Mieke's cancer fight

My darling wife Mieke has been struggling with cancer for years.   Inher own words:   Rick just posted this funny picture of me, and it reminds me of how much fun I still intend to have with my beloved and with all of you! Just a heads up…this message is definitely not as fun as the picture!

Since my stage IV metastatic breast cancer diagnosis in July 2015, it has been a roller coaster for both of us, of biopsies, chemotherapy, radiation, PT, dry needling, more chemo, more radiation, and so on. My prognosis has changed from years to “double digit months”, what...ever that may mean, but, the fact remains that I am really fighting for extra time, not for my life.

You, my sweet loved ones and friends, want to hope, want me to fight, want to believe in miracles. So do I, believe you me!!! I am so grateful that you are thinking of me and praying for me, but please forgive me if I sometimes wonder if I have used up all my miracles already. My recovery from last phase stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt Lymphoma 18 years ago was a miracle. To learn to walk again and get out of my wheelchair was a miracle. Surviving breast cancer in 2011 was a miracle. To find a new greatest love in my life was a miracle. Heck, my life itself has been a miracle, and I am so thankful for it all!

Trust me, and do not fret. I will never give up hope, and I will never stop fighting, but I also have to be pragmatic. Stage IV metastatic cancer is not curable. Aggressive as mine is, it is not stoppable for long. So, when I tell you that, no, I cannot kick this, and no, I cannot win this time, and yes, I know that Lance Armstrong beat cancer, but I cannot beat this, I am not being pessimistic, I am merely being as realistic as I need to be to keep on keepin' on. It is what it is. It’s like being assimilated by the Borg…resistance is futile, you just hope you get a body like Seven of Nine on the other end!

I start chemo again on Wednesday next week - smaller doses this time, on a weekly basis - and am (almost!) looking forward to being back in the ring, instead of idly standing by! Fighting is what I do best, I guess.

Long story short, my friends, I simply wanted to let you all know where we stand. I love you all tons, I love your messages (even if I may not be able to answer all of them personally), and am often overwhelmed by the love and support you have given Rick and me. It is never easy to deal with someone who has stage IV (or any) cancer, so thank you all for sticking with us. For all of you who’ve been offering help, thank you, we may take you up on that offer sometime. The fight for time continues! Now, let’s go back to having fun!

I am asking for financial help as much as possible, for Mieke as well as myself.  I am also disabled and dealing with a brain tumor.  But that is currently under control.   The problem is, finances will again sky rockett.  We took out all the equity in our home in order to pay off medical bills as well as continued debt.  But we'll soon be faced with that again here as things progress.  I would like to possibly raise enough to fly Mieke back to The Netherlands to see her parents and sisters while she still can, and while she is still healthy enough to do so.  I would like to be able to send her on a mini vacation of somesort to relieve some of the added stress and anxiety.  And frankly, she is also worried about me and how I,ll manage after she's gone.   She is obviously the main bread winner, still working...as she has to, though for how much longer she'll be able to, we don't know. 

Again, these funds, however much can be given to help us will go along way to helping Mieke (and I) to continue to fight this, and give her some sense of relief for all that she has had to endure, and will additionally have to struggle against in whatever alloted time she has remaining.   We desperately need everyone's help and support who could in some small way, here and there...help us.
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Rick Lee 
West Jordan, UT

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