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Dear family and friends . . .

The following notice will be sent out to all church members on Friday, 9/14/12.

Thus begins a journey I do not want to travel . . . but because of family, friends and faith, we will see it through.

I will be updating my journey of dealing with thyroid cancer through this blog.  So check in to find out the latest updates.  This will hopefully reduce the number of emails and texts I have to deal with on a daily basis, at least through October.

I appreciate you all.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

September 14, 2012

Dear Church Members and friends,

As many of you are aware, I had a recent surgical procedure, which was to remove the left side of my thyroid because of a solid mass that was found to be growing on it.  This past Tuesday my doctor called to let me know that the final pathology report indicated I have thyroid cancer.   As a result, I will have another surgery in early October to remove the remainder of my thyroid, followed several weeks later by radioactive iodine treatment.

Despite my providing pastoral care to many people with cancer during the course of my 20+ years in ministry, I must confess I was and have been scared, worried and emotionally and physically fatigued by all of this. Although thyroid cancer is easily treated, it is still cancer.  It is one thing to be the care-giver to a cancer patient. It is another to be the cancer patient.

A care team has been enlisted to provide pastoral care for my family, to help us through this.  We will rely primarily on our friend and pastor,  Rev. John Mollet.  Others on this care team us include a retired pastor / ministry mentor, another clergy friend, and two other very close friends. 

Our request of others in the church . . . is to walk this journey with us.  As word of my cancer “leaked out,” Liz and I have already received a number of calls, emails and text messages offering any and all kinds of help.  We are most grateful for these wonderful gestures of compassion and friendship. 

I will be “blogging” about this journey on my blog, “Rick’s Songbag” located at   I will begin putting updates there in the next few weeks.

We have our faith, our family and our friends.  We will get through this.

With love and appreciations,

Rick and Liz ><>


Pastor Rick,
Look at the positive side of this, the thyroid is a contained area and it should not spread. I had nodules on my left side of my thyroid and had to have it removed in 2000. There were little ones on the right side and they told me they would shrink. They didn't and in 2009 they grew to the point that I was having trouble swallowing. Mine were beign, but the dr told me that if it was cancerous it doesn't usually spread because it is in a contained area. I will be thinking positive thoughts and saying prayers for you and your family. I am also a Pharmacy Technician so if you have any questions about any of your medication, please feel free to ask me.

Dennine Christian
Heidi Nichols said…
Love and prayers to you. Also wanted to let you know that my best friend since 2nd grade had the same cancer and surgery when she was 24. She did the isotope therapy every 5 years for about 3 or so times. She has had no problems since and is nearing 60. The good thing that came out of it was that her weight (which had given her problems for years growing up) finally stabilized and she's not had a weigh problem since.
Patsy Brundige said…
Rick, my heart is sad and heavy...yes, you will survive this cancer will remain in my thoughts and prayers, and if you need another retired pastor on your team, i'm ready!

I just discovered your about you singing to the old folks who have stories to tell. I developed a program called Search Warrant in which I teach folks to write their stories. I wonder if your locations would welcome such a class???

Peace in God' keeping, Patsy Brundige
Elyse said…
Rick and Liz,

My thoughts and prayers are with you through this journey. May you have vacation peace and come back rested and ready to fight this full force.

You are both in my thoughts and prayers through this journey.

Elyse Hahne
Judy Quirk said…
Rick, our thoughts and prayers are with you as you proceed through this process. We pray for strength and a recovery as quick as possible so that you can continue doing what you love and what brings joy to so many people! You are a blessing in the lives of so many!
The Quirk Family

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