Gabey D. is our wonderful firstborn son. He was diagnosed with A.L.L (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) in May 2007, and has been going through a 3 1/2 year chemo treatment. We are trusting God, and believe He will show Himself Mighty.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It's been a Year

We're past our year anniversary. Gabey was diagnosed with ALL on May 1st. We're still here, kicking! Praise the Lord.
Today, we went to the Clinic for his monthly Vincristine chemo, and also his Lumbar puncture to get his Methotrexate chemo. It went so smoothly, they got us in by 10am, which is really rare, plus, we didn't have to run to the m20 desk to register, we were able to get right in. Woohoo. Gabey did really well.
I wanted to write this as a walkthrough, so let me back up, lol.

Since this was a day for his LP, he had to be NPO (no food or drink for 12 hours). Poor Gabey woke up in a great mood, but it just spiraled when he found out what today was. We had to hold him down to put his Emla cream on, that's the numbing cream, so the needle doesn't hurt going into his port. He calmed down a bit, and we started our drive downtown.
We got to the Clinic at 9:30am, we played our game in the garage where we spotted "Tomato" cars (VW bugs), and Pt Cruiser friends, and Hummers! We got a good spot on the 3rd floor, and headed to the elevators. From the window of the elevators, we get to see the construction vehicles working on the CC buildings all around. We went down to the tunnel... Gabey can mimic the "lady's voice" that says... "Level T"
The tunnel is a favorite spot of Gabey's, because there are colored lights all down the tunnel, and he's sort of let free to run it. He also loves the electric car that runs up and down the tunnel.

We made our way to the s20 room, where we get our outpatient chemos, and exams. Gabey plays in the lobby, and looks at the fish. Plus, there are lots of toys, and a magnet table. We always enjoy chatting with the cool receptionists, and I love showing off Gideon, and his fun hair. LOL.

Sheila, our first nurse, brings us back, and takes Gabey's vitals. Gabey knows the routine perfectly, even what color blood pressure cuff to use.
Then, our least favorite part comes, and I am actually able to escape with Gideon out to the hall. Jeff holds Gabey, while the second nurse, usually Linda or Jenn, "access" his port. He hates it, with good reason, but usually he's good, and stands still for them. Sometimes, he's in a really bad mood, and fights a lot, jumping, and crying. He hates the smell of the cleaner pressure. We try to have a nice smelling candle for him to hold, and he always has bunny. He doesn't like when they have to press to get the needle in. His skin is numb, but he can still feel the pressure, and he hates that. But... after that, the day always goes pretty well.

We went down to the "train table" in the main waiting area. We always head there, to get his Vincristine, and play with the trains, and watch videos. There is also a little table, and we can do crafts from the drawer. Jeff and I have a ritual of going to the little kitchen area and getting coffees from the machine. I make my own concoction of hot chocolate, and cafe mocha. Gabey likes the saltines and graham crackers, and juice, but today we were NPO, so no snacks. He was pretty cranky about that, and kept asking for drinks. Poor Guy.

The OR was ready for us really early, and we got to go right in. We went into the prep room, we usually get, room 4, it just works that way. We answered their questions, and Gabey watched Thomas the Tank while we waited. He was quiet and good, probably worn out. We put his gown on, and put a hat on bunny too. They gave him his "happy juice" which is their name for the sedative. It helps so much, Gabey gets a little woozy, and a little loopy, and isn't stressed going back to the OR. I went back with him in my hat and gown. It went really quickly, they just give him his ansthesia, and he's out. I went back to the room, and Jeff ran down to get McDonalds. It's our tradition to get him chicken nuggets for when he wakes up. That went really quickly, and they wheeled him back in after just a bit. They let him take his time waking up, and just moniter him, and have oxygen kind of blowing on him for a little bit.

Today was a really cute wakeup. I looked over at Gabey sleeping, and he just started Chewing!! He sat up, half asleep, still chewing, and then woke up, and said..."Chicken nuggets?" So Cute!! He ate, and we got ready to go back up to get his second chemo. He got to be wheeled in a wheelchair to the S20, and got a present of a sweet white stuffed bunny.

At the train table room, we got to talk to Tom, the child life specialist, and also Linda, our social worker. Tom gave us an invitation for the Tea Party they were having later in the afternoon, and Linda talked to us about Make a Wish. We decided we wanted to stay for the Tea Party, so that was going to be cool. Gabey played and watched TV, and got his VCR. Dan, the nurse, gave him his treatment, and then took his needle out, which he did extremely well for this time. Woohoo.

At 3:30, we were able to go to the party, and had a great time! Gabey got his picture taken with Alice, and we went and sat at the table. There were girls dressed in card costumes, and one was the Mad Hatter, and there was the Cheshire cat, and The Queen of Hearts was there too. They had cupcakes and cookies, and little bottles that said "Drink Me". It was such a cute little party. We decorated black top hats, and the girls kept coming by, giving Gabey stickers, and little playing cards, and even matchbox cars! After a little bit, Alice came up, and did a reading of the Alice in Wonderland story, she was fun. As a surprise at the end, they passed out a copy of the book to everyone! Gabey, and even Gideon got a copy.

Soooo, that was our day. It was a necessary evil, but it had a ton of great little moments in it. God is good. Gabey's counts are being maintained, and he is doing just fine.


Dorothy said...

Thanks Honey for posting all that. I tend to forget about the monthly visits. I am glad there is so much fun stuff to remember. (I'm playing the "glad game")Love you

Shari said...

it is absolutely possible to play the glad game for this situation. we have so many things to be thankful for. :):)