The show must go on

My skinny little chicken leg boy is finally getting his appetite back. Finally. It’s been about 2 weeks since he’s really wanted to eat. Now, I can’t keep him full. He is back to eating every hour on the hour. Oatmeal, eggs, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Fruit, Pizza, Carrots, Hummus, Cottage Cheese, Peas, Cheese Crisps… I can’t keep up! All I’ve done today is cook, clean, cook, dishes, and cook some more. It’s a good thing though… his little legs look like sticks. I need to fatten my chicken up before we go into Stem Cell Transplant. We have a clinic visit tomorrow to check Ronan’s blood levels, platelets, etc…. I’m still waiting for him to crash from this last round of chemo; but so far, he seems to be doing well. His energy is still a little low, but his spirits are great. We have really been enjoying being at home together. Lots of cuddling and down time which we both have needed. Marisa stopped by today with Baby Max. It was so nice to see her and Ronan even let her stay. He shut himself in his room at first but I finally coaxed him out. He sat on my lap and watched Marisa feed and change Max. He was very intrigued and just sat quietly, giving us a little smile here and there. After Marisa left, Ronan told me that he wanted a baby sister. Oy vey! He loves babies has been talking all day about Baby Max’s visit. He told Liam and Quinn all about Max which then led to the discussion of baby names. It was hilarious. Liam said if he had another baby brother, he would name him, Ochocinco- for the football player, Chad Ochocinco. I told him no way, so then he decided on the name Zach, for Zach Miller, the former ASU football player. Quinn was really sweet and said if he had a baby brother, he would name him Finn and if it were a girl, Isabelle. Ronan has decided that he would name the baby, Mickey Mouse. So cute. I was surprised how into the whole baby conversation they were. Just shows me what sensitive and sweet little guys I have. I’m pretty sure the baby shop is closed around here, but it was a fun conversation to have with my 3 little guys.

Tricia came over last night and we went for a quick 4 mile run. It was nice to be out with her. It was no Central Park but it felt good to be out running and it felt good to be with her. We talked the entire time and laughed a lot. I know I say this all of the time; but I don’t know what I would do without her. I could not have picked a better Godmother for Ronan, and I could not have a more amazing best friend. I so owe Woody for the rest of my life for introducing me to Tricia. Thanks Woo:) I never imagined in my life that I would need my best friend as much as I do now.

Ronan didn’t nap today, and I am listening to Woody play guitar and sing him to sleep. There is nothing more peaceful than watching Ronan as he drifts off to sleep. He is so perfect. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have the husband I have?? He left the house this morning, worked hard all day, came home, took Liam and Quinn to basketball, dinner, came home and helped them with their homework, and now he is singing Ronan to sleep. He doesn’t even get to sleep in our bed anymore due to Ronan taking over and insisting that he sleeps in bed with me and nobody else. Woody grins and bears this…I feel awful but this is just the way things have to be for now. There are not many men out there who would be able to do this on a day to day basis, and still have a good attitude about everything. He does it all, is constantly telling me how beautiful I am while watching me fumble and fall, all while trying to pick me back up over and over again. I would be nothing without him and I’m not ashamed to admit it. He is not the lucky one. I am.

So, for the most part, today was a good day. A good day now consists of things like Ronan having an appetite, a few smiles here and there, and having my family all under the same roof. A good day now is so simple…. how could have it been so complex before all of this? How was I not grateful for everyday that I had with Ronan when he was healthy?? I guess it was because in all of my wildest dreams, I would have never imagined that my worst nightmare would come true and I would be forced to reexamine everything that I thought made me happy. What a hard and awful lesson to learn through the eyes of a 3 year old boy.

That is all for tonight. I am actually in a good mood and don’t want to spoil it with my ever consuming dark thoughts. I’m going to enjoy some quiet time with Woody and finish the movie we started last night, “Harry Brown.” Sweet dreams, my friends. Love you all!!!

P.S.

S.B. I know I am going to dream the sweetest dreams tonight knowing you are dancing and drinking your wine under the moonlight and that everything is alright. xo

Ronan’s favorite song for Woody to sing and play guitar to.

All Her Favorite Fruit by Camper Van Beethoven

I drive alone, home from work
And I always think of her
Late at night I call her
But I never say a word
And I can see her squeeze the phone between her chin and shoulder
And I can almost smell her breath faint with a sweet scent of decay
She serves him mashed potatoes
And she serves him peppered steak, with corn
Pulls her dress up over her head
Lets it fall to the floor
And does she ever whisper in his ear all her favorite fruit
And all the most exotic places they are cultivated
And I’d like to take her there, rather than this train

And if I weren’t a civil servant, I’d have a place in the colonies
We’d play croquet behind white-washed walls and drink our tea at four
Within intervention’s distance of the embassy
The midday air grows thicker with the heat
And drifts towards the line of trees
When negroes blink their eyes, they sink into siesta
And we are rotting like a fruit underneath a rusting roof
We dream our dreams and sing our songs of the fecundity
Of life and love
Of life and love
Of life and love

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

Magic Medicine…. Day 1, Round 6

I feel like I don’t have a lot to say tonight. Ronan hasn’t gotten out of bed, except to use the bathroom, since we got here on Sunday. He says his legs are hurting and does not want to walk around, go to the playroom, or anything. I tried all day to get him out of bed. I’m sure a lot of this is due to all of the pain he is in from his surgery and just feeling crummy that he is in the hospital. He has been playing with his Star Wars guys, on my iPad, watching Mickey Mouse, and we have been reading a lot of books. I did get him to giggle tonight which I really needed. I downloaded a book for him on my iPad that has Grover in it and he thought it was hilarious. He has been really sweet, but really quiet which is not my little guy. The chemo finally started this evening. It took a few hours to get him hydrated before so it was around 5:00 p.m. before it got started. He is sleeping now and I am praying that he continues to sleep without getting sick to his stomach.

Sarah came to the hospital for a few hours this morning so I could run home and shower and do a little bit of laundry. Ronan was happy to see her and didn’t even put up a fuss when I left. She is so good with him and he loves her. It was nice to get out of the hospital for a few hours just to be at home. Felt a little sad and empty though. I try not to remember my old life too much anymore because it hurts so much. I am mostly just numb to everything and going through the motions. It’s all I can do right now. I am trying to come up with a way to make this whole isolation thing easier on everybody. I worry about Liam and Quinn a lot. I am thinking I can set up Skype and do things like help with them with their homework, etc…. I miss doing normal things like that with them and I worry that they are going to suffer. They are at an age where they are going to remember this time in their life and I am trying to figure out how we can make this into something that makes them stronger little men. Woody took Liam and Quinn to the Suns basketball game tonight with their entire basketball team. They called me when it was over and they were on their way home. I heard Quinn tell Woody it was one of the best nights of his life. I am so glad they had such a good time, but hearing him say that felt like I had just been slapped in the face. Bittersweet. It was one of the best nights of his life, and I wasn’t there. Makes me sad. All the time.

My girlfriends keep telling me they are going to kidnap me soon to take me out for an unbirthday celebration. I love them all so much, but I honestly feel like burying myself in a hole and never coming out. Hospital depression maybe? Or maybe just sad because my baby has cancer. I know things with Ronan could not be going better, but I am the one who has to watch everyday as he suffers and goes through what he is going through. It is the hardest thing to see and watch; and all day long I push my fear and sadness away to be happy and strong for him. Nights get me, when he is asleep and I have nothing to do but sit with my thoughts and watch him sleep, praying that every little whimper he makes is not due to any pain he is feeling. I will have to watch him closely tonight. This round of chemo is nasty stuff. I’ve gotten so good at the “cancer lingo,” and knowing what exactly the side effects are. Words like, Vincristine, Doxorubicin, and Cyclophosphamide, roll off of my tongue with such ease as if I’ve known them entire life. They are now words that I will never forget, no matter how hard I try.

Alright, that is all for tonight. I am going to get out my own head before it’s too late and I can’t get my thoughts under control. G’nite, sweetest dreams to all of you.

xoxo

Hellllloooo Phoenix

Home. Safe and sound. Tonight, my life flashed before my eyes as I pictured not having Ronan on a private jet to get him home. I seriously was almost sick to my stomach and I looked over at Trish and said, “Could you imagine if we would have had to fly home on a commercial flight??” She said no way. If that would have been the case, I don’t think I would have taken Ronan back to Phoenix. I think I may have possibly said screw the study. I know I was not going to say thank you anymore but I’m sorry, SB. You have no idea how much stress you saved me. Thank you again, and again, and again. A commercial flight would have been HELL. He is so miserable right now and was so miserable on the flight. Thankfully, he was able to stretch out and actually lay down on a big seat and rest. He was cranky, hurting, and not a happy camper at all. You should have seen the way he lit up as soon as we touched down in Phoenix and he watched as his two brothers ran and got on the plane to hug him. Oh, it was so sweet it brought tears to my eyes. We loaded everybody into the car and headed toward PCH. As soon as we approached, Ronan asked where we were going, and we had to tell him to the hospital. I watched as his little lip quivered and he said he just wanted to go home. Once again, I was almost sick to my stomach. He was so sad but was too tired to put up much of a fight. Right as we pulled up to PCH, our two favorite nurses, Danny and Arica came walking out. I could not have been happier to see them. Arica gave me a big hug and they were so happy to see Ro. They are both working tomorrow so I know that will make Ronan happy. Liam and Quinn cannot even come into the hospital due to it being RSV season. How is he going to survive without seeing his brothers for the next 10 days? We are going to have to get Skype set up pronto. Ronan is now passed out with his antibiotics running. My poor little guy. He has been through so much and is so strong and brave. I am so sad that he has to go through all of this. It breaks my heart on a daily basis; especially when I see him not acting like himself, like he is depressed and sad. I miss his laugh and smile so much. It’s been a few days since I’ve seen it. Maybe it will appear tomorrow on my un-birthday. That is the only thing I want for my day tomorrow, is to see Ronan smile.

So tomorrow is my 1.11.2011 birthday. It’s supposed to be extra special, right? No thanks. I told Woody tonight that tomorrow is officially my un-birthday. I have actually been being a little bratty about it to anyone that brings it up. I was talking to my friend Pam tonight and she goes, “So happy birthday tomorrow…like it fucking matters.” I said, “THANK YOU! Finally, someone who gets it!!!” She told me she absolutely gets it and I have the right to have an un-birthday. My wish for my birthday tomorrow is for all of you just to think about Ronan, and all of the other kids who are suffering. Take my day and pay it forward to someone else… buy the stranger behind you a coffee at Starbucks, make someone smile, and then think of Ronan when you accomplish this. Take my day and hug your kids extra tight and be grateful for everything you have. I have everything I could ever wish for in my life, except for Ronan’s health. The thought of “celebrating” my birthday seems so unimportant and silly. So no birthday for me tomorrow. Just another day, with my beautiful son, is all I could ever want or need.

So, back from New York and I’m still having mixed feelings. I’ve been pretty upset about having to return so quickly when Ronan is so not feeling well, but I know it’s not going to do me any good so I’m trying my best to change my attitude. This is just not the way I pictured coming back here at all. I wanted to come back from such a positive trip and transition Ronan back to Phoenix in a positive way. By taking him straight off of the airplane, fully healed from surgery, and back to his house and to his brothers. Not straight from an airplane right to PCH for another 10 days. But here we are, and we will make the best of it that we can because that’s just how we roll around here;). I will get Ronan through this and soon we will be home for awhile, before transplant and it will be oh so sweet.

G’nite to all of you out there. Sweetest dreams.

xoxo

Sad to leave, but have to go

The update is we are coming home tomorrow. I am scrambling, have been scrambling for a couple of days now, mentally, I was not ready to go back to Arizona. I feel like I’ve taken these past couple of days to get my mind wrapped around coming home. I feel like I am ready now. Who am I kidding, I am not ready at all. Everything about this trip has been so positive and I am beyond sad to leave earlier than expected, but we cannot fight the COG on this. The COG is the Children’s Oncology Group and they are who is charge of Ronan being on study. We have to stay on study, we want to stay on study, because we really are hoping that Ronan is going to be chosen for 2 stem cell transplants, instead of one. If we go off of study, we won’t have any chance of getting a second transplant, and after the research we’ve done, we really feel like this will increase his chances of survival. So, in a nutshell, the COG is bigger than the doctors and we just have to follow their rules. Hard for me because I really just want to give them the middle finger. I just want what is best for Ronan, and as I said before, I feel like letting him heal fully here is what he needs. But things change and now we are coming home.

Also, Ronan has developed an infection in his broviac line. He has been spiking fevers the past few days and they thought it was just due to surgery, but they tested his blood and one of the cultures came back positive. This is a minor bump in the road considering all we have been through. It is something that Sloan has under control and has been reassuring me that it is something that is treatable with antibiotics. Well, they started the first dose of antibiotics last night and as I was holding Ronan, I looked down and his entire head was red and he started itching it like crazy and screaming bloody murder. I looked at Mace and Tricia who were both white as a sheet and said, “Call the nurse, he’s having a reaction.” Sure enough, I was told, he had developed what they call “Red Man Syndrome” to the Vancomycin. The nurse came rushing in and told me they would start him on Benadryl to get rid of the reaction. I was pissed. I wanted to know why in the world I wasn’t told that this could possibly happen, and I was informed that it happens to about 60/70 percent of the kids that get this antibiotic. Gee, I wish somebody would have told me this little piece of information, just so I could have been aware of it instead of being scared to death because I did not know what was going on with my child. What if he would have stopped breathing or something?!? We were soon able to get it under control and thank god for Dr. Maze, who I was texting during this entire thing. He took the time to calm me down and explain everything to me. We had a not so good nurse last night who did not seem to know anything and seemed very nervous about all the questions that were flying her way. Other than that, the nurses have been incredible and so has the care. Last night was rough but we got it under control and were able to get Ronan settled down and back to sleep. His fevers have stopped and we will get one dose of his antibiotic tomorrow at 7 a.m. with the Benadryl before, which takes 2 hours. We will hop on our flight after we see Dr. La Quaglia and as soon we land in Phoenix we will have to go right to PCH so we can check in and get Ronan’s second dose of the antibiotic. He has to have it twice a day for about 10 days. All of the doctors here have reassured me that we can still start his chemo, even with the infection, as long as his fever does not come back. I’m even more mad about having to leave here now. How mad is Ronan going to be knowing that we are going home, but don’t really get to go “home” and he has to stay at PCH for about 10 days. It would have been so much easier to stay here. STUPID COG. If you can’t tell I’m a wreck. My anxiety is through the roof and my nerves are shot after these past couple of days.

I sent out an email yesterday to somebody who shall remain nameless, asking if there was any possible way they could fly us privately back home. Part of my panicking was the thought of putting Ronan on a flight. Within the hour, I got an email back, and then a phone call saying, absolutely, they could get us back to Phoenix on their private jet. No worries that is was so last minute, no questions asked, they were just so happy to help. I cannot say thank you enough to you, SB and Mr. B. You have just given us such an amazing gift in helping with keeping Ronan healthy. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and I can’t wait for the day that I can personally thank you with a big hug and one of Ronan’s famous smiles. We are beyond grateful that there are such kind people in the world out there like yourselves. O.K…. SB….. I know you said no more thank you’s so I’ll stop. After one more huge, THANK YOU!!!

Last night was one of the most heart wrenching/fucked up/hilariously funny nights that I have ever had in my LIFE. Tricia and Macy (who now by the way are in LOVE with each other;))stayed at the hospital with me until about 1 a.m. Macy picked up Thai food (which was to die for) and we got some bottles of Sangria to go and smuggled them into Sloan. While Ronan slept, we ate, talked, laughed, cried, and laughed some more. Macy and Tricia got to see what my world is like on a day to day basis. Macy was bawling half of the time which in turn made me cry and our poor sweet roommate…. she had a crisis with a bloody nose, throwing up blood, and she was scared to death. She is the most beautiful 11 year old girl that I have ever met and she is fighting bone cancer. She has had 17 rounds of chemo and surgery on her leg. It was a privilege to share a room with her and her amazing mom. I tried to help with the bloody nose situation, since I have been there many times with Ronan. I went over and I tried to explain it to her and to calm her down but I wanted to just curl up and die. Her mom was on her bed holding her while her little girl sat and told me how tired she is of being sick, how much pain she is in and how scared she is. I started bawling, and when I finally went back to my side of the room, Tricia and Macy were bawling as well. In the 3 days that we spent with this little girl I heard her talk about all the things she appreciates in life and how she is so thankful for her “good days.” She is wise beyond her years and stronger than most adults. One of the most beautiful, inspiring, souls I have ever met with an amazing family who will no doubt, get her through this. Tricia, Macy and I bonded over so many things last night and Macy is now without a doubt, a friend for life.

I got all of our stuff packed up today while Tricia stayed at the hospital with Ronan. I came back to Sloan and Trish ran out to do some things. She is probably in the middle of cleaning our room at the RMH so we can be all ready to go tomorrow. Thank you, TT~ I don’t know what I would do without you. Macy came by to say good-bye to us and left me with a card. After she left, I opened it up and started to cry just from the words on the front of it. I’m an emotional wreak tonight. Ronan is depressed and told me tonight with his lip quivering, that he misses his brothers so much. Tomorrow is going to be awful. All Ro wants to do is to be home with Liam and Quinn but he can’t. I’m not even sure that the boys’ can come to PCH to visit due to it being RSV season. UGH. I don’t even want to think about how much Ronan’s heart is going to break going from one hospital to the next. Poor baby.

Tonight I say good-bye to New York with a heavy heart. I’m scared to go back to reality and back to my real world… I’m scared I’m going to lose the Maya that I have found while being in this city. As crazy as this sounds, this trip was one of the best trips of my life. Knowing that Ronan came here with a big job to do and it was so successful and positive, is maybe why it seems so hard to leave. I’m sure most of this is just my anxiety speaking. It will be wonderful to be home surround by my sweet twins, amazing husband, family and friends. I have missed you all dearly. I’ve just got to figure out how to keep this momentum going that I have found in this city. I will forever be in love with New York, Sloan Kettering, Dr. La Quaglia, Dr. Kusher, and the whole team of Neuroblastoma doctors. I will be back here next year to run the Marathon with Ronan in remission and waiting for me at mile 16. I love you New York! I feel so blessed to have had you heal myself and my baby!!

Goodnight world. Thanks for all of your love and support!!!

xoxo

There is nothing sweeter than kissing the bald head of a cancer child

You
know how some things in life were just so meant to be? Things like
this seem to be happening to me often these days, but today it is
truer than ever. I’ve mentioned before my new friend, Macy, who did
not know me, but my blog was passed along to her through a friend.
She lives in NYC and sent me a message saying if there was anything
I needed, to please contact her. I went on Facebook, friend
requested her, and we hit it off immediately. She went to ASU as
well and graduated a year ahead of me. She is nothing short of
amazing. She came to the hospital this morning with her big bright
green eyes, coffee and bagels. She did not leave the hospital until
10:00 tonight. She stayed the entire day today, we had so much fun
getting to know each other and Ronan is in L.O.V.E. The two of us
have so much in common it is scary. I had the best day today. We
played with R, laughed, got to know each other, and Ronan
absolutely loves having her here. My little guy normally kicks
everyone out. He has loved Macy since the moment he laid eyes on
her. She helped me so much today, watched as Ronan had his broviac
dressing changed, helped me talk him though it, read him books, and
just loved on our little guy. It was a very special day to say the
least. How did I get so lucky to come across this amazing soul?? I
am amazed everyday by the blessings in my life. Love you, Macy….
can’t wait for you to move to San Fran so we can be closer to each
other!!

Ronan got his chest tube out today and everyday I am more
and more impressed by my little guy. It looked freaking painful,
and he didn’t even flinch. He just laid there and let them pull
this big tube out of the side of his abdomen. He is such an angel
with all of the poking and prodding, it is amazing to witness. Macy
was dying when he was getting his Broviac dressing changed. Our
nurse, Julia, was so good at doing it and was so gentle, but it
still hurts. He sat as still as he could and in his little voice
was saying things like, “I need a break,” “Please don’t rip my
skin!” and “Please I need a band-aid!” UGH. It kills me every time.
I about died when he was telling her not to rip his skin, but he
made sure to say please before. I mean, are you kidding me with
this kid?? All the nurses and doctors here are in love with Ronan
and cannot get over his big blue eyes and how well behaved he is.
I’m telling you, he is a brand new boy, his whole attitude is
different. He is showing cancer who is boss.

So, today we got word that the study we are on, COG, emailed Dr. Kusher to say that we needed to come home for Round 6 of chemo, otherwise we are going to be kicked off of the study we are on. I am beyond pissed. All of our doctors said it was o.k. to stay here, the doctors here are fine with it, but we are just now being told that it is not o.k., even thought he would be getting the same dose of chemo here than he would be getting a PCH. Does not make sense to me at all. I told
Dr. La Quaglia to please see if we could stay, but I have a feeling
it is out of his hands. I’m pissed. I am a girl who likes a plan
and we had a great plan in place. I wanted to get Ronan as healed
as possible and just get his chemo started pronto here and get it
done and over with. Now, I have to pack up everything, put my baby
on a germ infested flight because we didn’t have time to contact
anyone who could fly us home, risk his immune system, and
everything feels so rushed. I am beyond annoyed and I don’t know
why stupid COG is just now letting us know this. I feel very
unprepared and honestly, I am not ready to go back to Phoenix. I
was in such a funk there and the proof is in the pudding. Tricia
told me tonight that she was talking to Marisa and they have both
been saying how great I sound, how I sound like the old Maya. It’s
this city I tell ya. It has healed me a bit because everything here
has been so positive. The energy, the buzz, the doctors, the
hospital….. everything is top notch. Our doctors come by at least
twice a day, stay around forever, and the care here is amazing.
Even the lady who takes out our garbage comes walking in with a
smile and saying, “There’s my Ro baby! How you doing today,
gorgeous?” The freaking garbage lady knows Ronan’s name and is
always happy and smiling. New York has been a rebirth not only for
Ronan, but for myself as well. What if that all goes away when I
get back to Phoenix?? I know I can’t stay here forever, but I had
already prepared myself for another couple of weeks. The bottom
line is, I don’t want to rush anything with Ronan… the baby just
had a major surgery and I feel like letting him heal here is the
best thing for him. I’m letting it go… I don’t have a choice. I
can’t fight the COG people…. so whatever happens, happens and we
will make the best of it. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten spoiled here. The
care is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and they make you
feel like you actually do matter, like you’re not just another
statistic.

Today was full of exciting things. Ronan felt great, we played a lot. I made him some homemade slime which he loved, but
did not want to touch. My hands are still purple from the food
coloring. So funny. Guess who else made it a great day?!?! My
Tricia Boo! She is here, safe and sound. I almost fell to the floor
when she walked in the room. Instead, I cried and held her for a
very long time. I’ve missed my BFF way too much. It is going to be
so great to have her here. Macy got to meet her and they totally
hit it off. Ronan was in HEAVEN. He was so adorable, just sitting
in his bed, watching us girls gossip and laugh. Tricia and I
somehow got on the subject of the movie, “The House Bunny” and we
were doing funny lines from the movie since Macy has never seen it.
I have not heard Ronan laugh in days, but tonight as we were doing
our funny lines, he was watching us and laughing so hard from his
belly. Oh, it was the sweetest sound to hear. He must think we are
nuts, but he was loving every second of it. We had so much fun
tonight. I am so thankful to have TT here. Talk about a true
friend.

My last bit of exciting news for the night is insane! A
reporter from US Weekly contacted me because they heard about Jake
Gyllenhaal’s visit to Sloan Kettering though my blog! They want to
talk to me more about it and the girl was so touched by Ronan’s
story, she said to please let her know if there is anything they
can do. I emailed her back and told her I would be happy to talk to
her, but I was requesting two things. 1) For her to please get
Ronan’s website in US Weekly… anywhere. I told her how important
it is to raise awareness for what so many children are going
through. And 2) I asked her to please get my Liz a date with Jake!
I was half joking on the second request but thought I’d put it out
there. She sent me an email saying, Of course she would (not sure
if she was talking about the website thing or the date for Liz) but
regardless, she is calling me tomorrow. I’m going to try my best to
get her to help me spread the word on Ronan. And I only have the
nicest things to say about meeting Jake. He was a gem. I’m so going
to try to get him to take on childhood cancer as his charity. I
know he does a lot of things for animals, which is so amazing….
but these kids need a voice and I feel like he has the heart to do
it. Overload tonight. I had so much to share and could keep going
but my eyes are drifting off. Tonight, I am so thankful and so
blessed to be surrounded by such beauty. Ronan shows me everyday
what it truly means to be brave and strong. He is such an old soul.
My very own Master Yoda:) Sweetest dreams, friends. xoxo Ronan and
Macy!!

I love him to the moon and back

The morning started early. Had to wake up Ro and he had to drink contrast in order to have his CT done. We had to fill up a big cup with sprite, added the contrast, and Ronan had to drink all of it. If any of you know my strong willed child, you would have been so proud of him this morning. I was thinking all night, there is no way he is going to cooperate and drink all of this crap before going to the hospital. We got him a straw, it took him about 20 minutes and I talked him though it the entire time. He did it, without putting too  much of a fuss. What an amazing little guy…. this is all so unfair to him but he handles most of it so well.

Ronan’s scans are done. We won’t know final results until next week. Dr. M took us back and showed us the CT though. He couldn’t give us exact measurements, but the tumor looks very contained. Maybe about the size of a small apple now. I hadn’t seen the very first set of scans that Ronan had done, until today. His tumor was massive. It had pretty much taken over his entire abdomen. Dr. M said it looks like it has come off of the aorta which is great news… but we still won’t know final results until next week. The bone marrow was done as well so we will be waiting on that too. Lots of waiting, trying to be patient. Good thing we are in such a great city to keep us busy. We don’t have to be back at the hospital until next week so we are going to enjoy our little break. I will let you know as soon as I hear more.

While we were waiting for Ronan to come out of anesthesia, there was a big fuss around the hospital. I quickly learned that Jake Gyllenhaal was going to come by to say hello to the kids. He showed up for about 2 hours and was so adorable. He took pictures with the kids, talked to parents, etc…. As he was getting ready to leave, our little Olivia ran up to him and handed him a Rockstar Ronan card and the naughty version of his Rockstar Ronan bracelet. Olivia pointed to where Liz and I were sitting and Jake came over to say hello and talked to us for about  5 minutes. He was so sweet and adorable. He put on Ronan’s bracelet and said he was going to wear it and took one look at Ronan’s picture and told us how beautiful he was. Which we all already know, but it was very sweet  of him to say and to take the time to talk with us. You can tell he really is a nice person and he totally made all of the kids’ and mom’s day today:) Not to mention, Liz, who was over the moon to say the least:) Maybe he will rock the Rockstar Ronan bracelet on the red carpet and help us raise awareness for childhood cancer:) He seems like he has a very good heart.

That’s all for today, thanks for checking in with us and Happy Holidays!!

xoxo

The picture below is for playroom Cathy at PCH. Ronan says “Hellllloooo Mr. Potato Head!” We miss you!!