We started off the morning early as we got up and ready to take Ronan to St. Joe’s for his CT scan and RT. Dr. Maze met us at the Ryan House and then over at St. Joe’s just to make sure we were taken care of. He knew Ro did not need anesthesia, but came anyway to be supportive. After he got us settled, he left and we sat back in a room and waited for the CT scan to begin. Ronan did amazing, as always. He held perfectly still as they took pictures of his little body to decide where they would do the radiation today. After looking at the CT scan, Dr. McBride decided that Ronan’s pain is coming from his pelvic and hip area as the bones there have been eaten away at due to the Neuroblastoma. It is with radiation, that the neuroblastoma cells will be killed in hopes that the bone can heal back and Ronan’s pain will get better.
Thoughout this blog, I’ve always had a plan as far as what we would do with Ronan and his treatment. We chose what we thought was right, and I don’t have any regrets in the choices we’ve made; but it sucks when the plan you think you have in place goes arye. I’m done making plans for Ronan. We are going off for another adventure instead. This time, as long as Ronan remains stable, we will be leaving for San Diego on Sunday. Dr. Sholler has agreed to try something else for Ronan and we as parents, have decided to give it a shot. What do we have to lose? At this point, nothing. We are fully aware of the risks involved, but this is not the time to sit back and do nothing because we are afraid. I am more afraid of sitting back and watching Ronan get worse and worse as the days progress. Woody has been on the phone all day with different doctors all over the states and most seem to think this is worth a shot. We will be admitted to The Children’s Hospital of San Diego on Monday and we are praying that all goes well and Ronan can start treatment on Monday or Tuesday.
Here is a little info about Dr. Sholler and what therapy we will be trying for Ronan:
Dr. Sholler’s research focuses on new therapies for neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. These neuronal tumors continue to be therapeutic challenges in pediatrics. Dr. Sholler has shown that Nifurtimox increases oxidative stress in neuroblastoma and induces cell death and decreases tumor size in xenograft models of neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. Nifurtimox also decreases AKT phosphorylation increasing the cells sensitivity to chemotherapy. She is presently studying the mechanism of this drug, drugs effecting metabolic regulation and oxidative stress, and determining the best drugs to use in combination.
Dr. Sholler has completed a Phase I trial of nifurtimox. She has opened and is currently enrolling in a Phase II trial of nifurtimox in combination with cytoxan and topotecan for relapsed neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma patients. She will be opening this trial at other sites in collaboration with Dr. Roberts at Children’s San Diego, Dr. Ferguson at St. Louis University, Dr. Zage at MD Anderson Houston, and Dr. Eslin at MD Anderson Orlando. Within this consortium she hopes to bring new therapies through research to children with relapsed neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.
Dr. Sholler’s lab is working in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Bond at the University of Vermont to understand the genomic differences within patients neuroblastoma cells. Understanding the specific biological profiles of patients neuroblastoma will lead to better understanding of the most effective treatment.
I am trying not to get my hopes up, but this just has to work. Our hearts were so broken when we left Chop as we were so sure MIBG therapy was the answer for Ronan. There are a couple of doctors who are advising against doing this, but there are also a few who are saying, “Why not.” Exactly. I’m not going down without a mother fucking fight for my son. I am not going to let him down as he deserves to be fought for like I’ve never fought before. Woody and I are both in total agreement on this; Woody is fighting just as hard, if not harder for our son. We will do anything we can at this point. There is nothing worse than sitting here, watching Ronan die. Because that is what he is doing. At least if we get him to San Diego, and try this clinical trial; the worse thing that can happen is ultimately, what is happening anyway. I don’t want him to die peacefully at The Ryan House while I sit here and just watch and wait. That’s not how this is going to go down. It’s not in our nature and it’s not in his.
As I have said before, we will not be cruel to Ronan and his needs. If for some reason, his pain gets worse within the next few days, we will of course re exam our decision. As of now, he is stable, his pain seems to be controlled, so we are going to take a huge leap of faith and do this. But it is not a plan at all. Plans always fly out the window. We are just following his lead on this journey of his and will do whatever we feel in our hearts that Ronan wants us to do. We want to take the twins with us, as we feel this is no time to be apart as a family. We need to be together for this part of Ronan’s journey. I’ve had enough of leaving them behind and so has Ronan. As long as we are together, Ronan will be happy and that is all that matters right now.
I got out of The Ryan House today and went to the twins’ baseball game. It was hard for me to be out in the real world, as always, but I did it for the sake of my twins. It’s hard for me to hear the conversations of others around me now as I hear bits and pieces of people complaining about the petty things in life. If they only knew how good they all have it. I kept thinking to myself about the baby boy whom I left back at The Ryan House, who is so sick with cancer and how we as parents, have been told that there is no chance for him to be cured. How am I supposed to go out into the real world anymore without it hurting so badly? All I wanted to do was run back to Ronan, to kiss him for the millionth time, tell him how lucky I was to be his mama, how sorry I was that he was hurting so badly, and promise him that we would get him better. I have been making this promise to him since day one. I did today for the sake of my twins’ but the sadness I felt while I was there was unbearable. Ronan should have been there with me, running around, getting dirty and watching his big brothers, play ball. I would give anything in the world to have those carefree days back with him.
I cannot sit here and wish for the past back though. The past is gone as we know it and we have to focus on the here and now and what we need during this time as a family. What we need is to be together and to continue to fight for Ronan. Each day that we don’t, we get closer and closer to losing him. He is just too special of a little boy to let go so easily. This next part of our journey is going to be hard, due to Ronan not feeling well anymore; but I know as a family, we can get though it. I’ve always loved the saying, ” Adventure is the spice of life.” It’s time to take on this new adventure and tackle it together with all the love in the world that surrounds us. I’m not giving up on hope, love, faith or Ronan. He is my baby and I know him best. I am going to listen to my heart and soul on this and we are going to turn this thing into the most positive adventure yet. If my son is going to die, it is not here and it is not now. I’m not accepting that this is the way he is supposed to go.
We have to be at the clinic early tomorrow for blood work and I’m assuming platelets for Ronan. I am also going to try my hardest to go to the twins’ school for the Mother’s Day Tea. Their little hearts will be broken if I do not show up. I have to be there for them and as hard as it is for me right now due to never wanting to leave Ronan’s side; I cannot let them down.
Ronan is sleeping peacefully so I am going to snuggle up to my little bug. Thank you all for sharing our story and loving us so much. I’ve tried my best to keep up on your comments as they mean so much to me. I am in awe of the love that surrounds us and will be forever grateful and inspired to be a better person because of all of you. So many of you love us without even knowing us. You’ve taken a leap of faith on our family and I feel you fighting right along with us. Thank you so very much. Sweet dreams my darling friends.
I sat here at The Ryan House all day with Ronan, rubbing his little leg that is hurting him so badly. We had a lot of visitors in and out. Ronan slept most of the day while I had the chance to sit in our room and see a lot of friends and family. I was hardly awake when Niki came by. She sat by me on my bed and held me while I sobbed in her arms as I knew I would the minute I saw here. She brings out the raw emotion in me for some reason. I held on to her and stroked her insanely gorgeous red, wavy hair that I am so in love with. After I let go, she sat by me and rubbed my back and I think I fell asleep again. Her visit was so peaceful. I had lots of other visitors…. Melissa, Patty, Sarah, Auntie Karen, my Aunt Sheri, my sweet cousin, Shannon, my mom, Jim, Liz, Olivia, Luke, Heidi, Stacy, Fernanda, Tricia, Tiffany, Dr. Maze, Katie, Addison, Lane, and I think a few more of the cousins. It was busy here but Ronan didn’t seem to mind.
I spent a lot of the day, curled up with Ronan, thinking, thinking, thinking. It’s not a fun place to be right now. Woody and I met with a doctor today about getting Ronan in over at St. Joe’s tomorrow to do radiation on his legs. It will be a one time treatment, and we are hoping it will subside his pain. The pain medication he is on is just not cutting it. Woody and I both decided he can handle it as we know how strong he is on the inside. It will be fast and painless and we are praying it will give him a little relief. The pain is swallowing him whole as he cannot even move out of bed and even me carrying him to the bathroom is torture to my little guy. I cannot just stand back and do nothing if there is a chance this may help him.
Woody has also been in contact with Dr. Sholler from Vermont. She has a trial that has opened up and I am not going to say much as of now; but if we can get Ronan comfortable enough with his pain, we are talking about making the trip out to San Diego to start this 5 day treatment. We have sat all day and weighed our options. I get that my first priority is keeping Ronan comfortable, peaceful, and happy. But as of now, he is none of those things. I am not foolish and I am not unrealistic. My child is dying right before my very eyes. I do believe in the power of miracles, but our miracle is not going to come in the form of him, lying in this bed, while I sit back and do nothing. I know that God is not going to open up the heavens above and heal my baby. This cancer is going to eat his little body alive and as of now, I am just sitting back and watching that happen. That to me, is not acceptable. I am loving him with everything I have; but if someone out there is willing to take a chance on Ronan, I believe I have to take it. His miracle is going to come in the form of medicine combined with the power of prayers. But prayers alone are not going to save Ronan.
Woody and I have not made any decisions as of yet. Obviously we have to weigh the pros and cons very carefully. But as I said in the beginning, I am not going down without a fight and neither is Ronan. It is just not in our nature. By sitting here and doing nothing, I feel like we are not fighting if there is even the smallest chance that this treatment could help Ronan in any way possible. If this doctor ends up telling us no, than we will accept the time left we have with Ronan. If I know in my heart that Ronan is ready to give up, then I will not push him. I know he is not there yet… I know the soul and spirit of my child and he is not ready to go down so easily. How can I possibly give up on that if there is the slightest ray of hope? It is eating me alive just sitting here, and doing nothing. Loving him is not enough if I can still be fighting for him and his life. I cannot let him go yet. I still feel in my heart that it is not his time.
So, the word inhumane has come up a couple times tonight. I’ve decided it’s a word that should not be associated with parents who are fighting for the life of their child with all they have. I believe to do otherwise is inhumane. We only want what is best for our son and we are struggling to figure it out. We as parents do know that we have to know in our hearts that we have done everything possible for Ronan. Even if the outcome turns out the same. So, as parents we will take the next few days, to watch Ronan carefully and make the decision that we feel is best for our family. If we do decide that enough is enough, it will be because Ronan has led us to that decision. This is still his journey, his life, and we will respect that. But it will not be without exhausting every possibility. We do not want to put him though anymore, but how do you give up when there still may be a chance???? I don’t think that you do. I know my child better than anyone, and today when I tried to kiss him and he yelled at me that “It’s not kissing day!” I knew right then and there that his little feisty spirit still exists. It’s my job as a mom and as the adult to help Ronan fight for I know what is in his soul. He does not want to leave us; he does not want to be anywhere else. We deserve our son, Liam and Quinn deserve their brother, and I am not throwing in the towel. I know this disease well enough now to know that things can change in an instant. I just pray that they change in an instant for the better and not for the worse for us.
We will start off tomorrow of a CT scan of Ronan’s little body, that is so badly beaten up and bruised. We will then do his RT without his anesthesia. I talked to him about it tonight and he said he will do it and make Dr. Maze proud and not need any sleepy medicine. The only thing I worry about is keeping him comfortable enough. I know he can do it, he will push through the pain if he has to. This is something no child should ever have to go through and I am beyond sick about it. Looking at Ronan’s banged up body makes me shutter. Listening to the sounds of his screams from the pain is something I will never be able to get out of my head. I swear to god on my life I will fucking live long enough to see a cure for this awful disease. I swear to god I will do whatever I can to help find a cure so no child has to suffer the way I have had to watch my son suffer. No child deserves this pain and no parent deserves this heartbreak.
That’s all for tonight my peeps. Sweet dreams to you all. G’nite my Fernanda. I miss you so much already.
Tonight, my heart is peaceful and content. My mind is quiet; which doesn’t happen often anymore. Tonight, I am once again filled with a peacefulness that everything is going to turn out o.k. I’m not sure why. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I’ve been so caught up with my worrying and trapped in a dangerous place where the darkness tries so hard to take over. It consumes me most nights… especially hospital nights. Not tonight. Maybe it was the fact that I had a much-needed day out of the hospital today and these little breaks seem to help me. Maybe it’s the fact that Dr. Kushner and Dr. Modak came to see Ronan and could not believe how well he looked for having a 0 ANC. Maybe it’s the fact that I got to listen to Woody tell me how well Liam and Quinn did at baseball tonight. How when Liam got up to bat, one of the coaches told him to hit this one for his brother and he cranked the ball out of the park. Or maybe it’s the fact that I just spent the last hour walking the halls of the hospital with Ronan while we both carried our toy guns and shot every person that came in sight. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the things above. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is it’s moments like this that keep me going, pushing forward, with my head held high. These little moments will carry me though to the other side of this awful mess. With Ronan in my arms the entire way.
Last night was rough. Rough as in I got very little sleep due to our stupid “pole” or “asspole” as I’ve decided to name it, going off every 20 minutes. BEEPBEEP!!!! BEEPBEEP!!!!BEEPBEEP!!!!! So. Freaking. Annoying. Every time this happens, I have to push our little red button and say, “We’re beeping!” The nurse either comes in right away, or it takes 15 minutes. Not fun for anyone. Our poor roommates included. The nurse also had to wake Ronan up twice last night to give him his oral morphine since they took off his Fentanyl patch a couple of days ago. They are slowly trying to wean him off all of his pain medication and he is now down to a really low dose of morphine. Try getting a 3-year-old to cooperate taking a medicine he doesn’t like, while waking him up from a dead sleep. Needless to say, there was a lot of screaming and fit throwing in the middle of the night. Brutal. Rough night indeed but we survived; once again.
Today, we had Ronan’s last day of RT on his arm. It’s nice to be done with that. It seems like it has really helped his pain and I am thankful. My mom came to the hospital, armed with a bag full of toys. For a small town mama, she is sure doing well getting around this big city. Proud of her 😉 I was able to leave the hospital and Ronan with my mom with promises of my return with new Star Wars guys. I went back to the RMH, showered, and got ready to meet my friend, Ellen for lunch. Ellen is the mom of Phoebe, our last roommate at Sloan. They live about an hour outside the city and she emailed me yesterday to say her parents were going to watch the girls for the day so she wanted to know if she rode the train in, if I could come and meet her. I jumped at the chance and we had a lovely day catching up. I loved hearing all about Phoebe and how she is doing. She is such an inspiration. They will both be at Sloan on Monday so considering Ronan is up for it, we will make sure we get over to the hospital to see them. Such a nice family who so does not deserve any of this and it sucks we are getting to know each other because both of our kids are dealing with cancer. Why can’t cancer pick on the real jerks in the world…. Hello rapists, child molesters, child abusers, murderers?? Cancer does not discriminate but it should. Leave us nice people and our kids alone. A-hole cancer.
After my day with Ellen, I walked the entire city in search of a couple of new Star Wars toys for Ro. He would have had my head if I had come back to the hospital empty-handed. Mission accomplished. He was very happy with my findings. I returned to find a very sweet boy waiting ever so patiently for me. Best thing in the world to come back to this dreary hospital life to. He melts my heart like butter. I also came back to find some beautiful mystery New Yorker had dropped off some goodies for us and I think, donated blood, as they left a little key chain that Sloan gives you for doing so. They also left the sweetest hand written card and only signed it, “A New York Friend.” Dear New York Friend…. who are you, you lovely person, you??? Would love to meet you and tell you thank you in person. Your gifts were so thoughtful and sweet. I had just run out of my stash of Coconut Water too. Thank you, my mystery NYC friend. You made this mama smile today.
Ronan has been so occupied tonight by watching things on YouTube. Mainly Star Wars things and we have been cracking up. I’m going to put a couple of his favorite findings on my blog. Hope you all enjoy them. Thank you, once again for your love and support. Thank you for keeping our family close to your hearts. It is such a gift to us. G’nite my sweet friends. Love you all!
My mamacita made it safe and sound. She showed up to the hospital around 10 a.m. EST, and I didn’t even have to give her directions. Ronan decided last night that he did not want her to come. He kept saying he didn’t want to see anybody except for: Me, Woody, Liam and Quinn. When my mom arrived, he screamed his head off. She waited in the hall for a good 20 minutes before he would even let her into the room. After about an hour, he started playing guns with her and warmed up to his Nana. He is so territorial since all of this has happened. Makes it difficult to leave him with other people because the mom guilt kicks in. After Ronan settled down, it was time to go down to RT. We sent my mom out to pick up sandwiches nearby and Ronan sat in the wheelchair while our escort took us downstairs. I walked and carried his toy guns in one hand, and held his little hand in the other. He insisted on holding my hand the entire way downstairs. I told him it was like we were on a date. He laughed and nodded his little head. When we arrived to RT, we waited for our friends to come out and get us. Ronan was very excited to shoot them all with his new gun that his roommate gave him. They are all very good at playing along. As I put Ronan on the radiation table today, his little eyes were watering non-stop and he was saying they hurt. I looked down to see a bunch of his eyelashes had fallen out and they were in his eyes. I kept trying to wipe them out, but the more I tried, the more they continued to fall out. It almost become to much for me to see. My baby, lying on the table waiting for his radiation, with his eyelashes falling out once again due to the chemo. It was all very surreal to me. After I cleaned out his eyes, I left him for his 2nd to last day of his treatment. Once again, it only took a few minutes and I watched my baby hold perfectly still on the screen while “The Killers,” played in the background. I fought back the tears and won today. Victory.
Once we were finished with RT, we went back up to our room and Ronan actually let me leave to go back to the RMH to shower while my mom stayed with him. I walked back, dropped off my things and changed into my running clothes. I ran my 8 mile loop but it felt like 14. Even the amazing weather couldn’t push me through today. I was tired and feeling it. Running in Central Park sure is different during the day than night. I tried not to get too sad about all the little kids playing on the playground, knowing that Ronan was sitting in a hospital bed…. but I couldn’t help it… it kind of ruined my run. I totally prefer my dark and scary night runs to all the shiny happy people that have taken over Central Park during the day. It stings and it was a constant slap in my face today and I wasn’t able to get my mind off of the fact that Ronan has cancer. I use my runs as an escape from things….. the day run did not do the trick. Lesson learned.
Once I finished up, I showered and headed back to Sloan. I found Ronan asleep and a very tired Nana. She didn’t sleep much last night so I sent her on her way so she could get tucked in for the evening. Ronan has been pretty feisty this evening. Telling me things like he is mad at me, he doesn’t like his nurse here and only wants his nurse back home, Sharon, to take care of him. He also told me he wants “A,” Kristen, and Dr. Maze to move here to take care of him. Made me sad. Made me even more sad when he told me he was never going to see his brothers again. Poor little man. He doesn’t understand any of this… all he knows is he has to be separated from the people he loves most and he doesn’t know why. Breaks my heart everyday.
We spent tonight playing in his bed. Again. His ANC is still at 0. I think this is the longest he’s went with an ANC of 0 for so long. I just want to take him home. He’s mad tonight. He’s been throwing things at me and telling me he hates me and wants a new mom. My almost 4-year-old has the attitude of a teenager. Can’t blame the kid. All I can do is tell him what he is saying is hurting my feelings and he needs to think about the words he is using. I know he doesn’t mean it. He is just frustrated with everything in his life right now. He finally calmed down, told me he was sorry and he loves me. He spent the rest of the night being sweet as pie.
Hope you all are having a good evening. Thanks for checking in with us. G’nite my lovely friends!!
P.S. Made it through the day without any tears. Until now. I love you, Suz. You know you will always have a piece of my heart, no matter how far away you are.
Last night, I left Sloan beyond beat due to our traumatic day. Woody came and met me and we swapped places so I could sleep at the RMH and spend a little time with Quinn. As soon as Quinn and I stepped outside, we were hit by all the rain. I wasn’t prepared at all… ballet flats on, no coat, no umbrella, etc….so the two of us held hands and we ran as fast as we could back “home.” We splashed in every puddle along the way, laughing the entire time. It was some much-needed simple fun. As soon as we arrived back to the RMH, we ran into my new friend who lives there, Doriet and her little girl, Ester. Doriet got a big kick out of how soaked we were and hurried us up to our room to get warm. I am just starting to get to know her and LOVE her. When I told her a few days ago that Ronan’s bone marrow was positive again she looked at me and goes, “So what. That doesn’t mean anything.” She is full of tough love which works for me. Seems that I respond well to her kick ass attitude and she is the pillar of strength. An amazing woman, mama, and wife to say the least.
Quinn and I warmed up and snuggled in bed together and slept peacefully all night as we listened to the rain outside. I didn’t wake up until my phone went off at 10 a.m. EST with a text from my Mr. Sparkly Eyes telling me he hoped today was a better day. I thought to myself… It HAS to be. I don’t think I could handle two yesterdays in a row. On our way to Sloan, we stopped at Delizia’s so Quinny could get a slice of pizza. He must have told me he loved me and thanked me a half a dozen times while we were there. Such a little love bug. I’m going to have a hard time when he leaves on Sunday. Once we arrived at the hospital, I found a sleepy Ronan and Daddy cuddled in bed together. I quietly woke Woody up to let him know he could leave, but he ended up staying for a few hours and working from the hospital. Quinn stayed in the playroom on 9 by himself and then met us on 2 so he could see Ronan at Radiation. It was the highlight of my day; watching my two boys laugh and play for the 20 minutes that we were waiting. Lots of laughs and giggles from them both. After RT, Woody and Quinn left and I stayed at Sloan. Ronan’s mood is so much better today. We have been playing a ton and he even let me hogtie him up while we played Cowboys and Indians. He is now quietly laying down and watching a movie. I think I wore him out! We are waiting for Woody and Quinn to get here and I asked the nurse if she could block off the playroom for us so Quinn could play with Ronan for a bit and we could have dinner as a family. She agreed to do so. Very nice of her as it’s the only way Quinn can be on the floor with Ronan for an hour or so. Better than nothing.
This weekend will be spent here, inpatient. Dr. Kushner came to see us today and said Ronan’s counts probably won’t come up until Monday or Tuesday. Yowzer. I am trying to make best of this and luckily, this hospital is really good about keeping the kids entertained. Lots of arts and crafts, funny clowns, the Candy Cart, etc….. I am just thankful that Ronan looks a million times better and he finally has his giggle back. It’s really hard to go a day without it. He is happy for the most part, although he asks me all the time when he can go back to Phoenix and says it’s not fair and he misses his home. This kills me. I just keep telling him that we will go home as soon as we get him better and that we have to be strong, keep fighting, and never give up.
Today, I was showing him his little lunch box with his name embroidered on it and I was spelling out the letters of his name for him. He looked at me and goes, ” I like it, but why doesn’t it say Rockstar Ronan on it?? I burst out laughing. Cutest thing ever. He spent the majority of the day playing April Fools jokes on me. He would tell me things like he had to go to the bathroom, and I would get him up to go and then we would yell out, “April Fools!” He must have done this a dozen times today. So glad my little prankster is up to his old tricks.
Ronan and I just got back to our room from our Friday Night Pizza Party. Woody and Quinn brought us pizza and we sat in the playroom and ate together as a family. Ronan was in a very playful mood and he is now tucked into bed watching the new “Clone Wars.” I’m going to cuddle up to him as he is getting sleepy. I am planning on slipping out soon and Woody will stay the night again. So thankful for that… I sleep horribly at the hospital and I really want to spend as much time as I can with Quinn before he leaves. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Thanks for checking in!
As Ronan slept last night, I found myself cuddled up on the single little bed that we have in the room with Woody. It is so tiny but I fit absolutely perfect in it snuggled up to Wood. At one point, he was rubbing my back while I was sitting up, looking at the floor. It was dark in our room and I just started to cry. He continued to rub my back and said something that I will never forget. He told me how sad he is that this is my life, that he only wanted to give me the best life ever. I wish I could say I came up with some uplifting words to say back to him, but I only nodded my head and continued to cry. We ended up whispering to each other about some things back and forth. I cuddled up on the little single bed with him for a while. He made me laugh by reminding me how when we were so young…and on our 30 day trip to Europe,while in London,the hotel we were staying at only had 2 twin beds. I had insisted on not sleeping in my own twin bed, but in his twin bed with him. It was cramped to say the least but all I wanted was to be as close to him as possible 24 hours a day. He said this was just like London and we both had a good laugh. Hardly London, but for a second I pretended like it was. Just the two of us, no worries, no cancer, no tears. Just us, blissfully happy, with not a care in the world. Seems like a lifetime ago. It’s nice to know after all of this, we can still go back there, even if it is only for a few minutes as our baby boys sleeps peacefully beside us in his hospital bed.
This morning I got a wonderful visit from a wonderful boy. Yes, I say boy, because he is only 26 and 26 feels so young to me, even though I am not too much older. I have talked about Ronan’s last roommate at Sloan on my blog before, Phoebe. The beautiful Phoebe, with the sparkling fighting spirit just like Ronan, and the bravest soul. During our stay at Sloan, while sharing a room with Phoebe, we became friendly with her cousin, Jonathan. He spent a lot of time with Phoebe having intense talks with her and teaching her all about life. Tricia, Macy and I all fell in love with the two of them. We have kept in touch and Jonathan stopped by this morning on his way to take the train to spend the week visiting Phoebe and her family at their home. It was so nice to see him and introduce Woody to him. He spent about an hour with us, and I got to hear all about the trip he just took to India, before Ronan gave him the boot:) We had a good chuckle about that and Jonathon made Ronan laugh by telling him not to worry about it, that he was used to getting kicked out by ex-girlfriends, parents, etc;) He had Ronan is stitches even with how terrible he is feeling. It warmed my heart to see him and I sent him on his way telling him to give our love to Phoebe (who is doing wonderfully) and her mom, Ellen. I hope to see him again soon as he is now a friend for life. Tricia and Macy were both very sad that they were not here to see him too. That just means both of those girls have to come back here so we can orchestrate a reunion with Jonathan. Before we all do the NYC Marathon together once Ronan is well.
Woody went off and worked for most of the day. I sat and cuddled with Ronan and played Star Wars with him in his bed. We sang a lot of songs and I got him to get up a little bit so we could look out the window and shoot the snipers on the roof of the NYC buildings. He is still hurting and now is saying that everywhere hurts. I am doing my best not to panic and hoping it is just he hospital blues. We had a visit from the floor doctor today and his team as they were doing their rounds. It’s the first doctor here the I have met that I immediately didn’t like. He was condescending to say the least. As soon as he left, I gave Woody “the look” and he started cracking up laughing saying he knew I was going to bitch about him. I think my exact words were, ” I want to punch that guy in the face.” Woody agreed. The guy was a douche and I did not appreciate the way he was talking to Ronan, Woody or myself. He used some really stupid analogy on Woody when Woody asked if we could be discharged today. We both knew that the answer was going to be no, due to the pain control, but the way the doctor went about telling us no, was not necessary. We are not idiots and he could have said it a little more nicely instead of treating us like we were morons who came so far away from home. All the way from the Wild Wild West of Phoenix, AZ, where apparently, we have not evolved. I did also did not appreciate the way he made us feel like radiation and chemo was not going to do the trick for Ronan’s pain. We were told not to expect the pain to ease up until the end of the week. It is only Monday, you dick. Give some very scared parent’s a little ray of hope instead of going straight into what our options are if this doesn’t work. I don’t want any other options now, because this is going to work. I hope I never have to see that doctor again because I may just give him a swift kick in the balls.
Dr. Modak came by just as I was freaking out in my head over Ronan’s pain. He asked how he was doing, I said not well, and I told him we were very worried. He reassured me that everything was going to be o.k. and that the radiation was going to take some more time to kick in. I straight asked him if he feels like we can still get this under control. He told me without a doubt. Dr. Modak would not lie to us; my faith is in him completely. He said the combo of the chemo and radiation will work. We will take care of this little bump in the road and get Ronan back on track. I have no doubt about this.
After Woody returned to Sloan after a long day/evening working, I ran out to go back to the RMH to shower and gather up some new clothes. I was tempted to go on a run, but it was already 9:00 p.m. here and I wasn’t feeling up to being dangerous tonight. I had Marisa’s little voice in the back of my head chirping away about running in Central Park at night. I was way too tired anyway. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll sneak in a some time and get a run in. Lord knows I really need it even though my energy level is shot due to hospital life. It really takes a toll on me emotionally and physically, no matter how fun we try to make it.
Back at Sloan now and all is peaceful. Ronan is sleeping, Woody is on his computer, and our adorable roommates are listening to some show on their computer and laughing. The girl we are sharing a room with is a senior in high school and she has a girlfriend spending the night with her tonight. Her sister has been here every other night. They are adorable Jewish girls and I have a had a blast watching them celebrate Shaushan Purim all last week and it ended last night. They have been dressing up in costumes, laughing and talking all about their religion, beliefs, high school, etc…. It has been very sweet and uplifting. Never mind that one of the girls is very sick with cancer. Has not dampened their spirits at all. It is roommate heaven, as far as having to share a room goes.
It’s officially very late here… and I am a sleepy girl. Please continue to send Ro your strength and love…. please let his pain subside. And New York Miss Macy…. no more tears tonight my love. He is going to be fine. I love you.
G’nite all you beautiful people. Sweet dreams to you all.
Not a lot to report today. The day was spent with Ronan waking up bright and early in pain; therefore, he was pissed at the world. We spent the majority of the day playing in his bed and testing out what the correct dosage of morphine for him is as they decreased it last night due to his little falling asleep quickly incident. We did his second day of chemo, and third day of radiation and are still inpatient at Sloan. They are thinking we will be able to be discharged tomorrow and just do the rest of his chemo outpatient. I’m not sure how they will have us handle his pain issue though, as he is getting morphine through one of his broviac lines. We’ll discuss that tomorrow with Dr. Modak. Radiation was a little trickier today because Ronan was in the middle of sleeping when they came to take us down to the second floor. He was mad that he was woken up and crying when it was time for his radiation to start. I got him to settle down and our new friend, Con, who has been doing Ronan’s radiation since day one, started the procedure. It only took a few minutes again and soon we were back up in our room. Ronan fell asleep on our wheelchair ride up to our room and I transferred him into his bed.
While he was sleeping, I snuck out to go back to the RMH to shower, change, clean up our room, and re pack our bags. I had the chance to talk to Tricia on my walk back to Sloan. That felt good. I told her the highlight of my day was getting to shave my legs. Ahhh…. the little things now. They sure do mean a lot. Ro hadn’t napped long while I was gone and fell back asleep right before I returned. He woke up a little while ago and was in a lot of pain again. I called the nurse in and asked her to see if we could get his dose of morphine back up to what it was yesterday which was .3. The on call doctor came in to find a very unhappy boy, so she said that was fine. He is back asleep again and I am hoping he continues to sleep painlessly though the night.
I am beyond tired and am glad that tomorrow is Monday. I love having Woody here with me, but I think he needs a distraction from all that is going on. I’m so used to this hospital life; he really isn’t. Tomorrow will be good for him as he has a lot of work to catch up on. I’m kicking him out of here so he can go back to RMH to work. I will tackle Ronan and all that we have going on. I know that if I really need Woody, that he is only a few minutes away.
I am missing my friends and family back home a lot, but the time here with just the three of us has been good. It has given me some time with Woody that I have needed. We do really well in this city together. It is a special place for us; it is where he brought me for my 30th birthday and we had the best time. Lots of good memories together in this city. I know we are going to make more though all of this… once we get Ronan back on track we will take full advantage of being here and enjoying it with Ronan. We just need to get this pain under control. It’s the worst seeing him this way as I’m sure I’ve told you all a thousand times before. Just like I’ve told Ronan a thousand times since his diagnoses, how sorry I am. I found myself saying this over and over today as he cried about his little arm. I’m so sorry, Ro baby. I wish this were me and not you. I wish I could feel the pain in my arm, and not you. I feel it in my heart, every second of the day though. I am never without your pain and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will hurt every second of the day with you until you are better.
That’s all for tonight my lovely friends. Thanks for checking in on us. Sweetest dreams.
Tonight, I honestly sat here and could not remember what month it was. It literally took me opening up my calendar on my computer to figure it out. That is how fried my brain is. What even happened today?? I’ll have to sit back and reflect so that I can tell you. We were all tired from a rough night, so slept until around 10:30 East Coast time…. 7:30 your time. Seemed so late but it really wasn’t as we have not adjusted to the time change yet. Once Ronan was up, we spent the morning playing and I snuck out around 1 to go back to the Ronald McDonald House to shower and change clothes. I called Fernanda and had a hard time talking to her due to just having a hard couple of days. I hung up with her and ended up being hysterical so I called Auntie Karen as I really needed to hear her voice. I just could not stop crying this afternoon, no matter who I talked to. After I hung up with her, I decided that I needed to go on a run. I laced up my shoes, and headed to Central Park. I cried most of the way… WTF?? I cannot seem to hold it together when I am away from Ronan. I do well with him, but when I’m by myself, I seem to have a hard time. My run was alright, gorgeous day, but I only ran about 5 miles due to my pounding headache and lack of energy. I came back to the RMH, took the hottest shower possible, and somehow managed to throw a bag together to head back to Sloan. I ran to Starbucks before heading back to the hospital and caught a glimpse of myself in a window as I passed by it. I had to laugh out loud at the outfit I had dressed myself in. To say I looked like a cute hobo is pushing it…. I was a mess from head to toe and topped it off with my favorite bright green North Face fleece hat on top of my head. Seeing myself gave me a good chuckle which is something that I really needed at the time. I sat in Starbucks and waited for my coffee and called Tricia to check in…the conversation started by me telling her that this cannot all possibly be real, that I still don’t believe it, because no matter how wild of an imagination I have, even I couldn’t make up the crap we have been through the past few days. I ended up bawling while on the phone with her in front of a coffee shop full of people. I don’t even care anymore…. I don’t care how ridiculous I looked, the stares, the wondering on people’s faces. I love that in this city, full of so many people, that I can completely break down and it doesn’t phase me in the least. I’m not going to hide my tears here; I’m tired of hiding them back home due to being so worried about my twins seeing me or because I am so caught up in our everyday life that it numbs me. Here, I am not numb, and as painful as it is, it is therapeutic in a way as well.
I returned back to the hospital to a very happy baby boy who was sweet as pie. He was so happy to see me. Woody was in bed with him and they had been playing Star Wars. It was so adorable to come back to. Ronan was due to get his second round of radiation at 6 p.m. so I told Woody to go shower as I didn’t want to be alone for it again. He left and soon after Ronan got sick to his stomach due to the chemo. They are giving him round the clock anti-nausea meds, but that isn’t enough. I had them give him another dose of something else before we headed down to the second floor for his “pictures.” Woody arrived just in time and we headed down to get started. Once again, Ronan was a champ. I set him up on the table, and watched as they raised him up high to start his treatment. Woody and I both kissed him and said we would see him in a few minutes and we left the room. We watched him on the monitors and talked to him the entire time. I cried once again. It’s really hard for me to watch him do this. The whole thing took was super fast today and took only a few minutes. So glad for that and so thankful he is not needing sleepy meds to do this. It makes it so much easier.
After radiation, we came back to the room and Woody ran out to get pizza from Ro’s favorite place and soup for me. Ronan didn’t eat much due to still being a little sick to his stomach but I did get him to eat a few noodles. We had a little bit of a scare while we were sitting in our room. Ronan was on my lap, shooting his pistol gun, and I looked down and he had completely stopped what he was doing and he was out like a light. I tried for about 30 seconds to wake him up, but he was out cold. I flipped out, told Woody he had passed out and to call the nurse which he did. I got him to wake up and within seconds we had a few doctors and nurses in our room checking his blood pressure and heart rate; all which were fine. I’m not sure what happened.. I don’t think he passed out as in fainted, but passed out as in from exhaustion. I think it was a combo of not napping today, chemo, radiation, morphine and anti-nausea meds that hit him all at once. It scared me to say the least. He ended up being fine and woke up and played for the next hour. I asked the doctor to reduce the amount of morphine they are giving him as I think it is making him a little loopy. They decreased it and he seems to be sleeping peacefully.
Woody is out like a light as well. He is beyond beat and is having a hard time too. It’s hard for me to see him this way, as I am so used to him playing the strong, lawyer, perfect husband and daddy role. Tonight he told me he is scared, which I of course already knew, but hearing him say those words is really hard on me. I’m trying my best to keep my ass kicking attitude going here, but it is hard when I know Ronan is in so much pain. This radiation just has to work on his arm so he can go back to the kid with cancer, who doesn’t feel a thing. I want my “healthy” boy back so badly.
I talked to Quinn and Liam tonight to tell them goodnight. I miss them every second of the day. We all do. I talked to them in my strongest voice and told them how much I love them and missed them. They sounded happy which gives me peace. Thank you Mimi and Papa for taking such good care of them. Thank you Lindsey for the text you just sent me with a picture of the full moon tonight saying you love me to the moon and back. After you sent me that text, I got up out of bed just so I could go and look out the window at the same moon as you. I love you to the moon and back too.
Time to get some rest here. Kisses and love to you all. Hope you are having a beautiful weekend. Thanks for checking in on us.
We arrived to Sloan bright and early to start our plan for Ronan. Once again, you can never make a plan with all of this because as of now, our plan has changed. We headed back to Dr. Modak’s office and as soon as we walked in I looked at him and told him Ronan’s arm is worse and the pain is unbearable. I slowly pulled Ronan’s little arm out of his shirt to show Dr. Modak how swollen it looks now. He looked like he was going to be sick and was taken aback. This man is a doctor and to see the look on his face was upsetting to say the least. We talked with him and he decided we needed to hold off on the NK Cell trial and get Ronan’s pain under control. He sent us down for an X-ray as he was concerned Ronan may have a fracture due to how little he is using his arm. The X-ray came back and showed a lot of swelling, but no fracture. Dr. Modak told us what he felt like the best course of action was now which is to start radiating Ronan’s right shoulder today as well as admitting us to start him on his high dose chemotherapy. He said we could go home and do these things and Woody and I both said no way… we wanted to start ASAP. Dr. Modak made a few phone calls and now, we sit and wait to start Ronan’s radiation.
Woody looked at me in the waiting room with the tears welling up in his eyes. My turn to take over being strong for a while. I looked at him and I said, “What are you doing…. knock it off.” He just replied that he is upset because Ronan is in pain. I told him I was too, but that’s why we’re here now we’re not fucking around. We’re not waiting until Monday, we’re not being put off, we are going to take care of this now so we can get back on track. We are in New York City for crying out loud and we are not wasting anymore time. I told you I feel strong in this city. Today I’m not sad. Today I am determined and strong. I know we are in the best place possible and Dr. Modak knows what is best. To say I love that man is an understatement; he is brilliant, smart, caring, and knows what is best for our son. Between him and Dr. Kushner; Ronan could not be in better hands. Knowing this gives me strength too.
After another grueling long day, we are finally settled in our room for the night. Today was a day full of dealing with a lot of Ronan’s emotions as he is beyond mad that we have to be at the hospital and not out romping the streets of NYC. We decided to check in until Sunday or Monday, so we could start Ronan’s high dose chemo tomorrow. Dr. Modak got us started on Ronan’s first session of radiation tonight. I cannot tell you how proud I am of my son. We went back to the room and Ronan was so upset and scared about the big table he was going to have to lay on. It took me 20 minutes with the 3 technicians ever so patiently waiting for me to get Ronan calmed down. He was so upset, and was crying and shaking. I sat and talked him through it, told him exactly what they were going to do, which was nothing scary at all… they were just going to take some pictures of him but everybody would have to leave the room, including me. He was not happy at all but after about 20 minutes, I got him to lay down into his little body mold that we had done earlier in the day. I looked at him in the eyes and told him how he could do this, without his sleepy medicine, and that I would be right back. He screamed for me as I left, but the techs strapped him down to protect him from falling and they came out of the room to start the radiation. I watched Ronan on 3 different cameras and I was able to talk to him the entire time on the speaker system. I watched as my baby held as still has he possibly could, his little lip quivering, being the bravest boy he could be. At one point I looked over at the Tech, tears streaming down my face, and told her this was beyond fucked up. Because it fucking was. It is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch in my life. Not that the radiation was painful in any way…. because it is not. The whole scenario of watching Ro on a monitor, having radiation because the cancer is eating away at his little body was much too hard to handle. I did my best to continue to talk him though it and the whole thing took about 15 minutes; but if felt like a lifetime. Nobody could believe my little guy held so still, without anesthesia. Everybody was saying how amazing it was that a 3 and a half year old held so still, for so long. I could not have been more proud. After we returned to our room, Woody soon followed. He had missed the radiation part due to collecting our things at the Ronald McDonald House. He asked how it went and I quietly said fine, but soon ended up in his arms, crying like a baby. He held me tight for a few minutes and let me cry. Guess I’m not feeling as strong as I was earlier today. Sometimes my little badass attitude can even trick me into thinking I can handle this, no problem. I have decided I am only human and only can endure so much. Tonight in my husbands arms is just where I needed to be. We are so lucky to have each other.
Ronan will do 14 more days of radiation and start Ronan on a different high dose of chemo tomorrow as well which will be a 5 day treatment. Here we go again…. another little detour along the way to getting Ronan well. What else do you have for us world?? I’m trying my hardest, but this is getting beyond annoying. I just want my baby better already.
After talking to the Orthopedic doctors, they have found that Ronan has a Lytic Bone Lesion on his right shoulder. It basically means that the bone is becoming hollow. I am telling myself it sounds scarier than it is; which is true. It is something that can easily be fixed as Ronan is young and his bone will heal. It is going to take radiation to take care of the problem. Radiation is very effective in Neuroblastoma, so we have all the faith in the world. They want Ronan to be careful with his arm, so he does not end up with a fracture and say the radiation should make the pain disappear in a few days. Crossing all my fingers and toes. I cannot stand seeing him this way.
This is all the update I can do tonight as I am beyond tired, but wanted to take the time to let you all know what was going on. Please continue to send our little guy all your love and prayers. He needs them so badly. Sweet dreams, friends.