Valentine’s Day is for Suckers

Ronan. All I want for this Valentine’s Day (aka the STUPIDEST holiday ever) is you back. Since that cannot happen, I am going to work really hard to make ROentine’s Day, somewhat nice. I’ve ordered our cupcakes to drop off to our lovies at PCH tomorrow since that is what we did last year. I am going to do it again for you, this year. Your daddy asked if I wanted to go out tomorrow night. I looked at him like he had 12 heads and said, “Not unless you are letting me go out, armed with a machete.” He said he would not, so we will stay in. Although going out, with a machete sounds like much more fun. You know, I wonder if I will like ANY holiday again. Halloween still seems alright… because it was your favorite. I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Now, it seems extra stupid but that could just be because I am a mad/sad/angry/crazy mama now. Or it could just because I have always thought a holiday to celebrate, “LOVE,” was a commercialized scheme to buy overpriced red and puke me now pink shit. We should be celebrating love everyday. Especially if we have all of our kids. I don’t have that anymore so I get a hall pass to do whatever I want. So now, Valentine’s Day is for suckers and ROentine’s Day will take over. What will we do tomorrow? We will not wear pink. We will not wear Red. We will maybe wear all black because my heart now feels dead and black. But we will do nice things for other people. We will do something to make someone else, smile. We will drop off your cupcakes. We will not buy flowers which are a waste of money and all they do is DIE. Fuck flowers too. Add it to my list of things I hate. No flowers. Flowers are too pretty for our black broken soul.

Quinn has been sick the past couple of days. I’ve been playing the very patient, loving, nurturing mama role. Today, I’ve decided that I’ve had enough and only want you back so I can take care of you and your cancer. His cold/stomach ache is wearing thin on me. I had that moment, where I panicked and thought his stomach ache actually meant he has a mass in his tummy and it is cancer. I took him to the doctor to have him checked out. We were sent home with its nothing. We are of course, always skeptical as our mind now thinks it is the worst thing possible. Isn’t it fun, living in the world of your child died from cancer so now everyone is dying, too?? Love this life, Ro baby. It’s amazing.

What else has been going on???? Just the usual madness. Went hiking yesterday. Put on my Van Fuckin Halen shirt. Your daddy looked at me. “You cannot wear that hiking. Why do we always have to have these conversations?” I just looked at him. “Ronan is dead. I can do whatever I want. I’m wearing it hiking today.” I left the house in my shirt. Only one lady said something to me. She said, “Van who?” I said, “Van FUCKING Halen, lady!” She laughed. Ha! A stranger with a good sense of humor. I went with Mia’s mama, Sandra. So I had an extra reason to wear that shirt yesterday. Two cancer mama’s. One with a baby who is dead, the other mama with a baby who is in a wheelchair from her cancer treatments. I was prepared to defend us if we needed it. We didn’t. Everyone on that mountain knew better than to mess with us. They could probably see the anger/sadness in our eyes. I can guarantee you, we were the two most broken-hearted mama’s there. But it was nice to be with Sandra. We will have an unspoken bond/friendship for the rest of our lives. But I wish it didn’t happen this way.

Today, I stayed at home with Quinn. I was in the middle of my own pity party when a little text message popped up. Tears sprang to my eyes. No. NONONONONO. Fuck!!!!!!!!! Quinn watched me. “Mom. What’s wrong?” I just looked at him. “Nothing baby. Just a little sad. Just a sad day.” Your daddy came home to the rescue. I slipped out for a dark run. I had sent our favorite lovie an FUC (fuck you cancer) text which in turn, made my phone ring 10 minutes later.

Mr. Sparkly Eyes:”Where are you?”

“I’m running.” which was true but I was also running while crying hysterically so I know what I sounded like.

Mr. Sparkly Eyes: “I need you to stop. Stop running. Please go and sit down somewhere and listen to me.”

I sat. I listened. I also screamed, cried, sobbed, and yelled into the phone.

But I calmed down. I also laughed at something ridiculous that was said. I was also told not to give up. That FUC is nowhere close to being done. I stopped crying. I told him thank you. I looked up at the sky thanked you, for our lovie too. I promised you two I won’t ever give up. I won’t break my promise.

I continued my run. I didn’t listen to my music. I talked out loud to you instead. I begged you to keep working as hard as you are working…. I begged you to continue to push me. I begged you to watch over our little friend. I begged you to take care of some things up there, so I could take care of some things down here. I screamed how I never wanted this. How I only wanted you. I screamed that I would fix this because your death, will not be for nothing. I imagined living this life, with you again, but next time it happens and you get this disease, there will be a cure so you won’t have to die again. I just want you back now. I don’t want to have to wait to see you, until it is time.

I’m tired. I’m sad. But I don’t have a choice. This is not me, Ronan. I don’t want to do any of this, but I will. I will do this, because you are the one pushing me. I know this. I will listen to you for the rest of my life. I love you so much. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, baby doll.

xoxo

I miss him

Ronan. What a day. How I miss the simple days of chasing you around. Laughing as you would pick all the flowers around our neighborhood from other people’s yards, thinking you were so naughty for doing so. I let you think you were being naughty, just to make you giggle and to let you feel like you were breaking the rules. Gosh, how I loved to embrace your little spicy rebellious ways. You weren’t naughty. You were innocent. You were a child. You were mine. You were the best thing that’s ever been mine. I honestly still cannot believe you are gone and that I don’t get to chase you around anymore. There is not a second of the day, that I do not miss you. Not one second.

I sat at the TGen conference all day again today. I don’t know what in the world happened, but I spent most of the day wiping tears away from my eyes. In a room full of scientists, doctors, researchers….. all there for pediatric cancer. I was only there, for you. The biggest reason of all. I did my best to soak up everything that was being said. Neuroblastoma was only touched on a few times but I found that when it was being talked about in charts, graphs, statistics…. was when it was all I could do not to crawl under the table and curl up in a ball. I didn’t want everyone in that room to see the data that was being presented in front of their faces in a scientific form. I know it’s important to them Ronan and I am so thankful for all the hard work that’s going into this disease, but it’s not enough. I wanted the data to show your face instead. I mean, I think your big blue eyes are the most compelling piece of evidence ever of why this disease deserves to have a better outcome. It was actually all I could do, not to run up to the podium and hijack the speakers talk. I imagined it. A dozen times. I imagined myself, slapping your picture up on the screen. I wouldn’t have needed to say much as your eyes say it all. I think my eyes do too. But if I would have said something, it would have been something like this:

I’m not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a researcher. I’m not even a nurse.

I’m a mom. I’m a mom whose heart is broken into a million pieces because this little boy, was mine. But he was stolen from me by childhood cancer. Please work harder because there is a reason you are here. Please make this about more than just science. Please let him be one of the reasons that you will work harder. Please fix this, so someday another mother like me, does not have to stand before you, wearing her child’s ashes around her neck. He deserved better. He deserved to be mine, for much longer than almost 4 years. He should have been mine, for the rest of MY life. I should have been his, for much more than almost 4 years. Almost 4 years, will never be enough.

I know they are not the most compelling words, but today they were the only thing I could muster up in my over active imagination to say. My brain/emotions are fried. As I said before, I don’t think I need any words. Your picture is enough. How could anyone look at your face, and not be broken-hearted? The combination of your beauty and my sadness is more than enough, baby doll. The ultimate sacrifice.

Candice from TGen was kind enough to make sure I got to meet Dr. Sholler today. I actually got nervous as I went to not shake her hand, but to give her a hug instead. It’s so funny to me how the medical community are just not big huggers. It almost seems to make them uncomfortable. It actually makes me laugh. It seems to completely throw them all off. I think I need to spread the RoLove around. I think it’s a big part of the missing piece of the puzzle of this sometimes detached from emotion reality that these doctors live in. Dr. Sholler was not expecting it, but she smiled and seemed o.k. with this crazy girl hugging her and trying to find the words to tell her thank you. I think I stumbled on a few things. I remember telling her about you. Showing her your picture. Handing her your Rocard. I called her a maverick and an outside of the box thinker….. I don’t think she knew quite what to make of me. I was hoping she wasn’t thinking, “Who is this crazed stalker with purple hair??!” because that’s what I totally felt like. I am so glad I finally got to meet her. She told me she was sorry about you. You know that speaks volumes in my book. Simple words that go such a long way. I look forward to hearing her speak tomorrow. I look forward to watching what she does in regards to Neuroblastoma. She’s very eager which I like. Eager and passion are both things I feel from her. So, let’s keep watching and learning more Ronan. She has our attention. She’s had it for a while. Oh, and I saw Dr. Eshun again today. He tried once again to shake my hand and laughed as I grabbed him for a hug.

Today, while I sat in the room full of absolute brilliance everywhere, I noticed there were 2 things missing. Well, 3 actually but I’m only going to talk about 2. Dr. Mosse from Chop. I emailed her and told her I was there and that I wish had been there, speaking. She emailed me back to tell me that some of her colleagues were there, and she was sorry she could not attend. She also told me she hoped I was o.k. She made me smile so for that moment in time, I was o.k. I sent Dr. Jo a text to tell her that this conference desperately needed her there. Fo shizzle. There is a missing layer to all of this and it is only something that Dr. Badass JoRo can deliver. It has nothing to do with science. It’s Humanity. Depth. Compassion. Pain. Beauty. Rawness. Realness. That woman has such a way with words, that she could have no doubt brought every person in that room, to their knees begging to know her secret. Her secret has nothing to do with her fancy degree. Her secret is not something you can get at med school. Her secret is beyond this world and she is the only one that can posses it. She is doing amazing things with it. Romazing. I’m just sorry it fucking has to be this way. It shouldn’t be, because of this beyond fucked up fuckery that she is surviving. Everyday, she is surviving Ronan. She is surviving all while making this world a better place. Not many people can say that about themselves. Not many people would want to. Not even her. Trust me. Nothing is worth this pain.

In the middle of my noyoucannotsoblikeafuckingbabyinfrontofallthesepeopletantrum…. I sent your Mr. Sparkly Eyes a text message. I don’t even know what I said but I’m sure I was on one of my usual rants about F U Cancer to him. He simply responded with an, ” I miss him.” I read his words Ronan and FUCK. I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. It was game over. I know he misses you but for some reason, it hit me really hard today. In a conference room full of people, alligator tears were uncontrollable. I took a minute to get myself under control and just told him, ” I miss him for you too.” That was all. Nothing more needed to be said as those words were enough. Sometimes the simplest words, say it all. I know what needs to be done. I trust in you. I will be your Rovocate for the rest of my life. I will make you both proud. I will never stop fighting for all that was taken away from you. For the love that was ripped from my arms. I promise I won’t give up until our RoLove, changes the world.

O.k. little man. That’s all for tonight. I love you. I’ll be sorry for the rest of my life. I can’t wait for the day that I can see you again. And no. I don’t need to believe in a fucking GOD for this to happen so people need to stop saying that. I believe in you, Ronan and you are more than any GOD could ever be. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams, little man.

xoxo

P.S. Thank you for all the Roideas today. Through my sadness, grief, pain…. the ideas would not stop flowing. Pediatic Cancer is about to get FUCKED!

Because Kids get Cancer, too.

 

Ronan. September 1st. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. How many people out there, are aware? Not enough. Or if they are aware, they are choosing to ignore it. Assholes. If everyone was AWARE and not IGNORING it, you may still be here. I truly believe that. Was I that unaware Asshole? Totally. Do I wish I still were? If it meant having you here? Absolutely. I would give anything to have you back. You know this. I would sell my soul do the Devil in a heartbeat. It would be so much better than being trapped here, without you. But someone else had other ideas. I don’t like it, but I have to start to accept it; a bit more and more, everyday.

Otherwise, I am going to turn into that bitter mama who is mad at the world. Who has EVERY right to be mad at the world and to turn her back on everything. I don’t want to end up this way, but sometimes it seems like it would be so much easier than to continue on this fight. I know I don’t have a choice, Ro. I know I have to make a difference even when people tell me that I DON’T have a responsibility to anyone but myself, your brothers and your daddy. I know this is not true. I know I still have a responsibility to you. I have to make a difference because this is what you would have wanted. I know you want me to find a bigger purpose in this world than just worrying about if my ass looks big in my LuLu Lemon gym shorts and what to cook for fucking dinner. I know you want me to leave your mark, everywhere. I have no choice but to honor you in the biggest way I can. That means that I will fight this fight until people start to listen. Until huge companies, start to honor Childhood Cancer, the way they do Breast Cancer. Until people stop turning their cheeks because it can’t happen to them. Fuck you. It can. I hope it NEVER does. But I hope if it does, you never have to walk in my shoes because I am going blaze the trails so that Childhood Cancer does start to get the attention and funding that it deserves. So that one day, there WILL be a CURE. So beautiful families, don’t have to watch helplessly as their child dies even after they have done all they can do. The best they could have done. The best will never be enough, because you still died, Ro. I will always feel the guilt of this inside of me. I will never understand why my love was not enough to save you. It should have been. But it wasn’t because Childhood Cancer is that ugly. That real. That scary, that it can change everything in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry. If you choose to ignore it, it cannot happen to you. Bullshit. I am like a flashing, neon sign now people. If you cannot stand to hear this story, because it is too sad, than stop reading, because you are NOT worthy of knowing this beautiful love story. You are not worthy of watching the beauty that is going to come out of losing the most beautiful boy in the world. If you are strong enough to be here, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love each and every one of you. I need your help, more than ever. You are all going to help in this fight for Ronan and thousands of other children, who deserve a voice. I feel so blessed that Ronan has touched your lives, even if many of you did not know him. If you are not going to be the loudest cheerleader for me, Ro, or thousands of other precious kids who are going through this…. just knowing that you feel like I have made you love your babies, your family, friends, appreciate the little things more…. still means so much to me. Just knowing that it is because of my Ro, that you feel this way… makes me feel like I am capable of making this world a better place.

I know I have a big job ahead of me, but I feel as if my head is becoming a little clearer, more and more everyday. I feel like the fog is being lifted. I’ve stopped all of my medications. All of them. Even the sleepy meds. Cold Turkey, YO! Just because everyone told me I couldn’t do it, and I shouldn’t do it. Well, I did. I am finally starting to feel free again. I am taking Melatonin to help me sleep. I should have listened to my Mr. Sparkly Eyes at the beginning of all of this as he was always suggesting it. Of course, I had to learn the hard way. Thank GOD for Stacy and for bringing that bottle over to my house the other night. Don’t get me wrong…. my sleep is still not wonderful. I still toss and turn. I still wake up, screaming and crying for you. I am still having very vivid, and mostly awful dreams. But it’s not any worse than it was while I was on my prescription sleeping pills. And at least this Melatonin, is a natural substance. I am a fighter and I will fight though this. I refuse to become one of those moms who ends up going through something awful and becoming addicted to prescription meds. No judgement at all. I just know that is not for me. It is not the way I want to live this life. I want to feel, as painful as it may be. I don’t want to be numb.

I’m in the best place I can be, as of now. It’s not good and I know this. I know I am being hard on myself which is why I’ve named this phase of grief, the Phase of Torture. I am doing a lot of things that are not good for me. Not eating, pushing myself on my Inferno Hikes, throwing up a lot if I do eat, second guessing everything we did for you, mentally beating myself up…… But I am here, I am getting up out of bed, I am being a good mom to your brothers, I am being honest, I am going to a lot of therapy, I am feeling. I AM FEELING. I have not felt for a very long time. I was numb and in shock. I still have those feelings some days, but they are less and less.

Ro. I fell asleep about an hour or so ago, but now I am up again due to my dreams. I hate them. They never involve you, and they are always so scary, sad, and mean. Kind of like my everyday life without you now. Where are you and who is taking care of you? Who is brushing your teeth, rubbing your little back, and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to you? It’s not me. I hate this.

I’ve written to you for days now. Not being able to finish. I have too much to say, too little to say, too many scary things going through my mind, that I don’t want to say. I’m feeling tired, sad, and angry. I’m trying to do my best, to stay positive. Walking through this life without you by my side is utter torture. You spent 4 years attached to my hip. Trying to go on with you gone now, hurts so much. And some days, I just don’t want to do it anymore. I just want to be with you again. I’ll never understand, why it had to be you…. why did you have to be the one to be taken away. Who would be so cruel to do such a thing? I don’t want this life lesson. I don’t want to be grateful for all the little things because I don’t have you anymore. I just want you back. I think I may have to throw up now. We are all here, tucked away in our quiet house for the night. You are not with us anymore and everything about our lives is so different, in the most awful way. I wish I really had an arm missing, or half of my face…. anything but you.

This weekend has been a blur. Lots of family time. We had Kenny, Stacy and the kids over last night. Always good to be with them as they are like family and they just get it. They know how much we need them and they have been such amazing friends to us. I was in a foul mood, talking trash to your Daddy….. being a tough ass. I had a good talk with Stacy, who tried to reason with me a bit. There was no reasoning last night and I usually listen to her. I told her how I didn’t understand how I was just expected to go on and just go about normal things now. Like how could I possibly go on a trip with your Daddy in a few weeks? A trip. Are you fucking kidding me? This is a trip we’ve taken together for years now… and I am supposed to go in a few weeks. Is everyone on crack? This is NOT a normal year. Normal things do not exist yet. Will they ever again? No. But I need some time. I cannot just be thrown back into this life, and be expected to do things that I have done before, in the past, when you were among the living. You just left this earth. I am still here, and trying to figure out how to navigate my way through the fucking grocery store. How am I supposed to hop on a flight to Vegas in a few weeks??? It seems like a sick joke to me. I tried to go to the race tracks in Del Mar over the summer and almost had to be hauled off to the loony bin because I could not handle all the obnoxious people, smoking everywhere, in their stupid hats and clothes. And going to Vegas, during a normal year has never really been my cup of tea. I can stand that place for about 24 hours, on a good day. Can you imagine how I would freak out, going there this year…. it gives me anxiety just thinking about it. If I go, I’m going to wear a shirt that says something like, “My son just died, but let’s gamble anyway.” WTF people?!?! I just want to be left alone. I just want my time to grieve for you. I don’t want to go to Vegas, I don’t want Thanksgiving, I don’t want the weekends anymore, I don’t want to pretend like this is getting easier….. because it is not. Why is everyone acting like just because it’s been almost 4 months, that I need to be moving on, and starting to feel better. I WILL NEVER FEEL BETTER. That I can guarantee you. Do you know what a good day for me is like now? Let me just tell you. A good day now, is a day when my throat does not feel like it is going to close up and I am going to just suffocate to death. A good day is when I can actually swallow, without it hurting. A good day is when I can actually eat a meal, and keep it down. A good day is when I can put on a happy face, and check off some of the things on my shit list. I’ve come up with a new saying that I have adapted. Fake it till you make it. Yup. I’m faking it everyday that I am up out of bed and being productive because I don’t want to be at all. I don’t want any of this life without you.

Did you know Ro, that my mind is so distraught from losing you, that I cannot remember any happy memories of you? My mind cannot even go there. The PTSD is real and it is part of what I am going through now. I’ve talked to all of my therapists about it. They all agree.

 

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.

Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.

2. Avoidance symptoms:

  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past

Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

It’s natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months.

I relive what I went through with you, over and over through the day. I don’t have any other memories of you as of now, besides you being sick, you dying, and the love we had for each other. I am trying to work past this but as of now, I’m stuck. Maybe that’s why I cannot dream about you. I’m stuck in such an awful place in my mind, trapped in between awful memories, and my reality, which is Hell on Earth.

I went Inferno Hiking at 1:00 today. Nobody else was on the mountain. It was nice but I hardly remember any of it. I have decided that the reason I love it so much is because it is so painful. So hot that my socks burn the bottom of my heels. It is dangerous and it is the only time during my days that I have to let go of the memory of you not being here. When I am on my run, down the mountain, I have to stay so sharp, so focused on what I am doing…. because one wrong step and it is goodbye Maya, hello broken arm and face plant into the sharp, burning rocks. Bring it on.

I know you know about my intuition that I have had my entire life, Ro. But here is just another example. As I was driving home from The Inferno today, I started thinking about the neighbors that we brought flowers to, on your Random Day of Kindness. I was getting close to their house and I was beating myself up, because when we met them, they told us about their baby girl that they had lost. Their sweet baby girl, whom never even made it out of the hospital. I knew that she passed away sometime in August and I started getting really mad at myself because I could not remember the date, and I had really wanted to put a card in their mailbox, just to let them know I was thinking about them. It’s September now, so I knew that the time had passed and I was so disappointed at myself for forgetting. As soon as I got home, I parked the car and went to get the mail. I pulled it out, I saw a letter addressed to me, from our neighbors. That is weird, I thought to myself, as I had just spent the past 4 minutes, thinking obsessively about them and their baby girl. I ripped open the letter and it was from the wife. She had taken the time to write me a beautiful letter, more about who they are, who their kids are, and how the daughter that they lost, would have been 22 this year. I started to sob. It was such an honest, beautiful, and kind letter. She wrote to me about how she had read my blog before meeting me, and that I had seemed so strong from my words. But then when she saw me, face to face, that I seemed so fragile. She gets it. She knows why I look that way. It’s because she is a mother, who has lost her little girl. It’s almost like a secret handshake that we have. She can easily see the pain in my eyes, when others cannot. Getting that letter today, reminded me that for as fragile as I am…. I still cannot give up on this life. That I cannot give up on myself. I am on to something with the way I have some of these things in life figured out. I need to listen to my instincts a little more and trust in myself that the path that I am on, is going to lead me to where I was meant to go. As much as I want to fight this stupid life now… I have too much to go on for. You are still my number one reason for living. You are keeping me alive, Ronan. You will take me when you are ready and I just need to trust and believe in that. It is the only thing I trust and believe in anymore.

I’m going to go baby. This has turned into a novel. I hope it even makes sense. I love you so much. To the moon and back, forever and ever. Sweet dreams little one. I hope you are safe.

xoxo

This made me laugh. I will take a laugh wherever I can get it:)

 

I miss you. But I smiled though my tears for you.

 

 

Ronan. Hi baby. Missed you today. I woke up your brothers early. Well, early for us since we have been lazy beach bums sleeping in on most days. 8 a.m. was early for us today. I was tempted to let them sleep in as they looked so cozy and sleepy. They had to be at surf camp at 9 a.m. though, so waking them up was necessary. They so did not want to go. The both of them have been complaining that I signed them up for surf camp since I told them about it a month ago. Too bad, so sad, is what I basically told them. They kept insisting that they were not going to like it. I told them they wouldn’t know until they tried. It’s all week from 9-12. I got their cozy little buns out of bed, dressed and fed, and we headed down to the very cold beach this morning. They put on their little wetsuits and before I knew it they were off and running into the water. Most parents just dropped their kids off. I stayed and watched, took pictures, helped them and even got my sweats soaking wet as I was helping a little girl named Brooke, get out into the ocean. She was sooooo cute that I couldn’t resist. It was the best 3 hours I’ve had in a very long time. I was surprised how much I enjoyed just sitting and watching them and I was so impressed at how easily they picked up on it. Especially Liam. He really took to it and was really far out in the ocean with the instructor. He surfed up until the 3 hours were up. I am so proud of both of your brothers. They ended up loving it and can’t wait to go back tomorrow. I saw you while I was watching them. Those two little dolphins I saw the other day were out really close to Liam. I told Quinn it was you watching over Liam, to make sure he was safe in the ocean. He smiled and agreed with me. Thanks for that today, baby.

After the surf lesson was over, the boys were freezing so I took them over to the hot tub to warm up. Your daddy came down and brought down lunch to BBQ. We spent the next couple hours at the pool and the hot tub. After that, we headed back up to the condo. The boys were wiped out, but Quinn really wanted to rent one of those Surrey bikes that are in front of the Del. He has begged for weeks. Liam had no interest in going, and Woody had to work, so I headed off with Quinn to rent our bike. We rode all over the Island and ended up the school here. Quinn got a big kick out of my crazy driving and jumping the curb with our bike at the school. He was cracking up and I explained to him the importance of doing “boy,” things like that. I told him if you had been there, you would have made us do it over and over. In your honor, we took our Surry bike and jumped the curb 4 more times. We laughed the every time. It made me miss you so much, but it felt good to laugh with Quinn. I could tell the day meant a lot to him and it meant a lot to me as well. When we finished with our bike, we walked over to the Hotel Del to get him some ice cream. After our big day out, Quinn came back here and 20 minutes later, he was passed out cold. He slept for a few hours and woke up starving so I took him to get dinner. Liam, once again did not want to go. He is such a little homebody.

I have not had a day like today in a very long time. One where I almost enjoyed myself. Spending time with your brothers, watching them do something new, is the closest I’ve come to almost feeling happy since you left us. Happy, but I missed you a lot too. I know those two things will go hand and hand for the rest of my life now. I’ll always picture  you with us, in everything we do. I know today, you would have been out on that beach with me, with your boogie board, watching your brothers and mad that you couldn’t be out surfing with them. You were always trying to keep up with them and I was always amazed at how well you did. Your fire and zest for life was something I have never seen in anyone in my life. You took everyday by storm and that is something that I miss doing with you. Together, we were unstoppable. I miss having you everywhere with me so much. If you can’t tell, I have a  new little shadow now and his name is Quinn. He is stuck to me like glue and I am really trying to embrace him as much as possible. I can feel myself reconnecting to your brothers again, but Quinn is working extra hard to be by my side 24/7. Liam is so independent, that he is happy anywhere and has been spending a lot of time with your daddy. They are such similar creatures. I love watching the two of them together.

That is all for tonight my little monkey. I’ve got to try to get some sleep as we have another early day of surf camp tomorrow. I miss you more than words could ever say. I love you to the moon and back, baby. I hope you are safe. I still worry about you so much. I would give anything to be able to kiss those sweet little lips of your.  Sweet dreams, Ro.

Everything’s not lost, but really it is

Ronan. You were everywhere today. I had to stop and catch my breath a few times just so I wouldn’t throw up. I am reminded of you in everything and everywhere. In the whole avocado that Quinn had for lunch. In the Mickey Mouse beach bag that Stacy carried her kids’ beach stuff in. In the Star Wars swim trunks that Mac had on today. Even as I watched your cousin, Jake, eat some Mandarin Oranges at dinner. I had to fight back the tears over all of those things today. You loved all of them so much. It’s so strange to see these things that have such little meaning to everyone else, but they mean everything to me. I don’t know how to deal with all of those little things because every time I see things like this, I just want to curl up and die.

I am not living. I am surviving. And it sucks. I still don’t understand why you were taken away from us so quickly. I think about this all the time. It kills me that everything changed so suddenly and how rapidly your disease progressed. I swear it happened over night. Your daddy and I fought so hard for you. We talked to the best doctors, researched everything we possibly could and it still was not enough. It all happened way too quickly and I’m still trying to make sense of something, even though I know I will probably never get an answer. I deserve one though and I am angry at the way the doctors just seem to want to sweep you under the rug, like you never existed. I want to hear from them that they are sorry. I want to them to look me in the eyes and see their pain because  they couldn’t save you. I want some sort of acknowledgement that you were here and they are sorry that they couldn’t save you. I know this won’t make you come back, but I want them to hurt the way I am hurting so that maybe they will work harder to save the life of the next child who is going through something like this. I know that these doctors work hard, but not fucking hard enough because you are gone. I want someone to blame, even though I know nobody deserves to carry the burden of this. This is the cause and effect of our insanely mad world. It is the only way to explain how such a thing can happen to a child or a teenager. Complete unfairness and insanity. There is no other answer.

I ran on the beach tonight and was so not feeling it. I pushed through for you though. I sat and watched a daddy pulling his little girl on a boogie board and then I watched as the mom came and swooped her up and off they went holding hands, running down the beach. I wonder if that mommy knows how lucky she is. I would have given anything to have been that mommy today, running down the beach and holding your hand. Instead, I get to watch somebody else doing it. It was another one of those outer body experiences that I seem to have all the time now. After I watched the mommy and little girl, I laid down and the sand and looked up at the sky and just cried. I didn’t want to finish my run, but you forced me to get back up and pound out the last 2 miles. The waves chased me a lot today and at one point I couldn’t run fast enough away from them. My sneakers ended up getting soaking wet. I thought of you and pretended that the waves were your little feet trying to run after me. I have to hold on to things like this; this imaginary life I have made up in my head just to get through the days without you.

I heard from, “The Stranger,” again tonight. Except now, I know her name. I liked hearing from her and a bit of her story. It took a lot for her to write her first email to me but I am so glad she had the courage to do so. Her words helped me last night when I was really needing it. She talked about how she struggled for nights to write that email and then to actually send it. After my day yesterday, her email could not have come at a more perfect time. I know that was you, Ro. Your little way of getting to me. Thank you for that.

Quinn and Liam have their cousins, Jake and Carter over for a sleepover tonight. All is quiet except for your big brother, Quinn is in bed with me watching Sports Center. I knew he would end up in here with me and not out in the living room with all the other boys. It has been so nice having your brothers spend time with their cousins. They have formed such a bond over such a short period of time and all the laughter and just watching them all be boys has made my heart a little happy. It is helping me to see your brothers laugh and smile despite the sadness that I know weighs heavy in their hearts. I’m watching them heal a little more one day at a time and I know a big part of this is the family that surrounds us. I am so thankful for that.

I’m so sad tonight, Ro. Your daddy is not here and when I talked to him on the phone I could hear how sad he was being at home all alone. Without us and without you. I don’t know what to do or to say except for to tell him I love him. I’m having a hard time talking to him about you yet because everything is too painful. When we do sit and talk about you we both just end up crying. I don’t think the crying is ever going to stop. I don’t think there are two parents who ever loved a little boy so much. I like to think that it is because of the love that your daddy and I have for each other which is why you were given to us. We love each other so much and you were such a gift. I just don’t know why you had to be taken away. And I don’t know how we are just supposed to go on because it does not seem possible to live our life without you. I’m clinging on to anything I possibly can, but it will never be enough and I honestly don’t know how I am going to survive this. This life hurts and this life is cruel.

But I am going to continue to fight through this because I know it is what you want. It is what your brothers deserve and your daddy too. But there is not a day that goes by that I wish the world would just swallow me whole. Every inch of my body hurts and misses you. That will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’ve somehow got to find a way to learn to live this new life without you. I promise I will try as long as you keep guiding me and giving me strength.

That is all for tonight my love. I hurt too much to write anymore. I love you to the moon and back my most beautiful boy. Sweet dreams.

P.S. Every song on Pandora tonight has reminded me of you. Are you the one making this little playlist for me, my sweet boy? Your gifts are all around. Everyday with you was the best day of my life. I love you, Ro baby.

xoxo

Ro baby takes Philidelphia and New York City

I am so happy to tell you tonight that I haven’t updated things in a few days due to a very busy, but fun weekend. It’s the first time that I can remember since before Ronan was diagnosed with cancer, that things around here felt very normal. We spent the weekend hanging out at home, enjoying family time. Woody and I snuck out for a date on Saturday night while Auntie Karen and Olivia watched the boys.’ We had an amazing dinner at Tarbell’s even though I ended up crying a bit in the middle of a conversation between Woody and myself. I tried my hardest to just be a normal couple on a Saturday night…. but the harder I try, the harder things become. We will never be that normal couple again. It’s just not in the cards for us anymore. Everything has changed; nothing is the same.  Not even a Saturday night date will be like the old days. Maybe it is for the better…. because I am so much more aware of the reality of the world around me. But it still stings. I now sit in restaurants and watch the people around me and wonder if they have the sadness in their lives that I do, but in a different form. Or maybe they are lucky enough to be blissfully happy. I know that the world is full of sadness, but as I sat at dinner with Woody, the feeling of complete aloneness washed over me. I sat and thought things like, I bet their baby doesn’t have cancer, or I bet their Grandbabies are totally healthy….Then the guilt washes over me for having these thoughts…. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I was once blissfully happy but also blinded by ignorance. Now, I truly know the meaning of ignorance is bliss. What a bullshit way to find that out.

On Sunday I met Fernanda at Hava Java for some coffee. I love that when I was on the phone with Tricia right before Fernanda picked me up and I told Trish how I was going for coffee, Trish goes, “What part of the world is Fernanda saving today?” So adorable. I told her she was saving me:) We sat and had our coffee and she helped me write down all of my questions for the doctors at Chop. We talked about my upcoming week, but the thing I enjoyed most was listening to my new friend talk about the things in her world. Her kids, her funny family stories, the things she’s done in her life. One of the biggest gifts of all of this has been getting to know this beautiful woman. Through this crises, comes the gift of her. I will be thankful for the rest of my life for all the beauty that has shown it’s colors during the darkest time. Fernanda is one of the most colorful things that I have ever seen in my life. I so need color now. This black and white stuff is getting a bit dull and scary. Life is not black and white, Ronan is not black and white, and I wish the doctors in this world would start thinking this way too. I’m about to take all the crayons out of Ronan’s Crayola box and scribble up and down all of their stupid papers and statistics. They do not know my Ro baby.

Woody and I also spent the weekend figuring out our plan for the week. Since Ronan’s ANC counts don’t seem to be dropping and he looks great, we decided to take him out to Philadelphia to Chop. Ro and I are flying out tomorrow morning on a Corporate Angels flight. Woody has a court appearance he cannot miss, so he will be flying out tomorrow late afternoon. We are meeting Dr. Mosse on Wednesday to go over our list of questions with her and to just get another opinion and feel for the place. We decided since we were going to be in Philly, that on Wednesday we would take the train to New York and meet with Dr. Kusher at Sloan Kettering on Thursday. We will fly home Thursday night. It’s going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but one that we both feel is necessary. We have to be prepared as much as possible for what we have ahead of us. Arming ourselves with as much knowledge as possible will only help us decide on what path to take for Ronan. I think we both know in our hearts; but we are keeping our minds as open as possible.

Today, Ronan and I headed to the clinic to have his levels checked. Dr. Eshun thought he looked great and saw no need to transfuse him. Ronan was so excited about not having to get blood, he practically skipped out of the clinic office and to our car. We went home and played out in our backyard and got everything ready for our trip. Liam and Quinn came home soon after and their cousins, Luke and Lily came over to play for a couple of hours. It’s always a treat to have them spend time with us. Ronan especially loves it. It was a good way to get him ready for his upcoming travels. He is a little sad about having to leave Liam and Quinn behind once again. He’s not the only one. I wish they could come on these trips with us but I understand how important stability is in their lives right now. I also understand how important it is to be able to just focus on Ronan, the doctors and get the job done. I cannot wait to get back home to them already though. So glad we will have the weekend together. Ronan is set to start his 8th cycle of Chemo March 14th. Hopefully we will stay hospital free until then. It would be so nice to continue to be at home. There is no place he would rather be.

Woody said to me tonight, “Aren’t these supposed to be the happiest times of our lives?” How do you even respond to that?? I just nodded my head and gave him the best smile I could, which wasn’t much. Fucking cancer. Thanks for robbing all of us of this precious time in life. I HATE YOU.

Hope you all have been well. Wishing you a night full of sweet dreams. Happy Birthday to my Little M today too. I hope you go my message and are having a wonderful time in NYC. I miss you so much and can’t wait to celebrate you when we both get back from our trip and things settle down as much as possible. I love you, Marisa <3

Safe travels for us tomorrow! It’s going to be a very busy next few days!! G’nite friends!!

xoxo


A warning sign
I missed the good part then I realized
I started looking and the bubble burst
I started looking for excuses

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is, I miss you
Yeah the truth is, that I miss you, so

A warning sign
You came back to haunt me and I realized
That you were an island and I passed you by
And you were an island to discover

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
That I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is, I miss you
Yeah the truth is, that I miss you so
And I’m tired I should not have let you go

Ooooooooooooooooo

So I crawl back into your open arms
Yes I crawl back into your open arms
And I crawl back into your open arms
Yes I crawl back into your open arms

Magic Medicine…. Day 3, Round 7

Ronan and I started off the morning bright and early. He was up around 7 and was asking to go to breakfast. I needed an excuse to go and get him his Slurpee anyway to mix his chemo in, so we left the house and went over to one of my favorite breakfast spots, Taylor’s, for some grub. I ordered oatmeal, and Ronan asked for pancakes and scrambled eggs. He ate almost all of his breakfast, along with half of my oatmeal. He was so happy to be out and about and was loving how windy and stormy it was today. After breakfast we stopped at 7-11 and then went home. Woody and the big boys’ had already left for baseball and I spent the next hour getting us ready for our hospital stay. Sharon called around 10 and said they were ready for Ronan so to bring him in. Ronan was not happy about having to pack up and leave and kept saying how much he was going to miss his brothers. I told him it was only for a couple of nights and we would be back home before he knew it. Once we arrived to PCH he was in a much better mood and was so excited to hear Sharon was in the hospital working today. We only really ever get to see her at the clinic so having her on the 2nd floor today was a treat. As soon as he got off the elevator, Sharon was walking down the hall and saw us coming. Ronan ran up to her and she scooped him up in his arms and gave lots of kisses to her “boyfriend” as she calls him. He was tickled to death. Arica was also working today so it was a double surprise for Ro! He was in heaven and was in an extra happy and silly mood.

Woody came by to bring us lunch and soon after that we finally got the chemo started. It only took a few hours and then our nurse was able to unhook Ronan from his tubes so he could run free for the rest of the evening. With this chemo they only give him 2 hours of hydration afterwords so he doesn’t have to be attached to the pole 24/7. It really makes such a difference in his spirits if he is “hooked up” as he calls it, or not. We had lots of visitors today. My friend, Lisa, whom I have not seen in forever came by for about an hour. Ronan fell asleep while she was here and we sat and talked quietly. She tried to get me to take a nap with him but my mind wouldn’t let me relax even though I am mentally beat. Niki came by to give me a much-needed hug and Ronan let her stay for about 20 minutes before he kicked her out. Hey, it was better than nothing. Jen and Olivia came by late this evening and Ronan was still wide awake. He cracked them up with his little voice and bossy words. “Gilllllyyy….” “Sorry.” LOL. So funny. He was totally showing off for them with his sassiness. The girls stayed for about 45 minutes and then Mr. Boss man said it was time for them to go. He wanted me all to himself and I think his exact words were something like, “Just you and me, mom.” He was being adorably funny tonight. After the girls left, he insisted that we go down to the cafeteria because he was hungry. Off he went running out the door to our room and out to the elevator. He kept saying he was going to beat me because he is so fast. Geez! That kid had a ton of energy tonight and ran all the way to the new cafeteria. We were laughing the entire way. The hospital was really empty and quiet, but I’m pretty sure everyone could hear our giggles. Ronan has such a way of making the worst situations, beautiful and fun. As long as he is happy, and as long as we are together, you could put us anywhere and we would have a good time. I loved watching my child running around and being care free. This has been one of the best hospital nights that we have ever had.

The doctor on call said that we can go home tomorrow after Ro finishes his chemo and then just do the last day in the clinic on Monday. Yay for that! Only one night in the hospital!! Ronan is going to be so excited to be able to see Liam and Quinn tomorrow. The amount of love he has for those boys’ amazes me everyday.

Today, I had so many people send me pictures of all the amazing rainbows we had in Phoenix. It meant so much to me as Ronan and I watched the rain from the inside of our hospital room. Thank you all for the beautiful pics and for thinking of us. And Bethany, I too have such a peaceful feeling; glad you are feeling the same. I love you.

G’night all of you. Sweetest dreams and we hope you are having a lovely weekend.

xoxo

Goodnight moon

Home. After over a month of being in and out of hospitals, between Sloan and PCH… we are home again. So sweet. Yesterday, Ronan’s ANC was only at 80… today it jumped up to 240! That is very high for just one day. Ronan’s little body is fighting so hard to come back after being beaten down so badly. After Arica, our amazing friend/nurse, told us the great news about Ronan’s ANC.. she still wasn’t sure if we could go home or not. She said she didn’t want to get our hopes up because we were scheduled for scans as an inpatient for tomorrow, so that may mean they may just make us stay the night again. My sweet friend, Fernanda, came to sit with Ronan so I could run home and shower. She texted me about a half an hour after I left to tell me the doctor came in and told her that after Ronan received a transfusion of platelets, we could be on our merry way. I was so thrilled to hear this news as I was not expecting it:)

When I returned to PCH, Ronan was sleeping and when I walked into his room I had to laugh at the snow cone tent/stand that Fernanda bought for Ronan, along with his very own snow cone maker so they could sell snow cones to the nurses. Can you even stand the cuteness of this right now?? I can’t. It was the most adorable thing ever. What an amazing heart and imagination she has. Arica was telling me that when they were making snow cones, all of the nurses were like, “What is that all that noise?” Arica said she was laughing and told them, “Oh, don’t worry.. it’s just Ro making snow cones with his snow cone machine.” Only Ronan with the help of Fernanda would pull something off like that while stuck in the hospital. The thought of the two of them doing this together makes me so happy. Thanks, Fernanda, for everything. For all your help with Ronan these past couple of weeks and hauling all of our things to my car for me today. I don’t know how I would have managed without you, my dear:)

As we were getting ready to leave PCH, we were waiting for one of our doctors, “A” to come and talk to us about the weeks upcoming events. She arrived from the clinic all flustered, panicked and excited. She was jumping up and down about Ronan’s ANC and said how amazing he was that it spiked so high in one night. Talk about being passionate about her job. I love seeing that in someone who is caring for my child. A lack of passion in life is fatal. I have always felt this way and seeing “A” as often as we do, she is one of the most passionate people I have ever come across. Makes me love her even more. She told us that one of the scans Ronan was supposed to have this week, the MIBG scan had to be delayed due to the iodine not being able to get here from Canada due to the big storm. I told her not a big deal at all, as I know the situation is not in her hands. She was also trying to figure out a way to squeeze in one of Ronan’s bone scans tomorrow with all of his other scans, so we could limit the amount of times that he has to be put under anesthesia in the next two weeks. The only problem was Dr. Maze had a certain time blocked out for Ronan’s anesthesia, and throwing another scan in cut into something else he had scheduled. His office didn’t think he would be able to do it so they were going to have to get somebody else.  Just as she was telling me this, she looked down at her phone and started jumping up and down saying, “Yes, yes, yes! Thank you!!!” She then told me, “Nevermind, Aubrey moved whatever he had and will be there to do all of the scans.” She was smiling and saying how she was going to have to bake him cookies now for this one. What a good friend and a good man he is to us. He knows how important it is to us to have him do Ronan’s anesthesia. Thank you, Aubrey…I have decided that you are first a good man, and than a good doctor 😉

Ronan had his EKG and Echo Heart scan done today just to make sure everything is working properly. He was of course a great little trooper about having yet another thing done to him. I did have to bribe him into leaving his room to go for these scans by letting him take the 5 pounds of candy that Macy sent him from New York. Thanks Mace! Nothing like a little candy straight from Dylan’s Candy Shop to get the morning started! You spoil my child rotten and he loves you all the more for it! I love you for making me laugh the entire day with your ridiculously funny 4 minute long voicemail. You have no idea how much I needed that one today:)

Home today has been heaven on earth. To have all of my boys’ under the same roof is a dream come true. I did spend most of the night unpacking our 20 bags and doing laundry. I couldn’t stand the thought of having to wake up to them in the morning and then having to come home from a long day at the hospital tomorrow to them staring me in the face. The boys helped as much as they could and Woody cooked dinner. It was a nice, normal, happy night. It feels really good to all be together again.

Ronan knows the drill for tomorrow. I have been preparing him for it all day as far as having to get up early to go back to the hospital so Dr. Maze can give him his sleepy medicine. I find if I prepare him for things, he is less likely to throw a fit. He told me tonight it’s o.k. to go back to the hospital, as long as he doesn’t have to be “hooked up” as he calls it, to his pole. I told him he would not have to be hooked up, he was just going to get his sleepy medicine for pictures and we would go home after. He is being very cooperative with all that is being thrown his way. I am so lucky to have such an amazing little boy. He never ceases to amaze me.

Tomorrow is a big day for Ro. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He will have his audiology test first thing, his bone marrow scan, and then his bone scan. We know from the scans in New York, that the Neuroblastoma was not detected in his bone marrow, but we will have them rechecked at PCH and have the bone test done as well. When Ronan was first diagnosed, he had Neuroblastoma in everyone of his bones and 5-10% in his bone marrow. We know that it is now gone from his marrow, but his actual bones may be a different story. We will hope and pray that it has drastically decreased. It cannot be any other way.

Tonight, I am happy to sleep in my own bed with my little bug curled up beside me. I was able to tuck in Liam and Quinn which means the world to me now. Who would have ever thought something so little would mean so much in the grand scheme of things. Tucking in my little boys’ is the happiest place on earth for me. I am very thankful for the nights that I am able to do this and will cherish them for the rest of my life.

G’nite to all of you beautiful souls out there. Thank you for all the love, thoughts, and peace you are sending our way. Nobody said this was going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it. The love that surrounds our family is something we are so thankful for. Sweetest dreams to you all.

xoxo

I never understood before
I never knew what love was for
My heart was broke, my head was sore
What a feeling

Tied up in ancient history
I didnt believe in destiny
I look up you’re standing next to me
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, i don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine
And it’s brighter than sunshine

I never saw it happening
I’d given up and given in
I just couldn’t take the hurt again
What a feeling

I didn’t have the strength to fight
Suddenly you seemed so right
Me and you
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It’s brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine

It’s brighter than the sun
It’s brighter than the sun
It’s brighter than the sun, sun, shine.

Love will remain a mystery
But give me your hand and you will see
Your heart is keeping time with me

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It’s brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine

Stem Cell Harvest day

Today got off to a bumpy start. I woke Ronan up around 6:45 a.m. and he was not happy to say the least. One, he was mad that I woke him up so early, and two, he was even more mad that he had to spend his day at the hospital. After having him hit, scream, cry, slam doors, and hide.. I finally got him into the car. He calmed down after a bit and I kept assuring him that there were no owies today. Once we got back to the stem cell room, our nurses, Heather and Kim, got things moving very quickly. They gave Ronan his Benadryl and Tylenol and soon started the process of collecting his stem cells thorough his broviac. Medicine and science are so amazing, the whole process was mind blowing.  After about an hour, we were able to see the stem cells start to appear in the bag. Ronan slept for the first couple of hours and after that, it was party time. He was a busy little guy but everything he did was done from his bed. We watched a little movie, shopped for Halloween costumes, played Star Wars, colored, did a sticker book, and last but not least, Ronan teased and flirted with the nurses the entire day. He was so playful and cute and he had those nurses eating out of the palm of his hand. Mimi Kay spent most of the day with us and Tricia came to visit as well. Ronan loves having those two around and so do I. It was a long day, but a fun day. Any day that Ronan is in great spirits is a good day for us.

After we got home, we played with the twins and waited for Woody to get home. It was a great day weather wise here… lots of storms and rain. Being a Pacific Northwest girl, a stormy and rainy day always make me happy. After it stopped raining I got a text from my friend/neighbor asking if we wanted to go for a walk. I knew the fresh air would be good for us so Quinn, Ronan, and I walked down to the Tarbell’s to pick our friends up. It was the best walk date ever. Ronan was so happy, running in the puddles and smiling. Laely and Wesley watched from the wagon and everyone was in a great mood. It made my heart melt seeing Ronan running around acting like the little 3-year-old he is supposed to be. What a great way to end our day. I love my neighborhood and I love our friends.

We heard back from the hospital tonight. We will not have to go back tomorrow because they got all of the stem cells they needed today. They needed 10 million and they actually got close to 15 million. So happy about that news!! One less day in the hospital for us! Our next big day will be Thursday when we go in for our MIBG scan, Bone Scan and MRI. We will then find out on Friday more in detail how the chemo is affecting Ronan’s cancer. Please, keep praying and loving him. I know all of your prayers, energy and positive thoughts are working on our sweet baby boy!

He is out like a light now and I am wiped out too. I hear some Nancy Botwin calling my name. I am going to indulge a little bit tonight and watch one of my favorite shows for a bit. Goodnight to all of our angels out there!