Rick’s Story

Site created on January 22, 2021

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.

Just after Christmas (2020) Rick was diagnosed with cancer in a lymph node on the right side of his neck. We have been to specialists at both Barnes and SLU. Thankfully, they agreed on the diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis. His prognosis is very good however, the surgery will be extensive (removal of a portion of the back of his tongue, the original site of cancer then, removal of all lymph nodes on both sides of his neck) and will be followed by radiation.

We are still in the process of deciding on which hospital and team to go with. PLEASE remember him in your prayers. Thank you.

Newest Update

Journal entry by M Eileen LaGrotta


Thank you, thank you, Jesus! Thank you, thank you, Jesus! 🙏

Rick is doing very well but his body is still healing. His pain is better but still a factor, Rick's neck is numb and may or may not return to normal (Dr. Atkins seemed to think there would always be a little numbness). One of the side effects mentioned by the surgeon, Dr. Jackson was the possibility of shoulder pain and limited movement. Dr. Atkins did notice some atrophy in Rick's left shoulder and neck so Rick contacted the surgeon's office for a recommendation for therapy.

Dr. Atkins said that if this cancer returns it usually comes within 2 years of surgery, if not, the chances for the cancer to return is very, very slim. Dr. Atkins said sometimes they do recommend radiation but said it doesn't necessarily increase the cure rate. During our visit, we talked about the advantage of not doing radiation now, leaves the option for surgery in the future if the cancer returned (apparently they cannot operate on radiated tissue).

Dr. Atkins also said that Rick will be closely monitored by Dr. Jackson for the next 2 years. Rick sees him and has a CT scan on April 21.

THANK YOU for all your PRAYERS, SUPPORT, and WELL-WISHES! It is very uplifting.

Please keep Rick in your prayers. GOD BLESS!


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