T-Minus to Clampdown
Working hard in Harrisburg, begging to be melted down.
So, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is coming this week. I’m going in for my stem cell transplant on Friday, January 13th and will be in the hospital for at least 30 days — meaning Mark will be on solo duty taking care of the kids, our dog and the house (and trying to visit me) while going to work full-time and all that. Go Mark!
This next stage going to be our greatest challenge as a family — but we will make it through. And, this is why we’ve held off on really asking for too much assistance.
But now is the time…Lots of you, especially from out of town, have been asking “how can I help? I want to help!” All of you have been amazing in this regard. Hard to say what’s in store in the next 6+ months.
Leukemia / Stem Cell transplant is a long, slow road.
Lots of non-medical related expenses and scheduling challenges have arisen simply trying to figure out how cover things like our dog Sophie’s afternoon walk (she’s a border collie/chow mix — that girl’s gotta walk), ordering in food on days when we don’t have a Mealtrain set up and Mark is at the hospital, or keeping the house clean (Mads and Caleb leave a trail of crumbs, and Sophie loves ignore those crumbs and add a steady sprinkling of fur). Even folks taking turns watching the kids so Mark can come to the hospital or can go do some weekend errands is helpful — and many of you who are closer to us have signed on to do that. THANKYOU!!!
Sending warm and positive thoughts is really the best we can ask for, but since you’ve asked, here are some easy online options that will make a real impact for us. Please no flowers (no, for real, they can actually kill me). Also, remember we are not in desperate need here, so don’t feel any pressure to give — more just giving direction on the things that are helpful to us.
WAG! on-demand dog walking.
Sophie the dog needs three walks a day or else it’s crazy town. We are good with AM/PM walks but we’ve enlisted Ryan the dog walker at Wag to help us daily in the afternoon. Because a happy Sophie means a less frazzled Team Dawursk.
One 30 min walk is $25. Gift A WALK
With the kids and the dog and full-time job, it’s really going to be a challenge for Mark to have time to keep the house clean. Plus, when Susanne returns home, the house has to be SUPER clean so as to kill as many germs/fungus as possible and to keep her healthy. Plus, she’s not allowed to clean due to potential germs she can pick up. We have ongoing cleaning now set up for the coming weeks. Sparklymaid is a great service that allows for online booking and communication through an app — great for Mark at work.
Want to gift some cleanliness? to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year, I spent 8 months at Chicago-based startup, GiveForward.com. Their mission was to build an online product that served this very need for families going through a major illness or life-changing event (cancer, hospitalization, new baby, natural disaster, etc.) which would allow folks to give both emotional support and specific service support.
We didn’t quite get the product built before the money ran out (that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes — the runway is shorter than the idea). I did get the chance to learn a lot about what I dubbed the “paralyzation effect”, in which those who need help are afraid or ashamed to ask. Meanwhile, the friends & family that want nothing more than to make a meaningful impact are left feeling like they don’t know what to do. So, then either lots of flowers get sent or no one does anything, and we all feel bad. At GiveForward, we encouraged our users to never feel shame in asking for the help they needed as those around them really appreciated the direction.
And, now, here I am in the exact same spot. So, thank you all for helping and hopefully this bit of direction helps you know what is going to mean the world to us.
And away (with my leukemia) we go!!!
xoxo Susanne, Mark, Mads, Caleb + Sophie the dog.