Gaby's Story
December 4 – 10, 2006

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Monday December 4, 2006

Gaby slept in until almost 11:00 today. She was very tired from the trip and getting to bed late. Grayson stayed home from school today to hang out with her. He was very happy to be with her (for the first 15 minutes anyway ) Ahhh…so nice to be home.
Nana came by for a quick visit this morning but Gaby was still in bed so she is going to come by again tomorrow.
We spent the day around the house unpacking and organizing everything we've accumulated over the last 6 weeks and answered many phone calls from well wishers welcoming us back home. What great family and friends we have.
Gaby spent a bit of time catching up with her computer and mentioned that she would like to try going to school tomorrow, for a half day at least. Brianna N came by with a card for Gaby after school today. Gaby is hoping to get together with her later in the week. Then Aunt June and Uncle Sonny came by for a visit and brought Gaby some donuts. The climate change and lack of proton treatments hasn't wavered her craving for donuts. They were a welcome sight.
She's eaten better today than she has in a while but Dad still felt it was necessary to hook her up to the feeding machine as her weight is still down a bit from where she was before we left for California. The burns on her face are almost completely gone now, just a few dry spots and the brown patches remain. Gaby also said that her throat isn't nearly as sore as it was a couple of days ago. We're still hoping the brown patches on her face will fade but are grateful if that is the only ill effect she experiences from the radiation. Only time will tell.
Gaby finished her feed at 9:00 and went to bed shortly thereafter after receiving a bunch of snuggles from Mom and reading her a story. She still says she wants to try and go to school tomorrow. I guess we'll see how she feels in the morning.

Tuesday December 5, 2006

Well we tried to get Gaby off to school this morning. She said she wanted to try and go for at least half a day today but started getting agitated before we left the house and only got worse when we arrived at school. She was making up excuses and getting very vocal about the many obstacles facing her before she would be able to go into the school (very frustrating). Finally told her that she wasn't going to be going to school today and she looked quite relieved. Told her that she needs to speak up about how she's feeling before we actually get to where we're going rather than wait and get so upset when we arrive. We'll try for a half day again tomorrow then will be off to the clinic for her first visit since we've been home. We'll be able to meet with a psychologist while were there and see if we can get some sort of counseling set up for Gaby to help deal with her (our) issues. She is looking forward to seeing everyone at the hospital and asked if we could visit the nurses in ICU/TCU. She's upset that the oncology doctor she was seeing has moved and is unsure about her new doctor. Dad told her that she has met him before and he is very nice. She can't remember him right now but I'm sure she will tomorrow.
After the failed school attempt, we went to pick up a coffee/hot chocolate then went back home. Gaby worked on some school work then spent the rest of the day playing with Grayson around the house and on the computer. Nana came for a visit this afternoon and brought the kids some treats. Gaby made short work of her treat. Hope she eats her dinner the same way she ate her treat because she sure wasn't that fascinated with her breakfast or lunch.
When Mom got home we went out to Red Robin for dinner (Gaby's been asking to go for the last week or so) then to Nana's house to visit some more.
Gaby said she isn't ready to go to school yet and would like to wait until Thursday. She's quite nervous about seeing all her friends again, she's spent so much time around adults lately that it is going to be a bit of an adjustment for her to be out with people her own age again.
She was pretty tired when we got home tonight and went to bed without a fuss.

Wednesday December 6, 2006

Gaby was up pretty early this morning. It was a bit of a struggle to get her to eat and get her ready for her clinic visit this afternoon but she finally came through when Dad told her we could go early to visit with everyone she's missed over the last 6 weeks. She chatted the entire drive to the hospital about what she was going to tell everybody about her trip to California but then played shy when we got there and barely said a word to the people we saw in ICU/TCU. Gaby's shyness continued through our clinic appointment and she didn't really start talking again until we got home. Can't say why she's so nervous, still a bit overwhelmed about being back home I guess. She did say it was nice to see everyone and enjoyed playing on the computer in clinic. She said they need a playroom like this in the clinic in California so the kids can play games while they wait to get stuff done.
She had blood work done and her weight/height…checked at the clinic today (no chemo until next week. Yeah!). We were surprised to see her counts were a lot lower than they were when we left California. Her numbers are still ok just not nearly as high as we expected them to be. Her weight is up slightly over what it was before we went away (nice to see) but they aren't ready to remove her feeding tube until after her next round of chemo. They want to be sure that any side effects that may return from the radiation treatments don't come back and cause her to stop eating again.
After the clinic, we headed back home to eat dinner then went to a Candlelight Christmas Service in Burnaby to remember Papa. Gaby and Gray were a little tough to keep quiet during the service but that's was kind of expected. They liked the part where they got to light a candle but couldn't stay grounded for the rest of the service.
Gaby (everyone) was pretty tired when we got home and they went to bed shortly thereafter. We're going to try school again tomorrow. Hopefully, Gaby will be able to go. She said she is still a little nervous but wants to see her friends. The card she received today, that many of her friends signed, definitely helped calm her nerves a bit.

Thursday December 7, 2006

Yeah! Gaby went to school today! She was somewhat apprehensive this morning and had a bit of an outburst but when asked if she would like to wait another day was adamant that she was going to see everyone today. When we got into the classroom, she was immediately given a bag containing cards from everyone and a beautiful cozy quilt. It was very nice of Mrs. Blake and the kids to do that for her. She spent time this afternoon reading over all the cards and was so happy to see that they've all been thinking of her.
After school, she looked quite tired but wasn't going to let that get in the way of having her friend Jack over for a play date. They played on her computer and watched a bit of a movie before he had to go. She really enjoyed his company, it was great having someone her own age over to play with for a while.
She didn't eat as much as Dad would like today so she still needed to be topped up with Pediasure through her tube. We don't want her to start losing weight again. The burns on her face are almost completely gone now, just a bit of dry skin remains. You would never know its only been just over a week since her last radiation treatment. Lord knows, it could have been much worse and we are very grateful that this stage of her treatment has gone so well.
Gaby was in a good mood this evening until bed time, then she spent a couple of hours being very angry about everything she could think of that wasn't right with her clothes, dressing change, the light in her room, going to bed…. It was not a fun night for Mom & Dad (or Gaby). Poor thing just doesn't know whether she's coming or going sometimes and just loses control. Mom & Dad know that she'll be in a much better mood tomorrow AM but still can't help but be frustrated by her actions.

Friday December 8, 2006

As we expected, Gaby woke in a good mood and went to school again today. We were a bit surprised that she had enough energy to go and she did toy with the idea of staying home but in the end wanted to be at school with her friends more than she wanted to be at home resting. Big brother Zack was home today with a fever that he hopefully won't share with his sister. He's been laying low and wearing a Mickey and Minnie mask (pilfered from his sister's stash) whenever he's out of his room.
While Gaby was at school, Dad got caught up on some much needed appointments around town. When Gaby was picked up after school, she looked a bit tired but was still running around the playground. She was in much better shape than Dad expected. Brianna N came over for a visit after school and Gaby and her spent their time playing on the computer and going through some of the things Gaby accumulated while in California.
Gaby remained in a good mood for the entire day today (something Dad hasn't seen in a long while) and she ate better than she's done in a long while too. It was the first day in weeks that she hasn't needed to be hooked up to the feeding machine. She even took her meds by mouth, another thing she's been avoiding. Her throat looks much better, no sign of any sores and the last of the brown patches on her face are slowly fading away.
Bedtime was a lot less eventful than yesterday. Gaby was really tired and went to bed without a fuss and Zack was feeling a bit better but now poor Phil is starting to look a little pale. We're hoping the flu shot Gaby got in California will help keep her from getting whatever it is the boys are dealing with.

Saturday December 9, 2006

Gaby woke before 9am and was playing on her computer most of the morning. She wrote her Christmas list to Santa on the computer with some help from Mom. It was a pretty uneventful morning for her.
Gaby really wanted to go to De Dutch for breakfast but we couldn't today so she settled for breakfast at home (including her favourite of crispy bacon). Told her we could go to De Dutch tomorrow if she's up early enough and everyone is feeling well. Phil was still not feeling well today and Dad is starting to feel a bit off too.
We decided to put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house today. Gaby was very excited and did most of the tree decorating this year.
Gaby was also excited to be going to church tonight, but was a little nervous when we arrived so Mom stayed with her for a minute or two until she was comfortable. She and Gray had a great time singing songs and playing with some instruments that were brought to Kidz Church tonight.
After church we finished up the decorating and the Gaby went to bed shortly thereafter without any trouble. Looks like she is getting back into the swing of things at home and is not having nearly as many mood swings.

Sunday December 10, 2006

Everyone was feeling good this morning so we took Gaby to De Dutch for breakfast. Gaby loves their sausage, hash browns, and pannekoek's and asked for them many times while we were away..
We made a few quick stops around town after breakfast then were off to the Surrey Arts Centre to watch Hansel & Gretel. As usual, the kids quite liked the performance and had a lot of laughs. After the show, Grandma and Grandpa Mel then took us out for dinner where Gaby did a pretty good job of eating. Her right eye was starting to look droopy by the end of dinner so we knew she was getting very tired.
We got Gaby's maintenance done pretty quickly when we got home and she went off to bed very soon after. Hopefully, she'll sleep well tonight and be ready for school tomorrow.
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