Today we celebrate another milestone - another month. September has been a month filled with blessings and love and laughter and inner peace that have all contributed to the healing process.
John continues to move forward one day at a time. He has resumed a fairly normal fall routine with the exception of working fewer hours and filling that time with physical therapy and cardiac rehab. Although he feels his progress is slow and that it is taking too long to get back to where he was physically, those of us closest to him see him gaining strength and stamina and recognize the need for him to find a healthy balance.
It has been an emotional month as two grandchildren were born within one week. Lydiana was born to Jeremiah and Kristine on September 8 and Jackson was born on September 15 to Julie and Tyler. Holding the newborns for the first time brought tears of joy and gratefulness to all of our eyes, as we remembered being told of their upcoming births just before Easter and then faced the uncertainty that they would meet their "pappy" in this life. We also celebrated three birthday and one anniversary this month ...Jon, Tyler & Jonalyn's birthdays and Julie & Tyler's anniversary. SO much joy!
We are also grateful for the excellent reports John had at U Penn this month. His biopsy showed no rejection, his CMV is in check and his other tests indicate his meds are properly dosed. He will continue his monthly trips to U Penn and weekly blood tests in Lancaster.
As a family we are grateful for each new day. Sometimes when we pause we realize all we have been through we wonder how we all kept going. We know God has been with us and sent many people to walk alongside us. The journey will continue but our pathway and story are forever changed.
Thank you so much to all of you who have supported us with prayers, gifts, cards, texts,visits and your friendship. It is the "little" things that mean so much - like going on a cycle ride with friends to the Border Cafe in Delaware, hiking in the woods, seeing friends and family at the fairs, church, birthday and wellness celebrations, watching the hummingbirds at our feeders or just walking in the meadow taking in the sights and sounds. We are so aware of all of our blessings!
We leave you with the words of one of John's favorite songs. This song was sung at our wedding and this song was also sung at our church one Sunday this month. It strikes a chord deep within each of us. May the words be a blessing and comfort to you as well.
My God and I walk through the fields together; We walk and talk as good friends should and do; We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter; My God and I walk through the meadow's hue. We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter; My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.
Aug 27, 2017
Today marks 17 weeks post transplant. As we conversed with several of our children today, we are amazed how some of us continue to wake almost automatically at 2:00 am on Sunday mornings - the hour we received the call that John was offered a heart! Needless to say we are grateful for that 2:00 am call and equally glad to be at this place in time.
The summer was very challenging. In early July John became ill and was hospitalized for 10 days. He had a CMV virus and was released with a PICC line and IV meds. The rest of the summer was a whirlwind but hopefully things will level off now. The last few weeks have been very encouraging.
On August 15, John's CMV virus levels reached the benchmark for two weeks in a row. Consequently the PICC line was removed and the IV meds were discontinued. We are overjoyed for his improvement and that he has been freed of the 2xs a day regiment of infusion.
The time between his U Penn appointments and his heart biopsies has been lengthened which is also freeing. John is trying to navigate a "new norm." He is beginning a new school year routine working in his church relations and development position part time at LMS. Debbie had a mishap and fractured her wrist requiring surgery in August but has tried to make up for lost time with the grandchildren in the last few weeks before school started visiting some of their favorite spots and adding some new adventures.
As we head into September we anticipate the birth of two grandchildren. We are delighted to move beyond the hard times of the summer and in to this new phase of healing and restoration! We are thankful for each of you who have walked with us supporting us with your prayers, visits, gifts and words of encouragement.
Love, The Denlingers
Jul 20, 2017
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...
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...
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...