Looking Ahead

My dear wife, Susan, has been with me in my health battles all the way through. Two years ago, when I was too sick to continue without dialysis, she was there to help me resume dialysis after 31 years without further delay.

I had been delaying, and to the risk of my life, nearly too long.

I stalled because once I succumbed to beginning dialysis – my transplant function would further collapse, however at that point in 2018 it made no difference – it was almost nothing already and the plus 15 pounds of fluid in my lungs and tissue were at risk of causing a heart event of some type. I had been sleeping sitting up for months because breathing was a problem.

This is what my wife posted in September 2018 on her Facebook page:

Today was a difficult day as Dave started hemodialysis. It wasn’t planned for today but was planned soon.

It became necessary as his GFR was at 6 and his body was failing him. Normal GFR is above 60.

Although we’ve been through this a long time ago, it was still heart wrenching.

The two hour dialysis took 2.3 litres of fluid off his body today. Tomorrow he will be there three hours and they will take 3 litres off.

Then on Saturday four hours of dialysis. Four hours of dialysis three times a week will be his new normal. In all 10 litres of fluid needs to come off his body.

We are hoping and praying he gets on the transplant list in October. From August on Dave has been struggling to live as his body has been failing him.

It occurred to me that his body was killing him a little more every day. We also hold on to the hope of better days ahead. There were tears today of letting go and giving in but not giving up.

We’re both just tired today. Dialysis will keep Dave alive while we wait for a transplant to go ahead. Please keep Dave in your prayers.

Canada has a low rate of organ donation and I hope by sharing this that it raises awareness. Dave has lived over 30 years on one kidney.

If a living donor donates a kidney in a paired exchange and they ever get sick they immediately rise to the top of the transplant list because of their donation.

You are welcome to please share this post to raise awareness.–

The two year anniversary of my first dialysis treatment in 30 plus years was a few days ago,

but I struggled deciding on whether I should write a post. I decided to post this remembrance because I wanted to recognize what happened after she posted.

Amazingly to me – my wife’s social media post resulted in more than a hundred messages of encouragement -that was super inspiring.

Secondly, it lead to us deciding to have party inviting friends for my birthday. We needed to celebrate something positive.

I could not eat or drink hardly anything at the party because of my dialysis, but I was stuffed by the warmth of the love in action. Friends I hadn’t seen in person in years came to celebrate, travelling hundreds of miles. They shared kind memories, they came to look me in the eyes.

That is the reason for the post today.

I want to emphasize how my friends gave me strength and hope a few weeks after return to dialysis three days a week. Letting go of a kidney transplant after 31 years and a prospect of a diminished life span was all I had to look forward to along with the daily challenges of life of dialysis.

But they came and we celebrated my birthday together, and it helped me to be positive.


It strikes me that in the lives of people who read this that everyone has trials, rough road to travel in their lives.

It could be health related, relationship related, it could be work or zillion other things.

What is important is that how I react when I see someone hurting.

My friends responded wonderfully. They responded in action, a special few of them took the effort to learn what dialysis meant. Some came to the hospital and sat with me for one of my thrice weekly four hour treatments. They watched the needles being inserted and taped up for the duration. We visited while my blood was pumped around and around through the filters and the toxins were pulled out.


I hope that when I see my friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, in need of support that I will be there. It makes a difference to act.

Two years ago October 2018 when family and friends rallied with love

It made a difference to me two years ago and now looking back, I see it helped me to look ahead.

Two years ago, my wife wrote and my friends acted, and I am still grateful.

Thanks for reading – David

PS – I was able to get a new kidney transplant, April 24, 2019. It’s a miraculous story – I write about it in the Health category here. I am still celebrating ! ♥♥♥


About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
This entry was posted in health, Thinking Out loud and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Looking Ahead

  1. You are such an inspiration and one lucky man to have such a loving and supportive wife! Here’s to continued good health and well being, C

    Liked by 1 person

  2. simplywendi says:

    What a beautiful day to celebrate and I am so happy you were surrounded by love…….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have a lot to celebrate there. Keep that going.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. cindy knoke says:

    I wish you many healthy and happy years ahead!


  5. That was very touching. What your friends did for you was so sweet and kind. Your wife sounds like a gem. I’m happy that her post generated such a positive response. I’m glad that you decided to share your experience. It’s so inspirational. Such a day has to be celebrated and I’m so happy that you finally got a transplant.


  6. drpassenger says:

    Oh wow man… such a warrior thing i found here. keep sharing David. loads of people gets motivated and found a way in their difficult times. cheers for life.


  7. Your support system is amazing and I am glad to have the opportunity to “listen” to your voice. Happy day, David.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      It is nice to “hear” from you also my friend. Speaking of support systems – a lecture I attended about health once talked about our health as a table. We have six or more legs on our table so if one table is weak, our table still won’t crash or topple. Those legs are a variety of things like sleep, diet, friends (social support), prayer or meditation, exercise, hydration.

      It makes sense to me because I often think about balance and support. I try to include daily times of learning, exercise, lots of hugs, relaxation and even naps sometimes. I am just missing a pet, my son and I are talking about that, we miss our dapper black and white cat, Errol Flynn. Our daughter visits with Africa sometimes and we love her but she is a guest cat just here for a few days or weeks.

      I hope you are doing well, autumn is upon us – this is a time of year I often find change occurs. New beginnings in autumn. Best wishes, – David

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi David,
    So glad to have you as a blogging friend and a source of strength and inspiration. Thanks heaven for good friends and good partners. Wishing you continued loving, learning and many many adventures! Blessings! ♥♥


  9. Dalo 2013 says:

    Beautiful post, David. These are the pieces of news we all need to hear, something inspiring and where when I finish there is a great feeling of positive emotion. Wishing you well ~


  10. cupcakecache says:

    A support of a loved one is so important. Many cheers on your family support!


  11. A beautiful post, Dave. What would we do without the love and support of others? Yours is an inspirational story of triumph and faith in one’s ability to persevere. Congrats to you and Susan!


  12. Lynn says:

    Such a beautiful post David & an important reminder as to why organ donation is so very important. Wishing you so many more healthy years as you journey forward my friend.💕


    • dfolstad58 says:

      So nice to receive this warm message. Hugs to you.
      A really neat story was in the local news. A young man whom I did dialysis with two years ago has found a donor. He is married with two kids. Really nice guy, so thin and tall- and friendly. Dialysis three times a week plus everything that goes with it, and I don’t know how long he was dialysis before I met him either? Anyway, a lovely lady who is not acquainted with him and lives here decided to become a donor anonymously and she is a match for him. She is excited and shared her story with the paper to encourage donors but we don’t know who she is. That is happened at least once more that I know about in town here. Amazing people walk amongst us 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Joni says:

    An inspiring post. I’m still stuck back there at GFR of 6!


  14. Kavita Deo says:

    Your story is amazing. Your transplant survived 30 years and then you got another transplant. Amazing. I will complete two years of transplant in this Feb and now I aspire to break your record of 30 plus years of transplant. Amen! Take care


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Dear Kavita, my story is amazing. I hope you break my record and enjoy wonderful health. I don’t know what the future holds for renal patients but in 28 years I am sure medical science will have progressed immensely. Thank you for your interest in my blog and for commenting. I really appreciate it. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Your story has been inspiring to me and to see you now so healthy and living life well, it just does my heart good David.


  16. Sandra J says:

    Your words will help so many others Dave, like you said, there are so many different trials and tribulations that everyone goes through at one point or another in our lives. And knowing there are good people out there who will encourage and support you is so important. He made us in His image, we love, we help and we take care of others.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Thank you Sandra. I hoped that the post would share that our actions are felt and make a difference especially when people are Going through something hard. I appreciate your thoughts. -David


  17. Jose Belden says:

    Wish you a very healthy life ahead! What you have gone through is hard, but a strong man has guts to endure all this!


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