Yesterday evening and last night were kinda rough for me. I was feeling really nauseous, light-headed, and was having issues walking, old MS symptoms were really starting to flare. But after my last infusion for the night, I popped the sleeping pill I was given and konked out. Can’t say I slept amazing, constant runs to the bathroom to pee really do mess with sleeping, but in between pee breaks I slept pretty good. I managed to stay in bed till closer to 7:00am, although when I woke up I was still feeling pretty woozy. I decided that I would attempt to take a shower and wow that made all the improvement. I wrapped a plastic bag around my neck to keep my bandage dry, that sorta worked, but I got in a nice hot shower and that really cleared my head.
Now a word of advice for people travelling here in spring and summer, the Russian White Nights are starting so it stays light really late and gets light really early, and the curtains here aren’t great, so if you have a problem sleeping when it is light out, you probably should bring an eye mask to help with that. I personally don’t have an issue sleeping with it light outside, I worked nights and swing shifts in the past and slept during the day, so not an issue. But some of the ladies here now are sleeping much better with eye masks. But on the plus side, if you are traveling here from overseas and have a long plane trip, they usually will give you one on the plane, so you may end up with an extra one from the plane trip.
Breakfast really wasn’t super appealing but I forced down what I could. It was oatmeal, bread, and baby yogurt. I opted to eat a breakfast bar and granola bar along with the yogurt and bread, and tossed the oatmeal. No way I could manage to stomach that slop this morning. Since I’m discussing food I’ll mention Breakfast #2 as well here, it was the usual 2 cooked apples, hard-boiled egg, hunk of beef, and plum tea. It came during the chemo drip and I managed to eat most of it, but I also was munching on chips and other goodies during the chemo, I really had the munchies and figured better eat while I can stomach the food. Go with the flow. Food pics from the morning.
After Breakfast #1 I headed outside with one of my fellow patients who is on the same chemo schedule as me. Like I mentioned before we are a group of 5 here, but 3 of us are a day ahead of the other 2 to make things easier on the staff. We walked around a bit, sat down, chatted, and just enjoyed the nice sunny day. Good to get some air before being confined to bed for 3 hours on the chemo drip. Got back inside just in time. Went to fill my water bottles and my feisty little nurse was telling me I need to get to my room now to be hooked up, no time to finish filling my water bottle, NOW!!! In my defense she did tell me I would be hooked up at 10:00am this morning and it was only 9:45am. But I went back to my room and got all hooked up. I’m not sure of this nurse’s name, but she is by far my favorite, she speaks fairly good English and tries to explain everything as she is doing it. My chemo treatment today was pretty uneventful. It didn’t seem to bother me as much today and didn’t make me too groggy. I was pretty active afterwards, unlike yesterday. Some pics from the day.
Soon after chemo came lunch, which was another new dish for me here and it wasn’t half bad. It was pasta, a beef stew mix that I’m pretty sure contained beef heart, with a side of a sliced beet/pea salad, a bowl of bland soup, and bread. I mixed the pasta in with the stew mix and it turned out pretty good. Not a bad meal considering. Looks more horrifying than it tasted.
After lunch I had a pretty chilled day. Went outside for a bit, chatted with some of my fellow patients, and watched Russian TV. I think I may be the only non-Russian patient here actually watching any Russian TV, but it is pretty entertaining. One channel often airs Disney movies and cartoons, so it’s fun to watch them in Russian. Then of course there are hockey games. But what really fascinates me is the fact that Victory Day is tomorrow here in Russia which celebrates victory over the Nazis in WWII, so one station was running a marathon the last 2 days of some mini-series following a Russian soldier group during WWII. I understand zero Russian at all, but it was interesting seeing that whole perspective of the war, actions speak louder than words. I love history, especially war history, and WWII has always been a topic that I have found fascinating. I have read numerous books on the topic and am very picky on what I choose to read as I want to read the most accurate accounts from all sides. Overall I have found several US authors and several German authors have the most accurate accounts. But one thing that has always lacked in my WWII research was the Soviet/Russian side of the war. It’s something that just isn’t discussed in the western world and there is not much info about it. I’m sure you can find plenty of literature in Russian, but nothing really translated. And Russia really played the biggest role in the whole war and suffered the most casualties. The US obviously did a lot as well, just in different ways. One thing that I have learned since being here in Russia is that Russia seems to truly care about its military past and it’s veterans. This Victory Day Parade is a huge thing and they go all out for it. The way they honor their veterans here is truly amazing and it’s something the rest of the world could learn from.
The rest of my day consisted of getting my afternoon infusions of 2 bottles of goodies which happened around 4:00pm today. I’ve determined these bottles are the ones that actually cause me more issues than the actual chemo, they are ones to help protect the organs from the chemo and help with nausea so the nurse attempted to explain. Luckily they didn’t hit me as bad today as yesterday, and eating part of my dinner calmed down the stomach. Dinner came shortly afterwards and was mashed potatoes, fish, bread, and cookies. Now normally I will eat anything including fish, but my fish today was massively undercooked and still partially frozen inside, I could of nuked it in the microwave, but I really couldn’t handle the smell of fish in the room, luckily my Aussie buddy down the hall has food for every occasion and she made me some ramen noodles to go with my mashed potatoes, so the day was saved. And actually that combo really calmed down my stomach.
I’ve just been chilling in my room the rest of the evening, went and chatted with some fellow patients for a bit, and am now watching Shrek 2 in Russian. Just finished up my final infusion for the night, so I’m free from all that until 10:00am tomorrow morning.
This last week there were no new patients entering the facility, but this Monday and Tuesday some will be showing up, so it will be nice to see some new faces, they’ll get to experience our stem cell birthday parties coming up in a few days!
Here’s hoping for an uneventful night with lots of sleep and no side effects! Last day of chemo is tomorrow to finish wiping out my immune system and hopefully the pesky MS.