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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:46 PM

I spent most of my day today at the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, CA.

My Favorite Uncle is there, has been since Thursday. He's my Mom's Brother. I'm afraid they're going to tell us tomorrow that he has leukemia.

He was the Rebel when I was young... One of my Heroes. He had a motorcycle and a turbocharged Corvair. Then came Vietnam.

Life has been so unkind to him; Wounded in Vietnam, alcoholism, PTSD, lost and regained his family, and now this.

I just sat across the table from him on Thanksgiving and laughed as he told everyone about teasing me as a child. That man wasn't in the room today. Now I have to call my Mom. She doesn't know yet.

Fucking hell...

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Reply I spent most of my day today at the VA Hospital in Loma Linda, CA. (Original post)
cherokeeprogressive Dec 2012 OP
Stargazer09 Dec 2012 #1
annabanana Dec 2012 #2
ellaydubya Dec 2012 #3
CherokeeDem Dec 2012 #4
catbyte Dec 2012 #5
cbrer Dec 2012 #6
graywarrior Dec 2012 #7
OneGrassRoot Dec 2012 #8
jody Dec 2012 #9
niyad Dec 2012 #12
jody Dec 2012 #14
cherokeeprogressive Dec 2012 #18
jody Dec 2012 #24
niyad Dec 2012 #10
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #11
calimary Dec 2012 #13
freshwest Dec 2012 #15
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #16
cherokeeprogressive Dec 2012 #17
SoapBox Dec 2012 #19
denbot Dec 2012 #20
fadedrose Dec 2012 #21
840high Dec 2012 #22
MightyMopar Dec 2012 #23
ReRe Dec 2012 #25
Raksha Dec 2012 #26
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #27
KT2000 Dec 2012 #28
ReRe Dec 2012 #29
malaise Dec 2012 #30
Rex Dec 2012 #31
watch the sky Dec 2012 #32

Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:51 PM

1. Hugs

Sending you and your family lots of hugs.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:52 PM

2. I am so sorry cherokeeprogressive.

Life can get rough. I wish I could stand by you when you make that call.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:55 PM

3. This is a tough one-

At any time but especially during the holidays- I send positive thoughts your way. At least your Mom has you for support and that will help her tremendously.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:04 PM

4. So sorry....

Life can change so rapidly....we need to treasure each day we have with the people we care about.

Will keep you and your uncle in my thoughts.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:13 PM

5. You and your dear uncle are in my heart tonight, cherokeeprogressive

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:16 PM

6. CP- Words are a poor method

 

Of expressing heartfelt thanks to your uncle. And reaching out a supportive arm (figuratively) to you.


Fucking Hell indeed.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:18 PM

7. I don't know what to say, so I'll just send good thoughts his way

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:19 PM

8. ...

Big hugs for you and your uncle...



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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:31 PM

9. Understand. Those of us Vietnam vets who were young and naive, indoctrinated on WWII movies,

 

innocently trusting elected politicians to make the best moral decision, went into battle knowing we were protecting our Nation.

We found out later or quickly we had been misled.

Your Uncle and I are comrades having fought in the same battles - - for naught.

George W. Bush is remembered for the following and your Uncle and I are mere commas:

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Response to jody (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:49 PM

12. those of us who sent you all off to that lying nightmare have some pretty clear ideas of the cost,

to all of you, and to those of us who were left behind, of that lying, miserable travesty of "a just war". Like you, we learned the lies very quickly, and, as family, loved ones, friends, watched so many of you suffer endlessly on your return. there are no words. . .

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Response to niyad (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:55 PM

14. I've stood at attention while a bugle payed Taps, heard an Honor Guard fire 21 times, and gave

 

a slow salute one last time for one of my dear friends, and asked "Why God, Why?"

Not received an answer yet.

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Response to jody (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:25 PM

18. Tell me something Jody.

I'm not sure if my Uncle Don was pulling my leg, or playing on my arachnophobia, but he told me there were spiders over there that were big enough to make noise as they walked on the jungle floor.

Fuck me I wouldn't have slept a wink.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:36 PM

24. Never saw one personally but heard lots of tales. nt

 

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:45 PM

10. CP, sending you loads of hugs, and strength, to help in this very sad and trying time. all

the best for your uncle, for your whole family. know that your DU family is here for you.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:47 PM

11. Oh, sorry to hear. I hope the news will be better than you expect.

Sending good thoughts for you and your family.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:54 PM

13. Hopefully - it's treatable?

Damn. Sorry to hear this, cherokeeprogressive.

A friend of ours just found out he has skin cancer - hopefully they caught it early enough. I hope there's a similar prognosis for your uncle.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:56 PM

15. CP, hold on to them as long you can. (((hugs)))

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:06 PM

16. (((GOOD VIBES)))

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:23 PM

17. You guys are so f'n bitchin'...

DU needs a "reply all" button so those of us who want to say thanks for kind words can reach out to all who gave them.

It's going to be a very long day tomorrow as I wait for my Aunt's phone call.

Your words mean more than you'll ever know.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:29 PM

19. You are doing a good thing...

It's tough...but I'm impressed that you are there for him.

Bravo.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:50 PM

20. Vibes to you and yours

Peace.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:56 PM

21. Be grateful for the Thanksgiving memory...

where he laughingly remembers teasing you. His rough life even before leukemia did not affect his cheerfulness and he would want you not to be too sad. It's hard, but you have to be as loving - but tough - as he is...he probably knew something was up at that dinner.

We sure send our best ones to war, don't we?

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:24 PM

22. So sorry. Big hugs.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:28 PM

23. Thank you for being a good American

 

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:32 AM

25. Hang in there CP....

... we will be pulling for you here. I hope and pray right here and now that your Dear Uncle does not have Leukemia, and that whatever he is suffering from can be treated. Sounds like you're in a situation where you have to be strong for your Mom and for your Uncle's family, even though you feel like crumbling just like them. Listen, you try your hardest to be strong in the face of this situation, and then you come here and crumble. You now have hundreds of DUers who will give you all the support you need.
God bless and keep your Uncle in the palm of His hand.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:50 AM

26. I'm so sorry, CP.

I'll keep you and your uncle in my prayers.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:58 AM

27. I hope the news won't be as bad as you fear, cp

Whatever happens, at least your uncle has you--and that probably means more to him than you know. Were I in his place, I know it would mean a lot to me.

What you're going through stirs up a lot of stuff for me. Vietnam again, and the profound sense of loss and grief that goes with it. Those I knew who died there (more than 60), and those we've lost in the aftermath--some by their own hand. Losing my little brother, who served with me in Vietnam, 2 years ago.

I've had a lot of personal experience with loss and grief, but I'm not sure I'm getting any better at dealing with it, or that I have any special wisdom to offer you.

If worse comes to worst, it may, in a way, be tougher on you than on your uncle. He's been through a lot, and he's a survivor. If he was in the jungle with the spiders, he may have been an Infantryman--which means he's been through some shit, and more shit being wounded. He probably lost friends there, and more over the years afterward. He probably has a lot of experience, himself, with loss and grief. And, like a lot of us, he's probably experienced amazement that he's still here.

As for his PTSD and substance abuse, a lot of us have been there, done that. But many of us recognize not only the negative and tragic consequences of that fucking war in our lives; we also see the positive consequences. On visits to schools to speak about the war, one thing i'd say was, "You didn't have to go to Vietnam to find your compassion. But it sure could add a lot of depth."

When you see your uncle again, you might ask him if he gained anything positive from his war experience. You said he regained his family, which is a striking development. Raising the question about the positive effects of Vietnam may be illuminating.

Let me say again:

Whatever happens, at least your uncle has you--and that probably means more to him than you know. Were I in his place, I know it would mean a lot to me.

And, when you see him again, tell him you ran into another VN vet online who says, "Welcome home, brother," and wishes him the best...



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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:18 AM

28. Hope

that it is something treatable.
Sending goods vibes and wishes for good news.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:25 PM

29. Still praying....

...how's it going?? Please update us on how your Uncle is when you can find time. God Bless...

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:28 PM

30. How sad

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:28 PM

31. I just lost a dear friend to cancer.

You have my condolences.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 07:14 PM

32. so sorry for all of you

and I hope it's not as bad as it sounds like it could be. Bad time of the year to get bad news like this and hope he recovers.

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