Monday, October 21, 2019

Nothing really new

My faithful little "dog"
We're doing well here, very busy getting ready for my parents' visit. They're arriving on Friday! Also, three completely different things came together this morning, so poor Will was trying to talk on the phone, keep up with emails, and do math with Bogdan all at once. He even had to use my phone along with his to get it all done.

One of those things was an announcement from the US Embassy that they'll be in Kherson on Thursday. Two of our children need new passports. I had kind of been thinking that we would get them during fall break from school, but then when my parents were able to come, of course their visit outranked a passport trip to Kyiv. The embassy almost never comes here, so this is really great. But it means we need to get an appointment and pull together documents right away.

The Agape Photo Project started in our region last week. Our three older children helped at the orphanage here in town. This week the team will be traveling to more orphanages, and our kids (and maybe Will?) will also go on some of the trips. Raia is probably actually going to be doing the photography on Wednesday.

A Photo Project helper
We bought a scale last week and were happy to see that I was up to 50 kgs, which is where the doctors would like to see me. I'm back below that again now, but not far. I've felt good this whole time and don't think they'll have any problems with giving me more Keytruda on Friday. Train schedules have been a bit weird, but I just now got myself a return ticket for Saturday; I already had one to go on Thursday.

I'll close with photos from our nature walk this morning. (I liked that as we left the house this morning, Babushka O. from across the road stuck her head out and asked if we were going on a nature walk, as if that was what everyone does. We're no longer the weird homeschoolers.)

Friday, October 11, 2019

Papa picture

The art school posted photos from Bogdan's class of the kids' portraits of their fathers. They also sent out a few photos of the works in process over the past few lessons. Oh, and there was one of Asya, too.

It's one week since Keytruda for me, and I'm doing well. No side effects, except that I want a nap every day, and I'm usually ready for bed by 8:00. I'm going to buy tickets for the next trip now. And--this is the fun part--it's for the day my parents arrive for a visit, so they'll be here when I get home afterward.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Keytruda #6

Thank you so much for all the prayers and support. My trip to Kyiv and back was quite uneventful. Two overnight trains in a row is rough, but I made it. Everything went really smoothly at the clinic, too. No trouble with the IV or anything. I was worried about that, after the IV disasters here recently.

The one complication that did come up is that I am now officially too underweight for the Keytruda dosage. Apparently it's all or nothing, too; when medicine is worth its weight in gold, you don't just dump a little down the sink before giving it to a smaller person. My own doctor examined me very thoroughly and decided that she couldn't approve it, just because of my weight. So, she called in the head of the chemo department. That doctor also examined me and very tentatively approved. She cancelled the sleepy medicine, too. (That's the allergy medicine they've been giving me to avoid a repeat of the little rash I got after the first time.) Without that, I'm tired, but I didn't have the extreme sleepiness during and after that I usually get. But, she said that if I have the slightest reaction of any kind, we're done with Keytruda for now.

I felt so much better than usual that I went to the botanical garden and walked and sat and took pictures after I left the clinic. That was wonderful! I even saw a squirrel there.

It is so good to be home now, too. Bogdan can't stop hugging me, and I'm loving that. I'm tired, but I'm loving my soft bed after the trains.

My next appointment is very tentatively scheduled for October 25, but they said not even to buy tickets yet. We're supposed to see how things go for at least a week or more, then they will confirm, if I'm doing well (and gaining weight?). So, please keep praying!

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Raia and the Americans

I think Raia has mostly recovered from her hard-working, fun week as a translator. Thank you for praying for her! We hardly saw her all week, because she left so early and came home so late every day, or some nights she just slept on a couch there. It was a great experience for her. I have a few photos of her with two of the Americans and two of the kids they were caring for:

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Asya's birthday

One week ago was Asya's twelfth birthday. She had a great time celebrating! First, she got the bicycle she had been wanting (and needing. Our kids do a lot of commuting on their bikes.) Then Will took her and her friends to the big mall. They planned to go bowling, but it was too full, so they ended up at Jump Park, the trampoline and climbing place. After playing hard, they had dinner at MacDonald's. Asya was so sweet and flexible about all of it. Changes in plans didn't bother her at all. It was all exactly what she wanted, no matter what happened.