Hellllllooooo Philly!

I’m not scared yet. Is that weird? Because at this point I should be scared shitless. And I don’t need to point out the obvious for you all to know what it is I should be scared about. Maybe it’s because I’m too numb, still in too much shock, or in deep denial. But I honestly don’t think those are the reasons for my being fearless. I still have this insane feeling in my heart that Ro is going to be fine. Maybe every parent whose child is diagnosed with cancer feels this way. It’s survival mode perhaps? Whatever it is, I’m not going to question it and I am going to embrace it as much as I can. I’ve questioned so many things today. Why Ronan was chosen for this journey in the first place, but most of all why he has to fight so hard through it. He is fighting like I’ve never seen a person fight before in my life. I know this is a big part of why I can’t give up yet. As long as Ro is fighting, I will not stop fighting for him. How could I? Any parent put in this same situation would do the same thing 100% guaranteed. To give up now would be so cowardly. I have never been a coward in my life and I am not about to start.

Today was one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever had in my life. Fernanda picked Ronan and I up to go to the clinic at PCH. I cannot tell you how good it felt to be back there. Dr. Maze came to see us while we were waiting and I got to watch my friend and see the pain in his eyes. He puts on a very bad poker face even though he tried his best to give me his famous smile and everything is going to be o.k. look. He left after a few minutes and looked at me and told me he was sorry. I just sat and gave him a smile as that is all I could do. After he left, I sat and thought for a few minutes. I have no shame when it comes to telling him the things that come rambling out of my head so I sent him a short text that just said something like, “Please don’t tell me you’re sorry. I cannot have you give up on Ronan too.” He then replied that he would NEVER give up on Ronan and that is not what he meant. He just meant he was sorry that Ronan is in pain as it breaks his heart. I felt better after that as that man has been with us through this from day one. I know he will not give up on Ronan because he gets it. He knows Ro is different no matter how hard this is getting and he knows my child has the spirit of something that is unlike anything on this earth. Dr. Maze is not going anywhere and more mother fucking doctors should strive to be more like that man. Enough with the egos and the ” I am GOD” attitudes. Enough of this cowardly bullshit. Not naming any names, of course. That would be much too easy. Dr. Maze also knows Dr. Mosse and took the time to send her an email in regards to us. He thinks the world of her which is so very comforting to me. He is very good judge of character and the fact that he respects this woman so much, means everything to me.

We were soon called back to the clinic room where we sat for a while and Dr. Eshun, Ronan’s primary doctor at PCH, came in to see us. Another prime example of an amazing doctor who is full of compassion and heart. We sat and talked and the things we talked about were not easy; but not once did he break eye contact with me. That is HUGE in my book. It is a sign of respect and just pure hearted goodness. I asked him hard questions and he answered as honestly as he could. He gave me his warmest smile even though I knew he was sad. That mans smile could melt a room. I thanked him for being so kind to us and told him how much it meant to me that he had the courage to talk with me the way he did. He supports our decision and understands where as parents, we are coming from. I’ll bet he is the most amazing father. I can tell that about him. He takes all of this personally and has tried to guide us as best he could. We will always be thankful for that.

While Dr. Eshun was in the room, our social worker Marcia came to see us as well. She has been so supportive of us from day one as well. I’ve always known she was a special lady but today, she kind of blew me away. She was so hopeful and so supportive of what we are about to take on. She told me what a good mom I am and how proud she is of me. It felt really good to hear from her as I respect her so much. Her eyes were filled with so much light and love today and I know she believes. She believes in miracles and she believes in Ronan. She believes in our love as a family and believes he can do this. She is still standing by our side and is not going anywhere either. I am so thankful for this.

The next person I saw was, “A.” This was probably the hardest person that I had to face. I’m not sure why…. actually I am. It is because I am completely in love with that woman and I wanted nothing more but to come back to her with the most amazing news…. I did not want to come back to her this way. She sat with me, hugged me and held my hand for a long time. We talked about really tough things. Things that I think about on a daily basis, but I cannot go there yet. A is logical, realistic, and matter of fact. But this is why I love her so much. I know she is only telling me the things she is telling me because she wants to make sure I am as informed as possible and that I have thought about everything, every possibility, every outcome. She does this for me because of the love she has for our family. All that bullshit about doctors not getting personally involved with their patients is bullshit with A. She is fully invested and proved that by the way she ran out to our car today to chase us down to give us one last hug and kiss goodbye. Nobody at fucking Sloan would have done that for us. I think I may have set the bar a little too high with them. Don’t get me wrong, I still think they are one of the best hospitals in the nation. But they will never compare to my little PCH and the kind of quality care we get there. Today, I felt like I was floating on a fluffy cloud with all of my favorite people waiting for me with open arms. As shitty as the circumstances are that we were back, it filled me with the love that I have so been missing.

Dr. Maze also came back to see us again and say goodbye. We will see him soon and Ronan asked after he left if he could come with us. I told him I didn’t think so, but this time we won’t be gone so long so we will be back to see him soon. He smiled and told me that made him happy. Little love bug.

While I was waiting in the isolation room with Ronan as he ended up needing platelets and blood, I saw the woman who walks on water to me. Dr. Adams. I hesitated to chase her down but Fernanda was like, “Are you crazy?! You know that woman always makes you feel better!” Did I forget to mention that “Nanda,” as Ro calls her sat with me all day long? My darling, F. I don’t know what I would do without her. Actually, I do. I would not be getting though any of this and would be curled up in the fetal position somewhere. Anyway, as I was getting ready to chase down Dr. Adams I looked at Fernanda and said, “I can’t see her, my entire ass is hanging out of my pants!” I’ll have to back up the story on this one. I forgot to mention that I was wearing this pair of pretty thin seersucker pants today and when we first went to the clinic and I was getting Ronan out of the car, I dropped my cell phone and bent down to pick it up. I heard a big, “Riiiiiiipppppp.” WTF?!? I turned around to Fernanda and said, “Did my pants really just rip and is my ass cheek fully exposed?” Indeed they had. The only thing I could do was laugh and roll with it. I spent the entire day pulling down my tank top to cover up my bum as to not expose anyone to the beauty of my milkshake maker. You know, my favorite booty song…. “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.” Yup. I fully brought my milkshake to the clinic today and I don’t think Woody would have appreciated it if any boys came to my yard. Fernanda, of course had the problem solved as she had another pair of jeans with her. I threw those on and went down to see Dr. Adams. I peeked around the corner and there she was. I waited for her to see me before I approached her. She had no clue we were back and it took her a minute to register it was me. She looked at me for a few seconds and goes, “What are you doing here. I did not want to see you back.” I calmly explained the situation to her and she teared up and pulled me into a room. She hugged me, held my hand and locked eyes with me while we discussed everything. And I mean everything. She kept telling me that what matters now is the care that I am giving to Ronan, which is 100% my complete love and strength, but I also needed to let him know that we are all allowed to be sad because none of this is fair or right. She was 100% supportive of trying this MIBG therapy. We touched a bit about how his cure rate is now becoming slimmer and slimmer. I told her I knew all of this but I didn’t care if there was a 5% chance that he could beat this. I wasn’t giving up yet. She told me she knows what good parents we are and we know what is best for Ronan at this point. I don’t think I’ve said this before but just being in her presence almost scares me; but in a good way. I swear to god I’ve known her in a past life or something and I also swear to god that she is seriously an angel walking around on this earth. She has such a presence about her and is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever come into contact with. When I am with her, it is as if she gives me the strength that seems to be surrounding her at all times. She has a very strong aura about her. I feed off of this and I actually felt really calm around her today. I always feel calm and at peace when in her presence.

We had our sweet Patty taking care of us all day. She is not even a nurse to me anymore; she is my friend. She sat with me, cried with me, laughed with me, and helped me with Ronan as much as he would allow. She helped me out to my car and carried all of our things. It was so nice to be back home today and I was so glad Patty was the one taking care of us.

Um, yes, hello. I could write a freaking novel tonight while on this red-eye. I should be sleeping but I have too much buzzing around in my head and to much to talk about today. I’m getting so sleepy but I want to touch on this woman Joanna who emailed me today and her email said please call me, I promise I’m not crazy. What the heck, I thought so I picked up the phone and called this lady who lives in Toronto, Canada of all places. Instant connection. She told me the most amazing story about something she had just experienced and swears it is a sign that Ronan is going to be o.k. I believe her. I cannot go into details because at this time, I am seriously about ready to pass out. This stranger picked me up off my feet today when I needed it most. We talked about fate, the timing of all of this MIBG therapy as if we would have started this any later…. Ronan would not be eligible for the antibodies that come after this due to a time period. She said maybe Dr. Kusher kicking us to the curb was a blessing in disguise because now we will start this therapy and if we get the response we are fucking praying our asses off for, Ro will still be eligible for the antibodies. We will cross that bridge when we come to it, but you all know I love a good fate story. Fate and hope are what I’m hanging on too.Thanks Joanna, for reaching out to me. It meant the world to me today.

Also, I am learning such lessons from a little 10-year-old. Not really lessons, but more like what it means to see this through the eyes of a very wise child. Mr. Luke Ashworth, my heart will forever be yours. Ronan’s cousin has been such a blessing to us. He loves my Ro so much and Ro loves him just as much. Luke gets all of this, as he is wise beyond his years. He looked at me tonight and goes, “Promise me you’ll never give up.” I looked at him and said, “Luke, of course I will never give up. I promise you that. I will never give up on Ronan.” We had our moment and I will never forget it as long as I live. He thinks about Ronan so much and is so worried about him. It takes a very special boy to be so concerned about something like this. I am so proud to have him as a part of our family.

This is all I can do tonight. Long enough for you all? Geez! Blabber mouth city could not shut up tonight. Adrenaline I guess. I’m in mama lioness fighting mode. One more thing I want to  mention…. Thought-out all of this I find strength in so many places, but one person in particular is always on my mind. It is someone I never knew, but he is one of my idols; Pat Tillman. I have called Ronan our mini Pat Tillman since he could walk. I often think about Pat and how strong-willed he was and just what an amazing man and role model he is to our family. We all worship him. I think about his strength and bravery and I channel this by thinking about him when I think I can no longer go on. He helps me put back on my fuck you cancer boots and continue to fight. I know if he were here and in a twist of fate, he were to meet Ronan, he would never give up on him. I feel like he is one of our angels watching down on Ronan wherever he is. Ronan reminds me so much of him… just the little I know of him from reading some books that have been written about him. One in particular by his mom. The things he did as a child are so similar to the spirit the Ronan embodies. So, Mr. Pat Tillman…. thank you for being the definition of what it means to be a real man and to fight for what you belive in no matter how many people tell you differently. You will always be a hero and a god in our eyes.

G’night my lovies!!!!!!! Or G’morning I should say!

So proud to have you all by our side and I will never get tired of saying that. You mean so much to us. CHOP here we come. Dr. Mosse, I have faith in you; I’ve known this all along. NOT GIVING UP. Who could give up on a fact like Ro’s?? Only the UGLIEST of souls.  And we don’t allow ugly souls on this blog.

We are here. We made it. I have not slept in 24 hours which is probably why my post was a little “hyper.” Adrenaline. In a turn of events, Ronan’s pain in his legs that he has been having, which has been horrific, is not bothering him at the moment. As soon as we stepped off the plane, he started smiling and told me he loved me so much. He has not complained once since we arrived to our room. I have a good feeling about this Philly place. I sent Dr. Mosse an email at 6:30 this morning telling her we had arrived, we were at her mercy, and would do whatever it takes to get Ronan started on this treatment as soon as possible. Not 10 minutes later she emailed me back saying no child should be in pain and that they will move his treatment from next week up to this Thursday. Now that is an amazing doctor. Talk about class, compassion, and heart. I knew this about her from the first time I met her. This is our time now. Things are falling into place and I am going to keep holding on to my belief of that. As Tricia dropped us off at the airport tonight and hugged me tightly she whispered, “Bring our baby home.” You bet your ass I will, TT. I promise you that.

Time to try to get some shut eye; although it looks like Ronan has other plans as he has set up a whole battlefield of Star Wars guys in our bed. Love my little fighter so much.

I hope you all have a beautiful day.

xoxo

Deep breaths, Patience and Xanax

Fork em' Devils!

What a long day. We don’t know anything yet but should know the results by tomorrow afternoon/evening. Now Dr. Eshun will meet with a team of doctors to go over the results of all the scans combined, with a fine tooth comb. Waiting is the hardest part. Sleep is going to be extra difficult tonight. UGH. I hate these nights.

Today, we started out at the clinic just doing Ronan’s normal labs. He needed to get blood, but we did not have enough time to do it before we had his MIBG scan. We will go back tomorrow for a transfusion as his counts were a little low. We did have some time to kill in between the clinic and our scan time so we went to the car wash and ran home for about 15 minutes. We then headed back to PCH to get ready for Ro’s scan. He was in a pleasant mood today and was excited as always to see Dr. Maze. We brought him a coffee and Ronan introduced Dr. Maze to his favorite show that he was watching on his iPad, Max and Ruby. Dr. Maze and our favorite of his helpers, Angela, were eating Ro up like always. We had some fun play time with them before it was time for Ronan to get his “sleepy medicine.” We did the usual, I held him, and Dr. Maze injected him. Ronan cried out his usual, “Mama, Mama, Mama!” I put on my brave face and gave Dr. Maze the look he knows so well now, which is, take the best care of my baby ever. I don’t even have to say the words anymore. He knows and he does. So thankful.

I walked myself out to the waiting room where Auntie Karen and Fernanda sat waiting for me. I am so glad they were there to keep me company today. They kept my mind occupied and I am so happy the two of them finally were able to meet. I am so used to going to PCH alone and by myself and I never realized how much work it is for me. Today, after Ro came out of anesthesia, Fernanda went and got my car for me so I didn’t have to walk all the way to the parking garage while carrying my bags and Ronan as I usually do. Today was easy and I am going to try to make myself take the help from my friends more often. It makes all the difference in the world. They kept my mind busy and my spirits happy. Thank you both for today…. I know I tell you all the time, but I love you so much. Ronan woke up a little grumpy and just wanted to get out of there asap. That is precisely what we did.

We came home to Mimi and Papa helping Liam and Quinn with their homework. Ronan was starving so I made him his favorite scrambled eggs and he scarfed them down. Woody came home soon after and we snuck out just the two of us for dinner. It’s been so long since just the two of us have gone out alone. It was nice to just sit with my husband and try to be as normal as possible. I caught myself laughing easily at his funny stories and we got caught up on our plans for the weekend. It was a very nice, much needed night together. My mom comes into town tomorrow until Monday and I am so very excited to see her. It should be a busy, fun, weekend <3

Fernanda sent me a text tonight that melted my heart. She said one of her little boys’, Brando, who is four, was at school today and a little boy asked him where his mommy was. Brando told the little boy that his mommy was at the hospital helping a little boy grow back his hair. That is one of the cutest things I have ever heard and filled my heart with so much joy. Fernanda is doing so much more than that; she is teaching me what it truly means in life to be an amazing person to the core. What it means to live a life full of passion, laughter, and love with just the right about sass to go with it. Fernanda is the kind of women who can light up a room with her quick wit and bright eyes. I told you she has the same sparkle in her eyes as Ronan and I find so much comfort in that. Even though what we are going through, sucks balls, I am so thankful for the beautiful souls that I am surround by. If not for this, I would be missing out on all the loveliness that has surrounded me for so long, but I just didn’t know how beautiful it truly was until now. Everyday is a combination of heaven and hell…. it’s a beautiful, tragic love story to the fullest.

Deep breaths tonight. Hot Yoga at 5:30 a.m. Yes, please. I will be there and I will be focusing all of my energy into my Ronan baby like I always do. We need some good news tomorrow. Please.

G’nite and sweetest dreams to you all. Love you for checking in on us and loving our little Ro so much.

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