Saturday, June 2, 2012

More updates....And an update for Monday

Friday we had chemo.  Just the single med push.  Kris stayed home with Bridget and G and I took the trip to LPCH.  I forgot to preload her with Zofran so she got pretty nauseated on the trip.  The nurse practitioner had her blood drawn prior to the chemo.  It was a pretty easy appointment and we were home quickly.  When I got home Kris was just getting off the phone with the RN-P who said that G's hematocrit or hemoglobin, I can't remember which, was low and she should come in for a blood transfusion.  I had to get back to work Saturday but Kris was able to take her and Uncle Ronnie and Auntie Mel were stayed with Bridget.  Per Kris, the transfusion went pretty well and G was feeling good.  After they left LPCH, G had a pee that pretty obviously had blood in it.  Kris took her back in to LPCH.  They have since then sent her to the Stanford ER where they are now. They are going to re-access her port to get blood and test her urine to figure out what is going on.  From what I have seen on the internet, it could be nothing or it could be bad.  I am just waiting to find out from Kris.  She says that Gabriella is in good spirits and feeling well.  She is getting so used to being in the hospital that she does not complain at all.  I have a suspicion that she does not really like it though because we told her that in order to stay out she is going to have to eat, drink and wash her hands and she is really working hard to do all three.
This roller coaster ride is just ridiculous right now.  It's unbelievable how much stress is involved in being a family fighting cancer.  I had no idea.  I know we will make it through and will be so much stronger when it's over.  Man I hope it gets over soon.

Team G


Sorry to leave you all in suspense.  It's Monday evening.  I am worked to the core but saved a little energy to write this tonight.  Saturday ended up being a minor reaction to the blood transfusion.  As Adam noted in the earlier update, after the transfusion on Saturday, G and I were on our way to McDonald's at Stanford Shopping Center for some chicken nuggets.  It seems to be her go to food these days.  Perfect...protein.  I'll take it.  Anyhow, she had to go to the bathroom and knowing we wouldn't be able to make it to the restaurant on time, she just squatted in the parking lot.  I noticed a reddish brown tinge that I hadn't seen before in her urine.  It was on grey asphalt so it was a little hard to see but it was definitely dark and not normal.  Immediately post blood transfusion, my suspicion was high that it had something to do with the blood.  I debated for a second and thought, using my nursing mind, she seems great, has energy, no complaints of painful urination or anything else.  Maybe I could just wait for the next pee and see what happens.  I just want to take her home because we all needed a break from the hospital and I knew it wouldn't be something quick.  But I realized this could be something more and we might just end up back in the hospital again later that night.   Since we were not even a 1/2 mile away, I just took her back to the short stay unit at LPCH (where she had received the blood) and see if they could check her.  No doctors were there and they told me to call the on-call oncologist/fellow.  I sat on the floor in the lobby holding G and waiting on the phone for the operator to find the doctor on call.  Of course, they told me to go to the ED at Stanford for a urine test and blood work, meaning they were going to access her again.  Damn it.  They just de-accessed her and I didn't have any lidocaine cream to put on her.  I went over to 1 North (god bless those nurses) and they got us some lidocaine. 
It was standard procedure in the ED with urine and blood work.  They got us to a room right away, which I didn't have to throw a fit about.  G did great and the access went well.  We watched movies (thankfully they had a TV in the room).  Finally after about 4.5 hours and no food arriving (which we had ordered about 1.5 hours previously), I was getting pissed.  I kept asking as politely as I could if we could go home.  After the results from the urine and blood came back, it was time for us to go.  From a clinical stand point, Gabriella looked great.  She was in great spirits, her urine was finally clear after another dark amber episode, the blood work was as expected and the results showed that she had a minor reaction to one of the antibodies (maybe antigen?) in that particular unit of blood.   Her body was trying to fight off whatever was in the blood and it created "hemolysis", a breakdown of red blood cells.   The red blood cell parts were secreted in her urine.  The doctors kept adding all these "tests" and told me they wanted to do a "kidney function test".  Really?  I knew that was pretty much a standard blood test on a chemistry panel that most, if not ALL ER's draw as standard practice as soon as a patient arrives.  Now, I was more pissed.  The nurse got the on-call doctor on the phone and I told him I was about to de-access her port myself and take her home.  They had told us about 2 hours prior that we probably wouldn't stay and from the looks of G, that we wouldn't need to.  Well, needless to say, they got on the ball and discharged us.  Thank god I'm a nurse.
Off to McDonald's again, where we were 5.5 hours ago.  This time, they were closed.  Battery barely at 8%, no charger, exhausted and trying to find the nearest McDonald's on my phone; I was going to get my girl chicken nuggets.  We finally saw the golden arches ahead.  It was 9pm.  I was watching G carefully dip her nugget into her ketchup, daintily eating each piece, wiping ketchup off my pants, cleaning up the water she spilt, holding my breath each time she was finished chewing, hoping she would take another bite and carefully assessing the "questionable folks" that walked into McDonald's late in the evening.  I was ready to grab her and my bag at a moments notice just in case someone mouthed off a little too loudly.  It wasn't that bad.  Maybe I'm just paranoid.  
The trip to the hospital was a little adventurous as well but a little less coming back 12 hours later.  On the way up and after dropping Bridgy off with Ronnie and Mel, we stopped to go potty.  We stopped after 17 because G was nauseated and I needed to coerce her to take a Zofran (for nausea).  Maybe my coercing her to take her two awfully tasting antibiotics while driving made me swerve a little too much.  We were almost to the hospital, on another slightly windy road, and she asked me to pull over.  With an anxious look on her face and her hand over her mouth, I knew it was urgent.  She didn't have much to eat that morning so she didn't throw up too much.  Another angel pulled over to help us.  Gave me some barf bags to stash in my car.  Said she was a nurse and had gone through it as well.  Thank you angel.  
On the ride home, it was another stop to pee and another to change into her pajamas.  Nana and Papa ended up taking Bridget and she was asleep way before we got home.  G fell asleep in the car.  
Home finally.  My haven.  

G is doing fantastic today and was having fun playing all day with Bridget.  We baked a little in the easy bake and they loved it.  Thursday is another short chemo day and next week will be the overnight chemo, #4.  Do I dare say we are back on track?


  1. Wow, what a week you have had. I'm so sorry. Sending love and prayers!

  2. Thinking of you. Sending you strength.

  3. I am so sorry you guys have to go through this. Just remember, Gabriella is "as strong as a tough rock"!!! Hang in there, you are doing a great job!

  4. I am thinking of you and sending lots of love.

  5. Thanks for the update! Glad you FINALLY made it home. Yay for Angels who see you and pull over! You did a great job keeping it together and I hope you have a great week.