Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things That Suck

 We were told by someone we love dearly that we may be sugarcoating the truth a little here at blog central, and in hindsight fear she might be right. In an effort to set the record straight, we thought it might be helpful to make a list of things that suck, so here we go in no particular order:

1. That the words 'pediatric oncology' are ever said together.
2. That RJ needs a tube to breathe. Which also makes it so that he can't speak.
3. That he has to make a list of all the foods he wants but can't eat right now.
4. That every bodily function is painful.
5. That nobody can tell us the answer to the ultimate question: When?
6. That the medicine that will make RJ better will temporarily make him feel crappy.
7. That he is exhausted, but can't sleep more than an hour or so at a time.
8. That it will be awhile before Sophie can lick his face again. (Sophie is the dog, so really, that is okay.)
9. That the joy that should surround the birth of his sister is overshadowed by worry that she will come before things are stable.
10. That one mother, however strong, is asked to carry such an unbearable burden.
11. That RJ missed out on the last warm days of the year, stuck in a darkened room.
12. That he has absolutely no control over anything.
13. That he is always hot. Or cold.
14. That there are so many tubes sticking out of him they are impossible to count.
15. That the machines that keep him going beep constantly.
16. That it's hard to hold his hand or hug him properly because of all the tubes.
17. That you have to watch his fear and frustration, knowing there is nothing you can do to help.
18. That no amount of wishing or praying will make it all better right now.
19. That this blog has to exist at all.

We however, are eternal optimists here, so we had to include a few things that don't suck (at the risk of sugarcoating the truth):

1, That both RJ and Jessica are truly amazing people.
2. That his type of lymphoma has a very good success rate.
3. That while the tumors grow quickly, they die quickly too.
4. That they have so many people around them who will do anything to help.
5. That even through all of the incredible pain and frustration, RJ can still make you laugh.
6. That his bone marrow and spinal fluid are clear.
7. That this truly sh*&ty time won't last forever.
8. That the hospital is full of wonderful, caring doctors and nurses who focus on RJ.
9. That his room has a fast internet connection.
10. That one day, this will all be an awful memory.

That's all we could come up with here at blog central, but you have to give us a break as it is approaching midnight. Feel free to add to either list in the comments below.


  1. To the list of good things:
    *The baby is waiting for now.
    *RJ knows how to love, to accept and give. He knows what life is for and he shows it with his hands.

  2. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ur gonna get through this!
    -michala <3

  3. For the things that don't suck list:

    That someone who doesn't know RJ has you in her thoughts and has been touched enough by your strength to let you know.

  4. Geoff, Susan and Audrey MartinNovember 18, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    20+ years ago when I was just getting out of high school, two of my friends were both diagnosed with different types of cancer. Both went though chemo/radiation therapies, and both are cancer-free living full and rich lives today. That was 20 years ago. I can't imagine how medicine has improved in that time. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed and and stick to the optimism that I feel at the base of my being. Much love to you all.

  5. That others care and are praying for all of you <3

  6. Optimism List: That this newest baby will have the most amazing people to look up to. A family of the absolute STRONGEST women I know and a brother that is caring, funny, full of energy and life, amazing, of course AWESOME too, the list goes on.
    I love you all more than you know. I wish it was Friday right now. But i'll be there soon. Love you, Haley

  7. RJ and Jessica,

    My goodness, I am so impressed by your strength and courage, and by the great progress you have made in so little time.

    You may not remember me, but we met here at Petaluma Avenue Homes, where you have many friends and supporters.

    It's asking a lot to see anything positive in such challenging circumstances. Yet, you (and this blog) just keep on doing it. You are clearly on a path to healing.

    Much love and many blessings,

  8. RJ and Jessica

    Tried to post a few times but am a dweeb when it comes to technology. We're thinking of you constantly and sending good wishes your way. For all three of you, and your family by your side. Happy to bring you Slurpees, RJ, just as soon as you can have them! Anna and Jack send their best too. And Jessica, I work (and live) only minutes away so call if you want lunch, dinner, a friendly face, anything. Your friends,

    Dede, Dan, Jack and Anna

  9. From: Bev at Steele Lane (But I'm at home right now!)

    Sending positive healing vibes RJ! We never met..but I work with your mom. You sound like an incredible person, and I am betting you are going to be a GREAT big brother!!

  10. RJ I am good friends with your Aunt Michele. And I have heard great stories of your amazing will. That spirit to fight will get you through this painful time. I am sendng positive thoughts and prayers your way. Although, you may not feel the power of positive thoughts and prayers right now, I promise you, you and your family will at the end of this journey.

  11. I know others share their stories of hope so here goes: My brother in law was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma about one year ago. He too underwent aggressive chemo and is now completely cancer free and living his life in gratitude - as all who love him are. RJ, you are in our thoughts!

  12. RJ just wanted you to know all of your family in Washington are thinking of you. Were all sending positive energy and goods thoughts to you. You Can Do!!! So get better soon. I know you must have a million places to go and things to do. (=:

  13. RJ,
    We're family friends of your friend, Paula.
    Letting you know that we're in your corner; and fully believe in your healing power within.
    I wish I had a good giggle to share, but I've heard I'm not very funny.
    : p
    Lita, Itzel, and Olympia