According to an official team announcement, Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma located in a lymph node, and Rivera says that the cancer is in the early stages and is considered “very treatable and curable.”
Rivera, 58, informed his players of the diagnosis during a team meeting on Thursday night, and as of now, he says that nothing changes as it pertains to his job with the franchise.
“I’m planning to go on coaching,” Rivera said, per the report. “Doctors encouraged me to do it too. They said, ‘If you feel strongly, do it. Don’t slow down, do your physical activities.’ But everyone keeps telling me by week three or four, you’ll start feeling it.”
Rivera said that he has a Plan B in place, be did not provide any further information.
“I was stunned,” Rivera said. “But I was angry because I feel like I’m in the best health I’ve been in.”
“I’ve just been angry,” he said. “The thing that I find out how many people that have gone through this. Outpatient therapy, proton therapy.”
“I’m going through the proper treatment,” Rivera stated. “This will be fine.”
Rivera has been active with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network since his brother, Mickey, was diagnosed with the disease. Mickey would die two years later, in 2015, but he continues to be an inspiration for Ron.
“The thing I shared with the players is that my brother Mickey made a total commitment,” Rivera said at the time. “I have told the players how making a total commitment is so important.”
Rivera also discussed the reaction of his player.
Some were stunned. A bunch came up and wished me well,” Rivera said. “I said, ‘I’m going to be a little more cranky, so don’t piss me off.'”