Saturday, April 07, 2007

Four Little Words

It has been 2 weeks since Dale's transplant. There have been some dark days, I won't lie to you. There were days when he felt like he was ironed to the sheets. But there have been some good times as well.

Like the day they were changing over to new chemo pumps. There were several nurses in the room and a very serious sales rep who was giving a short course in the use of the new machines. The spiel and training session took quite some time, but finally they opened the line to let the fluid enter his body. At that very moment, Dale clutched his chest and GASPED, then said, "Just kidding".

The look on their faces went from abject horror to disbelieve and I honestly think the sales rep saw her life flash before her eyes. I started to laugh and the nurses followed suit. The sales rep, on the other hand, was not at all amused and left the room. I think she went to change her underwear.

Another high point was the day he received a care package from his co-workers. It contained a very nice dvd player, home-made cookies, all kinds of snack items, magazines, books, dvd's and too many other items to mention. The look on Dale's face was priceless.

There have also been days when he could barely lift his head and days when he was too tired to walk to the rest room. There have been times when despite not having eaten in days, his system seemed determined to expel waste from both ends. Through it all, through every single day of it, Dale has remained optimistic, upbeat and kind. So very kind.

My dad has always adored Dale and had been very worried about him. Even though Dale could barely lift his head, he called dad to tell him things were going well. When I talked to dad after their visit, he said "I know he will be fine, I can tell by the timbre of his voice". Dale and I both cried over my dad's words.

There have been some anxious days, some scary times. But through it all, we've kept our spirits up by laughing and joking and taking pleasure in things that we'd normally take for granted, like a cheerful nurse or a normal bowel movement.

But today there was something to be truly thankful for. Today, the transplant doctor came in with the results of the most recent bone marrow biopsy. Today, the doctor said that it was "a very good graft".

Four. Little. Words.

34 comments:

Ur-spo said...

that sounds promising!
and I see you have the machine that goes 'ping!" so that's a good sign too.
Just don't grasp the chest anymore - scared the daylights out of medical staff!

Laurie said...

Ur-spo, it really does sound promising. By the way, the nurses are still talking about his "stunt".

Mary said...

Four little words that you and Dale and everyone who loves him will repeat in their minds, over and over and over again. That means so much!

Awesome.

If he is making sales reps pee their pants, there is true hope for him! What spunk!

jen said...

four little words, indeed.

laurie, thank you for bringing us along for Dale's journey. The humanness of you all is incredibly beautiful.

Anvilcloud said...

Way to go, Dale! Three cheers from Canada.

Laurie said...

Mary, I have been spilling tears of joy and relief off and on since we heard. It's the best news ever. And yes, he's the spunkiest!

Jen, thanks for coming along!

AC, we are thrilled!!

Bonita said...

I have a feeling the nurses will remember this patient, and his family and friends. When I worked as a caregiver in assisted living, families like yours were such a great motivating tool. Their spirit was contageous. I'm so glad all of you are hanging in there!

LauraHinNJ said...

*A very good graft* indeed!

I'm glad the news is good and you all are maintaining your sense of humor!

Laurie said...

Bonita, the nurses were still talking about it the next day. They all really seem to like Dale, of course he is a sweet guy and treats them all very well.

Laura, he has done remarkably well so far. Thank you.

Courtney said...

If the sales rep can't handle 'sick-people humour', then perhaps they need to reconsider their career choice.

A DVD player??? Oy, he made out like a big dog! And the news from the doctor was probably great, too! ;)

ThomasLB said...

Best. Practical joke. ever!

I'm glad the news is good!

Laurie said...

Courtney, I think a sense of humor should be a prerequisite for any job.:-)

Thomas, I agree! And thanks.

Cuppa said...

Little words, huge impact! Feel the good vibes come right thought the laptop screen at me this morning .

We all rejoice with you!

Thailand Gal said...

Sounds very good! It sounds like he is keeping a good attitude about it all. He will be okay. :)


Peace,

~Ch

Within Without said...

Your documentation of Dale's journey and your own directionally-challenged diversions during it have been remarkable, Lewis.

I've gone back and just followed it along to this most recent post. What a trail of wonder you've left for us to follow.

The cast of characters are remarkable people filled with humor and sadness and hope and many other things, and you bring them to life with your pictures and words.

The news keeps getting better on the Dale front...I just wish you could have captured the look on the sales rep's face...

;-)

Laurie said...

Cuppa, thank you for sharing our joy. We are all on cloud nine here.

Chani, he has been incredible throughout this entire ordeal. I truly believe his sense of humor and good attitude will carry the day. Thank you.

WW, I wish I had known what he was goign to pull, I'd have taken a picture with my cell phone. As you can imagine, I was somewhat surprised (and scared) when he gasped, but I was able to recover much more quickly than the medical staff because I know how he is.

I'm glad you've enjoyed our journey, thank you for following along.

steve'swhirlyworld said...

WOW! Great news! I laughed out loud when I read of the sales rep training - what a great sense of humor he has!

butterfly girl said...

HOW WONDERFUL!!!!

I laughed at the story at the beginning. Is that bad? When will he be H O M E?

Laurie said...

Steve, it was really, really funny. Dale has always had a great sense of humor and the disease hasn't diminished it at all.

Butterfly, I don't think it's at all bad that you laughed!

Dale has to be in the hospital for at least 2 more weeks, then he goes into hospice care for 2 or more months. It will be awhile before he is allowed to go back to Billings.

Squirl said...

Sounds great! I'm so happy for you guys.

I hope it's a been a happy Easter for all of you.

KGMom said...

What a guy Dale must be--to keep his sense of humor through all that he has experienced. Clean underwear, all around.

Rhea said...

Sounds like Dale has a fantastic sense of humor. But if I had been the saleswoman I would have clobbered him. Not really.

Laurie said...

Squirl, it's been fantastic. Dale had me pick up canned chili and tamales today! His appetite is improving and his blood counts are going up. I couldn't have asked for a better day.

KG, Dale will love this comment! "Clean underwear all around", too funny!

Rhea, the nurses are still giggling over it.

Pam said...

Cheers from VT! Dale's spirit is inspiring, bless him. And his humor is priceless.

I know how much it means to have the ones you love near you when times are tough...bless you all, too.

Laurie said...

Pam, thank you! Family support is a very important part of the healing process and you and your family are an inspiration in that department. I see the love you all share shine brightly on your blog in every post you do.

MsLittlePea said...

That's so great! The last pic of him shows a good color to his face. Not that I'm a facial skin color health expert mind you. But it does.

I'll have to remember the chest grasping prank if I ever need it....

3Fortin--SVH said...

We are so happy to hear that the transplant has gone well! Keep hanging in there! We are all thinking about you, and we're glad to hear you are still a prankster!!! ;)

--from Stacey M, Stacey D, and all the other staff on 3 Fortin at St. Vincent's in B-town!

Carol said...

Oh, Laurie, what wonderful news to hear Dale is doing so well. Still thinking of you and sending good wishes. Hang in there, girl. You've done well so far

Laurie said...

Mspea, he is doing even better today! The news is wonderful!!

Stacey M, Stacey D and the rest of the 3 Fortin Gang, I imagine Dale will write something for me to post in the near future, but I want you all to know how much it means to him that you care.

Seeing your comment today meant more to him than he will ever be able to say. Thank you so much.

Carol, thank you so much. Things really couldn't be better at this moment.

Cathy said...

Oh Laurie - what wonderful news. These moments and impressions - the humor and tears - it is all so moving and inspiring. Again, thanks to Dale,to you, Wolf and Kay for sharing this journey. Happy hugs to you all.

Menchie said...

Happy Easter Laurie!

That part about Dale gasping had me chuckling! That sales rep has no sense of humor!

Laurie said...

Cathy, we have been truly blessed on this journey. By good luck, great doctors and dear friends like you.

Menchie, Dale has a great attitude and I have to think it is one of the reasons he is doing as well as he is. Thank you.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I'm so glad those words were spoken and heard. I continue my prayers.

Laurie said...

Nick, thank you so much. You are a dear.