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

It’s been a while

Yes, a long time since we last visited. I wish I could update you on everything that has happened in my life but I cannot remember it all, so you are very lucky.

One event does call for important discussion, as it leads to another big event in my life – a return to see Dr. Fedrenko in Moscow, October 17-24.

August 2014 I came down with a life threatening infection which traveled from the bladder to the kidney, where it wrecked havoc for a few months and became septic. Had it not been for Ann Prestridge Coleson who had driven me to the doctor that day in early August due to kidney pain, I would most likely not be writing you now. Ann insisted I go to the ER, even after the visit to the GP an hour earlier. But in that one hour, my fever had spiked, blood counts fell like a rock, and I was shaking so hard that the car rocked like teenagers banging their heads to the music.

Stubborn Ann would not take “no” for an answer, a blessing. I said I would be fine but she doubted it – Ann was correct. The ER was quick to assess me, and in very short period tests and CT scans, I was wheeled to the critical care floor. Now at this point, I rely on the tales of others because I remember very little of the next 2 weeks (Dilaudid is awesome) – yes 2 weeks in the CC unit. All I know is they kept saying “sepsis”, and “cannot find an antibiotic that will work”. They had 4 different IV’s going hoping one would work. It truly is an odd feeing to have 2 weeks pass by and you have no memory of it, at all. So many wonderful friends came to see me in the hospital…who knew? Not me!

So this leads to Moscow…why? Well, my MS symptoms started declining rapidly a few months after the hospital discharge. I thought it was probably weakness and let it pass. But as time went on, more and more symptoms that I had not experienced since before the stem cell transplant were reoccurring. And new ones as well, which is not a good sign. It is an indication of possible new lesions on the brain and spine.

I consulted by email with Dr. Fedorenko, and he feels the T and B cells proliferated during the septic disease period, and never returned to a normal level after I was discharged. My immune system has been reactivated and the cells are once more attacking my brain and body rapidly. They need to be halted. Damn sepsis, why did it have to happen? I was doing so well…walking, talking, doing life, started working out and had hopes of getting a job soon.  All the T cells that had been virtually destroyed in 2013 were awakened by a dangerous infection and would not let go.

I have once more gained an appreciation for:

  • waiters who interpret my stutters and are able to guess the correct menu item I desire
  • friends who offer a calming touch as my body is racked with seizure like tremors
  • offers of a ride when I cannot drive (ask about my near sideswipe of a semi…on second thought, don’t)
  • countless words of kindness throughout the years
  • the rollator, never thought I would use that again

I leave for Moscow October 17 and will be there a week unless Dr. F has a treatment he wants to begin. A year’s worth of chemo? Another stem cell transplant? Who knows.

Thank you to one and all…my friends

and angels


Life is still good, no AMAZING! When you wake up every morning to the glory of a new day, then you are blessed. So look for my daily Moscow Times. It’s good to be back…and Goodnight Moon.

Lisa…Malloy now!



3 Responses to “It’s been a while”

  1. Adelaide

    Godspeed sweet, strong friend and we will celebrate with Pat and a bottle of wine upon your return!
    Love, Adelaide

  2. Pat Gallagher

    You bet we will celebrate! with a wink and a nod and a toast to you! you are one brave woman and I admire you IMMENSELY!!!!! kisses and will hold you in my thoughts.
    Love Pat

  3. Kathy Hermansen

    Praying for a safe and successful trip to Moscow. So glad Ann insisted on your trip to the hospital. May God continue to heal you from this MS.


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