Not following the yellow brick road

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! RO, MAMA, AND NANA WENT FOR PEDICURES!!!!

I wish I could tell you all that I have not updated my blog for a few days because I have been so busy soaking up all of my precious time with my amazing family. That we have had such a fun filled, fantastic weekend full of no worries whatsoever. But, that is not the case. The weekend started out that way. We left PCH on Friday happy as clams, ready for transplant and for a great weekend. We took Ronan on Saturday to the twins’ basketball game and had a wonderful time. Afterwords, I came home with Ro and my mom and we were playing outside in the backyard enjoying the sunshine and warmth of the day. 30 minutes later Woody arrived, came storming outside, demanding that he needed to have a serious conversation with me and needed to have it now. My stomach instantly dropped, my heart fell to the floor and I knew something was wrong. He said he had just gotten off a lengthy phone call with Dr. Eshun and they had done the randomization for one stem cell transplant or two. We were randomized for one. I knew this before Woody even told me. Woody had asked me 3 days prior to this if I thought we were getting one transplant or two. I looked him dead in the eye and said, “One.” He goes, “How do you know?” I told him I just had a feeling. This is not the news we were hoping for. My head started spinning and it was as if we were right back to where we started, at day one of Ronan’s diagnoses. Although Ronan has made great progress, Woody and I have done enough research to know that not enough of his disease is gone for us to go ahead with just one transplant. This cancer is too strong. I spent all of Saturday crying my eyes out, trying to wrap my head around all of this, and Woody went straight into Woody mode and armed himself with as much information as possible as far as other alternatives. He figured out who we needed to call today to get answers from. He has spoken with several doctors from New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta. Time is not on our side and time is not our friend.

The one thing that every doctor that Woody has talked to, cannot figure out is why is Ronan’s Bone scan is negative, his Bone Marrow clean, his VMA (urine test) is negative, yet he has so many spots left on the MIBG scan. Dr. Kusher believes that the Neuroblastoma, is still in Ronan’s bone marrow, not his bones. We are at a crossroads with what to do and are looking at basically two different options. As of now, we are deciding between an MIBG therapy in San Francisco or heading to Sloan Kettering to start 3F8. As soon as we heard that  Ronan had only been randomized for one stem cell transplant, we pulled him off the COG study we have had him on. There is no point in following their rules anymore. Although Ronan’s path is not clear, I have no doubt that we will find our way through this maze. I keep telling myself that Ronan is so unique and such a special little boy, that he was not meant to follow the yellow brick road on this journey. He was meant to make his own road full of yellow, purple, red, green and every other color you can possibly think of. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because Ronan was not meant to have a transplant at all as it wasn’t the right answer. I have felt uneasy about his whole transplant thing from the beginning. I know what my heart and gut are telling me what the right answer is… but I think it is going to be a day or two until the answer is 100% clear. Woody and I are doing everything possible, with the help of my dear Fernanda who has been a godsend, to find out what all of our options are. We are still meeting with our transplant doctor tomorrow, Dr. Adams, but we will not be starting transplant on Thursday like we had originally planned. Just goes to show you how tricky this disease is and you really can’t ever prepare for anything. Talk about having the rug pulled out from underneath you. I told you Ronan was a rule breaker…. I really believe he was not meant to follow this protocol…. he is going to make his own.

I was a mess this weekend but tried to go on with some normal things we had planned. On Saturday night, Woody and I went over to Tricia and Max’s house with our friends, Danielle and Jay. We had fun, but I told Trish the next day, you know your in a bad place when not even Danielle’s toxic margaritas can mask your pain. We came home from Tricia’s around 1 a.m. and I tossed and turned the entire night. On Sunday, I had a dinner planned with some of my girlfriends and I refused to cancel. I joined Jen, Stacy, Jocelyn, Fernanda, Gay, Heidi, Bethany, Shelby, and Melissa, for a very special dinner that was supposed to be my “sending off” into isolation, but turned out to be, o.k…..here is the new news and what we are facing…now what the fuck are we supposed to do??  I tried my best to enjoy myself and when you are surround by the most beautiful women in the world, it is impossible to not enjoy yourself. I had to let go just a little bit and I have to trust in this new plan that is going to present itself. I texted my Mr. Sparkly eyes today and told him that decisions are begin made for us and we just have to trust. He believes this too, there is something bigger than us guiding us in the direction we need to go. I truly believe this with all of my heart.

What I am asking from all of you is just your continued prayers and love and your belief that we will make the right decision for our baby boy. Whatever path we choose, or whatever path chooses us, there is no looking back. We refuse to second guess anything we have done or are going to do. To live like that is foolish and we are very aware of that.

Hopefully by tomorrow, we will have a clearer vision of what we are doing as we need to get Ronan started on his next treatment as soon as possible. As far as Ronan goes, he could not be happier. He has been loving being at home with his brothers and playing outside. He looks amazing and his spirits could not be better. I am reminded everyday by looking at him what a gift he is as well as Liam, Quinn, and Woody. I am such a blessed mama and wife.

Please, no tears for us yet. Trust me, I’ve done enough crying the past few days for each and every one of you. This is a blessing in disguise. It HAS to be.

We need a little luck

In an ironic twist of fate, here we are. Back at PCH, in the very hospital room where this all started. Ronan spiked a fever today, which immediately sends us back to PCH, to the ER, and now we are finally in a room on the second floor. I am trying not to freak out over this; we were supposed to leave Monday for New York but I am pretty sure that won’t be happening now. Dr. Eshin said he would like us to wait until Wednesday, just to make sure Ronan does not have an infection of any kind. Can you guess the word coming up? FUCK. Mr. W had his plane, staff, and everything all ready for us to go on Monday. Woody left him a long voice mail tonight explaining the situation. I really hope things will be resolved; I just feel bad because even though our circumstances are not in our  control; I hate being a pain in the butt. And I hate when a plan goes awry. A consistent plan, which rarely happens these days; is something that I thrive on. That’s out the window now. I know everything will work out; it has to. The most important thing is Ronan. His ANC is at 0. He has no immune system whatsoever so being back at PCH is what is best for him right now so he can get antibiotics and hopefully his counts will start to rise.

So, back to being in “the room.” I can remember it so clearly. It was the room that we were first admitted into, before we knew what was wrong with Ronan. We had an MRI done and our Opthamologist, Dr. Cassiday, came in at midnight to read it for us. I remember sitting in the room with Ronan, while Woody went out to go over the scan. I was panicking, but also very calm. Woody came back in the room with a look on his face that I will never forget. He grabbed me and told me that Ronan had something on his brain; but they didn’t know what. I still remained calm and went out to go over the MRI with Dr. Cassidy. He showed me the spot and I looked at him and said, “Ok. But he’s going to be o.k., right?” He looked at me and said, “Yes.” Little did he know what we were up against, but at that moment, that is exactly what I needed to hear. I remember feeling so strong in this room, and maybe that is why we are back here now; so I can gather my strength for New York. This is also the room where I went into the bathroom, locked the door and called my best friend, Susie, who lives in Colorado to tell her what was going on. In another ironic twist of fate; she just happens to be in town and is coming to see me here tomorrow. I just know this all means something; there are too many coincidences for it not to.

All in all it was a good day. I went to see “The Good Doctor,” this morning. We got everything sorted out as far as medication goes before I leave for New York. We got in a good little chat session too which I always enjoy. He is a smart man, that good doctor of mine;) I feel like I am in very good hands with him. After that, I ran some errands and headed home. I was hoping to go to Liam and Quinn’s basketball game, so Mimi and Papa came over to stay with Ro. Didn’t end up happening as that is when Ronan started to get his fever and did not want me to leave. I am so sad I missed their game; Woody said they did awesome and Quinn scored 8 points and Liam make a couple too. So proud of them. I get so sad about missing their things; breaks my heart. Add that to number 1,435 reasons of why I HATE CANCER. I also missed my annual Holiday Party with my best friends tonight. It’s been a tradition of ours for years now. Little things like that make me sad.

I’ve just realized that I am up way too late. Time to say g’nite to all of you beautiful souls out there. I love you.

xoxo

Scans are done… now we wait

We are home finally from our long evening of scans. Ronan started at 4:30 this evening and was not finished until about 8:00 tonight. Dr. Maze was there, as always, to give Ronan his anesthesia. He stayed the entire time, even though I was told that he would more than likely not be there when Ronan woke up. He was, and that meant the world to us. He is truly a doctor that goes above and beyond. The world would be such a better place with more people like him in it. He takes the time to go over everything with us… to make sure we are being taken care of, listens to our question and concerns and to give us advice. We will forever be grateful for him. He has made a huge difference in this experience for us. Ronan trusts him and truly loves him. He is only really like this with Dr. Maze and our wonderful nurse, Sharon. Those are the two people Ronan trusts the most… and those are the two people I trust the most. It makes a big difference when you can look into the eyes of the person who is taking care of your child and see that they truly have a passion and love for what they are doing. I see it every time I look into the eyes of the both of them. It brings me a lot of comfort and somehow makes me feel like everything is going to be alright.

Ronan woke up really grumpy from the anesthesia. He got a little sick to his stomach and slept the entire ride home. He is asleep now and I am hoping he stays that way for the rest of the night. Poor baby. He had a hard day and spent the better part of it being upset that we were at the hospital and not at home. It’s days like today that I feel so heartbroken for him. I just want him better and healthy so he can go back to his life before all of this. I did my best and was strong for him all day long… I spent the entire time at the hospital talking him through everything and trying to distract him. He just wanted to be home with his brothers. I don’t blame him; I did too.

I got to spend some time with Tricia and Marisa tonight. They both came to the hospital so I wouldn’t have to wait alone. It was nice to sit and laugh with them. They know when I need a good distraction and waiting for Ro to come out of anesthesia is always hard for me. Thanks girls for sitting with me tonight and thanks Marisa for checking my blood sugar levels;)

This weekend we are going to lay low and enjoy our family time together. Ronan will start round 3 of his “Magic Medicine” on Monday and I just found out that we will have to be admitted into the hospital for his treatment. The dose is stronger so they will need to monitor him all week. Not excited about that but like always, we will make the best of the situation.

We should hear back about Ronan’s scans some time tomorrow. Praying for good news and praying hard. Sweet dreams my friends.