Isolation – 6 days of hard Stem Cellin’!

Three isolation days have now passed.

Sunday – Day +05
Sadly today my comfort took a further dip again today. My temperature levels just won’t keep still, I’m feeling groggy and I’m just unable to concentrate on anything at all. Not irritable or hungover, just wishing that I could just sleep it off, but that wasn’t really happening either.

All the doctors and nurses have been exceptionally good at keeping me monitored. Fluids up, steroids and antibiotics to keep away the sinister. One moment I’m at at a normal 36.8°, the next I’m riding high at 37.8°. What gives?

And just to complicate things, I’m developing a little chesty cough too. Not really what you need when you’re own defences have been shown the door. Nothing I’m getting worried about, I’m in a sterile room, I’m not coughing anything up, just moving it.

I guess sitting around all day on your todd doesn’t really give your throat much of a vocal workout, so fluids just sit there until someone comes in to talk and then it’s all shifts a little. Unattractive, especially when you’re doing your best to be a picture of clean health.

Again, every nurse, every doctor – totally attentive. Let’s hope for a better tomorrow..

My Leukocyte (defence cells) score remained the same as yesterday at 0.07. That’s fine, the levels are expected to stay levelled out for a few days, it’s perhaps like the calm before the stem cells are told to get building.

Dr Fedorenko has been very good, on hand and reassuring. Fortunately, I’m not at all concerned – just wishing for an easier day.


Wilson is trying to explain wing dynamics to me and that bad airfoil is the reason our fan is so noisy. I keep telling him it’s just the bearings – I’m not taking it apart!! #isolation

Monday – Day +06
Sadly more of the same today. My temperature fluctuating. Even getting as high as 38.6° at one point. Though nothing is ever left, action is immediately taken and minutes later I’m comfortable again.

Annoyingly I’m not really getting the ‘Zen’ isolation time I was hoping for really. Not able to concentrate long enough to watch a film, play a game. Just getting cat nap’s here and there. Fortunately, no one here is getting flustered (I’m certainly not), it’s just more monitoring and keeping me comfortable. A temperature game of cat and mouse.

My blood results aren’t showing any signs of infection, my Leukocytes have stepped up a touch now to 0.11. I totally trust in the numbers. I’m here in Moscow for one thing, and as easy as the treatment has been to receive – by body is going through an awful lot inside. It’s probably no wonder my temperature’s up and down. My Leuko’s are now on the increase, that’s all I care about. Go Stem Cells!!!

Fortunately despite all that, my isolation time still hasn’t dragged on at all. Writing my little pieces on my time here The C-Word! …’Chemotherapy’ helped today too. I thought it would be good to talk about my experience with it, and importantly how it’s not something worth fearing about in the slightest.  🙂

…Oops, I’ve not even spoken about how my day started! Naturally it began with Doctor Fedorenko asking how I was feeling and how I slept.

Not too bad, still coughing a little, but didn’t sleep too brilliantly either, …my feet and legs were really annoying me, pins & needles etc…”  Oh, well perhaps the chemothera… – “No doctor… I’ve had no sensation, nothing in my feet and legs for months!!

…Oh! He says with wide eyes and a smile. Me nodding and smiling. ‘Things are happening, nerves are reconnecting!’ he adds. He then gives me a great big hug and an excitable hand shake.

Exciting stuff, six days on and things are starting to happen!


Expecting a peaceful day today, I’ve just introduced Wilson to some classic 80’s action. He bloody loves it! #isolation

Tuesday – Day +07
Not a much more to elaborate on today. Just wishing that I felt a bit better, getting frustrated with all the coughing. Everyone still looking after me very well.

Just riding today out really. But have some added feeling in my legs, I can now feel flat floor pressure below my feet, and the movement of my calf muscles themselves when I walk. So no more wondering where my legs are and the guesswork of walking on footballs. Can’t wait to get out and give these boys a spin. My Leukocytes have today jumped up to 0.90 – all going well I could be out of isolation tomorrow!!

Today I wrote my piece on The Food – My Survival Guide. It’s a bit of fun, it kept me ticking over.

Wednesday – Day +08
Wow, straight away I’m feeling better today – something has changed, I slept well, my body temperature has restored to normal levels again. Good start – I want nothing but good things today.

After the usual blood test first thing, I’m told that they want to CT Scan my chest. My bloods are still healthy and still very much without infection, but the doctors say they just want to be sure, no complaints from me there.

Wow, those things scan quickly… ‘You’re all clear, the small fluid we can see is fine and nothing untoward – but we’re going to get you on a Nebulizer to puff on for a bit just to help you breathe easier’. Sounds good with me.

I return to my room for breakfast and a visit from Dr Fedorenko. Great news!! You’re Leukocytes have jumped up to 2.61!! That mean’s you can leave isolation!

Further big smiles and hugs from the great man. WOOOO!!!! In and out in only six days! It’s no record, but not many do it quicker I believe.

Suddenly I’m feeling on top of the world. Fearing how my legs will be, I’ve not used them in 6 days, previously that would render them pretty useless lumps. Grabbing my stick, I take a stroll along the corridor, up – down. Up and down again.

I’m not feeling the muscle loss that I would have expected, I’m now feeling the flat surface underneath my feet, I’m feeling my calf muscles pushing and pulling – it’s beautiful. And now I’m getting a feeling above my knees, my lower thighs are warming – it’s happening!

The pins and needles suggesting that something might be brewing the other day, just as I hoped!

I didn’t care for how I was feeling before, many people enjoy their isolation time, I just got a bit unlucky – my body was clearly working hard on my behalf, infection free, my Leukocyte numbers were good and that was all I cared about.

Go Stem Cells!! – What’s tomorrow got in store?


After a rocky six days of #isolation Wilson and I are finally free. We’ve learnt a lot about ourselves and each other. I’d say there was a beautiful slow motion montage to watch of our time together. But I didn’t bother. Look at his little face, have you ever seen such a smile?


10 thoughts on “Isolation – 6 days of hard Stem Cellin’!

  1. Nicolette

    This looks more than promising. What great news. Worth a bit of comfort in the meantime. It’s all going the right way by the looks of it


  2. Alex, you write so well, I am so Sorry i didn’t discover your blog before. This is so interesting and informative. I tried to write myself while I was in Moscow, but I was to tired and my fingers did not work,neither did my brain. I brought with me 2 book I couldn’t read, Netflix and Hide my ass but I couldn’t watch any film. My head didn’t want it.
    It so fantastic to read your comments on all the things I experienced myself. You have made such great stories. You are a talented storyteller. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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