dad, that I swear it doubles in size. I think your heart lives inside of me, Ronan. I think that’s why when I feel really strongly about something or someone, the love I have for them gets twice as big. That’s all because of you. Our love is so strong. It is so amazing. It is going to change the world. I may have broken my promise to you about saving you…. but I’m not breaking this one, Ro. Our LOVE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD. Just watch baby. Just watch.

I’m going now. My brain will not shut up on genocodes/genomics/phenotypes/functional genomes/translational genomics//////// intense stuff///////// worth the raging headache and red eyes. Ready for tomorrow. Not really. But I need to get some sleep for tomorrow. I’ve been sleeping in your bed. It makes me feel close to you.

I love you my spicy monkey boy. I miss you so much. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll. G’nite.

Snow Falling in Flagstaff

Ronan. Guilt is what I feel at this time, in this moment. For living this life, without you here. For the smiles that I’ve smiled, for the laugher I’ve done, for the love I’ve given to your brothers. Guilt for going on when you know, all I want to do is be with you. I wonder if the reason you insisted on being with me, almost every second of every day of the almost 4 years that I had you, is because you knew you wouldn’t be able to stay with me forever. I wonder if you miss me as much as I miss you. I wonder if you are as sad as I am because we are apart. I think that you are and it kills me that there is nothing that I can do about it. I can’t wipe your tears, hold you close and tell you that everything is going to be alright. I can’t promise you that I’ll never let anything happen to you, because it did. The worst possible thing that could have happened, did. And I will never stop being sorry for that. It is so unfair that the four of us are left here and you are gone. I constantly feel like I have forgotten you somewhere. I am constantly looking over my shoulder for you to come running around the corner. I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking for you.

I have been struggling with my sleep so much. The devil, Ambien has been in and out of my life since you were diagnosed. I try not to take it, but I’ve had a solid 3 weeks where I have taken it almost every night. Dr. Jo told me to try Valerian Root last week. She told me she takes 2 of those and she is out cold. So, I took 4 a few nights ago and nothing. I ended up taking my Ambien instead. I haven’t taken my Ambien for 3 nights in a row now. It has been horrific. The first night I fell asleep in our bed, with your daddy. I was in and out of sleep the entire night. I felt like my body was on fire. I had the most awful nightmares. I was watching myself scream your name, knowing that you were dead, but nobody could hear me or help me. Sounds like my real life. When I take Ambien, it puts me into such a heavy sleep, that I don’t dream at all. When I don’t take it, I toss and turn all night long, only to dream the most awful things. So what’s worse? I don’t know as they both seem bad. I know that I don’t want to rely on something to sleep so I am going to try to continue to tough this out. And if I need a break every once in a while, for now, it is o.k. Dr. Jo is trying to get me to meditate before bed or to try some yoga. It’s worth a shot, right??

We spent the weekend up in Flagstaff. It was another 3 day weekend and staying home just didn’t seem like an option. We tend to go stir crazy without you around. It’s like everyone is trying to overcompensate for the fact that you are not here. We headed up on Saturday and spent a couple of days enjoying the cooler weather and lazy days. Your daddy was actually able to relax. I tried too but it was hard to be up there for the first time, without you. I had a moment where I was walking into the living room and Liam was sitting down at the table on the floor. The top of his head, looked so much like the color of your hair, that I thought it was you. It was like I had the wind knocked out of me when I realized it was not. Your brothers were so kind to each other this weekend. They are such good boys. They didn’t fight at all, which seems so rare these days. I watched them as they played together, took care of each other, and helped out with a lot of the things we asked of them. We all snuggled on the couch and watched some movies, your daddy took them on an Arctic Cat ride, I took a long nap with Quinn, which I never do anymore. I snuggled up to him and let him remind me of you and the way we loved to take our naps together. Your brothers were extra sweet to me this weekend. I think they could tell I was sad about having to be without you, doing our normal family things that we loved to do. It snowed up in Flagstaff last night. I watched the snowflakes fall with tears in my eyes. You would have gone crazy over it and made me take you out in the middle of the night to play in it. I would have without hesitation.

It’s going to take a lot to heal us all. We all have some good ideas, of some things that can help. We are all being very open about our sadness and we talk about you all the time. But we are a different family now as we are all different people. Even your brothers. I keep wanting to write your little brothers. As if I feel that you were older then they are. I guess due to everything you went through and how strong you were about it all. I guess due to the fact that I now feel like you are older than them and you are the one watching out for them and protecting them. And the wisdom that you always had as you were so much wiser than your almost 4 years old of age. I always knew this about you. You truly were a gift to us all.

I have a busy week as I am leaving for New York soon. My solo trip that is much needed. I need some time to go back to our favorite city where I can just be for a little while. Some plans are falling into place which I am loving. I planned this trip without having anything to do but some very nice things are coming about. I am excited for the little adventure we are going to have together as I know you will be with me, the entire time.

Alright little man. I love you so much. I hope you are safe. I miss you so very much.

xoxo

Your Sparkle will Shine Forever

I’m not sleeping. I can’t. Could you? Could you sleep, without being able to kiss your baby goodnight? Knowing that the place that he once slept, is empty. Knowing that his little closet, filled with his clothes and shoes, will never be worn by him again. Could you sleep? Could you drift off into a peaceful place even for a few hours, to escape the nightmare? For me, it is physically impossible.

So, I sit here instead. Wishing so badly, that he would come running into my room in the middle of the night, just because he missed me. Wishing to be able to complain about the sleepless night I had the night before, because he was up all night, with just the flu. Wishing I would be exhausted tomorrow, because I had him to take care of all night long. Not because of the fact that I cannot sleep, because he is dead.

DEAD.

MY CHILD IS DEAD

What that does that even mean?

I GOOGLED IT. Too many raw things appeared. But nothing as raw and painful of having you not here.

I FOUND THIS. IT IS AN INTERNAL SCRIPT FOR PARENTS WHOM HAVE LOST A CHILD. What they may be thinking and feeling.

I concur.

  • I have failed my child.
  • I can’t live without seeing my child’s face.
  • I can’t live in a world where my child is a statistic now.
  • No one needs me now. My life has lost purpose.
  • My future – as a mother, as a father, as a step-parent, as a grandparent – died with my child.
  • I have regrets for things not said/done/realized before the death.
  • I should have prevented it.
  • I am alone. Other people grieve, but cannot share MY grief or make it less. They do not understand the depths of my grief.
  • My energy is gone. My will to live is gone. All around me, I see and feel the sadness and emptiness.
  • The world failed me. God failed me.
  • I am only living now for my other (children, spouse, partner, family, friends, profession). I am no longer living a life worth living for me.
  • I failed my child. (It usually begins and ends with this)
I know all of this. I believe everything above to be true. It is my life every single second of the day. I read the words. They make me sad. I take a break from Googling all things morbid, twisted and dark. An email pops up on my screen. I open it. I read it. I smile. I laugh. I cry. I have goosebumps. I feel alive. It’s from somebody I don’t know. There are a lot of those somebody’s now. This somebody made me feel proud of who I am. This somebody reminded me that although your little physical body is gone, Ronan. Your sparkle will stay here, forever. Thank you for this, to this M.o.M.M <3

Maya,

Im sure you get HUNDREDS of msgs on here as well as thru your email, FB, and your foundation but I feel like I need to write to you. You may not read this but I want you to know that Ro and YOU, Ms.Mama Maya are MAKING SHIT HAPPEN!!!!

I was not sent to your blog by a fellow reader, I dont know anyone personally (except for EVERYONE I have turned on to the blog since) that followed your blog or knew you personally, no one i know even knew of you or Ro before May 27th 2011 when I was sitting in the living room and happened to be browsing came across a post that had just been written, titled ‘Learning how to Live Half-Alive’. I had to click on it and see just what this post was and if it STOOD up to some of my fav lyrics.

Well, imagine my shock when not only did the blog stand up, it OUTSHINED anything i have EVER in this world even imagined of feeling. Tears sprang to my eyes, I felt like I had been punched in the gut, the wind knocked out of me, my mind could not wrap around the possibility that this was REAL LIFE and not just a blurb for the latest fiction novel from Jodi Picoult.

After reading that first post I clicked on the Baby Ronan link and within seconds had tears POURING down my face. I instantly had to know WHO this baby boy was that had ALREADY captured my heart? Can you believe that Maya? My whole sense of being ACHED for this baby whom I had NEVER even seen a picture of. I felt numb, my head was aching. I couldn’t believe that YOU were somewhere in this world hurting the way i was X’s a GAZILLION. I couldnt even (and still can’t) IMAGINE a pain that fierce. Right then and there The Thompson’s became a part of my family and heart.

My friends on my fb are re-posting my posts on childhood cancer, people are asking my kids and myself about our RockstarRonan bracelets, to which my 6-year-old replies, Ronan is the BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE SKY BABY!! http://www.rockstarronan.com. He’s a lil walking bill board for Ro and this horrible disease.

Next FUCKTEMBER I will be walking around with Info cards about childhood cancer and the BIGGEST sharpie i can find so that EVERY breast cancer sign I see gets graffitti’d on with KIDS GET CANCER TOO!! (sorry had to vent that it has been driving me crazy seeing Breast cancer start gearing up for OCT and trying to take the light from these BABIES who put all of their faith and trust into ADULTS who are supposed to be caring for and watching out for them?! and yet MOST turn a blind eye because it’s just too ugly. . . I honestly would not like to know the person who can look at RO, hear his story and simply walk away and DO NOTHING??)

I know that I have been rambling in this letter to you and I’m sorry. I really just wanted to let you know that you Ms. Maya and your A M A Z I N G baby Ro have touched the heart of a random stranger thousands of miles away and I will be by your side in this FIGHT of kicking cancers ASS every step of the way! I hope that one day our paths cross and I can meet you and hear some ‘spicy’ monkey stories, golf in some funky TUTU’s, blaring some Katy Perry while doing ALL things ROCKSTAR (:

Im so happy to read when you have a ‘good’ day, that means that even just a LIL bit of what I have been praying and wishing for you is starting to break thru the HELL you are living.

Love,

A MoMM <3333

PS. My grandma was THE BEST grandma in the WHOLE world!!! There is not a day that goes by that I dont think of her. Since she is no longer ‘here’ with me I KNOW that she is with Ro and since she was the best in the whole world she is DEF the best in ALL of the HEAVENS and she is taking care of Ro for you until you can. . . and she’s a stickler for brushing teeth and a SOFTY when it comes to rocking babies and snuggles <3

Bubbles galore. Just for you. Who cares that Quinn flooded everything? He did it, for you.

Fake it till you Make it

Ronan. Hi baby doll. So, last night…. not so much fun. I fell asleep from 11-1. Was up from 1-4:00. Slept from 4-6:00. Rise and shine, adrenaline pumping. I could not sleep last night to save my life. I wandered around the house, looking for you. I went into your room and wrote. I sat and cried. I took more Melatonin. It didn’t really work. I know why. It’s because today is Esther’s 4 months since she passed away. I was worried about Doriet. I called her this morning, after I took your brothers to school and had some time before I went to see Dr. Joanne. I needed to hear her voice and to let her know I was thinking of her. It felt good to talk to her and tell her I love her. I do. I told her I would come and see her. I really want to. I really need to. I will.

I saw Dr. Joanne today. I took your “GiGi,” blanket with me and wore my locket full of your ashes. We went over the worksheet today that she had me do. I started to cry as soon as we started going over it. She said I was really feeling it today. I was. We talked a lot about you. We talked a lot about me. I told her about the strong desire I have to still take care of you. How taking care of you, now comes in the form of taking care of me. I told her that I feel like I have to hit rock bottom, how I have to walk through Hell and back, to get through this. I told her how you are worth every amount of blood, sweat and tears that I have in my body. We talked a lot about expectations. She is glad that I am strong enough to stick up for myself and go through this the way I need to. Not the way anybody else thinks I should. I love her. She is such a powerful soul. She told me today that she can tell I feel like I have one foot in the world of the living, and one foot in the world of the dead. She gets it. She was exactly right. Nobody can understand the true pain of losing a child, unless you are a bereaved mother yourself. This journey is mine and mine alone. Nobody else’s. I am o.k. with that. I prefer it like that. The session was good.

We were about to end on a pretty good note, but then I had to pull out the journal that I found while cleaning out my desk a few days ago. I guess deep down, I’ve always been a writer. I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Never anything I was serious about, but I’ve always loved it. My words have always been hauntingly honest and insightful, but I never bothered to share them with anyone but myself. I never thought I was any good at it. Never had a reason to be. I found some really disturbing words written down, 2 days after your diagnoses. Call them my insightful ways. UGH. She sat with my words for a while and seemed taken aback. She was going to give me some homework, but decided we are going to take my words, and have me sit with them and to talk to you about the things I had written. To listen to what I would hear you say, back to me. I can do this. I can do anything for you.

I came home from Dr. Joanne and changed my clothes. I went and checked some things off of my “Shit List.” I went Inferno Hiking. I had a conversation in my head with the pretend paramedic who I was going to need to save me from that Pink Rattlesnake I’ve been dreaming about. I told the pretend paramedic that I was not afraid to die from the poisonous venom of a rattlesnake. That if my time was up, than my time was up. I told him how I had you waiting for me and if we were meant to be reunited, my life, would be ending in exactly the way that it was supposed to. I told him how you must miss me so much, that you are ready to have me back taking care of you again. I told him how I was not scared at all and I said all of this with a smile on my face. I have conversations in my head all day long with people I don’t even know. I have conversations with you a lot. “Landslide,” played on my iPod. I looked behind me when Stevie Nicks sang,

“I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down.”

I turned around and looked for you. I couldn’t see you. I cried as I ran as fast as I could up the mountain today. I screamed for you. I whispered for you. I listened for you. I pretended to see you, running up the hill behind me. I wished for death. It didn’t happen. I ran as fast as I could back down the mountain, hoping to fall and break my arm. Anything to feel a break from this pain of living without you. I made it to the bottom, soaking wet, but safe and sound. Guess today was not my day to walk with you again. To hold you sweet, soft hand and kiss your perfectly plump lips. It’s days like today, that I almost cannot take being without you. I tried to eat lunch. That went over really well. I threw it all up.

I picked up your brothers. They were so happy and excited to tell me all about their day. The good grades they got on their spelling tests, math test, AR Reading points…… They are happy. They are coming to terms with the fact that you are gone and are not coming back. They are so full of hope that the fact that it is not infectious to me makes me think that I am seriously disturbed. NOTHING MAKES ME HAPPY. NOTHING. Try swallowing the guilt that comes from that. I hope someday that I will be happy again. But I am not going to walk around and pretend that I am. Fake it till you make it. As Dr. Joanne said, I sure do put on a good game face. The best I told her.

I took your brothers to Sauce for an after school snack. I sat and watched as they gobbled up pizza and engaged with them, smiled for them, laughed with them. It was fucking exhausting. Also, I’m sure the fact that I had almost no sleep last night, didn’t help. We came home, emptied out their backpacks and lunch boxes and went over their homework. I told them they could have a break, some down time. I crawled under the covers. Your Daddy came home soon after that. I fell asleep for about a half an hour. I woke up to your Daddy, telling me he was going to take your brothers to play basketball. He asked if I wanted to go. I quietly told him, “No,” as the tears slid down my cheek. I felt like I had been run over by a bus. Soon the house was quiet and empty. I got up, unloaded the dishwasher and did all the good mommy/wife things that I am supposed to be doing. I called your Nana, whom I never talk to anymore. I felt guilty as she picked up and I could hear the excitement in her voice. We talked for a few minutes. She told me she is worried about me not eating. She told me she doesn’t want me to end up in the hospital. I told her, “Who cares.” She tried to gently scold me, all while telling me she wasn’t judging me. I told her I knew that. I know she does not. She is a good mom. I promise to call her more often.

I’m going to go now baby doll. I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

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Just you and me

Ronan. Just another day without you. I wish I could tell you that I am o.k. But, I’m not. I’m just sad. I’m swimming in a sea of sadness and am barely staying afloat. This morning, I took your brothers to surf camp. I sat and watched them for the 3 hours and pushed them as they both complained about the ocean being too cold, etc….. I was the mean mommy that told them to suck it up. My tolerance for their complaining today was at an all time low. At one point, Quinn came in and didn’t want to go back into the ocean. He wanted to stop surfing for the day. I brought up you and how hard you fought for every second of your life. I talked to him about life and how important it is to not give up and to keep fighting. I told him how you would give anything to be living still and if you were having a hard time at something, that you would have never have given up. But life is not fair and now you don’t get to run around, never taking no for an answer, all while pushing every limit, every boundary that came your way. You were just born different from most people, Ronan. Your daddy and I say it all the time. You had a fire and such strength in your soul. That’s  why we were so convinced that you would beat your stupid fucking cancer. I’ve never met a boy stronger than you and I still can’t believe that everything ended so quickly.

After my “get your ass back into the water,” pep talk….. but in a much nicer way, Quinn finished up his class. I don’t know if I’m pushing too hard, but that’s just the way it goes. Your brothers need to learn a little something about fighting to become the best people they can be. To appreciate everything that they are able to do. To never take a second of life for granted. I have no tolerance for whining and complaining anymore. I know what it’s like to watch a little boy go through treatments for cancer and how you never once complained about anything. Except for missing your brothers and just wanting to be home. Complaining about things in our life now just won’t exist anymore, unless it has to do with missing you. That’s the only thing any of us should every complain about. Anything else can be fixed, problem solved, or worked through.

After the boys’ surf lesson, we hit up the hot tub and than came up for lunch. Liam crashed out for a nap, Quinn rested as well and I took my surfboard and headed out for a couple of hours. It was cold, but I welcomed the angry ocean with open arms today. It felt good to be out there and I got tossed around a bit. Coronado is a great place to learn how to surf and the quiet time out in the ocean, when I paddled past the waves to think about you, was nice. After I surfed, I came back up to the condo and hung out with your daddy and brothers. Later in the evening, we went out to our usual spot so your daddy could cook up our dinner. There were a bunch of dolphins out in the water this evening. We spotted about 5 or 6. They were so beautiful and I of  course thought of you. I was than overcome with anger and thought to myself that it was bullshit that a sign from you, had to come in the form of a dolphin. I don’t want any signs…. I just want you. Back with us, the way things should be. I tried to be happy about seeing those dolphins tonight, but it only made me sad and miss you more. You did leave me a lot of signs today, which I am thankful for. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, Ro. I love all your little signs, but it doesn’t make me miss you any less. Sometimes it hurts more.

After dinner, we came back up to the condo and although it was late…. 9:30, I headed out for my run. (sorry Mr. Sparky Eyes) I promised him I wouldn’t run late at night anymore, due to an encounter I had with some creepy man a few nights ago; but I had to go tonight. It’s the restlessness in me that never goes away. I ran 7 miles…. all the way over to the Coronado Bridge and back. It felt good, it hurt, and I of course thought about you a lot. Sometimes, when I am thinking about you, it hurts so bad that I cannot even cry. I was thinking about being at The Ryan House with you and I felt like I was going to stop breathing as I still can’t come to the realization that you are gone. I think I have Post-traumatic stress disorder. For real.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you’ve seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur soon after a major trauma, or it can be delayed for more than 6 months after the event. When it occurs soon after the trauma, it usually gets better after 3 months. However, some people have a longer-term form of PTSD, which can last for many years.

PTSD can occur at any age and can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as war, a prison stay, assault, domestic abuse, or rape. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in the United States may have caused PTSD in some people who were involved, in people who saw the disaster, and in people who lost relatives and friends. These kinds of events can produce stress in anyone, but not everyone develops PTSD.

The cause of PTSD is unknown, but psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body’s response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters). Having been exposed to trauma in the past may increase the risk of PTSD.

Having good social support helps to protect against PTSD. In studies of Vietnam veterans, those with strong support systems were less likely to get PTSD than those without social support.

People with PTSD re-experience the event again and again in at least one of several ways. They may have frightening dreams and memories of the event, feel as though they are going through the experience again (flashbacks), or become upset during anniversaries of the event.

Symptoms

People with PTSD re-experience the event again and again in at least one of several ways. They may have frightening dreams and memories of the event, feel as though they are going through the experience again (flashbacks), or become upset during anniversaries of the event.

Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories:

1. Repeated “reliving” of the event, which disturbs day-to-day activity

  • Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again
  • Recurrent distressing memories of the event
  • Repeated dreams of the event
  • Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event

2. Avoidance

  • Emotional “numbing,” or feeling as though you don’t care about anything
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Less expression of moods
  • Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event
  • Sense of having no future

3. Arousal

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exaggerated response to things that startle you
  • Excess awareness (hypervigilance)
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Sleeping difficulties

You also might feel a sense of guilt about the event (including “survivor guilt”), and the following symptoms, which are typical ofanxiety, stress, and tension:

  • Agitation, or excitability
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling your heart beat in your chest (palpitations)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • PalenessYup. That pretty much sums me up. Except for the paleness, but that is only due to the sunny Cali weather:)

I thought about the lecture I was going to get from Mr. Sparkly Eyes about running so late at night and thought about how I would tell him that I was sorry; but fear is a word that doesn’t exist in my vocabulary anymore. I have already lived through the thing I was most scared of in my life. So now what? What else do I have to fear? Nothing. Of course, I worry about your brothers and Daddy, but when it comes to me… I just don’t give a fuck. I’m not going to live my life being scared of anything anymore because I know whatever else is thrown my way, will be nothing compared to losing you. So , I will run my runs when I want, say the things I feel, swim in the ocean at night, and not be scared. It’s actually very freeing and liberating. To live a life of not being scared of things is how all people should live, otherwise what’s the point? Before all of this, I don’t know if I would have ever taken up surfing, because I was scared of sharks. And forget about running the dark. I used to make up things in my head to be scared of. Well, I’m done with that. At 33 years old, after losing you, I’m done with fear. I’m going to live my life the way you would have lived yours. Head on, embracing every adventure and pushing the limits for the most beautiful outcomes. I will live my life this way for you, because I know as an adult, this is the way you would have grown up to be. Life would have been scared of you.

I came home to your daddy and brothers watching a movie and soon Quinn was ready for bed. We came into our room and as soon as we turned on the T.V. guess what was on, Ro. “Zombieland.” One of our very favorite movies that we used to watch all the time. That’s where you got the saying, “Just you and me,” from. Another one of your little signs. That was one of our favorite things to do in the hospital was watch that movie on your iPad. Quinn watched it for the first time tonight and laughed a lot. It’s a little mature for him, but he has had so much of his innocence taken away that I let him watch it anyway. We cuddled up and watched it together. I held him extra tight for you.

We say goodnight to you every night. Do you hear us?? I hope you do. I’m going to say goodnight now baby. We have an early camp tomorrow again, hoping those brothers will pick up a little more passion and zest for the opportunities that they are given. I just want them to be thankful for being on this earth everyday, with 2 parents who are so broken, but are somehow managing to make this summer as good as it can possibly be. It’s a lot of work, but as a family, we have to do this. For all of us. I know it is what you would want.

I love you little man. I love you to the moon and back. As I was running tonight, I stopped and blew a kiss up to the moon and said, “I love you, Ronan.” I hope you heard me. Life is so precious and I know it doesn’t’ seem like it now, but I am not going to let it swallow me whole. I promise I will start living it again when I am ready. But ready is not now, and I don’t know when it will ever be. I need more time to pass between your death. I still cry all the time, but mostly over being with you that final night and saying goodbye to you. I still tell myself it just can’t be true. You were true and all I wanted was you. Forever. What am I supposed to do without you my little bug?? As of now, I don’t want to do anything except survive and not totally fuck up your brothers with the crazy shit that goes though my head. All I can do is be present for them and do the little things for them that I know mean so much. I will deal with them first, and myself later. I can wait. The damage done to them cannot be undone, which is why when we get back to AZ, therapy will become a big part of our lives. I have to be proactive about this and it is something we are going to have to do as a family, together.

I also forgot to tell you a funny story from last night. I took Quinn to dinner, on a date. We had finished up and we were walking out of the restaurant and there was a family of 5 sitting on the bench and standing up, smoking. I was holding on to Quinn’s had and I looked at them, straight in the eyes, and said, “Smoking causes cancer,” and kept walking. I thought Quinn was going to fall over. It’s like I have no censor anymore and he wanted to know if we were going to get into trouble for saying that. I said for what, “For speaking the truth? Ronan got cancer because he didn’t have a choice.” The fact that people in this day and age, take it upon themselves to smoke, knowing what the risks are, pisses me off. I’m sensitive to this, especially now. I wanted to say, “You should get cancer, not my 4-year-old child who didn’t do a thing wrong in this world.” You make the choice to suck on those freaking cancer sticks, then suffer the consequences. My child had to suffer for not a god damn reason at all except for bad luck. If anyone deserved to live, it was you baby. I will never stop thinking that. This whole things turned out so unbelievably wrong. For everyone involved. Everyone misses you Ronan. Even though you are gone, you are still changing lives. I promise you, a cure for this will be found before I die. I know I made you a lot of promises, but I promise to keep this one. I owe it to you and all the other little babies out there. Give me some time. Some time to mourn you, but when I feel ready….watch out cancer world. You’ve fucked with the wrong mommy and baby team. You are going to be sorry, but it will never be sorry enough for having to lose you over Ro. I will be sorry about that everyday for the rest of my life. Your fire now burns in my soul, you live with me, in my body. I know you may go away now and again, but when you want to come home, I know this is where your soul rests. I feel you all the time.

This is all for tonight my little monkey man. I love you to the moon and back a million times over. Just you and me, baby:) Sweet dreams. Go and visit some of your favorite people. Nighty Night baby boy.

xoxo

“Take away a man’s son. You’ve truly given him nothing left to lose.” Quote from Zombieland

Welcome back, hospital insomnia

Beeping machines. Check. Headache. Check. Cold hospital room. Check. Missing Woody. Check. Hospital insomnia back. Check. Check. Check. Where does this leave me? Miserable. With a foggy head. I really, really, tried to go to sleep without my sleepy meds tonight, because I thought I left them at the RMH. I’ve lain awake for 3 freaking hours now. Tossing. Turning. Had a slight panic attack and thought I couldn’t breathe. It was only out of sheer terror and desperation that I dug though another overnight bag and thank the lord, found my Ambien. Waiting for it to kick in and trying to ignore the little voices in the back of my head saying they can’t believe I have to take prescription meds to go to sleep. STFU. Nothing to feel guilty about… but was all so foreign to me, until now. I gag taking Advil. Never in my life had I had to take medication to sleep. Sleep always came so easily and peacefully to me. Guess that changes when your child gets cancer. At least it has for me. Everything has changed.

I tossed and turned and sat and over-analyzed everything like I always do. I worried myself into a panic about a friend who is flying back to Phoenix tonight. I told him I needed to know he was safe so I could sleep better. I texted Woody to let me know when he arrived to Phoenix because I needed to know that he and Quinn were safe. I sat and obsessed over these things tonight for I cannot take something else happening to the people I love. Now, I will sit here and obsess over my mom getting into New York safely and hoping that she easily finds her way to the RMH. She’s never been to New York and I can tell she is nervous. I wish I could be there to meet her but all I can do is sit and wait for her to call so I know she’s o.k. I worry a lot when I don’t sleep and my overactive imagination goes into full effect. Then there’s the damn beep beep of Ronan’s fucking pole again. I have to get up, buzz the nurse, and say, “We’re beeping!” I’ve done this only 5 times tonight. Awesomeness. I much prefer my coma induced state of sleep that I was able to have the past few nights while I slept at the RMH with Quinn. My little blue friends better start working soon or I am going to be a zombie tomorrow and I hate being that way. I was so looking forward to some nice time with my mom and Ronan… do not want grumpy Maya to make an appearance. Nobody likes her.

Our roommate is really sick. So sick that I can’t sleep because I am so sad for him. He has a very rare form of brain cancer. He has a big bump on his head from it and can’t really talk or move. He is a little younger than Ronan, with the most beautiful face and the longest eyelashes. His parents are such good parents too. You can tell that they are as in love with each other as they are their son who is fighting so desperately hard for his little life. They sit and play memory and other games with him all day, but he gets tired easily. Today, he slept the entire day and has thrown up on and off. I wish I had a magic wand to make him all better. If love could fix the problem, he would be healed because the way his mom loves him is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. She is a very good mom. And you all know I have high standards. It takes a lot for me to call another mom a good mom, and this lady should win mama of the year. Her patience, love, and kindness for her child makes me smile. It gives me hope that he is going to be fine; just like Ronan.

You know how I know Ronan is going to be fine?? Because of my insight. And because of the very insightful people who I surround myself with and they know it too. Like Mr. Sparkly Eyes, who I was texting a couple of days ago after I was having a bad day and I told him I just needed to hear him tell me that everything was going to be o.k. He responded with “I do believe Ro will overcome this.” He wouldn’t just say this to me if he didn’t feel it or believe in it. Same with Fernanda. She has great insight to things and told me this morning that she has no doubt that Ronan is going to be o.k… and she will watch him grow up into a beautiful teenager. There is something about the two of them that I trust and believe in what they are saying 110%. They are my Ronan whispers. I don’t see Ronan not surviving this and maybe I’m biased because he’s my child and maybe this is the way every mother feels when facing this situation…. but I don’t know. I just have such a strong sense that these hard and scary times are going to be worth it because in the end, he will still be here; where he belongs which is on this earth doing amazing things. Woody and I both know it is going to take a lot of work to get our son back, but we both do not doubt that it will happen and we are in the best place where they are going to make sure it happens. I have an inner peace about this. I trust my insights, my gut, the flashes of things I get that pertain to my life. TRUSTTRUSTTRUST. This is all happening for a very good reason. A huge mother-fucking rainbow at the end of the storm!!!!!!!!!

Holla!!! New York better be prepared! Miss Macy is coming for a visit!!!!! I’m so excited! She just sent me a text saying she will be here April 14-17th. I have the most amazing friends that refuse to let me be here alone and are filling in for Woody when he is gone. Trish has her ticket booked, Fernanda is coming, Niki, Stacy, Tiffany, and I have a whole line-up of people who are dying to come out next to help. I love my friends so much. I don’t know what I would do without them.

Alright. Officially getting tired due to my “friends” starting to work. Thank GOD for Ambien. Nighty Night peeps!

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