During the week of Halloween 2014 I started to turn a little yellow and decided to go see my family Doctor. He sent me to the local Hospital for a CT scan and blood work. On the Sunday after Halloween I was called by my doctor and informed that I had an emergency appointment with a local doctor who specializes in a procedure known as an ERCP. On Monday, November 3rd at approximately 1:30PM I had a stent inserted into the bile duct that is located between the liver and the gallbladder because of a "growth" that was located near the liver that had "crimped down" on the bile duct and forced the bile to back-up into my body which caused me to become jaundiced. This doctor referred me to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida for further testing. I had additional blood work performed, and an MRI with contrast using the machine at Mayo that is state of the art medical equipment. I also had a liver and gallbladder biopsy performed and that was the last medical test that has been conducted to this date (December 23, 2014).
During the follow-up appointment with a surgeon at Mayo my Wife of 22-years, Angela, and I were informed of the results and he referred us to an Oncologist at Mayo to see if there were any possible options for treatment.
While Angela and I were seeing the oncologist we were informed that there are less than 5,000 cases of this type of cancer nationwide and the chance of survival is less than 1%. He said there was a possibility of doing a treatment of very aggressive chemotherapy and if the cancer shrank any, it was possible that surgery could be performed to remove as much/many of the growths (best guess is 7-10 tumors) as possible. The cancer has also metastasized to other areas of the abdomen. He also informed us that I could just as easily see an oncologist in Brunswick, Georgia as see one in Jacksonville, over an hours' drive away. We decided to see an oncologist in Brunswick because of the known effects of chemotherapy.
The other reason I wanted to see an oncologist in Brunswick was because I actually have a "my oncologist" because I went through squamous cell carcinoma of the epiglottis (Throat Cancer) in 2[phone redacted]. This bout with cancer was treated with both radiation and chemotherapy for a period of 3 months. I was diagnosed on August 7, 2001 and my first chemotherapy and radiation treatments were on September 11, 2001. I watched the Twin Towers get hit by the airliners during my Chemo treatment and the Towers fell while I was waiting for my first Radiation Treatment.
I had my "Port" implanted last week (12/18/2014) and my first Chemotherapy treatment is scheduled to begin December 30, 2014. The reason for the delay in chemo is because of the effects of the "poisons" used to treat the aggressive cancer that I have. Surviving the treatments for this type of cancer is a hurdle in itself!
I did not expect this to happen to me! My wife, 3 daughters, and 3 grand children are all devastated by the news. I was looking forward to seeing our house finally paid off and my wife and I being able to travel the United States to see all of the sites that we didn't or couldn't see due to raising children and working and basically living a life. My wife and I have been together for 24 year and have been married for 22 of those 24 years. I was there for her when she went through her bout with Breast cancer and she has been with me through what is now my second bout with this dreaded disease. We have 2 daughters that both graduated from Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia and live here in Brunswick. I have a daughter from a previous marriage who lives in Bucyrus, Ohio. I had the joy of watching one daughter get married but I am afraid I will miss the other two. I wanted to watch my grandchildren grow up and I could spoil them the way grandparents are supposed to, but again I don't think that will happen.
I am not defeated in any way, shape or form! I want to win this fight with all of my heart so I can see what the fruits of my labor have brought to my family! I expected to die as a grumpy old man yelling at people to get off my lawn, but I find myself hoping that I get to see many, many more seasons of green grass and seasons of leaf raking!
Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated. If you can't afford to give, please say a short prayer for me. At this point in my life I could use all of the prayers that that I can get.
I have left my body to science (MERI) so that maybe it could help find a cure for this incurable disease. Please donate to any organization that is researching to find a cure. I do not have any life insurance because of my previous bouts with cancer. After I pass away all medical bills that are left after insurance dries up are left for my family to pay, regardless of if the treatments are successful or not. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
As Jimmy Valvano said, "It cannot take my Mind! It cannot take my Heart! And it cannot take my Soul!" Live each day as it is your last and you just might impress yourself with want you can accomplish! Love unconditionally! Laugh often!
Thank you for your time and I'm sorry if I'm a little long-winded! I tend to speak too long, especially when I don't want the (my) story to end!
- Alex Kuykendall
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- Matt and Miranda Dickinson
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