Day -9: I have had 2 evenings with stem cell stimulation injections (G-CSF / Filgrastim / Neupogen) and it is quite intense. 2 More nights to go. Initially I managed to suppress it with regular painkillers. We are here with quite a lot of patients on the A.A. Maximov department of the Pirogov Center, all for an HSCT treatment. With Philippa and Ann, among others, the treatment schedule is practically the same and today we went to visit Amanda at the “Transplantation Department”. She is a week ahead of our schedule and she is now in her chemo process.
It is not nice what we all have to go through here, but at least we are having a good time together!!
Each morning starts with a Prednisone infusion an in the afternoon I can leave the hospital grounds. Yesterday afternoon I went into the city with Simon because Simon indicated that I really had to see the beautiful church “Cathedral of Christ the Savior”, recognizable by the beautiful golden roof. I have to admit, it’s so beautiful! Because of the weekend, the entire bridge towards the church was filled with a huge line of people who wanted to go inside. I haven’t been in it, but to be honest I am guessing that I am just too weak for that anyway now. I think it’s just great that I’ve seen it on the outside.
This Sunday afternoon I went to the supermarket for the last time. Very clever to take a good look at what groceries are available so that I can give Simon instructions later on what he can get for me when I can no longer leave the hospital grounds. Tomorrow on the 4th and last day of the stem cell injections, the first neckline will be placed and due to the risk of infection I will no longer be allowed to leave the hospital from tomorrow until the end of the treatment.
In the evening before my 3rd injection, the combination of bone pain and fatigue (because I’ve been sightseeing with Simon quite a lot the past few days) it really starts to work on my emotions. I’m exhausted! As a pulsating pain you feel the millions of stem cells flowing out of your bones into your bloodstream, and that is no fun. And ‘right on time’ I happened to receive a super sweet video phone call from Lilian who is already in isolation. Lilian is also Dutch and her schedule is 2 weeks ahead of me. Her husband Rob is staying at the Vega hotel just like Simon. Quite handy actually when our relatives who came with us, our ‘carers’, all stay at the Izmailovo hotels. That way they can still do things together and come to the hospital together when we patients are no longer allowed to leave the site.
Anyway, tonight I had a bit of a hard time. But we have to do what we have to do. “Tears will cleanse your soul”. Just straighten your back, wipe your tears away and let’s continue. The nurse has given me a strong painkiller shot, and now I have to wait again for the next round of stimulation injections in 2 hours. It’ll be fine.
Extra explanation on the photos: When Simon drops me off at the hospital in the evening you can recognize my room 409 by the blue window / blue light. 🙂 Only the first week I stay on the 4th floor until rooms are available again in the transplant department. The rooms on the 4th floor are not part of the transplant department. When I just came in, I thought, why do all the devices look so old and yellowed? (Kettle, microwave). As I discovered, above the room door a lamp is mounted which emits the blue light. This is a disinfecting light that makes the entire room sterile and is only on when there are no people in the room. So as soon as I leave it is turned on and as soon as I return in the room it will be turned off. Funny fact to share with you. 😉
Click on the images to open the gallery including explanations: