Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Wish

The word is in on Dale. It is Graft VS Host Disease and it is in his digestive tract. It is a relatively severe case and they are treating it aggressively. I am not sure what all that entails, but I do know he will be in the hospital for several weeks at the minimum.

At this point, he is unable to eat or drink; they are giving him all of that intravenously. Last night, while we were talking on the phone he said his fantasy is to drink ice cold water, but he can't, it tears up his gut too badly to even contemplate. He said when he gets out of the hospital, he is going to buy some Dasani water and put one in the freezer until it gets ice crystals in it and then drink it all in one gulp.

What struck me about his wish is its simplicity. Dale has been sick since August of 2006. Most of that time he hasn't had the strength to do any of the things he loves; tinker with his 38 Chevy Coupe, work with wood, listen to jazz...all of his favorite pursuits were out of his grasp because he was too sick and had too little energy.

He didn't have much of an appetite during that time, except for the few days’ right before the transplant, yet his fondest wish is to drink a bottle of iced Dasani water. No juicy T-Bone for Dale. No shrimp or lobster for Dale. No tacos or enchilada...all he wants is a bottle of Dasani with ice crystals in it. I suppose his wish is born of thirst, the kind of thirst I can only imagine, but still, the simplicity of it boggles my mind.

How typical of Dale. His wants and needs have always been basic. He lives well within his means and doesn't ask for much from the people around him or the world in general.

As we ended our phone conversation, Dale, obviously hearing the sadness that I had tried so desperately to hide from him, said "It could have been worse, Laurie, at least they didn't find any more cancer".


Anvilcloud said...

I can hardly believe that I'm saying this, but I guess if I were thirsty in the desert, I hanker for water and not a Diet Coke.

KGMom said...

Oh Laurie, so sorry to hear the comlication of GvHD. While this is a common complication, it is a setback. I hope Dale can keep his good sense of humor through this, though it would be undestandable if he didn't. And I hope you can keep your good nature too.

Courtney said...

After my own stint in the hospital when I was 18, I know that thirst. IV fluids may provided hydration in a clinical sense, but I can't even describe that feeling of needing water and the desperation that goes along with it.

I've no doubt that he'll drink the whole bottle in one gulp.

Cuppa said...

Wow! Profound thoughts. Thank you.

Keeping you and Dale in our thoughts and prayers.

MsLittlePea said...

Oh! That reminded me of when I came to after my (horrible) surgery. I asked for a ginger ale. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink for 3 days and it was all I wanted. It was the best ginger ale I ever had.

I sure hope Dale gets better. I'll remember you all in my prayers.

JustJock said...

the man has taste. dasani is the absolute best bottled water around.

Laurie said...

AC, I'm a water-aholic. I crave it all the time, so I agree with you!

KG, thank you. Dale is doing his best to stay up, but it is a bit difficult at the moment. I'm doing my best to amuse the both of us. :)

Courtney, I can see it on his face and in his actions. It's so hard not being able to give him something to drink.

Cuppa, thank you for keeping us close to your heart.

Littlepea, thank you so much.

Jock, I agree and can't wait to buy him his first bottle.

thailandchani said...

Geez, just reading this made me want to drive out there and give him some Dasani water, chilled, as soon as he's able to have it.

Simplicity. Yes. He's got it right!



Squirl said...

I don't usually do this, but this post has me very close to tears. I hope they kick that out of his gut really soon.

I'm also a water-aholic. I can understand wanting an ice-cold Dasani. A lot.

Prayers and hugs.

Within Without said...

Ugh. And if Dale wants to quote me on that, he can. I'm sure it's what he's feeling (OK, maybe a lot worse).

All of you have shown us your profound strength and stamina and sense of humor.

I hope you can find that again and make it work for you. Combine it with all of these caring people.

Roll it up altogether, take humungous hugs and embraces from us all, and go with it.

All the best.

(And just as I write this, the ice cream truck is rolling around here with its joyful song playing.

To me, that's a good sign that means ice cream on a hot day...maybe like a Dasani).

Laurie said...

Chani, you and Dale would get along splendidly, of that I have no doubt.

Squirl, thank you so much. It was so hard today, I wanted to give him a drink so badly.

WW, there were some very light moments today. Dale rolled his eyes a few times (which was great to see) and I told him about a silly thing that happened when Wolf and I were at the health food store. Dale teased me about it several times and I giggled like a school-girl.

KC said...

You are such an angel of support. And I had no idea that different brands of water cold taste differently...now must try.

Cathy said...


I know that during the next days every glass of water I lift to my lips will carry a prayer for you and Dale. You probably don't like to have us refer to you as an angel, but from our perspective and Dale's - those are wings that keep you hovering aloft and the glow of your smile looks very much like the echo of a halo.

Tender hugs to you all.

Mary said...

My God, he is a great soul. Trying to take care of you when he is...well...fighting another battle. It's just a setback and he knows that.

Please keep your chin up, Laurie. He certainly is...

I'll put a bottle of Dasani in the freezer in his honor.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear things aren't going smoothly. You're in my thoughts.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I understand where Dale is coming from with his simple wish for ice cold water. I have been there.

He remains in my prayers.

Laurie said...

KC, they really do taste differently. Dasani has always been my favorite.

Cathy, thank you, we very much appreciate it.

Mary, he truly is an amazing person with a kind of strength I find awe inspiring.

Thomas, thank you. It means a lot to us.

Nick, I can only imagine what that is like. Thank you.

Pam said...

This is difficult news, Laurie, but Dale will overcome. I imagine he is anxious to be out of hospital, it gets tedious and can challenge the best disposition, but I think Dale is up to the task.
And there's a lot of good, positive energy coming his way.

Menchie said...

Hang in there. A lot of people are sending good thoughts for Dale's recovery from this.