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

It’s still magical…Pirigov

I had great plans for yesterday afternoon upon arrival at the hotel. A trip to the Izmaylovsky Market was formost on my list. But the one hour long ride from the airport took it’s toll, and with dinner at least 4 hours away, I decided a nap was the best course of action. I still plan on sneaking a trip in the the Market at some point, I must. All of my stem cell friends have been, but not me. I refuse to be left out of the fun!

“This sprawling area, also known as Vernisazh market, is packed with art, handmade crafts, antiques, Soviet paraphernalia and just about anything you might want for a souvenir. You’ll find Moscow’s biggest original range of matryoshki, palekh and khokhloma ware, as well as less traditional woodworking crafts. There are also rugs from the Caucasus and Central Asia, pottery, linens, jewellery, fur hats, chess sets, toys, Soviet posters and much more.”   The Lonley Planet

Around noon I arrived at Pirigov Hospital, and it was all I could do to hold back tears. I recognized so much on the ride over, and then…the gates. The glorious yet intimidating guard gates that hold all the goodness in that is Pirigov and keep it sacred. I was met by Anastasia, a little firecracker of an assistant and invaluable asset to all English speaking patients. She received her stem cell transplant for Relapsing Remitting MS roughly four years ago. She was very young at the time of her transplant, age twenty, and is in perfect health!

After hugs and wiping away a few tears that did manage to escape, I settled on the second floor. The internet appears to be much faster this time around. And I hope to escape another hard drive crash. It is the same laptop, so cross your fingers and maybe toes this time. And true to my newly lost MS brain, I left my iPad at home. UnknownSo much for catching up on reading. I can still do so on the laptop, but it’s not the same curling up in bed with a huge, heavy laptop as opposed to an iPad mini.

Today the weather is cloudy and gray with the sun making a valiant attempt to peak through. This is quite different than my last trip. It was in the glorious White Nights of summer, where the sun really never set, rendering gray skies and gloom a rarity. But what a blessing to be in Moscow and have the honor of experiencing two distinct seasons. The trees are in full fall glow of gold and yellow. The bark is so much more distinct this time-a dappled white bark with darker splattering. A beautiful contrast to the golden leaves.

So what brought me here again, and why did I want to return? My blog last week detailed the Sepsis which took over my body during the month of August, 2014. This year has been no easier with three hospitalizations for infections of, you guessed it…the kidneys. Maybe if I just yank out the left one (the usual suspect) all will be well???

If I mention tears a lot this week, I have a reason. You’ve seen those commercials…where they talk about laughing at inappropriate moments, or crying for no reason? Yeah, that’s me. It the Pseudobulbar Affect. I don’t laugh…I cry. Don’t know which is better, probably crying. I would hate to be at a funeral laughing uncontrollably, that would be rude, really rude.  For more info on this stupid thing:

Here is a little story sent by my cousin, Michael Malloy of Franklin, Tennessee…please remember this on your journey today, and through life…

Two Monks were on a journey. Very soon they approached a raging river where the crossing was under a couple of feet of water. A young woman stood nearby on the river bank. She was clearly concerned about how she would get to the other side of the river without drowning.

 One monk walked quickly past her without a thought crossing the river. The other picked up the woman and carried her across. He placed her down, they parted ways with the woman and on they went with the journey.

 Later in the day, the monk who had assisted the woman could see some concern on the other monk’s face and asked what was wrong. The monk replied, “How could you carry her like that! You know we can’t touch women, it’s against our way of life”. The first monk answered, “I left the woman at the rivers’ edge a long way back, why are you are the one who is still carrying her.”

 There will be occasions when you will be faced with the choice of either following the rules…or doing the right thing. And just what is that? Just ask yourself, “What would love do?”

Then, let it go.
So go out today, and do what love would do, don’t wait.  As a hospice patient of my husband’s once said,
“It all goes by so quickly.”  ~  Morris Dees
Goodnight Moon,


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