Thursday, May 03, 2007

Audience Participation

I’ve hesitated to write this post for several reasons. A few of the people who read my blog are going through extremely hard times right now. Yen, at Two Lucky, is losing the love of his life to a very aggressive type of melanoma. They have given him less than a month to live. It’s been a long, hard fight for these two very dear people and it breaks my heart that their time together on earth is nearly over. Another one of my favorite bloggers, recently lost her father. They were very close and it has been very hard on her. Some people are going through hard times financially, or in their personal lives (or both), and others are making life-changing career choices. It’s not easy for any of these people and my heart goes out to them.

I am usually a very positive person, and I try to keep this blog positive, especially when people I care about are down. I want this blog to be a place where they can come and get a giggle or two or see a photo of something they might not see elsewhere. But there are several people who read this blog specifically to hear how Cousin Dale is doing, so I feel I must update.

My son, Wolf, goes to see Dale several times a week and spends all day Sunday with him. Despite working a full time job and living clear across the city, he spends as much time with Dale as he possibly can. I’d like to think there are a lot of 24 year olds who would show this type of commitment, but I’m not entirely sure there are. Anyway, I digress…

Wolf is one of the most optimistic people I know, and always puts a positive spin on things, but even with that, the news isn’t good. Dale has been struggling physically and emotionally because of complications from his bone marrow transplant. The Graft Vs Host disease is kicking his butt. He has been bed-ridden since right after I left Denver. He cannot eat or drink because the disease has centered in his digestive tract. Taking food or fluids by mouth makes him very ill, although from time to time he does have ice chips. He has constant diarrhea and a rash that covers his entire body. As you can imagine, he is miserable.

He is on too many IV drugs to count; chemo meds to try to control the disease, antibiotics, steroids, some kind of food substance, fluids and who knows what all. They are draining up to 10 pounds of fluid off of him every night. Everything that can be done is being done, but so far nothing is working. He is one very sick puppy. He has, in his weakest moments, considered giving up.

I would like nothing better than to be able to go back to Denver to stay with him while he’s so sick. But this is the busy season at work. There are trainings, workshops outreach and education events planned for the next several months. There are so many things I can’t do when I’m away from the office and my work has suffered. I just can’t go right now. I ache because I can’t do the one thing I really feel I should be doing right now, giving Dale support.

I have wracked my brain (such as it is) trying to figure out a way to help Dale focus on the future. He has been inside the hospital for so long now that I think he has forgotten that there is a world outside of it. His friends call and send cards and gifts and of course Kay and I call as often as we can. There are times when he is too tired or discouraged to talk and those of us that love him are aware of that and understand.

A week or so ago, Butterfly Girl emailed to ask for Dale’s address at the hospital so that she and her daughter could send a home-made card to him. I gave her the address, thinking how happy Dale would be to receive such a kind offering. Then, last night, while trying to sleep, it occurred to me that maybe the blogworld could help Dale regain his will to live, his zest for life, and his desire to fight this thing and win.

So, fellow bloggers, I am asking for audience participation. I know you are all busy with your lives and it is a lot to ask that you take time out of your day to send a card, a letter, or a funny or uplifting photo to a man you don’t even know, but this simple act on your part might give him the boost he needs to continue to fight. And that, my friends, is what he needs.

Dale Petersen
Room 3408
Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital
1719 E 19th Ave
Denver, CO 80218

48 comments:

Courtney said...

Done.

Laurie said...

Thanks so much Courtney, I'm about at my wits end (though some would say I've always been there) trying to help keep his spirits up from afar.

KGMom said...

Oh Laurie--this is a wonderful idea. I hope all your blog readers run out & buy cards to send to Dale.

Laurie said...

KG, so do I. And I hope they tell their friends to do the same. :) Thank you.

jen said...

honey. oh...friend.

i am so sorry. i will send a note to Dale. Of course, of course.

Laurie said...

Jen, thank you dear. I hope and pray that it helps him realize how much there is to live for.

Ur-spo said...

I will gladly send a card
what a dear woman you are
hang in there

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

What a great idea. Will do!

And also, if Dale will give his consent, you can go to the link for the Sufi order on my website and add his name to the healing requests with the US website. I have done this many times for myself and I believe.

Let me know if you need any help finding the link but the key is you have to have Dale's consent for them to send healing.
xx
pinks

Mary said...

I am MORE THAN HAPPY to do this, Laurie. I want to make him smile or perhaps laugh again.

I understand your dilemma with work. It always interferes, doesn't it.

Hang in there, dear.

Anvilcloud said...

What a great idea! Let's hope it gives the guy a few moments of happiness -- at the least.

Laurie said...

Ur-spo, thank you for sending a card. It will mean so much to Dale (and to me).

Pink, Dale has given me "blanket" permission for prayer requests. But I will ask him about this one specifically today when I talk to him. I know he will say yes. Then I will go to your site and follow the link. Thank you so much.

Mary, work does interfere. If my dad wasn't near here, I would seriously consider moving there to work so I could help out more. But I love my job and I have a lot of leave time built up so once my workload lightens, I'll be able to go back. Thanks for sending a card or photo or whatever you decide to send.

AC, I know how much he loves getting mail. I am hopeful that if he sees pictures, or cards, or whatever from around the world, it will help to remind him that there is life outside of the hospital and give him renewed strength. He's too young to die, AC, there is too much left for him to experience and I want him to be reminded of that.

Thank you.

butterfly girl said...

*Clapping* I'm SO SO happy that you did that! Just to know that you are loved and needed gives a person that extra push to keep fighting! I encourage all you bloggers to send him your love!!!!! I'm sorry he isn't doing well and I hope he beats this, I won't give up hope girl!

threecollie said...

That is a wonderful idea, laurie

Gina said...

I'm gonna have Mr. P break out the paints!

Within Without said...

This will be done, of course.

You and Wolf (and Kay) have already done so much for Dale, and I hope the three of you keep that in mind.

As I'm sure Dale himself is.

You cannot do more than what you're doing now, except hope and wish for the best.

Menchie said...

You and your family are such a blessing to Dale. Hang in there Laurie.

Will send something to cheer him up.

Bonita said...

This is a wonderful idea. I'll do it! But, whatever I send to Dale, will also be for Wolf. They are a team, a most outstanding team.

Laurie said...

Butterfly, it was your idea that started it! Thank you so much.

Threecollie, thank you...tell your friends! ;-)

Gina, Dale will be thrilled to have artwork to brighten up his room. You ROCK!

WW, thank you so much for participating. I know he will be happy to get a card from the north. And Dale does appreciate our caring and concern a great deal. He always tells me he wouldn't have made it this far without us (which of course he would have, but it's nice of him to say).

Menchie, you are a sweetheart, thank you!

Bonita, the team will appreciate it so much. Thank you!

MsLittlePea said...

That's awesome Laurie. I'll send a card. I hope you're holding up well too!

Pam said...

I'm so glad there is a way we can help, I'm on it.

Bonita is right, your incredible son and Dale are a team, bless them both. And you, I know how difficult this must be.

ThomasLB said...

I'll try to get a card in the mail tomorrow.

Laurie said...

Mspea, thank you so much. I know he will be thrilled. I'm doing alright, Wolf is a bit worried and stressed, but he's tough.

Pam, it is so kind of you to participate. I know how much it will mean to him and to all of us.

Thomas, I hope you know how much we appreciate it. Thank you.

Within Without said...

That's the Great White North, remember! (*Although it's pretty gray and dreary here right now*)

;-)

Helen said...

You and your son are something special. I know Dale's been through a lot and has a long way to go, but he is a lucky man to have family like you.

Laurie said...

WW, I stand corrected, although shouldn't that be the Great Gray North? (**Runs away laughing**)

Helen, thank you. We are a close family.

Cathy said...

You got it dear lady!

Cuppa said...

Oh Laurie, my heart goes out to you. Cyber hugs are coming your way and a card is in the mail for Dale from our little corner of the world.

Laurie said...

Cathy, thank you so much. You are a sweetheart!

Cuppa, we really appreciate it. Thank you.

Squirl said...

I'll send something. You guys hang in there.

thailandchani said...

It's hardly too much to ask, busy or not. I will do this. Today.


Peace,

~Chani

Laurie said...

Squirl, I appreciate it, more than you will ever know. Thank you.

Chani, it means the world to us, it really does.

Ginnie said...

This is a wonderful idea, Laurie. My card will be in the mail tomorrow.

Laurie said...

Ginnie, thank you so much.

TigerYogi said...

I'll do my part as well. You're both in my thoughts and prayers...

Laurie said...

Tiger, thank you so much. I'm hoping this remind him that there is life outside of the hospital.

NatureWoman said...

The blogging community has been there for me during my hard times this past month, and I will pass on the love shown to me from all of you to Dale. Thanks for his address.

KC said...

You are wonderful, Laurie.
I've written my note.

Laurie said...

Naturewoman (Pam), thank you, dear. You are a good and kind person. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Laurie said...

KC, it means more than you'll ever know. Thank you so much.

Nicole said...

Sweet Laurie:
I've got the card picked out and nearly ready to go! Will include some pics from Yellowstone Lake last weekend... Just holler if you need anything, anytime.
Nicole ~.~

Laurie said...

Nicole, thank you! I know he will love seeing the lake. I'd bet he's never been there, despite having lived within a hundred miles or so of it all of his life. One of the things we talked about all the time was that he wanted to get out and see some of the world. I really think getting these cards and pictures from all over will really help motivate him to do just that. You are the best!

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

Card in the post, on its way!
xx
pinks

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

ps - did you find the sufi healing order prayer request site? If not, let me know and I'll send it direct.
xx
pinks

Laurie said...

Pink, thank you so much! And no, I couldn't navigate my way through the Sufi healing site. Could you send it directly, please? Thanks.

steve'swhirlyworld said...

What an AWESOME IDEA!

Laurie said...

Steve, thank you so much for participating!

LauraHinNJ said...

I'll find something special to send to your Dale - thanks for letting me *help*.

Laurie said...

Laura, thank you so much. Dale has received quite a few cards and he is absolutely thrilled!