Gaby's Story
November 27 – December 3, 2006

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Monday November 27, 2006

Gaby wasn't interested in getting out of bed this morning. It was a cool, rainy miserable day outside and she didn't want to leave the house. She finally did when Dad explained to her that we can't go home until she gets the last two treatments done and we can't get those done with her laying in bed.
At the hospital Gaby was in a great mood until she woke up in recovery. She was very upset that Dad couldn't find one of the donuts with the sprinkles that she likes on it and proceeded to lose a grip. After 25 minutes of kicking, punching, screaming and throwing things around, she finally calmed down enough to take her out of the hospital and go pick up some Pediasure for her. It wasn't a pretty sight. Dad really can't blame her for getting more and more frustrated with things after all she's been through but can't wait to get home. He's hopeful that Gaby will be a little more herself once we return.
After some serious sucking up, Dad agreed to take Gaby to the mall tomorrow if she can get through the morning without too much trouble.
This afternoon, Gaby's mood continued to be up and down. She finally leveled off around 5:30 after a good cry and some alone time. She hasn't been very hungry today and spent a lot of time hooked up to the feeding machine.
Gaby remained pretty mellow for the rest of the night. She played Jump Start on the computer for a while and we talked to Mom on the phone and internet.
Yeah!!! Her last proton treatment and clinic visits are tomorrow then we'll have to see the radiation doctor on Friday. We're hoping she'll go to bed tonight without a fuss so she can get a lot of rest in and not be so cranky tomorrow.

Tuesday November 28, 2006   Last Proton Treatment Today!!!

Gaby didn't want to go to the hospital this morning. She didn't want this to be the last day she'll be going there as she is going to miss everyone very much and wishes she could stay here or they could come home for the rest of her treatment. Can't blame her for wanting that, everyone has been so good to her here in Loma Linda that she doesn't want her time here to end.
In the end, she made it to her last proton treatment and while in recovery she was presented with gifts and a couple of donuts. She's become very well known in the hospital for being the little princess who needs her donut when she comes out of anesthesia. Gaby didn't want to leave recovery today. It took a long time to convince her to get out of the bed. She wanted to stay and hang out with the nurses all day. Told her that we could come back for a visit on Friday and she finally agreed to get moving to our next appointment.
Next we went to Gaby's final appointment at the clinic and once again she didn't want to leave. We had a bit of a wait for the doctor which was quite ok with her. She got to go pick out something from the toy closet. Dad was able to get her out of the clinic by reminding her that she wanted to pick out a "Friends 2B Made" doll at the mall for showing such bravery in going through the treatments these last 6 weeks.
So…off we went to the mall. Gaby picked out a cute blonde haired, blue eyed doll and decided to call her Madison. She dressed her all in pink (to match most of Gaby's wardrobe) and was quite thrilled by the experience. It was nice to see her in such a good mood today, she's been so unsettled lately. After picking out her new friend, we grabbed a bite to eat and she actually made an effort to eat. She still didn't eat enough to satisfy Dad and had to be hooked up to the feeding machine when we got home but it was nice to see her try and get something down.
We arrived home at 6:00 and hooked her up to the machine. She worked on her scrap book while waiting for her feed to finish and talked to Mom for a bit before heading off to bed at 9:30.

Wednesday November 29, 2006

Decided to take Gaby to Disneyland today. She has really been aching to go once more before we leave. We took care of her daily maintenance, made a few pressing phone calls then headed off to Anaheim.
It was a very windy drive down today. Haven't seen wind like that in our lives, the gusts were so hard they were pushing our car into the lanes next to us. Gaby thought it was quite thrilling, Dad…not so much.
When we got to the park Gaby asked if we could go through California Adventure this time. She had a great time going on the big Ferris Wheel, the Bug's Life rides, Monster's Inc and the Twilight Zone Elevator Drop before running into Hannah D and her family on our way over to Disneyland. It was so nice to run into some friendly faces from home, it really made our day. Gaby is looking forward to comparing ride stories with Hannah when we get back home.
We finally left the park @ 7:45. They had to cancel the fireworks because of the wind so we didn't stay until closing. That was ok by Dad after pushing around a wheel chair for 9 hours he was ready to go. We made a quick call to Mom to tell her about our day then off to home. The ride home was just as exciting as any of the rides at the park. The wind hadn't died down yet. Gaby fell asleep about half way home and went right to bed when we got there after a bit of a fuss over getting her teeth brushed…pretty sure every parent has had to deal with that after a long day out.

Thursday November 30, 2006

Gaby was up bright and early (well, for her anyway) this morning. She said she couldn't sleep anymore because she was too excited about leaving soon.
We went to a meeting at the International Patient services, we had a nice visit and Gaby drew pictures all over their white board. We're really going to miss them, they've been so awesome to us.
After our visit we went for a coffee/hot chocolate then home to do laundry and start packing. It was a pretty uneventful day until Gaby broke down. She started crying about having to leave here. She is really torn about going home and seeing all her family and friends and staying in Loma Linda to finish her treatments with the people she's come to love here. She said "it would be perfect if we could bring them with us, especially a few of the nurses (she's grown quite fond of) and her oncology doctor."
Gaby didn't want to be hooked up to the feeding machine when she went to bed tonight so Dad let her stay up later than usual to let her feeding bag finish off. She was happy to have the extra time to play games, read a book and chat online.
Gaby's face is looking much better now, almost all of the raw area around her eyes has healed just some redness and brown patches remain. The brown patches are something new so we'll have to ask the doctor about them when we see him tomorrow.
Tomorrow we have our last visit with radiation doctor and plan to make one last trip around the hospital to say goodbye. Hopefully, Gaby can keep it together.

Friday December 1, 2006

Gaby slept until 9:30 this morning then got up and headed straight for the drawings she been working on to give to the people at the hospital. She spent most of the morning finishing her drawings and then added some special touches to the cards we got for them.
When she finally finished her pictures and had a good breakfast, we headed to the hospital so see the doctor and say our goodbye's then over to the faculty building and the Ronald McDonald House to say goodbye to them as well. Gaby was pretty quiet for most of our visit's today and said afterward that she's going to miss everyone a lot but is happy to be going home. Dad's going to miss everyone too. She was upset that we didn't get to see her oncology doctor before we left and hopes the doctor likes the picture she drew in the card.
At lunch time, Gaby didn't want to eat much so we hooked her up to the machine for a couple of hours. By dinner she had her appetite back and ate quite well. Only needed to get a touch more food through her tube. After dinner, she asked if she could have a long bath. She promised not to get her center line/dressing wet so Dad said it would be ok. She spent more than an hour in the tub, making up for lost time I guess.
We packed the rest of Gaby's stuff up and started on cleaning the house. Dad decided it was best to wait for Gaby to go to bed to finish the job as Gaby was turning out to be more of a hindrance than a help. What can we say, she tried her best to help. We can't believe all the stuff we've accumulated over the last 6 weeks. Hope it all fits into our luggage.
We took a quick trip out to pick up some last minute items for Gaby's burn (can't get this stuff at home) but Gaby's mood turned and she was in no shape for the mall so we had to return home. We'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday December 2, 2006

Gaby woke in a pretty good mood this morning. Just a slightly heated discussion over the wardrobe she chose to wear for our trip home tomorrow. Told her that after unpacking and repacking her bags three times last night waiting for her to reach a decision there was no way Dad was doing it again. After thinking for a short time, she said that she would like to have her shoes tied with the double knot like she likes them then but not too tight. Deal!!
We spent most of the day finishing up our packing and cleaning the house. Then we went to return our rental car and found the office closed. We were a little disappointed to say the least since we told them a couple days ago we would be returning the car this afternoon. We called to let the manager of the Ronald McDonald House that we are having trouble returning the car and may not be in for a while and she offered to return the car for us on Monday if the rental company agreed. Called their customer service and they said that we could drive the car to Los Angeles to return it or they would be happy to let someone else bring the car in for us on Monday. Since there was no way for us to get home from LA once we dropped off the car, we took the house manager up on her offer. Yet another thing we couldn't possibly thank her enough for doing. They have all been so incredibly kind to us.
Now that our car trouble was sorted out, we took our remaining groceries over the house and had a visit with the house manager and saw the new playhouse they are building in the back. Gaby really like the house and hopes we can come back one day to play in it. While we were there the "Bikers for Christ" came by and Gaby enjoyed getting her pictures taken on one of their motorcycles. Too bad we didn't have our camera with us.
After our visit, we went to Arby's (Gaby wanted curly fries) then back home to finish squeezing in the last few items into our suitcases. Looks like it going to just fit. We'll have to get to bed early tonight as we have to get up very early to clean the bedding before we leave tomorrow AM. Can't wait to get home!!! Gaby's still a little sad about leaving but is starting to get excited whenever Dad mentions being home with Mom and the boys. It's been a long time.
At 8:00 Dad told Gaby that it was time to go to bed because we have to get up early. She said, "Oh Ya! I'm going HOME!!! I've got too many wiggles to even control myself." Think it finally sank in that we are actually leaving tomorrow. It was nice to see, she's been so glum about leaving all her new friends.

Sunday December 3, 2006       Going Home Today!!!!

Well…after 28 proton treatments, a few overnight visits to the hospital, many visits to the doctor and meeting countless new friends we are on our way home today. We will miss everyone here terribly and don't know how we would have gotten through this last 6 weeks without their support.
We can't wait to see everyone back home. It has been a very long time since we've seen the boys and we are aching to give them all a big squish. Then of course, the arguing between them and Gabrielle will start immediately after the big squish and all will be back to normal. Can't wait!
We left for LAX just after 9:00 this morning (after another wardrobe change debate) and took off on time at 1:15. It was a little hard getting all the bags moved around the airport but we managed ok. The Calgary airport proved to be a bit more of a challenge giving Dad quite a workout before finally getting to our gate. We had time for a snack and pictures with the big stuffed animals there. Then we were off to Kelowna for a quick stopover (didn't have to get off the plane this time…whew) and on to Vancouver. We arrived just before 9:00 and were very happy to see Mom waiting for us with a big pink stuffed bear for Gaby from Michael and Nadine. We took a while to collect our bags and stretch our legs then headed for home. Gaby and Dad are very tired, it's been a long trip here.
We arrived home @ 10:20 to an excited Zachary and a very excited dog. Phillip and Grayson were in bed but not for long. Gaby didn't hesitate to go and give Phil and Grayson hugs and kisses and by doing that waking them up. They weren't too upset. Gaby got ready for bed and Gray and her watched a late night cartoon before everyone was in bed again. Gaby had asked if Mom could sleep with her tonight in her bed, but was happy with an extra long snuggle before falling asleep around 11:30.
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