Not Funny, Not Clever, Not Insightful

10.10.2007 | 9:36 pm

I’m not funny today, or clever, or insightful. I’m worried and sad and stressed and angry and, frankly, more than a little freaked out.

It’s been getting harder and harder for Susan to walk lately. We figured this trend would reverse itself, since her tumors are shrinking and her bones look to be healing.

But last night Susan pretty much cried through the night she hurt so badly. The one Lortab she usually takes when she goes to bed to help cope with the pain didn’t do any good. So — for the first time ever — she took a second.

No help.

By 5:00am, Susan gave up trying to sleep and worked her way downstairs, thinking maybe I’d be able to sleep better if she weren’t in the room. Her left leg’s totally useless to her now, so she had to sit down and scoot her way down, pushing the crutches ahead of her.

Of course I couldn’t sleep. And I didn’t know how to help. Me: helpless, angry, scared, useless. Her: hurting like hell, still thinking about me.

So today we spent the day at the neurologist. His guess is somewhere on her spine, there’s a tumor that’s been pressing on a nerve. They’ll do more tests in a week.

Have I mentioned before Susan’s got tumors up and down her spine? Probably not. I’ve been so preoccupied with her lungs and liver that I sometimes forget how important the spine is, too.

So, until the tests reveal our next steps — almost certainly yet more tests — Susan’s got yet more prescriptions for “pain management.” That’s what they really call it.

I’m going to see if — for once — these neurologist tests result in a cure instead of just a bunch more drug prescriptions. If not, I’m going to use some money from those pink jerseys and buy Susan a lift so she can get up and down the stairs. That’s more mundane than Italy, but right now it’s more important. I figure most of you will understand and approve. And I’ll put the Italy trip on the credit card when the time comes if I need to.

Tonight, Susan took two Lortabs and a muscle relaxant (and I put two more within arm’s reach). Knocked her out; she’s sleeping right now. That’s the best thing that’s happened all day.

I’m sorry, this post probably feels like an ambush. I’m not about gloom and despair. I’m the guy who stays positive. And I will be again soon. Probably by tomorrow. I just need some sleep.

PS: I spent some time reading the 80+ comments that folks have left for us today, and I know Susan’s read them, too. Thanks from both of us. You have all long stopped just being readers to me and have become an extraordinary group of friends. Again, thank you.


  1. Comment by Big Tom | 10.10.2007 | 10:12 pm

    I understand and empathize with the pain you’re enduring, both from a medical perspective as a nurse who has to try everything in the book to alleviate the pain, and as the husband of a wife who while not dealing with cancer, has dealt with severe pain nearly everyday for the last 3 years. The worst is that we have to sit there and see our loved ones suffer. We do everything we can to make them feel better, but sometimes our best isn’t enough. Keep your head up, my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.


  2. Comment by me | 10.10.2007 | 10:12 pm

    Dear Fatty,

    So very sorry. I think about and hope for Susan, you, and your family a lot, even though I’ve never responded. Best wishes.

  3. Comment by Dallas | 10.10.2007 | 10:14 pm

    Positive thoughts heading your way….

  4. Comment by Gordon in Melbourne | 10.10.2007 | 10:22 pm

    I don’t want a sympathy vote but I have to have 16-18 tablets a day for a chronic form of inflamatory arthritis (lucky I have to keep mobile as treatment so I can still cycle but not for hours).

    My wife pointed out to me how GOOD it was that I was able to take medication for my illness when I cracked the sh*ts about all the pills I have to pop.

    What I have is nothing compared to what you 2 are going through but being able to treat a condition is a small consolation. Keep popping those pills but also look for a cure.

    On a side note valium plus red wine make for a good sleep (although the downside is my snoring can get a bit loud which sometime keeps my wife awake)

  5. Comment by Lyne | 10.10.2007 | 10:31 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  6. Comment by A face in the crowd | 10.11.2007 | 12:42 am

    Cancer’s a long hard hill, full of false plateaux and sudden steep sections.

    I have a family member on her second stage of chemo right now, with a prognosis that’s, well, less positive than Susan’s sounds. Your courage, dignity and strength in your families fight is an inspiration- you’re one of a number of people who, knowingly or not, help me keep going when the cold rain falls and the road rears up in front of me, helping me change up from the granny gear and keeping me ahead of the broom wagon.

    So, think of this as a shout from the crowd on a lonely hillside when you’re falling off the back of a break, a domestique with a power gel and a bidon, a teammate with a push- whatever. My thoughts are with you all, stay strong.

  7. Comment by Maddy | 10.11.2007 | 1:01 am

    Truly, sometimes part of coping is not coping. I think it is brave and generous to share your fears, and it would be unnatural if you were to never feel them, nor want some relief from them by ’spreading the burden’, as it were. I am sure everyone who read your post (and previous posts) feels for you both and sends you their best thoughts and wishes. A lot of us also have experience of what you are both coping with, so we read with empathy and respect.
    I am so glad you have each other.

  8. Comment by Stomper | 10.11.2007 | 1:04 am

    Fatty, I will be wearing the pink jumper with pride this weekend and wishing you and Susan positive thoughts.

    Karl aka Stomper

  9. Comment by Uncle Bob | 10.11.2007 | 1:15 am

    Mate… Absolutely *no* call to apologise. I know we’re all taught that “big boys don’t cry” but sometimes… that’s just a load of bollocks.

  10. Comment by Big Boned | 10.11.2007 | 1:30 am

    Our prayers remain with your family. I hope Susan gets good news from the tests soon.

  11. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 10.11.2007 | 1:32 am

    Uncle Bob’s right, Maddy said it well and we all wish you the very best. Use the money now and we will just raise some more later. The lift on the stairs will it be a fixy or have gears and brakes? All our love to you Sue – keep winning.

  12. Comment by mrLee | 10.11.2007 | 1:39 am

    Feel no guilt about the lift, Fatty, that’s what is needed right now……Italy will come soon enough. You’re all still in our prayers.

  13. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 10.11.2007 | 1:57 am

    Absolutely, go with the lift if that is what Susan needs now.
    I’m sending all the good karma I can gather over to you and Susan.
    Like everyone else here you are in my thoughts.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and fears – we are honoured.

  14. Comment by James | 10.11.2007 | 2:28 am

    Cancer sucks. I am saddened to hear that Susan and your family are getting another undeserved lesson in “life ain’t fair.” But Susan should know that a bunch of weirdos she’s never met are thinking of her as they pull on their tight shirts and shorts.

    Wait, that came out wrong…

  15. Comment by Uncadan8 | 10.11.2007 | 2:29 am

    This news just makes me hurt. But all I can do is pray for Susan and you as you both deal with this situation. I pray that it helps.

  16. Comment by FliesOnly | 10.11.2007 | 3:58 am

    With hope, this is just a temporary set-back in an otherwise remarkable recovery. My thoughts and hopes are with you, Susan, and the kids.

  17. Comment by leroy | 10.11.2007 | 4:38 am

    FC –

    Good luck. I’m not much good at praying, but I’ll say one for you and Susan.

    Having been through pain management a few times on something much more minor, my take is that it’s equal parts art and science.

  18. Comment by Lowrydr | 10.11.2007 | 4:39 am

    Never fear speaking your mind/letting of steam to those of us out here in cyberland. We have extra shoulders for you to spread your load of fears/anger/frustrations and anything else on.

    Just know that we all are sending Good Karma/Prayers/Best Wishes to you, Susan and the Family. Now get that lift installed to help her get to the top of that hill. Just make sure that it has brakes, I don’t think Susan is ready for a “fixie”. We’ll be here when you need us.

  19. Comment by bikemike | 10.11.2007 | 4:50 am

    you guys feel a apart of the family and what are families for if not the ability to vent.
    vent away my good man.

    families also stick around for the good and the bad, we’re here for you now, the good is coming.

    as dug said the other day, set the controls for the heart of the sun.

  20. Comment by Al Maviva | 10.11.2007 | 4:59 am

    It’s not an ambush Elden and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Quit apologizing. Casual readers might be a little baffled by it but I think most of the people in the Fattysphere (Adiaposernet? Lipidweb?) don’t mind you getting things off your chest, or being presented a chance to reach out to a guy who brings us a lot of pleasure all the rest of the time. I don’t know about other traditions of faith or ethics, but within the Christian tradition you aren’t supposed to whinge for whinging’s sake, but when you are really in the hurt bucket, you are supposed to bring your troubles to your community and ask for support. Even aside from the faith-based argument to do that, it’s healthy to unburden once in a while.

    Know that we share your concern and grief in a little way, some send prayers, some reach out in other ways, and we all send good wishes and keep you all in our thoughts.

  21. Comment by Eric | 10.11.2007 | 5:06 am

    Hey, I read that post as coming from a very postive person, just a positive person with a heavy load to deal with. No way to change the load other than to do what you and Susan are doing. And don’t even think about apologizing to the Fattyspherists out here; You’ve put yourself out here and we’ve bought into it, so we’re here for you, wearing pink/black and trying to give you as much virtual support as we can.

  22. Comment by | 10.11.2007 | 5:06 am

    Elden and Susan:
    My thoughts and prayers continue for you and your family. Stay strong, God Bless!

  23. Comment by turnonthejets | 10.11.2007 | 5:07 am

    Best to you both. Stay positive and FIGHT!

  24. Comment by mocougfan | 10.11.2007 | 5:23 am


    I agree with Al. I love the site, love the humor, love the knowledge about riding. But I come back everyday because it feels like a big family. I love reading everyone else’s comments almost as much as yours. I’d be a bit dissapointed if we didn’t get the periodic uupdate on the rest of your family.

    Cancer sucks. I feel for you and Susan. I hope things get well soon. But if not, keep treating her like a queen. Sounds like she deserves it.

  25. Comment by dawn | 10.11.2007 | 5:25 am

    Pain sucks. Cancer sucks more. Being unable to “fix it” sucks the most.
    Hang in there.

  26. Comment by Age Grouper | 10.11.2007 | 5:36 am

    Fatty -

    As a physician, I would recommend not waiting a week for “more tests”. An MRI should be done STAT/ASAP! If she is know to have tumor compressing the spinal cord associated with increased pain and leg weakness, waiting a week could be disastrous. PLEASE call your physician and ask/beg/demand that the testing be done very soon. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I’d hate to read in a week that she has further problems or is paralyzed.


  27. Comment by Pammap | 10.11.2007 | 5:46 am

    FC and Susan, first of all, I am so sorry for your pain and heartache. My prayers for you are for healing and, in the mean time, strength for today. Please consider yourselves hugged! My heart hurts with you.

    Definitely get the lift. Funds for Italy will come in good time.

  28. Comment by Medstudentitis | 10.11.2007 | 5:52 am

    I’m sending lots of good thoughts your way. I hope that both of you get some rest and are able to find the strength to face whatever comes next.

  29. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.11.2007 | 5:52 am

    No need, ever, to apologize for being human, and being devoted to someone special like Susan.

    Besides, won’t even fit on an XXL jersey. (And was probably snapped up by a cybersquatter just now, anyway.) You rule the Fattysphere, so whether it’s ice cream for breakfast or being true enough to share things with us in hard times, that’s that.

    Susan, Elden, and all the rest of the clan, I’m keeping you close in my thoughts, and wishing that there are better things ahead for you soon.

  30. Comment by sans auto | 10.11.2007 | 5:55 am

    Susan is in our prayers daily… My four year old even thinks to pray for her some days, even when he forgets to pray for the food that is sitting under his nose.

  31. Comment by kellene..the favorite oldest sister | 10.11.2007 | 6:03 am

    Elden and Susan,
    You know we pray daily for peace and help for your family. Glad to be able to spend some time with you and the kids this weekend. Hopefully we can lighten the load. Make me a list of “to dos!”

  32. Comment by BettyBetty | 10.11.2007 | 6:13 am

    Glad to be able to help in a small way with the jersey purchase. Sounds cliche but continue to be strong cuz Susan really needs you. I agree with Philly Jen better times lie ahead.

  33. Comment by KeepYerBag | 10.11.2007 | 6:19 am

    I’m awestruck at how you and Susan are handling this tribulation together. Undoubtedly, if I were faced with the same I’d be rolled up in a fetal position under the bed of an asylum, worthless to anyone. But I look at what you’ve done and what you are doing for Susan and I am amazed.

    How rare it is to see such an expression of love.

    We are here for you, Elden. We’re here for you, for Susan and for your whole family. We’re praying and wishing and hoping and are willing to do what we can to make it better. Peace be with you all.

  34. Comment by DP | 10.11.2007 | 6:24 am

    Great idea about the chair lift. On a positive note – it will nice to have the chair lift around to use after Susan is better. Think about the possibilities:
    - Sending your breakfust up to you.
    - No more carrying laundry up or down the stairs.
    - A reward for your kids good behavior, “Since you finished your homework, you may ride the chair lift.”
    - It can carry your luggage down the stairs on your way to Italy.
    - Your kids will officially have the coolest house in the neighborhood.

    Best of luck to you and Susan – keep pedaling, the crest of the hill is just around the next bend.

  35. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 10.11.2007 | 6:36 am

    I can add nothing new to what Al and others have already said. We’ll be here with you through good times and bad. Continued prayers for you and your family…

  36. Comment by Miles Archer | 10.11.2007 | 6:37 am

    Dude, stay strong.

  37. Comment by Patrick in Queens | 10.11.2007 | 7:07 am

    Double seconds for all of the above.

    Be strong, be tough, be proactive. We’re here for you.

  38. Comment by mocougfan | 10.11.2007 | 7:08 am


    I usually don’t post twice, but I wanted to agree with Steve the Age Grouper. I’m not a physician. I am a dentist and we had to take most of the same early classes with the med students before we split off to focus on Dentistry. Anyway, I thought it off to wait a week myself. I highly recommend calling TODAY to get an MRI. When pt’s positively ask something from me and I can deliver it I usually do. Especially when they are in pain. Most of us Dr’s don’t like people to be in pain. We try to do something to fix it. Got to find out what can be done other than just mask it with Vicoden. Call today.


  39. Comment by Flying Penguin | 10.11.2007 | 7:31 am

    Cancer sucks! I am so sorry to hear of the problems and please do not worry about venting it is sometimes the only thing that gets you through. It is frsutrating to feel so powerless and angry. (I remember feeling angry but I could never figure out what to be angry with which made it all the more frustrating.) I am sending as much positive energy as I can possibly muster along with my wife’s who made it through her ordeal and can understand completely. PMA (positive mental attitude) was our mantra even though at times we did not feel it was doing any good. My best to you and your family.

  40. Comment by Canadian roadie | 10.11.2007 | 7:33 am

    I’ve never met you but feel like I know you through this blog. My thoughts are with you during this undoubtedly difficult time.

    Sending positive thoughts from Victoria, BC.

  41. Comment by MTB W | 10.11.2007 | 7:40 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with Susan and your family. I can do little from cyberspace but let you know we are pulling for you!

  42. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.11.2007 | 7:41 am

    Mate, do whatever you need to with the jersey cash – I thought that was the whole point. You can pay for Italy with the next jersey.

    Much love from us all and…WIN!

  43. Comment by Jouni | 10.11.2007 | 7:46 am

    Positive vibes comin’ at ya from the wilds of Alberta, Canada.
    Stay strong!

  44. Comment by Brandy | 10.11.2007 | 7:47 am

    Buy the lift, it will make it easier on Susan, so she can win this battle and be stronger for your trip to Italy! Which buckythedonkey said it right, “you can pay for Italy with the next jersey.”


  45. Comment by TG | 10.11.2007 | 7:56 am


    Words fail me at times like this, but I have an idea of what you are going through. Last year my daughter was in a near fatal accident and had a long, painful recovery. My heart and soul ached for her. I wished I could take on the pain for her. I am sure you are feeling pretty much the same way about Susan right now. It is such a helpless and frustrating feeling. But, as I learned, I was not totally powerless, I put my faith in the doctors, and put my faith in God and laid my pain and helplessness at the feet of God and by His Will we both made it through. I will pray for alleviation of Susan’s physical pain, and alleviation of the pain of your heart and soul. Normally, I tell Susan to keep turning the cranks. Given the current situation, I think we should turn the cranks for a while with our prayers and positive toughts. So, Susan and Elden, put your arms across our shoulders and let us lift you up and help you along this difficult path.

  46. Comment by Joanna | 10.11.2007 | 8:18 am

    I’m taking my pink jersey to the run for the boobies this weekend – you let me know if there is any way we can help donate money (since jerseys are sold out and a trip to italy is super important for her mental health) to buy Susan a lift if that is what she needs.

  47. Comment by Gillian | 10.11.2007 | 8:44 am

    I read one positive thing in there – tumors are shrinking. Shrinking away, pbtt, into nothing, sometime soon, and the pain will follow shortly after. Absolutely going to happen. Meanwhile, you should use the jersey money to put in the lift, and then charge neighborhood kids $5 to ride it. Voila! Italy $$ in back in the bag!

    My Relay for Life cancer walk is tomorrow evening. There’s going to be a luminary placed along the high school track of a tiny rural town in North Carolina, shining its little candle light, with Susan F.C. written on it. A twinkle of hope from us to you – G

  48. Comment by Lucas Crawford | 10.11.2007 | 8:47 am

    Sometimes…It’s okay to be discouraged
    …it’s okay to be mad
    …it’s okay to be unhappy
    because for someone like you it brings strength and resolve.
    Allow yourself to feel the depths of all your emotions and you will become even a stronger man than ever!
    Our prayers are with you.

  49. Comment by Logan | 10.11.2007 | 8:47 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Susan. Keep your head up.

  50. Comment by Willie Nelson | 10.11.2007 | 9:00 am

    When we fall we get back up. Everytime. Success isn’t in not falling, but getting up again after the fall. That’s the measure of a human. Our prayers are with you both and your kids. My father went through cancer and kids also have burdens with a sick parent.

  51. Comment by adp | 10.11.2007 | 9:23 am

    Puts so much in perspective. My thoughts and prayers are with Team Fatty.

  52. Comment by AMG in Texas | 10.11.2007 | 9:27 am

    Buy an ITALIAN chair lift. You know the one… it plays italian folk songs when it is going up and down!! Wasn’t the point of the pink jersey was to help you and Susan to get through this crisis??? Best to use the monies for Susans care. Italy can be financed. We feel for you and Susan. The true sign of strength is to call out when you need the help. Men have feeling too. It is OK to vent and rant…. we hear you and are doing what we can to encourage you.

    Hoping for the day that yall will feel better and Al gets his snarkyness back :-)

  53. Comment by Lisa B | 10.11.2007 | 9:32 am

    We’re all here for you, Elden, and you and Susan are in our thoughts and hearts. In goofy times and in painful times.

  54. Comment by Jeffy | 10.11.2007 | 9:38 am

    Elden – You brought us together and we’re all in your debt. Any time you need to unload, we’re here for you. Jeffy

  55. Comment by barry1021 | 10.11.2007 | 9:43 am

    Pinkie will be worn proudly at the Tour De Scottsdale next Sunday. Redoubling prayers and thoughts.

    We are shrinking those bastards, killing those bastards……


  56. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.11.2007 | 9:49 am

    I am not feeling eloquent, but many have expressed my thoughts and feelings well. I will continue to pray for you and Susan, Eldon.


  57. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 10.11.2007 | 9:54 am

    Sorry to hear about the set-back. Best wishes.

    P.S. Look on the bright side: once you get that lift installed, your 5yo twins are going to be occupied for DAYS riding up and down!

  58. Comment by sorelegs | 10.11.2007 | 9:56 am

    Fatty & Susan,
    You are doing just what you are supposed to be doing. Keep up the good work and fight that hard fight.

  59. Comment by Kris | 10.11.2007 | 9:59 am

    Your post was serious, but not a downer for me – it made me happy. Put down the flame throwers and allow me to explain:

    I’m sitting here with the usual stresses of the day, I read your post and suddenly all my problems disappear – because I don’t have cancer. My heart goes out to Susan.

  60. Comment by Errorista | 10.11.2007 | 10:23 am

    typing, deleting, typing, deleting. bah. i can’t figure out how to get across anything insightful or to make you smile or motivational. i guess i just wish it was easier for you, now and in the future. i’m grateful for the friends you have here – i know they lift you up.

    wore the jersey on a run today, think of you everyday. hang on for the brighter days.

  61. Comment by Morgan | 10.11.2007 | 10:55 am

    Fatty, Head up, focus on the summit ahead, keep turning the cranks. Hey I want “a face in the crowd” in my lantern rouge. Many moons back, a Dr. Howard Reichman worked wonders for my wife’s cervical spine malfunction. He was at Utah Valley Regional in about 93-94. Best Wishes to you and yours. Everyone needs to bitch now and then, that is what long rides are for isn’t it?

  62. Comment by MAJ Mike | 10.11.2007 | 11:05 am

    My father has MS and fights “neuropathic pain” every day. That’s the kind of pain where nothing is causing it at the point of the pain, it’s pretty much just the brain and central nervous system telling you, “guess what, your feet feel like they are on fire. How you like them apples?” It sucks. Then the brain tells his legs to spasm and upset his balance on the scooter. Dealing with all of that takes energy and it wears him (and my mom) out. It sucks. But they keep fighting. Susan can, too. Keep your chins up.

  63. Comment by Caren | 10.11.2007 | 11:30 am

    I know that I cannot say it better than others already have. We are here for you, Susan and the rest of the family! The funds raised by the pink lemonade jersey sales came with no strings other than you guys using the $$$ as you needed, and sometimes needs change. New Mexico karma and support is headed your way…hope the messages received are able to ease the struggle of cancer in some small way.

    I’ll be thinking of you guys while I’m training for the San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day this weekend! I’ve got 2 pink lemonade jerseys and I’ll be wearing one tomorrow am when I do a 15-mile walk and the other on Saturday for an 18-mile walk. I hope that my participation in this fund raising event (over $10,000 so far) counts as positive karma for Susan and her recovery – because it is what I can do to help make a difference.

    Know that we are all here for you!

  64. Comment by Boz | 10.11.2007 | 11:31 am

    I’ve got neuropothic pain like MAJ Mike’s dad from diabetes, take neuronton daily, to help control it, and it is lessening bit by bit from following proper glucose control. Seems the nerves aren’t getting eaten away as much and are reversing course. Susan’s tumors are going to do the same. I have willed it so. Hang in there, bad things happen good people, but great things can happen, too!!

  65. Comment by Orbea Girl | 10.11.2007 | 11:32 am

    Buy the lift. Remember, I only live a few miles from the Italian border and you’re more than welcome to come and stay at any time. I also love cooking Italian food for my guests.

    Sending you all prayers and positive thoughts and I echo the comments of the Doc and Dentist, do not delay, get that MRI asap.

  66. Comment by swtkaroline | 10.11.2007 | 11:55 am

    it’s been said before, but cannot be said enough…my thoughts and prayers are all for you and your family.

  67. Comment by Bitter (Lissee) | 10.11.2007 | 12:07 pm

    Man, and here I am worrying about stupid stuff happening in my life. Thanks for reminding me there are more important things to worry about.

    I also second the idea of the “Italian” chair lift. Perhaps Assos makes one? Those pansy catalog boys would surely need one to get up the stairs, right?

  68. Comment by Bitter (Lissee) | 10.11.2007 | 12:18 pm

    Oh, I just saw the posts from mcougfan & Steve the Age Grouper. Make the appointment now, for tomorrow. Don’t let them make you wait a week, they CAN fit you in if it’s serious enough. This sounds like this is one of those times.

  69. Comment by Not So Skinny Cathy | 10.11.2007 | 12:21 pm

    Nothing I can add to all the already supportive comments except that I have been and will continue to send positive thoughts yours and Susan’s way. Use the pink jersey money as you see fit. BTW, I didn’t think your blog entry was negative at all.

  70. Comment by Little1 | 10.11.2007 | 12:22 pm

    as Al Maviva said, you bring your load to your family, we are a “kind of a family”. So you keep your eye on the prize and bring your load for us to take on.

    P.S. aaaggghhhh my pink jersey is in the post still (hopefullt it finds its way to South Africa), I will just wear a different pink jersey and ride the route of Champions for Susan (Amashovashova race in South Africa, ridden along the route of the Comrades Marathon)

  71. Comment by Denise | 10.11.2007 | 12:24 pm

    Your family is our family… offered them up for us to love right here….so I will restate the theme of today’s comments. Spend the money on the lift and don’t think twice about it. With all the brainstorming going on here you could fund several trips to Italy. Do NOT apologize for pouring your heart out about this to us….we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sending much love and even more prayers your way from Missouri!

  72. Comment by William | 10.11.2007 | 12:27 pm

    Stay strong both of you and keep fighting!

    Your kids will love the stair lift, it sounds like a good idea.

    You’re doing a great job.

  73. Pingback by | The RocBike Review » Links Of The Day: 11 October 2007 | 10.11.2007 | 12:46 pm

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  74. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 10.11.2007 | 1:20 pm

    Wow. Your wife is in incredible pain and still thinks about you. And you are emotionally taxed, yet still manage to keep us both informed (like the most recent of your posts) and laughing (like pretty much all of the other posts). You both represent one of the few things right with the world. Keep up the fight.

  75. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.11.2007 | 1:32 pm


    Just read the 74 comments that came before this and you can see that we are all on the same page–and THAT is powerful medicine.

    The pink jersey will be at the Ride for the Roses this weekend, for Susan, Rona and Stu and too many others.

    Keep the faith, keep fighting and feel the love.



  76. Comment by Lins - Aust | 10.11.2007 | 1:48 pm

    Hope all goes well. Best wishes to you all.

  77. Comment by LindaLoo | 10.11.2007 | 1:53 pm

    Read your post with tears streaming down my face. I wasn’t lucky enough to get a jersey but would love to contribute to a lift or WhatEver you feel Susan needs. Let me know how!

  78. Comment by rexinsea | 10.11.2007 | 2:00 pm

    Best wishes and prayes to Elden, Susan and the whole fatty family. I’m pulling for you. Stay strong and keep loving each other.

  79. Comment by Merckx_13 | 10.11.2007 | 2:19 pm

    Rest. Hop on the new SS. Go for a long ride. We got your back. Lots of prayers and thoughts heading your and Susan’s way. The yellow wrist band and fat cyclist jersey will be out my way for support as well. God Bless.

  80. Comment by Adam | 10.11.2007 | 2:31 pm

    It’s not about gloom and despair, it’s about what you’re feeling and how you deal with it. Sharing it with your community is just the right thing, it seems to me.

    It is called pain management because that’s all they can do – find a way to deal with what she’s experiencing. I hope you both are aggressive in your demand for the best pain management possible and if you get answers you don’t like then continue to seek them until you can find a form of relief that works.

    I know your children are feeling this too. I cannot imagine having to share this with them but they’ll have feelings too. They’re smart, they observe, so include them as much as you can.

    From all of my family our prayers and our support and our thoughts.

  81. Comment by Stephanie | 10.11.2007 | 2:42 pm

    my dad was diagnosed with cancer about two weeks ago. As strange as it might sound, it gives me strength to read every day how strong you are being for your wife and your children. THere are mornings where i wake up and want to just curse for about 5 minutes straight…

    It also gives me peace to read about how strong your wife has been throughout this time as well. It gives me faith in my own situation and so much hope that my dad will be able to beat the living %$#!!* out of this thing.

    I’ll keep praying for you and your family and i’ll have my pink jersey on this weekend while i go out and blow off some steam.


  82. Comment by | 10.11.2007 | 3:15 pm

    The more I thought of this post today the heavier it was on my heart. I had to come back a second time (as I often do) just to read the comments. I have to agree with all of the comments. From the people who say that this blog is like a family, to the people who say they have never met but feel like they know you through reading this. I for one cannot make it through a day without checking in to see what was written and check up on the comments. You, Susan and your family have a LOT of people praying for you and keeping you in their thoughts, and I for one think it’s wonderful that you keep us up to date with what’s going on. Not to mention, Im sure it’s helpful to get it off of your chest. As I mentioned before, me and mine will keep you and yours in our prayers.

  83. Comment by KT | 10.11.2007 | 3:15 pm

    Elden and Susan– I can’t do anything more than add to what everyone is saying. Cancer sucks. Pain sucks. “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, although I’ve noticed that it’s usually always darkest around 4:30 in the morning, even if dawn isn’t for another couple of hours.

    Hopefully this is your 4:30am…. and it gets brighter and better from here.

    And definitely follow the Doc and the Dentist’s advice, schedule the MRI for ASAP.

    And, you TOTALLY need to get that lift. It will make things easier for Susan, and wouldn’t that be nice?

    Keep your chin up, and give Susan a good hand-squeeze (hugs might hurt) from her fans in the PNW!

  84. Comment by KatieA978 | 10.11.2007 | 3:24 pm

    Thoughts and prayers always with you guys.

    Get the lift, and when Susan gets better, you can use it to lug dessert upstairs. :)

  85. Comment by Andrew Morris | 10.11.2007 | 3:36 pm

    Your love and care for Susan is an inspiration and has moved me, thanks.

  86. Comment by Stephanie | 10.11.2007 | 3:55 pm


    You and Susan are in my thoughts and prayers. Once again, I am bowled over by your honesty, sincerity, and goodness. Hang in there – you both have legions of fans routing for you.

  87. Comment by Barb | 10.11.2007 | 4:02 pm

    I want to add my voice to those who urge getting Susan’s MRI done NOW. As a radiation therapist my days are full of people in just her situation and the sooner treatment starts the better the results. Please don’t delay. If the neuro guy won’t order it now, go to your oncologist. My thoughts are with you guys. It’s OK to be upset.

  88. Comment by david | 10.11.2007 | 4:03 pm

    I’m thinking the good thoughts, sending prayers, and giving you all mental internet hugs.


  89. Comment by Travel Girl | 10.11.2007 | 4:08 pm

    Fatty & Susan,
    You don’t know me but you guys are like good friends. I’m sending you all the strength I can spare. Can you feel it? Take all you want. Every time I think of you, I’m sending out more super strength. Take that you stinkin cancer.

  90. Comment by monkeywebb | 10.11.2007 | 5:01 pm

    Here’s one more reminding you that you’re both in our collective thoughts.

  91. Comment by AndyC | 10.11.2007 | 5:19 pm

    I wish you both the best and a complete recovery for Susan. I got my Pink jersey in the mail today and my wife saw it (she’s a breast cancer survivor – 3+ years now) and remarked on how neat it was and what a good cause it was supporting. I’m sure that the lift will relieve much pain and suffering and is well earned my friend. Bless you both in your struggles and “Fatty must stay strong for Susan and your kids”. I’ll be sending out positive thoughts on a daily basis.

    P.S. I plan on wearing my jersey on the club ride this weekend and sharing your story. More good thoughts will be coming your way!

  92. Comment by fodder | 10.11.2007 | 5:41 pm

    God Bless and best wishes. Some things are more important than bikes. Sounds Weird saying that though…

  93. Comment by kentucky joe | 10.11.2007 | 5:42 pm

    Sounds to me like love for each other is what will get you through this terrible disease. Love conquers all. Keep loving, keep conquering. I think the Beatles genius was in their simply beautiful lyrics. I kept hearing this song play in my head as I read this post and great comments. There is a lot of love here. Here’s hoping that helps you through the tough times.

    There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
    It’s easy.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

  94. Comment by El Animal | 10.11.2007 | 5:56 pm

    I’ve been thinking of you all day. My wife had a minor surgery today, I had to play her role and my role with the kids, it’s exhausting.

    I’ll pray for Susan today.

  95. Comment by Philthy in Oz | 10.11.2007 | 5:59 pm

    As many positive thoughts as I can muster are coming your way from the other side of the globe. All the best.

  96. Comment by Walter | 10.11.2007 | 6:10 pm

    Fatty — I am so, so sorry to hear about all this. It brings back all the memories of feeling helpless, frustrated, angry, confused when my wife Leslie was going through chemo — not to mention the pressure to be positive and strong when that’s not at all what’s inside. I’m very glad you posted this, so that we can all show our support — even though that feels like precious little in the face of what you’re dealing with. Anyway, hang in there, keep letting it all hang out when you feel like it.

    Fatty & Susan — thoughts, good vibes and prayers — and best wishes for some restful sleep.

  97. Comment by Greg | 10.11.2007 | 6:14 pm


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Susan, you are lucky to have one another. The lift is what is needed now, Italy will still be there, and I’m sure the “Susan’s going to Italy!” jersey will sell like crazy. Stay strong and remember, Italy will be an amazing counterpoint to what y’all are going through now.

  98. Comment by Matt in Oz | 10.11.2007 | 6:56 pm

    I am late to the cause but my thoughts are with you and your family. I have little idea about the American health system as I am a nurse in Oz, but my advice as mentioned by other posters is to get the MRI yesterday. What Susan is going through is not soemthing to wait a week for a scan then another few days for an appointment to get the results. I would suggest using some of the jersey money to pay/bribe your way into an appointment and MRI on the same day and ASAP. If all works out the lift may be redundant. but get the scan.
    Sorry to be alarmist but in my experience waiting in these situations is not the best thing to do. You didn’t wait to buy the fixie afterall.

  99. Comment by Sailinghome | 10.11.2007 | 7:23 pm

    I can totally relate to your feelings of helplessness, and understand that you’re feeling sad and angry…. a lot of people don’t actually realise that the people around those who are suffering also need to look after themselves…. so please, if you’re going to be there for Susan when she needs it, please look after yoursef as well…. go for a ride to clear your head… whatever… but you need to be focused to be able to help her in the right way…

    Have a good one…


  100. Comment by Kim | 10.11.2007 | 7:25 pm


    I don’t know if you’ll get this far in the comments, but I’m terribly sorry to hear about this recent turn of events. It sounded like Susan was doing better. I wanted to say that I understand. I’ve had severe back problems since 2003. I slipped a disc in my lumbar that has been putting pressure on my sciatic nerve causing pain all the way down my left leg. I was 19 when that happened. Since then I’ve had lots of pills thrown at me, surgery, and physical therapy. I’ve had days where nothing seemed to help and others where I felt almost normal. I know that feeling of helplessness– I saw it in the faces of my family and friends. They wanted to help, but there was really very little they could do.

    I didn’t want to be on pills forever, so I started looking into other options. Physical therapy has helped a lot. Perhaps it could help Susan too? It wasn’t anything too strenuous– various stretches mostly, and heat therapy, electro stim, ice, and the like. Also, they taught me something called displacement therapy. I learned how to sit to reduce some of the pain. It’s not a cure, but it did help me feel better so I could sleep, and it stregthened my left side enough so that I didn’t fall as often. Perhaps you could ask your neurologist about some other options to use in conjunctions with the pills? It may help. If you have any questions, I would be happy to pass along the things I’ve learned these past few years in pain management. I wish you both the best,


  101. Comment by Ian | 10.11.2007 | 7:39 pm

    I wish I had more than best wishes to offer. You can have plentysix of those from me and my family however. Keep up the fight and I second the advice about being proactive about seeking care both for diagnosis and treatment but also for symptom control. Good luck!


  102. Comment by Fan of Susan | 10.11.2007 | 8:15 pm

    Coming to post late today and am too unoriginal to come up with anything that hasn’t already been said and said much better than I could. So, add one more person to the list of people who are sending positive thoughts to you and Susan, and sign me up to buy the “Susan’s going to Italy” jersey mentioned above. I’m so sorry for this rough patch.

  103. Comment by Harp | 10.11.2007 | 8:46 pm

    Stay Strong. I’m coping with someone close to me with cancer and couldn’t imagine what it would be like for it to be my wife. You being positive through all of this is a model that most people should try to follow.

  104. Comment by vertigo | 10.11.2007 | 8:56 pm

    Jeez, my eyes started to sweat reading this. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  105. Comment by Debamundo | 10.11.2007 | 8:58 pm

    I think about you and Susan and your kids every single day. I will pray. I wish there was more I could do.

  106. Comment by lovesdownhill | 10.12.2007 | 4:04 am

    I’ve never posted, but my fiancee and I read your blog every day and more then once we have prayed for you and Susan because we feel like part of your family. You let us know what you need and we’ll make it happen. Money, trips, laundry done. I bet we can find you some frequent flier miles that will take you around the world, so use that cash for what you need now and when Italy comes, we will get you there!

  107. Comment by Self Loading Freight | 10.12.2007 | 4:41 am

    Praying. You guys are inspiring on many levels.

  108. Comment by Maile in Florida | 10.12.2007 | 5:11 am

    Using money from the pink jersey for a lift for Susan is a marvelous idea! I am sorry she’s in such pain, but glad to hear the tumors continue to shrink. By the way, my pink jersey is my absolute favorite. So, as far as I’m concerned buckythedonkey’s comment about an Italy jersey paying for the trip was brilliant. I’m in!

    Thoughts, prayers and best wishes are on the way from Florida,

  109. Comment by Acugooner | 10.12.2007 | 5:19 am

    Came to your blog today from Bike Radar, after following a link to your post about How to Talk to Non-Cyclists. I’ve never read your blog before, and was deeply touched by your post today. Thank you for sharing your feelings and pain. My heart was deeply touched, and as so many have said, my prayers and positive energy go out to you, Susan and your kids.
    In the dark night of the soul the cry of your heart links together the hearts of those who hear it. From my heart to yours: “Courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.” Fra Giovanni Giocondo

  110. Comment by Jake | 10.12.2007 | 6:06 am

    I didn’t feel your note was an ambush. I know you comments about Susan’s health are sincere and they provide and insight into the human experience we aren’t often exposed to. I think your notes makes the reader a better person.

    You’re wife is very strong and very giving. I hope you are able to find a solution soon. Hang in there and make the most of what you have together. Best wishes to Susan, you and your family.

  111. Comment by Kyle | 10.12.2007 | 6:43 am

    I wish the best for you both. It is so nice to hear that the love is so strong with you and your wife. It reminds me of my grandfather after heart surgery and his biggest concern was the welfare of my grandmother when he was in bad shape. It was a sad time in our lives but right there it proved to be one of the best memories I have. It is nice and refreshing to read that two people are sticking it out during hard times and truly love each other.

    Best wishes to both of you,

  112. Comment by vic | 10.12.2007 | 6:55 am

    I am not a regular to FC, and seeing your post about your wife was an accident. Cancer binds many of us together as victims or family’s of victims, and though I am a total stranger, I feel that connection to you and your family. I do not pray often (almost never) but I will say one for you today.

  113. Comment by roadrash | 10.12.2007 | 7:05 am

    FC & Susan – I just arrived back from a business trip to Chicago. I thought of Susan when I saw the skyline. The Sears tower, John Hancock tower and several other skyscrapers were lit up in bright pink! We’re sending our prayers and positive vibes for your fight. Continue being strong.

  114. Comment by cyclechic | 10.12.2007 | 7:29 am

    Susan and your family are in my prayers daily. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching a loved one suffer like that. Please know that your feeling of helplessness, sadness, anger, hopelessness… is completely normal. Just try to remind yourself that you are helping her more than you know by just being there and doing what you do. Also, don’t feel bad or apologize for venting on your blog. We are all here because we choose to be. We see you as an all around great guy and come back every day to hear what you have to say. Love to Susan, you and your Kids.

  115. Comment by daemonv | 10.12.2007 | 8:20 am

    This is what the pink jersey is for. The Fat Cyclist Italian jersey should be to generate money for the italian trip. It gives you the opportunity to have a more appropriate jersey on the trip, anyway. The pink is a fighting jersey; you (and we) will want the victory jersey (yellow or polka dot sleeves?)

  116. Comment by chtrich | 10.12.2007 | 9:08 am

    Very late to this party…………Keep going strong. Keep fighting!!

  117. Comment by Sending Strength and Healing | 10.13.2007 | 10:00 am

    You know how when you are going up a hard climb, your legs are burning, your heart feels like it is going to explode, and you think there will never be relief? There always is.

    Cancer is like that. It sucks. Its painful. It sometimes doesn’t go how we would like. But it focuses. It reminds us of what is important. And it underscores that all any of us ever have is this very moment — and it has the capacity to enrich each one of those moments.

    The mind is an amazingly powerful thing — it always seems to be able to shut off and take a breather when things are too much. Have faith that that will happen.

    I hope this finds you both in a peaceful moment. Sending all the strength and healing I can muster your way.

  118. Comment by dobovedo | 10.13.2007 | 6:14 pm

    “Laugh… and the world laughs with you.
    Cry… and…”

    …the world cries with those who also know how to laugh.

    You shared the fear, the pain, the uncertainty. We can take it and may your burden be lighter.

    But you also shared the fight, the search… and the HOPE. We are all stronger for it.

  119. Comment by Ruben | 10.15.2007 | 1:17 am

    A big hug from Spain.

  120. Comment by Charise | 10.15.2007 | 6:59 am

    When I was visiting London I lit a candle for you two at Westminster Abbey :) I hope Susan feels better soon!

  121. Comment by Brie | 10.15.2007 | 1:23 pm

    Thoughts and prayers to Susan,,, and strength and support for you and the little ones.

  122. Comment by sfcgijill | 10.15.2007 | 3:02 pm

    prayers to you both

  123. Comment by sabetts | 10.16.2007 | 12:41 pm

    Have you guys tried medical cannabis?

  124. Comment by regina | 10.18.2007 | 6:29 am

    thinking of you guys, buy the lift, I like blogs because it lets us pick our neighbors, and as for Italy, i do not know about everyone else, but I am going to be ready for another twin six jersey. Something like: Italy the road to victory jersey.

  125. Comment by Mark | 10.19.2007 | 8:10 pm


    First post here, but I’ve been reading for quite awhile now.

    My thoughts and good vibes are with Susan and you. Best wishes with getting through this rough patch.


  126. Comment by pastormissy | 10.22.2007 | 2:32 pm

    Be strong and of good courage. Praying here in Indiana.

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