Dear Cancer,

I will never love you. You will never be my friend. You have taken my beautiful life and ripped it into shreds. I have watched you hurt my child over and over again. You have taken his beautiful strong body and tried to weaken it, his bright blue eyes and tried to dim them, his fierce spirit and tried to kill it. I have watched the tears he has cried, the pain he has felt, and the sadness you have brought. I have watched the way you have taken away our time together as a family, how you have tried to break us, how you have tried to rip us apart.

Do you see me? Do you see the pain in my eyes, the thousands of tears I have cried, the fear on my face? Do you know what it is like to have your worst nightmare come true and to not have any control over the outcome? What it’s like to watch the people around you be scared and feel your pain too? To watch them as they either choose to stay in your life or run the other way? The lessons you are teaching me are insightful indeed, but I would rather have learned them by being educated on Childhood Cancer. Not because you were going to put my baby through this.

Now, I sit and wait and fight. I have no choice but to take the lessons along the way with dignity and grace. To find the beauty in the ugliest days. You want to break me, but you won’t. You want to take my child, but you can’t. I will stop at nothing to destroy you and all you have done to our family. I will cry my tears in the shower and you may knock me down, but I will get back up.  The love I have for my son will get him through this; that I can guarantee. Someday, I will show you whose boss. Someday people will start paying attention and cures will be found. Until that day, I swear to you that I will stop at nothing to get rid of you forever.

I feel sad for you because you must not know what it is like to have a mother’s love. A love so deep and pure, that it can conquer anything. A mother’s love will get you through the toughest storms and keep you warm the entire time. A bond so strong, that it can survive the toughest waters. Each time I kiss the top of my baby’s bald head, I think of you and what you have done. Don’t you know that this child is half of me? Our bond is so unbreakable that it is if we are one. So, when you decided to pick him, you picked me as well. And I will stop at nothing to protect him and get him well.

So Cancer… I think it’s time for you to go. You are not welcome here and I hope you are prepared to lose this fight. We are much too strong of a team for you to destroy. You have made your mess and we will happily clean it up. When all is said and done, and you are gone forever we will go back to living our life the way it was before. Except this time, nothing will be taken for granted and the simplest things will now be the most beautiful. We will live everyday knowing how lucky we are to have the most 3 most important things: Love, Health, and Thankfulness. Life will once again be carefree and joyful. And although our wounds are deep; they will heal over time. We will get our life back as a family, before you came here like a Tornado and turned our lives upside down. Each day that passes by, is a day closer to getting rid of you forever. You have burdened our lives only to bring us more beauty than we ever knew existed. I really wish I could say thank you for all of this but I cannot. I am going to say a big Fuck you to you instead. SO FUCK YOU CANCER!!!!!!!!!!! Have a really beautiful night. And no sweet dreams to you.

Sincerely not your biggest fan,

Maya M. Thompson

Rockstar Ronan’s Mom

The most wonderful time of the year

Christmas in New York truly is magical, even under our circumstances. Today, we spent the morning hanging out at the Ronald McDonald House, just enjoying the activities that they had going on. Around one, I skipped out, hailed a cab, and went over to pick up Liz so we could do a little holiday shopping. I had yet to get Wood a thing and talk about waiting until the last minute. Today really was the only free day I’ve had alone to do his shopping. Liz and I walked the streets of New York for 5 hours straight. It was busy, chaotic, and so much fun. We had the best time together and I feel so lucky to have her in my life. She is such an amazing young lady and truly is like a sister to me. The streets and shops were full of people everywhere and I could practically feel the city buzzing with the excitement of the holidays. I loved every second of being right in the middle of it. Today, I enjoyed a day of escaping our reality for a few hours…. even though Liz and I talked about Ronan a lot, we spent most of our day just enjoying our surroundings. It was a wonderful Christmas Eve day. Tonight, everyone came over to the Ronald McDonald House and we hung out. Ronan had a couple of meltdowns… he’s tired tonight; but happy. Liam and Quinn have been great and we have really been enjoying them. They love staying here with us. RMH does such an amazing job of having fun activities for the kids to do and everyday there is something going on. We feel so blessed to be staying here for such a long amount of time. It is a very safe, fun, positive, environment. I just know Quinn and Liam are going to look back at this Christmas and remember it as being a fun time, full of lots of laughter and love.

I wonder what you are all up to. I wonder if Christmas means more to you this year? It does to me. All I want for Christmas is for my family to be healed, my friendships to be stronger, and to have Ronan healthy. It was so hard for me to see his tumor on the scan yesterday. It made everything so real and seeing the very first scan, when the tumor was everywhere, took my breath away. It was so huge before. I just don’t know how that thing was growing in my baby and we had no idea. His stomach did not protrude at all…. he acted and felt fine. The doctors could not even feel it when they pressed on his stomach, yet it was everywhere. Such a scary thing. It it wouldn’t have been for his little left eye, we would have never known what was going on. I am thankful every single day that it metastasized up into the orbit of his eye… otherwise whose knows when or if we would have caught this.

Tonight, Karen, Olivia, and Liz went to church here at 11 p.m. I wanted to go with them, but felt like I needed to be with my boys. Karen said she was going to pray extra hard for Ronan, for me. What a beautiful gift they have given me this Christmas. I couldn’t ask for more. The thought of all 3 of those beautiful souls, sitting in a church in NYC, praying for us brings tears to my eyes. It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. I know he is going to be healed, I know he is going to grow up and be the most amazing man, there are too many people thinking and praying for it to go any other way. Too much love surrounds this little boy of ours.

This Christmas, I would like to say thank you to all of you and leave you with a little toast. To all of my family, friends, strangers, near and far…… thank you for thinking of Ronan and following his journey and believing in him. A toast to all of you. Cheers!

To Nearest

To Dearest

To The Truest

To The One’s Who’ve Been There

To The One’s Who Who’ll Be There

To Dropping Everything

To Honesty

To NO Judgements

To No Doubts

To Loyalty

To Trust

To Humbleness

To Knowing What Matters Most

To Having Our Back

To Asking For Nothing In Return

To Accepting

To Loving

To Kindness

To Living Your LIfe Full of Being Selfless

To All Of You, Who Know This Is True, And Know It Is Your Soul We See Shining Through.

Happiest Holidays!!!!!!

Magic Medicine… Day 3, Round 3

Today I am happy and my spirit is renewed. I feel really good about things. Just looking at Ronan’s determination and strength gives me such a sense of relief. I always knew he was different and special; he’s always had that twinkle in his eye like he knew he was up for a fight. The strength and support of everyone around us is also so comforting to me. Ronan has such an army of people who are pulling and praying for him. The end result of this will be something good, something big, and something amazing. I can’t feel it in every fiber of my body. He did really well with the chemo last night. No vomiting or anything but he did wet the bed. They are pumping him full of fluids 24 hours a day. He wakes up about every half an hour to pee and refuses to wear a diaper. He usually does very well with this but had a little accident last night. No big deal, we called the nurse and changed his sheets, clothes, and wiped him down. He went right back to sleep after that.

Auntie Karen came by today so I could run home and do my usual routine. I can’t tell you how much that helps me get though these hospital stays. I had a visit from an amazing mommy and new friend, Pamela White. Her little girl, Victoria, is a cancer survivor. Their story is so hopeful and inspiring. Pamela is funny, strong, and someone who has walked in my shoes and has come out the other side with the most beautiful life possible. I know we will now be friends for life. She was very encouraging and we had a couple of laughs about some things like, how wonderful Christmas in New York would be;) Being sarcastic of course. I can tell she and her husband are a lot like Woody and I. Strong, grounded, smart, and would fight as long and has hard as possible to save the life of their child. They are a prime example of bad things happening to good people. But they got through it and are living proof that life can turn out more beautifully than you could have ever expected.

Tomorrow Woody and E.J. fly to New York. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers for safe travels. I am so excited for the two of them to go out there and meet Dr. Kushner and Dr. La Qualia. I know they will be in very good hands and come back with the answers we need to know that we are on the right path. Between Woody and E.J., no questions will be left unanswered. They will also be checking out the Ronald McDonald House while they are there. That is where we will more than likely be staying after Ronan’s surgery. It is close to the hospital and from what I hear it is a very good support system and very inexpensive which is always a plus.

Wow. How drastically things can change. My beautiful day has turned into a very hard night. I stupidly made the mistake of taking Ronan outside tonight, down to the playground. Duh, Maya. A playground? Poor guy is all hooked up to his machine and all he wanted to do was go down the freaking slide. Well guess what? He couldn’t go down the slide so I had to sit and watch my baby cry, hit, and scream for 20 minutes before I was even able to talk him into going back up to his room. Traumatic to say the least. Once we got up back to his room, he was still mad and obsessing over the playground. It has gone on almost the entire night, up until a few minutes ago when he finally passed out. My friend Stacy came to bring me dinner. She sweetly brought Ro a new Star Wars book that he does not have and that took his mind off of it for a bit, but not for long. Dr. Maze stopped by and Ronan was very grumpy to say the least. Dr. Maze tried to work his magic and asked one of the nurses if he could be unhooked for awhile tomorrow, to at least play on the playground and get some fresh air. She said she didn’t think so but he said he was going to talk to Dr. Wood for us. If that could happen, it would be oh so lovely. Just to see my little guy play and be a 3-year-old would be a dream come true. This week has been hard on him, even though he is acting like such a little trooper. Gay and Cal stopped by after Dr. Maze and Stacy left. Just seeing Cal made Ronan so happy. It reminds him of being with his brothers who he misses so very much. Cal and Ronan played and giggled the whole hour they were here. After he left the meltdown begin and lasted for about 2 hours. He was screaming, kicking, talking about the playground and wanting to go home and see his brothers. I stayed calm, tried to explain everything to him, and tried to distract him. He finally fell asleep after I rubbed his back and sang to him. Needless to say, my anxiety is through the roof right now. I need to go run about 6 miles and scream my lungs out. I know I won’t be able to sleep tonight<3<3<3 Gotta find something productive to do. Starting to write 5 billion thank you notes is sounding really good right about now.

Sweet dreams<3<3 What I would give for that.

One flew over the coo coo’s nest… and that one is officially me

When going through something like this I’ve learned that at times you will feel crazy. And at times, people will make you feel like you are going crazy… and tell you things like you need medication. But somehow… if you are strong enough, you pull it all together… get all the little voices out of your head, refocus, and find your way back. It can take something as simple as taking a drive, screaming your lungs out and just taking 30 minutes to be alone, to bring your strength and sanity back. Game on, cancer. You have pushed me down but I will not stop fighting back.

I have also learned that I can no longer take things day by day. My world now consists of hour by hour. One foot in front of the other. Apparently, there is a certain way you are supposed to act and behave when your child has cancer. I have not been following standard protocol because I am only human. Until you have walked in the shoes of a mother who’s child is sick, you cannot pass judgement or tell them what is right or wrong. I know I am making mistakes, but they are my mistakes to make. As of right now, I am thankful I am able to pull myself out of bed in the morning and take care of my baby. That right there is a victory to me in it’s own right.

I said from the beginning of all of this that this blog was going to get ugly. I love the days that I am happy, positive and full of light. Unfortunately, this can’t always be the case. This is my blog… my honest blog and a lot of it is going to be the way that I am feeling. I will of course update you on how Ronan is feeling, his progress, his victories…. but there is going to be some other things in here that are not so fun to read. If you are not down for that…. the bus stops here. This is my outlet and my truth and I won’t be shut down.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I can update you on how Ronan is doing. To say he is doing amazingly well is an understatement. He is so full of spunk and energy it’s like we have 3 Ronan’s running around the house. He enjoyed his weekend playing with his Nana and brothers. There was a lot of Nerf gun shooting going on in our house. Tomorrow we will check his blood levels to see if we are ready to start the harvest of his stem cells on Tuesday. If that is the case, then we will spend 1 or 4 days down at the hospital depending on how easily the harvest goes. Thankfully, the process is very simple for being so complex. They take the stem cells out of his broviac so it is just a matter of how quickly the collection goes. It still makes for a long day so I will have to bring lots of things to keep our little guy busy; in bed. Lots of books, coloring, and movie watching. Maybe I’ll bring one of his Nerf guns so he can shoot the nurses;)

My mom leaves tomorrow after being here for a week. I will have to say that I wish I could have been a little  stronger and sane for her visit, but I cracked. I spent the whole week feeling like I was drowning and suffocating. I can’t help the way I am feeling or when my emotions take over.  I’m sorry for making my mom worry so much about me because I am going to be fine. I took out a lot of my anger on her  because she is my mom and I am angry about a lot of things. So, I apologize for that… nobody deserves to suffer my wrath.

I wanted to take a minute to say a huge thank you to all my Kelso Kids who supported Ronan and walked the Relay for Life for him on Saturday. Liv and Jen…. you two are my hearts. I can’t thank you enough for rallying together to making Team Ronan happen. And Olivia, your speech was beautiful. I am so proud to have you up there as my friend, talking about my baby. He is a fighter and in a couple of years we will be there walking it with you; with Ronan as a survivor.

Goodnight to all of our angels out there. Please continue to pray and send your strength our way.