After a big win against a division rival, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera celebrated an even more meaningful victory yesterday, as he completed his seven-week course of treatment for cancer.
The Team posted a video to its Twitter account showing staffers at Inova Fairfax Hospital cheering Rivera as he walks down the hallway and rings a bell signaling the end of his treatment.
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) October 26, 2020
In August, Rivera announced he’d been diagnosed with what he described an early stage, “very treatable and curable” form of squamous cell carcinoma, according to ESPN. He’d noticed a lump on his neck several weeks earlier, and he eventually decided to see a doctor.
Rivera continued to coach the team during his chemotherapy and proton therapy treatments. He was on the sidelines Sunday for the team’s 25-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
In an interview with ESPN Friday, Rivera said the side effects of the treatment were unpleasant. “The fatigue, how tired you get, at times you get nauseous,” Rivera said. “At times your equilibrium is messed around with, almost a sense of vertigo. And then the nausea. It hits you at any time, anywhere. But the fatigue, going out to practice it limited me, and that bothers me because I can’t coach the way I coach.”
Nevertheless, Rivera said his doctors were optimistic about his treatment, and they told him the illness was “headed in the right direction.”