July 20th Update Happy Birthday, John! On Saturday we came to the beach for our annual family vacation at Ocean City. As we approached the boardwalk and the ocean, tears rushed in like waves ... we know how blessed we are to be able to return to this place where we have vacationed for forty years. WIth all that has happened in the last three months not one of us could have been assured that this day would come. Even as late as last week John was hospitalized at U Penn Hospital. He had been in the hospital off and on over a two week period and was extremely ill and weak from the CMV virus. He came home on IV medications that we administer two times daily. A visiting nurse has come both to our home and to the beach house to change his PICC line dressing and to draw blood and the specialty infusion meds have been delivered at both locations as well. We marvel at the coordination and resourcefulness of the Penn team in helping to make this "get away" happen. Because of the PICC line, we are handling vacation a little differently - sitting on the edge of the water and under an umbrella instead of diving into the water and helping the grandchildren ride the waves. We are on the beach a lot less but still enjoying every minute of our beach, porch and boardwalk time with the family. We keep saying .... next year, next year! But for now we are grateful for the blessings of this year and for a chance to have some good times away from home and Philadelphia and the harder times! Another highlight for John's birthday was going from OC to the Linc stadium last evening in Phila to see the US vs El Salvador game with Jeremiah and the boys. Today more surprises are in store as several of his sisters will join us for a day at the beach. His brother Ken and his wife Bev surprised him with a visit at OC yesterday! So many blessings!!! Happy Birthday, John.
Jul 05, 2017
John is now nine weeks post transplant. We continue to experience many blessings but there are tough challenges as well. The biopsies and testing continue to yield good results and several medications have been decreased and/or discontinued. We continue to view each day as a gift and a miracle.
Amidst the good news, John has also faced some obstacles along the path. Several weeks ago John relayed to those of us closest to him, that he felt like he "hit a wall" and that he had "plateaued". Despite doing everything asked of him with regard to diet, exercise and meds he did not feel as though he was progressing. He began to experience intense back pain, felt very tired and experienced nausea which seemed to be related to the meds he takes daily. He started physical therapy to help his back pain. As the week progressed he did not show improvement and we began communicating with the hospital staff about next steps.
On Sunday John was readmitted to U Penn Hospital primarily for his nausea and and severe stomach pain. During his stay the post transplant team ordered many tests which are standard protocol for transplant patients with compromised immune systems. Eventually they pinpointed an inflammation in John's small intestine which accounted for the intense stomach pain. Tests of his back identified a fracture which explained the back pain. Monday evening John began feeling some relief from his symptoms and late Tuesday afternoon he was released from the hospital fitted with a back brace. He will continue physical therapy at home and return to U Penn on Monday for his regularly scheduled visit and biopsy.
It is our prayer that he will continue to experience healing and renewed strength. Thank you for following his progress and for your prayers, cards, and words of encouragement. At this point on the journey, visits are welcomed. Please contact Debbie or John if you would like to arrange a date and time.
Blessings, The Denlinger Family
May 22, 2017
Dear friends and family, I can hardly see through the tears as I write these words—my dad is home! After over a month of wild, scary, wonderful days, both before and after transplant, my dad is...
May 15, 2017
Dear family and friends, Today marks the 32nd day. Several days ago I optimistically packed my suitcases and moved out of my room at the Transplant House. As the day progressed I came to realize...
May 10, 2017
Day 25 of the journey ... from home to Lancaster General to U Penn. who could have known? As I pull John's clothes out of the suitcase stashed away for 25 days - the clothes he wore to the...
May 03, 2017
Easter Weekend April 2017 was the beginning of a life change and an unexpected journey for John and our family. On Good Friday evening, following a full day of preparation for the events of the...