05.9.2008 | 10:11 am

A Note from Fatty: For those of you who want to donate to Susan’s WIN fund, I’ve added a button at the top of the right sidebar. I’m simultaneously embarrassed to have such a link and grateful to those of you who feel compelled to help. Thanks.

I’m sure you’ve played the game before: “What would you do if you had only six months to live?”

Believe me, the game is a lot more intense when you’re playing it for real. And the rules are a lot more complicated.

First of all, you’re not actually given six months. As near as I can tell, they only give you a definite period like that on movies and TV, where a nicely defined timeline serves the needs of the plot. Instead, you’re told you have “months, not years.”

Next, Unlike in the game, when you’re given a short period of time to live, it’s because you’re already deathly sick. So things like skydiving, kickboxing, and (worst of all for us) going to Italy can’t be part of your list either. If your daily radiation treatment is enough to tire you out, you’re probably not going to be traveling.

And finally, unlike in the game, in the real world you might have kids who are in school. And you might need to have your husband keep his job so he can buy food, pay the bills, and keep your medical insurance.

So, with those rules in mind, what would you do with your last unknown quantity of months?

Our answer, for right now, is to keep doing things pretty much the way we have been doing them our whole lives.

And you have no idea how happy I am that we are.

You see, the fact that, when confronted with a limited number of days Susan wants to go on living the life she already has is a big relief to me, and a huge credit to her.

Think about it. When confronted with the end of their life, almost everyone wants to spend their remaining time with their family. And since Susan’s raised our kids (and me) so that we want to be with each other, there’s no change here. Everybody’s already in place, and there’s nowhere any of us would rather be.

I’m glad for that.

Even more, I’m glad that Susan is still Susan. I’ve told her over and over how lucky I feel that even though this stupid cancer has ruined her body, it’s left her mind untouched. Susan still has the same personality she’s always had. She still has her memories. She’s still exactly the person I married.

When I think about how it could have just as easily gone the other way — Susan’s body could still be working and her consciousness could have been altered or eliminated — I get a huge wave of nausea.

Earlier this week, I had lunch with a man; his wife of forty years died of breast cancer about ten months ago. He told me that he regrets not having recorded her voice, of not getting down her stories.

I realized how close I’ve come to having this exact same regret. I’ve been given a grace period; I need to take advantage of it. So I’ve bought a tripod for the camcorder. For just a few minutes each night, we’re going to sit on the bed together and talk about things. How we met, how we got engaged almost immediately, how we discovered we were having twins, how I told her as she woke up from a mastectomy to have me tell her I had quit one job, taken another, and put the house up for sale while she was in surgery. What she expects of the kids. What she expects of me (including a promise to not become a bitter and angry man, I expect). How the novel she’s been working on should end (I’m still very hopeful she’ll end it herself). How she feels when making jewelry. What growing up near Venice Beach was like.

Really, conversations we’ve already had, and stuff I already know. But I need to get it in her voice.

I’ll always be angry at what cancer is and does, but I am glad that we’ve been given something a lot of people don’t get: time to take care of what’s important.

And I’m so glad we’re happy enough with what we have that we just want more of it. And I’m glad that Susan doesn’t mind me taking some of her remaining time for my selfish purposes: collecting and saving a little extra of her, so the kids won’t forget, and so I can make do.


  1. Comment by Frizzlefry | 05.9.2008 | 10:19 am

    What an amazing testament to an awesome marriage. You guys are incredible. As for the donations, all of us want to help, and frankly there isn’t a whole lot we can do. So, we will cry with you, or maybe we will cry for you, and if we can make the finances a little easier so that you have less stress, then we are all more blessed for it. You rock. Thank you again for sharing this with us.

  2. Comment by scank | 05.9.2008 | 10:20 am


    Agree with your thoughts, also, it’s a really good idea with regards to recording your voices, you and your family will be able to treasure the memories and stories, wonderful.

  3. Comment by reagan | 05.9.2008 | 10:26 am

    Thank you for sharing this. It SO reminds me how we should cherish each day with our loved ones who could at anytime leave us. It’s amazing how hard that is from day to day. I’m so glad that at least you guys can be prepared (whatever that means) and do the things you’re talking about like recording her voice. I’ll just sit here and cry and wait for your next update.

  4. Comment by sd | 05.9.2008 | 10:26 am

    I’m going to tell my wife I love her right now. I am sure you are doing the same. Iwish there was more I could say or do…

  5. Comment by Carl | 05.9.2008 | 10:30 am

    Wow… that says it all.

  6. Comment by Lori | 05.9.2008 | 10:33 am

    Voices…that really struck a chord. It hasn’t been too many months ago that out of the blue, I realized I could not remember my mother’s voice. She has been gone for almost 25 years now but somehow, the thought that I could not remember her voice brought the pain of loss bubbling up. God, how I hate cancer!

    I am so glad that you are wise enough to want to capture those small things. Your children will appreciate it – if not now, some day….

    Prayers being said…..

  7. Comment by Carla | 05.9.2008 | 10:36 am

    Most definitely do it! You, and certainly the kids will appreciate having memories in their mother’s recorded voice. There’s nothing like a mother’s voice. Especially when the mother is such a woman of grace and virtue like I’m becoming to realize Susan is. You are blessed to call her your wife and the kids are blessed to call her “mom.”

  8. Comment by mark | 05.9.2008 | 10:40 am

    Elden, the grace with which all of you are handling this is admirable. I have learned volumes about how to live my life under much less trying circumstances by watching you and Susan live yours. Rachel and I have been much more quick to appreciate and show kindness to one another the last few weeks. We thought we liked each other before, but we appreciate it that much more today.

    And now for the shameless plug: I know a lot of you are donating to the Susan fund, have already supported the Livestrong foundation, etc. Keep doing what you’re doing. But if you’ve got a little extra, I’m using my Lotoja ride this year to raise funds for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. If you’d like to donate, please visit

    The Huntsman Cancer Institute does a lot of great work, and they are trying to double their treatment capacity because the lines to get in are too long. Let’s give them a little help and then pray that the extra space eventually goes unused. Thank you.

  9. Comment by Chris | 05.9.2008 | 10:44 am

    I think that is a wonderful idea.

  10. Comment by Lisa B | 05.9.2008 | 10:46 am

    As I started reading this post I flashed ahead to telling you to at least record her voice. Very pleased to hear you’ve thought of it already. After my sister died I came across a recording that the answering machine had made of her on a call to a friend. It was so wonderful to hear her voice. That was nearly 20 years ago and I still remember it. I guarantee her husband still has the tape.

    It all sucks, but there are flashes of good in the midst of this time. Just wish we could help you more.

  11. Comment by Meghan | 05.9.2008 | 10:50 am

    Oh my god, she’s writing a novel? I love Susan!

  12. Comment by Heatherann | 05.9.2008 | 11:00 am

    I discovered your website about a week ago on Pioneer Womans. I have loved reading your posts and cried along with you. I haven’t left a post yet, because I didn’t know exactly what to say in your time of need especially since we don’t know each other. But this post has a special place in my heart. When I was younger I recorded my Grandmother telling me stories. Stories I had heard every day of my life. Stories I knew I’d never forget. Now that I have children of my own and my dear Grandmother is gone. I am SO thankful for those tapes. They remind me of her. I had forgotten some of the stories and my children can here her voice and know that she was as sweet and wonderful as I’ve told them. I think that you will be so glad that you did this.
    My prayers are with you. My God grant you the strength you all need.

  13. Comment by bro. pete | 05.9.2008 | 11:03 am

    Great idea! I’m gonna do it. On certain days I will sit with my daughters or wife and just talk for a few minutes while the camera rolls. No one in my family is facing what you are. But if that day comes, I would love to have a library of memories that are free from “what would you talk about in the last months?” kind of situation.

    Please tell Susan that many lives are being blessed by your relationship. Thank you for reminding me what really matters.

  14. Comment by bikemike | 05.9.2008 | 11:03 am

    grace under pressure.
    the aliens have returned for their daily moisture extraction.

  15. Comment by Lifesgreat | 05.9.2008 | 11:07 am

    Aw, Fatty, you made me cry again.

    Heatherann’s post made me think of something I had my parents do. They read my kids’ favorite storybooks onto tapes so my kids could hear their grandparents’ voices. They rang a little bell to let my kids know it was time to turn the page. My dad even put background music on his readings.

    I treasure those tapes and they will be something my grandkids will listen to when they come to visit my home (It better be a number of years befor I have grandkids :) )

  16. Comment by dnwilliams | 05.9.2008 | 11:10 am

    My Dad died of cancer when I was two. Like you, I have a strong hate for cancer and what it does. I have only a handful of memories, and I cannot tell you how much a video would mean. Recently, I found an old tape of him singing hymns during therapy. Hearing his voice was healing. I know you children will cherish these videos! Keep it up. My thoughts and prayers are with yall. God bless you.

  17. Comment by jenni | 05.9.2008 | 11:16 am

    Thank you for putting the Donate button up there and use every penny to make life comfortable and as happy as you can. And I cannot wait for that jersey- I hope Twin Six is making a ton, I think they’re going to be in short supply.
    Can we pre-order?

  18. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.9.2008 | 11:17 am

    Elden – What a great idea to make these recordings! They will be a treasure.

    I have to tell you, your situation has affected me. I mean I have tear-jerking empathy for you and your family, and I am praying for you, and all, not to minimize that, but your situation, so clearly summarized today, has changed me. I have increasingly felt the need this last week to savour my relationship with my loving wife, and to let her know how much I love her. And I feel the need to express gratitude to God for my life, warts and all, right now, as it is. Thanks for being honest and transparent.


  19. Comment by jkl | 05.9.2008 | 11:17 am

    I’d wear a tiara and a boa at some point, every day, so I could live my last days knowing I am still Queen of my house. A friend of mine did this in her last lucid months, and it brought a smile to everyone’s face.

    Keep on taping those most precious memories.

  20. Comment by KeepYerBag | 05.9.2008 | 11:19 am

    You may recall that my father died a few months after I graduated from high school. Beyond my own experience with my dad, I know precious little about him.

    Even when we tried to pry it out of him, he was not one to talk about his upbringing, how he met my mom, and the other things you’re recording for your family. All I have is a few pictures and video of a two minute television interview he did about a month before he died.

    I’d give a million bucks to have more.

    We’ll keep praying for Susan and your family, Elden.

  21. Comment by paula | 05.9.2008 | 11:20 am

    Please do what you can to preserve these postings, and their comments as well. Your children will appreciate reading them someday. They will be amazed at how much you and Susan touched the hearts of people around the world.

    Peace, love and courage to you all.

  22. Comment by Turt99 | 05.9.2008 | 11:29 am

    What a great idea, not only for later, but for right now. Imagine just sitting down and talking about all the best times in your life, that would make anyone feel good.

  23. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 05.9.2008 | 11:43 am

    After my dad passed away his wife found a tape none of us knew existed in one of his drawers. On it he had begun to record a history of his life. There were only two sessions on there. One speaking about his own father, who we all adore and who has been in failing health. The other session talks briefly about each of his children. Even having that brief moment of hearing my dad call me his little ball of fire makes me feel his spirit so strongly. You and your kids will really cherish every word you have from your wife and mother.

  24. Comment by swtkaroline | 05.9.2008 | 11:52 am

    just. wow.

  25. Comment by KanyonKris | 05.9.2008 | 11:56 am

    Good ideas / plans. Also remember to do the little extra things that make good memories. Have a picnic in the backyard or park, take a nice drive, play games, etc.

    And thanks for trying to be up-beat in your posts, even though the topic just isn’t.

  26. Comment by Linda | 05.9.2008 | 11:58 am

    Elden and Su,
    I lost my dad 3 weeks ago to cancer, and as the primary caretaker, I can so identify with many of your comments.

    …like the dr’s not wanting to answer what you want to hear when you ask “how long…”; they paint stories of what could be and ask that you keep the glass half full, when in fact statistics might show otherwise.

    There was a time with my dad when we sort of all rallied around and together decided ‘enough is enough’. It was at that point that the tides turned and our energies turned less from preserving the body and more towards preserving the soul, the love and the memories. It seems much more of a positive effort. It doesn’t change the reality of life, but rather the approach to life at hand. Our time, too, was spent recalling times, events, people and places, and we moved toward a more intimate time than I could have imagined.

    I’m not sure I could have said I felt grateful, but as we were going thru it I was aware of being in a very special, pure and spiritual place. There is a peace that settles in.

    I am grateful that you and your family have arrived at this place, when it is less about the struggle and more about the victory of the whole life’s experiences.

  27. Comment by NW | 05.9.2008 | 12:00 pm

    You’re amazing people. Susan seems incredibly cool. Your recording her voice and words is a great idea. To fully love and be understood, even once in life and to be loved back is an accomplishment, or a blessing, in and of itself. It’s so obvious the two of you know how to love each other to the fullest. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with readers who care.

  28. Comment by judi | 05.9.2008 | 12:01 pm

    Fatty – i sit with a lump in my throat as i read the posts now.

    i wasn’t sure which cancer susan had – but now i know. i just entered Ride Cincinnati which is a 67 mile ride ( to help raise money for breast cancer.

    i will dedicate my ride to susan, like i dedicated my run to her last weekend.

    stay strong fatty and spoil susan LOTS!


  29. Comment by FliesOnly | 05.9.2008 | 12:15 pm

    Do all that you can, because it will likely still not be enough. Missing her will always be a part of your (and the kids) life. Doing this now is a wonderful…absolutely wonderful…idea. You truly are a special family.

  30. Comment by mamafitz | 05.9.2008 | 12:27 pm

    What a gift! To be able to share this time and to truly appreciate it for what it is is a deep blessing.

    Good thoughts and prayers to you and to your children . . .


  31. Comment by Sleepy's wife | 05.9.2008 | 12:37 pm

    A few years ago I was watching a show where a mother who was dying did the same thing for her young child. She recorded on video her advice/thoughts/feelings for her daughter so that she would always feel like her mother was still with her. One of the videos was her mother’s advice for her before her first date. I was so touched by it and have always remembered how amazing it was for the daughter after her mother passed away. She cherished the videos and still felt like her mother could “mother” her throughout her life.

    I hope Susan knows the impact she is having on so many.


  32. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 05.9.2008 | 12:43 pm

    This post makes me happy, although there seems to be something in one of my eyes and onion vapors in the other.

    I’m going to start doing that with my wife tonite.


  33. Comment by chtrich | 05.9.2008 | 12:44 pm

    Excellent work!

  34. Comment by harald | 05.9.2008 | 12:47 pm

    Your posts make me smile even as tears well up. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep fighting!

    I can’t help wondering if your readers will crash the Twin Six website on the 19th.

  35. Comment by Emily | 05.9.2008 | 12:48 pm

    Its a beautiful idea. Good for you for thinking of it.
    You are lucky to have everyone so close by– I remember when my great uncle was in his last weeks he spent nearly every waking moment on the phone to all his life’s worth of friends all over the country. Much better to do it in person!

  36. Comment by Jodi | 05.9.2008 | 1:07 pm

    Beautiful. Also, Susan has this great voice and infectious laugh. That has to be preserved forever. Maybe you could find someone funny to help you make her laugh?

    I kid.

  37. Comment by Paul Waller | 05.9.2008 | 1:16 pm

    ‘Angels on Your Pillows’

    Paul W

  38. Comment by KT | 05.9.2008 | 1:17 pm

    Just… wow.

    Susan, you are an amazing woman, I wish I could be even half the woman you are.

    Keep smiling!

  39. Comment by Mocougfan | 05.9.2008 | 1:38 pm

    I loved the idea of video taping your conversations. My wife did that for each of our grandparents. It is a sacred treasure that our family watches frequently.

    One of the things our family does is to gather together for family prayer every morning. This has brought great strength and joy to our family.


  40. Comment by Dawn | 05.9.2008 | 2:05 pm

    I am honored to have found your site…I can feel the love you have for your wife though your words. I am sorry that you and your family have to go through this, but I can clearly see that you all are touching so many others.

    Bless you

  41. Comment by Don (Phun) | 05.9.2008 | 2:08 pm

    Elden: I can’t begin to tell you how cool that is. One of the hardest things for me is that my parents were divorced and the (expletive deleted) that he married never let me at any of his stuff when he died. It may seem shallow and selfish, but what I detest the most is what most people might not dig deep enough to find out. The last picture I have of my father is from about the age of 8, he died when I was 18. I have none of the pictures, audio, or video from my father when I was a teen. I have nothing to remember the father I really loved, and remembered the most because of my age. I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to not see a face or hear a voice when you are trying to cope with a loss. No doubt you will be elated that you thought ahead enough to do this, and your kids will forever be able to remember what an awesome lady Susan was.
    Still crying and Praying for you in Ohio brother. Keep up the good fight!

  42. Comment by mom2bjm | 05.9.2008 | 2:23 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you are recording her voice and her stories. While I was reading the post – before I got to that part, it popped in my head that you needed to do that. As mother’s day approaches, I wish I had my mother to record her stories, something that didn’t happen before she passed away a couple of years ago.

    And I want to say to anyone who was debating about sending your mother flowers this year? DO IT! Someday she won’t be there for you to send flowers to.

  43. Comment by Slowracer | 05.9.2008 | 2:30 pm

    Dear Fatty,Susan and family.
    I don’t have a lot but I feel plenty for you. I have given what I can and I hope that it helps.
    Be strong for each other.
    God bless.

  44. Comment by monkeywebb | 05.9.2008 | 2:53 pm

    A beautifully written piece about beautiful lives. Thanks for the continued perspective.

  45. Comment by Jessi | 05.9.2008 | 3:28 pm

    If you haven’t already heard of StoryCorps, the folks who do all the cool interviews for NPR, here’s their website:

    It could be a great resource for you, either by providing a recording studio for the actual interview or just for information.

    I am donating to Susan’s fund right now and I hope to be one of the first gals in Oregon sporting a 2008 pink fat cyclist jersey.


  46. Comment by mary | 05.9.2008 | 4:05 pm

    this may sound gross and I am sorry if you think it is inappropriate but you should also think about vacuum packing some of Susan’s clothes – capture her smell. Smell is one of our most powerful senses, and the slightest whiff of a scent brings back memories…put clothes in different bags so that periodically you can open one up. You’d be amazed at how comforting that can be to a child

  47. Comment by Born 4Lycra 43 11 N 2 32 W | 05.9.2008 | 4:40 pm

    I had been wondering but was a little reticent to mention Susan’s novel. I’m glad it is still a work in progress and look forward to it’s completion.

    I realised the other day not just by myself but also from the comments from others you are not just including us in your big bike ride but also teaching us. I read each post and all the associated comments and then often resolve to make some small change in the way I go about my life. It is working as my wife and daughter both commented last night on how much nicer I am at the moment. Susan and Fatty thanks for that. You are one helluva family.

    Take it easy – Livestrong. Love frrom Oz

  48. Comment by Jewel | 05.9.2008 | 4:57 pm

    I wish we had recorded my sister-in-laws voice.

  49. Comment by Hamish A | 05.9.2008 | 5:13 pm

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve cried while reading your posts these past days – You are all a constant inspiration to me. The grace and love you have for each other even during the hard times is truly staggering. Thank you so very much for allowing us to share a little piece of what you have together.

    As always my thoughts, prayers and love are with you all.

  50. Comment by Ian | 05.9.2008 | 5:14 pm

    Thank you!!

  51. Comment by Travis | 05.9.2008 | 5:15 pm

    Moved, and I have a lump in my throat…

    !!!!WIN SUSAN!!!!


    Be Strong Eldon

  52. Comment by Amy | 05.9.2008 | 5:54 pm

    After my Mom died I used to call home when no one was there, just to hear her on voicemail. I always wish I could have gotten a copy of it.

    You are both an inspiration. I’m really hoping to get a jersey (it would be the first jersey I’ve ever owned).

  53. Comment by rai | 05.9.2008 | 6:06 pm

    Hi. I found your blog from Pioneer Woman’s blog. I have lymphoma. I’m 27. I’m probably going to get better, although cancer sucks. I have my moments where I’m selfish, and wish that I was married so that I would have someone to take care of me right now, but in the same breath I’m thankful that I don’t have kids. I don’t know what I would do. Besides, my family is taking good care of me. I can’t imagine having to deal with what you guys are dealing with, and it makes me cry to think about it. You’re in my prayers, for real. I hate cancer.

  54. Comment by Doris | 05.9.2008 | 6:17 pm

    I lost my dad to cancer in 1969. My mom in 1972 to schleroderma.They were 57 and 59 when they died. I was 25 when dad died ,,lost mom 3 years later. I can feel your pain ,my girls were in kindergarten and first grade then .They just barely remember their grandparents . Keep the memories alive !

  55. Comment by HP | 05.9.2008 | 6:50 pm

    Wow. I’m crying again. You and Susan are a huge inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing.

    WIN Susan!!

  56. Comment by Rachel | 05.9.2008 | 6:56 pm

    There’s power in a beloved voice. When my mother had her first stroke, it affected her speech dramatically, made it much more difficult to understand. She had always had a very distinctive voice. Strangers used to comment on it, in places like the grocery store. Once the stroke changed her speech, she didn’t change the message on her answering machine. For a year afterward, I would call when I knew she wasn’t home, just to hear a couple of simple sentences in her “normal” voice. I’d listen and weep.

    That’s been ten years ago. My mom is in a nursing home, the answering machine is long gone, and I treasure every conversation with her, gutteral, twisted speech and all.

    You have exactly the right idea, IMHO. Savor everything, and blessings to you and yours.

  57. Comment by Jenni | 05.9.2008 | 6:58 pm

    My dad died this past September. Today I called my mom and got the answering machine and it was his voice. I love doing that. But today it dawned on me that it is probably the only recording of his voice that there is, and I was sad. You are doing a wonderful thing for your family by recording these conversations.

    There are picture frames where you can record something in the frame. Might be a good idea for you and each of your kids to have a picture of them with Susan (individually) and she can record a message to each of them. I wish I had done this with my dad. I miss him terribly.

    My husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s a week before my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. My husband is in remission and doing great, thank God. My dad fought a good fight, then went in peace. Our family was so grateful for the time with him, and he was so grateful to die with his family around him, totally embraced in love. While Susan’s fight is not over yet, and I definitely believe in miracles, she has already won by loving and being loved to the extent that she has–that is a successful life.

    God bless your family, and may He bring you the miracle that is intended for you.

  58. Comment by dido | 05.9.2008 | 7:15 pm


    My two kids and I are participating in a charity race tomorrow as a part of our church team to benefit a local cancer center. The church’s doing it in support of one of our members also fighting cancer, but I know my mind will be equally occupied with thoughts of you, Susan, and your children.

    We’re still praying for that miracle…praying that when the time actually comes to listen to these recordings, it will be with Susan still sitting right next to you in bed.

  59. Comment by Scott Morrison | 05.9.2008 | 8:19 pm

    WIN Susan. When you finish that book, put me down for a copy.

  60. Comment by Bree | 05.9.2008 | 9:02 pm

    Thoughts and prayers for your family. WIN Susan

  61. Comment by AlicesYellowPorsche | 05.9.2008 | 9:54 pm

    I can only hope that I find someone like you found Susan. Wonderful idea, recording everything. Brought me to happy/sad tears.

  62. Comment by Jeff&Jenn | 05.9.2008 | 10:51 pm

    What you are doing is wonderful. I wish I had a recording of my Dad’s voice and after he died I realized that I only have a couple of things that he had written me – a postcard and a letter. I wish that I had taken more pictures, saved things in his writing and taken more videos with him in it.

    Susan has such a beautiful voice and it will mean so much to your kids to see her and listen to her words. You are all constantly in our thoughts.

  63. Comment by Dad and janel | 05.9.2008 | 10:52 pm

    Elden and Susn, wonderful idea of recording your life experiences together. I found a recording of my aunt telling about my grandparents that I never knew and how tender she felt about her parents. My mother recorded stories and experiences about my father that has passed away. It has inspired me to get recordings of your father during our mission here in Portugal so that all of you can have his stories and your grandparents stories.
    We admire both of you and your strength. We are amazed at your blog friends and their love and support for you. Thanks dear friends to our family. We love you.

  64. Comment by Richie | 05.10.2008 | 12:09 am

    Wow………nothing more i can say

  65. Comment by dudsbait | 05.10.2008 | 3:23 am

    By sharing all of this us I believe you have made the wonderful spirit and energy of your lives together grow exponentially.

    Thank you

  66. Comment by Meghan | 05.10.2008 | 5:13 am

    Yeah, I want a copy, too. Eldon, what are some of Susan’s favorite authors?

  67. Comment by Anonymous | 05.10.2008 | 5:17 am

    Prays to all of you. Your grace under this pressure is amazing. For more supernatural grace and spiritual uplifting, please check out after 7 p.m. EST or 4 p.m. PST for Florida revival.

  68. Comment by jenni | 05.10.2008 | 5:28 am

    I don’t know if you celebrate Christmas but you could also get the ornaments that allow a recorded message. Stockpile a bunch of years of those (it can be a surprise to the kids) and every Christmas they can hear a new message from mom. You can put a picture in there too, so you could take a bunch of ones and each year they’ll see a new picture of mom too.

    We’ve been recording our son every year, but it never occured to me to record US for him.

  69. Comment by Philly Jen | 05.10.2008 | 5:30 am

    Tech tip from your podcasting friend: Get a portable stereo digital recorder (like this), and plenty of memory cards. If you’re feeling phat, get some portable mics. The sound quality on a video camera, while handy, can’t touch the convenience and immediacy of uncompressed, high-sampled audio.

    Gotta go — bikemike’s aliens just showed up…

  70. Comment by bruce nelson | 05.10.2008 | 5:39 am

    god bless you guys

  71. Comment by dkirkavitch | 05.10.2008 | 6:56 am

    Hey Fatty and Susan,
    Wow, what a pair. I’ve been wanting to comment but it’s been hard. I always try to avoid this, you know the C word stuff. My Dad passed away 4 years ago from esophageal cancer. I have a brother in remission. You two are so strong. Keep up the good fight! I think about you two every day.

  72. Comment by Pammap | 05.10.2008 | 7:00 am

    :) smart thinking! It really is the little things that matter and you guys have figured it out.

  73. Comment by Nancy | 05.10.2008 | 7:15 am

    Fabulous idea, making recordings of Susan. Bless that friend who gave you the idea- what a gift. A suggestion for your video- have Susan record something for the girls about puberty and so on. Your girls will appreciate Susan’s input when it comes time for this talk! We’re still praying for miracles for you all.

  74. Comment by Jennifer | 05.10.2008 | 7:40 am

    Great idea. I wish the best for you two.

    When my dad was dying (it was only 3 weeks from when he was diagnosed to when he died) I went thru all the photos and put together a photo album for him, everything I could find, from his childhood on. Think it brought him comfort.

    In addition to her voice and photo and scent (great idea, that one) don’t forget her handwriting. I’ve still got a scrap of paper with my dad’s scrawl on it: Water the plants. (no please, no i love yous, just water the plants) It was soooo him.

    So, hopefully, all this prep will be for naught and the two of you can review them together at a much later date. Miracles have happened. I’m hoping for one for you two. If ever there was someone who deserved it, it’s Susan.

    Bless you both.

  75. Comment by outragedfan | 05.10.2008 | 7:48 am

    as hard as this is for you and your family, take heart in knowing how close and cohesive you remain. my father died from a nonhodgkins soft tissue sarcoma when i was 16. my mother and i did not find out until five months later, through the good offices of the social security administration. we were frantic to find out what had happened to him, but it would seem there was just too much bitterness from a nasty divorce many, many years prior. life is wonderful, but the end of a person’s life has its own deep importance. i am touched to read the people involved in this situation are showing so much dignity and love for one another.

  76. Comment by Rebecca | 05.10.2008 | 7:54 am

    I hope when family comes to visit over the next few months that they too sit down and make tapes with Susan. I don’t know if she has sisters or brothers, but some of those childhood stories, the ones that everyone laughs at, would be good to hear. And if they embarrass Susan that’s ok too. All those moments in time are what makes her the awesome person today.

    If she doesn’t have the energy to finish her novel, at least have her outline the ending (does it have one? hmm…). Then she can have some famous person finish it up, sell millions, and then Fatty can get all the bikes he wants ;)

  77. Comment by adsm | 05.10.2008 | 8:09 am

    Can there be a bright lining at this time? Yes. One of the gifts at this time is the talking you write about. I think of the time spent with my grandmother, or parents, or friend, or mother-in-law just chatting because we were unable to do anything else. It was lovely and quiet and sincere and funny and human–a wonderful gift to each other.

  78. Comment by Alison | 05.10.2008 | 9:09 am

    I’m so glad to read that you are recording her voice. So meaningful – I’ve started doing so with my grandmothers. My grandfather passed away earlier this year and I was so happy to discover a videotape of an interview of my grandparents that I had made for a project back in high school. It was so comforting to have that.

    Sending good thoughts to you and your family.

  79. Comment by jill | 05.10.2008 | 9:18 am

    A life well lived.

  80. Comment by bikesgonewild | 05.10.2008 | 9:36 am

    …i could only wish you weren’t in a position to need to be, but you guys are so inspirational…

  81. Comment by linda | 05.10.2008 | 10:44 am

    I’m sorry for your difficult times but so happy you are still making good memories. I have breast cancer and am going through many of the same things. Being surrounded by the people who genuinely care for you is wonderful. “All we know of love is that love is all there is.”

  82. Comment by Grumpy | 05.10.2008 | 11:22 am

    Please accept my best wishes. I am deeply touched by your whole family’s reaction to what could be absolutely devastating, and I’m sure at times feels that way. Thanks for sharing. WIN Susan!

  83. Comment by Kenny's neice | 05.10.2008 | 11:23 am

    If she wanted to, Susan could also sing songs and record them. Your kids might be a little to old to listen to songs at night, but it would still be a comfort to hear them and sing along to them. I don’t know if this is something that Susan would do, but its an idea…

  84. Comment by tohm | 05.10.2008 | 11:30 am

    what you guys have already experienced and will continue to do so together for the next months/years can never be taken away, I’d be grateful too, am grateful you’ve already shared so much with the community at large such a positive thing.

  85. Pingback by Blogs Like These « Around the Funny Farm! | 05.10.2008 | 11:32 am

    [...] Please go to this website and read this man’s story.  Go find the Christmas Letter post of his and study the photographs.  Donate to the cause.  Read this post about Gratitude. [...]

  86. Comment by Beth from The Funny Farm | 05.10.2008 | 11:51 am

    My heart breaks for you. I especially understand the line about having a good marriage and it not being fair that it should end in this way.

    I will be reading you each week now. My thoughts and prayers are with your wife, you and your children.


  87. Comment by suze | 05.10.2008 | 12:17 pm

    I am heartbroken and in awe of you, Susan and your family. You are in my prayers.

  88. Comment by Aunt Mary | 05.10.2008 | 12:28 pm

    Dearest Elden, Susan and family,
    Like the youngun’ say these days – YOU ROCK! Recording stories and memories in Susan’s voice is a wonderful gift to your family. I have an old(very old)wire recorder that I have been wanting to sell, but everytime that I think of doing this to help recup the finances of monumental medical bills, I get it out and put the wire tape on and listen to the scratchy sound of your Uncle Jim’s voice telling his memories of his childhood and the things that he and your Dad did, stories of your Grandpa Elden and Grandma Helen and then after the tears are wiped, I put it back away until another day. I think, money is not what matters, it is the love and memories of a family. Record Susan’s voice, help her to finish that novel and enjoy each other and your precious children. We are all here to help you with the material things when it needs to be done. Right now, love, laugh and enjoy – families are forever. Our love and prayers are with you……..

  89. Pingback by Mocha Momma » 6 Months, 6 Words | 05.10.2008 | 12:45 pm

    [...] In yesterday’s post he posed the question of “What would you do if you only had six months to live?” [...]

  90. Comment by Mocha | 05.10.2008 | 12:49 pm

    I see my link made it here before I did. It’s humbling to read of your pure love of your wife. She’s been on my prayer list more than once.

    Only wishing the best for your family as you make these memories.

  91. Comment by Joe | 05.10.2008 | 1:49 pm

    I gave what I could.
    I’ve been dealing with my wifes medical issues for 3 years now and I know the cost. Close to $100k for us, but the personal cost is far greater.

    Stay strong, never surrender and never forget.


  92. Comment by Barb | 05.10.2008 | 2:29 pm

    Your post makes me glad I’m a scrapbooker, despite the frumpy dumpy stereotypes.

    I’m so inspired by your family!

  93. Comment by Just some guy | 05.10.2008 | 3:58 pm

    Donation made. I just wish it could be more.

  94. Comment by anji | 05.10.2008 | 6:01 pm

    I too made a small donation. Don’t feel bad ever for asking… some day you will make one to someone else in exchange. What goes around, comes around… and I mean it in a good way.

    Take care!

  95. Comment by James Myers | 05.10.2008 | 6:14 pm

    My mom had it twice & made it; 25 years later my sister had it twice & didn’t.
    Give up & Fight some more.
    Give up again & fight.
    Even reading, my sister’s favorite pursuit in life, was too much in the last weeks.
    We didn’t spend enough time, simply talking, or just being together.
    Talk to the docs, get a research person,..a reference run everything you know through the Nexus database..nothing moves faster than cancer data.
    Fight. Even if you know you won’t win, maybe you just buy time..and that’s ..something.
    Talk to the docs, read the notes in the medical record.
    MD Anderson & Dana-Farber, we didn’t always seek treatment there, but they always helped.

  96. Comment by kellene | 05.10.2008 | 6:42 pm

    Great idea Elden. I thought about it while I was with you this past week, but thought it would be too much torture. Doing it together will be a fun walk down memory lane together.
    I will treasure these last 5 days that I got to be with you all. I love Susan as my own sister and am honored to have been able to spend so much one on one time with her. She continues to reiterate her love for you and her children. Her only regret is that she will miss out on times as a family. We could not come up with anything that she has left out or wishes she had done differently. She is content with being your best friend and having been able to stay at home and love up those kids of yours. She is such a dear one. How wonderful to not have major regrets.
    One other thing that we did together is write letters to each of the kids: her hopes, sentiments and wishes for the future. I will keep them in a safe place and present them when they need them the most.
    I love you all am thankful for you all.
    I will see you again soon.

  97. Comment by Rob S | 05.10.2008 | 6:47 pm

    Nice write-up on

  98. Comment by Kim | 05.10.2008 | 7:48 pm

    Hey Team Fatty –

    I saw something recently that I thought would make you smile. I live in Florida, and there have been commercials from the Utah tourism board on tv lately. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but imagine my surprise when just a few seconds into the promo two roadies are riding towards the camera in what appear to be last year’s pink and orange Fat Cyclist jerseys! Jon and I both noticed it at the same time, shrieked, quickly re-wound, and watched it again. Amazing! I think the ad was

    Again, don’t know of this has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating. I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve got the entire state of Utah behind you guys. At least, that’s the way we took it. :)

  99. Comment by tanilan | 05.10.2008 | 9:12 pm

    Thank you so much for making me remember what the important things in life are. Thank you for sharing your love with the rest of us. May God Bless you all and my prayers are with you.

    Much Love

  100. Comment by Beverly | 05.11.2008 | 3:48 am

    This is the first time I have seen your blog. I lost my husband to cancer seven years ago. He was a 58 year old general surgeon and widely known, loved and respected. A larger than life personality. The whole medical center ,city, state and points beyond seemed to go to pieces when he died.

    We had a simple memorial service for him at the university and we thought that was that. But it bothered us , myself and three daughters that that was all there was. It didn’t seem right. We just couldn’t let him go like that. So after a long and rather humorous conversation ( because he had a tremendous sense of humor) about what could we do we decided to start a memorial fund in his name and every penny donated goes to needy patients recieving treatmnet at our regional cancer center. Every penny. Whatever immediate need a patient has we pay for it. This does not include treatment. This money is for gas so the patient can get to the center or medications or hospital supplies for home. We pay heating bills and buy food for families. My husband gave money out of his wallet to people who approached him with their troubles . That’s why we arranged the fund as we did. We have one fund raiser a year. A Super Bowl party. It is amazing how much and how willing people are to donate once they understand. As the word of the fund spread people have been donating
    at any time. So the point of all this rambling is to DO SOMETHING. Something befitting your wife. I cannot tell you the comfort it brings us when we hear the stories of patients who have been helped by our fund. It keeps my husband’s good work going. My goal is to eventually go around the country and start similar funds in my husband’s name in other cancer centers.
    There is no expense for the center as all the work is done “in house” by the legal teams etc.

    Never give up , always hope no matter what. We still have miracles from time to time and you might just get one.

    You and Susan and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Beverly Simstein

  101. Comment by Swedoz | 05.11.2008 | 4:09 am

    As someone who has seen a fair number of people have to deal with loved ones dying through my job I can’t agree more with what you’ve said about how spending time with each other doing the ‘normal’ things is what you and Susan want to do. It is always what people talk about, no one ever regrets not taking the round the world cruise, it is not having time to talk about all the everyday stuff. You have an amazing ability to write about these things and an incredibly strong bond with your wife and family, stupendously inspiring.

  102. Comment by mark | 05.11.2008 | 4:11 am

    susan is an inspiration to us all. thanks for setting up the paypal site and giving us the opportunity to help out.

  103. Comment by jeff bean | 05.11.2008 | 5:10 am

    Thoughts and prayers are with you, Susan and your children. Thank you for setting up a way for supporters to try and pitch in somehow from afar. As the husband of a wonderful wife who was diagnosed with cancer, I can’t help but feel a sense of amazement and respect with how you are fighting this with her. Godspeed.

  104. Comment by Don | 05.11.2008 | 6:23 am

    Many thoughts and Prayers with you today and everyday Susan! Here’s hoping you have a wonderful Mothers Day with the family. Your strength is amazing. Keep up the fight, and God Bless you! Happy Mothers Day.

  105. Comment by sk8ermom3 | 05.11.2008 | 7:29 am

    Ok I almost made it through without crying this time, but you got me with the last sentance “so the kids won’t forget”. One of my darkest fears (after an incident involving someone who is now in jail for LIFE)was and still is, that if I died, my three kids would eventually forget who I was. I seriously thought of making a tape, just like you and Susan are, for the same purposes. Kind of like, “if you are watching this, then something must have happened” type of thing.
    I think it’s an excellent idea, and the fact that you have some time to make it gives you and Susan time to think of things you want or need to say to each other or the kids.
    Being bitter and angry is all part of the process, btw, just try not to get stuck there.

  106. Comment by canknitian | 05.11.2008 | 8:31 am

    Big hug.

  107. Comment by sue | 05.11.2008 | 9:41 am

    Hugs and prayers for you and your family.

  108. Comment by Kevin | 05.11.2008 | 9:49 am

    I cringed reading the first paragraph; but as sad as it is, that was absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

  109. Comment by trashalou | 05.11.2008 | 10:48 am

    CK and I discuss this sort of thing on a regular basis and have agreed we would do just the same -like ST. Francis of Assisi ‘we would finish hoeing our garden.’ Perhaps the Christians were on the right track after all.

  110. Comment by not_pregnant_and_almost_skinny_Cathy | 05.11.2008 | 1:22 pm

    Eldon, you and Susan are amazing people. You both are my heros.

    Great idea about the video – my husband’s father is dying of cancer and has been given just a few months to live. We’ll be traveling to Europe in a couple of weeks so that he can see his newborn grandchild (his only grandchild) before he goes. I’ll make sure we do some videos while we are there so that his granddaughter can know him a little bit.

    Stay strong.


  111. Comment by Al Maviva | 05.11.2008 | 1:28 pm

    Elden, thanks for sharing so much. This comment:

    >>>when confronted with a limited number of days

    reminded me. All our days are numbered.

    I had on my kit, Gu2O in the bottles, helmet on, and it hit me… I’ll have plenty of time to ride this week. I can give a whole day over to my wife and my kid’s mommy on Mother’s Day, so I stayed in and cooked breakfast. Sounds minimal, probably meant a lot more to her than to anybody here. That’s what I’m learning from you – love one another. Thanks. Thanks.

  112. Comment by Robb | 05.11.2008 | 1:57 pm

    what incredible ideas Elden.

    I am yet again in tears reading your blog and it’s comments, but it’s almost not sad tears, it’s more inspirational and uplifting seeing how everyone has come together to help your family in this time of need.


  113. Comment by jason | 05.11.2008 | 2:51 pm

    I have no words. I am left speechless at how brave Susan is. My wife was moved to tears from this post, and I have nothing but the deepest respect for you, your family and your situation. Thoughts and prayer vibes are being hurled your way. Take care. Be strong.


  114. Comment by Bryan Burns | 05.11.2008 | 3:12 pm

    Fatty – I donated to your fund an hopefully my post will net additional donations from the mid atlantic.

  115. Comment by Caren | 05.11.2008 | 3:41 pm

    Elden, Thank you for sharing some of the intimate details of what you and Susan are going through. I hope it helps to write about it – it certainly makes all of us readers treasure what we have even more.

    What you and Susan share is very special! It is something most people never ever get to experience – not even for a day.

    I read this quote the other day and immediately thought of you. “Courage…There is, deep within you, whatever you need to take on this challenge. Believe in yourself and in what you can do. Step out and be strong. Be the hero…that’s you.”

    You are both heros!! Heros that I am pround to walk in honor of again this year in the San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day. I am walking so that one day other husbands, sons, daughters, family and friends do not have to live out the scenario you are facing…I hope it is one day very soon!

    Peace be with you and your family!

  116. Comment by AndyC | 05.11.2008 | 4:42 pm

    I remember a few days ago mentioning to you that I thought a video recording of your wife and family would be special. I wish to this day that I’d done that for family members that have passed on. I’m glad you are going to do it. You won’t regret it a bit.

    I rode a 52 mile ride on Saturday and when my knee started to ache a bit and the headwind was wearing me down, I thought of Susan’s strength and your support. I completed the ride and wore my Pink Fatty Jersey in Susan’s honor.

    Despite all things in your life I want to wish Susan a Happy Mother’s Day!

    Peace and Harmony

  117. Comment by bikemike | 05.11.2008 | 4:57 pm

    God bless you Susan and Happy Mother’s Day.
    and a great day to all of you Mothers out there. I’m not sure that came out right but God bless you all.

  118. Pingback by Day 4 of 30 Days - Curing Cancer « Land of 10,000 Perspectives | 05.11.2008 | 5:04 pm

    [...] is the time. We need to urge this to happen so good people like Eldon, who writes the popular blog Fat Cyclist, doesn’t have to lay sleepless at night wondering how he and his kids are going to get on [...]

  119. Comment by Johnny | 05.12.2008 | 3:25 am

    There you two go again, upping the standard of human excellency up a few notches. When this is all said and done, look into story corp. Its some sort of deal NPR has going on where they are trying to record the stories of everyday Americans and archive them.

  120. Comment by ms ellie | 05.12.2008 | 6:02 am

    You and your beautiful family are in my prayers. Fatty, the love and devotion you are showing to your wife is worth a thousand trips to Venice. She is blessed beyond words to have you. And what you are teaching your children is immeasurable.

  121. Comment by Donald | 05.12.2008 | 6:50 am

    How can I know someone and their family so well… and not really know them.
    We (your readers) all have this connection to you now. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for reminding us to step back… take a long hard look… and appreciate what we have.
    I continue to think about you and your family. You are in our prayers.

  122. Comment by buckythedonkey | 05.12.2008 | 8:22 am

    Damn and blast it! First you shrink the pint (a crime against beer, if you ask me), then you shift Mothers Day. So…

    …a belated happy Mothers Day to you Susan. WIN!

    This has stuck in my mind all day:

    “we’re happy enough with what we have that we just want more of it”

    That’s a life goal, if there ever was one. Thanks for writing it, Fatty.

  123. Comment by GeWilli | 05.12.2008 | 8:26 am


    I’ve been following intently lately, intermittently for a long time. while i’ve linked to your documenting here… i haven’t directly commented…

    As a father, a husband, your story touches me deeply. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for giving me a chance to let an occasional tear run down my cheek. Thank you for the reminder to treasure the time we have here as a family.

    thank you for the inspiration, and i wish you the utmost strength on your journey…

  124. Comment by rexinsea | 05.12.2008 | 10:10 am

    What a wonderful idea. My wife has an old casette with her Grandfather singing skiing glory songs from the post WWII era (he was in the 7th Mountain Division) and tapes of her other grandfather telling stories about growing up on the homestead farm in Oregon.

    I’m sure you’ll cherish these tapes as much or more than my wife cherishs hers. Good luck. Take care.

    Buckythedonkey – you nailed it – “we’re happy enough with what we have that we just want more of it”

    Here, here! – this is a life lesson we can all learn!

  125. Comment by Jenn @ Juggling Life | 05.12.2008 | 11:03 am

    I just came over from Pioneer Woman and am having a very “whoa, this is strange feeling.” My best friend’s husband just died on April 25 from his cancer, leaving behind his wife and two daughters, ages 13 + 18.

    What you have to say is so true and so important. I’m glad you are doing the videotaping. I was just watching videos of Thom with my girlfriend this morning and the power of seeing your loved one smile and talk is amazing.

    I’ll read back through your site to find out more; I’ll be sending positive vibes for your family and your wife. I can tell you are treasuring every moment you have–as we all should on a daily basis.

  126. Comment by Harp | 05.12.2008 | 11:23 am

    As I read your posts I’m impressed how you keep from becoming angry and bitter. It must be tough. When I think of my own wife and dealing with something like that I don’t know if I could keep things as clear and positive as you do. Susan and you are both an inpiration. Keep up the fight.

  127. Comment by Autumn | 05.12.2008 | 11:33 am

    I just discovered your site through PW. This gives me chills. I recently found out I had cancer and had very similar thoughts. Your circumstances are different than mine. It may seem very obvious but I think the biggest thing would be to spend any time together as much as possible and maintain normalcy as much as possible. It sounds like you’re able to do that somehow. I truly hope the best for you. May Heavenly Father be with your family!!

  128. Comment by Will | 05.12.2008 | 11:46 am

    I’m a newcomer to the site as well as a cyclist and breast cancer researcher. I just wanted to wish you the best and offer the tiny bit of support I can. Reading your post made me work a little harder today!

  129. Comment by sonja | 05.12.2008 | 12:35 pm

    I am a mother to two girls. I am healthy. I have tried so many times to sit down and write them a letter. Something that they could hold on to if I died unexpected. To this day I have not been ablt to do this. Because the thoughht of leaving them behind is so dreadful to me: My heart and good wishes go out to your wife and you and your kids. This Life is a weird and bumpy road. and there is nothing we can do sometimes except saying: I care.

  130. Comment by Lora | 05.12.2008 | 1:02 pm

    Linked to you through Pioneer Woman. My Dad died when I was 13. I realized 30+ years later that I did not remember the sound of his voice-it makes me sad even today 15 years later. SUCH A GOOD IDEA to record your wife’s voice-not just for you-but for your children. Saying a prayer for you both-right now-asking God for mercy and compasssion as you walk this road together.

  131. Comment by KTBee | 05.12.2008 | 1:16 pm

    Though I do not know you (or you me) I feel your pain and struggle, I cry with you, and I think of your family often. You write with beautiful insight and passion, Susan must feel great warmth and comfort inside knowing you care so deeply and truly for her and your children. That is a wonderful gift to give her through her pain. Please know that as you walk (bike) and write through your journey there are many of us silent readers cheering you on. I’ll be thinking of you…

  132. Comment by B | 05.12.2008 | 2:09 pm

    I’m having a bone scan next Monday. Nuclear stuff injected and then a scan. I’m nervous. I think maybe my cancer has come back. One of my blood work markers was high. I haven’t told anyone I’m scared yet. I’m even down playing it (so far) to my husband. May you and your wife get a miracle. . .even if it is just more time. I was in remission for over five years. (And maybe this is just a glitch and I still am. That’s what I’m hoping.)

  133. Comment by Catriona Mac. | 05.12.2008 | 2:19 pm

    Susan, Fatty and children–

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers. You all truly inspire me with your grace in the face of terrible news.

    Jimmy Valvano said, “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

    God bless you all.

  134. Comment by Brenda | 05.16.2008 | 4:15 am

    Fatty and Susan,
    First time to your site and I have learned a great lesson from you both!

    I will be back to revisit. I am praying for your family.

  135. Comment by goldengirls59 | 05.18.2008 | 8:24 pm

    This is also my first time to your site. I think you are doing exactly the right thing by spending time together, recording memories that you will have forever even though your beloved wife will not be there. That is a great legacy for your kids. Enjoy every single minute, living in the present and not the future and you will not regret it. We will be praying for peace for you and your family.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.