Monday, April 02, 2007

Be Positive

In order to be “clean” enough for the transplant, Dale went through 2 days of intensive chemotherapy and 4 days of heavy duty radiation. The transplant was done on day 7.

Dale asked that we be there with him throughout the procedure and we were happy to oblige. Wolf got off of work at 6:30 and the transplant was scheduled for 7:30. It was Friday night and the traffic was hellish, to say the least. It is a 25 mile drive from the apartment to the hospital, but fortunately, Wolf has a highly developed sense of direction, inherited, of course from me, and he was able to take several back roads and alleys and we arrived in Dale’s room just as the marrow arrived.

Just before the doctor started the drip, Dale stood up, went to the stereo, put in a cd and lay back down in bed.

Wolf and I watched as the doctor prepared to start the potentially life-saving IV.

At 7:45 pm, Dale William Petersen began receiving cells that would change his life forever. His blood type, prior to the transplant, was 0 positive, after the transplant his type would change to B positive. Upon hearing that, Dale declared that he would from that moment on, BE POSTIVE! We all agreed that it was a good motto to live by.

Dale’s marrow came from a non-family donor. Despite the entire family being tested, none of us were a close enough match to be considered. His life-saving cells came from a European donor that he will never meet. Some wonderful human being, thousands of miles away, cared enough about a total stranger, to give him the gift of life.

And for that we will be eternally grateful.

You, too, can save a life.

Every day, thousands of patients are searching for a donor. You could be the one a patient needs. Join the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Registry.

When you become a bone marrow donor, you join more than 10 million volunteers worldwide who stand ready to give someone a future.

We think it's worth it, what do you think?


threecollie said...

I hope Dale comes along well....yours sounds like a dedicated and wonderful family.

Mary said...

I hope the best now. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on his progress. He looks so relaxed and stress-free!

Pam said...

Dale does look relaxed, he's amazing. And I think it's good of him to let you share his experience with us here. It makes it easier to understand what he, and people like him, go through.

I never donated marrow, but I did give platelets for lukemia patients. It felt good to be able to help.

mist1 said...

Fabulous post.

Within Without said...

What a brilliant job you're doing documenting Dale's process and progress, with some wry humor thrown in for good measure.

I love the Be Positive line, it's perfect...what a great motto for what otherwise is obviously a verious serious matter.

And yeah, Wolf MUST have inherited that sense of direction from you, no doubt...

Are you somehow putting laughing gas (in fluid form) into that I.V.?

What you're doing is amazing.

Thailand Gal said...

As others have mentioned, Dale looks amazing! There's far too little credit given to attitude in these situations. With his, he'll come through this seamlessly. :)



KGMom said...

Laurie--what a wonderful thing you have done: used your family's medical journey to promote health and life for someone unknown.
Then just as Dale benefitted, someone else somewhere will benefit.
It is a rare person who can think of others when in the middle of crisis himself (or herself).

MsLittlePea said...

He looks great! It is so important to B positive to be positive! I loved that!

Cuppa said...

Be Positive! Sounds like you are all doing just that, and that is stronger than any medicine I am sure.

Keeping you all in my "positive" thoughts and prayers.

Laurie said...

Threecollie, we are truly blessed to have such a close and loving family.

Mary, he's been through a lot in his life, but he's always kept his sense of humor and his keen wit. I think it will carry him far.

Pam, thank you. Since the beginning he has wanted me to document everything in photographs, with the thought that he might be able to help others when this is all over with. I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote a book about it. He is a very gifted writer.

Good on you for giving platelets, I have an appointment to do that this week as well.

Mist, thank you!

WW, you are entirely too kind, well, except for the comment on my sense of direction. ;-)

You're right, Dale has a wonderful attitude and I think Be-ing Positive will carry him through the dark times.

By the way, I like your new avatar. :-)

Chani, his attitude is astounding. I am sure you are right!

KG, Dale wants to help others in his situation, that's his nature. I am so proud of him.

Mspea, he's a real inspiration...

Cuppa, thank you! We appreciate it more than you will ever know.

KC said...

What a support you are.

And I love that you linked to the registry. There is such a shortage of all types of donors, bone marrow and otherwise.

DysdHousewife said...


YES it's totally worth it. I once knew a family that had a little girl about 5 years old. She had a bone disease that could only be cured with a transplant. They tested scores of family and friends, and nobody was a match. Like you, their match came from a foreign donor in europe. There can never be enough donors! My prayers are still with you, because I know you guys still have a long road! ::HUGS::

Gina said...

Sending prayers your way for Dale to keep getting better and better!

I think I will go to the site and check it out, I'm not really sure what is involved, so it will be nice to get some info.

jen said...

friend. you are so right. i have been meaning to look into that.

thank you.

ps. dale looks terrific. and he's got such warm arms around him w/ all of you by his side.

Bonita said...

All of you certainly have the most wonderful spirits. I believe good things are ahead, not only for Dale, but for all of you. This kind of comittment is so outstanding.

Squirl said...

Bone marrow donors are angels. My brother needed a donor outside of the family because the only one of us who was a close enough match has a compromised immune system.

There was a very good match, but my brother didn't make it the last few weeks. I will never forget, though, that there was a stranger out there willing to donate. It's a gift.

Hang in there, better things are to come.

Menchie said...

Your support system is awesome laurie. please keep us posted on Dale's progress. you're doing a great job so far!

Ur-spo said...

thank you for the reminder that organ donation/blood donation etc. is a vital contribution to society.

Laurie said...

KC, this whole situation has really brought home how important it is. I've been on the donor list for a couple of decades and I guess I just presumed everyone was, until now...

DH, thank you! I am glad to know the little girl was helped.

Gina, that is most excellent news! You've made my day!!

Jen, it doesn't take much effort to join the list. A swab from your cheek and a check for $52.00. You can also wait and see if they have a marrow list drive in your area. Then they'll usually do it for free.

Bonita, I am blessed to have the family that I have. Thank you.

Squirl, I am so, so sorry to hear about your brother. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Menchie, I will keep at it as time allows. I am, at best, several days behind.

Ur-spo, you are welcome. :-)

Ginnie said...

I am in awe, Laurie, that you can write and record Dale's progress in such a loving and calm manner. I think it's wonderful that he wants to write about it and will look forward to reading his book in the future. I know it will be a boon to many others who are following the same path. The positive attitude is a must, as all the medical field is starting to realize.

Cathy said...

Bless the good people that step forward to lend a hand, to give hope and comfort and even life to another.

Yes Be Positive - What a great motto for Dale and for all of us as we navigate the shoals and we steer for smooth water.

All my wishes for healing and comfort to your sweet cousin who is so generous in allowing us to share his journey toward health.

Laurie said...

Ginnie, I think my role here, aside from providing physical support for Dale, is to keep things as calm and upbeat as possible. But his attitude is amazing and that, I think, is what will carry him through.

Cathy, everytime I look at Dale I am reminded of the kindness of a stranger. I seem to be looking at people differently now. A couple of nights ago, when my brother was thanking me for being here, I told him I thought that I was getting at least as much out of it as Cousin Dale was. I told him I though/hoped I'd be a better person because of it.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to sign up as a donor, but my body is such a trainwreck that I fail on several fronts to meet their minimum standards. But, I've past the link along to several other people, and maybe it will land on fertile ground.

Best of luck to Dale!

Laurie said...

Thomas, thank you so much!

wd said...

You know my thoughts/prayers are with you ALL during this time....

(HUGE bear hug) ...b

MJH said...

You say Dale will never meet his donor. I want to help him and others in his position. Donors and recipients can identify each other using donation dates, new blood type information, HLA typing, etc. I developed this website for this purpose. It is a longshot, but maybe a pair will be united some day.