Monday, April 16, 2007

Just in for Some Fine Tuning...

As I mentioned in my last post, Dale is back in the hospital. He is having some fairly significant discomfort, and has been a bit down, but he wants you all to know that this is just a temporary setback. The medical staff at St. Luke's is taking excellent care of him and he is certain that he will overcome this obstacle. He said to tell you all that he's just in for some fine tuning.

In an effort to find the cause of his symptoms, the staff has tested him for Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, which is a common virus that infects most people worldwide. CMV infection is usually harmless and rarely causes illness and a healthy immune system can hold the virus in check. However, if a person's immune system is seriously weakened in any way, the virus can become active and cause CMV disease, which can be quite serious. We don't have the results of the test back yet, but I will update you all when I do.

Another possible consideration is that the symptoms may be from Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) which is a frequent complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplant in which the engrafted donor cells attacks the patient's organs and tissue. GVHD tends to be more severe in patients receiving mismatched transplants from family member or unrelated donors, which is the case with Dale.

I'm sure there are other potential causes for his discomfort, but these are the front-runners at the moment. In an effort to determine what is causing Dale's symptoms, they performed a colonoscopy this morning. They took several samples to biopsy and we should have the results of those in the near future.

I also wanted to mention that Dale's father passed away on Saturday. His father wasn't a nice man and they weren't at all close, but I think on top of everything else, it will be hard on Dale once it sinks in.

Dale has been overwhelmed by the love and support he has received from his friends and family and the people who read this blog. Your phone calls and cards have meant the world to him and I have printed off your blog comments nearly every day. They are a great source of enjoyment and comfort and he reads them all, laughing at some, tearing up over others. He appreciates it more than he can say, as do I.

So folks, please keep those calls, cards and comments comin' really are making a difference!


Anonymous said...

Whew! I am all caught up. That 5th element thing was stressful!

I'm so glad he is fairing so well. It does seem you have been there forever now. Compared to all that has happened in my life just since you left!

I bet you miss your kitties, right? We have 7 new ones all looking for a new home in a few weeks. Does Wolf want a kitty?

MsLittlePea said...

Oh! I hope he feels better soon. I'm so sorry about all this. It's still painful to lose someone even if we are not close to them and for that I'm so sorry. You guys have been through so much and he's so brave and adorable with that wrench!!!

Anvilcloud said...

So, he's holding the wrench that was thrown into the works?

Laurie said...

Butterfly, it has been quite a siege for both of us, hasn't it. I hope things are getting better for you! Wolf would love a kitty, but his roommate-to-be is allergic. :(

Mspea, thank you. He is a very brave and funny man, I truly think he will be OK.

AC, it's actually the wrench he has been using to rebuild his 38 Chevy coupe, but brilliant comment anway!

Cathy said...

I gotta know! How'd you all get that wrench in there? I'll bet he's tempted to use it when he sees another technician coming at him with a needle. (I know he's too sweet to wield any weapon but his smile :0) Hang in there Dale!

Pam said...

Love the's that sense of humor that will pull him through. That and his extraordinary bravery.

I'm sorry for his loss and send condolences.

Bonita said...

Best of luck to Dale and his well-wishers. Hang in there!

Within Without said...

What a brilliant pic and while this is obviously a setback, you've explained it all very clearly and with love.

Put in perspective, Dale's recovery was remarkable in the first place that hopefully this is only an uncomfortable and worrying step back.

Regardless, it all shows Dale's strength and optimism and the benefits of having you and Wolf with him to help him through it all.

You're all fantastic people with incredible fortitude. Thanks for being such an inspirational trio.


Laurie said...

Cathy, they didn't even search his luggage...they don't know him very well, obviously.

Pam, thank you. The way I see it, as long as he's got his sense of humor, he's doing alright.

Bonita, we are hanging, thank you!

Laurie said...

WW, his spirits are still pretty good, despite feeling so poorly. We should hear something back on the tests tomorrow and I'll keep you all posted.

And you're right, everything has gone quite well here and we are very thankful for that.

KGMom said...

I too love the humor as evidenced by the wrench, which I took to be an indication of the need for fine-tuning. Although, I also like Anvilcloud's guess of throwing a wrench into the works.
GVHD is a threat--let's hope it isn't that. Dale is certainly vulnerable, and it is good the hospital staff is on top of things.
Sorry about his dad, even if they weren't close. There's something about losing the one whose genes you bear.
Continued prayers and thoughts.

wd said...

May this set-back be only temporary and the ONLY one you/he'll see. Hopefully, all will be well and soon!!!

Tuning up for the concert of my life
Taking note of classic techniques
Finding the keys to composing myself
I entered into the first movement ...
ready ...
To B Sharp.

Being A Natural ... at this stage
fright did not come into play
Being confident of each measure
I scored victory
Refusing to sing the blues
over A Minor setback
stumbling upon a broken / bridge
over troubled waters) ...
Crossing over anyway to
C Major possibilities
not to B Flat or one-dimensional ...
but to embrace all that jazz this
life's made of ...
I entered into the second
movement ... set ...
to B Sharp.

Directing a chorus
voicing four-part disharmony
Orchestrating rare repeat performances
in unison
I turned a deaf ear to discordant tones
striking a chord of discontent.
Having no time for Modern / pop / bluegrass
/ country / swing / hip-hop
Soul / rap / rhythm and blues / heavy
metal to weigh me down ...
I entered into the third movement to a
higher octave oblivious to
all that jazz ...
and decided to B Sharp--
to be ... MYSELF.
--Essence, May, 2001 by Iris Formey Dawson

(HUGE bear hug).....b

Laurie said...

KG, we are hoping for the best. Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts.

WD, what a wonderful poem and it fits Dale perfectly. I can hardly wait to share it with him. Thank you.

Chani said...

That wrench just cracked me up! I have absolutely no doubt that Dale will come through this, too. He's already come this far!



LauraHinNJ said...

I just love Dale's sense of humor!

And please tell him he looks great!

steve'swhirlyworld said...

Love the "wrench" picture...I think this photo op took a little planning...or at least I hope they're NOT using tools like that for the "fine tuning".

I'm sending positive energy Dale's way! Keep laughing, smiling and visualizing perfect health, and it will come.

Take care!

Homo Escapeons said...

A great sense of humor is one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal.
What an amazing guy...and you,
you are an angel.

Ur-spo said...

those all sound like typical post graft matters to me.
it should be fine.

Laurie said...

Chani, thank you so much. I agree, he's a fighter and I believe he will make it.

Laura, he's a funny guy, and I'll be sure to tell him for you.

Steve, he actually picked up the wrench as I was taking his photo, so if it was planned, it was planned by him. :)

HE, I agree, it is what has gotten him this far. And surely you can see the horns holding my halo up?

Ur-spo, they've diagnosed him with Graft VS Host Disease and they are agressively treating it. Hopefully they will get it under control soon. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Fine tuning" is a good way to put it. Best wishes for a quick and full recovery!

Mary said...

Tell Dale he can't be too bad if he's joking around with a WRENCH!

He has color in his face and the ability to smile. Plus he has you, Laurie, and all of us here floating around in the blogosphere sending good vibs his way.

Menchie said...

I hope he is ok and gets out of the hospital soon.

Gina said...

I hope things improve quickly for him!

Laurie said...

Thomas, despite how sick he is, he's still got a great sense of humor. Thanks.

Mary, thank you, we appreciate all of you so much.

Menchie, we do too, thanks so much.

Gina, thank you.

Squirl said...

I'm catching up and reading backwards here. I sure hope they can take care of his problem really fast.

Tell him to hang in there. A friend of mine, who hadn't seen her father in ten years, found out last month that he'd died a year ago. She's still sorting it out.