LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Our special Friends For Life series continues this week.
For more than two decades, radio listeners across mid-Michigan woke up to the voice of Rich Michaels. You may remember him as the popular and out-spoken host of the Rich Michaels in the Morning Show that dominated Lansing radio.
But what we’re going to share with you has nothing to do with Rich’s glory days. Just a few months ago Rich was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer.
Rich hasn’t told many people about it. In fact at times he says he even denied it.
But now Rich is breaking his silence to hopefully inspire you to take control of your health, now.
6 News Anchor Sheri Jones recently accompanied Rich on one of his chemotherapy treatments and he shared how he wants everyone to know how important it is to get a colonoscopy.
For years you could find Rich Michaels in front of a microphone, playing music and telling stories that entertained people around mid-Michigan.
But now he’s telling a different story, one he hopes will save lives.
“We’ll you learn that you are not immortal,” said Michaels.
“Yeah, yeah,” said Dr. Carol Rapson, Red Cedar Oncology.
“This has been a wake-up call,” said Michaels.
And a very serious wakeup call at that. It started last March. After losing two people close to him, Rich decided to get a colonoscopy even though he wasn’t having any health problems.
Rich didn’t really want to and said, “I’ve heard about it and guys are always, when it comes to colonoscopy’s, they’re like, yeah there’s nothing going back near there, that’s an exit, yaddah yadaah, you know. Well, you need to lose that. That’s just plain ignorance.”
But when the test was over, the doctor delivered news Rich was not prepared to hear.
They had found a tumor and he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer.
“You’re first reaction is you are absolutely horrified. When you hear the “c” word it’s, everything just completely crashes. But then you learn you’re gonna learn about it and you’re gonna fight,” said Rich.
“I’ve always been a real tough outer shell and I just, you hear cancer and you just figure, well that’s the end.”
But with the help of his doctors and a stringent chemotherapy treatment Rich is fighting back.
Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men, but it can be caught early with a colonoscopy.
“You know, I tell people gee wiz you have this prep and yes it’s awful, it’s awful for everybody, uhh, but if you get a clean colonoscopy you don’t have to do it again for 10 years. Unless you a family history, But if you don’t get a clean colonoscopy and you have polyps, thank goodness they can take them out,” said Dr. Rapson.
“It’s better to know about this early and have good chances at prevention. Then once the symptoms show up and then you can’t. So, be a man and face it and take it head on,” said Rich.
Despite his diagnosis, Rich says he’s glad he was proactive and says it’s just another mountain for him to climb.
“To me, I’m looking at this as staying optimistic (doctor – “absolutely, mmhmm”) and we nailed it. And this is gonna reduce the chance, now that we caught it, we caught it, rather than later,” said Rich.
“That’s right, we’re doing everything we can to make your chances as good as it can be,” said Dr. Rapson.