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 faith, hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Here is Rick's story:
Everything we do and have in life is a fragile gift. "Captain Rick" and I have learned this in the most abrupt, devastating way over the last several months as we went from confusion over food "getting stuck in his chest", to a Stage IV Esophageal Cancer diagnosis. It has changed absolutely everything about how we live our life.
We thought it was maybe a bad case of reflux - or maybe a hernia. But after his endoscopy, the GI doctor told us: "There is something growing in there. I took several biopsies. I'll order a CT scan, follow up with your doctor. Good luck," It took three weeks for results, but three days before Christmas the one word we heard changed everything: Malignant.
Another three weeks later, the Oncologist we met with gave us the next blow: Stage IV with metastasis in several locations.
From October 2017 through early January this year, Rick was on a steady track of progressive malnutrition and dehydration. What to feed him was the worst case of trial and error. But Rick is strong and resilient - it was difficult to see the effects of this until he was down 20 pounds and not even soup was going down well. We began pressing his doctor for a solution. His blood count was dropping and his energy level tanking. After a disappointing delay in action, Rick finally got a feeding tube implanted into his stomach on January 12th. Three hospital stays and six blood transfusions later (in a period of 3 weeks), he is now home - deconditioned, weak, weary and scheduled to begin chemotherapy on February 12th. We have a lot of work to do to prepare him for this.
Initially, we announced to you, our friends and family, that Rick was pursuing an intensive holistic cancer treatment program; we believe that the body is designed by our Creator to heal itself if given the right tools and environment. He spent two days at the center, but his body quickly told us that his complex needs on account of his malnourished state require too much medical oversight for this approach alone. We invested several thousand dollars into this program before having to stop; at this time we aren't sure we will recover that expense.
Even with insurance, our medical expenses are already beginning to pile up. Rick's 3 hospital stays and various co-pays are already into the thousands. I work for my church in a wonderful, part-time position, but Rick is retired and has a fixed income. My 86-year old mother lives with us. We are a one-car family. We are doing what we can to be responsible with our expenses, but repayment is looming over us and anyone who knows Rick knows that on top of what he is suffering through, he is worried about our ability to stay above water.
We have taken our stand on the Word of God for healing and restoration. Cancer is an evil beast and brings an arsenal of fear with it - I decided that I won't bow to it. I decided it will bow to Jesus. Rick and I pray together several times a day, and I must often pray over his body while he is retching up the excessive mucus that his esophagus is creating, but not able to push downward. It drains him so terribly. Rick is one of the strongest, steadiest, most resilient people all of us know; but I tell you, he is right now a broken man.
We are assembling an army of prayer warriors who will battle for The Captain while he is weary. Please join us. And please follow these updates as we keep moving down this road together. It's a hard decision for people like us to ask for financial support of any amount; many of you know that we were always the givers and supporters, so it's not easy but we ask that if you feel moved in your heart to support our additional medical expenses in any way, please do and know that whatever you do, I will be asking God to return the blessing to you ten-fold in your own time of need.
Rick has fought for many people in his lifetime - including me. Fight with me for the Captain - my one and only, my Rick.