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

Because I’m still in love with you

Clarity. It’s what I’ve found tonight. It came in many different forms. A long talk with Mr. Sparkly eyes, an email from my Mrs. Darling(P.S., SB… that’s your new name) , an honest talk with my husband, and the music that blares on my headphones from a mixed C.D. that my New York Miss Macy made me. Clarity tonight is mine and I’m not letting it go. It’s as if my eyes have been blurred with a film of fog for months now, and the fog has finally been lifted. I have fought so many things, trying so hard to push away all the good and beautiful things I have in my life because I feel as if I don’t deserve them. Because I feel if Ronan is in so much pain, that I deserve to feel nothing but pain as well. I know that the pain that I feel most of the time is not going anywhere anytime soon… but I do deserve to have beautiful moments in my life such as tonight. I deserve these things because I am a good, true person who says what she feels and feels what she says. I am ready to feel again, something besides sadness and numbness. I am ready to feel these things because although sometimes I get caught up in the scariness and ugliness of our situation; I know what the outcome is going to be. Ronan is going to be fine. He is going to make it thought this and I have to remember to hold on to my grace and dignity. ( Thank you, CC for saving my life the other night;) Grace and dignity because after all of this is said and done; I don’t want to have any regrets. I want to look back at this journey and know that I would not have changed a thing about the way I handled all of this. Is my honesty a fault? I don’t think so, although others may say differently. This is me, this is my life, and you all get to watch the way it plays out in the way I handle things. I am not afraid to put all of this out there as I have nothing to hide. My truth is empowering to me and everyday I am learning something new about myself and the world around me.

My husband, has fought for months to get me back because he has watched the way I’ve pushed everything and everyone away. He hasn’t ever given up on me and tonight I was finally able to tell him everything I have been feeling and thinking. He knew all of it already and told me the story of how he never wanted to get married. He never thought he would marry because he didn’t think anyone was special enough to share his life with. That was until he met me. I was the one who changed his mind, I was and am the only one for him. He asked me tonight if I was sure if I still wanted to be with him. I told him I had never been more sure of anything in my life. I have been numb for months now, but ever since New York I have slowly been making my way back to Woody. I love that man with every bone in my body and I know I was meant to drift away from him so I could come back stronger than ever. So we could come back stronger together. I know this because I knew on our first date when I was just 21 years old, that I was going to marry Woody. I may have drifted, but I didn’t go far, and a lot has to do with the fact that he refused to give up on me. Not only has Woody been fighting for the life of our child, but he has been fighting for me as well. Until you go though something as devastating and hard as this, you have no idea how easy it is to just give up on everything. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this without my husband and I can’t do this by myself. I need him more than ever. He needs me just as much and I have to go back to being a wife to him. Yes, Ronan is my number one focus…. but the neglect that my husband has felt is not o.k. He deserves so much better. Being with Woody feels so good to me, but it also hurts so much. Looking into his eyes is like looking into a reflection of my own eyes which are filled with so much pain and sadness. But at least I have him to share this with and someone who knows what I am feeling and understands. He is the only one in my life who truly gets it and I cannot push him away any longer. It just makes everything so much more difficult. He is my best friend, he is the one who is going to fight this battle with me. We can do this together; we have no choice because I am tired of trying to be the strong one and do this on my own. Woody wants me to let him in again; and I am ready to let him in. I want my husband back; I have missed him so much.

I don’t often speak of the things that go on with Woody and I but tonight I am getting personal. Everybody should know what a toll this takes on a marriage. I am just thankful that our foundation and marriage was so strong before all of this which in turn will help us get though this. We are going to look back a year from now and know that we just survived Hell, and that we did it together. How many people can say that?? Not many. We have 3 gorgeous sons that need their parents and two parents who are crazy about each other. Yes, Woody… I will grow old with you and it will be the happiest day of my life. Thank you for fighting for me and for us. I am here and cancer can Fuck off because it is not going to destroy my marriage. We are way too strong for that.

I have met some of the most amazing people through out all of this. Tonight, I owe everything to Mr. Sparkly Eyes.. for never judging, always being honest, and for loving me and my family. Also, to Mrs. Darling, I too have the most insane intuition which is one of the reasons I feel such a strong connection to you…. having you tell me tonight about what you are feeling meant the world to me, because I feel the exact same way. I do not think you are a kook in any way. You are such a blessing to me. New York Miss Macy… for being my ears tonight and making me great music to help escape the dark hospital nights. Great music makes everything all better. And to my Wooddawg. For being the most amazing husband alive and for knowing that I am worth fighting for and for bringing me back to you. I’ve missed you so much.

Ronan’s ANC was at 80 today…. his little bone marrow is trying so hard to come back. We will find out tomorrow if they have come up even more. Hoping, but it does not look like we will be getting out of here anytime soon. Thank you to Sarah and Stacy for helping me today so I could get out of the hospital for most of the day and actually pick my twins up from school. They were so happy to see me:) You girls have no idea how much your help means to me. Thank you so much. Love you both.

Woody often tells me songs remind him of me. This says everything perfectly tonight. I love you, Wooddawg. I will love you forever too.

Coldplay : Green eyes

Honey you are a rock

Upon which I stand
And I come here to talk
I hope you understand

That green eyes, yeah the spotlight, shines upon you
And how could, anybody, deny you

I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, now I’ve met you
And honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes

Honey you are the sea
Upon which I float
And I came here to talk
I think you should know

That green eyes, you’re the one that I wanted to find
And anyone who, tried to deny you must be out of their mind

Cause I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, since I met you
Honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes
Green eyes

Ohohohohooooo
Ohohohohooooo

Ohohohohooooo
Ohohohohooooo

Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand

P.S. After 12 years of being with Woody, he still to this day, ALWAYS, opens the door for me.

G’nite beautiful souls out there. Sweetest dreams. I hope you all have someone in your life that makes you feel just as special as Woody does me. Love and health are the two most important things in life. <3<3 If you have them both, you are the luckiest people alive.

“I soooo happy, mama”

Last night, we were able to leave the hospital. Ronan was fast asleep in his hospital bed and about 10:30 p.m. the nurse came into the room and said we could leave. I gathered up our things, managed to carry our bag, Ronan’s blankets, and pick up my baby boy and carry him to the car. He woke up just as we were waiting for the elevator, wrapped his arms around me and said, “I soooo happy, mama. I love you soooo much. I sooooo proud of you.” The tears welled up in my eyes and I felt like my heart was going to explode. It is things like that, that make all the bad parts of what we are going through, disappear.

Today, I am so thankful for so many different things, big and small. I am thankful that I have such a strong mother-in-law. Anyone who knows my mother-in-law, knows what an amazing person she is. But it is her strength as she is standing by our side through all of this that makes me love her, adore her, and look up to her more than I could have possibly imagined. I think she is possibly the strongest women I have ever met in my entire life.

I am thankful for my all of my dear friends. My Niki, who loves to leave me long voicemails, pouring her heart out to me. The fact that after a 5 minute phone conversation she can tell by the sound of my voice if I am having a weak moment or if I am doing o.k. And if she can tell that I am not doing well, she’ll call me back up to leave me a message or listen to me vent, cry, or not even talk at all. My Tricia, who is flying to NYC just to hold my hand through this. Who knows what it means to be a real friend, even in such an awful situation. She fills me with encouragement, hope and love. For the phone conversation I had with my Susie today, who doesn’t live here but because of our friendship and bond, it doesn’t make a difference in the love we have for each other. She is so understanding, supportive and knows just how to make me laugh when I need it most. My dear Kotalik family. They too will be in NYC with us and they have no idea how much that means to me. We are going to need all of the love and support we can get out there.

I am thankful for my strong husband, who refuses to give up this fight. Who questions the doctors every move, decision, and treatment option. For my amazing, strong twin boys. Their smiles and giggles light up my world. The way they treat Ronan, love Ronan, and take care of Ronan. They are so brave and beautiful. I love to see the way Ronan lights up as soon as they walk into a room. The bond the 3 of them have is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Their souls are connected and it will forever stay that way.

I am thankful for an amazing lady named Dr. Adams. She is the doctor who is in charge of Ronan’s stem cell transplant and when we met with her yesterday, we were prepared for a fight with the things we are requesting for Ronan and how we are questioning everything. She could not have been more compassionate, loving, and open minded. She listened, stated her opinions without being too overbearing, and agreed to listen to what Dr. Kushner from Sloan Kettering had to say regarding Ronan’s stem cell harvest. I know from listening to her and looking into her eyes, that she wants nothing but best for Ronan. She is amazingly brilliant and it is so nice to completely trust someone with the life of your son. I trust her 110%. She has poured her entire life into something she believes in and is passionate about. I will forever have the utmost respect and love for her.

I am thankful for the little things too. The fact that we have a house, food on the table, and the means to get Ronan the best treatment possible. Thank god for insurance. I am thankful that tonight I am going to go out to enjoy my husband and friends to the fullest. After this past week in the hospital, I really need some time with Woody. Everyday, I find myself humbled and thankful for pretty much everything in my life. Some things are new, some are old, but all are important. The thing I am thankful for most though is another day looking into Ronan’s big blue eyes and another night sleeping with him snuggled up beside me. He is such a precious gift to our family. We as a family will never be ungrateful for the petty things in life again. Ronan has put everything in perspective. What a big job for such a little boy.

P.S. Some have you have asked what we are going to NYC for. We are going there to have Dr. La Qualia, from Sloan Kettering, resect the tumor that is in Ronan’s abdomen. He is one of the  very top doctors at doing this and has been given the nickname of “The surgeon of the Angels.” They say he has a gift; a magic touch. We only want the very best operating on Ronan. He is our best shot at saving our baby and getting all of the Neuroblastoma out of his body. He knows what he is doing, knows what to look for, and has been recommended by everyone we have talked to. So NYC, here we come. <3<3<3

Have a beautiful weekend my beautiful friends.

The happiest day of my new life

I got a phone call from Dr. Maze today re: Ronan’s scan results. He told me as much as he could, which was so nice of him to do. Waiting is the hardest part and he instantly put me at ease with his news. Woody heard from Dr. Eshun around 5:00. We have some very good news to share tonight. 2 weeks ago we were told to expect the mass in Ronan’s abdomen to shrink around 20-25 percent, but not much more than that. Dr. Eshun told us tonight that the mass has actually shrunk 47%. That is huge news for us! We could not be happier with those results. It is still in his bone marrow, and there are a couple of other areas they are going to watch… but nothing else has progressed or started to grow, so Dr. Eshun is very pleased with what he is seeing. I fell to the floor after hearing this news… and cried like a baby. All I could think about was how I knew Ronan would fight this as hard as he possibly could. He is proving it by the results we are seeing and how well he is handling everything. He is so unbelievably strong. He is fighting so hard for us all of us, because he loves us all so much.Today has been such a happy day for our family, a day full of hope and a big sigh of relief. We still have a long road ahead of us, but today was a victory for us. Tonight, we will sleep a little better and dream a little sweeter. We are so full of hope and joy and are going to continue to love Ronan so deeply and so much that it kills all of his cancer. We are doing everything we can to surround him with positive energy, laughter, and love. We will continue with his treatment plan and pray that we continue to see amazing results.

I had lunch today with 3 lovely ladies. I finally had the chance to meet another mom, Lara, her son was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and he is now 10 years old. They live here and are very involved in raising money to fund less toxic treatments for this disease and to find a cure. I cannot tell you how much meeting her meant to me. Her son, Noah, is alive, healthy, and is so full of love for life. He beat all of the odds and is living proof that miracles do happen. Lara gave me a lot of great advice and seeing her courage and strength was so very inspiring. I can’t wait to meet Noah someday and introduce Ronan to him.

I  also saw a therapist today. I knew within 15 minutes of our session that she was the one. Intelligent, compassionate, and we meshed well. She gets it. You want to know how I really knew she was the one for me?? She asked me about Ronan’s cancer, she asked me to tell her what his treatment plan entailed. I went through the list of 5 rounds of chemo, surgery, another round of chemo, stem cell transplant (maybe 2), Radiation, and the last blast of antibodies. She looked at me and goes, “Does cussing offend you?” I go, ” No, quite the opposite.” And she goes, “Good. Holy shit.” Ahhhhh, a woman after my own heart! I loved that she was so raw and blunt. I don’t need any sissy pants, sugar-coating, therapist. I need someone who understands that this is one of the worst possible things to happen to a parent and who can look me in the eye and tell me it’s bullshit, but she can figure out how to get me through it, so I don’t have to check myself into a loony bin. This lady is going to be that person for me, I can already tell. I feel better than I have in a very long time. I can see little pieces here and there of our old life coming back. It’s like there are little flickering pieces of glitter floating through the air and every once in a while I’ll catch one. I caught one yesterday when I spent a few hours with Woody. We went furniture shopping and to lunch. I can’t tell you how important those few hours were with him. I allowed myself to forget about Ronan’s cancer for a while and just enjoyed spending some time with my husband. It was a beautiful day spent with a beautiful man.

I just want to tell each and every one of you who are reading this blog, following Ronan’s journey, praying and thinking about us, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will say this over and over again until the day I die… I know he feels your love and I know all of the love, prayers, and positive energy are working. There is only so much medicine can do, so please continue to do whatever you are doing for him:)