Stem Cell Transplants, Moscow, and Borscht…life with Lisa in Russia.

These are the days…

“Think of all the beauty…” Anne Frank

The days that slowly drift by, alternating between alertness and sleep. An odd state, to awake refreshed and ready for Groundhog Day Number Thirteen in Box 329. And then to have your head drop sharply and quite suddenly fall asleep. A strange sensation.

Yesterday I gave myself a little challenge – let’s see how long Leeza can stay awake? And how best does one accomplish that task? YouTube!

I spent the morning sleeping, and then…game on. The better part of the afternoon was spent, no it was wasted, watching free movies on YouTube. Why wasted? Well, it must have been Reese Witherspoon’s birthday, because the only free movies of any quality, and I should know as I tried to watch them, were: Legally Blonde I and II, and Sweet Home Alabama. I may be diabetic now. I could only stomach about a half hour of one movie before the ADD “change the movie mode” set in. I had three boys, I don’t “do” these kind of movies well at all. So I buzzed through them in just a little over an hour. Now what do I do? There is still time on the clock and I refuse to nod off.

To the rescue – the two o’clock lunch, not to be confused with the noon time pre-lunch plate. And I was famished. I have not felt hungry at all since the chemo, but today I was like a starving dog in an alley, and you better not take my bone. I guess in keeping with the Russian “White Nights”, it must have been white lunch day? Partial chicken wing, chicken pressed meat patty, cauliflower and white bread. I devoured it. It felt good to feel good!

"White Lunch"

“White Lunch”

So did I win my self challenge? No, but it was still a pretty fine day in the box, multiple naps and all.

Today I decided to not be cheap, ’tis better to pay iTunes for rentals and enjoy a movie than to suffer in agony. So I have been looking and taking notes for future rentals, perhaps one every other day or so to help combat the fatigue.

Big News!!!
Dr. Fedorenko will be allowing me to slowly wander the short hallway here on the isolation unit this evening. It is a very small wing as very few patients are treated at a time, one of the many reasons I chose to come to Moscow.
I can only wander about twenty to thirty feet to begin with he tells me. He doesn’t want me to be overcome by dizziness, weakness or take a fall. With all the hypotension issues I have had, he is being cautious. There are chairs in the hall to rest if I must. Tomorrow I can take a few more hall trips, each increasing in length, and building my stamina. His goal is to have me begin walking outside in the gardens a few times a day, with a nurse if needed, by Monday, July 29th. I need to rebuild some of the leg muscles which have atrophied throughout treatment. To regain strength and enough stamina for the trip home on August 5th.

This a a blurred photograph taken through the blinds of my isolation room, but if you look, can you see the bench? The beautiful little white bench under the magnificent trees? That is where I will be on Monday!

The little white bench - waiting for me and a good book

The little white bench – waiting for me and a good book

You will not hear from me on Thursday as I will undergo another chemotherapy infusion, a different drug this time, Rituxan. The Rituxan will kill off any rogue B-Cells that may have survived the four day high dose Cytoxan chemotherapy. It will be an all day treatment, beginning with antihistamines to reduce adverse reactions, and then a five hour infusion.  I have been told the day is a distant, foggy memory. A day in the haze of medications. So if I have any memory of it at all, you will be the first to know on Friday! If I feel like rousing Friday…

Tomorrow I will post photos of me doing my best to walk the halls, nurses photos, the people I have grown to love. I know, it doesn’t sound too exciting for you, but for me it is huge!

"You can go outside!"

“You can go outside your room!”

Goodnight Moon,
I just proof read my post – I’ll rent “Groundhog Day”!


2 Responses to “These are the days…”

  1. Diana Smith

    So sorry for silence, but I have been faithfully reading about you and praying for you, including in the prayer room provided at this conference. As the result of the title of this blog, I now have Groundhog Dog firmly in my brain. Is that appropriate at a Christian Missionary conference? Dunno. But I look tres mysterious walking around campus with a small grin on my face.

    By the way, no hour you spend there in whatever way is a waste of time. Since it is a new life – a rebirth – you are a newborn right now. Think how much they sleep. They only do three things and that is what you are doing too: sleeping, eating and, well, you know. So just keep on keeping on, follow the doctor’s orders and enjoy the toddler stage: wee walks down the hall.

    Still rooting you on from the sidelines!


  2. Anonymous

    Sounds like you are doing better if your appetite has returned! I miss you. Keep up the great attitude! You are awesome.


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