Since our arrival in Moscow, I have had one good night’s sleep. That was the first night in the hotel. I usually only sleep 4-5 hours a night, anyway, but, after admission to the hospital, I found that staying in a deep sleep for any period of time was next to impossible. And, just about the time you think your body is back in sync; it’s time to start the 4 nights of stimulation injections at 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. It’s understandable that things could get a little off kilter. Since moving to the third floor (the bed is much comfier), I try to go to bed at 11:00 p.m., but find that I am only able to sleep for 2 hours…period. Then, I am up wide awake, and refreshed. It’s not like I feel miserable or worn out. I just can’t sleep. Add to that we are in a time of the year here called “White Nights”. I experienced a very similar situation when I was in Ireland around this time of year. It stays daylight forever. It could be 11:00 p.m., and it looks like it is 9:00 p.m. It never gets completely dark. So, fine. I’m not miserable, but I’m not stupid either. I know that I’ve just gone through four days of chemo and I’m about to have a stem cell transplant done, all of which is very stressful to the body. In an effort of self-preservation, I approached Dr. Fedorenko so see what he thought. He wasn’t really happy about the lack of sleep and mentioned that “Well, you are also very energetic” (using jumping hand motions). I think that was his kind way of saying “You’re a spaz! Try to not overdo it.” Ha ha He recommended sleeping pills, or that I try not to sleep/nap during the day at all and only sleep at night. I tried the not sleeping all day for one night. I was so exhausted I felt like I could sleep for two days. Nope…two hours. That’s all I got. Last night, I caved and took the sleeping pill. He swore that it would have no adverse, psychotic, crazy effects and it didn’t. But, I’ve decided they’re just going to have to get an elephant gun to bring me down. I did get about four hours of sleep, but I was up four times for potty breaks. Good news, this time, I was able to get back to sleep after each break. Dr. F. reassured me that poor sleeping habits are common among chemo patients and not to worry, but, he wants me to be in tip-top shape for the big day tomorrow (Tuesday). I get my stem cells back between 1-2:00 p.m. (5-6:00 a.m. EST).
Chemo Craziness…or Not
After four full days of chemo, still no side effects. I felt a little dizzy this morning, but breakfast took care of that. I just had my morning consult with the doc and he asked me if I was feeling tired. I said “No.”. I truly do believe that I’ve functioned at such a lower level of energy for so long, that my interpretation of tired or not tired is skewed. I may look like I’m always running around like a maniac, but underneath it all, I’m just pushing four times harder than the average Joe. Is there an Oscar category for that? Dr. F. confirms that if I do start to feel fatigued from the chemo, it is completely normal. I don’t know why I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around the fact that I’m doing so well with the chemo. Am I grateful? Absolutely! But I have read and heard so many horror stories, and I have been fully prepared for the meltdown that may occur. Day after day, treatment after treatment, I seem to be responding beyond expectations. Of course, the attentive care that I’m receiving plays a large role in the fact that I continue to thrive under such circumstances. My vitals are at their optimum…kidneys, digestive tract, breathing, BP, temperature, etc., are all unremarkable. In addition, I maintain a healthy appetite…maybe a little too healthy (thank you Spandex). Blessing, blessings and blessing all around! Yes, I always take the “expect the worst, and anything else is a gift” route, but, this is pretty mind-blowing.
Let’s Put This Thing to Bed
I took my morning walk through the corridors continuing to test my new and improved foot. It continues to try to position itself properly. I took the walk with my trekking pole, but halfway through my stroll, I got cocky and started holding the trekking pole up in the air and walking without it…the entire way down the hall!! You got it!
If you all would like to join in the transplant pep rally, tomorrow, please set your prayer/good vibe alarms, phone or regular, to 5-6 a.m., tomorrow (EST), May 14. Hmm…I wonder if there is a cheer app on my/your phone? Nothing like a little “timely cheerleading”. Oh, and the chant will be “OFFENSE, OFFENSE, OFFENSE!”. ha ha The transplantation is a very intense procedure and will take every ounce of mental and physical agility I have in me to tolerate it. My plan is to focus on the prize while it’s happening. This IS the prize, and I don’t mind.
It’s a sunny, warm day here in Moscow. I may have to take my new toy out for another walk. Come tomorrow, no more outside until I’m released. Update — Just back from outside. It is absolutely gorgeous, and surprisingly, the freshly blooming foliage smells just like home. Awwww…
Rock on, people!
VSG–every page on my journal while Bob was in the hospital at Pittsburgh contains those letters or the information they stand for–Vital Signs Good. I’m happy to start using those letters again for you, Brooke. They speak volumes because they are so important. I’m also going to steal your words and pray that you continue to “thrive beyond expectation”!! During prayer request time yesterday Pastor Chuck asked if I had an update on you and I was so excited to pass the information along. Prayer warriors will be out in full force tomorrow morning to help usher those stem cells back where they belong! Tell them ” Welcome home, now get to work!”.
Obviously, you and your prayer warriors have been hard at work on my behalf. I can’t thank you enough for that. All is good in the stem cell hood. Hugs to you, Bob and the fam.
Brooke! So thrilled that you are doing well (except your sleeping). I will set my alarm for tomorrow morning and will stay tuned to your journey. Sending prayers and blessings to you…our Lord is holding your hand tightly now and all will go well! God Bless YOU 🙂
I will be setting my alarm to send you prayers and well wishes tomorrow from 5-6am. I will make sure that I have my Leevi shirt on. Please know that I continue to say prayers around the clock. We are so proud of you!!!
I too will be setting my alarm and sporting my black “Halt MS” t-shirt to work tomorrow……It is going to be a great day tomorrow…..Luv You….