Day #18- The Waiting Game

Today started off bright and early.  I was up slightly after 5:00am and had already showered, peed in my cup, and all that so I was ready for the days events.  And by 6:30 the nurse had come and collected my urine sample, took a couple syringes of blood, gave me some fluids, and that was the start of the day.  Gotta say these neck lines are amazing for blood draws, no being stabbed with needles, it’s just on tap whenever needed.  Irritating dangling there at times, but useful at other times.

By around 8:30am Breakfast #1 had showed up.  It was an egg white square, porridge, bread, sugar, and tea.  The usual fare.  Not much changes up other than the type of porridge.  This was more the white tapioca type today so more appealing that most, I ate about half of that.  My new thing is now saving my butter/margarine packet, slapping a bit of that on the white bread, dousing it with garlic powder and zapping it in the microwave.  Really makes the bread more appealing and adds some flavor which is something I am obviously needing.   I’ll just mention Breakfast #2 while I’m at it.  It was the standard 2 cooked apples, baby yogurt, hunk of beef, and plum tea.

After that it was the waiting game to talk to Dr. Fedorenko to see how my bloods looked like to determine when I went in isolation.  That discussion occurred around 10:00am. So we discussed yesterday and how isolation works and all that, then got down to business.  My urine test was fine, so don’t need to repeat that again for a while.  My blood counts are dropping like they are supposed to, my Leukocyte counts are now 1.31, they need to be below 1.0 for isolation, so for today I was free from isolation but now in mask mode, which means if I leave the room, the mask goes on.  Caroline and I both were told we will go in isolation at noon tomorrow.  Orjan, our stemmie brother had his numbers low enough today and went in isolation today, lucky fellow, but his intial stem cell collection numbers were crazy high so no surprise there.  My platelet counts and hemoglobin levels are lower than they would like, but not super low, he expects its lower because I was coming off my period while undergoing chemo and all that, so he is not concerned.  If they would drop super low then a blood transfusion could be needed, but he doesn’t feel that is an option at all in the future.  So another blood draw tomorrow morning and that should send me into isolation around noon.

After that Caroline and I decided to do one last walk around the grounds before we are confined to our rooms for 8-10 days.  So we got all masked up and headed out for our last bit of fresh air and freedom. For the first time since we’ve been here the hospital chapel has been open, so we went inside.  It is very beautiful inside.  Numerous other patients had taken pictures of it in the past, so I tried to as well, but the gal in charge didn’t seem impressed and told me to put my camera away, but I got a few shots.  But these Greek Orthodox churches really are amazing.  Not just with outside architecture, but inside they are just decorated so grandly, it is amazing.  You see nothing like it anywhere else in the world, it’s just incredible.   They really take their religion seriously over here and people are always in the chapel lighting candles and praying, quite amazing really. A few pics from that.

Much of the rest of the day I spent just preparing for isolation for tomorrow.  I repacked my bags, got my souvenirs arranged a bit better and shoved most everything else in my bags that I won’t be allowed to have during isolation, which is pretty much everything, since they even provide you clothes every day.  I also finally broke out my cross-stitching that I was told ahead of time would be approved for isolation since it isn’t really messy and I can’t really hurt myself with it.  Maybe piss myself off a lot with it, but that’s about it.  I also have my coloring accessories, laptop, phone, camera, etc.  Should be all set for 8-10 days of being locked in a small room.  Good time to really get to know oneself.  Maybe start writing a trashy romance novel as well, never know, gotta make money somehow right????

2:00pm was lunch, which was a beef liver stew mix with buckwheat, along with a veggie soup, and bread.  Not a bad combo.  Not a huge fan of liver, but I realize it’s protein and good for the blood, so down the hatch it went.  Made myself more garlic bread to go along with it, can never have too much garlic.

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Lunch

After lunch was another infusion.  Nothing super exciting, not even sure what it was, but it was pretty fast with no side effects, so I’ll take it.  Then I got my bandage changed and a new one put on.  These nurses are super fast, just rip off the old one, cut off any excess skin/dried blood, spray it down good with alcohol, let it dry, wrap it up again.  So this bandage should be good to go for another few days unless I happen to drench it while taking a shower or unless is starts seeping, which shouldn’t happen anymore, it’s been there long enough.

At 3:30 today we got to witness the Stemmie Birthday Party for Aussie Cathy and Ine who is from Norway.  They were the last 2 in our group of 5, so they had their stem cells reinfused earlier today and we got to listen to them get their speech, their Iris pins, and then of course the throwing of the liquid nitrogen down the hallway.  4 out of the 5 of our group were there, poor Orjan was already in isolation, so he missed it, but the rest of us were there for support.   Also present were 2 fellow Russian patients being treated here at the same time who both can speak a fair bit of English, they are a week behind us on the schedule, as well as the gentleman from the country of Georgia who is headed home tomorrow morning.  These birthday parties really are amazing, there are no words to describe them.  You really are being given a second chance at life and it’s just so incredible.  Everyone who has been through one understands all the emotions, even when it is for someone else.  It’s amazing to know that your life is restarting and you are reborn!

After all that excitement everyone headed back to their rooms to just relax.  Dinner came a bit later and wasn’t too bad tonight.  Fish with some veggies on top of it, along with canned peas, mashed potatoes, bread, and cookies.  Considering some of the recent meals, it was quite nice. I downed it all, minus a few of the large bones in the fish.

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Dinner

And that’s about it for the day.  For the rest of the evening I just plan to relax and perhaps cross-stitch or color a bit more.

But since I didn’t really touch on the food posts from yesterday, I will post a few pics of the meals from yesterday that I took pics of, nothing super exciting, but yesterday was tongue day for lunch, always the most appealing meal of the week, which I quite enjoy, I’m the odd one here however it seems.  I didn’t take a picture of dinner, it really wasn’t appealing at all, it was basically breakfast for dinner plus a can of beef baby food, so looked pretty much identical to what Breakfast #1 looked like.   Breakfast #1 was some buckwheat porridge I think, along with a hardboiled egg and bread.  Breakfast #2 was 2 cooked apples, hunk of beef, baby yogurt, and plum tea.  Lunch was tongue, mashed potatoes, and fish soup.  Then dinner was porridge, bread, and beef baby food.  Nothing super exciting, the tongue was the highlight of the day.

Onward to tomorrow and hopefully ISOLATION!!!!!

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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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