Gaby's Story
June 26 – July 2, 2006

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Monday June 26, 2006

Gaby arrived at the children's hospital this Monday evening by ambulance. Apparently, she chatted the paramedic's ears off the entire trip.
After a short delay, they put her into TCU. They were supposed to admit her straight into ICU but didn't feel she would need that much attention at first. Again, they were mistaken.
Within a few minutes of her falling asleep, they realized she would need a nurse at her side all night.
Gaby spent the night as she had been doing for the last several weeks, gasping, spinning and choking for every breath of air.
By morning, the nurse who stayed with Gaby said it was probably the hardest shift she's had to work in her career.

Tuesday June 27, 2006

We were told today that the problem is a tumour like growth possibly cancerous but they wouldn't be sure until they investigate further.
Gaby went in for surgery to be intubated to allow her to finally breathe. The growth in her head was making breathing through her nose impossible and her pallet was so enlarged she was barely getting enough air through her mouth to keep going. At the same time, they took a biopsy from the growth in her ear and sent her for a CT scan.
She was given morphine and another drug to keep her in a semi-sedated state until they get the results of the biopsy and CT scan.
They should have the test results by tomorrow afternoon. She's in tough shape but at least she can breathe, even if it has to be by way of a machine.


Wednesday June 28, 2006

Doctors confirmed today that the beast we are dealing with is Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous tumour growing in and around the right side of her face.
We were also told there are two types of this cancer embryonal and alveolar. The embryonal being the favourable of the two to have. It has a higher cure rate and is less likely to travel into the lymph nodes.
They performed further tests to see if it has spread to other parts of her body.
Gaby had to be sedated for a spinal tap and a bone marrow test.
She's waking up for moments at a time but is very exhausted from the lack of sleep over the last 4 months.
When she wakes up she is quite agitated by everything going on around her and by her inability to communicate.


Thursday June 29, 2006

Gaby still resting comfortably waiting for treatment to start.
She is waking up for longer periods of time and is using a pen and paper to try and communicate with us and the nurses.
No answers back from the Spinal and Marrow tests as yet. Had the 'big meeting' with the oncology doctors…to discuss the treatment protocol for Rhabdomyosarcoma. They will have to do a combination of Chemotherapy and Radiation to get rid of the cancer as neither one treatment will completely destroy it. The expected time to complete the treatment is 44 weeks.
Went to the BC Cancer Clinic to discuss the radiation treatment and possible side effects of this treatment.
An Ophthalmologist was brought in to examine Gaby's right eye and the CT scans. Her right eye is completely closed now.


Friday June 30, 2006

Gaby had an MRI today and has been sedated for most of the day.
Surgery for tracheostomy and CVC center line was scheduled for today but got cancelled due to more pressing cases.
Ophthalmologist confirmed the cancer does not involve her optic nerve.


Saturday July 1, 2006

Gaby had surgery today to put in her center line (CVC) and tracheostomy. Doctors feel she will be able to try and whisper to us in the next day or two.
She also got her first chemo treatment today. She's getting a combination of 3 drugs to fight the tumour, none of which are very nice to her system.
Gaby spent most of the day asleep.


Sunday July 2, 2006

Gaby still very exhausted from everything that's been going on and is sleeping a lot during the day. She's having a no procedure day and has been able to watch a movie and get a lot of rest.
Gaby was a bit warm overnight but we were told it is nothing to be worried about right now.
Tried talking to her about what is happening with her but she didn't seem interested and kept changing the subject.

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