My dreams are my reality

Hoping for a quiet weekend, at home with a whole lot of nothing going on. As of now, our plan is that Woody and I will be flying out to Philidelphia on Tuesday with Ronan. We will meet with Dr. Mosse at Chop and we are talking about making the drive to New York to meet with Dr. Kusher once again. We are going into Chop with an open mind and are hoping they can give us some answers as to why we should choose them with the life of our son. I have no doubt they are qualified, but as I have said in the past, there is something about Dr. Kushner that I trust wholeheartedly. I feel the same way about him that I feel about Dr. Adams. Complete trust and as if they are the best at what they do. Maybe I will get this feeling from Dr. Mosse as well. It is worth a shot and it is an option we have to explore. Ronan seems to still be feeling well and his ANC counts were 1600 today which is great news. Hopefully they will continue to stay this high so flying next week won’t be a problem. We will go to the clinic on Monday to have his levels checked again and I am pretty sure they will end up giving him a transfusion of blood for the trip. Praying that he stays well so we can get him out to Philly and New York and find the answers we are looking for.

I am so tired tonight. Ronan is asleep next to me and I am not going to have any trouble curling up beside him and falling asleep. I have been sleeping better lately, but still having my very real dreams. It is so funny how my dreams and reality are pretty much the same now. My dreams at night are all about what we are going through and the choices we are going to have to make. I’ve said before, I never get a break from what we are going through…. not even in my sleep. Maybe that is why I’m so exhausted during the day. No matter how hard I try, I cannot escape even for a second what we are up against. I’m o.k. with this…. it just means I know my entire body, spirit and mind are fighting 24 hours a day for Ronan. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am his mama bear, I will fight for the rest of my life for him.

That is all for tonight. Hope you all have a beautiful weekend. G’night to all of my loves out there; you know who you are. I love you all so much.

xoxo

Magic Medicine, Day 4 and Day 5…. Round 7

What a beautiful, rainy day. My favorite kind of days. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I miss days like this so much. Ronan woke up happy as a clam, excited to know he was going home later this afternoon. We played in his bed for a little bit and then we went down to the cafeteria so I could get him his slurpee mix to put his oral chemo in. We came back to our room and talked to the nurse about discharge time and specific instructions as far as being back at the clinic tomorrow for the last day of cycle 7. Dr. Maze came up and sat with us for a while, played with Ronan, and we talked about the upcoming trips we are taking with Ronan to visit a couple of other hospitals. I had no idea, but his brother is the head of Anesthesiology at UCSF where we will be visiting on Wednesday. He sent him a message to let him know we were coming to the hospital to meet with Dr. Matthay. Ronan is excited to go to San Francisco and we have turned it into something really positive and exciting. I contacted somebody we were put in touch with whom works for Lucas Films. Lynne, has so graciously set up lunch on Wednesday over at the studios of Lucas Films and a little tour for Ronan. He cannot stop talking about going to visit Star Wars and New York Miss Macy, who just moved to San Francisco. It is going to be a short, productive trip. I am of course, over the moon about getting to see my love, Mace 🙂

I started this post yesterday but didn’t finish it last night due to falling asleep at 9:00 and sleeping all night long. It’s a miracle! I have not done that since before Ronan was diagnosed! My dreams were not even that horrific. I, of course, dreamt about Ronan and his cancer…. but my dreams were more peaceful than they have been in a long time. We went home yesterday around 3:30 and we are now back at the clinic for Ronan’s last day of this round of chemo. Liam and Quinn have the day off from school and Quinny is here with us while Liam is with Mimi and Papa. We will be finished here around 3 and Quinn is being such a good little helper. It was fun to introduce him to all of the people  here who are such a part of our lives now. He hears Ronan talk about them all day long and I think it was good for Quinn to put the faces that go with all the names. It was also good for Quinn to see what we do on a day-to-day basis while we are in the clinic. He likes to know what is going on with Ronan. Ronan is of course over the moon to spend the day with one of his brothers.

Fernanda came by the clinic and dropped me off a coffee (which I proceeded to knock over and spill) She called that, good luck. I of course chopped it up to nerves. I’m scattered today; nervous about meeting with the doctor in San Francisco. Dr. Eshun already told me that he spoke with Dr. Matthay and she is going to suggest we do MIBG treatment as soon as possible. I already knew this. Everybody is going to be biased in the way they want to treat Ronan’s cancer. But nobody really knows the correct answer. This is beyond fucked up to me. The fact that Woody and I are going to have to make a choice in regards to Ronan’s life and part of it is going to have to be based on a leap of faith. No parent should ever have to be put in that situation. I’m not one to get political one here because that would stir up too much shit, but HELLLLLLLOOOOO WHITEHOUSE!!!!!!! With all the money that you are spending on the world….. why don’t you throw a WHOLE bunch of it at Childhood Cancer so we can actually find a cure for this horrific disease that is killing MILLIONS OF CHILDREN?!?!?!?!?!?! They are our future and with the lack of funding, you are throwing away the lives of amazing children who would make this world a much better place.

I came across a quote by Mark Twain today and it made me smile. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” I said at the beginning of all of this I was going to stop listening to the statistics for Ronan. I stand by what I said. He is not a statistic, he is my child. Many people do not want to associate cancer with children. It is just an unthinkable horror. It’s easy to dismiss the idea by saying, “This will never happen to my child.” Unfortunately, it happens more often than we’d like to believe. According to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer. While many children are cured, there are still many children who will die.

When you lose your parents you are an orphan. When you lose your spouse you are a widow(er). There is no name for a parent who loses their child because it is just too unspeakable.

Why is the happening to my perfect little boy? Because there was never a boy born who is more beautiful in this world; so now he has to pay the price? I want an answer for something I will probably never know and it’s not fair. I want someone to be mad at and someone to blame, but that person does not exist. If I can’t have something tangible to blame, I want a cure, god damn it! I don’t want to have to put the life of my child on the line and trust my instinct in choosing his path. This is beyond unfair. It is sick, inhuman, and cruel. He does not deserves any of this! NO CHILD DOES! For all of you out there who are compassionate human beings; and I know you are because you continue to read this blog and pray for Ronan….. I dare you to come and spend the day at a hospital full of kids who have cancer. If your life is not affected, if you can walk away from all of this and never look back, you are reading the wrong blog. For those of you who are already doing something, big or small….thank you. The time is now to make a difference and your wake up call is here. It’s time to do something, whether it be to volunteer, to make a sick kid smile, or to help in raising awareness in any way possible. I wish I wasn’t getting my wake up call in life because my child has cancer. I wish I had someone telling me to do something. I would have listened if I had known this world existed. I lived a blind life full of a false sense that everything was perfect in the world, because my world was perfect. WHAT A BIG, FAT, LIE.

An innocently good day turned into a not so good night. Let’s see….. I threw up the one little thing I tried to eat for dinner, went to try to get gas in my car (had to leave due to not being able to get the gas to pump due to my head spinning) and then went to Target were I proceeded to abandon my cart due to almost having a severe panic attack in the store. Fernanda called just as I was walking out and I started bawling to her. She was like “What at the fuck are you doing trying to get gas for your car?” “That’s what we are all here for!” You know you are in trouble when getting gas seems overwhelming. In the mist of my bawling in the car before I left the parking lot I texted my Mr. Sparky eyes whom is always telling me that I am doing a great job at handling everything and I need to stop being so hard on myself. I said to him, “People that are doing o.k. do not have to leave in the middle of shopping at Target because they cannot focus on what they need to get. I am not o.k. and I cannot believe I have to make a decision in regards to my son’s life when nobody knows the right answer.” 2 minutes later, he called and basically talked me down from the ledge and sat on the phone and let me cry. He reassured me as he always does that we are doing everything right in our power and we are going to make the best decision for Ronan. He then told me how I am alright, I had just had a shitty day and tomorrow will be better. He also told me that anything I needed at Target, I really didn’t need anyway. He calmed me down as he always does with his wisdom and words. After talking to him, I was able to go and get gas for my car without any problems.

I came home to a hectic house of boys’ gone wild. My 3 little guys are so happy to be together, that it is hard to get them calmed down for bedtime. Lots of laughing and playing just as it should be.  San Francisco tomorrow. One more piece of the puzzle to put into place. Will it fit or not?? Only time will tell.

G’nite my loves. Thank you to Fernanda, Stacy, and Mr. Sparkly Eyes for being there for me tonight. Your words helped me through the night. I love you.

xoxo


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.