11/21/1967 — 9/17/2010
Rick had the kindest heart and the most mischievous smile. He enjoyed his job as an outside salesman and was very successful simply because he was in his element. He was just himself, cutting up and taking people fishing and acting like a big kid. Rick loved to fish more than anything, in fact our first date was fishing (I should have known). I was actually his fishing partner for a few years just so I could see him on the weekends. He actually was very diligent about sunscreen – he said that growing up he never wore shirts playing outside and always burned bad. After 6 years of dating we finally got married – we had our whole lives in front of us…
Rick was first diagnosed in 2000 just 6 months after we got married – he was just 31 years old. We found a mole on his upper back – it was shiny black and about the size of a pencil eraser. We really didn’t think too much about it. His family doctor did the biopsy and a week later we were told that it was Malignant Melanoma (we didn’t even know what that was). Two weeks later he had surgery at MD Anderson to remove more just to make sure that they got it all. He was given a clean bill of health and we started going for check ups every 3 months – than we moved to every 6 months and this went on for almost 5 years – during that time we had our first son Hudson Lake followed 13 months later by our second son Heston Ridge – when he was 4 months old Rick found a knot under his right arm, this was August 2006. We got the news that we feared the most that it was back in the lymph nodes – PETscans showed that it was confined to just that area so he had all 32 lymph nodes removed 28 were diseased – this was September 2006, he went home to heal and start radiation but by Christmas not 2 months later it had spread to the lymph nodes under his other arm and in his groin. Because it was so aggressive they decided to start him on BioChemo – he had 8 rounds and scans showed that everything was gone. We had 13 months disease free. Just when we started to breathe again and think maybe we could stop being so nervous it was back everywhere just under the skin – he had knots you could see and feel. Once again he did 8 rounds of BioChemo and everything shrunk and was dormant – no sooner did we do that that it came back in his stomach and eventually to his bones.
All Rick wanted was to see his boys grow up, he wanted to be able to take them fishing and play baseball with them. Melanoma took that away from us – Rick lost his battle in September 2010 – 4 years after it came back – he was 42 years old. Our children are 4 and 5 years old and know their daddy will not see them grow up.
We will never forget him or how hard he fought to stay – we hope and pray for a cure daily.
Ashlie, Lake & Ridge Edwards