Gaby's Story
July 24 – 30, 2006

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Monday July 24, 2006

Gaby woke up very early this morning, about 6:00 am. She was excited about the possibility of having her trach removed today (if the observation goes well). She was very hungry this morning but wasn't allowed to eat before her procedure. There was quite a fight to get blood work out of her and only found out afterwards that someone had already come and taken blood in the early morning.
We were told at noon that there was a miscommunication and she wasn't on the list to have her trach looked at. Needless to say, we weren't very impressed. They have rescheduled it for tomorrow and hope we will get in by 2:00 pm.
She was feeling rather sick from not eating all day so they gave her some medication to help her stomach but that put her to sleep for 3 hours so she didn't end up eating anything until after 5:00 pm. Mom brought her in some MacDonald's for a treat.
At 6:00 pm Gaby discovered that she can actually get some air through her right nostril. We are pretty excited about that. The chemo is continuing to do its work.


Tuesday July 25, 2006

Had to get Gaby up early this morning (7:00am) for a big breakfast. She can't have anything to eat after 8:00 if she is going to have her trach removed today. Nothing to eat after 8:00 proved to be a challenge as she hasn't had a good meal since Friday. She started begging for food again about 12:30 and was ready to eat the furniture by 3:30. Not pretty.
We were informed that she should be going into the operating room for the procedure around 1:30 but that was quickly changed to 3:00 as they started falling behind (Oh well, we've seen this before).
While waiting, Gaby passed the time playing and watching videos with a toddler she met yesterday in the ward. The ENT surgeon visited us again around 3:30 to say they were really behind today and wouldn't be able to remove her trach as it was getting too late for them to properly observe her with it out before everyone left for the day. He did say they would still perform the scope to look at her airway and if all looked good she could have the trach removed tomorrow morning at 9:00.
They came back at 4:15 and took her to the operating room for the scope and were back by 4:30. That was quick. Gaby didn't wake up from the anesthesia until 6:00 and was not in a pleasant mood when they told her she still had to wait another hour to eat. They said they had to freeze her throat for the procedure and it was going to take another hour before it would be safe to eat anything.
After a few outbursts and 60 minutes, she was able to eat…and eat she did. (toast, peanut butter, apple sauce, yogurt, veggies and dip, chips, cheezies, lemon aid…). The nurse said she wouldn't be able to eat again until after the trach is removed in the morning so I think she was fitting all she could in tonight anticipating another day of hunger.
They tried to explain to her that the trach would really be coming out at 9:00 tomorrow morning but after so many days of disappointment she wasn't buying it. I guess, we'll see tomorrow.


Wednesday July 26, 2006
Been in hospital 1 month today.

Today was the big day. Gaby got her trach out at just after 9:00 this morning. She was a little apprehensive about them taking it out as she thought she might not be able to breathe again if it was removed. While she was negotiating the terms of her trach removal they distracted her for a moment and popped it out. Gaby didn't experience any of the usual choking, gasping or coughing that usually accompanies this procedure, it actually took her a moment to figure out it was gone. By days end the hole in her throat was completely covered over and the doctor said it should completely seal in the next 48 hours.
We were told if all goes really well, they will send us home on Friday. If they have any concerns at all, we should be leaving by Monday. Just in time to come back for a checkup.
It was a pretty uneventful day otherwise. Gaby didn't feel well for most of the day and is quite weak as her red blood cell count is low. She said she liked seeing her cousin William today but didn't like that she had to throw up when he was here.
She perked up for a couple hours this evening and managed to eat most of a veggie sub for dinner. She wanted to get unhooked from the monitors but has to wait until tomorrow for that as she needs constant monitoring for the next 24 hours.
The doctor told her she can get off the monitors tomorrow so she's hoping she'll be allowed to go for a walk.


Thursday July 27, 2006

Gaby slept very well last night only waking up once to go to the bathroom. The TCU doctor came in to day if she has another night like that she will be allowed to go home tomorrow. Yeah!! The oncology doctor also came in today to let us know she could go home as soon as the ICU/TCU team says it's ok.
She was given the ok to get unhooked from the monitors and IV's and go for a walk if she would like. Well… she may not have been feeling very good but she was aching to get out of the ward and jumped at the chance.
She went for a trip with the physiotherapist to the physio room to play while Mom & Dad were meeting with the discharge nurse about her possible release on Friday and the IV nurse to learn how to care for her CVC line at home.
Mom & Dad were then allowed to take her out without an escort for a while. So we took Gaby on a tour of the hospital. She really liked the stop at the cafeteria where she ate some 'fresh' fries (unspoiled by the trip to the ward under a blue cover), sun chips, a rice crispy square and some gatorade on the cafeteria patio.
Then later that evening Mom took her to the Red Cross tea upstairs and some play time in the oncology playroom.
She is really getting excited about the prospect of getting out of the hospital soon.


Friday July 28, 2006

Gaby slept late today, she went to sleep pretty late last night so they didn't want to push her out of bed too early. She didn't start tossing about until around 9:30 am.
Her red blood cell count is quite low today and she is feeling the effects of that. She doesn't have a lot of energy, is nauseous and is feeling pretty chilly. The TCU doctor came in this morning to let us know she could go home today. Yippee!!! That brought a smile to her face and put a skip in her step.
All we needed was her chemo treatment from the oncology nurse, one last visit from the IV nurse and her drugs and equipment for home. How long could this take?? We'll be out of here by noon…right??. Gaby started to fall asleep about an hour after the 'you're going home' announcement but refused to lie down in her bed. She's had enough of that bed.
Well…we finally got going around 3:30 after Dad fielded 3 dozen or so 'can we go now' requests. Gaby wasn't interested in staying in the hospital a minute longer than necessary and threw her backpack over her shoulder and headed for the door the second we were told we could leave ignoring the nurses pleas to let Dad take an extra trip to the truck with anything she was planning on carrying. No no no… there was no arguing with her today. She would have crawled to that truck with all her things strapped to her back if it meant leaving right now.
She was absolutely thrilled to be climbing into the truck after weeks in the hospital and couldn't stop chattering the entire ride home about going on the trampoline next door with Michael.
We arrived home to a balloons, signs, neighbours and family gathered outside our house. Gaby was a little shy at first but we coaxed her out of the truck to say hi then she ran upstairs to see her newly decorated room.
Within a half hour she was on the trampoline next door. It didn't last long however as she got tired very quickly. It was nice to see her out there and we were happy she got the chance to play for a bit as she won't be able to do it tomorrow.
Gaby was happy to have a home cooked meal for the first time in a long while and be eating dinner at the kitchen table with the rest of her family.
She spent the remainder of her day playing video games and watching TV with her brothers. We can't tell you how happy we are to have her back home.


Saturday July 29, 2006

Gaby had a good nights sleep. She slept until about 8:30 and got up in a good mood. She made her bed (wow!) and went downstairs and had breakfast with Grayson.
Then Gaby and Grayson decided to start popping all the balloons from yesterday and made a bunch of noise all over the house.
Needless to say she is very happy to be home and settled back into some of her routines again.
She was feeling sick and tired after lunch, so decided to slow down a bit by watching a movie and playing on the computer. She did manage to play out in the backyard for a short while but didn't have the energy for some of her usual play.
Gaby really wanted to go out to a restaurant today but we figured by her past treatment history that her counts will probably be very low today so we had to limit her to the house and backyard. We'd rather be safe than sorry.
Since being home, she's been much better at taking her medicine and didn't fuss much at all when she had to get her GCSF shot to help with her low blood counts. She didn't eat a lot for dinner as she was still not feeling great but did get a lot of liquids in.


Sunday July 30, 2006

Gaby slept well again last night but was very sick after breakfast and wanted to go back to bed for a couple hours.
She watched a movie in bed then came back downstairs and laid around the house for most of the day. She was feeling sick and very very tired today. Gaby had a few spurts of energy today where she played games and went on the internet for a while to chat on MSN with Mom and Zack. That seemed to make her happy, even though Mom and Zack were only in the next room.
Her colour was very pale today and we're concerned about her energy level. Were hoping things are better for her tomorrow.
As tired as she was, she still asked to go out but her counts will still be very low today so she was limited to the house and backyard again. Unfortunately, she didn't make it to the backyard today though.
Gaby went to bed at 9:00 pm tonight, that's the earliest she's gone to sleep in more than a month. We've got a big day tomorrow. We'll go to the outpatient clinic for a checkup and blood work. Gaby's apprehensive about the visit. I guess she's a little nervous they won't let her go home afterwards.

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