Jesse Coykendall

My husband won't tell his story, so I will. He is my hero!

My husband's story began in 2003.  He was 18 years old and decided to get his hair cut.  While getting the hair cut, his aunt noticed a mole on his neck that was black.  He had thought it was a pimple and ripped it off.  He was sent to the dermatologist and a biopsy was done.  The results came back it was Stage III malignant melanoma. 

He was referred to The James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio right away. He had two surgeries to remove almost 30 lymph nodes and the cancer itself within a two month time span.  In June of 2003, he started Interferon treatment.  One of the medicinces that he was on, Compazine, made him have a muscle spasm which ripped his sutures out of his neck and made his body contort.  He had to pack his neck for months to get it to heal.  Along with the lymph node removal, the doctors were worried about his thyroid.  After his neck was healed, he went back in to have his thyroid completely removed to make sure it was not cancerous, which it wasn't. He has done radiation as well as the interferon, both which were completed around 2006. He now has to take Synthroid for the rest of his life because of this.  He went for his check ups, and we were thrilled when his doctor said he only needed to see him once a year. 

We were married in 2007, and everything seemed fine.  About a month before his annual appointment in 2008, we got a letter stating that his oncologist (who was also his surgeon) had unexpetedly passed away and he would have to wait until the new doctor came.  Our first experience was horrendous and we decided to look for another oncologist.  After no luck, we went back for a check up because his regular physician told him he needed to (this was in 2012). He went and did scans, and everything was great.  We were also expecting our first child in October, so things were pretty crazy.  We welcomed our beautiful baby girl and our life felt complete. 

In November of 2012, my husband came in from being outside and started coughing.  He coughed so hard he started coughing up blood.  He was rushed to the E.R. and a CT scan was done.  The doctors found a 4cm mass in his right lung, and he was sent to the James again.  He now has been diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic melanoma, and he has the BRAF mutation.  He is taking the Zelboraf, but just yesterday started coughing up blood, so he was rushed to the James again. He had a scope done, and the tumor was lasered through because it was blocking his airway.  We are awaiting further information now.  He is fighting for me, and for our almost 7 month old daughter, and he is only 28 years old.  He is my hero, although I'm sure if I told him that he would laugh at me.  We are in this fight together, and I've told him he is not allowed to give up because our child needs her father around for as long as possible.  I am blessed to be able to share his story.

Tue, 2013-04-30


shining4jesus - (5/6/2013 - 4:35pm)

Please know Jesse will be covered in prayers, as well as you and your daughter! I, too, have melanoma. This is a fight  everyday of our lives here on this earth! God has given me strength through this, and I pray he will give your husband, Jesse, the strength as well!

God Bless you!

heidiboardman - (6/14/2013 - 8:31am)

I hope your husband continues to fight and stays positive.  I too have melanoma and mine has spread to my brain. I was first diagnosed in Feb 2010 when I had a mole removed (ay my request- doctor said it was fine but biopsy came back as melanoma!)  It had already to my lymph nodes in groin which I had all removed, and then the melanoma came back in original spot a year later and it was surgery again.  Now I too have started to taked Zelboraf and am now on my 3rd month of treatment. the brain tumours were diagnosed in Nov 2012, and have been onn steriods and had stereotatic radiotherapy, and now zelboraf.  I continue to fight for my children, aged 13,11 and eight.  It's hard, but I wish your husband all the best.  I am 40 years old.