Dear 11 Fucking Months. I think I hate you.

Ronan. This solitude thing… it’s alright. It’s necessary. I’m doing it as much as possible. As much as I can for still being among the living, while really being dead. That’s what I feel like lately. It’s o.k. It’s part of this process for me. For as much as I’m checking out, I am still checking in when I can with the people who love me the most. With the people who I love the most too. I’ve been spending most of the days, solo. Hiking for many hours. Trying to be mindful of the way I’m feeling and not trying to distract with busy, busy things. There is a time for that. It’s not now. Right now, it’s time to check in with myself and that’s about it. Right now is not the time for the business that usually consumes me. Thinking about the past few days I know a lot of things have gone on. I woke up this morning to an empty house due to your brothers staying the night at your Mimi and Papa’s. They were going to be gone all day long which I knew was more than I could handle… you know, the whole being home alone until the evening. I woke up and thought, “Fuck. This is not going to be a good day, if you are home until 5 or 6 tonight, in this quiet, empty house. I threw some things in a bag and headed out the door. I sent Dr. Jo a text that simply said, “Coming up there for the day to go hiking.” Up there being Sedona. Why not? It sounded like the perfect thing to do instead of a sad/lonely day at home. She told me to just come to her house when I got up there and we would go hiking, together. Even better.

I arrived around 11 to the one place that now feels like one of the safest places in the world to me. A place that fills me with solace and gratitude. The comfort of Dr. JoRo’s house and that beautiful place of Sedona that she lives. I am no fool. Without her I am quite sure I would not still be here. I’m not too proud to admit that she has pretty much saved my life. In a weird way I feel like she’s been waiting for me for a long time. Or rather, we’ve been waiting for each other. I’m quite sure we were supposed to meet in this life. Just fucking sucks it had to be this way. I’m just thankful I found her when I did because if I did not, I am sure I would be in a mental ward, doped up on 20 different drugs, because don’t you know, a pill makes everything better/go away. Fucking emotionally irresponsible bullshit that medication thing is. More on that later…

Dr. JoRo grabbed her expert friend/neighbor in all things Sedona/nature/trails to take us on a little adventure. It was a good 2 hour hike where we talked but in a quiet/respectful way. It as nice as nice can possibly feel. Much better than being at home, lifeless, in bed where everything hurts so much that I think the pain alone is actually going to kill me. We returned to her house where I gave her one last hug before she leaves for her trip to NYC. So wish I were going with her. Missing our favorite big city so much. After I left Jo’s I decided I was not ready to go home yet. I drove through Sedona to go on my own hike, with my non existent map. I found myself hiking through the trees, fighting with a lot of sticker bushes/ branches, and scaling the side of some huge rock to perch myself up on a cliff where I settled into a couple of hours of reading/writing/sitting with your blanket while the hot sun poured down on my shoulders. My own therapy for the day, I guess. I left Sedona and drove way too fast with the music blaring way too loud during the entire drive back to Phoenix. I let myself get lost in the world of Pearl Jam for a while which always makes me drive faster/miss you so much more.

I came home and your brothers were still gone. I jumped in the shower and decided I would meet Rita for a dangerous night out. We went to see “The Hunger Games.” This was totally dangerous for 3 reasons. 1) I never go to movies anymore. I have a hard time sitting still. 2) We went to some totally sketchy theatre (o.k. so not really… just downtown phoenix) 3) We went to “The Hunger Games.” A movie about kids killing kids. Or kids dying. Or if you have a dead kid, you should maybe not watch this movie. I didn’t really think about this, going into it. I didn’t really think about it until there was a scene where a little girl dies and they do such a good job making you feel it that I actually felt like I was the girl in the movie, kissing your lips for one last time and crying out like a mother who just lost her child. Feeling like the mother that I am who watched you die. I know what happens. I actually know what it really feels like in real fucking life and not just by watching it on a movie screen. Rita grabbed my hand and asked if I was o.k. I nodded yes as the hot tears slid down my cheeks. She held my hand until the scene was over and then asked if I wanted to leave. I told her no, that I was alright. I lied, but I really wanted to see the ending. It was a pretty good/entertaining in a Lord of the Flies kind of way, movie. One that I’m sure I would have loved before losing you because the reality of it would have never touched me, right? Yeah right. So we all walk through life, thinking. So thankful I don’t have that problem anymore, Ro. So thankful that I get to have you dead so I no longer know that I or anyone around me is immune to death. I fucking knew that before you. I talk to Jo a lot about how I always had a feeling that you were not going to be mine, forever. How I was never worried about you learning how to count to 100, how I never pushed education stuff on you the way I did with your brothers. I tell her I was always so happy and thankful for the exact moments we lived in. Not the next day moments. Not even the future. Just the present. Just when you were mine and I was yours in that exact second of the day. It made for the best/funnest life in the world. It made for the happiest life I’ve ever felt by just being with you. JUST BEING. There were no expectations. Everything was so pure and organic and real. It was just us and we really did whatever you wanted. You wanted to wash your trucks outside, naked, in the mud? Done. You wanted to rub your little dirty muddy hands all over our windows? Done. You wanted to spray our sliding glass doors with the hose? Totally! You wanted to color on them too? Alright! You want to stab our leather couch with a pen and make big holes in it, big deal, Ro. You were leaning/exploring/pushing boundaries the way you should have been. I was never going be the one to contain you creative mind. A mind that always seemed so much wiser than even mine. You knew what you were here to do. I truly believe that. I know you are still here, baby doll. It’s just the physical part of you that I miss so much.

Ronan. Holy shitballs I think I hate Easter. Actually, I don’t think I hate Easter, I know I hate Easter. Easter without you this year, sucked balls. And not in a good way. We didn’t celebrate Easter at all this year. We celebrated Feaster instead and it was awesome, for being not awesome. We spent the weekend hanging around the house. I cooked a Brisket and and taught your brothers about all things Passover. You cannot have a proper Feaster, without a little religion. So, we talked a lot about Passover and what it means. We went to our own church on Sunday which was in Sedona, at Oak Creek Canyon. We spent Sunday hiking, getting dirty, playing in the water and your daddy even jumped off the side of a cliff. We spent Sunday doing all things that you would have loved. I tried to have the best day possible by getting lost in the world of your brothers who seemed to have a wonderful time. I’m not going to lie. It was an exhausting day, for being as relaxing and peaceful as it was. There was not a better way for us to spend the day, but it was still brutal to spend our first/last holiday with you, without you. I was glad when the day was over and I was able to lay down and fall into my Ambien induced coma. I didn’t have a choice. Sometimes I just have all I can take during the day and fighting with my sleep last night would have thrown me over the edge. I fell into a black oblivion instead.

So, today is 11 months of fuckery. I spent it alone, on a mountain and at the car wash. I found myself at the car wash today and looking back now, as I sit here writing tonight, I can actually laugh at myself and the shit that happens to me on a daily freaking basis. Case in point, victim one today, Danny’s car wash dude.

-Danny’s car wash dude- “How was your Easter, Miss?

Me- “Shitty.”

DCWD- “Really? Why?”

Me- “Because I have a dead kid. Because my son is dead.” -insert flow of snot/tears here/dripping everywhere

DCWD- uncomfortable silence, “Ummm… what? Really? Well, um…. o.k. Well, are you o.k.? Like for real? Because you don’t seem o.k.

Me- “Oh my gosh. Um, yeah, totally o.k., I’ll really be fine.”

DCWD- “O.k… do you want your floor mats washed?”

Me- “Yeah, please. Thank you so much.”

You know what else happened? For the first time today, when some other dude at Danny’s Car Wash asked me how many kids I had, I said 2! I about threw up. I went to correct my mistake, but I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth and I did not feel like explaining myself because I knew I would end up in hysteria. So, I freaked out in my head instead and just walked away, in a daze. That’s when I was approached by the other guy and that’s when the “I had a shitty Easter and I have a dead kid,” came flying out of my mouth. I am surprised I was able to drive my car after that whole incident today. I came home, threw myself in our bed, and sobbed. Then I put on my clothes and went inferno hiking in the hot, hot heat of the day. After my inferno hike, I came home, showered and picked up your brothers from school. I took them for a snack and off to the batting cages where we practiced baseball and all things fun. I didn’t know trying to have fun, would be so freaking hard Ronan. I just want to bury my head in the sand. But I continue to keep trying, for the sake of them and nothing else. Because those little boys’ deserve to have a mom who has not checked out, for as much as I want to, I just can’t. We came home and I was so tired. I helped them with their homework and after having all I could take, I found myself in my freaking bed, once again. Crying. This time, Quinn found me. He cuddled up next to me, and asked me what was wrong. I told him I just missed you. He sat with me as I cried for a few minutes (no mom guilt here at all) and I then made myself get up. We spent the rest of the evening at Uncle Jay’s house (lifesaver) swimming, eating pizza, and watching the Suns game. Thank GOD for that Uncle Jay of yours. Your daddy joined us and this shitty 11 month day is coming to an end.

I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of all of this shit in this fucking crazy world. It truly is insane, Ronan. I cannot watch the news/read the paper because of all the things that I just cannot believe are going on. Some lady flushed her baby down a toilet. Facebook just bought Instagram for a Billion dollars. Everyone and their mothers are getting their own “reality” shows. Nothing out there, makes sense to me. It all makes me angry. None of it matters. It’s all “stuff,” getting in the way of real reality like kids dying and parents struggling to stay alive and survive. And wait… why are all these kids with cancer still dying and still being over looked? Shouldn’t this problem be getting a little better? See what happens, when I take a break? A whole lot of nothing gets done. I did hear that Mattel is going to make the bald Barbie though. I have not read the details, due to being unplugged from everything but I hope it is true.

Dr. JoRo is in NYC now. She asked for a little list of some things she could for me, during her one day off. These are the things I told her to do.

1) Run in Central Park at night. Thinking she probably will not do this.

2) Visit Sloan Kettering and kick Dr. Kushner in the balls for me. (she could totally dress up like a Ninja and do this)

3) Eat Fro Yo at 40 Carrots inside Bloomingdales. (this might be a little safer and was one of our favs)

4) Eat Pizza at Delizia’s for us. (another one of our favs)

I miss her so much already. She is not a very big fan of our favorite little city. I am doing my best to make her into a New Yorker, without being there to actually do it. Next time:)

Alright baby boy. This is all for tonight. Yes, I’m still in hiding and I have still been hiking every single day for our month of mother fucking madness. And today, I was EXTRA dangerous and did not wear sunscreen. My inner rebel was loving it. I love you. I miss you. I’m so sorry. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

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30 day challenge of mother fucking madness

 

Ronan. The 30 day yoga challenge. I have a friend who is crazy enough and actually did this. Kudos to D. She is crazy in all the best ways. And she loves her yoga. I do not love yoga. I am quite sure, if I were to try to contain myself in a calming, peaceful environment of yoga, that I would go all turrets on their asses and start freaking out/screaming/crying/puking about how I have a fucking dead kid so NOTHING is Zen, NOTHING is Ommmm and I would like to beat the bloody hell out of the Chakras that surround me. I’m pretty sure I would get kicked out of a yoga class, while offending everyone which does sound pretty badass and dangerous… so it’s a little tempting. If I didn’t respect the whole yoga thing so much, I would totally do this. But I secretly love yoga. I’m envious of those who do it, love it, and are better people because of it. I used to love it, Ronan. Before all of this. Now… I’m just not ready to go back.

I’ve come up with my own 30 day challenge, instead. I started it on Monday. It’s called Maya’s 30 day challenge of mother fucking madness. And the weather is getting hotter, which makes it even better. I spent 3 hours on Monday and 3 hours today, hiking/running/puking/crying/spitting/tripping/getting a rad tan. Skin cancer here I come!!!! I’ve decided to have 30 days of hiking for 3-5 hours a day in complete and total silence. I’ve already told your daddy, that it’s 30 days of solitude. 30 days of not talking to anyone because I’m really on a retreat to Italy/India/Indonesia like that Elizabeth Gilbert wah wah wah, my life is so bad, chick. When in reality, your life is freaking awesome lady. Plus, you got to travel to all of those places, solo, and figure your shit out. Unfortunately, I cannot do that, due to having a thing back here called 2 babes to take care of and a husband. This is my modified version of your little trip, Elizabeth Gilbert or whatever your name is. I think I totally have a one up on you though, due to having a dead kid, so kudos’ for that! One of those little silver linings in life that just makes everything o.k.! I am being sarcastic. Because I am in a pissy/sarcastic mood.

So, I started this on Monday and so far, I have not died. I have visions of dying out there though due to the heat/rattlesnakes/weird scary men that appear out of nowhere! when I am in the middle of nowhere!, alone! Rita! I freaking told you I needed a machete! You are going to be really upset if I get attacked and have nothing on me, to protect myself! I have many reasons as to why I am doing this. One being because if I don’t, I quite simply will stay barricaded up in my house, in my bed, crying. Two being because I need to be with you, Ronan. And being alone, hiking is where I feel closest to you. Three being I need the quietness in my head, or to deal with the screaming in my head by talking to Inferno Fuckwad Bob, alone. My head feels foggy. It feels less foggy when I am out, being active and dealing with this grief but in my way, the solitude way. Isolation. 30 days of intense hiking/isolation/how the fuck am I going to get through this? You’d better start figuring this out. You’d better start taking some control of some things. You’d better start because Ronan, as you told Dr. JoRo, in her dream…. “I can’t get to my mom, because she’s too angry. Tell her that, please.” She couldn’t tell me that for a while. She just told me that, last week. She has watched me struggle with this anger. I told her I was less angry and just more sad now. She decided that it was the right time, to tell me the last thing that you said to her, in her dream. FUCK. We both figured out when it is that I hide the most. It’s when I’m angry. It’s because to me, anger is shameful. It makes me feel dirty, like I need to take a shower and scrub, scrub, scrub. I’ve never been an angry person. I don’t know how to handle it. I’m pretty sure I have done/said hurtful things while being angry. I don’t want to hurt anyone so when I am feeling super angry, I hide. If I hide, I cannot hurt anyone with the stupid/mean things that may come flying out of my mouth. I’d rather just deal with my anger and take it out on myself, like on a mountain where I can beat myself up. Where I can find moments of quiet. Where I can scream, cry, bloody my knuckles and nobody has to see me. This is what I am doing, every single day until May 2nd. Plus, Dr. JoRo is freaking leaving me for 2 weeks! Um excuse me! If I don’t do this/and she is gone I am going to go bat shit crazy!

So, this is what I’m doing. I have no doubt that I will be up that mountain for hours upon hours for the next 30 days. I don’t know what I am looking for. All I know at this point is I kind of want to die but I also want to kind of stay alive. I’m just leaving it in the hands of the fates at this point. The exercise feels good to me. The not listening to music, feels good to me. The just being with my grief/sadness hurts like hell but it’s not going anywhere. I’m going to go and join it and truly join it, alone. I’m not filling my days with things/lunches/nail parties/all things I need to take a break from. I’m going to fill my days with silence/dirt/nature/barefoot hiking/blisters/cut feet/sunburns/isolation and solitude.

This is my plan. It’s not much but this is what my heart is telling me I need to do if I want to survive this next month that is coming up. Power through April and maybe it will help you to figure out May.

I’m sleepy, Ro. You would be so proud of your brothers tonight and their baseball game. They looked so great and happy. We all miss you so much. Tonight Quinn got blamed for doing something by your daddy that he says he didn’t do. I looked at him and said, “Just blame it on Ronan.” He giggled. We both yelled out, “Ronan did it!” That made us laugh even harder. And then we got sad because you weren’t here to do it, so we snuggled up together and I just held him and we quietly talked about you.

Your Sparkly said it best. Nobody deserves this. But especially not you. Especially not me. Especially not us. I told him it was you I am saddest for. You deserved so much better. You deserved so much more. You were robbed of living the most beautiful life. I am the saddest for you, always. I love you. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

Why hello beautiful boy

Today was actually a wonderful day. Wonderful as in we only had to go to the clinic for the standard blood tests and to have Ronan’s broviac dressing changed. We got to see our favorite nurse, Sharon, which is always a treat. Ronan told me today that she is his favorite person to see at the clinic. So sweet he is. This morning he woke me up at 7 a.m. on the dot demanding scrambled eggs, pronto! I tried my best to put him off as I was so cozy in bed but he wasn’t having it. I got up, made him his eggs, and got Quinn ready for school. Liam is still at Mimi and Papa’s due to not feeling well. After Quinny got off to school, I spent the rest of the morning cooking for Ronan and making him food about every half an hour. He is constantly hungry which is a very good thing, but leaves me exhausted and I don’t get much else done around the house. We headed out to PCH and had a chance to talk to Dr. Eshun about Ronan’s scans. He overall seemed pleased with everything but does not want to give us any concrete statistics until we get the MIBG scan done. This will be the most telling of all of the scans. Thursday cannot get here soon enough. After the clinic visit, Ronan was begging me to take him to Chelsea’s Kitchen for lunch. We met Woody there and watched as Ronan chowed down some of Woody’s French Dip, french fries, and his Grilled Cheese Sandwich. I had my favorite, the Ahi Tuna Tacos. Most amazing things ever. I could never get tired of that place. Ronan was happy to be out with his mom and dad and it was a gorgeous day spent with a gorgeous boy who is feeling wonderful. You have no idea what it does to my heart to see him so happy and carefree. Forget the fact that his life has been overtaken by cancer; today none of that mattered. Quinn came home from school and cousin Luke came over for a couple hours to play. The boys played baseball outside and ran around like crazy. I felt like a normal mom for a minute… making them after school snacks, helping with homework, doing laundry, and getting to hear all about Quinn and Luke’s day at school. It’s days like today that the cancer cloud that hangs over my head disappears for just a short amount of time. It is the most wonderful feeling in the world. I made the boys’ dinner and as soon as Woody got home, I headed out to my gym to get in a quick workout. I’d better try to get in as much exercise as possible before transplant starts because I know once that starts, all of my workouts are going to be gone for awhile. Not looking forward to that but I will just have to suck it up and keep telling myself that this isn’t forever. Soon we will have Ronan back and our lives will return to being somewhat the same; but with much more appreciation for anything and everything that comes our way. After going through something like this, the little things are going to seem so less in our life and we have learned what truly matters. I am grateful in a way for this lesson and I have all the faith in the world that Ronan was put here on this earth to teach us these things and to help us change the world. He has such a special journey planned for all of us and we are going to follow his lead. I have learned to just go with my gut feeling with most everything in my life and it always turns out right. I will follow Ronan to the end of the earth and back and feel so lucky to do so. He is the most amazing little boy. Never in my life have I known someone so strong, brave and beautiful and he is all of this at only the age of 3. Just imagine what he is going to be like as an adult. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for him.

I have learned that my days now are filled with both sadness and beauty. I am o.k. with that because I try so hard to make sure the beauty outweighs the sadness. Maybe Ronan was born such a beautiful boy for this purpose… because this has always been what his journey in life was meant to be and being so beautiful, would help me get through this?? Never has a more beautiful boy existed and I am not just saying this because I am his mother. I am not biased, this is the truth and I now know it was for a very special reason. All I have to do when I am feeling too sad or scared is look into his big blue eyes and my fears melt away. The look in his eyes tells me over and over that he is going to be fine. I truly believe that with every part of my mind, body, and soul. Everyday, I am finding things I am thankful for and it reminds me how precious life on this earth is. Ronan is a gift and I am so happy I get to share him all with you.

That is all for tonight. I am going to hot yoga with Stacy at 5:30 a.m. in the morning. Told you I’m taking full advantage of my freedom and what better way to start my morning than drenched in sweat and tears. Love you all my dear friends. Sweet dreams of peace and happiness.

xoxo

Love my name
Love left dry
Frost or flame
Skeleton me
Fall asleep
Spin the sky
Skeleton me
Love, don’t cry
Love, don’t cry
Love, don’t cry
Skeleton me
Skeleton me

Soon comes rain
Dry your eyes
Frost or flame
Skeleton me
Fall asleep
Spin the sky
Skeleton me
Love, don’t cry
Love, don’t cry
Love, don’t cry
Skeleton me
Skeleton me

Skeleton me

I get by with a little help from my friends

There is no better way to start a Sunday morning than meeting up with my girlfriends at Taylor’s for breakfast. Tricia, Bethany, Fernanda, and Stacy all came prepared with everything we needed to talk about as far as getting things in the works for transplant. These women, I swear could rule the world. Smart, compassionate, funny, beautiful, and savvy are just a few things that come to mind when describing them. Fernanda came armed with a lot of printouts about questions we need to have answered about the isolation period and we put together a pretty good game plan. It was a little overwhelming but I know not to worry too much because these girls have it all under control. There is no way that they will not have everything and more covered. We started lists of everything from who will do laundry to the schedule for Liam and Quinn, to who will sneak me in coffee when I need it. There is nothing these girls will miss and I could not have more peace of mind with whom I am leaving things in charge of. Fernanda has read over 60 blogs of other Neuroblastoma moms and knows everything we need to do and ask.

As we were leaving Taylor’s I was getting into Tricia’s car and she looked over at me and called Fernanda a real life Superwoman. She hit the nail on the head with that one. Fernanda is a even better than Superwoman… she is my version of a Spanish Superwoman with sass, spice, brains, compassion, and just the right amount of  a fiery attitude to help me kick ass through this. Then there is Stacy. The most loyal person I have ever met who loves me like I am family. Who knows just how to calm me down by just giving me a look. If there is ever a time that I feel overwhelmed or panicked, all I have to do is look in Stacy’s eyes and I know everything is going to be alright. She is the type of person who will bend over backwards for you, without ever asking a thing in return. She gives with her entire heart, no questions asked, and fills me with the peace and calmness that I so need in my life right now. And Bethany. You look up the definition of Grace and Beauty in the dictionary, and you will find Bethany’s picture. She is somebody that I have known almost my entire life, just not well at all until now. She is guarded but wears her heart on her sleeve. I am honored that she has slowly let me into her life as it takes a lot to earn Bethany’s trust. She is the most amazing mommy, wife, friend and someone who I would trust with my life and the life of my children 110%. Last but not least, there is my Tricia Boo. My best friend for 6 years now and we have the kind of friendship that dreams are made of. It’s been a six year love story and now she has basically given up everything to help me through this. She is the Godmom to Ronan and my saving grace. There is no way I would be able to get through this without her. Sitting at breakfast this morning I felt so fortunate so be surrounded by these women. One of the biggest gifts I have received on this journey is finding out what people are really made of. The people that are in our lives, right now, at this moment, are pure gold. They are my hidden treasures whose hearts keep me filled with courage and strength. I am beyond blessed.

I think I just wrote a love letter to my sweet girlfriends above… I could seriously write a book on each and every one of them. You know how else I know I am beyond blessed?? Because I just took the time to write about those 4 girls above and I have a handful more amazing girlfriends who I could go on and on about as well. You all know who you are and I love you so much. I will never be able to thank you enough for all you are doing for me, for Ro, for our family. I will simply tell you everyday how much I love you and how thankful I am that people like you exist in the world and I treasure you all so much. Thank you for being the truest friends alive in the purest way possible.

After breakfast, Trish came over and we sat down with Woody to go over everything. We started an online calendar to get the ball rolling on what exactly needs to happen and to figure out which days/nights I will be in the hospital and which days/nights I will be at home. Seeing this on a calendar defiantly makes me feel better. Having something to look at helps to calm my nerves. I feel like we are starting to put a very good plan into place. The thing with cancer is everyday is different and you never know what to expect, but at least this gives me a little something to hold on to. I thrive in structure and with a good plan in place I feel like I will be able to fully focus on Ronan if I know who is doing what on this day and at this time.

Today, the boys’ played with their cousin Luke for most of the day. We also had Luke’s sister Lily over to play as well. She was such a little trooper, keeping up with a house full of 4 crazy boys. I took her up the street for some girly time and we got mani and pedicures. Lily is 8 and is just as sweet as her brother. I never get little girl time, so I was in heaven. She is darling and I loved spending time with her today. We both got glitter nail polish on our toes and Lily got pink on her nails with a little flower design. I would steal those kids every weekend if I could:) It is adorable to see this new relationship flourish between cousins.

After Luke and Lily went home, I could tell Liam wasn’t feeling well today. He took a big nap which he never does and woke up with a sight fever. I sat and held him for a bit but we had to call Mimi and Papa to pick him up so he could go and stay at their house for the night. We can’t take any chances around Ronan if Liam does have something. I hate that I can’t take care of my little guy who isn’t feeling well. I mean, that’s supposed to be my job… I’m his mom. We don’t have a choice though, we cannot have Ronan getting sick with anything before transplant. Off he went and Woody, Ro, Quinn and I walked down to Jay’s house to watch the Superbowl. We had a great time and Jay was the master of the BBQ making the best steaks ever. We hung out, watched football, ate, and played catch outside. Ronan got tired around half-time so I brought him home. Quinn and Ro are fast asleep now and Woody is having some boy time with Jay and Mark. He needs that so much. I am so happy that Woody’s best friend now lives right around the corner from us. It has been nothing but great for all of us.

Alright, xanex is kicking in. I must get a good night sleep tonight…. I have so much going on this week and if I am not sleeping, lord knows what I will forget to do or what I will mess up. I’ve got to try to start sleeping more at night…. otherwise my brain turns into mush and I cannot focus or remember a thing. Hope you all had a great weekend. It was one of the best weekends we have had in a very long time. Goodnight to all of you out there… sweetest dreams possible.

xo

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah, they were all yellow.

I came along,
I wrote a song for you,
And all the things you do,
And it was called “Yellow.”

So then I took my turn,
Oh what a thing to’ve done,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin
Oh yeah, your skin and bones,
Turn into something beautiful,
And you know
You know I love you so,
You know I love you so.

I swam across,
I jumped across for you,
Oh what a thing to do.
Cuz you were all yellow,

I drew a line,
I drew a line for you,
Oh what a thing to do,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into something beautiful,
And you know,
For you I’d bleed myself dry,
For you I’d bleed myself dry.

It’s true, look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for…
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine…

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And all the things that you do.

MRI, CT, and Pet scan results…. kind of

After what seemed like the longest day ever; we returned home around 7:30 tonight. Ronan insisted we stop at CPK for pizza so we met Woody for dinner. I ate my one meal of the day, Ronan didn’t eat a thing and ended up just making me hold him while I ate. As  soon as we got in the car I was almost instantly sick to my stomach. I told you I don’t do well with food anymore…. we got home and I threw up my entire dinner. Awesome. Ronan is so used to seeing me do this now he just looked at me and said, “I sorry Mama. Do you want your toothbrush?”  It was the sweetest, saddest thing ever. He then asked to be put in my bed and for me to go to sleep with him. That is precisely what I did. I curled up beside him and 5 minutes later we were both sound asleep. I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus and am physically  and mentally beat. Ronan woke up around 9:30 tonight asking for some pizza, carrots, apples, and whipped cream. Nice combo. What Ronan wants, Ronan gets. He ate all of the food that I got him and went back to sleep. We have another early day tomorrow at PCH trying to finish up his Audiology test and then going to the clinic for a possible platelet transfusion. When they drew his labs today, his platelet count was low. “A” wants them checked again tomorrow and told me he will more than likely need to get them.

After Dr. Maze came to get me when he was done with Ronan I returned to a very sleepy little boy. I sat quietly and let Ronan wake up on his own and Aubrey tracked down Dr. Wood for me so he would come down and go over the MRI,CT, and Pet scan results. The results are all preliminary results, but I’ll take them. Dr. Wood told me that the Neuroblastoma is still showing up in a few areas, which he expected. Ronan’s shoulder bones, his upper thighs, and his spine all seem to have some Neuroblastoma left in them. The activity has decreased immensely and he said for as much cancer as Ronan had in his body, in no way shape or form, did he expect it to be gone entirely. This is what the Stem Cell transplant/radiation/antibodies will do. Remember, Ronan had Neuroblastoma in every bone in his body; even his pinky fingers.  I asked Dr. Wood if he saw anything he was concerned with and he said not all, that Ronan is making great progress. I wish I could say a huge sigh of relief came over me today, but I am still left with a feeling of numbness and sadness. Ronan’s results are amazing and I am elated that his cancer is responding so well; but the bottom line is my beautiful baby boy has cancer and I just want it gone. Now. I know, I know…..this is not a sprint it is a marathon. We will get him there but for some reason today was a hard day for me. Harder than yesterday. As I said before, all of these results are preliminary and we will know much more next week after he does the MIBG scan. That is on February 10th. As of now, we are moving forward and preparing to go ahead with transplant.

I have not spoken to anyone on the phone tonight except my dear Fernanda. We talked about Ronan’s results and I listened to her as she told me how she took the time today to research what exactly needs to be done for isolation and she made out a list for me that she got from the internet of other Neuroblastoma moms. I mean really, Fernanda. Never in my life will I be able to thank you enough for all the things you are doing for me without me even having to ask. I am so thankful for you every second of the day. Fernanda’s list includes everything from scrubbing down our isolation room with a toothbrush (not even kidding), to making sure every item of clothing is bleached and sealed in a bag before it goes into the room. She told me to stop doing my laundry for the next two weeks and to leave it at my door so she can pick it up and I won’t have to waste time on that bullshit so I can fully be focused on Liam, Quinn, and Woody. I said to her, “Well what if I like doing laundry?” She then told me that the only reason I like doing laundry is because it gives me a sense of normalcy and nothing in my life is normal at the moment so to knock it off. I had to laugh as this is so true. Laundry makes me happy because it is the one thing that I freaking have control over in my life and it is something that will always be consistent and never change. It’s true; I absolutely love laundry:)

I am trying to wrap my head around giving up complete control of my life once this isolation thing starts. Just the thought of this gives me such anxiety. I think I need to make a list of the things I can control, just to make myself feel a little bit better. I have no idea what that even will consist of because my “normal” life is pretty much going to be gone. All I have to say to this right now is HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I still cannot believe any of this is real. Shouldn’t this be a movie that I am watching in the theaters or something?? This cannot be real life, this cannot be my life or Ronan’s life. I will never stop shaking my head and the tears will never stop. This is all too much. What I wouldn’t give to complain about the things I used to complain about like having to take Ronan to the grocery store because he would NEVER sit in the cart and would insist on running up and down the aisles which would drive me crazy. Or how I would feel so overwhelmed with my daily “to do” lists….. what a joke. Nothing in my old life was anything to ever complain about.  I would give anything to have my worries of the day consist of what I was going to make for dinner and how I was going to squeeze in Ronan’s nap for the day because of all of the “things” we had to do. My past life all seems make believe, like it was never really real and it was all just a dream. I could sit and cry just thinking of all the things I was ungrateful for and how much I miss what we used to have. That won’t do me any good tonight though. Tonight I am not going to sit and cry myself to sleep because today was a day full of good news. I have to remind myself that on days like today, I am not allowed to be sad. Ronan is working too hard so I will take tonight to be thankful for the progress he is making and be proud of what a strong little boy he is. He is the bravest soul that has ever existed.

Tonight, while we were waiting for my car from the valet, I caught a glimpse of myself holding Ronan in the doors to the clinic. It was another one of my out of body experiences as I looked at my refection and almost didn’t recognize who this person was with her baby boy draped over her body. It was me but I felt as though it wasn’t. It took my breath away for a second and I almost felt like I was going to faint. Had nothing to do with the fact that I had not eaten all day I’m sure;) It had everything to do with the fact that I will never get used to the fact that I am now a mom to a child with cancer. I will never accept this and I will never come to terms with it. This is just a moment in time, a sick and twisted way of Ronan having to prove how much he deserves to be on this earth. It’s my way of proving how much I love my son by fighting as hard as I can fight to keep him here and surround him with every ounce of love I have in my body.

God, am I even making sense tonight? I feel delirious and all fired up at the same time. One day at a time, one step closer to Ronan’s wellness, right Auntie Karen:):) She always tells me this…. love and miss you so much. Hope you are having fun in Cali:) Thinking of you there makes me smile because I can picture all of the laughing and fun you are having. That makes me happy and gives me peace tonight. You know what else gives me peace?? All of you. When I get pissed at the world, I think of all of you beautiful souls out there who love Ronan so much and who have faith that his journey is meant for a very special reason. Having you all believe in him and love him so much means everything to me. So thank you a million times over. You all give me strength when I need it most.

Ahhh….. my New York Miss Macy is calling me right now. Perfect timing as she gives me the giggles like no other and I can’t think of a better way to end the night. I am beyond blessed to have the most amazing friends. Love you all! Sweet dreams!!

xoxo

This picture says everything tonight. My favorite animal is a Giraffe. Ronan’s is a Zebra. Keep on holding on baby. We will get you through this.

An old soul

Ronan had his clinic visit this morning. His levels have dropped just as we were expecting. We are so used to this chemo thing now that we know where his counts will be. What I didn’t expect wash his platelet counts to be so low. They were 10,000 today. WHAT?!?! 10,000 and not a bloody nose in sight? How is that possible? Since we started this chemo journey, anytime Ronan’s platelets drop lower than 20,000-30,000 we are guaranteed that he has the dreaded bloody noses that we cannot control. I told “A” today that maybe it’s due to having the tumor out of Ro. She smiled and I know she doesn’t think there is any correlation between the two, but I am going with what I have been saying all along…. He really is a brand new boy. He was so sweet as we were waiting at the clinic today. He sat and talked to me about all of the nurses who take care of him. As “A” walked by, he goes, “She’s so nice, Mom.” The he told me how much he loved Sharon and Kristin. He is so full of love today and is just so grateful, even though he is feeling so crummy. His ANC is at 60… which means his immune system is almost wiped out. I’m expecting it to hit 0 tomorrow. We will have to keep a close eye on him…knock on wood no fevers or bloody noses. It would be so nice to stay out of the hospital until Transplant time.

I spoke with Erin from Transplant today; she is basically Dr. Adams go to girl as far as scheduling and preparing us goes. She told me to expect to start Transplant on February 15 or 16th. Assuming all of Ronan’s tests come back with the results we are wanting to see. She didn’t see any reason why they wouldn’t, but he has to have everything from his heart, liver, and kidney checked to make sure they are functioning properly before we can get the green light. He has those tests scheduled for February 9th. So far, every time he has had his organs checked, everything has looked great. It is amazing how much the human body can take. After we get the green light for transplant, we will then be randomized to see if Ronan will have two transplants or one. You know we are hoping for two…. even though I am scared shitless at what this is going to do to my little guys body. Woody keeps saying we’ve got to throw the kitchen sink at Ronan’s cancer… and two transplants is definitely throwing the kitchen sink at it. If Ronan’s cancer comes back, it will be because we didn’t kill all of the cancer cells the first time around. Two transplants we feel, will increase the chances of killing all of his cancer.

I am trying to mentally prepare for Transplant/Isolation. I am wracking my brain for everything that I can possibly think of to keep myself and Ronan happy during his stay. I’ve been trying to think of it more like… If I were stranded on a desert island rather than… if I were trapped in a solitary confinement… what would I need?? Something tells me George Clooney may not be realistic. So far, I’ve come up with easy things such as: my computer(duh) my camera, movies, books, my coconut water (have I mentioned that I am OBSESSED with the stuff??) my yoga mat, Ronan’s favorite toys, Art supplies, his favorite bedding, his Wii and PS3. We will have to set up Skype to keep in touch with Liam and Quinn. I am trying my hardest to turn this into something really positive. Not many people get the opportunity in life to just simply “be.” I am hoping something really good will come out of this and it will make Ronan and myself even stronger. It will be a time for great reflection and learning. Tricia and I were laughing the other night because I told her I was going to study Buddhism while in Isolation. She told me she was going to make me a little sign to wear around my neck that says, “Cannot speak,” due to respecting the silence that comes with this religion. The image in my head totally made me laugh. Don’t think I’ll take it that far, but I love her for making me laugh.

I talked to my NYC Miss Macy today. That crazy pants. She texted me to see if the boys’ would like a King Cake from Nola. She is going there on a business trip soon and wanted to ship the boys one. I had no idea what a King Cake even was so I listened as she Googled it and explained it to me. I also told her that I needed her to come stay with me in Isolation. I was half joking and told her I needed her purely for selfish reasons. She told me to say the word and she would be on a flight if that is what I needed to keep me sane. I told her that we would save her visit for when we are finished with this Stem Cell Transplant and that way, we can all enjoy Miss Macy to the fullest. We are going to have such a reason to celebrate! I know Ronan is going to soar through this transplant with flying colors. He is so tough and has done so well with everything else, how could he not.

For now, I am going to soak up being at home with the boy and Woody. These past couple of days have been so sweet. I am thankful every second of the day, for all the blessings we have in our life. Ronan being the biggest one of them all. One of the night nurses that takes care of Ro whenever we are admitted to PCH says the same thing to me every time she comes in to check his vitals. She always tells me that she can tell Ronan is an old soul. This always makes me smile because I have known this since the day he was born. He has always been different; almost like he has been here many times before. He just has that look in his eyes that tells me not to be scared, not to worry, because everything is going to be alright. Looking into his eyes, I know this. This cannot turn out any other way; he has way too many hearts to break and way too much trouble to cause.

Magic Medicine… Day 2 Round 6

I so needed to take a little break from the hospital today. Ronan is still refusing to get out of bed so we spent the morning playing; I tried my best to entertain him. Our favorite nurse, Sharon, came to do Ronan’s dressing change. He did pretty well with it but at one point I heard him yell out to her as she was taking the tape off, “I’m not a brave boy, I’m NOT A BRAVE BOY!” Neither of us had said anything about him being brave, but in his little 3-year-old memory, he hears us telling him all the time how brave he is and as he was hurting from the pain, he decided to let us know that he was not brave. We both told him he was, that he was the bravest boy in the world. UGH. I could cry right now just by telling this story. A 3-year-old should not what it is to be brave and to have people tell him he is brave all the time. Cancer is robbing Ronan of his childhood and I am fucking beyond pissed about it. His childhood, his innocence, his toddler years are being ruined. This will never be alright with me and I swear to god, I will do something about it. For all the Ronan’s, Jacks, Mia’s, Phoebe’s, Coleman’s, Victoria’s, Leo’s, Noah’s, Tripp’s, Ashley’s, Layla’s, and everyone else out there that is suffering and dying from this disease. I will not stop until people start paying attention to childhood cancer

Auntie Karen came around noon and I snuck out to go home. I wish I could say I was productive at home but I just tried to catch up on some sleep since I only slept a few hours last night. I tossed and turned during my nap today; even though I was exhausted I can’t escape being restless. I got up, showered and ran off to my hair appointment. It felt so nice to do something normal and to be out of the hospital. Sarah (the baby whisper) came and relieved Auntie Karen and sat with Ronan for about 5 hours. Thank you both today so much; I don’t know what I would do without you.

Ronan is tolerating Round 6 really well so far. I know the effects won’t hit him until late next week but for now, besides the fact that his spirits are down, he is doing well. He hasn’t had any nausea yet which is great. I can’t wait to bust him out of here hopefully on Saturday evening. We then get a few weeks off from the hospital before we start the Stem Cell Transplant. We will have more scans done in the next couple of weeks to give us an exact answer on where exactly Ronan still has cancer left in his little body. I will update you when I know exactly what the date is going to be. Ro is peacefully sleeping now; he looks so beautiful. I swear I could sit and stare at him all night which is really what I end up doing most of the nights that we are here. My eyes will never be able to soak up enough of his beauty.

I received some exciting news tonight via FB! My friend, Jessica, posted on my wall that she saw my comment in US Weekly re: Sloan Kettering and Jake Gyllenhaal’s visit. I called up New York Macy to see if she had the issue. She didn’t and sounded half asleep but still said she would drag her butt out of bed and into the freezing cold at 11:00 at night to buy the issue. I was laughing at the thought of that and told her no way, that I would call up Trish or Sarah. I ended up calling Sarah and she ran out to grab a copy so she could tell me what is said. Thank you, SARAH!! You are such an amazing friend:) Not only did US Weekly put Ronan’s website in the latest issue, but they gave me a whole little side blurb. I am practically jumping up and down on the hospital couch I am SO EXCITED! After hearing this news, I can’t stop smiling and it feels so good. It’s been a couple of days since my smile has come out to visit:) This so raises the bar for us in getting the word out about Ronan and changing the way the world views childhood cancer. A huge thank you to Jennifer at US Weekly for keeping her word and having something so sweet come out of this. Now, if I can just get Jake to become the voice for childhood cancer. We don’t really have a voice and as I said before, I feel like he could really be a good advocate for us. I’m going to try my hardest to make this happen; people have to start listening and paying attention to this issue. There are too many babies, kids, teenagers, suffering from cancer for it not to get more attention.

Woody and I were having a conversation the other day about unconditional love and what it means. We are at a point in our life where we have so many amazing people doing things for us. You know who you are, all of you who are helping us all while asking of nothing in return. Please know that not a day goes by that I don’t think of all of you. Trust me, it kills me to not be able to sit down and thank each and everyone of you individually. You are all amazing, even the people that we do not know and who are starting to call themselves “Ronan’s Fans.” I try my best to keep up on all the comments on here and I hope you all know how much it inspires me, that I am inspiring you. Ronan is so full of beauty that he has flooded our lives with it by touching so many of your hearts. I will forever be eternally thankful for each and every one of you.

Transplant is going to be hard and some of you have asked what you can do as far as sending things for Ro to play with; for us to please make a wish list of things that you can send to the hospital to keep our little guy entertained. Keeping him on lockdown for 20-60 days is going to tough. I’m trying to get creative and think of the best ways to keep him happy. Of course you know his love for Star Wars so I was thinking of putting up a bunch of Star Wars posters in his room and making it very Star Wars themed. I went on Amazon the other night and they have a couple of different Star Wars tents that I am thinking he would love. As far as toys go…. I know everything has to be new or very sanitized to go into his room. It has to be insanely sterile. iTunes gift cards are always great. Ronan has totally taken over my iPad and loves to download movies, books, games, etc… My iPad has been my saving grace over these past few months; it keeps him entertained for hours. He has watched Season 3 of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for about 3 days straight now and loves that he can choose the episode himself. I love to watch him do this; I can tell it gives him a feeling of independence and pride.

I can’t believe this is the last round of Ronan’s Magic Medicine. Look how far our little guy has come! After all he has endured and all the pain he has suffered, his beauty never fades. I can’t wait until this round is done and I can do my “Ronan’s done with chemo happy dance!” The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!!!

G’nite, sweet dreams, to all of you angels out there.

xoxo