Monday, October 8th, the day that has been circled in my agenda throughout my year. Today I had to show up for the first time at the “Pirogov Center”, at the hematology department called A.A. Maximov Department. At exactly 12 o’clock the taxi showed up in front of the hotel to take us to the hospital. Everything happens right on time overhere, so the driver brought me to the elevator and the lovely Anastasia was already neatly waiting for us at the elevator at the Floor we agreed to meet. So nice that everything is so well organized! Because say for yourself, you are in a foreign country where you do not understand the language, so it is very reassuring when everything is on spot and properly arranged.
You could consider Anastasia as the head nurse. She is the assistant to Dr. Fedorenko and she arranges everything for us from the first registration in January to our final departure here to Moscow. The work she does here is really great and what is nice to know is that she herself also underwent this HSCT treatment, I believe 5 years earlier. Now she is dr. Fedorenko’s assistant and a really great support to all patients and caretakers. During all preparations, but also here at the hospital. If you observe her while she is busy doing all these tasks… you can hardly believe that she herself was a patient here.
About the first week and a half, room 409 on the 4th floor is my domain. (I will change rooms twice). Anyway, in the first week I will sleep at the hotel together with Simon until Thursday.
- This first Monday was only an introduction, getting a room and arranging some paperwork.
- Tomorrow will be busy and loaded with tests and research, so we have to be back here really early.
- Then there will be a ‘day off’ on Wednesday (so I don’t have to come to the hospital). This extra day is needed to examine all the tests results and so that Dr. Fedorenko can formulate his opinion. Or in other words, I get a very good second opinion from a Top Doctor 😉
- Thursday we will come back to the hospital for the results! That will be an exciting day of course!
In summary, the first week there will be enough possibilities to do some sightseeing in the beautiful Moscow and to have some quality time together with Simon. I want to stay together in the hotel as long as possible so that we can have meals together, but also getting in contact with the other family members / caregivers of the other patients. A new group of HSCT patients starts every week so there is quite an overlap of people overthere. For this month of October alone, about 30 (!) HSCT people will cross paths with each other in the hospital. Almost all patients and caregivers book the Vega hotel, so that is also very practical to meet up, helping and supporting each other.
Update and explanation of photos: the restaurant on the ground floor of the Vega hotel is highly recommended. It takes some searching because it is in the back, but it is recognizable by the logo with the 2 swans and is called “Gusi-Lebedi”. My favorite dish has turned out to be “Filet Mignon” (steak). We didn’t have time for it, but you could seriously visit just metro stations for a whole day. There are so many and they are really beautiful! Some pictures are included in today’s gallery.
Click on the images to open the gallery including explanations: