Gaby's Story
August 14 – 20, 2006

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Monday August 14, 2006

Gaby woke up late @ 10:30. Mom & Dad had already left for their appointment at the BC Cancer clinic so auntie Denise and the gang were over to keep an eye on her.
The meeting with the radiation oncologist doctor went well. They explained a little more about the radiation treatment in California and are certain it is the best possible solution for Gaby and will give her a much greater chance of saving her right eye.
We received an email forwarded from the children's hospital stating that the Loma Linda hospital will need Gaby for evaluation on August 28. So it looks like were going to be off to the US sooner than we'd hoped but will be allowed to come home for a couple weeks before the treatment starts.
Gaby's new hair arrived in the mail today, she was thrilled to get it and hardly took it off all day. She had a lot of energy spurts again today and was out riding her bike and playing with her new friends that are visiting across the street. Then we had a visit from some old friends that were in from out of town.
After dinner we were invited by the PoCo fire department to come visit the fire hall. Gaby & Gray were very excited by the show the firefighters put on for them. They were awesome, an experience the kids will not soon forget.
When we got home we had a visit from aunt June and uncle Sonny who brought with them a large selection of suckers that should last the kids for a good long time.
She was a little cranky around bed time (to be expected after such a busy day) but we got her to bed without too much trouble. Tomorrow should be a quieter day, we think she'll still be pretty worn out.

Tuesday August 15, 2006

Gaby woke up late again today. She is still wiped out from the busy day she had yesterday and didn't want to do much of anything. She spent the majority of the day resting on the sofa and playing games on the internet. Her appetite wasn't great either, she would only snack throughout the day and didn't eat anything substantial. She's back to her normal body weight again so we figured she can get away with that for a day but back to protein and vitamin shakes tomorrow.
It was a busy day on the phone today trying to get things set for the trip to California. We received a call and emails from the intake nurses at the Loma Linda Medical Center confirming Gaby's appointments and they let us know that they will make arrangements for us to stay at the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House while we are there 'visiting'. Looks like a pretty great place to stay. Gaby liked the virtual tour they have on their web site and is 'kind of' looking forward to her stay although she is quite sad that she'll have to be away from home for so long.
We're still trying to get flight arrangements made through the children's hospital for the trips down. We're sure it will all be ironed out by tomorrow. It's been a bit of a challenge for them to find us a suitable flight on rather short notice.
Gaby was pretty low key all day today, she even sat really still for her dressing change, hardly a peep. Most unusual for her. Hopefully, she'll have some energy back for tomorrow.

Wednesday August 16, 2006

Gaby was up earlier today and seemed to have some of her energy back. Nana came to visit this morning so Dad could get some time away.
Since she wasn't able to get to the car wash on Saturday, Nana put the boys to work washing her car while Gaby supervised. Gaby and Nana agreed that the boys did a great job.
Gaby had a visit from Simrit and Miss Rudolph in the afternoon. She was excited to spend time playing on the computer with Simrit and really enjoyed her time playing outside and on the computer with Miss Rudolph. She's looking forward to the next time they can come by and play again.
We are still waiting for some airline arrangements to come through. We're hopeful it will all be done by tomorrow so we can get our weeks itinerary from the people at the Loma Linda Medical Center.
Gaby ate a lot better today but is back to giving us a hard time getting her to bed (she's very anxious about the trip to California).

Thursday August 17, 2006

Gaby got up early this morning and ran into Grayson's room waking him up. She was wondering where Phil and his friend Carson were. They were sleeping downstairs for their sleepover. When Gaby realized the boys were not in the bedroom she decided to stay and hang out with Gray for a bit. Carson's mom, Tanys, came by to pick him up before they were off to Kamloops and dropped off a Webkinz (a little pig) for Gaby. Gaby was intrigued by this new toy. When Claire came by for a visit, Gaby and Claire went online to register the Webkinz and called her Piggy. Claire brought a new CD and crafty things for Gaby. They spent some of the afternoon making necklaces and playing on the computer.
Gaby's Grade 1 teachers, Susan and Teodora, came by to visit bringing some fun stuff for Gaby and a bunch of lovely gifts from Mrs. Delgarno. They visited for a while, then took Gaby and Claire to the park for a bit then came back to the house and played with bubbles and did some colouring. She had bags of energy today and could have played all day.
By days end, we still hadn't received any info on travel arrangement to California but were told we should know by early next week at the latest and were told not to worry.
After dinner we went to the Hopcott's farm (Dad's cousins) in Pitt Meadows to check out the new meat shop they just built and then went and had some fun over at  Meadows Maze. We told Gaby a while ago that we weren't sure if we would be able to go to the maze this year so when we decided she was well enough to go, she was ecstatic. It was a busy day for Gaby and she was ready for bed when we arrived home.
Gaby's into the oncology clinic tomorrow AM for her chemo treatment, should be a pretty uneventful visit this time. The boys are off to a football game tomorrow night so Gaby, Mom and Gray will be able to spend a nice quiet evening at home.

Friday August 18, 2006

Woke Gaby up early today to get to the clinic for blood work and her chemo. She's feeling pretty good this morning and enjoyed playing in the clinic's playroom and visiting the people in ICU/TCU while we waited for the results. She's put on a bit more weight (good) but we found out her white cell count is very low. After reviewing her count history yesterday, we expected it to be quite a bit higher…so much for there being a trend to how the treatments affect her.
They informed us that she will be getting her "G Tube" surgery (for feeding during radiation) on Monday morning and will have to stay in hospital for up to 3 days next week. We also confirmed that it will be ok to change her 'big' chemo treatment from September 1 to the 5th to accommodate our trip to California. They said they can just adjust the schedule of future chemo treatments and that it won't affect anything by making the change. Then we got a prescription for her meds and talked to the doctor about how she is going to be feeling through the radiation treatments. He confirmed that she will more than likely be in quite a bit of pain during this time and that it will start approximately 3 weeks into the treatment. He compared it to having the worst possible sunburn you could imagine only inside of your mouth but also said that not all patients experience it to this degree…although most do.
Needless to say, we are very concerned about this and pray that she won't have to experience too many ill effects from the treatment and that she will remain as strong through this time as she has been up to now. We're amazed daily by how strong she is and can't imagine she will face this challenge with any less courage than she's shown so far.
After our visit at the clinic we picked up her meds and some CVC care supplies from the pharmacy. Then, as promised, we headed to McDonalds for lunch. How could I say no after she was so good at the clinic. We couldn't go inside to eat because of her low counts but she didn't seem to mind as long as she was getting her treat.
When we arrived home, there was a message from Hope Air to say they have completed flight arrangements for our trip to California. Hope Air is a non profit organization that arranges air travel for people in need of medical care. They have really come through for us on such short notice. We tried to call them to get the particulars of our flights but their office was closed for the day (they are based in Ontario). Oh well…we'll get the info Monday. At least we can relax now, knowing that there is something in place. Gaby played on the computer with her Webkinz for a while this afternoon playing the games on their site to earn Kincash points to expand the world for her "Piggy". Glad to see she is starting to use some of those points to feed her Piggy. For a while there, we were afraid she was going to spend all her points on an extensive clothes collection and not have anything left to feed the poor thing.
After dinner, Mom made dessert fun by putting candles in the piece of cake. Gaby and Gray seemed to like blowing out the candles over and over again. Later, they made popcorn and watched a movie. During the movie Gaby crashed. She was feeling sick and cold and within an hour had a bit of a fever. The fever wasn't high enough to warrant a call to the hospital but Mom started to worry a little bit. Mom carried Gaby upstairs to bed, took her temp again and found it had come down a touch. Gaby fell asleep within minutes and when Mom & Dad checked her temp again before they went to bed it was almost back to normal. Whew!

Saturday August 19, 2006

Gaby felt really sick and tired this morning.
She spent most of the day either lying on sofa or playing on the computer.
We had plans to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for a BBQ in the afternoon but didn't know if Gaby would be up to it.
When we asked Gaby if she still wanted to go she said yes, of course! She didn't do much at the BBQ, though, she spent most of the time
resting inside the house.
Didn't really eat that well today. She is stressed about getting the G-tube on Monday as well as going to California soon.
Her blood counts should be on there way up, just in time for surgery and to be in the hospital for 3 days.

Sunday August 20, 2006

Gaby was up pretty early and had a little more energy today. She was able to play outside for a while and ride her bike.
She's managing to get a lot more fluids in, ate better than she has for a while and enjoyed a few treats. It was a mostly uneventful day around the house today. A nice change.
We managed to get her into bed early tonight although we did find her puttering around her room at 10:00pm. She said she was packing for her trip to the hospital tomorrow. She's still quite stressed about the GTube procedure tomorrow and the upcoming trip to California.

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