Today was my final day of steroids (for now)...
I can't get the photo's loaded on here but they are on my Facebook page and show that I haven't seen too much difference (other than lack of sleep)! My legs aren't any more hairy than they were last week; my chest hair remains minimal, my muscles remain huge and my abs...well, yeah no - hard to see a real difference...
But the exciting thing of today was that I had my neck catheter (sorry - correct name escapes me) put in. The A-Team - Dr Fedorenko and Anastasia - came for me about 9.30am and took me down to a small sterile room where I was to lay on the bed facing left. A different doctor and nurse came in to do the procedure while poor Anastasia stayed and took photo's for me. She's a little sick so went home straight after...
Sorry - this is more for my record than your reading - they cleaned me with alcohol (99% sure it was pure vodka :) ) then anaesthetic then the knitting needle was IN. They pushed ....and pushed...and pushed until it was in and then (I think) threw in a couple of stiches and stuck it all down and I was done. I'm pretty sure it was poking out of my belly button but the nurse assured me it only goes just past your chest.
I think it perhaps took 20-30 minutes including all the preparation.
I feel like I it handled pretty good - few jokes lost in translation - but all good.
I got the shakes quite bad afterwards which was weird but hey - it's done. Big tick.
From here they shuttled me up for a quick x-ray to make sure the line was in the right spot and job done for the day!
This line will now be used TOMORROW for Apheresis (Stem Cell Collection)!!!! This is when they set me up for 5 hours on a machine that will harvest stem cells, to be retransplanted back next week! It is common that this will take about 2 days, as 2 million stemmies are required, but I've discussed with Dr Fedorenko that I'm quite efficient so we'll do in one day thanks so much! He laughed and agreed. Let's go for it. 7.30am kick off.
So - I appreciate it's early days but I'm killing it (if I do say so myself)!!
I spoke with Mum, Dad, Andy, Piper and Mon so that always makes me feel closer to home. Paid a couple of bills, did some online shopping....heard about Malcolm Turnbull and pretended to care...where would we be without the World Wide Web.
The rest of the day I've tried to spend out in the lounge area, as, as I've mentioned previously - I'm losing 2 of my favourite Aussies tomorrow....then this week will see most of my other beautiful comrades leave (or remain in isolation) so that will change the feel of the place for sure. Luckily I have a few carers to hang out with and another patient who is out of Isolation for another couple of days so it's all good. I've also had an American lady and her carer join us so she will be up on this level soon I should think....such a well-run operation!
I did make comment to some of the group today that, with this neck line now in....I've finally joined the band....and now the band is breaking up!
"Bill" brought in dinner again tonight (what a crazy kind soul) - steak and mash and we chatted about his mink hat purchases! Gotta love Moscow don't you!
It's amazing to watch the good byes are there is no hugging, kissing etc yet the bonds formed here are incredible and obviously for a lifetime. This experience - becoming MS free together - is ...nope...words fail me...it's HUGE...LIFE-CHANGING HUGE. And all farewelled with just a wave and some kind words...
Anyway - tomorrow's a BIG day! 2 million stem cells in 5 hours. Bring it.
Feel free to light a candle, say a prayer, send good vibes, think of me, do a jig, have a wine...whatever you thing will help!!
Safe Travels B&D. It's been an absolute honour and privilege meeting you.