Day #11-New Neck Line Installed & Preparing for the Next Stage

Last night I slept amazing, probably the best I have since I’ve been in Russia.  No neck line in to bother me and no being woken up at night to be given any shots.  It was just me and my bed all night long.  Even though it gets daylight here very early, I still managed to sleep in till around 6:00am, which is pretty good for me.  Normally 5:00am has been my normal wake-up time since I’ve been here. My neck was still a bit sore from where my neck catheter was removed yesterday, but not too bad, it seeped a bit more blood, but that is to be expected, I mean the thing was shoved in my jugular vein!

The day started off with Breakfast #1, which considering wasn’t all too bad this morning.  It was the tapioca type slurry along with a square of egg white casserole, and bread.  Along with copious quantities of sugar packets and a tea bag.  No shortage of sugar here at all.

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Breakfast #1

After I finished up breakfast Dr. F came in and took my vitals for the day, blood pressure is always hanging around the same numbers which are perfect, guess that’s a good thing.  He then informed me that I’d be retrieved shortly to get my new neck line installed that will be stuck in me for most of my remaining time here in Moscow. And shortly afterwards I was led down the hallway and back into the room where I got my first one installed to begin the process all over again. Like the first time, I had to remove my shirt and shoes, I’m always shirtless here it seems, don’t know why I even bother to wear one, ha.  Then I laid down on the table that was covered with white sheets.  This time I had to turn my head far over to the right to the point it was almost painful.  I knew at this point in time that I was getting it in my neck, was hoping for a lower one, but I had figured with my build and veins, the neck was my only option, and sadly I was correct. They did use an ultrasound to figure out the placement of this thing and then like before they completely covered me up so I really had no idea what was going on, probably a good thing really.   Then like before they slathered me up with several types of solutions before they began the process.

Then my neck was stuck with needles several times to numb the whole area, and boy this time they went crazy with the numbing solution, by the time it was all over I couldn’t feel part of my face, ear, neck, and chest.  Good stuff.  Then the doctor started pushing hard all over my neck and shoulder region, it was downright painful for a bit.  Then she started inserting the line.  Now I will admit for me, this line placement was far worse than the first one, even though this was a smaller line.  It didn’t really hurt, but she was pushing down hard on my neck the entire time and really shoving this thing inside, you could feel it moving all the way down.  It is a feeling unlike any other and very hard to describe.  It was quite unpleasant but not painful.  Then she began taping it up and I was free to leave.  Because of my neck being smaller and how forceful she was pushing on it, I did end up with quite the large amount of swelling and redness around the insertion site.  Shortly afterwards we headed down to get an x-ray to determine if placement was correct and it was, so I was sent back to my room to rest.   Here’s some pics of my new line, that I am still referring to as my alien.

Afterwards I wasn’t feeling too bad, most of my neck and face was still numb so it didn’t bother me, but after the numbing agents started to wear off, holy hell it was painful and swollen.  But after a bit I did manage to track down the doctor and got a shot of pain meds in my new line and that really helped with the pain.  I’m normally against using pain meds, but in some circumstances I feel they are acceptable and amazing things.

After that was Breakfast #2, which wasn’t anything too exciting.  Chunk of beef, two cooked apples, baby yogurt and plum tea.  Followed up shortly later by lunch which was a more interesting meal today.  The main plate had buckwheat along with a beef liver stew mixture on it, along with a bowl of somewhat spicy cauliflower soup and bread.  In order to  tolerate the buckwheat I mixed the beef liver mixture into it, squirted on some mustard I brought from home, mixed it up and downed it.  I downed the soup quickly as well and finished off the bread with some nutella on top of it.  Some pics from those meals.

For the rest of the afternoon I just laid around in the room resting up from the traumatic line insertion of earlier and then ventured down the hall to hangout with my Aussie HSCT buddy.  She had her stem cells harvested earlier today and when I was in her room she got the good news that she collected enough today that she gets to move onto the next stage tomorrow, yay! She gets her big line pulled today and her new one installed tomorrow.

Then I talked to Dr. F as he was headed out for the day.  He wanted to discuss with me all what would be happening tomorrow.  Sounds like around 10:00am the chemo will start.  Then later in the day I will get other infusions as well.  My med container is now filled with different pills that I need to take tomorrow before the chemo and then more pills that go along with each meal.  These pills are antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and PPI gastro protection. He also brought me a ton of bottles of protein drinks in case eating becomes difficult with the chemo, I’m allowed to drink 2 of them a day.

Now this is where the treatment starts to get crazy.  Chemo can lead to some pretty insane side effects.  Some people get through it with pretty much no side effects minus some digestive issues, others get the full onslaught.  You never really know.  Hence the reason we have our trusty sheet of side effects written in English and Russian to use in case we need a nurse in the middle of the night.  And this is something I’m willingly doing to myself to attempt to rid my body of MS.  It may be brutal, but I’m gonna give it one hell of a fight.

Finishing up today’s blog post on the topic of food. Dinner just arrived.  It was whitefish, mashed potatoes, canned peas, bread, and cookies.  Not too bad.  The fish was a bit boney, but not too bad.  I managed to down it all.

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Dinner

I found a Russia-Finland hockey game on TV to watch, so I’m just gonna kick back and watch the game and relax for the rest of the evening.  I realize tomorrow will most likely be a day of hell, so I want at least one night of relaxation before it all goes south.  Here’s to kicking MS to the curb!

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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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