My beautiful niece Gracie was recently diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (cancer). It is still early in the diagnosis and we are awaiting results to know more about the fight that Gracie will face. I've created this blog as an outlet for friends and family to stay informed about her journey and a way for friends and family to make anonymous contributions towards her care and the mounting expenses her family will face. Gracie is a fighter and the bravest 3 year old I know. Hundreds of people love you Gracie and are praying for you. "Be strong and of good courage for the Lord thy God is with thee" Joshua 1:9

Monday, April 11, 2011

spring pictures


We woke up at 6 and headed to ft worth for clinic. We arrived at 11:20 for our 11:45 appt. Her counts were ok and we were out of there at 1:30. not too bad. Brandon made it over after work around 12:30 so we went to lunch together. We also saw Briley there and she was getting chemo. she had about 15 minutes left when we got there, but Gracie was a bit on the grumpy side so they didnt play. Briley gave Gracie a pink and black tutu and they let me take their picture. adorable sweeties. we made it home around 7 and then the home health nurse came by at 8:30 to show me how to mix the TPN and hook it up. She will start it tonight, 12 hours every night. they will check her labs here in town on Thursday to see what needs to be adjusted, if anything, and order 4 days at a time. hopefully in the next few weeks, she can get a little ahead on her nutrition. we are so excited for 3 weeks at home. :) tonight also starting 2 weeks of accutane. blah

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Home again!

Thursday afternoon, her arm started swelling up from the IV and hurting a lot. it was red and puffy and she was screaming from the pain saying "I can't take it!" it was cute and sad at the same time. They stopped the antibiotics and took the IV out. all of her blood cultures were negative anyway, so she didnt really even need them at that point. She was so glad to get it out. Thursday and friday went ok as far as pain but she still had some puking. Friday we left around 3 and headed home. It was soo good to get back home after 2 weeks. Von just hugged me so tight and cried and cried for about 10 minutes. poor kiddo. He hasn't wanted me to leave his sight, until just today. Tomorrow we will drive back down for clinic and then we will start her 2 weeks of accutane and also some TPN at night at home, along with the milk feeds. They also want to try adding a tsp of canola oil before the feeds to give her extra calories. we will see if she tolerates it. all in all it was a much better round than the 2 weeks of round 2, so we are grateful for that! also grateful she only has one more week in the hospital for round 5. the end is finally in sight and Gracie is happy and doing ok. please continue for her to gain weight and strength! xoxo

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Round 4 week 2

Let me start by saying we had a Wonderful weekend!!!! I hadn't seen Gracie so happy and giggly in a very long time. She did very well and we had fun playing in the playroom at the McDonald house, and out on the playground (until she saw the ants!! Lol) we went and got a pedicure and bought some things at target.
The home health didn't deliver the TPN until 10 pm Friday night, and didn't send a nurse. I calledthem and there was a miscommunication sonewhere along and they said they'd send one. They finally came at 11 pm and got it all hooked up. They came the next day at 2 just to get it ready and then I hooked her up at bedtime. She did very well all weekend and didn't puke or anything. She even ate 6 bites of lasagne! Also a couple animal crackers and a few bites of oatmeal :)
Saturday we went to the neuroblastoma walk and got our tshirts and then she said she was ready to go. She was just too tired from being up late the night before.
Sunday night we checked back into the hospital for week 2, Brandon arrived shortly thereafter and we were so happy to see him! Monday they started the IL-2 at 9 am and the ch14.18 and pain pump at 11am. They decided to keep the ch14.18 at 5 for 20 hours a day instead of going up to 10 for 10 hours. She has always run into issues in the past and had to go back to 5 anyway. She did well until about 4 hours in as usual and started having a lot if tummy pain. I was confused because last time she did really well on the fentanyl so I kept asking if it was the same rate and they finally figured out late that night that it was at 5 last time and only at 1.3 this time, they increased it to 3 for an hour and then up to 5. She still needed quite a bit more on top of that so the next night it was increased to 7. Since then she ha done much better as far as pain goes.
Last night she spiked a fever and had to get an IV in her arm. She was not happy about it but she held still like the champ she is and once again impressed everyone!! Her broviac has two lines but she has the IL-2 in one and the ch14.18 in the other, so the IV was needed for antibiotics since they aren't compatible with either one.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Week one is done! (round 4)

Wednesday night was a very loooong night. She spiked a fever of 103 and she woke a lot and puked three times even with feeds at 30. We left the feeds off all day and night Thursday and she still puked a couple times. Good thing she at least had the TPN. She gained one lb this week :) last night she woke a few times but it was much better. We headed over to the McDonald house around 1 and the parking lot was nearly full which is rare. I am supposed to call int he morning to make sure they have room but I forgot. Well, we luck out and got the very last room!! Thank goodness. Gracie got a build a bear that someone had donated, so we went and chose an outfit with the ten buck coupon. :) home health is bringing the TPN this evening and show me how to do it. I will try the milk as well tonight.