Rick's Road to Recovery

In December, Rick noticed a lump on the side of his neck while shaving.  It was the size of a small peanut. He scheduled a visit with his PCP who suspected that he could have an infected lymph node.  The growth did not respond to antibiotics, and instead continued to get bigger. Rick was then referred to an ENT in January.  The ENT examined his neck and noticed how enlarged Rick's left tonsil had become.  The doctor suspected cancer and performed a needle aspiration of the lymph node to collect cells for a biopsy.  We returned a week later to find out the results, however, the biopsy was inconclusive and only revealed necrotic tissue.  A second biopsy of his tonsil was performed by pulling tissue samples (which Rick found incredibly painful) at that visit.  A week later, the ENT confirmed the diagnosis... Rick has The Big C.

Since receiving the shocking news mid-January, we have seen numerous doctors to confirm the diagnosis and devise a plan for treatment.  Thankfully, all of his physicians have reassured us that this type of cancer is extremely responsive to treatment and the survival rates are in the neighborhood of 80-90%, particularly when caught early.  While that news is encouraging, Rick must undergo 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments in conjunction with weekly chemotherapy. Once he completes this process, it can take up to anywhere from 1-3 months before he starts to feel like himself again. 

Rick began chemoradiation on March 5th and we have quickly learned that cancer is not easy on the wallet.  Rick's employer has great health insurance and a short-term disability program, but we have to meet our deductible (which we budgeted for) and our out-of-pocket maximum (definitely not in the budget!) before insurance begins to cover the expenses.  We've satisfied our deductible already from the diagnostic testing and hit our out-of-pocket maximum the day he began treatment. There will also be lost wages, doctor visits, numerous prescriptions, additional gas costs driving to multiple locations for treatment, and many other expenses that we certainly weren't anticipating. 

We have an incredible support system and many people have offered their sympathies and asked if there is anything they can do to help.  While there are many things we will need assistance with during the next few months, our most pressing needs will be financial.  If you would like to help, we would be incredibly appreciative and eternally grateful!  If you're not able to help financially, we understand and would ask that you send our family positive vibes, energy, thoughts, and prayers. When Rick is completely healthy again, we will make it our mission to pay it forward to others going through this difficult ordeal by donating the balance of this fund to SPOHNC (Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer) and Texas A&M's College of Veterniary Medicine's Oncology Research Program (in honor of Maggie whom we lost to cancer in October).  Cancer has touched too many precious people in our lives and it is time to kick its butt!

Our family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts! 

Melissa, Rick, Rylan, and Evan

Donations ()

  • Jeannie Carroll 
    • $50 
    • 24 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 25 mos
  • Rosa Rodriguez 
    • $50 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 26 mos
See all

Organizer

Melissa McGlamery Fuentes 
Organizer
Round Rock, TX
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