Algird’s Story

Site created on July 6, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

My brother Algird is an 18 year survivor of stage 4 malignant melanoma. On May 13, 2018, he posted on Facebook, "I am sick of being sick. Anyone have a home remedy for excoriating pain lasting 3 months or longer?" He had not been able to address or find the cause of his abdominal pain even though he sought medical attention. Little did we know that just a few days later, he would be in the hospital, jaundiced and dehydrated.

Al was transferred from Genesis East in Davenport, IA to OSF in Peoria, IL on May 20th, where the surgeon was able to insert a stent in his bile duct  to remedy his jaundice and biopsy the mass that was blocking the duct and causing his jaundice in the first place.  Shortly thereafter, he got the diagnosis: it was primary pancreatic cancer.

Al's surgeon, Dr. Stephen Marshall, was optimistic about the chance of eliminating his cancer surgically, as well as removing his gallbladder.  Instead, during Al's surgery on June 25, Dr. Marshall found several nodules on Al's liver, which he then biopsied.  They were metastatic growths of the pancreatic cancer.  So Al was closed up and did not have his gallbladder or tumor on the pacreas removed. Doctor indicated that removing either the gallbladder or tumor could have led to complications, and did not want to expose Al to the additional risks.

Al's prognosis is 6 months without chemotherapy and up to 2 years with. He had a port inserted before he left OSF, to be used in his chemo treatment.  On Tuesday, July 10, Al will be checking in with Dr. Marshall's associate to see if he's healed enough to begin chemo. He'd like to get started on Thursday, at the Illinois Cancer Center in Galesburg, IL.

Al's wife Joyce, who has been by his side  his entire journey, brought him home on Friday, June 29. She's been caring for him at home since then.  Al still has a lot of abdominal pain, as well as neuropathy that disabled him years ago, due to the treatment of his melanoma. He bears it without complaining, but he continues to report the pain as a 9 or 10 on a 10 point scale.

One distraction from the pain has been all the love, support, and visits that Al's friends and family have given him. Thanks for caring! It means so much to Al, Joyce, and all of his family. Please keep it up!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Paula Kapacinskas

hello, Al started his chemo on Thursday, July 12th. It's been a rough week and he has had a hard time getting sick and abdominal pain. He's doing the best he can and really fighting. My sister Susan, niece Anna and I (Paula) visited this weekend. The week before Al & Joyce got a new dog named Timmy. Al promptly renamed him Little Tim Rogers Farve Duke of Lambeau. Clearly he is still thinking of his packers and preparing for the new season. 

Al and Joyce have enjoyed the visits from family and friends and it really helps their spirits. They also enjoy hearing from everyone so please feel free to reach out. He is on Facebook or

They also have been getting supportive cards which they've loved too. Al Kapacinskas, 1001 16th St #308, Moline, IL 61265

You can also donate to help with their medical expenses here

thanks. Paula
Patients and caregivers love hearing from you; add a comment to show your support.
Help Algird Stay Connected to Family and Friends

A $30 donation to CaringBridge powers Algird's site for one month. Will you make a gift to help ensure that this site stays online for them and for you?

Show Your Support

See the Ways to Help page to get even more involved.