NO... NOT CANCER AGAIN!
No one ever expects to hear the words, “YOU HAVE CANCER,” once in their life, let alone twice.
Local Chevron Fire Department Captain Robert Taylor is now one of those unfortunate people who has heard those words twice in the past eight years. In 2010, Robert was diagnosed with colon cancer. Beating his cancer after a year-long battle, Robert remained in remission for five years and was declared officially cancer free in 2015. Sadly, those heartbreaking words returned in January 2018.
In January of this year, Robert was told he had a 3-cm tumor in his pancreas and was diagnosed with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer. Robert and Jill Brunkhardt, his fiancé (at the time) and partner of six years, met with his oncologist and surgeon at Kaiser to determine how to treat this new cancer diagnosis. Their intent was to shrink the tumor so it could be removed.
They had a plan, but so did the cancer.
Robert’s first chemo treatment lasted four days and hit him very hard. He was very sick, delaying his second treatment by two weeks. While building up his strength for his next round of chemo, Robert suffered an emergency appendectomy. Seriously, just not fair! This setback further extended the scheduled time between treatments from two weeks to five weeks.
Last week Robert was receiving his fourth round of chemo when he and Jill received devastating news. After analyzing the latest cat-scan, his oncologist entered the treatment room and shared with them that they would be abruptly stopping the current chemo treatment because it was just not working.
Robert’s tumor has doubled in size to 8-cm and the cancer has spread to his liver and lymph nodes. The cancer is now in Stage 4.
His doctor informed Robert and Jill there are no further treatments available and that he might have 6 months to live. They left the hospital shocked and devastated. He has been in so much pain, but has fought through it all. There has to be another way, another option, a glimmer of hope. Yes, there is...
Robert and Jill are so lucky to have so many amazing friends who have supported them since day one. When Jill informed them of Robert’s diagnosis, they did what they do best and started working their magic. Immediately connecting Jill and Robert with the Hirschberg Foundation, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, UCLA, and the Integrated Cancer Centers of America.
Hello cancer... we are coming after you!
There is now a new plan in place and they have hope again. Two short days after conferring with experts at all four organizations, Jill and Robert have decided to seek treatment with the Integrated Cancer Centers of America located in La Jolla, CA. While speaking with the CEO, they learned of an alternative treatment plan which attacks tumors directly without compromising the immune system or the body’s healthy cells. A series of injections will be inserted directly into the tumors. Over the course of the next two weeks, this twice-daily procedure will significantly shrink, if not eliminate, Robert’s tumors... putting him into tumor remission.
Devastating news, deserves drastic measures.This is an alternative treatment, therefore not covered by insurance. The all-inclusive cost of this alternative approach is $52,000. The success rate is just shy of 100%. Follow-up care and anticipated medical expenses are expected to exceed $50,000, quickly accelerating their costs to over (a daunting) $100,000.
Robert is a First Responder. He is the father of a beautiful daughter, son, and step-daughter. Robert and Jill married this past Sunday, May 6, 2018. Robert is now a step-father to Jill’s daughter and son. He’s a grandfather of four. Robert has a huge and generous heart. He is humble. He puts others before himself, always. He is giving. He’s made many sacrifices over the years. He loves being a Fire Fighter and runs Chevron’s Corporate Fire School. He prides himself on continuing to better his abilities and attends training classes all over the country. Robert wants to live longer and get stronger.
Robert isn’t ready to give up and will do whatever it takes to have more time with his bride, children, grandchildren, and of course go back to what he loves doing, being a firefighter.
Robert and Jill will be traveling to the Integrative Cancer Centers of America on Sunday. May 13, to begin his two weeks of treatment. They are praying that he will return home with a new chance at life. Please fuel their journey and consider supporting their mission to kick cancer's butt!
Anything you can give to assist with the extensive expenses, is greatly appreciated and will be incredibly meaningful to Robert, Jill, and their family. They are forever indebted for your prayers, support, generosity, and love. It has sustained them thus far and will continue to do so.
Please follow Robert’s journey on the CaringBridge site,www.caringbridge.org/visit/roberttaylorcfd.
Thank you for helping this amazing father, husband, grandfather and first responder to have more time to live his beautiful life and for his family to be blessed by his wonderful heart and soul.