Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
This is Gracie and I after church. We let her go with her nursery class today for an hour and she loved it! Her blood counts are pretty good right now, she has over a week before the next chemotherapy and it seemed that no one in her class was too sick- so we let her go.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
After spending all that time last week looking for pictures of Gracie I decided to put together some of my favourite pictures of her. Of course these aren't nearly ALL of my favourites. I only wanted a short slide show so I had to leave out some of our other favourites like Gracie at a Flames game when she was 3 weeks old (she had a dirty nose and it wasn't a great shot, but we were still impressed that she attended her first NHL game at such a young age). But hopefully you'll feel like you know Grace just a little better with these pictures. I now need to set about making slide shows for my other girls as they're anxious to see THEIR slide shows after watching Gracie's. Unfortunately their names aren't quite as easy to match to music. Merry Christmas and God bless.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
On Thursday this past week, Gracie went into the hospital to undergo some dental work. If you recall, she would not allow the dentist to work on her teeth in the clinic so needed to go into the hospital and take general anesthetic. She received two crowns (as you can see in the picture), one filling and they put sealants on 6 of her teeth. Her mouth was pretty sore coming out of surgery but she was back to her happy little self in no time! She has been under anesthesia more times than I even want to think about but she is a real trooper and I am very proud of her. Stephanie said that this was the first time she had been allowed to stay with Gracie until Gracie had been given the anesthetic. Stephanie said Gracie did not really fight but was good for the doctors. People had warned us that Gracie would start to fight more as time went on but she has so far been quite good about her many procedures and doctors visits.
Friday, December 12, 2008
On Wednesday we took Gracie to see Dr. O. All is looking good with her eyes (except for tumors and vitreous seeds). We also picked out two pairs of glasses for eye protection. She wanted nothing to do with trying on glasses and tried to hide her head from us when we did. Until I pulled out a pair of pink miraflex glasses. They are completely soft plastic, ultra flexible, impossible to break and kind of look like she's wearing goggles. But as I put them on her she said with glee "I like these!" So we got her a pair to wear around the house as she'll more likely keep them on. She can roll around and play and they'll stay comfortable. They won't protect her eyes too much if she isn't wearing them! We also got her a pair of dressier ones to wear when we go out. They look adorable too. We'll be able to pick them up in a week, so stay tuned for pictures of her modeling them. She's just so darn cute, even in the miraflex ones (she got the square shape in pink pearl).
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Early in the afternoon the same group came to our floor at the hospital to hand out gifts to children that could not make the party. One of Santa's helpers came in and we explained that Gracie had already seen Santa. Gracie perked up and said, "You brought me a present?" The lady thought she was just too cute so gave Gracie another toy. After that Gracie and her mom had a nice long nap while I tried to get some work done.
Gracie is feeling really well and we are pleased with the recovery she is making. We have had excellent care and are constantly reminded how many people are praying for Gracie. Thank you all and know that we have been truly blessed because of your prayers and concern. Even though sometimes we are discouraged and/or disappointed in how the tumors are responding we know Gracie is being watched over and loved. We are so grateful for the comfort and support that we have been given even when times are tough.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
We have just now settled into our room here. The day usually starts by checking in to the surgery floor at 6 or 7 am (today it wasn't until 745). We do pre op stuff and then 2 hours later Gracie goes for her EUA and today she got her last subtenon carboplatin injection (also under anesthesia). It takes about an hour. Then we get called to a little room where Dr. P. discusses with us what she saw during the exam and how everything went. After that we go to the recovery room. If all goes well we're usually on the surgery floor for about 4 hours. Then we start waiting for a bed to become available. We've had to wait in various places including the cancer clinic and recovery room. Our wait has usually been between 4 and 6 hours. It seems like forever. So by the time we get our room we're usually very grateful as we can finally settle in for the remainder of our stay. It's too bad cancer beds are such a commodity. We could stand a lot fewer children having cancer.
So back to our discussion with Dr. P. in that little room. Basically we haven't seen any change in either eye. Things don't look great for her right eye and now we're a little concerned with her left eye too. We've always been prepared for the worst with her right eye although we continue to hope and pray for the best. But Dr. P feels that her right eye will most likely need to be removed. The results from next months EUA will probably be the deciding factor. The 2 tumors in the left eye were just supposed to melt away with chemo and they're not exactly doing what they're supposed to. They responded to the first couple of rounds, but not much to note after this one. Kind of frustrating. But they are still small enough (B tumors - "A" being the smallest and E the largest) that we have several treatment options available. Next round they're going to try a different laser. Then they have cryotherapy and radioactive plaques still to go to. She said she used more of the laser today hoping that that would make a difference. We'll only do more than 6 rounds of chemo if those other local treatments don't work and the tumors actually start to grow again.
Gracie is doing remarkably well this time. After the procedure she even ate some toast and usually she doesn't eat anything until Saturday morning just before discharge. She saw Santa Claus on her way between the cancer clinic and the inpatient unit. He gave her a stuffed cat with a Santa hat on it. Good deal considering we left her Miss Piggy at home on accident. Crisis averted. She only got one dose of morphine and that was still in the OR. She's doing really well on just tylenol 3. She's not skipping and jumping or anything, but all thing considered she's doing really well. Dr. P. tested her acuity in both eyes while she was under anesthesia too. That's really the most accurate way for small children. She still has great acuity in both eyes. Go figure, with all that she's got going on in those little brown eyes they're still working better than mine. We're going to get her glasses on Wednesday for safety purposes, but they'll just have plain glass in them.
James and I are doing really well too. We feel such peace and comfort. We know where to look to find that, and to quote some of my favourite lines from a hymn "We doubt not the Lord nor His goodness, we've proved Him in days that are past." We really have proved him time and time again, and he will never fail us. We have so much to be grateful for.