Welcome to my “oh crap, I have life-threatening cancer” blog. Diagnosed with stage iv metastatic melanoma on June 2nd, 2016, this blog is an opportunity for me to share, process, and hopefully accept my new reality…my new existence…my war against cancer.

It’s entirely possible that my lovely wife, Cindy Rick, will be the only one reading this blog. But as she assures me, it will be therapeutic for me to get these thoughts out of my head and into the universe…where even complete strangers can dissect my roller coaster of sniffling emotions. Selfishly, I hope keeping a blog offers some health advantage –although, if blogging cured cancer I’m guessing more people would be doing it. And after consultations with multiple oncologists in the greater Chicagoland area, I have yet to hear one say “ignore modern medicine…just randomly type the thoughts that enter your head and survival is undoubtedly within reach!”

Without further ado…

On the Topic of Tears…the Diagnosis (June 2, 2016)

FBO = Facebook Official…Cancer Announcement (Posted on Facebook – June 6, 2016)

Thankful…Recognizing the Good (Posted on Facebook – June 10, 2016)

The Recruiting Process…Choosing an Oncologist (June 14, 2016)

I’m Officially a Member of the X-Men…Phase I Treatment Begins (June 20, 2016)

An Update on Side Effects…The Facts of Life (Posted on Facebook – June 23, 2016)

Immunotherapy…Starting Phase II of the Treatment Process (July 2, 2016)

Support and Publicity…a simple THANK YOU (July 7, 2016)

The Itch That Can’t Be Scratched…and Another Sleepless Night (July 9, 2016)

July of 2010 — Summer of Melanoma Ignorance (July 21, 2016)

October Update: Three Hospital Sleepovers (October 5, 2016)

Celebrating my Six Month Cancerversary (January 19, 2017)

14 thoughts on “

  1. I know this hasn’t been easy for you or your family, but you have an amazing and the RIGHT attitude to kick some cancer butt!!! You have the love and support of so many people and facebook is proof of that. You’ve touched so many lives in a positive way and you will continue to do that on your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Julie. My family and entire community of support has been positively overwhelming and uplifting. There’s still a long road ahead full of twists and turns…but we’ll continue to take it one day at a time.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing. Continued prayers for you, your famiky, your doctors & medical staff. May God lead their hands, hearts & minds in the direction best for you. You’re such an inspiration…..

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  3. Steve, good luck to you and your family with this journey. I did these meds in a trial before they got mainstream.
    For me it was the itchy rash and “colitis like” symptoms…both taken care of Doc with minimal effort in my part.
    Had 3 doses of the combo before Doc suggested surgery to remove the 2 tumors in my back due to rapid shrinkage.
    Sure enough hos suspicions were on point and the tumors were declared dead.
    Listen to docs, drink LOTS of water and eat in moderation, no crazy diet change here. Keep the Faith!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tom, thanks for sharing and congrats on your success. I’m currently dealing with the itchy rash…good to know that it’s temporary and that treatment can still be successful. Great advice at the end of your comment…fingers crossed.

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  5. Steve,
    The last day of school I got home and felt sad because I was rushed and packing was crazy and in all the chaos I forgot to give you a big hug and say thank you. I am even more sad and perplexed to find out that someone as kind and caring as you could be dealt such a rotten deal. What I do know is that your perseverance is unmatched and you WILL beat this. My prayers are with you and your beautiful family.

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  6. Wanted to let you know we’re thinking of you. Please let us know if you need anything! Sending our love and lots of prayers

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  7. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are a terrific writer! I really enjoy reading your entries. I check your blog often for updates and continue to pray for you. I taught with Cindy for a few years at Leggee, around the time you guys got married. Keep on keepin on! You are blessed.

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  8. So sorry for this trial in your life but I know you and your family will be stronger for it!!! I pray you lean on your faith and that will give you strength. Prayers for healing be strong!!!!

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  9. Hi Rick. I’m up at 3am due to Yervoy itchies. I googled “Yervoy itch” and discovered your blog. I got very lucky – my ipi&nivo infusions were stopped after the first session because of a rash like yours. When I went back for my second dose of nivo after a few weeks of steroids, scan revealed I was already NED! So no second dose. That was in May. I think my immune system went after melanoma and my skin at the same time, so I am weirdly comforted by the continued itchiness. Wishing you NED!!! And I hope to be around when you write about your daughters’ weddings, even though I’ll be about 90 by that time.

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  10. I have a few people I consider living heros, and you, Steve, are one of them. I have the greatest respect and am in awe of people like you who are facing great personal challenges and teach the rest of us the best life lessons. I pray for your healing and each time I see one of your babies, I pray a little harder. Sending you love and positive thoughts.

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  11. I loved reading your story. In some way it sounds like you and my husband, diagnosed may 30, 2016 with stage 3c metastatic melanoma, are very similar. What a whirlwind of events. Surgeries, side affects, more surgery, more cancer, does it ever end. I was not as loving and understanding as your wife, I was really pissed off and extremely angry. I’m much calmer these days, I need to be strong for him and our girls. 17 weeks later, still in his fight, he is holding his own, back to work, still doing treatments, very fatigued, but the fight continues. I wish he had your attitude, everyone is different and deals with their cancer differently. Life continues and so does this disease.

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