Welcome, you got the link to this website because you are important to me. Whether family or friend you and I have connected and built a bond that holds us. I have been blessed in life in many ways, one of which is you. It amazes me how many of you have reached out to me to see what, if anything, you could/can do. I have always responded by asking for prayers. I am now asking for your prayers for my donor and his or her family, friends and loved ones. Their loss is real and it is great. Most likely it was also unexpected and sudden. They are in great need, please pray for them.
My daughter, Hillary, sent you the email that brought you here. I gave her a list of email addresses with instructions to send a notice out with a link to this website, when I got "the call." Some of you were asked to send out notices of your own to help spread the word, thank you for helping. I chose this website as the vehicle to keep you all informed and up to date on my condition. My sister, Suzanna, is with me and helping me along this journey. She will keep the website updated until I can do it myself. You can check in anytime and as often as you like to see where I am, find out what is happening to me and how I am doing. You can even post a message of your own. My hopes are that this will be simple and easy for you and easy for my family. This way they won't have to field lots of calls or send out a massive number of emails and hopefully this way no one will be inadvertently left out.
Why "D.J.'s Excellent Adventure"? I think you know but in case you don't, I'm looking forward to his. This is not something that I am reluctant to do. I am not dreading this. It is my new adventure and it is an opportunity and I am confident that this adventure will be excellent and I am thankful for the opportunity. So, like Bill and Ted, I am off with excitement and anticipation with No Fear and No Reservations. I can't wait to see what the future brings, as Joe Walsh sang "Life's been good to me so far" and now I'm just waiting, anticipating what's on the other side of this door.
Many of you have asked, "How can I be so confident?" "How can I be so positive?" My answer, How can I not? When I was diagnosed with this disease (Idiopathic Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis) we were told that the average life expectancy was 3-5 years and that I had probably had this disease for 2-3 years. My family freaked out when he doctors estimated that I had 1-2 years to live, perhaps 3. Then in January of 2017 they told me I probably had six-months maybe less. Yet here I am typing away over four years later. And, here we are moving forward, living, loving, learning. I am totally convinced of three things: (1) The power of prayer - Thank you all for your prayers; (2) The power of positive thinking - thank you Mom and Dad for instilling in me, the belief that I can do anything and teaching me to never give up; and, (3) God has something he still wants me to do - Thank you God.
Since you are reading this, I got the call and I am at "Shands Hospital" (UFHealth) in Gainesville, Florida and I am receiving a double lung transplant. You can, if you are interested go to the UFHealth/Lung Transplant website and learn, as much as you want (even more) about this process. The bottom line is that they are very good at this and they are very successful (over 93% success rate.) . I will be in the hospital for at least 3-weeks. My surgery was on ___________________. I will be in "Re-Hab" for a month and then I will remain in Gainesville for another 2-4 Months depending on my condition. While I am living in Gainesville, they will closely monitor my blood levels, drug effectiveness, drug dosages and proper mixture of drugs. They will also be closely monitoring me for infection and potential rejection.
During this time I will also be doing structured exercises, going to occupational therapy, physical therapy, attending various classes and meetings with support groups, and advisors. I will also be seeing professionals regarding emotional and mental health. In short, they will keep me busy until they feel it is safe for me to return home. My sister, Suzanna, is a retired Critical Care Nurse, she lives in Gainesville and she will be my primary care giver and support person but I also have others that have volunteered to help out, as needed.
My current goal is to return home in 4-6 months with new lungs and a new "lease on life." Our life here is a lease, we don't own it and we don't know the lease termination date but at the end of the day, God willing I expect to have mine extended for another 10-20 years.
May God Bless all of you. I look forward to seeing all of you, in person....SOON. With love from the bottom of my heart.