As I write these, I realize there is an identical pattern to each of these posts (plus, I am no Hemingway!). Seeing how things are going, I would rather it continue in some sort of a routine, rather than a roller coast of events. Part of that pattern is to continuously be grateful. Tara and I really appreciate everyone following up on Galyna’s progress and checking in on us. We cannot express our gratitude enough.
Yesterday Galyna had her 5th chemo session. Not to be a downer right from the start, but it was probably the worst session to date. We were so encouraged by how session #3 went, however, 4 and 5 did not follow the trend. We are told over and over that kids get used to it but we are not so sure at this point.
Since only one person allowed to go along, I am writing this from the All Children’s cafeteria while Tara is with Galyna getting ready for PET scan. I really need to highlight how awesome, courageous and strong Tara has been through this whole process. It is not easy to watch your child go through this. It’s not something we were preparing for, yet I have seen Tara grow and mature to another level through this experience.
Because we are traveling and the PET scan truck (literal truck brings the machine here) is only here on certain dates, they had to move up the scan. Hopefully, we will know by Friday, or Monday at the latest what the results look like. We are praying that the tumors are completely gone, or nearly gone.
For those curious: below are pics of Tara's efforts to keep Galyna entertained. The bandages on her chest is where her IV port is located (under the skin). Every time we come to the hospital they "access" it: we have to put hair nets and face masks to avoid infection, then the area gets cleaned and a needle gets inserted into the port, and everything (drawing blood, chemotherapy, anesthesia, etc) goes through it . Let's set the record clear - Galyna hates this part, as well as all the steps required to administer meds. Today she had to have the port accessed not once, but twice!
When our doctor originally went over the treatment plan, we were under impression that Galyna will be taking steroids all through her 12 weeks of chemotherapy and then taper off from there. We were surprised to learn yesterday that they will start tapering her off already, so this week she is taking half the dose, and next week it will be halved again, and so forth. We are definitely encouraged by it!
G’s tantrums have been off the charts. It is safe to say she is in her terrible twos stage already, magnified by the medicine. She did sleep really well this past week (which was very welcome), and with the dosage going down hopefully, she will normalize a bit.
I have mentioned before how supportive our jobs have been. Tara actually works at the same Starbucks store as my sister Olga now, and they have been trading shifts to help us make these appointments. And my work has been just as flexible, allowing me to work remotely as needed and my coworkers volunteering to back me up.
Last Friday I came to the office and saw an email that I wasn’t quite ready(emotionally) to see: people from my office set up a GoFundMe page and shared it with over 1000 people in the company. Maybe it is my “man pride”, but asking for help is really difficult. On top of that, seeing that there are donations coming from offices and people I don’t even interact with has been extremely humbling.
As I mentioned at the start of this post there is a certain pattern to these writings . We want to make sure that the pattern we follow is a pattern of gratitude, hope, and faith. We are really thankful for everything and everyone going through this with us.