My Friend, Traveler001

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Eric J. VanDyke
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:35 pm

My Friend, Traveler001

Postby Eric J. VanDyke » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:41 pm

I know that this forum has provided my friend with tremendous support and determination to fight, so I wanted to give back in some way. The only way to do that is to tell the story of Eric M. Roth (Traveler001).

It's with a heavy heart that I tell you that Eric passed away on Thursday, March 27th. It looks as if he last posted on March 21st. As usual, he was upbeat and looking for new ways to beat his disease. I believe, from putting together the pieces, that shortly after his last post, he went to see some friends at his neighborhood watering hole; he loved getting out and seeing friends. I received a text from him the next day telling me that he was headed to the ICU due to pneumonia. He stated he couldn't breathe and it was getting worse. Shortly thereafter, he let me know that his breathing was better and he had just gotten a bit anxious. Unfortunately from there, things progressively declined and via Facebook and texts with his brother, I realized by Monday that Eric was in critical condition. On Tuesday, I drove from Des Moines, IA to Highland Park, IL. and saw him. I went back on Wednesday and spent a bit more time with him. While I was there, Eric was moved to the Hospice Unit. Eric was comfortable and would acknowledge words of encouragement we gave him with subtle nods. He acknowledged texts from friends which I read to him as well. He would open his eyes at times, particularly in response to a females voice, which we all found to be typical Eric. I drove home that next morning and was subsequently informed that he passed at 2:20 pm on the 27th. Of note, when I had arrived on Tuesday, his dear mother told me that the doctors decided he did not have pneumonia, but rather the cancer had literally filled his lungs. Thus, any planned heroic measures were off the table. I had the honor of speaking at Eric's funeral yesterday, the 31st. It was well attended with family and friends paying their respects. I spoke about three main things in Eric's life: Humor, Music and Friends.

I met Eric at the University of Iowa. We were both members of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He and I, and our close friend Jim, roomed together for a year. It was a year filled with huge, non-stop laughs. Eric was the driving force of all of this. Quite simply, Eric was the funniest guy I knew. After college, Eric attended classes and partook in shows at ImprovOlympic in Chicago. We would see one another about twice a year, and his humor--even while dealing with his illness--never wavered. In fact, it probably became sharper and more "honed," so to speak.

Eric loved music. He played the guitar, did recordings, produced a CD with his band Secret Beach (by that time, the band was just him). Eric was a board member of ensemble Dal Niente, a contemporary music collaboration in Chicago. He was a member of EARS (Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago); he later became Treasurer and President, with one highlight being presenting an award to the legendary Phil Ramone before Mr. Ramone's death. He was well respected and well liked within the EARS society.

And Friends. In his last days I realized how many friends Eric had. He had high school friends, college friends, friends from EARS, Dal Niente, improv, his workplace in the accounting/tax department of Wal-Green's, Norton's (his neighborhood hang-out). He even spent a week or two in Amsterdam years ago and kept in touch with those he met in his hostel. Eric always made you feel like you were his only friend, though, as if you were the most important friend he had. He always had time for his friends and never said a bad word about anyone else.

So, I thank you all for making my friend one of your friends. He spoke to me about topics he’d read about on this board. I frequent a few message boards (most related to Iowa Hawkeye sports), and know that often posters will disappear, and others will wonder what became of them. I did not want Eric to become one of those in which people just always thought, “Hmm, wonder what happened to Traveler001? He always posted and now he doesn’t….” Please know that your community kept his spirits high, and many others flock to your community in hopes of finding togetherness, peace, answers to unanswerable questions, and the courage to continue to fight.

Please feel free to visit Eric’s personal Facebook page ( as well as his cancer support page at Cure Eric

Finally, a link to his obituary: ... =170413467

Thank you.

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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:53 pm

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby jdepp » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:57 pm


Thank you for taking the time to inform us. Traveler was very much loved on this board and we will miss him.
Colon dx 08 @ 41 Poorly diff. 12+ liver mets, 19/28 LN
Colon rsx /14 x Folfox-Erbitux 08-09
PVE / Liver rsx 09
Lung & LN mets 10
Folfiri, Xeloda, Avastin 10-13
Xelox, Erbitux, UFUR, TS-1, Oxi, Lonsurf 14-16
Stivarga & TIL trial 16
Brain lesion, RO688 trial 18

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Location: Pacific NW

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby weisssoccermom » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:58 pm

OMG thank you for taking the time to notify us on the board about Traveler. I am in total shock about this post and I am numb because truthfully I hadn't expected it....because Eric hadn't let on to us about the extent of his recurrence. I don't even know if I am making any sense right now. I can still see his avatar and always wondered where that was taken...such a silly thing to think about. I don't know why, but it always reminded me of a subway tunnel or station.
Eric, I know your heart must be heavy right sound as though you were very close friends and I believe I speak for the board when I say thank you for being there for our friend during those last hours and days and helping to lift his spirits.
Even though I've read this post a few times, I am still having a hard time comprehending all of this. Again, thank you for taking the time to inform us.
RIP Traveler!
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
Perform random acts of kindness

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Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby some » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:03 am

Thank you for letting us know. He had many friends here. He had such a gentle way about him. My heart sank when I saw your topic. We will miss you Traveler but will always remember you fondly. This disease steals far too many. Please let us find a way to a cure.


DH (age 41) diag Stage IV mets to peritoneum - July 2012 (undetectable on CT PET or MRI)
Folfox 7 & Avastin started July 2012 CEA, CA 19-9 not indicators
HIPEC surgery 1/18/13
Folfiri/Erbitux - March 2013
Lots of prayers.

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Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby lemonzinger » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:06 am

I am so sorry for your loss. I've only been on this forum sporadically, for a few weeks, but I recognized the name Traveler001. I'm sure others will respond soon, because I think he was well known here. I appreciate your sharing the news with us and painting a more complete picture of your dear friend. I wish I could say something more comforting.
Rectal, dx 9/2013 (age 38)
Stage 3b T3N1M0
5 wks radiation w/ 5FU
LAR & temp ileo 1/2014 - 0 of 20 nodes
8 cycles FOLFOX - finished 6/2014
Ileo reversal 8/2014
slightly enlarged lymph nodes in original tumor area - stable since 2015
NED - clear scans 3/2018, 6/2019
NED - Clear colonoscopy 10/2019

michelle c
Posts: 1890
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:58 am

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby michelle c » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:06 am

Thank you for taking the time to update us. I'm so sorry to hear that Eric has passed away. It was quick at the end which was quite a shock but I'm glad that he did not linger on. He was always upbeat and positive and wrote such informative posts. He will be missed. Deepest sympathy to you and all his family and friends. RIP Traveler xx
25 May 09 Dx with CC (sigmoid colon) 2 days after my 44th b'day
CEA prior to surgery 4.7
3 Jun 09 LAR - Stage III 3/10 lymph nodes
6 Jul - 10 Dec 09 12 cycles FOLFIRI
Genetic testing - inconclusive for Lynch
Jul 12 port removed & hernia repair

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby tchan8888 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:08 am

OH MAN. This is so hard and I feel for you and Eric's family. I always read Eric's posts, including the one's last week. Cancer SUCKS!

May you remember your friend and bring peace to his family.


Tom, 49 now
12/12 Right Hemicolectomy 2X (29 days in hospital)
12/12 Stage IV: multiple distant LN; no organs
20X: FOLFIRI (stopped working)
8X: 5FU
8X: FOLFOX and Avastin
2016: Clinical trial pembrozilumab MSI high

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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:12 pm

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby skypup » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:22 am

Eric, thank you so much for posting and for taking the time to let us know our friend Traveler even better. What a great guy!

I knew him fairly well, in a cybernetic sort of way. We both headed into the "incurable" stage at about the same time, and I followed him to MD Anderson, choosing my doc because he had done good work for Eric. Unfortunately, we missed each other there by a few days every time and so did not get to meet in person.

I am not surprised at his passing, having followed his journey (we often call it a kidnapping around here) from the start and feeling a close connection with what he was dealing with. His courage in facing brain mets was a lesson to me in how to be strong. His desire to see his friends when he was in Houston spoke volumes about what was important to him.

Yet, saying I am not surprised doesn't mean I am not greatly saddened by Eric's passing. He was one of the people who have taught me and touched me the most in this cancer stuff.

Condolences and good memories to all his friends and family.

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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:06 am

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby Oneeyeddog » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:53 am

Really sorry to hear this. Just from seeing his posts, he always seemed like such a lovely guy. Rest in peace.
Colon cancer Stage 3c (dx April 2013) at age 36
Resection and temp ileostomy (4/17)
12 rounds of FOLFOX (May-Oct 2013)
NED (August 2014)

Posts: 564
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 1:24 pm
Location: California

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby rosa01 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:08 am

I am so sorry to hear of Eric passing. He will be missed by all of us. I will light a special candle for him.

DX 12/11 DH Stg 4 cc age 60
12/20/1 1 lungs mets
2/1/12 started chemo oxe/ava/5-fu
3/12 liver mete fnd
5/12 new chemo irt/Eberix
8/12 lung surg
10/12 irt/Eberix
11/22- 02/2013 NED
02/13 nw right lung met
06/13 2 New liver lesion
06/13 chemo ?

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Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby Patience » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:19 am

Eric, thank you for taking the time to tell us the sad news. Traveler's voice here on the forum is one we will miss.
"Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you."

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Facebook Username: Georgie Adams

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby Georgie » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:52 am

Thank you for taking the time to let us know of Erics passing. His posts, as you said, were always so upbeat even when his disease kept rearing its ugly head. I am deeply saddened to read of his passing.

Nuclear Medicine/PET Tech
Stage 3 T4N1M0 Rectal Ca diag 1/11 at age 29
Clinical trial (chemoradiation) 12 wks incl FOLFOX
Surgery 14 June '11
Post op infection
Iliostomy reversal 12 Sept '11
NED 6 years!
2017 Stage II Breast cancer triple positive
BRCA2 mutation
Bilateral mastectomy, chemo, herceptin

Posts: 799
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:11 am
Facebook Username: andrew.morgan

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby pog451 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:09 am

Dammit, I knew Travellers situation was serious, but this ability of cancer to suddenly bite you in the ass frightens me. See also Wunderglo.

R.I.P Traveller, you will be missed
09.11 Dx @ 46, uT3uN1M0 G2
11.11 radio+Xeloda
01.12 LAR
03.12 Xeloda
09.12 Liver mets, 2 LN
09.12 Folfox+Avastin
02.13 Resection
04.13 Folfox & Avastin
11.13 Local recurrence
08.14 Re-rediation
Left us 28.05.2015

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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:07 am

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby ams5796 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:03 am

I am so sad about this. He was absolutely one of my favorites. His unwavering optimism was inspiring and uplifting. He will be greatly missed by me.

Stage 3C (or 4?) Rectal Cancer 01/07
2/10 lung mets
3/11 VATS
6/11 VATS
7/13 lung met
2/14 SBRT
NED 8/14
5/17 scan and MRI found treated spine met

Posts: 275
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: My Friend, Traveler001

Postby LKGower » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:07 am

This is very sad news. Since I joined this club I've known Eric to post quite a lot and always have a positive attitude.

Rest in peace Eric.

Dx 10/12 @ age 28 Stg. IV CRC spread to both ovaries, bladder and liver
Surgery 11/12 - 8/16 LN positive
9/13 Liver resection & RFA - 1/1 LN positive
10/13 boo its back already! Back to chemo

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