Thursday, June 21, 2012

Motivation....and Recovering from Chemo #4

I was putting G's sharps container away this morning after her bi-weekly blood draw and was staggered by how full it was.  In fourteen weeks she has been poked and prodded, drawn from and injected into more than most adults have been in their lives.
As many of you know, we will be holding a benefit and blood drive July 1st.  In case any of us out there (me included) are a bit apprehensive about the needle stick involved in giving blood, let's think about the cancer kids who go through this every day.  So please, if possible, show up and give some blood.  I know there are plenty of people out there that need it.

Team G


June 13th Gabriella had her 4th "Overnight Chemo" as planned; the Vincristine, Dactinomycin and Cyclophosphamide. Grandma and Grandpa came up to stay with Bridget and Adam went to work.  He was very apprehensive about being at work while G was getting her chemo but I assured him we had it covered.  G did amazingly well and we had a great time at the hospital playing games, watching the piano in the lobby play itself, painting in the art room and watching Yogi Bear (for the 10th time).  The hospital has a pet therapy program where they bring in about 6 dogs to visit with the patients.  G fell in love with the little white dog that looked like a cotton ball and we got some great mom/daughter bonding time. 
With the overnight chemo comes the daily shots for about 12 days after until her counts (ANC) recover.  Adam worked hard on changing the concentration of the Neupogen so it would be a much smaller dose.  The shot still created so much anxiety for her during the day that we just decided we were going back to the night routine.  Without lidocaine (it's pointless for the shot anyhow) and within the first hour after she falls asleep, we just go in and get it done.  She doesn't remember it the next day so it seems to work for now.  
June 20th, this past Wednesday, was another visit for Vincristine.   We also got some further news from the doctor about Gabriella's upcoming events.  The surgery that was going to happen the last week of June is now scheduled for the 13th of July.  Not as timely has we had hoped but they wanted to make sure G's counts recovered and that she had no unexpected fevers.  They also needed to coordinate all three surgeons and anesthesia to be available on the same day.  I guess that's an act of god.  

There's so much coordination and so much information to gather that it can get very overwhelming and frustrating.  That's pretty much how I felt knowing that radiation was again, going to be delayed.  The doctors assured me that this wasn't going to affect the outcomes in the long run.  It's all part of the protocol apparently and "no cancer patient get's 100% of their treatments on time" is what I keep hearing.  So, the first week of July we get a "break".  I didn't really want a break.  I just want to get this done.  It's kind of like being in class where the teacher asks if we want a short break and get out of class earlier or if we want a longer break now.  I never raised my hand asking for a longer break.  I'd just rather get out of class early.  

On a positive note, Make a Wish is coming to grant Gabriella her wish!!!  I am so excited about getting to take her on a wonderful trip!  What an amazing foundation to grant "wishes" to children with life threatening illnesses!  It's a little bittersweet because you get this amazing wish but the reason they grant it is because your child is very sick.  Adam and I have talked about when to plan this trip...if its better to save it as a reward in the end or to do it in a few months.  Quite possibly it will wear her out and she might end up sick which would further delay treatment.  They are all big decisions but we will definitely go sometime after radiation.

As you all might know, a wonderful lady (Kimberly) from the Santa Cruz Sentinel came over on Tuesday.  She was great to talk with and so respectful of Gabriella, making sure she would be ok to look back on this article when she was older and be proud of her story.  We talked a lot about our journey till this point and how devastating it felt in the beginning.   We tried to focus on the message that we wanted to send out.  There are still so many things I want to say but mostly its about trusting your instincts as a parent, living in the moment, prioritizing things in life and finding the positives in the worst situations.  I would have never chosen for my child to have cancer but I see how good things can come out of bad situations.   As a friend told me, you will know a sweetness in life that you would have never known before. 
The story was published on line later that day and came out in the paper the next morning.  It turned out to be a really great article.
Here's the LINK to the article. 

Don't forget:

Enjoying Baskin Robbins ice cream.
A beautiful quilt from Susan...Thank you!

Visiting with Kelly.
We've had some really nice visits with friends over the past week. 

Daddy and his girls on Father's Day.

I think this will go down as one of my favorite pictures.
As we were driving to the hospital, we noticed the girls holding hands.
One of the sweetest moments of my life.
(So glad to have an iPhone!) 

1 comment:

  1. Hello
    This is for Gabriella. I saw your article in the paper today, which I rarely read but was moved by the fact that 36 years ago i too had the exact same cancer when i was 5 years old! You will re-emerge even stronger than before and I wish you and your family all the best. since that time, my motto has been always: Carpe Diem!