Washington’s Ron Rivera on verge of final cancer treatment

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FILE – In this Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 file photo, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Kyle Allen talk to field judge Dale Shaw (104) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Landover, Md. The first game between 1-5 Washington and the 2-4 Dallas Cowboys since the name change is also the longtime NFC East rivals’ first meeting with this bad a combined winning percentage since 2001. That was a 9-7 game kicker Tim Seder won with a 26-yard field goal as time expired after a collision with a horse on the field during warmups. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Washington coach Ron Rivera will have his last treatment for a form of skin cancer Monday, two months after being diagnosed.

Rivera learned in August he had squamous cell carcinoma, which is considered very treatable when caught as early as he did. The 58-year-old missed some practice time but no games while undergoing treatments, and has been told his long-term prognosis is good.

“I met with both doctors this week on Tuesday and Thursday,” Rivera said. “They both are very positive about the progress I’ve made. So, so far so good. I’ve got follow-ups, check-ups and scans still left to do. What I’ve been told is it’s headed in the right direction.”

Doctors scheduled Rivera to receive IV fluids at halftime of games to keep him hydrated. While usually prepared for happenings on the field with a decade of NHL coaching experience, some things about going through cancer treatment surprised him.

“There are certain things that pop up all of a sudden, side effects that you have: the fatigue, how tired you get; at times you get nauseous; honestly at times sometimes your equilibrium is messed with, almost a sense of vertigo,” Rivera said. “Then the nausea. It hits you at any time, anywhere. (And) the fatigue and going out to practice and stuff, it limited me, and that really bothers me because I can’t really coach the way I coach.”

Rivera has coached through a pandemic, the franchise’s name change, allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace from before his time that came to light after he was hired, and his own cancer battle. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio ran practice when Rivera couldn’t be at the facility.

Washington is 1-5 going into its next game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Rivera hopes he can get back to coaching like normal after his treatments are over.

“It’s probably going to take three or four weeks after I get my last treatment because of the recovery period, but I really am looking forward to it,” Rivera said.

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