Gaby's Story
November 20 – 26, 2006

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Monday November 20, 2006

It was tough getting Gaby up today. She was up far too late last night…we won't be doing that again.
She was still pretty tired when we got to the hospital, was not very talkative and wanted to ride in her wheel chair to the proton treatment room instead of her usual run.
Gaby slept a lot longer than usual in recovery and woke up in a pretty good mood. She asked for her daily donut and ate it while watching some TV waiting for her vision to come back into focus. The little girl in next bed was asking her Mom for a donut so Gaby let her have one of hers. Made the little girls day.
After the hospital, we went to Ronald McDonald House to visit and pay our bill for the week. Gaby had some pictures taken while doing some 'office work' and got some coupons for McDonald's. While going through the coupons, Dee made a comment about how McDonald's fries were her favourite so Gaby had to immediately go to McDonald's and get her some fries. She was very excited to present Dee with the fries and they shared them on the bench in the front hall. Gaby didn't eat much more than a few fries and wasn't interested in anything else for lunch (her throat is getting quite sore now) so Dad hooked her up to the feeding machine for a couple of hours.
Talked to Mom for a little while this afternoon then Gaby put some time into her school work and coloured a couple more pictures.
Gaby was very grumpy this afternoon and became very agitated while getting cream put on her face and nose. She threw a major fit causing herself to be sick. It took Dad more than a half hour to calm her down again and she was back to her old self for the rest of the night. We think the pain, treatments, chemo and pressure are getting to her.

Tuesday November 21, 2006

Had a hard time getting Gaby up again today. She could sleep all day if we let her. We had to run to make her proton appointment on time. While they were setting her up for her treatment, Dad was told that the final three treatments will only take 15-20 minutes rather than the usual 45-60 minutes. They will only have to treat one field now where they were treating 4 fields before. Dad's praying that this combined with the extra days off this week will help with the raw cracked skin around her eyes.
In recovery, she was a little cranky again. She asked Dad to forget about the donut today and all she wanted was some milk…so Dad took her for her word and didn't get her a donut. Big mistake, she wasn't happy. Oh well…she'll get over it.
We went home after the hospital to give Gaby a quick feed then headed to the clinic for our weekly appointment with the oncology doctor. She seemed a bit concerned about Gaby's eyes so Dad is going to asked the radiation doctor again tomorrow whether or not all the raw cracked skin is a problem.
The remainder of our day was pretty uneventful. Dad is getting used to Gaby's mood swings so we're able to get through them pretty quickly now. We're sure it is just as hard for Gaby as it is for Dad. She gets very emotional after one of her 'episodes' and can't explain why she is getting so upset all the time. Dad and her talked for a long while this afternoon and she was in a great mood for the rest of the day. We had a nice visit with home over the web cam this evening. It was nice to see everyone. Gaby started falling asleep on the chair about 7:30 and didn't take much convincing to get her to go to bed. After a story or two of course.

Wednesday November 22, 2006

Gaby woke up a little easier today, the extra hour of sleep probably helped out.
Today was her last proton treatment for the week because of the holiday here and she won't be getting chemo again until we get back home. We got her counts from yesterday back this afternoon and found they are quite low so were going to have to keep giving her GCSF injections. We'll also have to go into the hospital on Friday to get blood work done again to see if her numbers are good enough to avoid a transfusion.
After recovery, we went to see the radiation doctor for her weekly checkup. He is concerned about her eye and asked Gaby to please stop rubbing it. It was explained to her again about the scaring that will come if she continues to rub her eyes and she has made more of an effort to leave them alone. The doctor also explained that Gaby will probably have to work on her mouth opening when this is all done as the scar tissue left by the radiation may keep her from opening her mouth as wide as she used too and that she will also have to visit the dentist more often to ensure her teeth aren't suffering from the effects.
Once we were through at the hospital, we ran out to the mall to pick up a couple of things then tried to get Gaby to eat something more substantial than her regular morning donut. Gaby only picked at a few items on her plate and complained about how tired she is today so when we got back home we set her up on the feeding machine and gave her twelve cups of coffee. Just kidding. She spent the remainder of the day laying low. She mustered the energy to talk to Mom for a while on the phone then played a game of Wheel of Fortune with her over a video call on MSN before heading to bed early. Gaby's really hoping for a trip to the Wild Animal Park near San Diego tomorrow but if she isn't feeling a whole lot better, we may have to postpone our visit.

Thursday November 23, 2006

Woke Gaby up at 7:00 this morning and could see that she was in no shape to go to the Zoo. She had a bad headache and was feeling very tired. She still wanted to go and even made an attempt to get ready but Dad sent her back to bed.
Gaby woke an hour and a half later and was looking much better. She still wanted to go to the Zoo so Dad said if she still felt this good after eating and having a bunch of fluids… he would consider it. Well…she did everything asked of her and still felt good so off we went to the Wild Animal Park in Escondido.
Gaby was having a good time at the park. We spent a few hours there riding the carousel, seeing the Elephant show and riding the monorail before Gaby started to look tired again. Checked her temperature and found it to be 38.9. Not Good. She still wanted to stay at the park but that was out of the question. We grabbed her a Slurpee on the way out and filled her full of water before heading home. By the time we got home, her temperature was back below 38 and within another hour it was normal. We took care of her weekly dressing and caps change then hooked her up to the feeding machine and gave her some more fluids. Her temperature went up and down for most of the night and finally settled back to normal around midnight. When Gaby goes in for blood work tomorrow morning we'll get the doctor to give her a check over and see if she needs to be admitted to the hospital for a couple of days.

Friday November 24, 2006

It was tough to get Gaby moving this morning, she looks exhausted. Called the hospital and was told we can take our time bringing her in so Dad let her sleep until 9:30. She still looked tired then, but was eager to get her blood work done and find out if she needs a transfusion and a stay in the hospital. Gaby learned how to play Sudoku while we waited for the results and in a couple hours we found out that her counts were on their way back up and her temperature was holding at normal so she didn't need to stay or have the transfusion.
After the hospital, Gaby decided she wanted some pancakes at IHOP. As Dad expected, she spent more time looking at her food than eating it. Her throat is quite sore now so she doesn't do much more than pick at anything she's given to eat. She did drink all her juice and milk though.
Gaby had a bit of energy after breakfast and we needed a new hard drive for the laptop so we stopped to pick one up on the way home so we can get back on the internet. Good thing we have a good backup and know a tech guy who's close by. Gaby was feeling and looking very tired again by noon so she spent the remainder of the day laying low while Dad fixed the computer. She talked to Mom for a while on the phone this evening and went to bed early. We're hoping she sleeps well tonight and sleeps in tomorrow morning.

Saturday November 25, 2006

Gaby slept in until 10:00 this morning and woke looking much better than she has in a while. Her face is still very burned, peeling and raw but she said her throat isn't as scratchy. She still wasn't interested in eating anything by mouth so we put her 'breakfast' through her tube while she played on the computer.
Talked to Grandma, Grandpa Mel and Mom this morning before heading out to see a movie. Mom and the boys went to see Happy Feet today and Gaby wanted to see it as well. She said if we saw it too then it would be like we were at home with them. She nodded off a few times during the show but said that she really enjoyed it. Gaby's mood changed by the time we got home and she acted up quite a few times throughout the rest of the day. It's becoming harder to get her back to normal after she throws one of her fits but we're managing. We think she is going to benefit from some counseling when we return home to try and get her frustration out. We talked over a video call to everyone at home this evening. It will be really nice to get home next Sunday. Hope everything goes well next week so we can make our flight.

Sunday November 26, 2006

Gaby slept until 11:00. Wow…that's the latest she's slept in a very long time. Then when she got up she had a big breakfast. Another thing that hasn't happened in a while. We're guessing that the 4 day weekend has helped with her throat and she's able to eat more without feeling the pain.
We hung out at home for most of today getting stuff done around the house then went out for dinner, Gaby's eaten more today than she has in a long time. She loved the restaurant, they had her favourite, garlic cheese bread. She still didn't eat as much as Dad would have liked so we still had to hook her up to the feeding machine but we didn't have to give her as much as we have been.
Gaby was in a pretty good mood for most of the day, only had a couple of outbursts. Much better than the usual 5 or 6 we've become accustomed to lately.
It was a bit tough to get her to sleep tonight. She still had a lot of energy by bed time, probably because of all the sleep she had last night and this morning. Hope she's ready to be up by 6:30 tomorrow AM.
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