Gaby's Story
August 21 – 27, 2006

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Monday August 21, 2006

Woke Gaby @ 5:30am to ensure we would make it to our 7:30am appointment at Children's Hospital to have her feeding tube put in. She was thrilled to be up at that hour and couldn't wait to get on with her day. NOT! She wasn't allowed to eat or drink until after the procedure so was "starving to death" and very unhappy about the whole thing.
We managed to get to the hospital by 7:15 to check in at surgical daycare. They came to get her for the procedure around 8:30 and let Dad accompany her to the operating room. She was a bit scared and teary but was out within a minute or two. Within an hour she was in recovery awaiting her room assignment upstairs. Gaby was feeling quite uncomfortable and just wanted to go home. After convincing her that going home wasn't an option she just wanted to go to her room and play on the internet. Hmmm…they don't have internet connections in the rooms. Still not a happy camper. She settled for a movie, popsicle's and a game of Monopoly with one of the volunteers at the hospital.
She ate a few popsicle's, soup (broth) and some Jell-O this afternoon and evening but was hoping for some "yummy" food. Unfortunately, she'll have to wait a day or two for that.
Mom and the boys came by for a visit. The boys played in the Canuck playroom while Mom & Dad learned a little about how to care for Gaby's new tube. Grandpa Mel also stopped by for a visit. Gaby just wasn't in a very social mood for anyone today. Can't imagine why. She finally got out of bed to go to the bathroom just before 7:00pm. While she was up, she took the opportunity to get down to the oncology playroom to try and get on a computer to go to the Webkinz site and feed her Piggy. However, all the computers were busy and she couldn't get on to one. Poor thing, she just didn't have any luck at all today.
By 8:00pm she was looking extremely tired and ready for bed but fought it off until Mom and the boys left for the night. We sure hope she has a much better day tomorrow.


Tuesday August 22, 2006

Gaby was woken up at just after 8:00 this morning but could have slept until noon. They had to wake her up every 3 hours last night for temperature checks, blood pressure and tube flushes on her new feeding tube. She was very uncomfortable for most of the night and was moaning and crying a lot in her sleep so didn't get a lot of rest when they weren't 'bothering' her.
Gaby was very grumpy this morning, very demanding and didn't want to move around at all. After 4 hours of complaining she had to go to the bathroom but refusing to get out of bed (quite the standoff) Nana, Auntie Denise and Krysta arrived to give Dad a break. They, along with the nurse, convinced Gaby to get out of bed and go.
Once out of bed, Gaby stayed up for most of the day and once she got moving around she began to feel a lot better and her fierce attitude faded quickly. Nice to have her somewhat back to normal. She enjoyed watching some movies and playing on the computer in the oncology ward for a while.
She was allowed to eat some regular food today and did very well at catching up from yesterday's liquid diet. She particularly enjoyed the popcorn Dad picked up from the vendor outside the main entrance. Popcorn and bacon that's what she was craving today. I can understand the popcorn she has that at least once a week but bacon??…very strange. Told Mom about the bacon and she made sure to have some for Gaby when she came later on in the day.
Dad got the remaining feeding tube care and emergency training required for us to leave the hospital. So it looks like we should be able to go home tomorrow after a little more practice.
Mom, Gray & Grandma came by for a visit in this evening. They brought some more stuff for Gaby to do, she enjoyed going through the math and English questions in the grade two learning book Mom brought. She and Gray played in the Canuck playroom for a while before everyone went home for the night. By 7:30 she was starting to look pretty tired again. Going to try and get her to bed earlier tonight but she really wants to watch a movie and have some more popcorn later. We'll see…


Wednesday August 23, 2006

Gaby woke up a lot during the night going from "I'm freezing" to "it's too hot in here" several times. When she got up this morning she was very uncomfortable again so they gave her Tylenol for the pain. WHAT?? We were told to never give her anything like that as it could mask a fever caused by an infection. Thankfully, the doctor came back and assured us that it was ok to have it this time as her counts are good so it won't be a problem. Hmmm…
After the pain medicine took effect, she felt a bit better but was still very aware of her new tube and didn't want to let anyone too near it. She is still walking a bit slow and hunched over today, the site where the tube was put in at is obviously still pretty sore.
While waiting to see if we could go home today, there was a visit from the Carolina Hurricanes' Andrew Ladd and he brought with him the Stanley Cup. I don't know how excited Gaby was to see him and the cup but Dad was very excited. Don't know if we'll ever get another chance to be this close to the cup again.
We found out around 11:00 that we would be able to go home today. We just needed a visit from the doctor for prescriptions and to reassure the doctor and nurse that we are able to care for her new tube at home. No problem, the feeding tube care is a cake walk compared to that of the CVC line.
We ran her prescription down to the pharmacy and watched a movie while waiting for it to be filled. Then once they were ready we said a quick goodbye to the nurses and were off at 1:45. Too bad we'll have to come back tomorrow though, the clinic is closed this Friday and they had to reschedule Gaby's chemo treatment for tomorrow afternoon instead.
We arrived home at 3:30. Gaby (and Dad) were happy to be here. After a quick hello to her brothers, Gaby headed straight for the computer to check on her Webkinz piggy. Thank goodness Mom was taking care of it while Gaby was going through internet withdrawal.
Her back is a little sore from being hunched over the last couple days and she is quite tired so it was easy to get her to bed early tonight.


Thursday August 24, 2006

Gaby woke this morning feeling pretty good and didn't need any pain meds. She is starting to stand up a bit straighter but still hunching and complaining of back pain.
Went shopping to pick up some last minute stuff for our trip. Big brother Zack was kind enough to carry her around the mall whenever she got tired. (What a nice brother). Been having a hard time finding suitable shoes for Gaby for when she's in the hospital, finally found some of those plastic clogs in purple, no pink to be found.
This afternoon, we were off to the hospital again for Gaby's next chemo treatment and we picked up some more supplies for our trip.
Gaby made her own Easy Mac for dinner. She was pretty excited to be cooking her own dinner tonight (with Mom's supervision).
Uncle Rodney came by for a visit tonight. The kids were excited to watch a movie and have popcorn with him.
She's become very excited about going to California the last couple of days and can't wait to get on the plane. We'll see how excited she is when we have to get up at 4:00am on Sunday in order to get our tickets and make the 7:30am flight. Before bed, Gaby finally let us cut off her hospital bands, she said it feels much better then she went to bed without much of a hassle.


Friday August 25, 2006

Got up just before 8am today. Dad was going to drop in at work so Gaby was going to Barb's today. Mom and Gaby had a 15 minute argument about how long she would be going there for and finally agreed on 1 hour. Mom knew that once she was there she would forget about the time. Dad dropped her off about 10am. She was a little nervous to go but got over it pretty quick. And when Mom picked her and Gray up just after noon, she stated that she was not leaving yet. She got back into the old routine just fine.
Kim, Cody, Ashley and Josh came over with a beautiful gift from Please Mum. Kim works there and they donated a gorgeous pink velour track suit and accessories. It was really nice to catch up with all of them and the kids had a great time playing.
Aunt June and Uncle Sonny came by for a visit and brought some Disney PJ's and housecoat for Gaby. They visited for a short time and wished us well in California. Grandpa and Grandma Norma came for a visit as well and to wish us the best on our trip.
Gaby played a lot this afternoon, both outside and in and is feeling really tired. It's been a busy week for all of us, I think we're all feeling a little drained.
Gaby went to bed pretty good tonight after a short talk about the trip we are going on and the reasons why we have to go. Think she just needed a little reassurance.


Saturday August 26, 2006

Gaby woke up hungry today and ate two breakfast's. Nice to see she's got a healthy appetite lately.
It was too hot today for Gaby to play outside so she and Gray played video games for some of the afternoon. Then Briana N came for a visit to see Gaby before she leaves for California. We also changed Gaby's dressing for her CVC line (no more fighting at all now) then Mom took Gaby to the mall to pick up a few last minute items for her trip.
When they returned, Nana, Auntie Denise, Danielle, Stewart and Krysta came by to say goodbye to Gaby and present us with the proceeds of the bottle drive they held in Delta today (click here to see pics). They looked tired (and a little sun burned) from a hard days work. They also dropped off some hats Auntie Ainsley picked up for Gaby. She really liked them, they will be well used in the California sun.
Once everyone left, we finished our packing and Gaby went right to sleep. Big day tomorrow, we have to be at the airport by 5:30 am to catch our flight at 7:00. Hope all goes well.


Sunday August 27, 2006

Woke Gaby up at 3:45 am. She got up and ready to go without any problems at all.
We left for the airport at 4:30 and didn't have any trouble getting checked in. However, Gaby was feeling sick this morning and had an episode before going to board. Fortunately, it didn't last long and we were off to boarding by 6:15.
Our plane took off as scheduled from Vancouver and after a short stop over in Calgary we were off to California. We arrived on time in Los Angeles (Thank you WestJet and Hope Air) and Gaby enjoyed most of the flights although she thought it took way too long. A lovely lady from the hospital met us at the airport and drove us to the Ronald McDonald house in Loma Linda. It was an hour and a half drive. Thankfully, Gaby slept for most of it.
When we arrived at the house, some people from the community were over to put together a BBQ for the guests at the house and they invited us to come and eat. We went through a house orientation, signed some paper work and they gave Gaby a cute polly pocket type toy. (the toy kept Dad busy through most of the orientation ) It was a very nice welcome, everyone here is very friendly. We found out there is a computer in the house that we can use to send/receive email her but will have to talk to the manager tomorrow about whether or not we can hook up our computer to their network. Let's hope so.
We had a bite to eat after taking care of Gaby's lines and having a tour of the house. The people holding the BBQ said Gaby made the most creative icecream sundae of anyone. She was very pleased with herself. The BBQ was very nice despite the swarms of flies here. Gaby said "I like being in California except that I miss everyone at home and my dog and hate the flies because they're always following me around."
After dinner, Gaby played for a while in the playground then we took a cab to the local grocery store to pick up some supplies for our stay. Probably have to go back a couple times while were here, not sure exactly what we'll need.
When we got back from shopping, we went up to the playroom and tried to send an email home but couldn't get any of the webmail services we use to work properly on their computer. Really hoping the manager will let us hook up our computer now. Gaby played for a short while on the Webkinz site then we went back to our room, got ready for bed and watched a quick movie. It's going to be a busy day again tomorrow so we (Dad) wanted to get to bed early. Gaby was pretty tired so she didn't put up much of a fuss.

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