A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down

by | Feb 1, 2024 | 30 comments

Greetings fellow Earthlings…

I’ve been a bit of a Hermit for a few months, underwent some chemotherapy, which pretty much sapped all energy.

But if you see me on Facebook, where everyone presents the spin that life is great, you would not know that. Which is an interesting commentary on Social Media. So yes, Lisa and I have seen a few concerts (from Rod Stewart to Collective Soul), but the pictures don’t show me unable to drive, using a cane to get to the theater. And when I took a flight on Alaska Airlines with an old friend who is now a Captain, you didn’t see the part where I was wheelchair assisted to get to the gate. On December 18th, our 42nd wedding anniversary, when Lisa and I got married by Elvis, it was all I could do to stand for 30 minutes. But the pictures came out great! And back in November we enjoyed a Bob Rivers Show reunion as the show was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in New York City.

Cue Monty Python: “Always look on the bright side of life!”

But behind the scenes, day to day life was challenging. IYKYK. And I didn’t.

But now I do.

I never even googled “chemo symptoms” because I figured I’d get them all just from the power of suggestion. And after 4 months, I got most of them, and I cried “Uncle”. Does anybody remember when somebody got you in a headlock they wouldn’t release you until you cried “Uncle?”

The hardest part was losing my voice. That put the kibosh on podcasting and dropping in on the Jack and Spike Show. And I’m behind on talking to dozens of friends who’ve reached out.

How are things now?

Much better. I’m off chemo for 2 months… So I may dip my toes back into the water on a few podcasts. If my voice is a little raspy, I hope you understand.

And by the way, medically, my last scan was great. I debated whether to write about all of this. But I’ve never been a private person, and have always been grateful to have an audience… I believe that the majority of you are affected by the Big C one way or another, so we might as well share our experiences. Whether it’s you or a loved one, we live scan to scan, and every day is a gift. It also helps a lot to have a soul mate and best friend to get you through it. Lisa was my best friend and partner through thick and thin. I love her more than ever. And we love being in Vegas, where we can Uber to shows, and everything we need is close by.

What now? Well, for the spring, in addition to a few podcasts and a few pop ups on the radio, I’ll be continuing to work on the Alan White movie soundtrack, and drumroll please: It’s Maple Syrup Season!
Yes, Hank and I will make Vermont Gold this year. I’ll write more about that in the next blog.

Until then, Enjoy every minute, every day, look on the bright side, and go easy on yourself.

And enjoy Maple Syrup on your Waffles. ( Now taking Pre-Orders for 2024! ).

Bob Rivers


  1. Larry Lockman

    As long as you are talking I’m listening. Been a fan since your first days on Seattle radio. Look forward hearing your perspective on everything.

  2. Chuck & Brenda

    Bob, aways keep the sunrise in your sights. Live for each sunrise one day at a time, and hug everyone you love as much as you can.
    You have touched the hearts of thousands of people thru the years.
    No one can ask for more than that in this journey of life.
    Like others, cancer has touched our family too much. Stay strong.

  3. Geoff S

    We’re just happy to hear from you!
    On our minds as always, serious, wife asks about you lots and I’m like … no update.

    * i think we missed our chance at that sweet new england sugar-puddin’ too. DOH.

  4. Caroline DiDomenico

    Bob, we’ve been thinking of you, thanks for sharing your journey. Sending healing prayers your way.
    Las Vegas must be on fire today!! 🏈
    enjoy the show!
    Hoping we can see you in VT, let us know when you will be there!
    😘 🙏🏻

  5. Betty

    Fan from the beginning in Seattle… good to hear from you n Lisa.
    Sending love, light and healing. Be well Bob…

  6. John Arwine

    I know it’s really hard, but you can endure, I promise you. Stick with the treatment, you can do it. I am really happy to see you posting. Over the decades of listening to you on the radio, I am still having withdrawals not hearing your voice every morning as I commute to work. You have an energy about you that makes people happy. It’s an amazing trait. I am sure it’s hard to think about having energy right now, but I am talking about the energy in your personality, not just your physical energy. The physical energy will come back. Rest up, eat well, and march through this path of treatment. Once you are past that part, a balance of good food and exercise will bring you back to where you want to be, and you will be so impressed at how well you came through something so arduous. You have likely met a lot of survivors over the years. Remember that – they all made it through. You will too.
    Reach out anytime.

  7. Robin Hernandez

    Always wishing you the best and I send healing vibes out to you. Virtual hugs!

  8. Boyd Gunderson

    Hi Bob, thank you for sharing the real stuff. You are one of a kind and I am glad you made the move to Seattle years ago.
    It is good news that your latest scans are clear. You are right,cancer has touched so many of us one way or another,ugly fact.

    It was great seeing the picks of the redo with the King. Smiles…
    We did it 5 yrs ago. You both looked so happy and all that were there. Its awesome that you guys are digging Vegas,we moved to the area 3 yrs ago, love the weather,beats Seattle for sure.
    Hey Bob,I will be keeping you close in my thoughts and feelings man… I am pulling for you all the way brother.
    I believe you are so fortunate to have an amazing woman in your life,bless your heart Lisa .In what you are going through you still able to lift people up with positive thoughts.
    Best to you both,enjoy the moments as they pass.
    Love and light sir…

  9. jodi brothers

    love you!

  10. Kris

    Bob, like other I thank you for sharing your journey. Have missed you and the gang and will keep your continued recovery in my prayers.

  11. Tony Martin

    Thank you Bob for the update. I sincerely hope that you are feeling better and truly hope to hear from you again soon. You may not know most of us personally, but you have always been an important person to so many. You mean a lot. I can’t wait for you to be healthy and happy. Take care and look forward to hearing from you soon

  12. Catherine Rollosson Halbhuber

    I got lucky in that I suffered few nasty side effects from my chemo (although the itching was AWFUL). I’m also on the scan to scan track since my surgery in August.
    I hope all continues well for you. Not a club any of us ever wants to join.

  13. John Rabideau

    … One Day At A Time … The Most Versatile Principle Ever … Best Wishes To All …

  14. Katherine Andersen

    Thank you for sharing with all of us. You have touch our lives in one way or another and I for one Was very worried! Look forward to your shares!

  15. LisaP

    Hi Bob,

    Like others here, I worried when time passed without a post from you. Am very sorry to hear that cancer has necessitated more chemo. But I hear from an ovarian cancer survivor frient that for her chemo was “at first you’re afraid you’re going to die and then you’re afraid you aren’t”. Am grateful that you have such a good support system and joy in your life!!

    And about your maple syrup: I gave my in-laws a bottle as a gift. They were so happy; Dad said he loved real maple but could never bring himself to buy it because it of the price (even though he can afford it.) And after he had it, he raved about it! So we’ll get on the pre-order list to get them some more 🙂

    Take good care, and keep enjoying your family and life the best you can as circumstances allow. It’s all we have, and you’re a true inspiration in not just living life but enjoying it to the fullest. Thank you for continuing to share your unique journey with us.

  16. Todd Hulett

    Thank you for sharing. I too chose not to delve into side effects for my treatment, but it has kicked my ass more then I thought it would. No one really knows what it is like butt it helps to hear others experiance. Thanks again for sharing and we will all just keep trucking along.

  17. Sherie

    Thank you for updating us. I send positive vibes your way every chance I get.

  18. Maggie H

    Glad you made the decision to update your journey info.
    Your recent photos touched my heart and told your story. You amaze me with your strength and ability to balance all aspects of life. You won the lottery with Lisa, your family and friends who continue to be by your side ready for the next chapter. Your love and compassion teach the important lessons we all need a reminder of now and then.

  19. Heidi

    Thank you for sharing what’s been going on. I’ve been worried about you! The last few pics I saw of you I could tell that maybe you weren’t feeling your best. I’m glad and relieved the news is good on the health front. I was just in Vegas myself for an epic Elvis wedding, complete with the bride and groom being chauffeured into the chapel by Elvis in a pink Cadillac convertible! He also sang a few songs! What an experience!
    Take good care, Bob❤️

  20. Shawn Alexander

    Thank you for the update and I am glad you are strong enough to be able to share. Many of us are not. Best wishes.

  21. Mary K

    Bob + quiet = we all worry! So sorry you had to undergo more chemo, and so glad to know you’re recuperating and getting back into the life you love with the people you love (and who adore you!) Keep taking it easy, going to concerts, hanging with Lisa, hugging your granddaughters. And let your syrup buddy Hank do ALLLLL the heavy lifting! Thank you for the very happy update!

  22. Steve

    Good to hear from you Bob.

  23. Donna Shattuck

    Oh Bob, I just knew something was wrong and worried, worried, worried about you. All clues pointed to all not being right in your world again and I even asked my friend, Dave Rodgers’ mother, if he had mentioned how you were. While I’m devastated by your latest news, thank you for filling us in and “looking on the bright side of life”. That’s about all you can do and you learn very early on that the love and support of our loved ones is all we really have in this world when it gets right down to it. I am sending all my positive mojo your way, hope you continue on this upward path for many moons to come and look forward to hearing your much-loved voice whenever you can, no matter how raspy it is. Love ya, man! ~Donna Shattuck

  24. Andrew Facherty

    Greetings from Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Glad to hear that you are on the mend, and thanks for all the work you do.

  25. Doug Honeyman

    Be well Bob! You are right, we are all touched by the big C one way or another. Thinking of you & family and look forward to more podcasts!

  26. Bruce Thomson

    I suspected something was up, Bob. Very glad you decided to share. Even more glad that things seem to be under control. I wish you (and Lisa) the very best and a continued recovery.
    Take very good care and hope to hear a podcast soon.

  27. Sean Wickliffe

    I’m so happy to read this this morning. I pray things stay good on your scans. I’ve always been a fan of your from Seattle. That’s Great you guys are in the hall of fame, somehow I missed that due to many things going on with my elderly Mom. But she has made great strides and surprised a lot of doctors and is doing much better. Enjoy the next couple months as I know you will. Thank you for everything Bob.

  28. Ken Thomas

    Thank you for sharing your story Bob. The big C sucks for sure and it sounds like you took it head on and made it though the other side.

    Be well and we will look forward to “hearing” you back on the podcast.


  29. Kevin

    Been listening since WAAF and you have brought many days of fun, lighthearted entertainment that has gotten me through some long working days. I wish you the best of health going forward and don’t worry about a bit of a raspy voice. Cheers from Central Mass.

  30. Celia A Ness

    Oh, life sure was easier when we could shower in the AM with Bob, Spike and Joe blasting away on the shower radio! Time waits for no man unfortunately. As we all march forward to eternity, the question is where are we going to spend it? I have a friend; he bought my ticket. That is what you say at the gate, the entry price was paid in full. No one gets in on their own merit. It is a good time to hold on to the nail scared hands Bob. Be well!


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