Today is the day! Giovanni has finished chemotherapy and will have his cells transplanted back into him with the corrected ARSA enzyme around 7pm (12pm CDT). He has had many people stopping in to see him on his big day asking him if he is "ready for his cells". He has no idea what is going on but I am sure when the room is full tonight (Which it will be) that he will be hamming it up like he always does without a care in the world accept why he can't go walking around and why he can't have chocolate.
I am very anxious with anticipation. That anxiousness is combined with anxiousness over missing my other kids, the life in "the box" and missing being a family. I had a chance to head home for a visit for a few hours last night. It was the first time I left the hospital since Sunday when we arrived and the first time I left the room since Monday. It was a really strange feeling arriving at the new flat. I felt like a visitor, I didn't know where anything was, I didn't have enough time to just relax as the kids and I played hide and seek and then I had to get things gathered up to take back and then try to get Livi to bed (she wasn't having it). Aria sat in the corner of the kitchen and started crying saying she didn't want me to leave and that she missed Giovanni too. It was heart wrenching. I don't think in her 6 years she has ever cried over something like that...missing someone, emotional pain. It was really hard to see and even harder that I could not do anything to make it all go away. This process scares me so much for what it is doing to and for Giovanni but also what it is doing to our family. I feel it pulling us apart but I suspect that I have that impression more since I am the one on the outside. The flat is so nice and I want anything for his treatment to be over and for Giovanni and I to be there with everyone else.
Gosh...I did not mean for the post to take that turn. It was supposed to be a celebration. We learned some lessons last night with my visit home. It was my first time riding the subway and electric train. When I headed back I found out that the subway does not go into the hospital late at night so I would have to take a bus part of the way. When Tarah left she was unable to find a bus and ended up being taken home by our new friend, Marcus. He and his wife Lisa have been amazing to us since we met them last week. They know what it is like to travel to foreign countries with children and they had things to get rid of since they will be leaving Italy in the summer and heading for Angola. It helped fill some gaps in our needs at the new apartment.
My G man is now napping. He looks very different. His eyes look sunken with dark circles underneath. His skin is more pale. I am with him all the time so I do not see the change as much until I look on photos I have taken since we have been here. It is very startling. He is still Bellissimo of course but he has definitely changed. He still has his hair...his mullet or skullet. He has the same hair growth pattern as Aria (and the same light hair color) where most of his hair has grown on the back of his head with much lighter growth on top. I do not know if he will lose his hair (the first family through treatment told us their son did). He has worked a whole year to grow the little amount he has so let's hope it stays put. It even looks like it will maybe be curly too...a curly headed, blonde haired, blue eyed boy :).
Many people have asked about sending things for us and the kids. I LOVE that you all are so kind and thinking of us but the mail receipt system here leaves something to be desired. My friend Kelly mailed me some vitamins for the kids, shampoo and conditioner for me and some hair oil for Livi's curls. She sent it on January 25th and we still don't have it as it is currently being held at the post office awaiting the 3 page affidavit that I had to complete with Miriam. They identified the products as "healthcare" and want to make sure I will not sell it. Really, if I was going to sell it I would probably have more sent to me than one of each item, don't you think? They also tax our packages and we will likely pay $30-$50 to get the box (I can't figure out their tax system). We had to pay $160 on the computer that arrived a few weeks ago so who knows. My worry is that we won't get things quickly enough for the kids to have them while we are here. The UPS was quick but obviously more expensive. If you do send something do tracking on the package. Aria's class mailed her Valentine's at the beginning of February and I am hoping they will arrive. It would make her day. So...if you want to brave the Italian postal service our new address is:
Via Cairoli, 60
Vimodrone, Milano Italy 20090
I think I may doze off for a bit while we await lunch to arrive. I will update tomorrow on how the cell infusion went. At noon CDT be thinking of Giovanni and praying that this is the miracle he needs to live a long life.
Hug Your Babies!
Check up DAY!
3 weeks ago