Post Chemo 6 Update: God is Good

Got some really encouraging news this round. The mass has shrunk by over 50%.  It was originally 7.9 cm at its widest point when we first discovered it.  As of September 24 the mass had shrunk to 4.3 cm.  It is now even smaller.  Praise God that the chemo has been working to kill the cancer.  The plan now is to get CT and PET scans in 4 weeks.  The scans will give us a picture of what the spread looks like (which is key in this).  Definitely need prayer that the spread is not growing but in fact shrinking and or dying off from the chemo.  Depending upon what the scans show we will start talking to the surgeon and potentially go in to take it out in the first or second week of December.
I can’t tell you all how important your prayers have been.  There is no doubt that I have felt God’s presence through this.  His healing for sure has been upon me.   so… Thank You!
We are not out of the woods yet but we are progressing.  So we will take today’s blessings one day at a time and be grateful.
Letters from Shawn

Update from Shawn

I want to take a moment to praise God for his blessing on me in this process.  We got some positive news last week from the scan.  The mass in my chest is continuing to shrink. This is great because it means that I’m responding to the chemotherapy.  We will have 1 more round of chemo to finish up.  We will then complete comprehensive scans to again check the progress and spread.  If things go as planned we will begin to talk to the surgeon about removing the mass from my chest.  That would a huge step in ridding my body of cancer.   There still is a long road to go but it is encouraging to be making these positive steps.  God is great and has been providing grace for each day.  People’s support has been amazing.  Everyone’s prayers are felt… and sometimes people have been reaching out at just the appropriate moment (even when they don’t know it).
Thanks for the prayers… and know that God has a plan for all of us…. His burden is light. 🙂
Letters from Shawn

Shawn takes on Round 5 of Chemo

Chemo… Round 5. I’ve been in good spirits throughout the process (from all the support and God’s grace). Each of the last rounds I wasn’t overjoyed but had an athletes mentality like… “Let’s Go… Have to do it… No excuses.” And while I have certainly been gaining strength and feeling better after each round, I must admit I’m pretty drained through the process. This is the first time I’m really dreading going in for treatment and the subsequent awful days to follow. Oh please pray for me today to have strength and courage to push through. Please pray for my nausea, stomach, and headaches. It’s not easy to fight and I certainly can put on a brave front. Today, I want to say how difficult it is and I need God more than ever.

Grace to you all.


Letters from Shawn

American coaches shave their heads for Shawn


American University men’s soccer coaches (Todd WestKris HazardBen Mortimer, and Nick Stames) are set to have their heads shaved tomorrow, Wednesday, September 24th, in solidarity with Shawn Kuykendall ’05 who was diagnosed with thymic cancer earlier this summer. Shawn was the 2004 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and was an AU assistant coach from 2011-2013.

Kuykendall and the entire AU men’s soccer team will watch as the AU coaching staff visit Hair City on AU’s campus tomorrow just before the start of their practice at 2:30 p.m.

“This is one of a few ways for us to show support for Shawn,” explained West. “We are looking forward to one of our biggest and best alumni outings to date.  We should have a large number of former AU soccer players in attendance to support the AU/Kuykenstrong weekend this Saturday at Reeves.”

Kuykenstrong News

Thank you

I want to thank everyone who came out to the Juggle-A-thon.  It truly was one of the most humbling nights of my life.  What a blessing to see so many familiar faces as well as new ones coming to support (someone they don’t know).  I feel like there aren’t words to describe my gratitude.  This certainly is a trying time in my life, but everyone’s support makes the burden lighter.  The relationships… the people…  It is just amazing to see.  I am truly blessed.  🙂

Rest assured I will keep fighting while trusting for God’s healing.  What a huge boost and encouragement last night was!  Keep working through this journey of life.  Live with grace towards others and always be thankful.
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Letters from Shawn

Juggle-A-Thon to support Shawn in McLean

Two of Shawn’s former players are organizing a great opportunity to support him and get your touch on point!



When we heard about Coach Shawn having cancer, we were extremely sad. It was a sad moment in many people’s lives, not just ours because Coach Shawn is a great person. We wanted to be as helpful as possible so he could feel better so we brainstormed many ways that we could raise money for Coach Shawn and help him pay for his cancer treatment. Anyone who knows Coach Shawn knows he is caring, funny, encouraging and always puts smiles on our faces. Coach Shawn is tough and positive and makes everyone a better soccer player. Since Coach Shawn always tells us to keep juggling and comes up with ways to make it more fun, we thought getting kids together for a juggle-a-thon dedicated to Coach Shawn was an excellent way to raise money for his cancer treatment. We want Coach Shawn to see how many people are thinking about him. Pray for Coach Shawn, come to the juggle-a-thon and help him beat his challenge!!!!!!

Akshay (12) and Akash (10)

Come join us whether you are a child who loves soccer, a Division 1 college athlete, a former teammate, fellow coach or a supporter of Coach Shawn and be part of this juggle-a-thon.

Thursday, August 29th

7:00 p.m.

Spring Hill Recreation Center — Field #5

1239 Spring Hill Road
McLean, Virginia

Have friends/family sponsor you for every minute or every juggle.  Bring your sponsorship money to the juggle-a-thon in one check made out to the Ulman Cancer Fund.  Funds deposited will go towards assisting Coach Shawn and his family with his medical expenses/treatment for his thymic cancer.


Kuykenstrong News


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Another long day at Georgetown University Hospital, but on the whole an encouraging day for sure.  The day starts with an 8:30 am appointment with my doctor to monitor my progress and to draw some blood to check if my levels are healthy enough for chemotherapy.  At around 10:00 amwe head over to the Infusion Center to check in to get the medicine.  Allison, the nurse, hooks me up to a hydration bag for the first couple of hours and then progress through premeds, including anti-nausea meds.  This is followed by three types of Chemo and finishes with another hydration bag.  The total time to take in all the meds can be 6-8 hours.

What was encouraging is that Doctor Gioconne has found that the mass in my chest has shrunk and that the first couple of treatments are progressing.  In addition my lymph nodes looked much better, and my blood counts are solidly in the normal ranges.  By no means is this a victory in total, but it is a victory today.
The bigger victory has come from the amazing people that have been continuing to show massive support.  I’m so humbled by people who send notes, emails, Facebook messages, texts, and or visit in person.  I’m not always in the best state to show my gratitude at those moments but they do mean so much.
I want to thank my family for hanging out with me yesterday. Just the banter and conversation makes the day feel normal even as un-normal as it is.  I love them so much and they provide so much joy.  There were also some great friends who stopped by… The mere thought of wanting to stop by to say “hello” means so much.
Praise God for blessing each day. There is no doubt that God asks us to lay our burdens before Him. I want to thank Him for this encouraging day.  I want to thank you all for reaching out to God on my behalf.
Hallelujah, Amen.
Post Script – Allison my nurse has been extremely helpful.  She has been serving with a gracious heart.
Letters from Shawn


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WHERE: The National Cathedral (Resurrection Chapel)
3101 Wisconsin Ave NW  Washington, DC 20016
WHEN: Wednesday, August 14, 12:00 p.m.
WHAT:  Come for prayer… worship … or just to be silent before God.  And if you can’t be there, take 10 mins to come before God in humble request.  He wants us to lay our burdens before his feet… to trust him.

Matthew 11:28-30 

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”

Letters from Shawn