VIDEO: Washington head coach Ron Rivera celebrates final cancer treatment

Stephanie, Ron Rivera after Ron's final treatment at Inova Schar Cancer Institute (Courtesy: Washington Football)
Ron Rivera
Posted at 10:25 AM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 12:44:35-04

WASHINGTON - It's been a victorious 24 hours for Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera.

After mauling the arch rival Dallas Cowboys 25-3 Sunday, Rivera celebrated his final cancer treatment Monday morning. In a video posted to the team's Twitter account, staff at Inova Schar Cancer Institute cheered Rivera as he walked down a hallway on his way to ringing the bell - a sign of completing cancer treatments.

Since learning he had squamous cell carcinoma in August, the 58 year-old missed some practice time but was on the sideline for every game.

“I met with both doctors this week on Tuesday and Thursday,” Rivera said last week. “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.

“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.