Denn said the prognosis for the trial is low — a 10-percent success rate.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Find what you need in our Weekend Entertainment Guide newsletter.
"But it was better than what we had, which was zero," he said. "It's very hard being told they have nothing left to try."
Luckily, he said, after the first cycle, the scans shows the spots on his lungs had shrunk. Nothing had worked before.
"I'm now on a second cycle and as long as they can keep me going on these drugs without too many side affects that affect my quality of life, then I will continue," he said.
Though he is the patient, Denn said the disease has enveloped his family, as well.
"It's been very hard for them," he said. "When I'm in pain, all they can do is watch. The stress of the unknown is hard. It's hard to stay positive when you look at the statistics of my disease, which has been Stage IV."
Denn said a recent study noted that the average RMS patient only lived an average of 36 months after diagnosis. He recently passed the three-year mark.
"I just try to live one day at a time," he said.
"It's very hard for me to watch Dave get the chemotherapy drips and to see how uncomfortable he is," Karen Denn said. "I can't do anything other than rub his back, get him something to drink or a warm blanket."
It's also hard to watch how people react to him, she said. "I think they avoid him and us because they don't know what to say. If you give someone an update on Dave that is positive, people are all over that. But if it's negative, they shy away from you quickly. People just can't handle it. But this is our life and we can't run from it."
Denn said he doesn't like his family having to take care of him.
"I can barely shower without passing out and I can't even do normal things, such as dishes or other cleaning without becoming dizzy or easily winded, which is why I've been on disability since July of 2010," he shared.
He worries about the stress his family is experiencing and how it will affect their health.
"I just wish I could live a normal life — go on vacations, work on my car, just the normal things in life other people get to do."
His son, Jeremy, is hoping to add some normalcy to the family's life when he takes his parents out for breakfast on Father's Day.
"It's become a tradition," he said. "But this year might be harder with Dave having mouth sores, making it difficult for him to eat."
If those plans fall through, he'll have something else to take its place — something special to honor his stepfather.
"I never really experienced Father's Day until Dave," he said. "And he's made my mom happy, too."
Karen Denn said persons wishing to write well wishes to her husband may do so at www.caringbridge.org/visit/daviddenn. She also noted that a fundraiser for several area cancer patients, including her husband, is planned for August. More information can be found at www.ppfinc.org.