Joe Ricks

First post: Dec 31, 2018 Latest post: Mar 13, 2020
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. Here is Joe's story.  On December 15th, 2018, Joe's double vision that he thought had disappeared returned.  His back began to hurt, making it difficult to sleep, and his appetite decreased significantly.  Two days later Joe went to a primary care doctor due to increased back pain, dark and bloody stools and to get his eyes looked at.  The doctor sent him to the emergency room where they found he had an upper GI bleed.  He was sent home with medicine for the GI problems and an appointment for an MRI the following Wednesday.  The MRI on the 19th revealed that Joe had abnormal activity around the 3rd and 6th cranial (optic) nerves.  He was referred to a neurologist in Montrose, scheduled on the 26th, the day after Christmas.  On the evening of the 22nd, I took Joe to the ER again because he was having excruciating pain in his lower back.  He was given morphine and percocet and sent home.  On December 24th, Joe noticed that he was having trouble swallowing, but was happy to have the pain meds working on his back.  The next day, Joe noticed his swallowing abilities and his eye sight had gotten worse.  HIs back pain was becoming severe again.  We went to the ER Christmas night.  After a couple hours there, it was decided that Joe should be transported to Saint Mary's hospital in Grand Junction.  Once he arrived there, the doctors began aggressively testing him for cancer through MRIs, CT scans and blood work.  The oncologist there believed Joe had Burkett's lymphoma.  This is a B-cell lymphoma with nervous system involvement.  It is a curable, aggressive cancer.  Because they believed it to be the right and best thing for Joe's treatment, he was transported via air plane to University hospital in Denver.