The Birth of Maya Inca Thompson

Ro baby. I feel like I have a lot to say tonight. Although my mind is tired, but restless. Bad combo. Today was a blur. I got by with A LOT of help from my friends. I have so many “life,” things to get caught up on, that it leaves my head spinning. Melissa and Marisa came over to help go through everything I needed to do. They went through mail, organized receipts, Melissa did my calendar and helped me make all the appointments that our family needs…. Dentist, Eye Doctor, Hearing Doctor, Check-up for me, counseling appts, booked me for the Sedona Grief Retreat, etc…… It was never-ending. Thank GOD for those two. I feel like we made a pretty good dent in getting things under control around here. Fernanda and Heather stopped by too. It felt good to have them here as I was pretty shaken up. Before anyone arrived, I pulled into our driveway and just started bawling, knowing that I was coming home to an empty house without you. Marisa arrived soon after and I opened the door as she was holding baby Max and just grabbed her and started crying. I told her I couldn’t believe this was my life now. A quiet, empty house. She got all teary, but I distracted her by grabbing her little love bug out of her arms and holding on to him, while kissing him everywhere. I got felt such a wave of happiness wash over me as I loved on her baby boy. He is so sweet and came right to me, no question asked. GOSH. Babies are so good for the soul. I’ve always been obsessed with them. Max healed my heart for the hour and a half that he was here. Aren’t babies just he most amazing things in the world??? So innocent, pure, and healing. Little Max will have my heart for the rest of my life. It may have a little to do with his amazing mama too. And Gracie Boo. Hearing Marisa talk today, about you and Gracie was so painful. She was your first girlfriend. I’ll never forget your first play date. You must have only been about 6 months old. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

After the girls left, I threw on my hiking shoes and headed out for The Inferno Hike. It was hot, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I ran up that mountain, screamed your name for a while, and than took an entire bottle of water and dumped it all over my body. It felt so good. I sat with you and nature for as long as I could withstand the heat. I threw my headphones back on and hauled ass back down the mountain. Every time I am there, I always leave about 10 of your F U Cancer bracelets on a random tree. Just hoping someone will find it, take one, be curious, and read your story. I like to leave pieces of you everywhere I go, so I often leave your bracelets in random places. It makes me feel like you are with me and you are with others. It makes me feel like you will help someone by making them aware of your story. It makes me feel good. I always wonder who finds those bracelets and if they are respectful and curious enough to Google your name to find out who you are. Or if they just look at them, ignore them and throw them on the ground. I would like to think not… but you never know. It is a chance I am willing to take.

I have something I’ve meant to tell you. A funny something. I had the chance to meet Tricia’s brother, Travis, a few weeks ago. He has been in the Peace Corps and has just left for Costa Rica to go and work on an Apple Farm. I tell you, those Tinney kids. I told Tricia I was so proud of her and all of her siblings. They are all doing amazing, wonderful things with their lives. Traveling, helping others, exploring, and finding out who they really want to be in life. I love that. When I was hanging out with Tricia and Travis, we were telling Travis about our “Gangster names.” Tricia is T-Lash, Quinn is Q-Dub, etc….. It’s just something silly we make up. Tricia told Travis I needed one. Out of nowhere, within seconds, he pulled out Inca. It was such a beautiful, crazy, funny name to me that it has totally stuck. I’ve decided that “Inka,” is going to be my bad-ass alter ego. Inka will be who I summon within me when I need to make something happen, but feel a little nervous or scared to go about it. Inca will make everything I want to happen, happen. Or she will at least try her hardest and not give up. Inca is going to give me the strength to kick ass when I feel like I cannot kick ass anymore. I love it. Thank you, Travis. Everyone should have an alter ego name. I’ve always longed for one, but never felt like anything was right. I am glad I was patient enough and your gift was given to me; not forced. It was organic and pure which I LOVE.

Just to give you an idea of the amazingness of Travis… I’m going to share with you some things he has written. I hope it’s o.k. with him. If not, Tricia said I could do it!! Love you, Travis and Tricia.

Inka,

Had fun hanging out with you Liam, and Quinn. I know I would have loved the rockstar. “The past is always there, May it be beautiful”  Arti (This not a long e sound at the end, more just a really hard T.) Kiriloo (first i is long like eye, second one is short) Bulsoon. Arti Kiriloo Bulsoon. Be well and feel free to drop an email anytime.

your friend,
Travis
Here is the next one he sent to Tricia about his Costa Rica adventures:
Hey yo,

Well. Let me begin by saying that things are well, and I am feeling great. Things went perfectly as planned my travel days, and I arrived with little to no problems at my ultimate destination, which was a farm near a surfing town called Dominical. As you all probably know I was planning on volunteering at this farm for as long as possible. I had corresponded with the owner of the farm, Brian, since March. He advertised his farm as an Ashram where him and his wife live with a couple other members. There were to be a series of discussions concerning spiritual topics ranging from courage or acceptance to god itself. I arrived to the farm on Thursday. Brian picked me up from the surfing town, and I immediately was a little surprised that he did not seem friendlier. Not asking so much about my travel. We arrived at the farm, and it was awesome. It is literally in the jungle. He lives in a tiny cabin in the jungle, and has for 36 years. On the website I found him on he said that volunteers work as much as they like depending on how they are feeling, and true to that when I arrived he said that he wanted me to rest. However the first thing we did was make juice. I was exhausted from traveling 30 hours straight, but energized to be there so I made some juice with a smile on my face. The juice was really good. Made with all fruit on the farm. The inside of the hut was dim, no shortage of bugs and mosquitoes. The two other volunteers that were staying in the guest cabin came down for dinner. We had a nice salad, but the other volunteers were surprisingly tense, and I was really the only one trying to drive any conversation at dinner. Those 2 left, and it was just me and Brian. It gets dark around 630 and by this time it was about 730 and I was ready for bed. Brian started playing dissident minor chords on his electric piano that was directly under the shelf-ish bed I was to sleep on. I waited for a few minutes. He kept playing so I hopped onto the bed and waited a couple minutes. Then I figured he wasn’t going to stop so I just decided to lay down and give it a go. While I was laying there I began to get really scared and feel very xenophobic. I wanted to tell him I was going to leave the next day, come home, and never leave a small space that I would pick. It didn’t help that I was exhausted, but I was thinking that I didn’t really know this guy. I am in the jungle. There are really poisonous snakes on the property. Look up the Fer de lance. I had no phone, or internet, or even a pocket knife. Eventually he stopped playing and I managed to get to sleep.
  The next morning I felt great. I knew that I wouldn’t respect myself if I backed down to my fear, so I decided to just take it as it was and go for it. That day I was up at 5 maybe 5:30 at the latest. I told Brian I had a crazy dream, and that I am really interested in dreams. He replied that dreams are useless expressions about our confusion. I thought, that didn’t go well. I worked that day all day. until sundown. Of course I rested here and there, and we all ate lunch together. Saturday I woke up at 6:30, when the other volunteers were to come down for breakfast. We all ate breakfast and at some point brian said to me, “You do need to get up earlier.” I thought that it was strange, but I thought not problem. I was excited to get up earlier because it meant I got to go outside and chop down jungle with a machete, which is awesome to do. I was still feeling good and brave, and I had slept much better that night. I went out and worked all day. Until sunset. With occasional rests for a couple minutes, but the other volunteers went to sleep at noon and I worked until 6.
   I swear to you that I am not exaggerating any of this. In fact Brian said, ” I wish I had three volunteers like you.” There was another guest cabin under construction that I was going to start sleeping in because his “wife” Paty was coming for the weekend. On his profile he said that they were married and at least insinuated that the marriage had been for a long period of time. They in fact were not married, but planning to get married in December and just recently had there one year anniversary. So I set up my tent in the unfinished cabin that was basically just outside in the jungle. We had found a family of scorpions in there earlier when cleaning the cabin. Huge cockroaches the size of mice. It was basically outside. At some point that day I was walking down the steps to the cabin and the step broke. I told brian, and was very surpised how upset he was. Since he claimed to be a yogi, and anger is not really something that yogis like to dwell in. Anyhow he said it wasn’t my fault and that it was the other volunteers bouncing up and down the stairs, then scolded them later. That night I slept in the tent in the unfinished cabin. I woke up at 530 and did yoga with paty and the other volunteers. She was so nice and open, and really just a gentle and caring person. After yoga I began painting a roof high above the rocky ground under the very hot sun. (No one falls don’t worry). It was really hot and I was working very hard. I painted for about 3 and a half maybe four hours straight until I was very faint. I didn’t feel well and decided I had to go lay down. While walking across the roof I stepped on a sky light that was made out of some other material and cracked it making a hole about 5  inches long. I knew he was going to be pissed. I went down and told him, and he told me “guy you don’t watch where you are going, go away and think about your responsibility, get out now.” He said a couple other things that were along the same lines. So i showered up and decided to tell him I was confused about how angry he seemed to be. I would pay for the damage without a problem, but I wanted to say that I cam there to be his friend and learn from him and his farm. I really thought the whole talk was going to end in a hug. I got out of the shower and approached him. This is more or less exactly what was said. Probably less.
“Well what do you have? What did you come up with?”
“Well I think that…”
“Ya, what”
“Well.”
“Ya what, huh what.”
This was him interrupting me and mocking me. I told him I would like to say somethings and would appreciate it if he could listen. I started by saying that I really thought the farm was great and that he had done something special there. That is about as far as I got and he told me “you are a heavy footed loud mouth….and you eat too much! You need to leave”
and that was that. I was pretty upset, but just packed up my stuff, said goodbye to the other volunteers, who were absolutely astonished, and left.
Now I am in the surf town! Tomorrow I am going to start surf lessons. What a crazy few days. Love you guys write me whenever. I should have more regular internet now.
Travis is only 25, but he has done and seen so much in his life. I love that he is following his heart, which will eventually lead him to his destiny. I love that he is helping others while feeding his soul. I love his free spirit. Ronan would have loved him. I am so glad I finally got to meet one of the many Tinney siblings. They are all so unique.
LIttle one. This is all I can write tonight. I’m keeping your Daddy up and I need to be respectful of him and his sleep tonight. So much more to say, but he puts up with so much. I’ve got to try to simmer down, but I feel better having talked to you. Love you so much my “not spicy,” little monkey boy. Miss you every second of the day and I always hope you are safe. G’night my love.
xoxo

INFERNO HIKE. F U CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ro baby takes Philidelphia and New York City

I am so happy to tell you tonight that I haven’t updated things in a few days due to a very busy, but fun weekend. It’s the first time that I can remember since before Ronan was diagnosed with cancer, that things around here felt very normal. We spent the weekend hanging out at home, enjoying family time. Woody and I snuck out for a date on Saturday night while Auntie Karen and Olivia watched the boys.’ We had an amazing dinner at Tarbell’s even though I ended up crying a bit in the middle of a conversation between Woody and myself. I tried my hardest to just be a normal couple on a Saturday night…. but the harder I try, the harder things become. We will never be that normal couple again. It’s just not in the cards for us anymore. Everything has changed; nothing is the same.  Not even a Saturday night date will be like the old days. Maybe it is for the better…. because I am so much more aware of the reality of the world around me. But it still stings. I now sit in restaurants and watch the people around me and wonder if they have the sadness in their lives that I do, but in a different form. Or maybe they are lucky enough to be blissfully happy. I know that the world is full of sadness, but as I sat at dinner with Woody, the feeling of complete aloneness washed over me. I sat and thought things like, I bet their baby doesn’t have cancer, or I bet their Grandbabies are totally healthy….Then the guilt washes over me for having these thoughts…. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I was once blissfully happy but also blinded by ignorance. Now, I truly know the meaning of ignorance is bliss. What a bullshit way to find that out.

On Sunday I met Fernanda at Hava Java for some coffee. I love that when I was on the phone with Tricia right before Fernanda picked me up and I told Trish how I was going for coffee, Trish goes, “What part of the world is Fernanda saving today?” So adorable. I told her she was saving me:) We sat and had our coffee and she helped me write down all of my questions for the doctors at Chop. We talked about my upcoming week, but the thing I enjoyed most was listening to my new friend talk about the things in her world. Her kids, her funny family stories, the things she’s done in her life. One of the biggest gifts of all of this has been getting to know this beautiful woman. Through this crises, comes the gift of her. I will be thankful for the rest of my life for all the beauty that has shown it’s colors during the darkest time. Fernanda is one of the most colorful things that I have ever seen in my life. I so need color now. This black and white stuff is getting a bit dull and scary. Life is not black and white, Ronan is not black and white, and I wish the doctors in this world would start thinking this way too. I’m about to take all the crayons out of Ronan’s Crayola box and scribble up and down all of their stupid papers and statistics. They do not know my Ro baby.

Woody and I also spent the weekend figuring out our plan for the week. Since Ronan’s ANC counts don’t seem to be dropping and he looks great, we decided to take him out to Philadelphia to Chop. Ro and I are flying out tomorrow morning on a Corporate Angels flight. Woody has a court appearance he cannot miss, so he will be flying out tomorrow late afternoon. We are meeting Dr. Mosse on Wednesday to go over our list of questions with her and to just get another opinion and feel for the place. We decided since we were going to be in Philly, that on Wednesday we would take the train to New York and meet with Dr. Kusher at Sloan Kettering on Thursday. We will fly home Thursday night. It’s going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but one that we both feel is necessary. We have to be prepared as much as possible for what we have ahead of us. Arming ourselves with as much knowledge as possible will only help us decide on what path to take for Ronan. I think we both know in our hearts; but we are keeping our minds as open as possible.

Today, Ronan and I headed to the clinic to have his levels checked. Dr. Eshun thought he looked great and saw no need to transfuse him. Ronan was so excited about not having to get blood, he practically skipped out of the clinic office and to our car. We went home and played out in our backyard and got everything ready for our trip. Liam and Quinn came home soon after and their cousins, Luke and Lily came over to play for a couple of hours. It’s always a treat to have them spend time with us. Ronan especially loves it. It was a good way to get him ready for his upcoming travels. He is a little sad about having to leave Liam and Quinn behind once again. He’s not the only one. I wish they could come on these trips with us but I understand how important stability is in their lives right now. I also understand how important it is to be able to just focus on Ronan, the doctors and get the job done. I cannot wait to get back home to them already though. So glad we will have the weekend together. Ronan is set to start his 8th cycle of Chemo March 14th. Hopefully we will stay hospital free until then. It would be so nice to continue to be at home. There is no place he would rather be.

Woody said to me tonight, “Aren’t these supposed to be the happiest times of our lives?” How do you even respond to that?? I just nodded my head and gave him the best smile I could, which wasn’t much. Fucking cancer. Thanks for robbing all of us of this precious time in life. I HATE YOU.

Hope you all have been well. Wishing you a night full of sweet dreams. Happy Birthday to my Little M today too. I hope you go my message and are having a wonderful time in NYC. I miss you so much and can’t wait to celebrate you when we both get back from our trip and things settle down as much as possible. I love you, Marisa <3

Safe travels for us tomorrow! It’s going to be a very busy next few days!! G’nite friends!!

xoxo


A warning sign
I missed the good part then I realized
I started looking and the bubble burst
I started looking for excuses

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is, I miss you
Yeah the truth is, that I miss you, so

A warning sign
You came back to haunt me and I realized
That you were an island and I passed you by
And you were an island to discover

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
That I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is, I miss you
Yeah the truth is, that I miss you so
And I’m tired I should not have let you go

Ooooooooooooooooo

So I crawl back into your open arms
Yes I crawl back into your open arms
And I crawl back into your open arms
Yes I crawl back into your open arms

Clinic Day

Ronan and I went off to the clinic this morning to do his usual Monday checks of his blood and platelet levels. Poor little guy is having bad tummy aches from the chemo last week. A lot of diarrhea and him saying his tummy hurts. I talked to “A” about this and she said it is a normal side effect from the chemo and to just watch him. She expects it to last most of the week. If it goes into next week, then we will have to do something about it. As for now, we just have to make sure he is staying hydrated. His counts are dropping, but still look o.k. We will expect them to continue to bottom out until the end of the week, then hopefully they will start to come back up. After the clinic, we went upstairs to meet with Dr. Jan who is one of the psychiatrists at the hospital. We only got to meet with her for about 10 minutes due to Ronan’s tummy hurting and him not wanting to be there. She is trying to help me work on some boundaries with Ronan.

We are still waiting to hear the finalized dates for New York. We should know in the next couple of days. It is going to be here before we know it. I am trying to mentally prepare for everything. As long as I have all my ducks in a row here, I should be fine.

Today, I spoke with Lin Sue Cooney from Channel 12 news. She has been playing phone tag with Woody since last week. They want to do a story on Ronan and our family and asked if they could come to our house to shoot tomorrow early evening. It was very last minute, but I am not going to turn down that opportunity. I will let you all know when it is going to air when I find out. I am assuming they will have to edit, etc…. Either way, I am honored. Channel 12 is the only local news channel I watch. Watch out world, this is just the beginning! Little Ronan is going to bring so much light and hope to this disease…. he will be the poster child for it. We have to find a cure. Everyday I hear of more and more babies not surviving. It is gut wrenching to read about and rips me to pieces. I try to stay away from stories like that, but it’s like a bad car accident…. sometimes you just have to look. As much as I try not to, it is a horrific reality check for me and keeps me focused on what we need to do to keep Ronan kicking cancer’s ass.

Tonight we played a lot of baseball outside. Ro has been running around like mad. There is no stopping my little guy. He runs circles around his 7-year-old brothers. I’ve never in my life seen a child like him before. He is so strong willed and determined. I dream about the day that he can just be carefree and happy and not have to live the life of going back and fourth to and from the hospital.

My sweet friend, Jules, brought over dinner tonight and it is always a treat to see her. We tried to catch up for a bit but it was busy around here with homework being done and Ronan wanting attention. We sat and ate dinner as a family, watched a little football, and Ronan fell asleep around 8:30. He didn’t nap today so he was tired tonight. After he fell asleep, I ran to the grocery store so I actually have food in my house. Ronan has been quite upset that there has been a lack of string cheese around here. We are all stocked up for a while. It’s amazing how much food 3 little guys go through. I seriously need to buy stock in Gatorade.

My friend, Gay, is coming over tomorrow to help me get ready for our channel 12 news story. She is going to help me put away all of our Halloween decorations and things like that. That women is a force to be reckoned with. I am SO lucky to have her as a friend. I hope someday after all of this is over to take a big trip with my very special girls to celebrate them and all they have done for me. A girls trip will definitely be in order and way overdue. We have so many plans for when we are done and over with this bullshit. So much of it is just going to consist of being together as much as possible and enjoying every little second of being healthy and free. Our lives will forever be changed, but we are going to change them for the better. This won’t get the best of our family<3 Nobody can take that away from us.

Last Friday night I went down to my beautiful friend and neighbor, Niki’s for a few cocktails and girl time. Tricia and Jen joined us too and I cannot tell you how good it felt to just be with them. We sat, talked, laughed, cried, and laughed some more. I swear this is the first time I have really laughed in months.  And I mean, laughed so hard that you can’t breathe and your stomach aches and hurts. It felt so good to feel something other than pain. I know I am surrounded by amazing friends when they can get me to feel that way and to just let everything go, even if it is just for a few hours. To my Niki, Tricia,and Jen…. thank you for being the beautiful souls that you are and the sisters I was meant to have. You have no idea how much that night meant to me. The only thing missing was our Lindsey and Marisa. <3 <3 I thought about them the whole night though and it felt like they were there in spirit. I love you all.

To all of you keeping up with Ronan and this blog, I think about you everyday and I am so thankful that you are touched by his story. It is going to be a long journey but it is going to be worth the ride. Sweet dreams, friends. Be thankful for what you have, who you are, and all the blessings you have in your life. You never know when something could take it all away<3<3 I pray that none of you ever have to experience what we are going through… we will walk this walk for you and hope you take the lessons along the way.