Monday, May 3, 2010


I remember vividly the night that the doctors reviewed the 5 page treatment roadmap and went through the 20+ medications John would be on and all their potential side effects. I can not believe that we have finally completed phase 4 and will soon be entering the last and final phase (maintenance) which will last 15 more months.

We had our last scheduled overnight chemo treatment at CHO. We had dinner brought in for the staff that works so hard to care for John and the other patients. Many of these dedicated people have become friends and there was lots of emotion as we walked out of those hospital doors.

We had our last spinal chemo on Friday. These long days of not being able to eat and being put under anesthesia have taken their toll on us. We realized that we have gone through that 13 times over the course of treatment.

I administered my last round of chemo through the broviac last night! It is never easy dressing in a gown, mask and gloves and having to administer something you know is so toxic yet is helping you child.

I have been living so day-to-day that I never realized how much progress we have made. We now will enjoy looking ahead to plan for the future and that is a nice feeling!


  1. AnonymousMay 10, 2010

    Wow Mollie! Hooray for lasts! You guys have been through the ringer, and now it's almost done. I'm so happy for all the Ricksens, and an so hopeful that your next year will be fantastic! Way to go, Ricksens! Lisa Berger

  2. AnonymousMay 10, 2010

    It's pretty amazing what has happened in the last months. And finally the end is in sight. Now on to an amazing summer with life getting back to normal. You are an amazing family.
    Ann and Dick

  3. Yea for all of you all!

    27 years ago, my husband and I, and our family and friends, embarked on a totally unexpected and foreign path. Without the horrors of your chemo, or additional children at home, but with lots of operations, daily gloves and sterilized food and breathing, bizarro procedures and hospitalizations, we too had an intimate relationship with Children's Hospital for 3 years with our oldest (who turned 27 on Mother's Day - pretty sweet considering the original prognosis).

    Like you said, we became friends with many of our son's incredible nurses, technicians, and doctors. A quarter century later, we are still close with several.

    As horrid as your path has been, and you still have time to travel on your journey, you do meet marvelous people and find remarkable strength along the way. Restore when you can - sleep, go to ground, don't return messages to those who will understand if it reduces your "to do" list.

    I can't wait for it to be behind you all. Still, in most ways, life is generous and very good, even when it isn't "fair". I know you're seeing this already.

    Sending strength and hugs!

    Lisa Libby Albert and family

  4. Dear Johnny, Mollie, Mike, Jimmy and Caroline,

    We are so happy for you to have reached this final stage of chemo and on to maintenance. Hooray for all of you.

    Had a great time in the desert celebrating Pam's birthday. It was gorgeous weather.

    Love, Candy, Roger and Adam

  5. AnonymousMay 16, 2010

    Love you guys! Kudos to lasts and cheers to the future!!

    The Haugheys

  6. AnonymousMay 18, 2010

    Dear Mike and Mollie,
    As some people wonder how they would handle and get through a crises like yours, you already know you will handle it with strength, grace and love. And that the long term effects will be nothing more than a stronger family and sweeter moments.

    Thinking of you always,
    Carolyn and Mike Gwynn

  7. AnonymousMay 23, 2010

    Dear Mollie & Mike,
    I marvel at your strength, courage, bravery, and humor throughout this whole process. Congratulations on "the lasts". We love you and pray for Johnny's maintenance phase to go smoothly, quickly, and as comfortable as possible.
    Jill & Blake

  8. The Svendsen FamilyJuly 08, 2010

    Hi John! We are so proud of you and happy that you have finished your last round of treatment! You are such a strong, brave, amazing boy and we wish you a summer full of laughs and fun! Look for something in the mail this week from us.

    Thinking of you all the time and sending love, The Svendsens