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Galyna's Week 3

I want to start this post with gratitude: we have gotten more messages, phone calls, meals, things in the mail, and visits than we can count! Someone at Grandpa Tere’s work even made bracelets saying “Prayers 4 Galyna” and the entire staff is wearing them! Our family and friends have showered us with love and prayers. Thank you to everyone that has reached out and offered help and support. It would be impossible to do this alone. We are truly grateful for everything!

We are now in week 3 of chemo. Galyna is doing really well! According to our doctor, she is doing as well as they could have hoped. We are encouraged that this trend continues as we are now in the middle of the 6-week cycle.

Today’s session was different in a way that Galyna was less scared about some of the tests she has to go through. For example, she hates the blood pressure cuff, but today Tara put it on her and although she was on the verge of tears G stayed strong. It was quite amazing watching her tense up but avoid crying and screaming.

Overall, things have been pretty steady in our household. Our jobs and the people we work with have been super supportive as well, which definitely takes an edge off. We are settling into a routine and Galyna is even taking medicine with a lot less resistance which really simplified the whole process. We have to give her medicine 4 times during the day, 6 times on the weekends, and 2 other medicines before her chemo sessions. Tara insisted that we track it all on a whiteboard in the kitchen and I am glad that she did!

While Galyna has improved in areas when it comes to chemo sessions and medicine, sleep has been a real issue. Insomnia is one of the side effects with her medication and she has been up at all hours of the night. With a few rare exclusions, we are up for 2-3 hours every night watching cartoons, having 2nd dinners (first breakfasts?) and trying to reason with Galyna that 3 am is not a good time to play outside.

As everyone reaches out (again, thank you!) there are some questions that come up more often than others. Many people want to know what the prognosis is and thankfully LCH is curable and by this time in 2019 Galyna should be completely free of LCH. It is unfortunate that it is happening, but this is the most benign diagnosis out of what it could’ve been. What we have to watch out for is what damage has been done to her vertebrae and how she is able to recover from it. Our oncology doctor will continue working closely with orthopedic doctors to make sure her spine continues growing and developing correctly. We are hopeful she won’t need any surgeries and there won’t be any long-term effects from this as a result.

What’s coming up:

In 3 weeks, on August 7th Galyna will have her next PET scan to see how she is doing. This will give us a view on how the tumors are responding and if everything is on track. She should have a 1 or 2-week break from chemo and then go on to the 2nd 6-week cycle of treatment.

Coincidentally, the 3 of us are going to be traveling to the Pacific NW 2nd week of August. We are going to Seattle to visit the Brenchley family! This will be Galyna’s first time on the airplane and we decided that a 6-hour flight would be a great way to introduce her to flying :D

There is one exciting thing that is happening this week: I will become a US citizen on July 20th! I came to the United States in September of 2005 and almost 13 years later I will take the Oath to become an American!

Again, we can’t thank everyone enough! Please continue praying for Galyna and this process. We are not sure why we have to go through this, but we are confident in the promise that is given to us in Jeremiah 29:11.

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