As much as you all may have thought that this trip was supposed to have been all about me, saving myself from my MS, what you may not have known, is that it’s always been about a whole lot more to me. I knew that living and blogging this experience in real-time may be the one and only chance for me to directly touch the lives of others who are having or considering having HSCT for HALT their MS as well. It’s a mission that has kept me focused during my treatment and has served as a soulful reminder of this rare opportunity that I have. Lucky for me, today, I had an up close and personal opportunity to assist a friend and fellow HSCTr, Kristy Cruise’s, cohesive entry into Pirogov Hospital for her pre-testing. That first day there is full of so many unknowns, and being able to be help to make that as comfortable for her as possible was truly a labor of love. I’ve even already had the opportunity to identify some of the food she’s been served . She sent me the distress picture early after lunch with the “What do you think this is?” tagline. Of course, I let her know that it was a chicken croquette and they were quite tasty. ha ha I have included a couple of pics of us right before we left the hotel for hospital.
With Kristy successfully placed, and her already being ushered off for testing, Dr. Fedorenko had requested a 3-day post-discharge exam and consult. I passed with flying colors and he proceeded to continue to warn me that I would be suffering from the side effects of chemo for at least 3-6 months. So far, my main side effects from that have been dizziness and fatigue quelled only by periodic naps. He reminded me that I only had to wear a mask in a crowded situation, such as the plane ride home or an enclosed space with groups of people. I was a little surprised when he said that I would not be able to go swimming until the last week of June, due to potential exposure to bacteria in pool water. That was just fine with me. I usually don’t get in until the first week of July, anyway. One very pleasant tidbit of information was that he said there was no reason why I couldn’t drink wine. Really? I mean, REALLY?!! I do love the occasional glass of very dry red, and, as summer is upon us, the thought of a crispy Reisling on the patio in the evening makes me shiver with excitement. For some reason, I had just assumed that it might be at least 6 months until I was able to partake. Who knew?! He also said that I can begin driving, as soon as I feel comfortable doing so…perfect!
Dr. Fedorenko and I said our goodbyes and I headed back to hotel to meet with mom. Our goal for the day was to try to get me to the mall across from the hotel. Whether it took 15 minutes or an hour, I was determined to get there. We opted to wait until later in the afternoon for the temps to cool down a bit and we headed out across the plaza, down two sets of long stairs, through a parking lot, and just as we were about to cross the street to the mall, I realized that #1, I was already exhausted from getting up early, #2, my feet were sore from yesterday’s trip to the Market and, #3, that the 2 or so hours that I had intended on spending in that mall were more likely to be an unproductive 1/2 hour. I was close enough to reach out and touch it (see pic), but, I know when to cut my losses, and tomorrow is another free day for us.
We opted to head back to this cozy little restaurant we’d wanted to try out that is right outside the hotel, and we would give the mall another try bright and early tomorrow morning when this Energizer Bunny’s batteries were fully charged. Below are a couple of pics from the restaurant called Sole Mio. The food was fantastic, the prices were reasonable and the service was impeccable.
So, yet another productive day in Moscow as I continue to build strength while trying to incorporate an appropriate amount of rest. It’s a challenge for me, but well worth the sacrifice. Tune in tomorrow, at a time unknown to see what kind of trouble mom and I might be getting into. As the week progresses, I will be addressing what I can expect upon my return to the states in the way of recovery, reversal, and all around expectations of myself and my plans for rehabilitation. This, my friends, is just the first leg of the race. And many miles to go…
Peace, love and cheese balls from Moscow.