I Have Not Abandoned This Blog

04.17.2008 | 1:31 pm

How strange is it that I get nervous about going two days without a post on this blog? Feel free to answer that question in comments, if you like.

First, I really want to thank everyone for their comments to my Tuesday post. We haven’t heard back from the doctor yet on the results of her most recent blood draw, but I expect we will soon. I’ll let you know.

The reason I haven’t written the past couple days is that I’ve been tired. Not tired of writing this blog, just emotionally and mentally beat. And that’s because Susan’s been really tired lately. This is because she’s been almost entirely unable to sleep for the past couple weeks. It’s worn her down, and I’ve needed to do a little picking up of slack. By late evening, the time I usually look forward to sitting down and writing, I’m cooked.

(Question to cancer survivors: Has anyone else noticed an inability to sleep after completing chemo? Have you found a solution? I’d love to hear it.)

Anyway, Susan got an OK (not good, but OK) night’s sleep last night, and we’re working hard to figure out a solution for her. And I’m going to find time to start writing on an at least close-to-daily basis again. Because it’s fun.

Again, everyone, thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this blog.


  1. Comment by Jenni | 04.17.2008 | 1:32 pm

    Much love to you guys.

  2. Comment by Rebecca | 04.17.2008 | 1:44 pm

    The one thing that doesn’t help me to sleep is sleeping pill (prescription type). To sleep I put on the local PBS/NPR radio station and take a tylonol (or advil) PM. The pain relief will lessen any aches and pains I’ve tuned out the the “PM” part will help me fall asleep.

    Not to say that I get a long, deep sleep, but that’s what the radio is for.

    Good luck Susan. I’m not sure which is worse: everyday radiation or chemo recovery.

  3. Comment by John | 04.17.2008 | 1:44 pm

    I discovered your postings just this year through bikesnobnyc. I’ve laughed a lot and have been touched by your family’s story. Take all the time you need and I look forward to hearing from you whenever you can find the energy. Thanks for giving me a few minutes a day I can look forward to!

  4. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 04.17.2008 | 1:47 pm

    For what it’s worth, my wife had sleeplessness after chemo for a while. Ambien seemed to help her, as did melatonin, but she tried to not rely too heavily on either one.

    Continued best wishes to you all. I can’t imagine going through this with 4 children – 2 was hard enough. I’m sure that you, like me, have gained an enormous appreciation for what it takes to run a household. I appreciated it before her treatment but my respect grew IMMENSELY during that time as more and more responsibility for all the little things fell on my shoulders. Stay strong.

  5. Comment by mamafitz | 04.17.2008 | 1:55 pm

    You and your family are in my thoughts . . . thanks for sharing the good AND the not-so-good. It’s reality.

  6. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 04.17.2008 | 1:58 pm

    Best wishes Elden, please give Susan a hug for me.

  7. Comment by Lori | 04.17.2008 | 2:06 pm

    How strange is it that I get nervous for going two days without posting on my blog and I don’t even have any regular readers? Should I be concerned about worrying about not posting to myself?!?

    Sending good thoughts your way!

  8. Comment by Bob | 04.17.2008 | 2:12 pm

    Keep the faith brother. Don’t worry about posting. We’ll still be here.

  9. Comment by Robert | 04.17.2008 | 2:26 pm

    Once I was done with chemo and feeling a little bit better, riding my bike (i.e. excercise) always helped me get good and tired for bed. The truth is though, once you have a million thoughts and fears in your head, it is just hard to calm the brain down. Put something on the TV that you don’t need to focus on, or listen to some light music. Good luck with everything.

  10. Comment by Hamish A | 04.17.2008 | 2:29 pm

    I find it amazing that you find the strength and time to post here at all, especially when 99.5% of the time you manage to take something everyday and make it hilarious. Yours is one of only 3 websites I check daily – and one of them is mine so I have no choice there!

    I’m an insomniac (and I’m not in any way comparing my ridiculous inability to sleep to what Susan is going through) but I find white noise and an ibuprofen helps. White noise gives my brain something to tune out to and the ibuprofen just helps my body relax. After a couple of hours of that I feel pretty darn good even if I didn’t get any sleep.

    My Mother (she’s a Scot, I think this must be normal for them!) advises a “wee dram o’ warm whiskey” for problems sleeping. Not to my tastes but whatever works I guess!

    You’re all in my thoughts. Post as often or as infrequently as you like, we’re not going anywhere :o)

  11. Comment by Philly Jen | 04.17.2008 | 2:32 pm

    Y’know, Big Guy, as much as I love your blog, if you could automagically make Susan’s cancer vanish by not typing another word, there’d be no contest — I’d ride over myself and toss your keyboard out the window.

    Meanwhile, if you take time out from blogging to be there for Susan, that’s the next best thing. As my dear friend’s mother used to say, “Go with God — but GO already!”

  12. Comment by Duane | 04.17.2008 | 2:49 pm

    Do what you have to do – we will still be here to read.

    It isn’t strange that you feel nervous about going a few days without posting. Blogging is a part of who you are.

    I lost the ability to write following my wife’s miscarriage – I just didn’t want to do it anymore. It has taken me three years and an awesome 2 year old to find the words again.

    Write something – even if you don’t post it. You’ll feel better.

  13. Comment by Liz | 04.17.2008 | 2:59 pm

    I came across your blog a few days ago, so “Every Four Weeks” was the first post I read. I have to say I was touched, and after that read through the funnier back posts and was entertained. Good luck, and be assured many people you don’t even know are in your camp.

  14. Comment by Miles Archer | 04.17.2008 | 3:00 pm

    Thanks for writing.

  15. Comment by works2much | 04.17.2008 | 3:05 pm

    I fight the insomnia beast also. I agree white noise is most helpful (a small fan right next to Susan’s side of the bed) and good ol’ Xanax. Loss of sleep causes depression…Susan is dealing with enough already.

    I pray for you guys all the time.

  16. Comment by born4felt | 04.17.2008 | 3:56 pm

    I am not a cancer survivor, just an insomniac. But fwiw, I found meditation to be a really helpful technique when I can’t sleep. I learned a method called mini-moves which is a kind of Feldenkrais, which is really helpful, but Kundalini yoga is also good, or any other method that works for you. (here’s a link http://healing.about.com/od/chanting/ht/kirtan_kriya.htm. I would just add that there’s no need to worry about posture; I do this lying down).

    Anyway, prayers for you and yours.


  17. Comment by UphillBattle | 04.17.2008 | 3:57 pm

    I had a bad bout of insomnia due to stress and anxiety over several issues. I used guided meditation cd’s by Belleruth Naperstek. They are great! Her words and her calming voice would remove every ounce of anxiety, I’d sleep better than a baby. (We all know that babies DON’T sleep!)
    Continued prayers and healing thoughts.

  18. Comment by judi | 04.17.2008 | 4:05 pm

    Fatty – sleep is important for Susan!!! Some things that work really well for me are:

    acupuncture – I know I am always pushing the holistic stuff on you, but for real, the shit has saved me! You should have Susan try it.

    melatonin – might cause weird dreams. But it works.

    xanax – small dose .5mg

    nyquil – puts me out fast.

    Good luck – Judi

  19. Comment by wally | 04.17.2008 | 4:10 pm

    The cause of sleeplessness might be steroids, such as decadron, which are used to mitigate the nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy.

    Ambien CR works well for some people as it helps to induce sleep as well as keep you asleep

  20. Comment by Carine | 04.17.2008 | 4:27 pm

    Long hot baths before sleeping. Also please check this out http://www.hammernutrition.com/za/HNT?PAGE=ARTICLE&ARTICLE.ID=778

    Thank you for the time you spend on this blog. It is much appreciated. All the best to you & Susan.

  21. Comment by randomhigh | 04.17.2008 | 4:46 pm

    I’m with Judi… acupuncture does work! it does not hurt and it’s a breesze compared to the chemo Susan went thru… plus acupuncture can help with the fatigue.

    best wishes to Susan!

  22. Comment by bikemike | 04.17.2008 | 5:23 pm


  23. Pingback by RocBike.com | The RocBike Review » Links of the Day: 17 April 2008 | 04.17.2008 | 5:43 pm

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  24. Comment by Jodi | 04.17.2008 | 7:03 pm

    Guided meditation is a great idea – I do it for/with/at Anson when he’s riddled with anxiety. It is the stuff we used to laugh at mom for, so coming full circle, of course you end up having to use it. Submit……

    Better yet….

    Sit back…..and enjoy……the feeling…..of….reeeelaaaaxaaatiooooon.

    What can I say? It works beautifully and with no side effects.

  25. Comment by Amy | 04.17.2008 | 7:04 pm

    Running a house is a lot of work, not to mention the stress and worry you are under. Take the time you need, my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  26. Comment by mark | 04.17.2008 | 7:30 pm

    I’ve never had much trouble sleeping, but I’ve got a good friend who’s an ER doc and typically works nights, thus deals with day/night mixup problems. He likes two benadryl shortly before bed. I’ve used it the few times sleep has eluded me, and it has the added benefit of mitigating my seasonal allergies.

    All our best for you and Susan. I really can’t imagine what you must be going through.

  27. Comment by Bob | 04.17.2008 | 7:32 pm

    Your blog is your release, it’s your therapy (it’s a good thing too, believe me I do it as well and it helps immensely).

    I’ve had bouts of insomnia over the last few years and Elavil really helped. It was probably the best sleep I’ve had short of morphine when I had surgery. Not being a doctor I can’t say about drug interaction so it might not be best at all.

    Really wish you guys good luck.

  28. Comment by bikesgonewild | 04.18.2008 | 12:19 am

    …while i’ve never had to deal w/ the nasty aspects of chemo & thus don’t know how it affects both the body & mind, i did find that after a major heart surgery, wherein i had to be woken up regularly for meds, that low volume classical music through the night, was very relaxing…

    …in a sense, it’s just engaging enough that the mind isn’t focused on it’s own understandable anxiety, as it still might be w/ simple white noise & yet it’s soothing, when on low volume…if susan can teach herself to let go w/ it, to drift a little, it might be beneficial…

    …the vivid dreams from certain compounds like melatonin can be counter productive to real rest, as they can leave you feeling like you’ve been wrestling w/ your subconscious mind all night, which in turn can create more anxiety upon waking…

    …try low volume classical music for a few nights…it costs nothing & susan doesn’t have to learn new procedures during a time of stress…

    …my best to you folks…

  29. Comment by buckythedonkey | 04.18.2008 | 2:21 am

    Thanks for writing today – we’re with you, mate. Big hug from MMA&C.

  30. Comment by Mike Roadie | 04.18.2008 | 3:09 am

    Please try not using meds.

    We love you guys!!!


  31. Comment by Gavin | 04.18.2008 | 3:21 am

    Yo Fatty !

    You should get Susan to read through all your old archives every night. She’ll conk out in record time !

    No. I jest. Good luck with any solution !

  32. Comment by cheapie | 04.18.2008 | 4:40 am

    man…it’s hard to figure out what to say other than my family and i will keep praying for you. and don’t worry about the blog.

    btw, finally got out on the superfly this week and it’s everything you 29′r evangelists have been saying it would be. i’m loving it!

  33. Comment by Lowrydr | 04.18.2008 | 5:07 am

    Hang in there Fatty and we will always be here with the Best of Wishes for Susan, you and the rest of the family. Just keep venting we’ll understand, it is a good therapy.

    Peace and Good wishes from the Midwest.

  34. Comment by Michele | 04.18.2008 | 5:43 am

    Just an idea… I listen to the Ultimate Cyclist CD and it usually puts me to sleep within 10 minutes. http://www.ultimatesportspsychology.com/

    They have other “hypnosis” CDs by the same person that might help, e.g. Stress Management or Insomnia Cure.

  35. Comment by tim | 04.18.2008 | 5:48 am

    thanks for the post. Take your time mate, there is no rush. I’ll still be clicking the fatty link on my mac everyday whether you post daily, weekly or monthly. We loves bikes, we love humor, we love good people, we hate illness.
    To you and yours.

  36. Comment by Marrock | 04.18.2008 | 5:50 am

    Never apologize and never explain, your friends don’t need it and your enemies wont believe you anyway.

    You do what you have to, we’ll be here when you get back.

  37. Comment by Anonymous | 04.18.2008 | 5:54 am

    Thanks for giving me/us something to read, regardless of whether it’s funny, sad, emotional, touching, whatever. No need to thank us to taking time out of our day to read, thanks for taking the time to write and giving something worth reading.

    Positive thinking for you and your family, hoping for good news for you guys.

  38. Comment by DrCodfish | 04.18.2008 | 6:05 am

    “How strange is it that I get nervous about going two days without a post on this blog? Feel free to answer that question in comments, if you like.”

    I seems strange becuse it’s blogging after all. But not strange at all if you consider that it is somwething that you think is important.

    “… she’s been almost entirely unable to sleep for the past couple weeks. It’s worn her down, and I’ve needed to do a little picking up of slack.”

    Stark testimony to how strong Susan is and how much she does!

    “(Question to cancer survivors: Has anyone else noticed an inability to sleep after completing chemo? Have you found a solution? I’d love to hear it.)”

    I’m not a cancer survivor but have had trouble sleeping since the middle of the last century. I’ve come to rely on melatonin. It starts me off to sleep, but the effects are not strong or long lasting. I sometimes wake up late night or early morning but never have that drugged feeling I get with other prescription sleep meds. You have to mess with the dose to find what’s right for you. Life without sleep is a grainy monochome 8mm home movie. Hope this helps.

    Yr Pal Dr Codfish

  39. Comment by Pammap | 04.18.2008 | 6:15 am

    Fatty, you know we all love you and Susan and we send you our prayers and good thoughts.

    I, too, struggle with sleeping difficulties.

    I’m with Hamish that a small, few sips even, of a smooth single-malt Scotch = good sleep.

    I sometimes take 1/2 of a Tylenol PM but what works equally well is warm milk. Sounds homey, I know, but it really helps me.

  40. Comment by cake eater | 04.18.2008 | 6:25 am

    hey fatty, it might seem outa line for some but try a little of the herb. all natural and will help the apppitite also.

  41. Comment by Robb | 04.18.2008 | 6:50 am

    take all the time you need Elden, mental & physical health trump all else!

  42. Comment by Daddystyle | 04.18.2008 | 7:43 am

    Do not sweat it Fatty, family first. If you did not think that way I would be disappointed.

    We care more about you and the family than the blog. Deal with it when you can.

  43. Comment by matt | 04.18.2008 | 7:52 am

    For Susan I would recommend 3mgs of melatonin before bed. The stuff at GNC is good quality and almost always on sale.

    for you I suggest you take a look at the ads on your site. 7 time Tour winner and cancer survivor Lance “I’ve never tested Positive” Armstrong Recommends with a stern look and crossed arms that you try FRS Healthy Energy Drink.

    But only if you are tired of being tired.

  44. Comment by Gillian | 04.18.2008 | 8:11 am

    I love reading this blog! And I don’t even cycle!

    Re: sleeping. My girlfriend recently completed chemo and radiation for breast cancer. She also never slept for a long time. She couldn’t sleep with her husband, he was too bulky in the bed – but she couldn’t sleep without him, either. Finally, she and her husband bought two full beds and pushed them together. They have separate sheets but share the same enormous comforter. Hers is some kind of fancy pants bed that elevates her head a little. This is all that worked for her – sleeping pills did nothing.

    Sorry, that’s about all I got, but it really did work wonders for my friends. She is feeling pretty great now. WIshing the same for you, whatever solution you can find.

  45. Comment by Clydesteve | 04.18.2008 | 8:56 am

    You know what Elden? I am relieved that you did not write for two days because of tiredness. I was afraid that you had received discouraging results. You and Susan are still in my prayers.

  46. Comment by Sprocketboy | 04.18.2008 | 9:43 am

    The weather in Ottawa has finally improved enough to get outside. I will ride very fast this evening in the hope that the good juju from my vortices will get down your way. We are all pulling for you!

  47. Comment by Leslie | 04.18.2008 | 10:10 am

    What often helps my regular old insomnia is to listen to recorded books and/or poetry. Listening takes my mind off the things keeping me awake, and the soothing voice of a good reader then puts me to sleep before too long. Collections of Garrison Keillor’s “Lake Woebegone” stories are especially effective. Sending you and your family good thoughts…

  48. Comment by not_pregnant_and_almost_skinny_Cathy | 04.18.2008 | 10:24 am

    Hey Fatty,

    Sorry to hear about Susan’s bouts with insomnia. Insomnia was the bane of my existance for the last 2 months. Not being able to sleep just sucks and I wasn’t allowed to take any sleepy-time drugs for it.

    Obviously being enormously pregnant and recovering from chemo are two different things, but the only thing that allowed me to get some rest was a hot bath before bed with at least 2 cups of Epsom Salts and a splash of Burt’s Bees baby oil in the bath water. I could usually get 4 to 5 hours of sleep after that.

    Of course now that the baby is here I can sleep just fine – I just don’t have time for it anymore.

    Hang in there Susan and may you have a good rest tonight!

  49. Comment by PeterUK | 04.18.2008 | 11:02 am

    Fatty, my wife is a survivor from 2000, she had no chemo but two major surgeries 6 weeks apart, since then for some reason she has suffered from insomnia, she will often stay up till 3am and get up again at 6am for work.

    But having been in your position except we only had one Teen Daughter at Home-but wait, that’s worse than 6 small Kids ;-)

    Your Blog is therapy so is your Cycling, they will play or are playing a much bigger part in your life than you realize, you need to stay strong for Susan and the Kids, Blogging and Cycling will help you do this.

    I would be sitting in the Hospital for up to 20 hours a Day, it was awesome when a Friend would come to Visit and offer to take me for a Coffee or Lunch or whetever — replace those with Blogging and Cycling or resting. I felt guilty leaving Her but in retrospect I realized I needed it, it’s part of keeping strong mentally and physically for Susan and the Family.
    Don’t be afraid to call Friends etc and ask for help, I would call and ask someone to pick our Daughter up from School, feed the Cats etc etc while I took time out, they were there in a second bless ‘em.

    What you’re going through right now Fatty is the equivalent to riding a Century every Day with a 30 mile head wind,you can only keep that up for so long.

    Gather all your Friends together to help with the “small stuff” which adds up to become overwhelming in no time…don’t feel guilty when you set time aside to write the Blog or go for a ride, it plays a very important part in the big picture which right now is supporting and taking care of Susan and the Kids, your Body and mind need to take time out.

    When you don’t write for a Day I go back and read the archives, I have a good laugh and it cheers me up when things aren’t going so good at work.
    And I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that Fatty, I really mean it.

    And to underscore what everyone else has said “We understand and we’ll be here every Day to check in on you” and for a good laugh when you’re ready.

    Take Care Matie!!!

  50. Comment by mary | 04.18.2008 | 11:34 am

    Advice for a good night’s sleep? i can’t believe no one has mentioned “mind blowing sex”! :-)


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