Exceptionally Well

09.19.2007 | 6:03 am

That’s what the doctor said about how Susan’s responding to the chemo treatments. Since her last scan back in July, the larger tumors in her lungs have decreased in diameter by 40 – 60%. Some of the smaller ones have shrunk to the point where they’re practically gone. The tumors on her liver are showing similarly good results.

The doctor — who just got back from Italy on a cycling tour, where she proudly wore her pink “WIN” Fat Cyclist Jersey – says that there’s normally a tapering off effect with the tumor shrinking, but Susan’s continue to shrink at the same rate.

The progress has been good enough, in fact, that the next scan will be a PET scan, which can measure change more accurately than the traditional CT scan, since some of the tumors have shrunk enough that it may be hard to measure much (or any) change with a CT scan.

What Does this Mean?
Well, it means a few things. It means that we keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, because it works. I.e., we continue to take a page out of the Lance Armstrong handbook and do exactly what the doctor tells us to do.

It means that by the time the chemo reaches its “best response” stage, where it’s shrunk the tumors to as small as they’ll get, that the tumors will be very small indeed — and some of them may be gone altogether.

It means that probably around January, Susan will be able to take a break from chemo for several months. She’ll need to have some surgery right away at that point to suppress estrogen production (the kind of cancer Susan has feeds on estrogen, so we can slow the cancer’s growth by eliminating all estrogen), and then she can start recovering, growing back her hair, and getting her energy back.

And we can start figuring out when we’re going on our trip to Italy.

A lot of you have taken a lot of time to comment, email, send cards and gifts, pray, meditate, and otherwise support Susan and me. I really believe that your generosity has made a big difference in how Susan’s doing.

Thank you.

And: huzzah!


  1. Comment by Weean | 09.19.2007 | 6:05 am

    That is some incredibly cool news. Best wishes to Susan and all her loved ones. I suppose that includes you, too.

  2. Comment by Fat Lad | 09.19.2007 | 6:12 am

    Fantastic news!

  3. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.19.2007 | 6:12 am

    That’s what we’ve been waiting to hear!!! Great news….all the best to you guys! Now we’ll have something to celebrate when I do the Ride for the Roses with Lance next month in Austin.

    I will be wearing the pink FC jersey for at least one of the rides.

    All who wish to help the cause and support Susan and express their happiness and good wishes, can do so by supporting the Ride at:


    FC and Susan, we continue to stand behind you guys and wish you the best as you WIN the fight!!!!!

  4. Comment by cheapie | 09.19.2007 | 6:17 am

    woohoo! that’s pretty sweet news!

  5. Comment by rz | 09.19.2007 | 6:32 am

    Two words:


  6. Comment by alt | 09.19.2007 | 6:46 am

    Great News! I have been lurking and enjoying your site for the last year.

  7. Comment by Al Maviva | 09.19.2007 | 6:46 am

    I’m really happy that Susan is getting better, and will be *extremely* happy if she can win this race. God will probably be happy when I quit bugging Him about Susan and go back to my usual form of invoking his name, which generally occurs when I stub my toe, drop a wrench or get cut off in traffic.

  8. Comment by David | 09.19.2007 | 6:49 am

    Way cool.

  9. Comment by TimK | 09.19.2007 | 6:57 am

    Huzzah indeed! This is fantastic news.

  10. Comment by Rebecca | 09.19.2007 | 7:03 am

    So happy to hear Susan is responding so well to chemo. I start my next round this afternoon (I have HER/2 type) so hearing that anyone is continuing to live life to it’s fullest is great. I’m sure that having all this time to plan a trip to Italy will allow lots of time to pick all the best sights to see.

    I wore my WIN jersey to my last PT appointment. They got a kick out of it, and it also earns many double takes on the scenic bike paths I ride.

    Of course what really attracts attention is my brother wearing his pink WIN jersey. At 300+ lbs, he’s working very hard to not be the “fat” in fatcyclist!

  11. Comment by CanadianSteve | 09.19.2007 | 7:09 am

    Eldon, I recently wrote that it had been a year since my wife’s cancer surgery,
    and today she is cancer free. I look forward to the day that you can say the
    same. I is amazing what can happen in a year. Sept 12 2006 was her
    surgery and September 30 2007 we will compete in the “Squeezer” mountain
    bike race here in Niagara Canada. http://www.libertybicycles.com/squeezer/.
    Looking forward to your updates on Italy.

  12. Comment by Badder | 09.19.2007 | 7:15 am

    Congratulazione! Notizie grandi!

    Figured I might as well get your Italian warmed up

  13. Comment by Chubby | 09.19.2007 | 7:16 am


    congratulations susan!

  14. Comment by eclaire | 09.19.2007 | 7:18 am

    yeah!! that is the best news! so happy for you susan, fatty and family.

    and rebecca: hang in there and all best wishes to you. plus your brother is
    COOL! all hail to fatcyclists everywhere, be they in pink or orange!

  15. Comment by Susan (another one) | 09.19.2007 | 7:23 am

    Very good!

  16. Comment by Brie | 09.19.2007 | 7:33 am

    That is wonderful news! Thoughts and prayers are still with you and your family. All the best

  17. Comment by Tom in UK | 09.19.2007 | 7:36 am

    Brilliant. Really great news!
    Keep it up!
    (the BikeRadar column had me howling with laughter- possibly one of your finest works yet!)

  18. Comment by bikemike | 09.19.2007 | 7:38 am

    Cracking good news, Grommit!

  19. Comment by El Animal | 09.19.2007 | 7:44 am

    Keep it up Susan, we’ll continue praying.

  20. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 09.19.2007 | 7:50 am

    So, you’ll need someone to carry your bags in Italy, right? Plus, what if you guys rent bikes and go for a ride and have a flat? THEN what will you do if you don’t have a Botched handy to fix that in a jiffy? All I’m saying is that you have to really THINK about these things and plan for them.

    Congratulations to all you Nelsons.

  21. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.19.2007 | 7:59 am

    xlnt condition. one FC wife. priceless.

    I am so happy to hear this, Susan. I will continue to remember you in prayer. In fact when I purposely enter the Cave of Pain on the climbs in the Portland Livestrong Challenge ride on September 30th, I will use the pain to concentrate on prayer for you.


    Please consider honoring Susan by name with a donation to my LIVESTRONG ride.

  22. Comment by Rocky | 09.19.2007 | 8:01 am

    This is the best news I have heard in weeks. Somebody up there love you. A lot. Felicitaciones to both of you – all six of you. We will keep the pleas going as we have for these months.

  23. Comment by chtrich | 09.19.2007 | 8:09 am


  24. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 09.19.2007 | 8:15 am

    Huzzah, indeed my friend! I continue to pray that Susan does well. It sounds like you have a very strong fighter on your hands, which is awesome! Thats what it takes, it takes someone who is never willing to give up, and fight the hell out of the cancer. Can’t wait for the day when you report the all clear. Blessings to you and your family!

  25. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.19.2007 | 8:16 am

    Arrrgh! Me be forgettin’ ta’ address ye properly on International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Susan, beeun a fine lass’l hav ta’ be a-wearin’ her pirate do-rag an be growlin’ at the swabbies in celebration. Avast me hearties! Ye best not be talkin’ poorly on sech a day as this.


  26. Comment by Bashzilla | 09.19.2007 | 8:25 am

    Awesome news!

  27. Comment by Red Grace Vane aka KT | 09.19.2007 | 8:26 am

    Arr, Capn Clydesteve, ye have the right o’ it, to be sure!

    Huzzah, Huzzah, Huzzah for Susan!!!!!! Ye’ll be at the helm o’ the good ship Cancer-free ere much longer, I can promise ye!

    Avast, me hearties! Drink up the good rum, today’s a day fer celebrating!

  28. Comment by Maggi | 09.19.2007 | 8:26 am

    Best thing I have read all day. Go Susan!!

  29. Comment by jdannettel | 09.19.2007 | 8:37 am

    Way to go Susan!!! We are cheering for you down in sunny southern Arizona and proudly wearing our WIN jerseys on road and mountain bike ride. Kick cancers A$$!!!

  30. Comment by the weak link | 09.19.2007 | 8:47 am

    I’m sure this is so yesterday (I have been away from the Internet for about one month) but I picked up my Oct issue of Bicycling magazine and what did I see but a pink WIN jersey on the test rider. Profoundly cool.

  31. Comment by Logan | 09.19.2007 | 8:48 am

    That is excellent news, praying for her continued recovery and happiness!

  32. Comment by Eric | 09.19.2007 | 8:51 am

    Many many Huzzahs indeed! My pink FC jersey is now my default jersey, and I have to justify not wearing it (too hot for so much black). I feel that it helps, and I hope it does. Keep on winning!

  33. Comment by bikepbp | 09.19.2007 | 8:52 am

    Congratulations on the good news.
    Just a suggestion on places to stay and go in Italy. Check out a wesite listing hotels that specialize in bike vacations: http://www.italybikehotels.it/en/
    I’ve stayed at two so far, Belvedere in Riccione and Garda Bike Hotel near Lake Garda. Both were great; top-end bike rentals, all three meals included (great food), local guide (top notch; one was a former domestique on Saeco and another a national mtb. champion) and very reasonable. Riccione is a resort town on the Adriatic with lots of high end shopping for Susan. Lake Garda is a big vacation spot near the wine growing areas of Bordolino near Verona.

  34. Comment by uncadan8 | 09.19.2007 | 8:52 am

    Hurray,Susan!! This is the best news! I wear my pink jersey frequently and think of you every time I do. Still praying for you. And say hello to that chubby hubby of yours; he’s a very kind and generous person. But we all knew that.

  35. Comment by Caren | 09.19.2007 | 8:58 am

    This is AWESOME news! What a fighter you are Susan! I know that doing my Breast Cancer 3-Day training walks of 12 and 16 miles this weekend are nothing in comparison but they will much easier knowing the excellent news you received! BTW – I love wearing my Pink Lemonade jersey when I walk…it is very inspiring and having those pockets on the back make life much easier! I cannot wait to wear it in San Diego in November!

    We are all eagerly anticipating the contest to see which Team FC member gets to go to Italy with you guys :-)

    I’ll be walking 60 miles at the San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day in recognition of Susan’s fight against this terrible disease. You can make a donation in Susan’s honor at the following link!

    Keep up the fight! We are all cheering you won!

  36. Comment by turnonthejets | 09.19.2007 | 9:05 am

    Hip Hip HUZZAH!
    Hip Hip HUZZAH!
    Hip Hip HUZZAH!

  37. Comment by Lowrydr | 09.19.2007 | 9:08 am

    WOW!!!!!! My Goose Bumps just got Goose Bumps at hearing such great news. Excellent – Superb – Wonderful – Fantastic – Huzzah – and many other exclamations with fervor…. So now I won’t throw that Nutella at you when you pass me Fatty.

    Susan, here’s a great wish for getting those flowing tresses started on their way back. Hugs for more great success in the future.

  38. Comment by Rachel | 09.19.2007 | 9:10 am

    I’m so happy for you and Susan and all of your family! What a moment for all of you, to see such progress.

    Does this affect your decision to go ahead with the whole shoulder surgery? Will that happen before or after Italy? I’d say Italy would be a great place to recover, but luggage usually weighs more than 3 lbs. And sometimes a large portion of gelato.

  39. Comment by usimpto | 09.19.2007 | 9:16 am

    Great news! I’ll wear my pink jersey on my big ride this weekend to celebrate!

  40. Comment by TG | 09.19.2007 | 9:25 am

    This is marvelous news! Cancer didn’t know what it was getting into when it decided to mess with Team Fatty! We continue to pray Susan and the whole family and are grateful for the good news thus far. Susan, keep turning the cranks! Victory is in your sights! Head down, and go for it!

  41. Comment by mocougfan | 09.19.2007 | 9:27 am

    Most Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Comment by FliesOnly | 09.19.2007 | 9:30 am

    That’s great news. Keep doing what they tell ya.

    Also, just so ya know…my pink jersey is perhaps my favorite jersey. I wear it like every other ride. And not to brag…but I think I look pretty damned “hot” in at as well.

  43. Pingback by RocBike.com » Links Of The Day: 19 September 2007 | 09.19.2007 | 9:37 am

    [...] Exceptionally Well [...]

  44. Comment by Marrock | 09.19.2007 | 9:38 am

    Best thing I’ve heard this week.

    Even better than the excellent weekly column gig.

  45. Comment by MAJ Mike | 09.19.2007 | 9:42 am

    Sweet…like a pool full on nutella, only better!!!

  46. Comment by Minneapollama | 09.19.2007 | 9:48 am

    Notizie meravigliose! Va Susan!!

  47. Comment by gian | 09.19.2007 | 9:55 am

    Great news on an awesome day!

  48. Comment by XCTiger | 09.19.2007 | 10:06 am

    huzzah! Indeed. Here’s hoping and praying for continued good news.

  49. Comment by Orbea Girl | 09.19.2007 | 10:15 am

    That’s truly great news for all your family and friends. You’re also providing inspiration for a couple of my girl friends who are battling cancer.

    If you need any assistance planning your trip to Italy please let me know. I live close to the Italian border, know N Italy quite well and speak Italian.

  50. Comment by Fan of Susan | 09.19.2007 | 10:18 am

    Fabulous news! Very happy for all of you!

    Rebecca – Best wishes and positive thoughts going your way also!

  51. Comment by Big Boned | 09.19.2007 | 10:24 am

    Fatty and Mrs Nelson,
    That is GREAT news. Prayers are answered. Your “blogger family” is celebrating today! Get those phrase books ready!
    My wife and I took our honeymoon in Italy this spring, it was AWESOME!

  52. Comment by Ian | 09.19.2007 | 11:11 am

    I am very pleased to hear your news. Continued best wishes.

  53. Comment by Lisa B | 09.19.2007 | 11:32 am

    That’s great news and no doubt you’re all celebrating. In your case, FC, does that mean a goat for lunch *and* dinner?

  54. Comment by Gillian | 09.19.2007 | 11:38 am

    HUZZAH! In a couple weeks I’ll walk all night as part of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser. Your lovely wife will be on my mind (along with too, too many other people). Fantastic news.

  55. Comment by Jeffy | 09.19.2007 | 11:41 am

    Woohoo! Most excellent…Jeff

  56. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.19.2007 | 12:05 pm

    Huzzah indeed!!! And again…..anyone who actually wants to DO something to show their support for Susan, Team FC, and others, please help out by visiting my website, or Clydesteve’s, for the LiveStrong Challenge at: http://austin07.livestrong.org/mlevin

    Fight on!!!!!


  57. Comment by ktown | 09.19.2007 | 12:13 pm

    Great news and I can’t wait for the requests for Italian bike itinerary suggestions. I’ve got lots of ideas for the Nelsons.

  58. Comment by dkirkavitch | 09.19.2007 | 12:18 pm

    Hey Fatty,
    Most exellent news. I don’t know Italian, but belisimo comes to mind for the occasion!
    Good vibes from Central Washington continue for your family on the upcoming PET scan.


  59. Comment by Lins - Aust | 09.19.2007 | 12:18 pm

    Wonderful news. I can’t even begin to imagine the relief you must all be feeling.

  60. Comment by AMG in Texas | 09.19.2007 | 1:37 pm

    Congratulations Susan!!! Go Team Fatty!!! Just to keep your spirits up I will send you a Looney Tunes DVD so you will get to know where the ORIGINAL definition for pwned comes from!!! ;-)

    Orbea Girl… Can my wife and I stay with you next year on our european vacation??? You will know us when we arrive in our pink Fat Cyclist jerseys ;-)

    There once was a man named Al
    Who wrote snarky comments so well
    On Fattys cycling blog he speaks
    to all that dare to peek
    and his prose isn’t all that bad

    We are all very happy today
    for Susans checkup was ok
    Its Italy next year for sure
    for she is so much closer to the cure
    Way to go Team Fatty!!!

  61. Comment by rexinsea | 09.19.2007 | 2:34 pm

    This is fantastic news! Well done Susan.

  62. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 09.19.2007 | 2:36 pm

    That’s great news. Well done Susan !

    If any readers in Melbourne want to help raise money for cancer research have a look at http://www.hobsonsbayrelay.com and consider entering a team or just coming for a look on the day.

  63. Comment by Born4Lycra | 09.19.2007 | 2:51 pm

    Huzzah back at you Team FC. Well done Sue – WIN.

  64. Comment by Kathy | 09.19.2007 | 3:00 pm

    Congratulations! Wonderful news that brought a smile to my face!

  65. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 09.19.2007 | 3:12 pm

    Huzzah! congratulations !

  66. Comment by sans auto | 09.19.2007 | 3:13 pm

    Way to be. Our thoughts and prayers are still with you.

  67. Comment by Harp | 09.19.2007 | 3:14 pm

    Great News!

  68. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 09.19.2007 | 3:29 pm


    Congratulations to everyone who has contributed a thought, a prayer, a kind word or a gift. Congratulations to everyone who’s ridden a mile in a pink lemonade FC jersey.

    I’ve called in sick today so I can go and ride a pink century to celebrate this great news.

  69. Comment by KatieA | 09.19.2007 | 3:34 pm

    Yay!!! Awesome news for Susan, you and your family.

    We’re all still thinking of you guys, and still sending all the karma points, prayers and good thoughts your way.

  70. Comment by aussie kev | 09.19.2007 | 3:57 pm

    I will have a bottle of “Bubbly” at the weekend and toast Susans good health !!!


  71. Comment by Heffalump | 09.19.2007 | 4:10 pm

    That is GREAT news! Go Team Susan!

  72. Comment by Alister | 09.19.2007 | 4:57 pm

    Marvellous news for Susan, yourself and the kids.

    Prayers and meditations will continue out to all of you.



  73. Comment by bryan | 09.19.2007 | 5:00 pm

    That’s great news! Best wishes and warm thoughts in the weeks ahead.

  74. Comment by KeepYerBag | 09.19.2007 | 5:10 pm

    Dear Mr. Cancer,

    You cannot expect to go up against us without a fight. Face it: You’re toast.

    Arrivederci e buon riddance,

    Team Fatty.

  75. Comment by kellene..the favorite oldest sister | 09.19.2007 | 5:24 pm

    Let me know what date to put on the calendar for the Italy trip!!! So happy to come and chill with the chillins!
    Love you guys!

  76. Comment by MrsC | 09.19.2007 | 5:43 pm

    Great news. Belated Happy Birthday to Susan – again!
    By the way, how was the birthday celebration?

  77. Comment by flossy | 09.19.2007 | 6:12 pm

    Sweet. That’s great news.

    I wore my pink jersey on a the Cycle Qld, 9 day Miles to Mooloolaba ride and told the tale of the pink jersey to many fellow riders. So that’s a whole bunch of extra thoughts coming Susan’s way.

  78. Comment by Walter | 09.19.2007 | 6:31 pm

    That’s wonderful news!!! Keep on keepin’ on…

  79. Comment by Errorista | 09.19.2007 | 6:32 pm

    so good. so good.

    I thought about you both on the morning run today – the most gorgeous run. i see the statue of liberty, lower manhattan, the brooklyn bridge, the manhattan bridge, many bodies of water and many parks. i kept thinking about the simple things in life that make us the most happy. health, improved health….that is pure joy.

  80. Comment by eliel | 09.19.2007 | 6:36 pm

    So happy to hear the news! Will continue praying for you Susan. Huzzah!

    Sending my thoughts and prayers to you as well, Rebecca. And two thumbs up to your bro! ;-)

  81. Comment by lil'est sis | 09.19.2007 | 7:05 pm

    SWEET!!!! that is just great/fantastic/outstanding news! I hope you bake her another cake to celebrate big brother…and congrats to you too!

  82. Comment by formertdfan | 09.19.2007 | 7:24 pm

    Great news!!!!

  83. Comment by Brewinman | 09.19.2007 | 7:58 pm

    Excellent news Fatty Family!!!
    We will continue to send positive energy your way with thoughts pointed towards Italy.
    I would like to second the Huzzah!

  84. Comment by solidjack | 09.19.2007 | 8:05 pm

    I ripped my WIN jersey on a tree during a race Sunday which made me really sad. It’s all good now though Awesome News!

  85. Comment by K | 09.19.2007 | 8:19 pm


  86. Comment by Dudley | 09.19.2007 | 9:25 pm


  87. Comment by Sailinghome | 09.19.2007 | 9:40 pm

    Brilliant news…!!… I’m proud of you both for making it this far with a smile and a blog…!


  88. Comment by Saso | 09.19.2007 | 9:47 pm

    Great news!

  89. Comment by Gordon | 09.19.2007 | 10:03 pm

    This is wonderful news, thanks for the update. You will remain in my prayers.

  90. Comment by Anonymous | 09.19.2007 | 10:12 pm


    AWESOME NEWS! Positive vibes from Oahu.

  91. Comment by William | 09.19.2007 | 11:01 pm

    F’ing great news. keep on fighting.

  92. Comment by TheLurker | 09.19.2007 | 11:25 pm

    Lovely news. Glad to hear it.

  93. Comment by buckythedonkey | 09.20.2007 | 2:34 am

    Huzzah indeed! What fantastic news! It is simply wonderful that your collective bravery is being rewarded.

    Il tempo è venuto scoprire l’Italia! You could do worse than start here:


  94. Comment by JohnnyB | 09.20.2007 | 4:37 am

    I’m VERY glad to hear things are going well. Thanks!

  95. Comment by eunicesara | 09.20.2007 | 5:49 am

    Hope your cheeks are aching from smiling, and you’re laughing so hard you’re crying, and it only gets better from here. Blessings. Continued blessings.

  96. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 09.20.2007 | 6:16 am

    What great news at the start of the day! My wife had her 2 year PET scan a few weeks back and all is good. We will continue to send good vibes and prayers from the hills of Arkansas!

    Al, not that I wasn’t already smiling by the time I got to your comment, but at that point, I burst into uncontrollable laughter and fell out of my chair! My coworkers were more than a little concerned. You never cease to entertain…

  97. Comment by Not So Skinny Cathy | 09.20.2007 | 8:11 am

    Yeah! Way to go Susan! I think of you everytime I wear my pink jersey, which is often!

  98. Comment by Jake | 09.20.2007 | 10:00 am

    Great news! Best wishes for continued success and have fun in Italy!

  99. Comment by lmouse | 09.20.2007 | 12:45 pm

    Brava! Brava, Bambina!

  100. Comment by Argentius | 09.20.2007 | 9:48 pm

    Hip, hip, huzzah!

    I’ve honestly been worried about what would happen … I don’t know the ins and outs of cancer, its stages, 5 year survival rates, etc (thankfully!), but, this is happy news in a scary time.

    Glad to hear it.

  101. Comment by James | 09.21.2007 | 12:47 pm

    Just ordered my twinsix pink fatty jersey last week – very glad that Susan is doing better. Best wishes and hopefully a full remission.

  102. Comment by Ian Hopper | 09.22.2007 | 9:17 pm

    This is the best damn news I’ve heard all day! YEAH SUSAN! Kick-ASS! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


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