Day #8-Day 3 of Stem Cell Stimulation & Last Day of Freedom!!!

The day started out bright and early at 3:00am when the cheery nurse walked in the room, flipped on the light by the bed, grabbed my arm, sprayed it down with alcohol, wiped it off, stabbed in the giant needle, injected, pulled it out, slapped some gauze on, said goodnight and off she went, all in under a minute. I had my earlier injection at 11:00pm and that one wasn’t bad either.  Neither were painful that night and I ended up with no site reactions afterwards either.  In fact during the day I couldn’t even tell where either was injected, just can see the marks from the fist 2 shots from the night before.

Then Breakfast #1 showed up.  I really am not a fan of breakfast at all, I just hate breakfast food, it’s not my thing and I struggle with it at home, I’d much prefer veggies, meat, smoothies, etc. But today’s breakfast is the one they serve here that I find the most appealing and I wish it would pop up more on the menu.  It’s a creamed wheat/malt o meal type dish that is white and a bit runny but doesn’t have much flavor, so easier to guzzle down quickly.  It was served with a square of cooked egg whites, and then of course the usual bread, tea bag, and numerous sugar packets.  It really is true they are all about sugar here, I get a minimum of 4 packs of the stuff a day and they aren’t small packs either.  Then after the steroid injection came Breakfast #2, which often is the less appealing of the two.  It consists of 2 cooked apples that don’t have much flavor, baby yogurt that taste like sour cream, and a cup of plum tea.  But here’s some pics of the breakfast meals from the day

Between the breakfasts was the usual morning route of the past couple days, the IV steroid infusion and checkup by Dr. F.  They were running a bit behind today and my steroids started around 10:00am this morning.  Today was the last day I will be getting them in an arm vein, tomorrow the neck catheter goes in and I get my final dose via that to give it a test run and make sure it works properly, nervewracking.  These nurses here truly are amazing, the one today managed to hit yet another vein in the same section of my arm on the first try, and got me hooked up and running in no time.  Last day in the arm.  Dr. F explained the process of what will be happening tomorrow, so I know what to expect.

After the steroids we were given a green light to do whatever we wanted for the rest of the day, since for a couple of us this will be our last day of freedom to leave, since we get our neck catheter in tomorrow, which at that time means we can only roam the hospital grounds and maybe go a short distance up the street, no more exploring Moscow.

My HSCT buddy from Britain and I decided to take a tram up to the castle marketplace for a bit of shopping, but before we left we said goodbye to a guy named Alex here at the hospital.  He just finished up his treatment and has been writing an entertaining blog throughout the whole time.  He has seen so much progress since he has arrived here and is now able to actually balance alone and not rely on a stick when walking, truly amazing.  He heads home tomorrow.

So after goodbyes were said, off to the marketplace we went.  Not as many vendors as there was on the weekend but I did manage to track down one of the final items I was trying to find for myself.  From there we hopped back on the tram to the hospital and decided to do a bit of shopping in the local grocery store before we went back in the gates.  This was my first time in a Russian grocery store, so it really was fun to see the different brands from the US.

After the grocery store I dropped off my stuff in my room and ventured off alone to visit the Red Square area again.  I really love the architecture on St. Basil’s Cathedral and wanted to go take a ton of pictures from all angles in different light settings.  The weather and light still wasn’t too cooperative but I did get to take ton more pics.  I went to and from there via the metro.  When I got to Red Square I ventured all around St. Basil’s Cathedral and then decided to walk down the road a little ways and cross the bridge over the Moscow River.  Then headed along the river a couple blocks to get to another bridge to make my way back over to the Kremlin entrance.   I got some nice pics of the Kremlin building and got to see a bit more than I did on my first trip over there earlier.  It was a nice peaceful evening and a wonderful way to spend my last day of freedom here in Moscow. I ended up getting back to the hospital around 8:00, so no time to write this blog last night so I’m finishing it up in the morning.  It was a nice day.  Here’s some pics from my adventure.

So that was my last day of freedom here.  But I did enjoy every bit of my freedom and loved getting the chance to explore this great city.  It truly is a beautiful place and the people are so lovely.  And their public transortation really just kicks ass and is so cheap.

My stimulation injections were at 11:00pm and 3:00am.  Both were relatively painless and didn’t cause any site reactions. I did opt to take a sleeping pill last night that the doctor gave out since the steroids really were affecting my sleep and it did actually help a bit and I did sleep much better.  This upcoming morning the neck catheter goes in, not gonna lie, a bit nervous for that one….


About Cat

I'm an outdoorsy gal, wife, mom of 2 and MS Warrior. I underwent HSCT in Russia in April/May 2016 to halt my MS and documented my entire journey while I was there in my blog and am now continuing to blog through my recovery.
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