Just a little HSCT story fro Russia in between. No, not this time about my own adventure, but now it is Samantha’s turn in Moscow in Russia. Three years ago I wrote a blog about friendship and that friendship can arise at different levels. You don’t plan friendship, friendship just happens. There are friends in the normal ‘offline’ life, but sometimes there are also very nice contacts online. For example, through online communities I am in contact with lots of people (and MS patients). And then sometimes, but mostly unexpectedly, a loose contact develops into a nice contact of online friendship.
The problem with MS patients is that unfortunately you can no longer just visit each other, let alone often visits. Going to the pub together, or just a simple tea party… it is no longer so obvious. But then chatting and having fund and jokes together over the internet is just as valuable! I am really grateful for the current techniques and the digital possibilities. A huge amount of information suddenly becomes available, including information that is actually left out by specialists and during doctor’s consultations, such as all information about HSCT. But also everything in terms of preparations and aftercare… here in the Dutch hospitals it is rather lacking and luckily there are all those helpful people on the internet.
Helping each other
After I have noticed how well the HSCT treatment has helped for myself (and let’s hope it stays that way!), it gives a lot of satisfaction to also help other people with their HSCT plans. ‘Spreading the word’ also results in lots of questions from people seeking for information. Sometimes a bit more questions than they can be answered and it is simply not possible to ‘carry the burden’ for everyone. You cannot avoid keeping contacts more formally and only referring to the right websites. But as I already mentioned… sometimes friendship just happens and that’s how it happened with Samantha and how I gladly helped her in her search and preparations! 🙂
Samantha in Russia
Today I am a bit more nervous than usual… After a few months of preparations, Samantha is now in Russia and it is nice to be in contact with each other, almost daily, even if it is just a short message knowing she is okay. I have already experienced the whole process myself and can’t help looking at my self-compiled calendar to find out, “what will be scheduled for her today”. Everything she shares sounds so familiar and every now and then I’m having some kind of enthusiasm and joy again, but also some emotions every now and then. No, it’s not easy overthere in Moscow, but it is also fair to say, the HSCT process is doable. After all, a monstrous treatment is needed to beat this MS MonSter. And the inconveniences during the treatment and the recovery period are temporary, while doing nothing and letting the MS continue to break down our bodies… that is permanent.
Today is transplantation day
For Samantha, in the past 2 weeks her stem cells were harvested and 4 days of chemo are finished. Obviously, she is getting weaker now, but amazingly enough, she can already walk better! Anyway, a hurdle will still have to be taken today… the reinfusion of the harvested stem cells. The most important part (and that is the chemo) is already over, but this same chemo also ensures that Samantha now becomes weaker with each passing day. Her immune system has been completely destroyed and the white blood cells are slowly moving towards zero. The reinfusion of the stored stem cells is necessary to support the recovery process and so that the isolation period won’t last unnecessarily long.
Today is her ‘new birthday’, today is her transplantation day. Still quite exciting and I will definately keep an eye on the clock. But above all I am so happy for her! Another MS person who will defeat this terrible MonSter!
Samantha, you’re the best! So far, you’ve been doing great and these final steps will succeed as well. What do I say, final steps? You are already taking more steps than you could before!
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