Day One

2 Oct

Day one of in-patient care has finally come to a close.  I will try my best to summarize what has been a very long day here in Russia.

The facilities and staff here at Pirogov are fantastic.  Every member of staff we have come into contact with, from the cleaning lady to the head doctor, have been exceedingly accommodating   It is not the norm for patients to have a person accompany them while in the hospital, but they all understand that our journey here is not the norm and have done their best to make a comfortable place for both Eric and me.

The first week here is filled with tests, or, “investigations,” as they call it.  This morning I woke up to blood work and a check of (ahem) all my orifices for bacteria which might be a problem with chemotherapy if left unaddressed.  I should mention that modesty standards are different here than in the US and I have had to do a quick reset of my personal boundaries.  I just keep telling myself that MS is way worse than anything these good people can throw at me in our race for a cure.

After a breakfast of porridge and tea, I was off to have my lung capacity checked, my lungs and sinus cavity x-rayed, my eyes examined in great depth, and my heart, intestines, and spleen examined by ultrasound.  There is a sweet resident doctor here who speaks English very well and she escorted me to each testing site and translated for me to keep the whole experience hassle free.  I will continue with tests through Friday, including an MRI and a CT scan.  

Though the testing is tedious, and at times repetitive of tests I had done stateside just weeks ago, it gives me a great deal of comfort to know that this facility takes my results here very seriously.  They have made it clear that they will not proceed if there are any red flags which may indicate my body’s inability to thrive through this procedure.

Eric and I were overwhelmed during our first few days here and are happy to have settled into a bit of a hospital routine.  We have made great friends with Phoebe and Chris Scopes from London.  They are in the room next to ours and Phoebe begins her time in isolation tomorrow morning.  Chris is going home for two weeks to take care of things and I know that Eric is going to miss having his “other” here.  It does something for the spirit of a person to have a comrade in this journey.

 I know that there is a number of patients watching Phoebe and me closely to determine their own course.  While I am only in the beginning stages, I can confidently tell you that this is a great place to be if you decide that HSCT is for you.

We both feel God’s hand on each moment of every day here.  We have marveled as hurdles disappear and roads are made straight right before us.  Thank you all for your prayers, your support, and for following along. 

4 Responses to “Day One”

  1. Lisa Barnhart Bakken October 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I just got happy looking at your $ goal!! Wowsie!! God is good Amy! I will be with you through this journey to offer my love, support, incredible wit and silly sense of humor to “keep it light” . Can’t wait til you are on the other side of this so we can hang out and laugh. Peace and Joy, Lisa

  2. Tammy October 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Yay!! I am so happy that the facility is meeting expectations. You are in my prayers and although this is purely YOUR journey, there are people like myself watching and waiting to see if it would be a good fit for themselves. I do have one HUGE favor to ask, before things get really intense in your treatment- can you ask if no enhancement on MRI is an exclusion to HSCT treatment and if they do the meyloblative as well? I feel funny asking but…since you are there and you have the Dr’s ear… 🙂

  3. Mike Glenn October 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Wonderful update!!!! So elated you are in good hands. It is a blessing to read you feel good about the facility and your excellent care and treatment with doctors who show they care. It is so important to have that peace of mind that the decisions made were the right ones….It is all coming to light now….Some minor cultural adjstments but nothing serious,,,,
    Keeping you in prayer…

  4. Jonnie Stark October 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    All I can think at this moment is, “WOW!” Just wow. You have such a precious attitude (I don’t know the words to say.) toward all you are going through. You are strong, fierce and ferocious in your pursuit of the cure you have chosen. I don’t know that I could be that for myself. I know you journey wouldn’t be possible without our Lord and Saviour, but your attitude has a lot to do with it too. Your post has touched me so much that I’m crying (and I take drugs that don’t allow me to cry. LOL) I love you and miss you and send you HUGE HUGS from Texas! TTYL

Honest Truth About Me: I'm going to need a lot of cheer leading to see this through. Your comments and encouragement mean the world to me.

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