Day 13: Chemo’s Last Run and MS’s Last Stand

15 Oct

I think that with all the tossing around of words like “bone marrow transplant” and “stem cell” etc, it is worth it to me to remind us all about the real hero of this procedure: the chemotherapy.  It is the chemo that wipes out the diseased immune system.  The stem cells simply help me recover much more quickly from the chemo than I would have otherwise.  Yay for chemo, the doctors who perfect it, and the God who foreknew it all!!

Today, being my final dose of the stuff, I thought I would take some time to share with my HSCT followers (those who are waiting in the wings) and let you know some about the lovely Pirogov hospital and the staff here.

I was initially quite overwhelmed at what they meant when they said I would be in an isolation room for 1-2 weeks.  I had pictures in my mind of padded cells with no creature comforts.  Instead, I have found myself in a lovely suite with a table and chairs, a microwave, a fridge, and a super fancy bathroom.  The sterile side of all of this includes a thick paned glass door in the middle of my room, which guests must first enter and cloak and scrub up before entering.  Eric and I joked this morning that it has gone to my head a bit that people must cleanse themselves so before attempting to visit.  I may leave here a sage.

I have a set of dishes and silverware which are dedicated to my room only.  Food is delivered and plated in my room and then the nurse tech comes and washes my dishes in my room.  My floors are mopped daily and my bathroom is scrubbed at the same time.  I have almost zero contact with anything outside of this very sterile room.

Obviously, I have been allowed my special creature comforts.  I have my laptop and Eric keeps me hooked up to the internet through a Moscow company called Beeline.   Eric visits me 1-2 times a day and brings candy.  I like the candy, but I love the visits more.  I know that he feels a little useless during this time when I am being so carefully watched by the pros, but he matters more than I can say.  I owe Pirogov a debt of gratitude for allowing him to remain on the second floor in our first little suite.

Dr.Fedorenko seems very happy with my progress and my response to the chemo.  I have been only moderately uncomfortable and that has been easily remedied by ginger tea, good music, and comfort meds.  Tomorrow is my 35th birthday and we have agreed it will be a good day for head shaving.  I am sure you can expect another exciting video from Eric about that event.

I’ve made it to the part in Ruth where Boaz is just about to declare to the elders his intentions to claim this woman as his own.  So romantic.  I hope to finish it today, but even if I don’t, the story alone is giving me a lot of good heart feelings.

Thank you all for following along.  The comradery keeps me buoyed.  Love you all.  Mean it.

(all this isolation has made me real wordy.  I am also blogging at: on matters not so HSCT related, if you feel so inclined.)

12 Responses to “Day 13: Chemo’s Last Run and MS’s Last Stand”

  1. Linda Luckstead Benskin October 15, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    We were already curious about your ISP, and now we have googled Beeline. Are you using a cellphone technology based hotspot, as are we? Surely you do not have a cable!
    Blessings on you and Eric. So nice that he is able to stay at the hospital. One more day of chemo – you can do this!

    • ericswife October 15, 2012 at 3:44 am #

      It’s just a little usb stick that I pop into the port and wala! Internet! I am sure it is more complicated than that, but I travel with the best tech support in the world!

      • Linda Luckstead Benskin October 15, 2012 at 4:50 am #

        Well, second best. The best is with me. 😉

        That sounds like cell phone technology – sort of like Clear in the USA (sorry, I was in engineering before I became a nurse). We are using the same technology here, but with wifi hotspots so that more than one device can use the link at the same time. We have two carriers – sometimes one works, sometimes both, sometimes neither. One seems to be better in rural areas and the other in urban areas, but it is all hit and miss. Several times one of the servers has been offline for the entire country for a full day. If that happened in the USA, there would be riots and people demanding refunds, but here, people have learned to have low expectations.

      • ericswife October 15, 2012 at 5:02 am #

        Eric sells Clear. We love it.
        I’ll let you have Richard for first best, as he is so much more aged than my little cub. 😉

      • Scott Hammock October 15, 2012 at 9:17 am #

        Nope, that’s all there is to it! The rest of the whole Internet deal is all magic with a dose of smoke and mirrors thrown in. 😉

  2. Kathy Russell October 15, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Oh Dearest!! I have great heart feelings just reading your words. We received word that our American friends can’t see the children at the orphanage while they are in Tatarstan. But I have a feeling that God has big things in the wings. Anyway, we feel your experience esp. clearly when you mention things like Beeline!! That was our internet company when we lived there. They had the cutest commercials. Happy Birthday, Happy Haircut, Our love to Eric. How is he spending his hours away from you? I read the Moscow temperature in the Austin Statesmen every day and think about you all!! Love, KR

    • ericswife October 15, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      Eric is traipsing the territory and braving the Moscow metro to taste adventure. I think he tired of doing it solo after a few days, but his brother will be joining us shortly and that should perk him up. This trip is going nothing like I planned, but exactly as it should. So happy to hear from you. I love you lots!

  3. Stacy Courtney October 15, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Happy Birthday, sweet friend!!!! What a birthday gift!!!! Kicking MS out the door!!!! Woohoo!!! Praying for you! Love you dearly!

    • ericswife October 15, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      :)! xoxox!!

  4. Aunt Lori October 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Still here and still following you. Happy Birthday to you sweetie. Love, love, love you, Aunt Lori

  5. kimheinecke October 16, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    So glad I’ve been following you via the tri-dub for the last several years. This is an extraordinary journey and I’m rivited each morning when I skip past all the merchant emails begging for my money — in search of the next “Amy update”. I shared it with one of my dear friends who has MS.

    Thank you for journaling this experience with such grace and wit so the little people chasing four sons in Edmond, OK can be encouraged to continue fighting what ever comes along with the same fortitude. Truly our God gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. (Ro 4).

    You are an excellent steward of the hope we have in the Father. I am humbled by your reliance on His promises.

    Happy birthday. All 2.1 million of you.

    • Brandy Dalton Thixton October 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      I second Kim’s sentiment. So glad I stumbled upon your blog way back in the day… your story is inspiring, and I can’t wait to “read” the next chapter! Happy Birthday!

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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