Two months ago, Ruth Scully had to come to terms with the most devastating thing that could happen to any parent: losing her child to cancer.
Scully's son, Nolan, passed away two months ago due to rhabdomyosarcom, a form of cancer that develops in the tissues of the body. While she's been sharing Nolan's journey through the Facebook page NolanStrong, it wasn't until last week that she opened up about her tragic loss.
"Two months," she wrote in the post alongside a photo of him. "Two months since I've held you in my arms, heard how much you loved me, kissed those sweetie 'pie' lips. Two months since we've snuggled. Two months of pure absolute Hell."
"I've wanted for a long time to write a little about Nolan's last days," she wrote. "His last few days shined with how amazing my son is. How beautiful he is. How he was made of nothing but pure love."
Scully wrote that when she brought her son to the hospital for the last time, she had the sense that something was different — and felt that he might have, too. He hadn't eaten or drank anything in days and was vomiting persistently.
On February 1, their oncologist gave them the news that she didn't think his cancer was treatable, and that the plan would be to keep him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. Scully shared her last conversation with him, which took place as he was sitting in his room.
"Me: Poot, it hurts to breathe doesn't it?
Nolan: Weeeelll.... yeah.
Me: You're in a lot of pain aren't you baby?
Nolan: (looking down) Yeah.
Me: Poot, this Cancer stuff sucks. You don't have to fight anymore.
Nolan: (Pure Happiness) I DONT??!! But I will for you Mommy!!
Me: No Poot!! Is that what you have been doing?? Fighting for Mommy??
Nolan: Well DUH!!
Me: Nolan Ray, what is Mommy's job?
Nolan: To keep me SAFE! (With a big grin)
Me: Honey ... I can't do that anymore here. The only way I can keep you safe is in Heaven. (My heart shattering)
Nolan: Sooooo I'll just go to Heaven and play until you get there! You'll come right?
Me: Absolutely!! You can't get rid of Mommy that easy!!
Nolan: Thank you Mommy!!! I'll go play with Hunter and Brylee and Henry!!"
The next day, as Nolan rested, Scully made all the necessary arrangements and filled out a "do not resuscitate" order.
"I cannot explain to you what signing an Emergency Responder 'Do Not Resuscitate' order for your angelic son feels like," she wrote. When the two of them began to pack to go home from the hospital, Nolan said, “Mommy it’s OK. Let’s just stay here OK?”
For the next 36 hours, she and Nolan watched YouTube in bed, played with Nerf Guns, and even drafted a "will" for him as he picked his pall bearer, what he wanted people to wear to his funeral, and chose what he wanted to be remembered as: a policeman.
At one point, Scully, nervous to leave her son, asked if she could take a shower. Nolan assured her that he'd be waiting for her and settled down on a bath mat outside her shower.
"They said the moment the bathroom door clicked he shut his eyes and went into a deep sleep, beginning the end of life passing," she wrote. "When I opened the bathroom door, his team was surrounding his bed and every head turned and looked at me with tears in their eyes. They said ‘Ruth, he’s in a deep sleep. He can’t feel anything.'"
"I ran and jumped into bed with him and put my hand on the right side of his face. Then a miracle that I will never forget happened," she continued. "My angel took a breath, opened his eyes, smiled at me and said ‘I love you, mommy,’ turned his head towards me and at 11:54 p.m. Sgt. Rollin Nolan Scully passed away as I was singing ‘You are My Sunshine’ in his ear."
Since Scully posted the photo last Tuesday, she's received an outpouring of support online. At the time of writing, the post has received over 600,000 shares and 148,000 comments as other Facebook users sent messages of condolences and love.
"Now I'm the one terrified to shower," she concluded. "With nothing but an empty shower rug now where once a beautiful perfect little boy laid waiting for his Mommy."
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