Truest intentions, purest of hearts

I need to get my shit together today. My house looks like a bomb went off in it, I can’t stop crying, and I think I just picked my nightgown up off the floor and beat the crap out of my bedroom wall with it. Don’t worry. Ronan didn’t see this… he was playing in the other room. He did hold me though, while I cried in his lap. He patted my head and held me. I needed to let some things go today, and I did. Everyday is so different from the next. I never know waking up what the day will consist of, how I will feel, or how Ronan is going to act. The inconsistency in my life makes me nervous and anxious. Today, I have had a pit in my stomach the entire day and I can’t seem to get rid of it. The reality that surrounds us is overwhelming at times. Thank god for good friends who I can call on. My friend, Gay, called me right when I needed her most. My friend, Pamela White (who has been a GODSEND) let me vent and gave me advice…. Little Jack’s mom, Laurie, always puts me at ease. Just hearing her voice and the updates on Jackers helps me get though the days. To people who are walking to the end of the earth and back for us, to the people who refuse to let go of my hand, to the people bringing dinners and helping with Liam and Quinn, to the people who know just how to make me smile…. Please know how thankful I am for you. The fact that you are walking though this with us and supporting us so much, means the world to our family. We are so lucky and thankful for all of you. It speaks volumes about the kind of people you are in the way you choose to live your life and I will FOREVER be thankful, humbled, and amazed<3 You all have changed my life and the way I view the beauty of family, friends, and strangers. You have taught me to question everything and accept nothing but the best for me and my family.

Last night I went out for dinner with 3 of my dearest friends. I was able to let go a little bit and live in the moment surrounded by strength and love. I went to the best restaurant in town, Tarbell’s, with my friends, Niki, Jen, and Lindsey. The place was packed, food was amazing as always, and the service was above and beyond. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I was with the bosses wife;) I sat with my 3 darlings, for 3 hours. We shut the place down and I left there feeling extremely blessed to have spent the evening surrounded by those 3 incredible women. They are more than friends to me; they are my sisters. I would trust them with my life and the life of my children. They are the type of friends who would never let me down or let me fall without picking me back up. I need them more than ever at this time in my life. I get that I am asking a lot from my friends right now…. but my true friends, are the one’s I have to ask nothing of; they just give and do because  they have the inner strength to see me through this. Their intentions are true and pure… there is no bullshit or superficialness. I worship them and if the tables were turned, I would be there for them in a heartbeat. They know this of me… they get the bigger picture of all of this.

Once Liam and Quinn got home I put everything that has been going on inside my head, on hold. I made them a snack, took them for shaved ice, and we went outside and played in the backyard for 2 hours. We took every ball in our house and put it in our big, grassy yard and played soccer and dodgeball. Ronan had a BLAST. He ran, kicked and threw his balls for an hour straight. The strength and power that boy has when it comes to anything physical is insane. He is so coordinated and fast. We took a bunch of glow sticks when it got dark and shaped them into frisbees and threw them up in the air and at each other. It was an evening full of laughing and playing. Woody came home, scarfed down some dinner (thanks Jules) and took Liam and Quinn over to The Village for basketball practice. My poor, tired, husband. He worked so hard today.. and I can tell he is exhausted. But he will never let us down or complain about anything. He came home with a smile on his face and a big kiss for me and off to practice they went. Love that man.

I feel like a kept woman with Ronan. Seriously. The little man decides my every move. I’ve got to get some control back with him. My sweet Sarah, whom Ronan LOVES… came over to peel me off my floor today. Ronan threw a fit about having her here. I can’t win. I need help, want help, ask for help…. but Ronan is so territorial of “his house.” He wants nothing to do with visitors and ends up slamming doors and screaming in his room the entire time someone is here. And Sarah is like family to us. He let her stay for a little bit after I bribed him with a toy and we played Star Wars with him. Sarah took over with the playing and I was able to get a few things done around here. Then we “locked” Sarah in the laundry room (that was the only way he would let her stay) so she could fold my laundry. Sarah the Saint. She has been so helpful to me and I know she would do whatever I needed her to, if Ronan would just relax a little. I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done before we check into the hospital for Round 4 of chemo on Monday. Tomorrow, we go to the clinic and I am hoping to help in Liam and Quinn’s classroom for their Halloween party. That leaves me Friday to get everything done. The weekends are usually pretty busy around here and I don’t want to spend my time getting caught up when I could be spending it with my boys.

So tired tonight… but one last thought….All of his kisses mean that much more. Every smile, laugh, hug, I love you, that come from Ronan, wash away all of the sadness and anger that I feel… for a few moments. It doesn’t last long, but it is oh so sweet.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Dr Seuss (Thanks Dana)

Stupid bloody nose

Stupid bloody nose. Those were the words I heard all day long. Ronan had a handful of bloody noses over the weekend, but nothing that we couldn’t control. Last night, he wanted to sleep in his own bed so I let him. I slept in his room with him, but in the other bed. I fell asleep around midnight and woke up to noises that were coming from the livingroom. Ronan was sitting on the couch, upset over his nose that was bleeding. I don’t know if he was upset because he didn’t know where I was or because of the bloody nose. All I know is he was pissed and wanted nothing to do with me. It took me a good hour and a half to calm him down and get him back to sleep. He was slamming doors, screaming, and crying. I think it was a combination of him not feeling well and me not being in his bed with him that upset him so much. We had an appointment for the clinic at 10:45 this morning, but I called and got us in early. From about 9-4, Ronan had a pretty consistent nose bleed. His platelets were really low so they transfused him twice. He also received some blood. My body physically aches from all we went though today. It seemed like all the pinching in the world could not get the blood to stop. We were covered in his blood by the time we went home and his little nose is so sore and raw. He was so upset by the whole thing that we had our nurse, “A,” give him a sedative, twice. Mimi Kay stayed the entire time with me, thank god. She helped to get me new Kleenexs, and wiped me down with baby wipes when I was covered in blood. Now that’s a good mother-in-law right there;) Finally, around 4:00, it subsided but we waited until 5 to go home. Once we got home, Ronan was off and running full force; despite me trying to keep him relaxed and calm. He threw a bit tantrum about wanting to go and get shaved ice, so I took him to the little place right by our house. I figured after his day, he deserved it. Since we’ve been home, he has been fine. But one more nosebleed and we will have to be admitted into the E.R. Praying that this does not happen.

Sitting in the clinic today was hard. You know what’s sadder than a 3-year-old with cancer? A teenager with cancer. I have decided that after spending the afternoon, surrounded by older kids with cancer. As I watched them, I felt like my heart was breaking into a million pieces all over again. At least Ronan doesn’t understand what is happening to him. He just finds it more annoying then anything. He is so fiercely independent, and I know a big part of his anger is not being able to be independent anymore. But he doesn’t get the jist of it.. the bigger picture of all of this. These older kids, understand everything. They understand mortality and what they are up against. I can’t imagine what they must be going through or feeling. Thinking back to when I was a teenager, I was so clueless. I had no idea that I was so blessed to be a healthy kid… I will never look at teenagers the same again. Especially one’s with cancer. Add them to my list of heroes.

Okay… I am so tired my eyes are blurry. Hope I even make sense tonight. Going to try to get some sleep. Thanks for all of you who were thinking of our precious Ronan Baby today. Big huge virtual hug to you ALL!

Sweet dreams, my angels.

xoxo

TGIF!

It’s the weekend! So excited to spend it with my little family. Today was a typical day for us. Big boys went to school and Woo went to work. That left Ro and I home alone. We spent the day enjoying playing outside, carved a pumpkin, and I took him to the drive through car wash that he loves to go to. He was really giggling and laughing when we were getting our car washed. He loves to watch the colored soap spray all over the windows. It was cheap entertainment and a nice little break from being stuck at home. He took a nap and I worked on some things for his website. It’s been fun doing the research on it and figuring out what I want it to look like. It’s been a good distraction for me to say the least. I talked to my friend Laurie today for a bit to get caught up on Baby Jack… the little boy who is a few months ahead of Ronan with his treatment for Neuroblastoma. She sounded so great and Jackers is doing amazing. I am always amazed at her strength and positivity. She is a good role model for me and Jack is such an inspiration. They are an amazing family and so deserve all the good things that are coming their way.

Liam and Quinn came home with their “report cards” from school today and they were so excited to show me. They both ripped them open and we went over what they said. I could not have been more proud of them. They are becoming such little men. We played outside and waited for Woody to come home. Woody and Uncle Jay came home around 4:00 with pizzas and beer. They stopped at A.J.’s and brought home a bunch of things for “Game Night” at the Thompsons. They started a game of  Risk with Liam and Quinn about 3 hours ago. I kept Ronan busy so they could play and it is still going on. Ronan had a nosebleed tonight so I tended to him and after about 20 minutes, it finally stopped. I was praying that we wouldn’t have to go to the hospital. Hoping it won’t start up again in the middle of the night. I know his platelets are starting to dip down but I think if I can keep him sleeping, he should be fine. He had a rowdy day.. lots of running and playing.

Not sure what else this weekend has in store. Liam and Quinn have a basketball game tomorrow but we won’t be taking Ronan. Now that it is turning into that time of year when the flu hits, etc…. we won’t be taking him out at all. Time to put him back in his bubble. I am going to have to get very creative as far as keeping him busy at home. Thinking some paint supplies and lots of arts and crafts are in our very near future. We have been working a lot on his school stuff and he is still fighting me on it a little bit; but I know he is learning. I hear him repeating things when he is playing and he thinks I am not listening. Stubborn little boy.

I’m going to have to say that my husband has been extra amazing lately. If that is even possible. I have no idea how he does all he does. I am so impressed by the way he is handling everything. Keeping his law firm going, being such an amazing daddy, and doting on me 24/7. If anyone is carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, it is him. I am so thankful to be married to such a strong man who can take care of his family. There is nobody in the world who I respect and love more then him. After all that we are going through, he has kept the best attitude and positivity. He really is one of a kind and I will forever stay madly in love with him. I am thankful that my 3 boys have such a strong male role model in their lives. I know how important that is in forming what type of men they will grow up to be. Thanks Daddy Woo<3

Throughout this journey I have come to see things in such a different light. Life will never be the same again for us, but I honestly think it can be better. I have such a new appreciation for the littlest things. It is a life full of nothing but pureness and simplicity. It’s like we have been given a new chance to soak up all the things we do have and enjoy them to the fullest. Life is too short to be unhappy or worry about petty things. We are making the most of what we have, right now, in this very moment. There is no point in worrying about the future because it is the here and now that matters most. A hard lesson to learn, but a beautiful lesson indeed.

I am going to leave you with a quote that I came across today when I was doing my website research for Ronan. <3<3<3 LoveLoveLove<3<3<3

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.  ~Dr. Seuss

What a day!

What a day! So glad it is O.V.E.R! Our usual Thursday morning started out by heading over to the clinic, with our Mimi Kay in tow. Ronan seemed like he was in a good mood, until we pulled up and I think that he remembered that it was Thursday, which means Broviac dressing changing day. Holy tantrum! I had to pry him out of the car and he proceeded to kick, scream, arch his back, and cry. He is so strong that I can barely contain him anymore. I was trying to hold him to carry him into the clinic and it took a good 10 minutes outside to even pick him up. He ripped my favorite good luck necklace off, my gold four leaf clover that Woody got me for my birthday last year. Ripped it right off my neck like he was the Incredible Hulk or something. I finally got him picked up and into the clinic but he was still screaming and trying to run away. I took him out into the common area, where the coffee lady is and held him in my lap at the table. He was still kicking and hitting me. I finally broke down and started crying and this is the only thing that ever gets his attention and makes him stop. I cried and did my usual whispering in his ear and he just watched me and soon snuggled up to my neck and settled down. Finally. It was a hard morning. Thank god I had Mimi there to help me carry my stuff and help with his dressing change. His blood levels and ANC counts are still good so he did not need a blood transfusion today which is always a plus. We were able to get out of there fairly quickly. I thought Ronan was getting used to all of this but it is days like today, that I know he is not. I never know what or who I am going to get with him. It is the worst pain in the world to see your baby suffer and hurt. It is beyond emotionally draining and physically exhausting. After we were finished there, Mimi, Papa, and Kathy took Ronan home for me and I went off to see my therapist.I needed it…. my nerves were shot after that visit. We had a good chat and I have started working on some breathing techniques to help calm myself down during the day when I am feeling anxiety. We also talked about things I can do at night to help my mind wander to sleep. I’ll try anything at this point… well, except sleeping medication. Just not going to go there.

After my appointment I met my sweet friends, Jen, Trish, Bethany, and Niki for a nice girls lunch. We had a little pow wow about some things that are in the works for Ronan’s Foundation and Pediatric Cancer in general. I’m telling you, these are the kind of girls you want on your side. Very genuine, smart, honest girls. I felt so lucky to be sitting in the middle of all of them<3 I am very excited about the things we have in store. We are going to turn this into something very beautiful and positive. I will never give up on my vision or hope for all of this. When Ronan is well, it is something I will devote my life to. Right now, I am just going to have to take baby steps to get to where I want this to go. I’m o.k. with that. Baby steps are steps in the right direction.

After lunch I ran a couple of errands and went to pick up Liam and Quinn from school. Such a treat for me. There is nothing I love more than seeing their faces light up when they see that I am there to pick them up from school. It has always been one of  my favorite things, but now it means so much more to me because I am often not able to do it. They were very happy and excited to tell me all about their day. I love that they are doing so well in school and seem to enjoy it so much. One less thing I have to worry about.

Mimi, Papa, and Kathy stayed all day and for part of the evening tonight so Wood and I could go grab dinner. We went to Chelsea’s for a quick bite. It was nice to be out alone with him. We talked a lot about New York and our plan and have the dates pretty much finalized. Woody will take me out there and when he is not there, Mimi Kay will stay with me. Karen, Tricia, and Sarah have all offered to come out during part of the time too and I just may take them up on that. I’ve got a couple of people out there that I know so hoping to connect with them as well. The more support we have, the better. It’s going to be quite a journey.. I am going to have to gather all of my strength to get him though this next chapter.

That’s all for tonight. Very tired, hoping for some peaceful sleep without nightmares. Goodnight, friends. <3

Angels waiting in the wings

I am amazed at the people who have come out of the woodwork to help us. People that we know and complete strangers just because they are touched by Ronan’s story. I put something out into the universe today… and I am getting amazing responses. People who are willing to go above and beyond to help us any way they can. It is people like this that the world needs more of. Selfless people who stand by their word and pour all the energy they have into helping out people like us. I’ll never look at the human spirit the same again.

All has been pretty quiet around here. Ronan is still storming right a long. He had a few fits today….bouts of anger and hitting me for no reason. Well, I guess he had a reason…. his reason. He was that angry that Liam and Quinn were not home. He likes to take it out on me and when his little temper hits, I bear the brunt of it. Not fun to see or watch. He’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I never know what his moods are going to be like. I am doing my best to discipline him but sometimes nothing works and I’ve come to find out I just have to let him let his anger out. He’s got to be angry about a lot and I know he is having a hard time processing what he is feeling. It’s heartbreaking. I keep telling him that we will get through this and he will get better. He talks all the time about getting his “Iron Man” out. I don’t blame the kid.

We go to the clinic in the morning and then Mimi Kay and Kathy are going to watch Ronan so I can get some things done. It will be nice to get out of the house and take a break from Ronan. I am meeting my friends Jen, Bethany, and Trish for lunch and to go over some things for Ronan. I am so lucky to have girlfriends who are willing to drop whatever to see me and work on some ongoing projects with me. All of their support has been keeping me going.

I can’t believe the holidays are right around the corner. It’s my favorite time of year to live here. I am hoping to take Ronan to a pumpkin patch this week or next. We will of course talk Liam and Quinn as well. Last year we lived at the pumpkin patches and I took all of the boys half a dozen times. We are a pretty active family and I love taking my 3 little guys off for adventures. It’s been awhile since we’ve done anything like that. Ronan seems to be feeling just fine so a pumpkin picking we will go.

I’m still trying to find my balance and where my life fits into all of this. Before this happened, my life consisted of a daily routine of healthy outlets. I’ve let all of those things go and can’t seem to get back into them. I miss my workouts, running, hiking, boot camp, etc…. Any time I have free from Ronan, I find myself feeling guilty. I feel like I need to be with him 24 hours a day. I know that’s not realistic or heathy, but time away from him feels selfish to me. I know I need a break and I am going to try to start doing some things again. To be quite honest, I feel like if I put myself back out there, there world is just going to swallow me whole. It’s that whole anxiety thing that I’m now dealing with I guess. I feel safer trapped inside my little bubble with my little guy by my side. It is something I will continue to struggle with but I will also continue to work on. There has got to be a happy medium somewhere… it’s just going to take work to find my new comfort zone.

It’s 3:10 in the morning now. I’ve been up off and on all night long. I finally feel like I am tired enough to sleep a few hours. Thanks for reading this, thinking of us, and praying for our family. Love to you all<3 Goodnight, friends.

Knock on wood

Today is day 8. Every time Ronan starts his chemo treatments, his blood levels are supposed to drop after 7-14 days. Which means, less energy, his immune system is low, etc…. Nothing yet. I took him to the clinic yesterday and his blood levels were still good. He has been full of energy and has been running around non-stop. Let’s hope this continues. Woody and I can’t get over him and how great he looks, for being so sick. None of this makes sense at all. I am just taking this as another great sign that Ronan is going to beat this and pray we continue to sail right through this. For dealing with something so difficult, he has been a champion…. not acting like a sick kid at all.

We have been taking advantage of being at home and doing normal things. The boys’ have been playing together non-stop. The love my 3 boys have for one another is so powerful and moving. It’s helping us win this battle. Last night Ronan cuddled up in Quinn’s bed and fell asleep with him. I left him there all night and only got up a few times to check on him. He slept peacefully the whole night through and woke Quinn up around 6:30 this morning to play. Ronan was upset that the boys had to leave for school this morning but I kept him busy. We ran some errands and I even took him into Target. Shhhhh! Don’t tell Woody;) I took him in to grab a few things, the store was empty, and I didn’t let him sit in a shopping cart. Poor kid has been begging me to take him for weeks now. We were very careful and I sanitized his hands about every 5 minutes. It made his day. He just wants to do normal things, like we used to do. So we did<3 And we will continue to do things as “normal” as possible. I am getting used to the looks of pity when we go out into public and Ronan doesn’t want to wear his hat. It doesn’t seem to bother me as much anymore. Heck Ronan doesn’t even care or notice, so why should I??

As of now, Ronan’s surgery is scheduled for the end December. I have a nice little story about the exact date of his surgery. I was telling my new friend, Pam, who has the little girl, Victoria, who is a cancer survivor, when it is going to be. As soon as I told her, she got a little quiet and goes, “Oh my god. That is the date that Victoria’s surgery was.” Same surgeon, Dr. La Qualia and everything. Another one of those good signs that I’ve been seeing during through this entire journey. We both got goosebumps and I got teary eyed. So Christmas in New York it will be:) Just wish it were under different circumstances but we are going to make it the best Christmas ever. As my dear Karen keeps saying, it’s one step closer to Ronan’s wellness.

Our next round of Magic Medicine does not start until November 1st. Until then, if all goes well, we will just be making visits to the clinic twice a week and we will be home the rest of the time. There truly is no place like home. Tonight, we went for a walk down to the our neighbors house. Ronan ran the entire way, only turning back to catch the football we were throwing. We had a great walk with our friends and enjoyed the cooler weather. It was the perfect evening and I was so happy that we were all together as a family.

I fell asleep early tonight, cuddled up to Ronan. Only wish I could sleep the whole night through…. ended up waking up in a panic and now my mind will not be still. Too many unknowns and worries keep me up. How do you sleep when the baby right next to you has cancer?? I woke him up to tell him I love him a few minutes ago. I tell him that 100 times a day. None of this has gotten any easier, but it has become our new way of life. This is not a life I would wish on anyone, but it is our life now and we will make it as happy and beautiful as possible. To be any other way would not be fair to Ronan or the twins. I know how important consistency and security is in a childhood. Especially in little guys who are 7. They will remember most of what we are going through so we have to make sure we make this as positive of an experience as possible.

Woody came home tonight with his hair buzzed super short. So sweet and cute of him to do. Ronan loved it and kept wanting to feel the top of his head. His long eyelashes are starting to go, as well as his eyebrows. His eyelashes are still there, but they are not as thick as they used to be. It just makes him that much more beautiful. Every feature on that child is beyond perfection.

So, if you don’t hear from me this week it’s only because I am taking full advantage of my healthy baby and being home. This week has been spent playing catch up on all the things I am behind on from being at the hospital all last week. It is amazing how far behind I can get on things around here.

Sweet dreams, friends. <3