The day you died, the day you were born and the day you died again because you were put in a urn. Happy should have been 7th birthday, my spicy Ro.

10277631_10152470522586667_3424311708954636435_n

 

 

 

Ronan.  I didn’t die from the fuckwad of May dates that I had to get through.  The day you died. Mother’s Day. Your birthday, which was also the day you were cremated. And the day we had your celebration of life aka a bullshit word I think I let everyone around me make up when it should have just been called “the most fucked up reason for a funeral” because that is how I really feel about it.  We went away for May.  It was as good of a trip as it could possibly be, despite the circumstances.  We went to New York and spent about a week out in the Hamptons with our dear friends who are pretty much the only reason I got through everything alright.  On the day you died, I didn’t sleep much.  I tossed and turned the night before and sent my same text that I send every single year around 3:20 in the morning to Mr. Sparkly Eyes because he was the first person I texted after you died and I’m weird with my rituals like that.  I said what I always say which is how I hope he never forgets how much you loved him.  How thankful I am for him and the role he played in your life and how I will never forget how above and beyond he went for you and continues to do so in this life now.  He called me a few hours later and I ran outside, barefoot so I could talk to him without waking up the entire house.

“Are you o.k.? That is a stupid question. I know you are not.”

I told him it was ok, that I was as o.k. as I could possibly be. I didn’t cry this year when he called for some reason.  I just let his words sink in and took his advice which was basically, “You don’t get to stay in bed today because that is not fair to Ronan or your other kids, so go out and do something.” I told him I would and I listened again as he told me how sorry he was.  I thanked him for calling and told him to please go and do something for you today, besides work.  He said that he would.

We spent the majority of the day, outside in the cooler temps by the ocean.  We played in the grass, rolled down hills, climbed to the top of a lighthouse, watched Poppy go to town picking flowers and ended the night by jumping in our freezing cold pool.  We were pretty much surrounded by friends the entire time we were in the Hamptons and it is because of this that our days and nights were actually filled with smiles and laughter.  Poppy kept everyone on their toes with her constant dancing to Pharrell Williams, “Happy.” A couple of years ago I know hearing this song would have thrown me right over the edge.  Now I am able to dance and sing to it and I know that is all because of her.  How can one not feel happy watching a one year old pump her little arms and rock back and forth on her chubby little legs to the beat of this song? Impossible even when you have an almost 4-year-old in an urn and kissing that goodnight is the closest you will ever get to kissing his little body again.

We spent your birthday in the city.  We started it off by grabbing pizza at your favorite place which is right by the Ronald McDonald House.  We then walked through the city a bit and went to see our good friend, Scott at Solving Kids’ Cancer.  Your daddy hadn’t met Scott before but they talk a lot on the phone.  I was beyond excited for the two of them to meet because 1)Scott is amazing and 2) They remind me a lot of each other. Of course they hit it off and seeing the two of them together made me smile on your beautiful day. I stepped out of our “meeting” and ran across the street to meet up with a favorite editor of mine in the literary world.  It was so good to hug her and catch her up on this book/life/fuck cancer/she couldn’t believe it was your 7th birthday.  She was so good about checking in with me to see that I was alright the entire time we were together. Our time together was so nice and I was so glad I got to introduce her to your daddy since he hears me talk about her so much.

After our impromptu meetings, we continued to do all your favorite things in the city.  Poppy took the streets by storm of course and I did my best to let her have a little freedom, while trying to keep her safe from getting run over by the crazy NYC taxis.  It was the first time in my life that I understood why those parents put their kids on leashes; because I totally wished I had one that day.  Instead, I chased your sister down the sidewalks as she took off without looking back at all and after a minute I would have to grab her from behind, pick her up to keep her out of harms way, all while she screamed bloody murder for me to put her down.  She seems to have turned a corner since turning one and I’m not sure there is any going back.  Miss Independent EXTRA spicy Poppy it is.  I, of course wouldn’t have it any other way.

We walked as much of the city as we could.  Stopped for a little pit stop in Central Park so Poppy could actually do some real running.  I plopped down in the grass, exhausted from a beyond mentally exhausting day.  Your brothers ran all about and your daddy took your sister to play on the playground while I stayed behind, laying in the grass and looking up at the sky.  After about 10 minutes, all the tears I had been holding back came pouring out and I just gave in and let them, not caring who would see.  My little, Rachel, came walking over soon after as she had been trying to find us in the park.  Just in time for me to bury my head in her lap while telling her, “I haven’t been very spicy today” as the snot dripped out of my nose and tears plopped out of my eyes and on to her jeans. She stroked my hair and said it was alright.  I cried for a few minutes more and then got up to decorate the most beautiful tree with a ton of your Ronan bracelets.  I had to do something spicy, so I climbed up the tree and sat there for a bit.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve climbed a tree and I wonder why.  It was lovely up there and so something you would have done.  At this time, it was getting dark so we parted ways with Rachel and ended up back at your favorite pizza place, one last time.  We had one last thing to do which was our random act of kindness so we bought a ton of gift cards at the pharmacy next door and I took your brothers and marched my little butt right back into that Ronald McDonald House where we spent so much time.  I told them I wanted to drop them off to give out to the family’s that were staying there.  I had a flashback of you in the lobby there, right when we arrived and you were wearing your cute little warm hat, standing on the luggage carrier giving me the biggest smile as if you trusted me with your life because you knew I was going to get you better and fix all of this.  I’ll never forget the look in your eyes as they sparkled so bright and were full of such hope, trust and love.  I’m so sorry that you will never get to be 7 and instead you will be always almost 4. I’m so fucking sorry.

Ending this now with some words I read a while ago and I like to read them again when everything seems to be lost in the world, but I know it’s not because once upon a time, you were mine and I was yours.  You always will be mine, even if you are not here but somewhere else where I know I will see you again.  I wish knowing that made things hurt less, Ronan.  Sometimes this pain is all too much.

I miss you.  I love you.  I hope you are safe.

On this day, you read something that moved you and made you realise there were no more fears to fear. No tears to cry. No head to hang in shame. That every time you thought you’d offended someone, it was all just in your head and really, they love you with all their heart and nothing will ever change that. That everyone and everything lives on inside you. That that doesn’t make any of it any less real.

That soft touches will change you and stay with you longer than hard ones.

That being alone means you’re free. That old lovers miss you and new lovers want you and the one you’re with is the one you’re meant to be with. That the tingles running down your arms are angel feathers and they whisper in your ear, constantly, if you choose to hear them. That everything you want to happen, will happen, if you decide you want it enough. That every time you think a sad thought, you can think a happy one instead.

That you control that completely.

That the people who make you laugh are more beautiful than beautiful people. That you laugh more than you cry. That crying is good for you. That the people you hate wish you would stop and you do too.

That your friends are reflections of the best parts of you. That you are more than the sum total of the things you know and how you react to them. That dancing is sometimes more important than listening to the music.

That the most embarrassing, awkward moments of your life are only remembered by you and no one else. That no one judges you when you walk into a room and all they really want to know, is if you’re judging them. That what you make and what you do with your time is more important than you’ll ever fathom and should be treated as such. That the difference between a job and art is passion. That neither defines who you are. That talking to strangers is how you make friends.

That bad days end but a smile can go around the world. That life contradicts itself, constantly. That’s why it’s worth living.

That the difference between pain and love is time. That love is only as real as you want it to be. That if you feel good, you look good but it doesn’t always work the other way around.

That the sun will rise each day and it’s up to you each day if you match it. That nothing matters up until this point. That what you decide now, in this moment, will change the future. Forever.

That rain is beautiful.

And so are you.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Turns out Maybelline Great Lash Mascara isn’t so great when you’re a bloody mess

tumblr_mnzdxkF5q51ralo3eo1_500

Ronan. Finally, I can sit down and have some time with you. I hate that I haven’t been able to write, let alone breathe lately. I’ve been so unbelievably busy that I swear by the time my head hits the pillow at night, I am out like a light. Such a change from how things used to be. I miss my insomnia nights where I used to stay up and write to you. Poppy has been keeping me incredibly busy. I forgot how time-consuming this whole breast-feeding thing is and your little sister has such an appetite that I swear I am feeding her around the clock. I know it’s what’s best for her and I love spending the time with her doing it, but it does leave little time to get things done around here. I’m just trying to soak it all in still because I know how quickly this time passes. Things are still going amazing with that little sister of yours. She is still a happy girl and is sleeping at night like a champ. None of us can get enough of her. I won’t let her out of my sight and she goes everywhere with me. She even went to her first board meeting the other night and didn’t make a peep as everyone passed her around to love on her. The amount of love for this baby girl blows me away. It’s like she’s getting double the dose from everyone due to the impact you’ve had on all of us, Ronan. She is so lucky to be surrounded by the most amazing souls. I can only imagine what an amazing little human being this will make her. Tomorrow, she will already be 2 months. It has flown by so fast and she is changing so much. She’s now doing really cute things like smiling and cooing at us all. Macy swears she can understand everything we are saying and she trying to have a conversation back with us. The way her eyes look at all of us while we are talking to her makes me think she is right. This Poppy girl already seems to know so much.

Your brothers are out of school. Normally, we would be in San Diego by now but this year we decided to take a little break. Your daddy was burnt out on it and I don’t blame him. One more year of going to the same spot where we always took you, without you was going to be too much for me to handle. I almost had a nervous breakdown last year. Too many almost 4-year-old blond-haired boys running about. Too many swimming pools without you in it. Too much of everything I pretty much never care to see again. It wasn’t therapeutic and it wasn’t healthy for me to be there last year and I have no interest in returning back to a place that I so desperately want to be the same, but it never will be the same again. So we are still in AZ. Your brothers have started a basketball camp which they love but it’s only for a couple of hours a day. The rest of our days have mostly been spent just hanging out having play dates, swimming, and they have helped me with a lot of things around here. We have our little, Rachel, in from NYC. I love having her here so much. We all do. Just another one of those amazing things to come from this blog and from you. She is our family and I love seeing her with your Poppy sister. Now, if I could only get her to move in and be our nanny;) Something tells me that would not be enough to keep our little smarty pants I just graduated NYC and now am working at Columbia University entertained. I am so proud of her and all she is doing. Macy calls her Saint Rachel because she is that amazing at 22. I feel so blessed to have come across this soul who is now a part of our family. We are all going to miss her so much when she leaves. Hopefully she will come out to Washington and visit us when we are there this summer.

That is what we are doing this summer. I am taking your brothers and sister to Nana and Papa’s house. It’s all your brothers have been talking about for months. I’ve been having to listening to them begging to go out earlier, but we had some things to take care of around here first. Believe me, I am just as excited as they are. I miss my parents and my childhood house where I always feel so safe and sound at, even under the shittiest of circumstances. It will be nice to have help with your sister and brothers. Washington is my place of peacefulness where I feel like I can actually breathe for a little bit. And no almost 4 year old blond boys exist. It will be nice to take a little break from the rat race that I often get caught up in here. I have lots of plans that mostly consist of no plans at all, besides spending a ton of time with your brothers and Papa Jim doing our favorite things like fishing, hiking, playing hide and seek until dark, and enjoying all the beauty the pacific northwest has to offer this time of year, including hopefully many days of rain. Please, please, please Washington rain gods, work your magic. I have been missing our rain so much, Ro.

We had a board meeting the other night. We have so many things in the works and so much coming up. A few top secret things that involve a kick ass rockstar. We still have not heard back on the petition to light the Whitehouse Gold for September. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I am still hoping for the best. After the board meeting, I told your daddy I would have Fernanda drive me home because I needed to spend some time with her. We had a lot to talk about and as always, it circled back around to you. I know you know how I am. I don’t let my guard down in front of many people. I much prefer to do all of my crying alone, and don’t often do I do it in front of others. There are only a handful of people who I am comfortable enough with to let everything out. I’ve never had a guard up with Fernanda which is why after our little pow wow, I could barely get my ass back into our house because I was seriously blinded by my tears and the fucking cheap ass mascara I wore that day. Remind me never to wear a different brand of mascara than I normally do. I came into the house, my eyes were black and stinging so badly from the mascara running in them, that I had your daddy in a complete panic. I ran to the bathroom to take out my contacts and wash my face while your daddy hovered over me begging me to tell him what was wrong. It’s the same thing it always is, Ronan. You are dead, I would give anything to have you back, I sometimes still don’t want to be here, because I just want to be with you, where are you? who is taking care of you? and why can’t it be me? Everything in my body still yearns for you, screams for you, begs for you in the worst way. Sometimes your daddy and I sit and bed at night and whisper secrets.

“Do you ever think Poppy has parts of Ronan?” he asked me the other night.
I quietly said, “Yes.”

“Me, too.” he said. “Is that wrong?”

I just told him through my tears, “If it gets us through this, does it really matter?”

I don’t think that it does, Ronan. She is parts of you without a doubt. Just like Liam and Quinn are, too. Many days I catch glimpses of you through your brothers and it helps me in a way. I see you in Quinn’s still sometimes with his mischievous ways. I see you in Liam’s strength and the way he carries himself so proud, like you always did. Poppy feels like you. She reminds me of you. I know you sent her to me to give me a little piece of you back. And some days I think you sent her to me to give me a lot of you back. I don’t care how whack-a-doodle that sounds. Thinking that way helps me to survive this insanely painful life without you here. I can’t tell your baby pictures apart. I can’t get over that she has the same little secret dimple that you had only when you smiled in the same exact spot. It gives me goosebumps and butterflies at the same time. I like living in this Poppyland. It feels o.k. again. Some days it even feels good.

Alright little man. I miss you so much. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams baby doll. G’nite.

xoxo

P.S. Please keep our Kassie safe while she is away on her amazing African adventure. I know she took you with her. Thanks, baby.

P.P.S. Does anybody know anybody high up at our local cable company Cox Communications?? Woody went to tour one of our Ronanld McDonald Houses here today because we are looking to help them with some of their wish list items. We would like to make some things better for the families that have to stay there. Turns out, they don’t have the place wired for cable because Cox wants to charge them full price and won’t give them a discount. Seriously? That makes me so mad. I love it when people try to make money off of people who are going through a hard time. It’s a freaking non-profit, Cox Communications. Give me a break. I might like to write them a little letter or speak to somebody who is higher up over there. Thanks, lovies for anything you can do.

xx

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Is an o.k. day going to be as good as it gets?

 

 

Ronan. It was an o.k. day without you. I had to work for it though. I had to work hard to make it that way and as much as I didn’t want to, I did. I spent the day with your brothers and our cousins. We went to breakfast this morning and then the 4 boys ran off to the Rec Center to play basketball. As we were walking back to get the boys changed, I looked back to make sure we had everyone with us. I almost said out loud, “Where is Ronan?” But I caught myself before those words came out of  my mouth. I so expected to see you running behind all of us. I sat out at the pool with Stacy and her little troops while the boys played basketball. It was weird sitting there in the sun and not having anyone to worry about or take care of. Gosh, a year ago…. this would have been paradise to me. Laying in the sun, headphones on, a book to read, and time to just be peaceful with myself. Today, I hated every second of it. I wanted nothing more but to be worrying about you in the water, to be watching you running around, and splashing about. I would have been so happy to have had the privilege to wrap you up in your little towel after you had gotten out of the cold water. To have held you close to warm you up and then I would have taken you up to our room for your lunch and nap time. We would have napped together like we always used to do. Instead, I watched my dear friend, Stacy, do all these things with her 3-year-old, Kennedy. She is such a little firecracker and reminds me so much of you. She had a total meltdown at the pool which I of course thought was adorable. It was a combination of being hungry, tired and a newly 3 year old. She came and laid down on the lawn chair next to me and put her little head down. I went over to her and rubbed her back for a long time and she calmed down and let me do this to her for about 20 minutes. She then popped up and was fine. It was so sweet but it still hurt. I wanted it to be you that I was comforting, but the fact that Kennedy is slowly letting me into her little world feels good to me. We spent the rest of the day at the pool and I then took your brothers, Jake and Carter over to the grocery store to cash in the recycling bottles that they have saved up. They get 5 cents a bottle and were so excited about it. We took a garbage bag full of bottles over to Vons and I think they ended up getting about 3 dollars out of it. It was important to them and I think a very good life lesson to learn about taking care of our environment and responsibility. They were so excited and happy to spend their money at the vending machines at our condo. All of us adults have been laughing over the 4 boys and their obsession with the vending machine here. It’s as if they have never seen one in their life. They live for meeting up there and spending their change. Such little things but so important to boys who are growing up way too fast. Watching how independent Liam and Quinn are becoming is hard for me. The fact that they are starting to not need me so much anymore because they are big enough to go down to the vending machine alone feels strange. I’m so not used to having things this way. I feel like in the blink of an eye, they have become little men. In more ways than one and unfortunately a lot of that comes from losing you. It’s not fair and it’s not right. I don’t want them to ever feel like they have been robbed of their childhood which is why I am trying to encourage them to be boys and  to learn, explore, make mistakes, but also learn right from wrong. They both have such good heads on their shoulders but when they do things like take a stick and put it up a vending machine to get candy out, and then run to tell me about it, I’m not going to get mad. I want them to be boys in every way possible. Just as long as they also learn there are consequences, but honesty will also go a long way in this family. This is all stuff you should be learning too, Ronan. Your brothers would have been the best teachers to you. I’m sorry everyday of my life for them and for you. I will love them so much more because of your absence. Even though it feels like I have a connection to nothing or anyone, I know it will slowly come back with them. It is days like today that give me that hope.

We had Stacy and her kids over for dinner. Afterwords, we drove over to Pinkberry for Frozen yogurt. I had an unexpected feeling of happiness wash over me when I went to cross the street with Stacy’s little girl, Kennedy, and she grabbed on to my hand and we ran across the street together, with our hands intertwined. It reminded me of you. I sat and watched her devour her frozen yogurt and thought about how much the two of you would have loved each other. I had a flash of seeing you two together and the mischief you would have caused. I ached for it so badly. She loves Liam and Quinn and I know she would have been crazy about you. You two would have been two peas in a pod. After our frozen yogurt, Stacy dropped us off and Liam and Quinn were pretty tired. They fell asleep fairly quickly, almost before I could even tuck them in and we said our good nights to you. They are both so tired from their day of swimming, basketball, and playing in the sun. They miss their cousins who left to go back to Phoenix today already. The good news is, there is a new set of cousins who arrived today so I have no doubt they will be just as entertained.

I ended my night with a phone call from my friend, Doriet. I know you remember her little girl, Esther, who passed away just six days before you. We had a good talk tonight and both seem to be in a similar place; struggling a lot but we both know we have to go on. She had the same kind of connection with her little girl that I had with you. One so strong and deep that you cannot even explain it. You two were such similar souls and I feel that way about her mom and I. We loved the two of you so deeply that is was almost not human. This is one of the reasons I know that we have such a special connection. I think about Doriet everyday and Esther too. I hope you two have found each other and are playing away. Doriet says Esther leaves her signs everywhere. She knows Esther is still with her much like the same way I know you are still with me. I want to go back out to New York maybe in the fall to spend some time with her. I want to go back out to take a picture of you to Dr. Kushner and make him look me in the eyes. I want him to acknowledge the way he handled us was not right in the end. I’m going to lose it if I don’t get to close that chapter in your journey. I really wanted to run in the Marathon for Fred’s Team in NYC next year, but I am so pissed that I don’t even know if I can support his cause. How can I support a man who could so easily just brush you off. I don’t care if people tell me to just let this go because I’m not going to. Parents who have just been told the news that I had to be told, deserve more than that. I don’t care if this doesn’t change him or the way he does things, but he is still going to hear me. I need to know that a fraction of him cared and is human, otherwise I am going to forever think we made a mistake in letting him treat you. Maybe he wasn’t worthy of caring for you, maybe it should have been Dr. Mosse all along at Chop. Fuck me. I told Fernanda the second I met Dr. Mosse that it was her,  that she was going to be the one to save you. It was my gut feeling. But then we decided to go with Dr. Kushner because he said he would do whatever it took to save you. He convinced us. Well, he didn’t. He threw us away like an old rag and this will never sit well with me. I’m pretty sure, no matter what road we chose, your outcome would have been the same. At least that is what I tell myself to get though the day. At the end of the day, your dad and I had to pretty much navigate your treatment ourselves and we did the best we could. It should not be this way. We are not fucking doctors. The fact is, there is no cure when there should be. It’s a matter of luck and you got the short end of the stick my baby. I’m sorry a million times over. I’m sorry for you and my heart breaks daily for Doriet. I love her and I know how badly she is hurting because I am right there with her. It’s not fair and it’s not right. When the time is right, I will go and be with her and we can grieve together because that is one of the bonds we have and it is too strong to let it go. It needs to be done for the two of you and for the both of us.

I love you, Ronan. I’m tired tonight and I miss you so much. I will sleep with you in my heart as I do every night as I cuddle up to your blanket. Thank you for helping me to have an o.k. day today. I really needed it. G’nite my sweet, beautiful boy.

xoxo

 

Twinkle Twinkle little star

I had the worst dream last night. It was all about scan day. We woke up and got ready to go. Fernanda was downstairs waiting for us, with coffees in hand and off we went. We arrived promptly, like always, and soon Ronan was called back to anesthesia; I held him tightly as they injected him with his Propofol, and kissed him as he went to sleep. I left him on the table and covered him up with his blanket, Gigi. Out in the waiting room I went and fell into Fernanda’s arms. Leaving Ro for anesthesia is never easy on me, especially without Dr. Maze there to be the one to take care of my little guy. Fernanda and I gathered up our things and pushed Ronan’s stroller up to floor 9 to let the waiting begin. And wait we did. For fucking ever. I think we sat for a good 2 hours. Fernanda tried her best to distract me with her her stories; but there was nothing that could take my mind off of the things to come. Soon, I saw Dr. Kusher, the man I had been waiting for. He was back doing Ronan’s bone marrow aspirations. He breezed right past me without making eye contact. This was my first clue. My stomach dropped to the floor. Fernanda goes, “There he is, let’s chase him down to see what the results said!” I just looked at her and told her no. He knew we were waiting and would get to us when he was ready. By this time, Ronan was waking up from the anesthesia. We went back to get him and my little groggy guy just wanted to be in my arms. I put on his pants and shoes and picked him up. We went back to the waiting room to wait once again, for Dr. Kushner. We sat and waited and fed Ronan some food as he was hungry. As I was getting up to do something, my Claude necklace, the one that I always have around my neck for important days; that has the tooth of St. Claude in it, fell to the ground. It had somehow come detached from the chain and I scrambled to pick it up. I picked it up and tried to figure out where it had come detached. So weird, I thought to myself, as the clasp was not broken. I did my best to ignore the St. Claude incident and told myself it was not a sign. I didn’t even tell Fernanda this which is not like me at all. I tell her everything. Soon, the kid at the front desk told us Dr. Kushner was ready for us. We were taken back to room 7 to meet with him. As soon as I saw him my stomach dropped to the floor. He couldn’t even look me in the eyes. I looked at him and said, “No no no no no no no.” His eyes were wet and he said in his weakest voice something like, “The cancer is spreading. The chemo did not work.” I clutched Ronan, sat down in a chair because I was going to pass out. I don’t remember much more. At some point, he recommended we call Woody on speaker phone. I sat there and listened as Dr. Kushner tried to explain things to Woody. I watched him as his eyes kept getting wet. At one point I asked him if he could please give me just an ounce of hope. Just one ounce… something. He looked at the floor. I went into shock and asked him if this ever gets any easier for him. I told him it couldn’t possibly ever get easier. He got up and turned his back to me. Where did the man go that said he would fight for my baby with everything he had? Because that man in front of me was nowhere to be found. I saw a coward. A man who had completely given up on my child. I somehow gathered my strength and got up. I gave him a hug and told him thank you. I told him he was a good man. I walked out of the doors to his office with Ronan running beside me. Dr. Kushner, the man I had put all of my faith into, had given up on my child and there was no looking back.

Fernanda and I walked back to the RMH. I remember nothing about getting back to our room. All I knew is I wanted to get home, back to Phoenix, asap. I curled up on my bed while Ronan ran around like mad and Fernanda buzzed in the background making travel arrangements and figuring out what to do next. I remember something being said about needing to get me Valium. I remember sitting on the floor playing with Ronan and drinking a coconut water. I remember taking the coconut water and throwing it as hard as I could across the room while I watched it hit the wall and liquid splashed everywhere. I told Ronan we were having a party and I wanted to see if my water would explode. He then took a can of root beer and poured it everywhere to make it explode like a volcano. I think Fernanda got in on the fun and dumped her Diet Coke all over the floor on a blanket on purpose. We sat and had a fucking pop throwing party because what else could we do? It made perfect sense at the time. She then spent the next 7 hours packing up our room, running all over the city to buy more suitcases for all of our shit, did laundry, cleaned our place, got me my Valium, composed an email to Dr. Mosse at CHOP regarding starting Ronan on MIBG therapy and we finally got Ronan into bed so he would settle down to sleep. Fernanda watched as I rubbed his back and he asked me to sing him “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” I sang to him our song as I do every night. We all fell asleep around 2 a.m. Our alarm woke us up at 3:30 a.m. as our car was picking us up at 4 a.m. to get us to the airport. 9 suitcases checked later and we were at our gate. The flight was blurry and Ronan slept much of the way. I did too due to the Valium and Ambien. I asked Fernanda for more Valium and she told me no. I cried on our flight and watched her cry by herself in the aisle across from me. She looked like an angel. I woke up at one point and looked down at Ronan and I saw his pinky intertwined with mine. That’s how I know this is all a nightmare and none of this is true. Because his little pinky of his refuses to let go of mine, even when we are both in a deep, deep sleep. As we were getting off of our flight I hugged Fernanda tight and told her that she was the best friend I have ever had and how nobody else would have done this for me. She told me there were a million people who would have done this for me and I then told her yes, but not the way that she did. She came in, in the middle of the biggest storm of my life and attacked it head on and beat the fuck out of it. I have no idea how in the world she did this and I kept offering to have Woody fly out to help us. She looked at me like I was crazy and yelled at me “For what?!?! We can do this! I’ve got it under control!” I’ve learned not to argue with a Mexican Goddess. You will never win.

I somehow made it home, back to the cleanest house possible and to my twins and in-laws. Before I knew it I was in my bed and passed out. I woke up to my husband and 3 boys playing away. The days are blurred and I’m not really sure what is going on. I went out this morning to meet up with my Mr. Sparkly Eyes. I told him how disappointed I was in Dr. Kushner and how I am learning to lower my expectations of people because I set the bar so high. He agreed with me and also tried help me understand that he is sure Dr. Kushner feels like he failed us and is heartbroken. I told him I understood that, but all I wanted was for him to have a bit of decency and compassion which I felt he completely lacked. I just want somebody to be mad at and I know that is not fair, but I have a right to be mad at the way things were handled. Dr. Kushner had his freaking assistant call Woody today to tell him he thinks we should go to CHOP for MIBG. He didn’t even call Woody himself. That is not only rude, but classless. And this is a man that I completely respected, but I have come to find out that when push comes to shove and times turn to the darkest hour, the people who you think will be there until the end for you, can turn on you in a heartbeat. I told Mr. Sparkly Eyes that we refuse to give up and as long as Ronan is still fighting, we will fight as well. He more than agreed and promised to never give up on Ronan, told me that he, himself, is not going anywhere and all I have to do is say the word and he will be at our home to sit with me or whatever I need. I told him how I didn’t know how I was going to write this post, as I have been trying for days but lacked the words. He told me to just be honest, like I always have been. So here I sit, writing the most honest words that I have ever had to write in my life.

I had my house full of my dear friends and family today helping to get everything unpacked. Stacy, Karen, Liz, Fernanda, Heidi, and Mrs. Martin all buzzed around doing everything they could. I don’t think I’ve done much of anything except Heidi got me out for a pedi/mani and I got to see Marisa who met me at my nail salon to hold me.

What’s next? First, I have to wake up from this nightmare because I refuse to believe it is real. Ronan is running around like mad, playing with his brothers and having lightsaber wars with his favorite cousin, Luke. Once I wake up, we plan on getting on a plane this Tuesday to take Ronan to Chop to start him on MIBG therapy. This is a fairly short therapy, but intense. We will get Ronan through this. As my friend, Ed said to me, “It takes one child to change the odds.” That is the best thing I’ve had said to me all week. Until we leave on Tuesday, I’m going to do my best to get thought these next days. I’m going to hug all of my boys extra tight and surround myself with all the love I can get. As much as I want crawl up in my bed and not come out, I have 3 boys, and a husband whom I love more than the stars combined to try to remain strong for. I still have hope, faith, and a belief that Ronan will be the miracle to come out of this.

I love you all. Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers. This is not even close to being over and we will never give up on our Ro.

xoxo

P.S. If any of you ever see that angel of mine, Fernanda Borletti on the streets, at the grocery store, at school, wherever….. please wrap your arms around her and whisper to her that she is an angel on this earth. She deserves a god damn Noble Peace Prize.

The circle of life…. sucks

We woke up early this morning and ready for our clinic day. Fernanda, who flew all night arrived just as we were getting ready and ran down the street before seeing us to grab me a coffee. Ronan and I went out on the street to meet her and I cannot tell you the wave of happiness that washed over me as I saw my friend and her gorgeous smile, waiting across the street for me with two coffees in her hands. I was so happy to see her and we held each other tight as we embraced for our hug. She has such a way with me and I am instantly comforted by her mothering instants. I often feel like she is not only helping me take care of Ronan, but she is so good at taking care of me as well. I usually have a hard time letting go and letting other people do things for me but with Fernanda, it just comes naturally. I feel like she is my female version of Woody, if that makes sense. She is a source of such strength and comfort to me, much in the way that Woody is. I always know that when Fernanda is around, that everything is going to be o.k. Trish asked me tonight how in the world Fernanda does it all. My reply was because she’s Mary Freaking Poppins. Seriously. There are not many women in the world like her. We have such a strong connection and I am often amazed at the way we sync so well. Many times, I will be thinking about her, and then 10 seconds later she will call or text me. Our minds seem to be thinking the same thing and all I have to do is look at her to know this. Words are sometimes not even necessary. I am so honored, blessed, and thankful to have her here with me. I will never get over her leaving her 5 beautiful babies and husband at home to help me and as much as I tell her this, she acts as if it is nothing, but it means the world to me.

After I reunited with Fernanda, we headed off to Sloan to get Ronan to the clinic for his platelets. He was not happy about going and being “hooked up,” as he calls it. But I assured him it would only be for a short amount of time. We arrived and the nurse got things moving pretty quickly. Ronan was entertained by Fernanda waiting on him hand and foot and we promised him a trip to Toys R Us after we were done. We finished with our platelets quickly and went to meet with one of  “The Team,” members to discuss the plan for the next couple of days as far as scans go. Ronan coroporated for his exam and we were soon out of the door and off to enjoy the rest of the day. We decided to walk to Toys R Us, which was about 3 miles away but Fernanda and I agreed that the exercise and fresh air would be good. Almost as soon as we started our walk, Ronan fell asleep in the stroller and remained that way the entire trip there. It was a fairly wet, dreary, New York day, but I am such a sucker for this weather that I enjoyed walking in the rain.

Toys R Us was a hit but it was packed full of so many people. With Passover, Easter, and Spring Break here, the streets of New York are just as busy as Christmas. We couldn’t escape there soon enough and hailed a cab back to RMH instead of walking again. Fernanda picked up food at Delizia’s for us and we ate it together on the second floor in the community dining area. After lunch, she headed back to where she is staying so she could get in a little nap. Ronan and I were both tired too, so we came back to our room to rest. Before we came back to our room we went to check to see if we had any mail. We were told we did and it was a big box from our favorite little boys’ line; Fore!! Axel&Hudson. We took the box up to our room and I helped Ronan open it up. It was full of the most adorable clothes and hats for Ronan, as well as the cutest little girl Fedora hats. I handed out the hats to a bunch of the girls here and they were so excited. I think the moms were more excited as they kept trying to see if they would fit their heads. It made me feel so good to light up the faces of these beautiful girls today. Thank you Denise, for allowing me to hand out such amazing gifts. Ronan, being the stylish kid he is, lit up like it was Christmas. He kept trying to wear three hats on his head at once as he said he couldn’t choose because he loved them all. Denise, if you are reading this, please know that you and your company are absolutely amazing to support pediatric cancer the way you do. You are inspiring, brilliant, and if the world were full of more people like your company, it would be a much better place. Not to mention, the quality of your clothes are to die for! I am so proud to put my little Rockstar in your gear. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Everybody needs to check out their website, I should have a link on the side of my blog. I will forever support you and your clothing line. It makes Ronan’s day to be all dressed up in your adorable boy clothes and hats.

After we woke up, Fernanda texted me to say she was ready to come back over so I could go on a run while she watched Ronan. My run didn’t end up happening as we went across the street to Barbra’s apartment, who runs the organization Candlelighters, as she had a Star Wars treat for Ro and I wanted her to meet him anyway. We stayed for about an hour and enjoyed the company of Barbra, her husband, another mom, and her son, Jack. It was soon getting late so we headed out to grab dinner before Ronan got too tired. We sat and I ate for Fernanda. She talked me into some protein and asked if I really wanted to eat it or if I was just doing it for her. I told her it was all just for her and I did the best I could on the food in front of me. She is such a mother hen, which is a very good thing for me now. There was some awful woman sitting next to us at dinner and I was wondering if I was the only one picking up on it, but I gave Fernanda my look and I knew she knew it too. She kept looking at Ronan and it was if she wanted to throw up her dinner. She kept giving us the dirtiest looks and I wanted to say to her, “I’m sorry, if the fact that my child has cancer bothers you so badly that you can’t  eat.” The look of disgust on her face was so obvious that I wanted to go over and strangle her. When we were walking out we got a few more looks or more like complete stares. I noticed them all and Fernanda did too. She totally gets what I was talking about yesterday on my blog. The staring is everywhere. If you’re at least going to stare, have the balls to come up to me and say “God bless you.” Or “We’ll keep him in our prayers.” Don’t just be rude and stare. Grow some fucking balls and be proactive about him, who has a name. His name is Ronan Thompson, and he lives on this fucking planet. Stop acting like he’s from outer space. Somethings gotta change because if this  keeps going on, I may go postal on someone’s ass. After dinner we came back to RMH and played with Ronan. He was tired from todays events, as we all were. Fernanda hailed a cab and went back to her place. After she left, Ronan decided he was still hungry and he wanted scrambled eggs to eat. I happily made them for him with extra butter and extra cheese. Anything to fatten my baby up. We sat while he ate and talked with some of our friends here. I’m not going to go into details but I am saying extra prayers tonight for a very special little girl here whose mother I have fallen in love with. She isn’t doing too well and watching what the mother and father are going through is heart wrenching. It is a place that no parent wants to be and all I can say is another big Fuck You to cancer because there are no other words.

While I was taking Ronan upstairs to get ready for bed I was talking to Woody. I guess he told me last night but I was asleep and don’t remember our conversation, but our little wiener dog, Monroe, passed away. As soon as he said those words the conversion we had the night before slowly started to creep into my head. I started sobbing hysterically. Our two dogs, Monroe and Douglas haven’t lived with us for about 3 years due to trying to sell our house, then selling it and moving into our new house, so they have lived with Woody’s parents who also had 2 wiener dogs. While my 2 were there, one of their dogs passed away so we just ended up leaving our 2 so they could be with the one dog Kay and Charlie had left. They were happy there, together, and Woody’s parents have the perfect back yard for the 3 little musketeers. We missed them a lot but life all of a sudden got so busy, and we would spend time with them when we went over to their house. Little Ro, as we called her was an itty bitty thing. She loved to lick you and be held and was always shivering because she was cold. She was the sweetest thing. Hearing that she passed away hit me harder than I though it was going to, considering what we are dealing with now. It still made me very upset as it’s watching the cycle of life and that is never an easy thing. Woody bought those dogs for me before we got married. They were our first, “babies.” Tonight, I will say a little prayer for my little mohawked Monroe. She was the best puck rock Dachshund that ever lived. R.I.P little Ro. I’m sure we’ll hear your barking all the way down from heaven:) We all loved you so much.

So tomorrow. Ronan has a CT scan at 11:30 and we are tying to do it without anesthesia which I totally think he can handle. We of course need this scan to be good and I know they will be good. I have faith, hope, and love surrounding me at all times, so it cannot go another way. Please pray for him extra hard tonight. I will update you as soon as I can.  Thank you all my beautiful souls. You keep me strong when I am at my weakest and you push me forward when I think I can go no more. With all of you on our side, we can get my baby boy through this. Cancer has no idea how strong of a child he is and who they are messing with. They picked the wrong Ronan “Fucking” Thompson. I wonder when Ronan does beat this if they would really let me change his middle name to that. I’m sure not, but writing it out cracked me up tonight. He surely deserves it. My strong son, my strong boy, he will not be defeated. He is going to come out the other side of this with such determination to do amazing things in life. I cannot wait to see what kinds of things he comes up with and I will fully support him in everything he does. A mothers love is an unrivaled force of nature.

Ambien kicking in. I’d better get off this computer before I start writing crazy things. Good thing I don’t have a car to drive;) Totally kidding. I am going to cozy up in my twin sized queen converted bed with the most beautiful boy in the world. Just don’t tell my husband.

G’nite peeps!!!! Have a beautiful day tomorrow. G’nite Daddy Woo, Liam, and Quinn. Miss you!

Extra special G’nite to my twins’ 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Martin. Hope you had a beautiful birthday day, Cindy. You deserve it so much for being the best teacher we’ve ever had. We love you so much.

xoxo

Freeeeeeeedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4 weeks after being admitted inpatient, Ronan was discharged this afternoon. Finallly!!! It felt so good to get my baby outside in the sunshine and it was the most gorgeous New York City day. Woody came and picked us up to help with all of our things. We had so much stuff to carry out of the hospital. Ronan also insisted on bringing home his huge balloons that Dr. Maze sent him. I’m pretty sure a bunch of people on the streets of New York were assaulted by those balloons today. I could hardly see as I pushed the stroller with Ronan carrying all of his balloons. He was so happy to be free and unhooked and he was so excited to get back to the RMH to see Liam and Quinn. Woody left the boys there under the supervision of some volunteers who were conducting a Mad Science class. The volunteers are all so nice here and Liam and Quinn were having a blast when we returned. We also had a special surprise as Macy came right from the airport and to the RMH. Talk about the best day ever! Ronan is finally out of the hospital, Macy is here, and we are all together.

We spent the next couple of hours playing around the RMH and then all went out for dinner. It felt so nice to be out, even though we had a couple of meltdowns due to a couple of grumpy boys. After dinner, we came back home and up to our room where it looked like a bomb went off. I went into straight drill sargent mode and told Woody to hold down the fort so Mace and I could run to Ace Hardware for some organizational supplies. We were both so tired but I was on a mission. I knew there was no way I would sleep well tonight or be able to enjoy our weekend if things were left the way they were. Macy watched the boys while I tackled our room with Woody. Thank you, Mace.  3 hours later, and we are finally done. We not only put everything away, but we rearranged all of the furniture in the place. It feels so much better now.

We don’t have scans tomorrow. The Team has decided that they would like to wait until next week so that Ronan has more of a chance to recover from this last round of chemo. Woody and the boys are still flying out on Sunday and I will have Fernanda here with me for scan week. I have learned my lesson as far as trying to do those days alone as it is just too much. I am so thankful my friend will be here with me as Woody cannot due to the scan schedule getting changed. He has too many court dates set and clients to see. Thank god for Fernanda. We have a visit to the clinic tomorrow at 11, and then we are free the rest of the weekend. Cannot wait to enjoy New York with my boys and Macy.

This is all the update for tonight as I we are all so very tired. Sweet dreams to you all and thank you for thinking of us!!!!

xoxo

Pure and simple happiness

I’m not sure what exactly has been going on lately. Do I dare say it as I feel like I’m jinxing myself? I’ve been feeling really happy. Like, really, really, really, happy. Not a lot of tears, not a lot of sadness, just a feeling of complete and utter happiness. I cannot remember the last time I’ve felt this way. I’ve taken this hospital thing and totally turned it around. I’m making every second that I am here with Ronan as fun as possible. We have done so much playing and laughing. Nights are the best around here. especially tonight. Tonight, we have our own room. It’s a miracle! We have taken full advantage of it too. We had Trish come over for a little while, until Ronan kicked her out. After she left, we played Star Wars and guns. We ichatted with Woody, Liam, and Quinn. We danced to some silly Star Wars thing on YouTube. We bathed his Star Wars guys and Ronan took a bath himself. Or as much as one as he could. We cuddled, snuggled, and made a fort. He stayed up super late and is just now starting to drift to sleep. I know a lot of this happiness is coming from me watching him get “better.” His pain is almost entirely gone in his arm and you have no idea what a relief that is. Seeing him hurt like that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch. I know we have scans coming up and I know it is going to be tough, but I really feel like we are going to see something positive come out of them. I feel like he is on the right track and we can start moving forward. I have nothing to base this on…. lord only knows what could really be going on in that little body of his. It’s just a feeling I have and that in turn has a lot to do with my happiness. He just looks SO great. So much like his old self. I cannot get over how strong of a little boy he is. His strength amazes me more and more everyday. I certainly do feed off of him and the way he is feeling. He is happy right now so I am happy. It is very simple.

I’m also basing a lot of this happiness on just being in New York. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my twins, my hubby, my home, and my friends, so much. But if I have to be anywhere else in the world; this is where I want to be. I feed off this city. All of the running I have done has really been helping me too. It is so therapeutic to me. There is just something about pounding the pavement and getting out all of my aggression in a way is a healthy outlet for me. Many times while I am running and if a hill becomes too hard or I get a cramp, I make myself push right though it. I like to picture Ronan as a teenager running beside me and me trying to keep up with him. I envision these things a lot. I also think about all the pain he has gone through and if I start to feel tired or sore, I know it is nothing compared to what he has gone through, so I just keep going. He is so inspiring to me and I refuse to give up on life, on running, on my relationships, on myself. I will keep pushing forward for him. Woody is very surprised at how well I am sounding lately. I told him not to hold his breath, as I know it can change in an instant… but for now I am just doing the best I can in this very moment and nothing more. A good day is cherished more so than it has ever been in my life before all of this.

Trish came over today and stayed with Ronan for the day. I went back to the RMH, crashed in bed for a while due to the 3 hours of sleep I had gotten the night before. I then got up, showered, and ran down to Starbucks with my laptop to catch up on some things. I ordered my coffee…. the place was packed with nowhere to sit so I went to the nearby neighborhood pub. They have WiFi so I sat in there and drank my coffee. My friend Barbara called me and said she was on her way home and I should stop by. She has an apartment right across the street from the RMH. I told her I’d be right up. When I arrived, she wasn’t home yet and I was greeted by her lovely husband, Stewart and their adorable little dog, Uno. I plopped on the couch and was surprised at how at home I felt. I talked with Stewart for a while and a few minutes later Barbara came busting in the door as excited as could be. She had just taken a family to buy a new stroller for their 3-year-old little girl who is staying at the RMH house. Super sweet family and their daughter Brooke was absolutely darling. She has Neuroblastoma as well. They are here to have Dr. La Quaglia do her surgery on Monday. I told them they were as close to God as they could get with that man caring for their daughter. He is the next best thing. They soon left and I sat on Barb’s couch and talked with her for a bit. I did not want to leave and totally could have stayed there forever. It was so cozy and comfortable. I am so glad she is right across the street from us. Makes me feel a lot less lonely here. She is so welcoming and warm. A true New Yorker with a heart of gold.

It’s people in the world like Barb that make me feel like I am going to be o.k. in this city. I will find my way, meet new faces, and build my new little world of helpers here. It will take time but I’m on my way. There are so many nice people in this city. I’m not scared, intimidated, or overwhelmed. It just feels right. It just feels like my second home.

Tricia is leaving tomorrow. Let the tears begin. I wish I could keep her with me here forever. It is so good to be together. She will be back though and I know all I have to do is say the word. Woody is flying in on Tuesday and I called him today to see if her could please bring the boys’ with him. We talked to their teacher and she said it was fine. Ronan misses them so much. I miss them so much. We need to see them. They will come out with Wood Tuesday night until Sunday. It’s is going to be so wonderful to all be together. I’m going to turn my little Liam into a New Yorker after all:) The scan days are going to be hard with them here, as those days are always very intense but we will make it work.

Getting sleepy now and Ronan is passed out cold. He played hard today. Sweet baby boy. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Thank you for checking in on us. G’nite dear friends!! We love you!!

xoxo

Soho and a Circus

Ro and I started off our morning the way we usually do. Cuddly and quiet. We sat and played in his bed and enjoyed our quiet time together. My mom came to the hospital with Tricia around 11. So happy to see my bestie. Ronan was not a happy camper at first, but he soon warmed up to Trish. It’s his whole I know my mommy is leaving thing that gets him into his little moods. I told him I was going home to shower and he agreed to let me. Thanks Sarg, as my New York Miss Macy likes to call him. I headed out the doors of Sloan with Trish and we went back to the RMH so I could shower and get ready for our few hours out. We figured out which Subway we needed to get on to get to SoHo… Woody  would have been SO proud. I am determined to master that thing by the time I leave here. We spent a few hours in Soho roaming the streets and had a bite to eat. It was so nice to catch up with my TT and to actually get to hear about things that are going on in her life. She is so concerned with mine that the phone conversations we have usually consist of what is going on with me and Ronan. I hate that. I hate that I feel like I am missing out on the little things that are going on with her, even if it is knowing what she is doing for lunch. I used to be so spoiled in that regard and would know what her entire day/night consisted of. I miss that so much. The simple things, the little things, the nothing is new because we talk 5 times a day about anything and everything and nothing. There is no more nothingness now as everything is wrapped up in this cancer cloud. The innocence has been lost forever in my life and I will never get it back. Neither will my best friend. But we keep holding on, telling each other that we will be stronger after all of this. Totally see a trip to Vietnam in our near future, TT 😉

After our Soho day out, we rushed back to RMH and I threw together my overnight bag so I could return to Sloan. My friend, Ed, emailed me a couple of weeks ago in regards to seeing a Broadway show. I told him about my mom and Trish coming into town and the next thing I knew we had tickets to “Billy Elliot.” Somebody he knows (a very kind person indeed) treated us to the show. THANK YOU, Ed’s friend:) I wasn’t able to go, due to Ro being in the hospital so I sent my mama, Trish, a woman, Barbra who runs this amazing organization called The Candlelighters in NYC, and a mom and daughter(who is 7 with cancer) to the show. They had an amazing time. It meant so much to me. This is my mom’s first trip to NYC and one of my wishes was for her to go to a show on Broadway. It should be something that everybody checks off their bucket list. It felt so great knowing that my mom was getting to do something that is so special to me; she deserves it so much. Thank you, Ed for organizing this. Thank you, Barbra, for taking such good care of my mom and Trish. They loved you and I cannot wait to spend more time with you. What you do for other cancer families is simply amazing.

I spent the night here with Ronan doing our usual thing. We made slime with the Childlife guys, played more Star Wars and I fed him dinner. We had a very special visit with my dear friend, Niki. It was comical and sad all at the same time. Niki, who is here with both of her young children put them in a cab and came to Sloan with cupcakes and dinner for us. I told Ronan that they were coming by and asked if I could go out to the elevators on our floor to say hi and grab our food. He said yes but was upset they couldn’t come in our room to see us. I left him in his bed and ran out to see Niki and the kids. I was greeted by the best giggles, smiles, hugs, and tears in the world. It was so nice to have my friend wrap her arms around me and hug me the way she does. She gives great hugs. I chatted with them for a few minutes then decided to go back and see if Ronan would come out to say hello. He agreed so I picked him up, and wheeled his “asspole,” out to the floor of our room. As I was wheeling it down the hall I was suddenly hit with a moment of panic wondering how Laely and Wesley would react to Ronan’s pole and the tubes coming out of his little body. My panic almost stopped me in my tracks but I then remembered feeling the same way over Laely seeing Ronan’s bald head for the first time and the conversation I had with Niki about it and how Laely didn’t even notice. To her, she was just seeing her friend, Ronan. She doesn’t get that he has cancer (they are the same age) she’s not scared of him… to her, he is the same little boy as always. The world is exactly as it should be in her eyes. Seeing those 3 kids tonight was the best medicine in the world. This is how our world works now, and we have to make the best of it. So tonight, Ronan got to see his friends through the glass doors of our floor as they could not come in and we could not go out. I held Ronan and watched as Laely and Wesley smushed their faces up to the doors and I got down on the ground and kissed them through the glass. We laughed, played, and loved. It was the best 10 minutes Ronan’s had in a very long time. Made both of our nights and we all parted way smiling.

Ronan and I then came back to our room to prepare for our nightly walk. Tonight though, he insisted we take all 4 of his guns with him and the very special balloons that were delivered to him from Dr. Maze today. I tried to talk him out of him out of taking the balloons with us, but he went into complete meltdown mode. (Thank you, Aubrey… you would have loved the smile those balloons got you:))) Ronan wins. I tied the bundle of the biggest, cutest, animal balloons in the world, onto his pole and I somehow managed to walk the halls with him for 30 minutes without breaking my neck. I couldn’t see a thing and everybody kept saying we looked like a circus. We got a lot of laughs tonight and went on a very special mission to try to find our nurse, Jen, who was hiding from us on the floor. She would jump out at random places and Ronan would blast her with 2 of the 4 guns that he made me carry. Very entertaining night around here. I swear, I’ll do anything to hear Ronan laugh these days.

After our walk, Ro was worn out so we came back to his room and snuggled in his bed. He kept telling me how much he loved me and we sang our nightly “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” together and he soon drifted off to sleep. I am listening to his little breaths as I sit beside him and write this. It’s my favorite part of the night, watching him sleep. We’ve been in the hospital for 3 weeks now, 21 days, 504 hours…. this is complete insanity and unfairness. I would give anything for this to all go away. I would give anything to be at home with my family, where I belong, taking care of my Liam who had to stay home from school today because he is sick with the flu. I would give anything to be the normal mom again. Except this time, I wouldn’t whine about my child throwing up all day due to the flu. I would be SO VERY THANKFUL. I cannot wait for the day that Ronan is well and this happens to me. One of my kids gets sick with only an ear infection, a cold, or the flu. It will be one of the best days of my life.

While I was sitting here writing tonight, I got an email from my friend, Jon who is cousins with the little girl, Phoebe I talk about sometimes on here. She was Ronan’s last roommate at Sloan and I just had lunch with her mom the other day. Jon came to visit us a couple of weeks ago before he took the train to visit Phoebe and her family. Love him.  I’ve been feeling pretty strong these past few days but a paragraph into Jon’s email and I was bawling like a baby. Not because I was sad, but because the things he wrote to me hit such a nerve. His words were filled with such truth and light and it was as if a little light bulb went off in my head. “DINGDINGDINGDING!!!!” I am doing this. Woody is doing this. Ronan is doing this. Phoebe is doing this.  We are all doing this and we are all going to get through this. We are too strong not to, Ronan is not going to let this cancer crap win and neither am I. Jonathon, somebody who did not know us at all, knew this after only spending a few days with us; just like the way I knew it about Phoebe within a few minutest of meeting her. She had this look in her eyes and I just knew she was going to come out the other side of this only more beautiful than ever. The same look that I see every time I look into those baby blues of Ronan’s. Fuck the statistics and fuck the odds. I refuse to listen to them because they have nothing to do with Ronan.

I’m ending my writing tonight with  Jonathon’s email (with his blessing) because his words are raw and real and give me strength. I love you and your beautiful family so much. Thank you for this gift tonight, my friend.

Goodnight to you all, my lovely souls. Thank you for all of your kind words, thoughts, prayers, support and love. But most of all, thank you for BELIEVING.

xoxo

Maya,

This is a quick note, not meritorious of a response. I’m writing tell you that you are a fucking badass. I’ve attempted to think of other ways to write this, less vulgar, more poetic, but fuck that.
I met a lot of folks at Sloan, visiting Phoebe for 6 months, or 8 months, or 10 months, or whatever the hell it was. And I worry about her every day, still. But the point of this note is to tell you that I knew you and Ro for only 4 days, and I saw that you were tired, and pushed against a wall, and still, more than anyone else I’d met, I knew in your eyes that you’d already won.
This was easy to see. I saw your resilience.
I don’t know anything about life. You called me out as a young fool, and you’re right, I know jack shit.
But I saw you, and Ro, your chests held high, and your smiles wide, and I felt your presence. Through those hideous turquoise plastic-felt curtains they threw between us, I felt your laughter, and your brilliant fuck-all attitude regarding the drivel we go through.
So this is one STRONG vote, from a kid in Chicago, saying laugh at their shit. Laugh at the crappy cots, and laugh at the exuberant candy-stripers, and laugh at the folks with FAKE smiles, because, let’s be frank, this is some bullshit. But that’s okay. Bullshit is bullshit is bullshit, and when I saw you, and Ro, and Woody, I saw the people I’d stake my livelihood on. I saw people I’d lay down in front of a train for.
Thanks for making me proud. Next time you feel that it’s too much, don’t worry. Just know that you’re already the most badass person I’ve ever met. You can do anything.
With love,

Jon

Princess Leia and Captain Rex take on the world… or at least the halls of Sloan-Kettering

Last night was a little better than the night before. We have had a really, really, extra sweet nurse, Alex, the past 2 nights. She is adorable, looks like she is about 12, and really gets along well with Ronan. She is super patient with him, very calm, and is very doating. He meshes well with her which makes it nice on my part. All of the nurses are great here, but Ronan seems to have a connection with Alex. Reminds me a little of Arica back home, one of our favorite nurses on the floor of PCH. Miss her. I asked Alex what we could do last night to make sure we had less beeps. She tried her best, but the stupid “asspole,” went on beeping most of the night. “Inclusion in line, Inclusion in line!” is what it said. Which basically means there is a bubble in the fluids he is getting which causes it to beep every half an hour or so. Very disruptive and as my Charisma would say, “RUDE!” Ronan also had to be woken up twice to be given his morphine, which was not fun at all. He was a very mad little boy about it. After about 20 minutes of fighting, he swallowed his medicine and went back to sleep. Seems cruel to wake a sleeping child but rules are rules around here.

My mom came to relieve me around 11. Ronan was in a much better mood this morning when she arrived. We were sitting in our bed playing, when we got a special delivery via fax. A message from our very own “A,” back home! It was the sweetest note written to Ronan from her. I read it out loud to him and he got the biggest kick out of it. She even drew a monkey at the bottom of it for him. So sweet and thoughtful of her. It made both of our days. After our special letter, I gave Ronan his bath. He once again, sat and bathed all of his Star Wars guys which kept him busy. I told him goodbye and slipped out for my daily break. So thankful that my mom is here to help. She has had a lot of nice bonding time with Ronan. It is special for both of them. I went back to the RMH and thought about going on a run, but my left shoulder was killing me today. I decided to go around the corner to the Asian massage parlor I discovered a couple of weeks ago. It seriously looks like something out of a sketchy movie, but one thing I love about this city is you can never judge a book by it’s cover. It is the cheapest/best massage I’ve ever had in my life. Forget that there is almost no privacy as you are separated from other customers though sheets hanging from the ceiling that separate your beds…. the two times that I’ve been there, the place has been empty. A very well hidden secret I suppose 🙂  The women there give the BEST massage I’ve ever had in my life. I left there with still some pain in my shoulder, but it is better than it was. Thank you, ah sookie sookie now. (that was for you, daddy woo)

I returned to Sloan to find my mom chatting with Dr. Kushner. He stopped by to check in. We talked about Ronan and how great he looks and he told me him not having an ANC for this long is normal, considering all he has gone through. He also told me it’s great to see how well he is tolerating the chemo as he does not look like a sick child whose just completed his 8th cycle. He is such a tough little man. We talked a little more about our plan of attack but nothing will be confirmed until we see the results of Ronan’s scans, which are next week. Scanticipation begins. UGH. Dr. Kushner also sat and talked to me about running, because he is an avid runner himself and we usually always talk about it. He gave me some great Central Park tips which I always enjoy. He really is a very nice man.  Every time I look at him, I can’t help but obsessing over how brilliant he is. I cannot imagine the way his mind must work…. he has revolutionized so many things in the Neuroblastoma world. I really have to focus when I talk to him, otherwise I catch my mind wandering thinking about how he does what he does, eats, breathes and sleeps this disease everyday of his life. I’m curious as to how he came upon devoting his life to Neuroblastoma. So many questions, never enough time.

While I was out today, I caught up on things like mail, bills, emails, phone calls, etc…. I got to hear the voices of a few of my dear friends…. Fernanda, Tricia Boo, Niki, Danielle, Marisa, Pam, Amy, Lindsey, Auntie Karen, and Mr. Sparkly Eyes. I don’t get a lot of time to talk on the phone here due to being at the hospital so much. When I’m out alone, walking the city, I try to return a lot of my calls. It was so good to talk to my friends today. Good to hear their voices and to check in. Miss them all much.

Ronan and I spent tonight like we always do. We walked the halls for about an hour, shooting anybody that came our way. He was Captain Rex and I was Princess Leia. The nurses, janitors, doctors, patients, are great at playing with us. We came back to our room, played Star Wars, then called Liam and Quinn. It was good to hear their voices and I always love to hear the conversations between my 3 monkeys. Adorable. I cuddled in bed with Ronan and we sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” together just like we sing every night while I rubbed his back. It didn’t take much for him to drift off to sleep… it’s late here, midnight now and he fell asleep only about a half an hour ago. Sweetest dreams to the sweetest little boy. I whispered that I loved him to the moon and back and kissed him on his cheek. He tastes like milk and sugar.

My Tricia Boo is taking the Red Eye here tonight. Cannot wait to wrap my arms around her! She is staying until Sunday and Niki got in today as well. Double YAY! Niki is here with her kiddos and I am going to try to see them tomorrow. I only wish Ronan would be discharged so he could see his friends too 🙁 Keeping my fingers crossed that it happens by this weekend. I was telling Mr. Sparkly Eyes tonight that we have been inpatient for almost 3 weeks now. He feels awful and wanted to know how I was doing. I tried my best “Mrs. Positive Attitude,” and replied that I was making the best of it. He then went right to, “Cut the bullshit and tell me how you’re  really doing.” Can’t get anything past that man and it made me laugh out loud. I am such a fan of the bluntness. How am I doing this?? I honestly have no idea. I texted Woody in the middle of the night 2 nights ago to say if he didn’t bust us out of here I was going to murder someone. I have my moments of temporary insanity, but then they are usually quickly washed away by a flash of happiness, gratefulness, or beauty that comes my way… even if it comes in the form of something as small as Ronan telling me I look pretty and thanking me for being his mom. I swoon for his little, kind words. They mean everything to me.

Alright my sweethearts. Tired tonight and going to try to get some rest. G’nite and sweet dreams to you all. G’nite my Big Daddy Woo. Enjoy our cozy bed and cuddle up to my Liam and Quinn for me extra tight. I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU SO MUCH.

xoxo