Gaby's Story
December 18 – 24, 2006

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Monday December 18, 2006

Gaby would have like to stay in bed all day today. She is still a little tired from our busy weekend and isn't feeling much like facing the world.
She's still having problems with being sick after taking the new meds they started her on to help keep her bowels moving and is getting very frustrated (Mom & Dad are frustrated too). We decided to forgo those meds in favour of good old prune juice and are hopeful it does the trick. She actually likes the taste of it and it doesn't make her feel nauseous.
Gaby spent most of the day pretty quiet and just laying low then after dinner put up quite a fuss getting her GCSF injection done. She eventually got the injection but it took three of us to get it done. She was not a happy camper. She calmed down again relatively quickly and we had a good chat with her about everything. She is getting to the point where she just wants everything to stop and go back to normal and was thinking things would slow down once we got through the radiation. Poor thing, we wish we could give her a break but that is just not able to happen. She seemed a lot more like herself once she got some frustration out and wanted to go to the mall and visit Santa but we just missed the cutoff and will have to try again later this week.


Tuesday December 19, 2006

Gaby was up early and looking forward to spending some time with Nana today. She had no problem holding down her morning medicine now that she's getting prune juice instead of the medicine they prescribed last week. She is in much better spirits when all goes well with her morning routine.
Took Gaby to Nana's house at 10:00 and they went to see Charlotte's Web then back to Nana's for a few hours. Gaby had a good time and said she especially loved the movie. One of the best movies she's seen.
While Gaby was at Nana's, Dad got a call from Porter Elementary School regarding the fundraising efforts the grades 2/3 and 4/5 classes (and teachers) have been working on. We are astounded by the results of their cookie mix, garage and bake sales. We can not thank them enough for all the hard work they've put in. We were equally surprised when the boys came home from school and informed us how well the fundraising efforts at Kwayhquitlam Middle School went. Big thank you's go out to all the students and teachers at Kway for taking part in theme week, pie the teacher and for shaving their heads for Gaby.
After dinner, we went to Gaby's school to watch their Christmas concert. Gaby was excited to be able to participate in the concert as a penguin. She was tired after the concert and after a quick snack was off to bed.


Wednesday December 20, 2006

Gaby was up early today for her visit to the clinic for chemo and had no trouble taking her morning meds and going through her morning rituals while getting ready for the day. It has been a couple days in a row now that everything had worked out in the mornings for her and she clearly feels good about it. She is experiencing some nose bleeds the last couple days which we think are attributed to the radiation recall from one of the chemo drugs she had last Wednesday. Her sinuses are quite dry and we've had to give her nasal sprays the last couple of days to keep it moist. We also noticed this morning that the stretches we've been performing on her several times a day have improved her range of movement. The better range of movement means she can stay on track with her chemo.
Gaby was great at the hospital, she was happy and cooperative and seemed to enjoy herself for the first time since we've been back home. Looks like the rather large tantrum (and subsequent rant) she threw the other day helped her to get out a lot of the frustration she's been feeling about what's going on with her. Her counts are a bit low so she will have to continue with her GCSF injections for a few more days and will have to go in for blood work again Friday to make sure they are on their way back up.
Gaby was getting tired by the time we got home from the hospital and she spent the remainder of the afternoon resting on the sofa and playing on the computer before getting her evening maintenance done and heading to the mall to visit Santa. She really enjoyed her visit with Santa and we think Santa enjoyed seeing her. Then Mom and Santa got to talking and within seconds they were both in tears. Way to go Mom, get Santa all teary for the other kids in line.
By the time we got home, Gaby was very tired, went straight to bed and fell asleep in a few minutes.


Thursday December 21, 2006

Gaby slept in today and enjoyed having Grayson home to play with this morning. She went through her morning routine well and was in a good mood again.
Late morning, they went to Barb's and stayed there for Barb's annual Christmas party. They had a good time but had to leave a bit early when Gaby started getting tired and asked to be picked up.
She rested on the sofa when she got home and was feeling somewhat better within an hour or so. She ate pretty well at dinner and had no problems going through her evening maintenance. By 7:00 pm she was running a bit of a fever though. It wasn't a high enough fever to warrant a call to the hospital (37.5) but we will have to watch her throughout the night to make sure it doesn't get much higher. We're really hoping it doesn't turn into anything that will put us into the hospital over Christmas. Pretty sure Gaby wouldn't be impressed with that. She headed to bed around 8:30 and sang songs with Mom while getting her stretches done.
She woke complaining of a slight headache around 11:30, had a glass of water and went back to sleep. Hmmm…her temp was still very close to where we would call the hospital but are going to continue to monitor her for a while as she has been experiencing temperature flare ups in this time frame following her last few big doses of chemo.


Friday December 22, 2006

Gaby's fever was fading by 2:30 this morning and was gone by 6:00 am. She wasn't happy about having to get out of bed at 8:00 to drop off Grayson at preschool and go for blood work but she mustered up some energy and got through it fine. She even let them take blood from her arm rather than getting a finger poke. Because she acted so bravely, she felt she deserved a treat from the candy store and Dad agreed. So she put on her mask and went to the mall to pick up a treat and our Santa photo. She already feeling tired after just the walk from the car into the mall so we picked her up a wheelchair. She was thrilled to be able to ride around the mall. She's only been in one other wheelchair since we left California so we may have to find her one to use here for those times that she's got no energy.
Gaby finally got around to looking through the mail she's received over the last little while and was happy to see so many cards and letters from family and friends. She was particularly excited to hear from her friends at International Patient Services and the Proton Therapy department of the Loma Linda Medical Center, she really misses all the people there.
We called for her blood work results early this evening and were told her counts are very very low. We then called children's hospital to see if we will need to bring her in for GCSF injections over the next few days as the outpatient pharmacy is now closed. The doctor asked us to call the oncology ward tomorrow to see what Gaby's doctor can arrange for more injections or to let us know if we should just wait for her counts to come back on their own. We're a bit nervous that she's going to keep running fevers or is going to pick something up that will land her in hospital over Christmas and are not sure it is a good idea to let her even leave the house any time soon.
We also had a visit from members of the Coquitlam Alliance Church's Life Group today and would like to thank them and everyone else at the Church very much for the incredible generosity they have shown us these last months.
Mom and Dad popped out for a bit to get some last minute 'stuff' done and found Gaby looking pretty exhausted when we returned home. She still didn't want to go to bed right away but was persuaded to go and fell asleep right away.


Saturday December 23, 2006

Gaby didn't run more than a very slight temperature overnight, slept late today and woke looking pretty refreshed. We called the hospital and since she's not still getting high fevers they asked for us to come in and pick up enough GCSF injections to help bring Gaby's counts up through Christmas rather than bring her in to get checked out.
While Mom & Gray drove down to the hospital to get the meds, the rest of the kids took the opportunity to wrap Mom's gifts. Aunt Denise, Danielle and Krysta came by for a visit and dropped off their gifts to the kids. While here, the girls spent most of their visit helping the boys with wrapping. The boys aren't the best wrappers and were in serious need of the help. Good thing Denise and the girls came by today.
When Mom & Gray returned, we had dinner, took care of Gaby's evening maintenance and meds then watched some Christmas shows on TV before bedtime. Gaby was looking pretty tired again tonight and will need all the rest she can get before going to Grandma's tomorrow night. We were hoping to go to Church tomorrow morning but aren't sure it is a good idea with Gaby's counts as low as they are. We'll have to see how she looks and feels in the morning.


Sunday December 24, 2006

Gaby was still looking pretty tired today and her counts are still quite low so just to be safe we decided it was probably best to stay home from Church. We were all looking forward to going but in the end thought it best to avoid bringing Gaby into a crowd.
Nana came over this morning to celebrate Christmas with us before going over to Aunt Denise's house then we were off to Vancouver for dinner and to celebrate Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Mel's.
As usual, Grandma outdid herself putting together an awesome dinner and we all had a great time at their house. Gaby sang Christmas songs all the way home and was almost too excited to go to sleep. After some convincing she fell asleep without any issues and with visions of Santa Claus stuck in her head.

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