Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 24th Thursday: Reptile show

Waiting for the reptiles to arrive...

What some people REALLY think about reptiles.

One of our friends really wanted to kiss the gecko... much to his moms disgust I think!

Most of them we were allowed to pet. Yolanda was a pretty good sport!

Eeek, big spider, luckily we were not invited to pet this one!

Charlotte liked looking... not touching!

February 17th Thursday: Hanging out in our room... just a few picutres

Just some cute picutres of Charlotte, she had just finished up two hours of hydration over in the clinic so she looks a little puffier (and healthier) than normal. She was tolerating my picture taking a little better than usual so I had to take advantage!

February 15th: Magic Room visit

Charlotte is on a pineapple binge! Here she is sharing a bite with Grandpa.

She is particular though, it must be cut teeny tiny and served with a toothpick.

A trip to the Magic Room to celebrate her halfway through radiation day.

A princess with a gift as big as she is!

You can see how fast her hair fell out this time, the pictures with Grandpa were taken on the 13th then the Magic Room pictures were taken on the 15th! This last one she has her valentines day sock... she put all her chocolates in here to cary around. She even insisted on taking it to bed with her. But then we forgot to take it away once she fell asleep... woke up to find some melted chocolatey jammies in morning. She did smell good though! Like waking up with a fresh chocolate chip cookie.

February 10th Thursday: Pets at RMD house

A few fun pictures to up... The house had some pets in for an evening for the kids to play with.

Charlotte LOVES bunnies, I'm not sure why or how this came about. She calls them 'hop hops' which is also what she calls pancakes. (We make them bunny shaped to encourage her to eat.) She was pretty happy to see this one, too shy to pet it much, but really enjoyed watching him. She talked about it for days afterwards, if we prompted her with did you like the pets? We got a big smile with a nod and a little voice that said "hop hop."

You can see here that she is starting to lose her hair again. It was a bit of a shock how fast it fell out this time! With chemo it took 7 months of thinning before it all came out, with radiation it was completely gone within a week- except for a tiny little patch on the back that stubbornly held on for an extra week. Now it is all gone except for a little fringe of fuzz around her face. But the morning it started to fall out it was crazy! It was totally 'in' not even shedding a little, she went under and had her treatment and by the time she was waking up there was four big clumps of hair on her pillow.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 16th Wednesday: A typical day of radiation

Following are some pictures from Charlotte's typical morning over at the Tom Baker Cancer center over at the Foothills hospital. We get all bundled up to drive all the way over there (its about a 5 minute drive). I feel like I should warn you that there are some pictures of her under anaesthetic and with her plastic helmet clamping her to the table. This is daily routine for us, but it might be a bit of a surprise for some people to see. 
Here I am all cozied up with Daddy, I get to ride in the elevator... going down to the basement.

Watching tv with Daddy while the nurses get ready for us.

I get to pick out a sticker for on my countdown sheet.
I sit nice and still and watch as they put in the anaesthetic.

Off to sleep on Daddy's lap.
Going through the radiation door.
The wonderful nurses, techs and anaesthesiologists who take care of me during treatment.

They are careful to keep my oxygen at a good level while I am moved into position.

Getting everything set up, I can't be more than 2mm from my original position!

This big machine rotates around to find the four angles that my radiation needs to come from.

Here it is moving around, the bed also swing around on the floor. Everyone has to leave the room, but they keep a close watch on the cameras.

All done! Now they can take off my mask and special helmet. 

Waking up on Daddy's shoulder. Some days are easier than others, sometimes I need to have a good scream to get it all out of my system. Then its time to get dressed and head back to the Ronald McDonald house. Mommy makes me my favourite Kraft Dinner for breakfast, sometimes I'm still too grumpy to eat.

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 7th Monday: Bingo Fun at RMD

Monday night bingo, everyone has fun when Brynn gets to call the numbers. I know I have written about bingo before, I just thought I would share some pictures of one of our games. There were not too many kids that night so the girls made a huge haul... more stuff to bring home!
Our beautiful bingo caller Brynn! (and her mom)

Yolanda is focused!
Charlotte has a full blackedout card... only 6 numbers have been called, this girl is good!

The prizes, we keep one eye on our bingo sheets while the other scopes out the cart.
  Here is Rob opening his birthday gift from the girls.I took Yolanda shopping and she helped me pick out a shirt, then the girls coloured up a few pictures. We didn't really do much to celebrate, anything that marks the passing of time is difficult for us to celebrate right now. We are getting closer and closer to the one year mark since Charlotte was diagnosed.
Charlotte is very pleased with her picture.
I am gearing up to do a post with pictures from radiation, thought I better put something fun up here too.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

February 8th Tuesday: Prayer request

Charlotte is having a tough time right now. And therefore we all are. She is so tired and grumpy. Most importantly she is not eating, anything, voluntarily. We are trying everything we can think of, old favourites, fruits, new sweets and treats but she is just not interested in eating. Our healthy diet has taken a back seat. On someone who only weighed 11.4 kgs at the start of treatment there is not a lot of room for weight loss. Within two weeks Charlotte’s weight is down to 10kg, this is the number that in the past our doctors said they would want to see a feeding tube. There are a couple of factors here; one is that she is having radiation and full anaesthetic every weekday- this makes her very tired, the second is that she is on a chemo drug that knocks out her appetite. Rob and I have resorted to forcing in what Yolanda calls “Magic Juice,” basically a thick green sludge of blended spinach, carrots, and apples. We draw up a 10ml syringe every 15 to 20 minutes and pin her writhing little body down. She cries and puts up a fuss, some ends up squirted on the ceiling, most goes down with much gagging... and we do it again in 15 minutes. Once she has gotten a few of these in she seems to perk up a bit and not fuss so much. We can see the effects of getting food in immediately, the days we get more in the better disposition she has too.

We just found out today that her chemo is going to be cycled- take it for 21 days, off for 7. Today was day two of being off the drug; hopefully we will see her perk up for a few days.
We have two things that we would appreciate your prayers for.

The first is if you would please keep Charlotte in prayer at 8:00 every weekday morning, this is the time that she has her radiation. We are praying that God will heal her through this treatment. Some specifics would be that radiation does its job, succeeds in killing any trace of tumour. That anaesthesia goes well each morning- that we will not have to up her dose should her body become used to the amounts used. (Some days she comes out happier than others, some days we can sneak in her eating a cup of yogurt while she is waking up- before she is protesting.) Also pray that Gods protection will be over her and any side effects will be nonexistent, both short-term and long term. That damage to other areas of her brain will be negligible.

The second is for her appetite. That she will be given the strength to start eating again, without any drugs intervention. That she will not be too tired to eat, and that she will not be so tired from not eating. She needs her strength for her treatments and for that she needs to eat. This would take a huge burden off of Rob and me, not having to chase her down with syringes all day.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragements. We appreciate hearing that we are in your prayers- facebook, emails, comments on the blog- these messages are all cherished.