The information below was written by my daughter about her husband, Kerry Ivester. Wendi and Kerry will celebrate their second wedding anniversary October 6, 2015.
Kerry's journey began back in March of this year (2015) when he began having intense abdominal pains. They became so severe, we had to go to the ER. All tests/scans came back as normal, except for his pancreatic levels. They were 1200, which is extremely high. His pain reoccurred, and he was in and out of the ER often and seeing a gastroenterologist as well. At one point, his pancreatic levels finally lowered into the normal range and he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. After two months of going back and forth to his doctor and ER, we finally got an appointment with a dr at Emory in Atlanta. The NP at Emory said Kerry needed an ERCP surgery to open one of his ducts believing that was the source of his problem. She also said there was a "fuzzy" spot on one of his many, many CT scans. She didn't seem concerned about the spot and we never really heard anything else about it. She sent Kerry to a surgeon and was scheduled for the ERCP. Because the surgeon was out of the country (and we were told by his doctor that this surgeon was the only one in our area that could perform this particular surgery), we were forced to wait until August for his surgery. I wasn't crazy about how she treated us, so I researched to find another doctor for a second opinion. Especially since we were told only one surgeon could perform that surgery (hard to believe) and having to wait for another 2 months. Kerry could not wait that long. I found a doctor in the Cumming/Atlanta area, so we scheduled an appointment with him. He did another procedure (EUS) and found a mass that was 1-2cm long. He took some biopsies and referred us to an oncologist surgeon. Three weeks went by, and we finally heard that the biopsies came back containing abnormal cells. The abnormal cells along with his pancreatic blood panels containing high numbers again, the surgeon told Kerry that he more than likely had pancreatic cancer. The surgeon then decided to go in and remove the mass by performing the Whipple procedure. The surgery was scheduled for August 5th. Before the surgery, he told us that he would take some fresh biopsies while Kerry was on the table and get the results before he made his decision to remove the mass. We were told that the fresh biopsies weren't as thorough as frozen biopsies, but he wanted immediate biopsies taken. Six fresh biopsies were taken and came back clear. Six more were taken and sent off for more in depth testing. When the surgeon opened Kerry, he said that what he saw did not look like cancer. He told us he was 90% sure that it was not cancer. 90%!! We were so thankful!! He removed Kerry's healthy gall bladder (to prevent possible gall stones from causing future flare ups of the pancreas) and left the mass. He told us Kerry was very compact inside....that there wasn't enough room for him to put his hands inside. He was afraid that if he tried, he would hurt Kerry. (All the while knowing that his blood levels were elevated and abnormal cells were present.) Two-three more weeks passed before the Dr called and told us he had pancreatic cancer. We were devastated! Kerry was cut from his sternum to below his naval and by this time, the top part of Kerry's incision hadn't healed properly. Another week later, that area became infected and had to be reopened, cleaned, and left open to heal from the inside out. Because of this, Kerry could not start chemo. At this point, the mass had grown to about 3cm in length. The week of Sept. 7th, Kerry saw a new doctor about his chemo treatments. This doctor told him his incision had healed enough to begin his treatments the following week. Later that same day, Kerry had an appointment with his surgeon. The surgeon wasn't there, but an assistant told Kerry that his incision still hadn't healed enough for chemo and to again wait before starting treatments. Because of the constant delays, we decided to go to the Cancer Treatment Center of America. He will be having his 3 day cancer evaluation Sept. 15-17 and we hope he can begin aggressive chemo very soon! He has had a tough journey thus far, especially with his first set of Drs misdiagnosing him and wasting so much valuable time. He is in constant pain, cannot eat, and has lost almost 65 lbs. Because of his pain and medications, he is no longer able to work. He hasn't worked for months. Please keep Kerry in your prayers as he begins his fight with pancreatic cancer.
I am Kerry's mom-in-law. I am setting up this account with the hope of helping Kerry and Wendi. Kerry hasn't been able to work since spring. He has insurance with Aetna, but the Cancer Treatment Center is, unfortunately, out of their network. The Center tried to get on Aetna's list of providers, but Aetna refused. My daughter teaches Special Ed at an elementary school, so they are not rolling in money. If anyone would like to donate to help Kerry and Wendi with bills and ongoing medical bills for months to come, I know they will greatly appreciate it! Most of all, please keep Kerry in your daily prayers. Please pray for comfort and complete healing. Please pray for Wendi; that she will remain strong mentally and physically. I ask that you please share this on your page so we can reach as many people as possible. For those who are able and willing to help, thank you from the bottom of my heart.....❤️.