Save the Date: Candlelight Ceremony


This is an amazing, moving event to honor organ, eye and tissue donors. If you are a recipient or a donor family member I highly suggest you try to attend this event.



Saying Good Bye

We had a bittersweet visit at OSU this morning. It was definitely nice to have my staples removed, but it was also the last time we will see my surgeon, Dr. Pelletier in clinic.

He has been with me since almost the beginning. He has taken a new position heading up the transplant program at Rutgers University. I am very excited for him and it will be a huge loss for OSU. I have a feeling he will stay in touch with us because he is just that person.

We were also reminded that I am now 14 months post transplant! It has been a journey of epic proportions for sure! The last two years have been unbelievable. I wanted to post a couple pictures of my lab numbers. One from the day before my transplant, 12/1/16, and one from today 2/5/18. The difference is nothing short of a true miracle! I am still not out of the woods. I will always have to be aware of my health and look over my shoulder for anything that might speed up a rejection. I have truly been given a second chance at life! Had Andi not so selflessly give her kidney to me, I would have most certainly have been on dialysis or even worse. The persistence of my physician team at OSU kept me alive and off dialysis, made the transplant a success and a little over three weeks ago removed those huge terrible kidneys.

Thank you again to everyone for the prayers love and support! And definitely my wife, Heather, who has surely earned her place in Heaven putting up with me through all of this!! I would also like to apologize to everyone, friends, family, and customers for not being around very much lately. I feel I am on a new path from here. We came home today for the first time in five years relaxed and satisfied that things are finally settled and basically good. What a feeling for sure!!! Thank you and God bless!!!


For reference,

creatinine: a chemical waste molecule generated by muscle metabolism (high levels are very bad and toxic to the body)

GFR: glomular flow rate is basically how good the kidneys are filtering. Anything less than 15% is considered kidney failure.


What a week!

What a week.

One week ago, I was laying in a hospital bed with an NG tube down my throat. Tonight, I am laying in my bed, Heather sleeping peacefully by my side. So many changes in a week. Little did we know that a week ago we would talk to a close friend who called to check on me, but to also tell us about the loss of his son to drug addiction. Tragically, he passed away a few days later, I truly believe from a broken heart.

I came home Thursday and started my healing process. My adopted son, Adam Dietz, surprised me and came to visit Friday. I made it to church today, met with a round of applause, hugs and love.

I am feeling more like myself every day. My brain has been a busy place. Lots of questions, prayers, overwhelming happiness and sadness all at the same time. I still have a long road ahead of me, but I see the light and have more drive than ever before.

Life is short and so very precious. Don’t take anyone or anything for granted. Never be ashamed to tell someone how much you love them and give lots of hugs. Thank you for the outpouring of love, prayers and support. Have a blessed week my friends!


Day 8

Day 6 and 7 might have trumped the December 2016 stay in the hospital over Christmas when it comes to the stress and worry.  Watching his pain and struggle broke my heart and I hope he is never in this much pain every again.  I really do not think I will sleep well until he is finally back at 100%.  Not sure really what is different besides him being healthier going into this surgery verses in December when he was being over-medicated and reacted to the large dosage of meds.  Not really sure why, but all I can say is that we will be very grateful to have this mountain behind us and to move forward.

Over the last 8 days Shannon has lost 18 pounds!!  I think it is time for some nourishment before he loses anymore!

All through the night Shannon struggled with the NG tube and just wanted it to be removed.  Waiting for the doctors to come in this morning was a long wait since he was up most of the night again.  He HAS to be exhausted!  I know I am and I did not have surgery!  We had an outstanding nurse all day yesterday and last night.  They have been top notch and make up for the lack of care the previous evening when the nurse left me in the bathroom holding a crying and puking husband.  That nurse should never step into our room again.  The nurse Sarah and Desi deserve merit awards and are wonderful patient advocates!  They are exactly what you need when you are sick in the hospital.

All night Sarah calmed and soothed Shannon the best she could.  She also worked with Desi during the day as they did shift recaps to talk to the surgical team about removing the NG tube so Shannon could be more comfortable.  They quickly removed it this morning and then asked us if we were ready to go home.  I looked at the doctor like he was nuts!  Yes, I want to be home.  We both want to be home!  There is no way I am willing to take him home without one solid good day and him having at least had a liquid meal that he can keep down. (Uncle Tony suggested Busch Light.  I know he is reading this and laughing.)

The doctor agreed that we could wait and see later this afternoon how he is feeling and what we want to decide about sending us home.  Shannon is determined that it is time for him to go home.  I told him I was okay with it as long as he eats something.  He still has only had a few bites of food here or there for the past 8 days so we will see.  At this point all he wants to do is sleep and food can wait.

Hopefully we will make it home in the next 48 hours or so.  I am hoping and praying for an uneventful evening.  For now, Shannon is finally resting peacefully.  He actually smiled again!  I have been waiting for so long so see him smile!  I will keep everyone updated on how things go tomorrow morning.  In the meantime it is back to work.  I am blessed I can work some here while he is resting so I can spend more time with him at home recovering.2018-01-17 09.58.25



So admist all of the negative and stress…. I need to Channel my mom for a minute and look at the positive side of life. Each day Shannon’s blood draw is done first thing in the morning about 4 AM. And each day the numbers have consistently improved. All except for the white blood cell count but we expect that to always be low for the rest of his life because of his immunosuppressant drugs.

Sometimes in the middle of him growling at me or crying in pain I forget to remember the positive side. That once we are past all of this stress he should be feeling better than ever.

I didn’t write a day 7. Not sure what to say that I haven’t already. Just waiting for the doctors this morning so I can unleash the angry patient on them. Pretty sure they should be terrified of him….after 7 nights in a small room together I think I might be! 😜

More positive news? Greta Sauder stopped by after class yesterday for a short visit!

Well the doctors have started rounds and the nurse has went to warn them about my wonderful husband. They are in for it today! 😉