Half way up the mountain

Half way up the mountain

Today is half way up the mountain. I say half way up the mountain, as leaving Moscow will be reaching the summit and seeing the view. Then there is the long slog of side effects, highly compromised immune system, getting back to work, building up the muscle mass I can feel dropping away … and in a very literal sense, I have always found getting back down the mountain much harder than climbing. Climbing is strength and muscle and focus, step by step, whereas getting back down takes balance and planning and precision.

Today was my third day of chemo, and so far, again, I’ve tolerated it very well. I am certainly tired and weak, but have been out for a walk in the grounds of the hospital again. The weather has abruptly changed from summer and T-shirts to jeans and jumpers ( I suspect the saved head doesn’t help that, beanies at the ready) and autumn colours. I love the change in season, while Freo and Australia is my home the autumn colours are beautiful and I miss that change.

Tomorrow is my last day of chemo, then I have a day of rest before my stem cell transplantation hopefully on Wednesday.  There will no doubt be supportive injections and drips and all that sort of thing, but at least a day of no chemicals … I won’t be able to leave the hospital as I’ll still have the venous catheters in, but can go for a good walk around if the weather permits. Suddenly the thermals, scarves, boots and jumpers make sense.

There is a lovely ceremony here, where on the day of your stem cell transplant you roll the dry ice, in which your stem cells have been stored) down the corridor. Dr Federenko says a few words, and then we eat cake of course. I’ll try to get video of that, as it will be a special memory. Dr F pins an iris pin on you, to symbolise rebirth, a symbology I can handle and need to ponder upon.

As I can see the top of the mountain and getting home to Perth and Fremantle, some photographs taken by Geoff P, and they are beautiful. Thank you so much !!

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