“How’s Susan Doing?”

05.21.2008 | 10:40 pm

Ever since Susan’s cancer came back a little over a year ago (was it really that recently? Seems like we’ve been living with it much, much longer.), the simplest question in the world has threatened to trip me up: "How’re you doing?"

I remember, in particular, one event. It was right after we had got the bad news: the cancer was back and it was in her bones, her lungs, her spine. Everywhere. I couldn’t even process it. But I was coping in the way I cope: running errands, getting things done, making lists and checking them off. So I was at the grocery store, picking up prescriptions and groceries. The woman at the checkout counter asked, as she always does, "How’re you doing?"

And I very nearly told her.

I sometimes think about where the conversation would have gone from there.

Of course, it’s not always so obvious that "How’re you doing?" simply means "Hi." There are people who know about what’s going on, and I figure that sometimes — but certainly not always — they really want to know how I’m doing when they ask.

So, since the honest answer to how I’m doing is no longer ever "fine," I’ve instituted an "OK to lie" rule. No matter how things are actually going, my first response to this question is now always, "Good. And yourself?" Because people who are really just saying "Hi" don’t need to hear the jumble of exhaustion and terror I’d have to give them if I answered honestly. And frankly, I don’t have the energy to answer that question honestly more than once or twice per day anyway.

If people really want to know how I’m doing, I leave it up to them to ask, "No, seriously. How are you doing?"

And How’s Your Wife?
When people ask how I’m doing, there’s at least a decent chance they’re just greeting me, or are expressing interest in seeing me run a self-diagnostic. When they ask how Susan’s doing, though, I honestly don’t know how to answer.

I know everybody is asking because they really care about her. But I don’t know for sure whether:

  • They want to know how she’s doing today
  • They want to know whether she’s improving since she started radiation
  • They want to be reassured
  • They want to know the long-term prognosis
  • They don’t know anything about what we’ve found in the past three weeks and are just calling to chat. You’d be surprised at how many "real-life" friends and neighbors don’t have any idea that I have this blog (or, having heard that I have a blog, have never checked it out).

So, if I don’t know the depth of answer someone’s looking for, I’ve got a lie prepared for them, too: "She’s hanging in there." Again, it’s up to them to ask for details.

OK, Seriously. How’s Your Wife?
But you, of course, know what’s going on. And you’ve somehow managed to plod through what I originally intended to be a short two-paragraph introduction into the actual substance of today’s entry. Which is: how Susan is really doing right now.

First off, the radiation and steroid combination is helping. A lot. To understand how much, I need to give you a little more detail into how bad Susan had gotten before she started the radiation.

  • She had completely lost the ability to sleep. She would toss and turn and shake and sit up and rock in bed. The whole night. Several nights in a row.
  • She couldn’t sit still. Whatever wouldn’t let Susan sleep also wouldn’t let her even rest. And remember, she’s still recovering from a hip replacement last November, so being compelled to keep moving around was painful.
  • She had lost most of her dexterity. She couldn’t tie a knot. She couldn’t fasten her seatbelt.
  • She had lost her sense of space. I had to help her into bed, into the car, onto the toilet, and onto chairs, because turning around to sit down on something had stopped making sense to her.
  • She had lost her ability to hold the thread of a conversation. She was still herself, but she couldn’t track long conversations, and if multiple people were in a room talking — it didn’t even need to be talking to her — she couldn’t track it at all.
  • She was lost. A moment I will never forget is when I was sitting at the kitchen table and Susan caught my eye. She looked scared. I went up to her and she said to me, embarrassed, "Can you help me find the bathroom?"

We’re three weeks into five weeks of radiation therapy now, and none of the above problems exist anymore. Susan’s sleeping right now, she sat and enjoyed a movie with the family earlier tonight, and she’s able to handle normal tasks again — she doesn’t have her gifted-level of dexterity back (yet), but she’s able to do everything I can.

I have no illusions about this being anything more than a reprieve, but my family and I (and many friends, family members, and readers) pray for a miracle. Remission’s unlikely, but it’s not unheard of, after all.

Acceptable Tradeoffs
Like every cancer-fighting treatment that I know of, the radiation comes with serious side effects.

The one that bothers Susan most right now is a scalded feel on the inside of her mouth and throat. You know how your tongue and the roof of your mouth feel when you drink something too hot? That’s how Susan’s whole mouth and throat feel, all the time.

The only kind of food she really enjoys is cold stuff. Milkshakes, smoothies (but not acidic ones), ice cream. Crunchy stuff (like Cap’n Crunch or Fritos) are horrible. I think the moment Susan looks forward to most each day is that on the way home from Radiation, she always gets whoever is driving her to stop and get an orange creamsicle smoothie at the Sonic Drivethrough. Nothing in the world tastes better right now.

Also, exactly as predicted, Susan’s hair started falling out as we began the third week of radiation. By now, though, we’re old hands at this. As soon as she noticed strands of hair on her shoulders, Susan told me it was time to shave her head.

I shaved it expertly and unsentimentally. Expertly, because I use the same electric razor to shave my own head three times per week now. Unsentimentally, because this is the third time I’ve shaved Susan’s head: twice because of starting chemo, this time for radiation.

I thought back to the first time I shaved Susan’s head and how traumatic we all thought it was. This time I just thought, "If this is the tradeoff for Susan getting so much of herself back, this is a bargain." Besides, she looks good this way.

The doctors say Susan’s likely to become more tired and weak as the radiation goes on. I haven’t noticed this happening yet, but we’ve got lots of help lined up for when (if?) it does. One sister just stayed a week with us, taking care of the family. Another sister’s coming at the end of this week. Then my mom’s taking a turn. Then yet another sister. And then yet still another sister.

I have never been so grateful to have so many hyper-competent and caring women in my family.

A couple of days ago, Susan mentioned she wishes the radiation was over and done with. I think I surprised her by disagreeing. "I wish it could go on indefinitely," I said. "Because it’s helping."


  1. Comment by ming | 05.22.2008 | 12:55 am


    you dont know me, through this blog i feel i know you, hell, i even ride around in clothing with your name on it! (eagerly awaiting my 2nd pink jersey) i still am amazed how you sit down, hammer out your heart, your fear, your love and hopes on a keyboard and hit ‘post’ it boggles my mind.

    you are amazing, your wife if amazing.

    fcuk cancer, hit it hard

  2. Comment by Highwaymunky | 05.22.2008 | 12:55 am

    Elden, Thanks for sharing this update on Susan, I have been wondering how she was doing. Thoughts and prayers for you all.
    All the best

  3. Comment by Slowracer | 05.22.2008 | 1:33 am

    Hey Fatty,
    Thanks for the update, very moving……….
    Me and the boys are out tonight for a 2hr blast and you all will be talked about and hoped for.
    Tried to buy a jersey!! obviously failed due to them going on sale whilst I was asleep (I live in the UK)
    Nice work. Keep the faith.

  4. Comment by buckythedonkey | 05.22.2008 | 1:33 am

    I’d often wondered if your blog audience might in some ways be better informed than some those near by in the real world, and you can always give us the full answer to the “how’re you doing?” question without having to deal with any aftershock!

    A British journalist, who wrote about his illness in a weekly newspaper column, famously responded to anybody and everybody who asked the question with a blunt “I have cancer”. A bit of a shocker for some, but those who knew and loved him recognised that the disease hadn’t affected the arid sense of humour that was the foundation of his writing.

    We’re all delighted to hear that Susan is able to find the bathroom unassisted and, yes, she looks great with no hair. :-)


  5. Comment by Ant | 05.22.2008 | 2:19 am

    Fatty & family, thinking about you guys every day.

    A good mate of mine had a dose of radiation on his jaw a couple of years ago. He had the same issue, with the scorching of the mouth and tongue – he really battled to eat.

    The solution was chilli’s – as hot as he could get them. The capsicain (the active ingredient) apparently overloads the taste sensors and nerve endings, enabling him to eat without pain.

    I did hear (I’m not sure if this was experimental or is an actual product) – someone had developed a capsicain-based chewing gum to help.

    Could be useful, could be the last thing Susan wants to hear.

  6. Comment by kim | 05.22.2008 | 2:21 am

    Hugs to both of you. I have no idea what it must be like to live your life daily, so I’m not going to say, “I know how you feel.” Just love and good energy from across the Pacific and into your home. Extra hugs for the kids.

    I will wear my first pink jersey with pride.

  7. Comment by Steve | 05.22.2008 | 2:36 am

    You’ve done it again Elden, your words have touched me in a way I don’t quite understand and reduced me to tears at my desk in the office.

    I really wish that I had something profound, or insightful, or comforting to say, but I don’t. I’m just a bloke fromt he UK who you’ll never meet, who only knows you and your family through your blog.

    I hope with all my heart that the time you have together is everything you both want it to be. Susan is as lucky to have you as you are to have her.

    Love to you all

  8. Comment by Dad and janel | 05.22.2008 | 2:47 am

    Thanks Elden for this update. We continue to think and pray for you and Susan and the family. We are glad that you have the blog and can give updates. I personally remember how hard it was to repeat over and over again my episode with cancer. We again are thankful for your blog friends and their amazing encouragement to you. We love you and Susan and the children.

  9. Comment by SJ | 05.22.2008 | 3:23 am

    Hi Fatty, thank you for the update. I’m so glad Susan is able to eat something. That is really important in this battle, even if its only a few bites at every meal. My thoughts and prayers are with your family daily.

  10. Comment by Big Boned | 05.22.2008 | 3:37 am

    Still praying daily Fatty.
    2:01pm EST

  11. Comment by Tim D | 05.22.2008 | 4:23 am

    I’m still gobsmacked that you can write this stuff, so eloquent and moving, whilst I can hardly string together two words of encouragement/support/sympathy that don’t sound trite or meaningless. I’m not one for prayers, but you are all in my thoughts always.

  12. Comment by Medstudentitis | 05.22.2008 | 5:18 am

    Thanks for letting us know what’s happening. Has Susan tried magic mouthwash? It’s a mouthwash you can get from the hospital that has some freezing in it to numb the mucous membranes of the mouth.

  13. Comment by Mike Roadie | 05.22.2008 | 5:22 am

    When “we” ask, “How is Susan (and you) doing?”, we really DO want to know.
    It is encouraging to hear that the radiation is helping, and that the side effects are subsiding. Keep up the good work–you will only be rewarded.
    We love you guys……don’t forget that!

  14. Comment by Andy | 05.22.2008 | 5:23 am

    Thanks for the update Fatty. I dont know how someone I dont know can move me to tears just reading his blog but I guess it speaks volumes about how you have touched your readers with you & Susans fight. I will continue to pray and cant wait to get my new jersey.

  15. Comment by VA Biker | 05.22.2008 | 5:47 am

    Elden, thanks for sharing. I know it’s difficult to do on some level, but necessary on another. The remote, extended friends of Fatty & family appreciate your openness. Continue to fight on. We’re praying for you all.

  16. Comment by paige | 05.22.2008 | 5:49 am

    Thanks for the update, Fatty. I’m still praying for you and Susan and the kids. So is my kindergarten class.

    I’m glad that radiation therapy is giving back so much of herself and I pray that it’s more than a reprieve.

    You’re already winning, in my book.

  17. Comment by Snoofy | 05.22.2008 | 6:10 am

    Thank you for the update and more importantly, for writing from your heart and sharing your family with all of us. I never thought I would wear a piece of clothing that proclaimed I was “fat,” but I now wear my t-shirt proudly, hoping it sends back to you and Susan strength, hope, and faith. My dad loved Klondike bars after radiation, so I laughed and cried about the the orange dreamsicle cravings.

    Be well, and know that you’re in my prayers.

  18. Comment by Kendall | 05.22.2008 | 6:12 am

    Elden, we are grateful for the updates on Susan’s progress. Our prayers are still with Susan, you, and the rest of your family.

  19. Comment by Bree | 05.22.2008 | 6:32 am


    Thank you for the update – and this message has the same undertone of everyone elses – prayers and thoughts are with the family and strength for Susan.

    I have been a regular reader of your blog since the ol MSN days (when you were mainly about losing weight and Lance and Jan were still racing – loved the FatCyclistFakeNewsService you’d do), and I’ve ‘followed’ Susan’s journey through this blog. Today was the first time that I cried – when you stated about Susan embarrassed about being ‘lost.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you both, and strength for your kids also.

  20. Comment by Al Maviva | 05.22.2008 | 6:33 am

    I’m going to stop reading this at work because the frickin’ Mongolian Horde that I supervise is going to take the tears as a sign of fatal weakness and overrun my office, the copy machines and my beloved espresso maker. They are evil, with the pointy, snapping little teeth all rodent-like office workers have, and you are not making my life easier here.

    You should write a book about this to help others understand what they are facing when they have cancer or are helping a family member with cancer, and to help those who don’t understand it get a clue. You know, I’ve had friends killed in combat or training accidents, DUI deaths, drug overdoses, a couple suicides – all that stuff is terrible but it’s done with in an instant or a day or a week. There’s no challenge to it except morning, though the loss is great it’s practically surgical. The cruelty of this disease, the way it constantly menaces, invading your life at will, making the afflicted and those around it suffer at will, putting many things beyond their control, simply stuns me.

    Still, there are glimmers of goodness even in this cruel and evil disease. In his last few years of life John Paul II made a point about the dignity of human life and the valor in bearing suffering, in meeting what may be the ultimate challenge. It tests who you really are as a human; and the choice to fight, to bear suffering, is something that separates us from the animals. They fight out of instinct, they know no other way. We can choose to capitulate. Yet you don’t.

    I applaud the dignity that you and Susan are showing in fighting this, in carrying on. I hope that if I am ever presented with a similar challenge that I can follow your example. I doubt it; you two are showing amazing strength and an unbelievable amount of graciousness in sharing yourselves with us at a time when it would probably be easier to just curl up into a fetal position and withdraw from life, rather than working out your thoughts here, exploring painful paths as events unfold. Thanks for sharing and for showing us how you can work through something like this, preserving your humanity in a terribly inhumane situation.

  21. Comment by Jon Rides Bikes | 05.22.2008 | 6:36 am

    Elden — The “repreive” sounds like a godsend. For Susan to be able watch a movie relatively undisturbed, with the family. And to be able to *sleep*, even if a little.

    Your attitude of generosity and gratefulness is so well-suited to this ordeal. You and your family are, in a way I guess none of us would have known, very lucky. (Outside of the ridiculously awful and random luck that has changed your lives.)

    Everyone across the country is pulling for you, Susan, and the kids.

  22. Comment by Den | 05.22.2008 | 6:51 am

    I’ve recently turned to answering the “How are you?” question with, “I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in.”

    Still praying…

  23. Comment by 331miles | 05.22.2008 | 6:52 am

    My guess is that being asked ‘how is she doing’ is often the same as being asked ‘have you heard about this treatment’. With that in mind, and speaking as one that knows you only from your blog, THANKS VERY MUCH FOR THE UPDATE. Go Susan!

  24. Comment by neca | 05.22.2008 | 6:56 am

    Thank you for the update. I think about you guys every single day and often wonder how Susan is doing. Really doing. I’m glad the radiation has been a reprieve from so many unpleasant symptoms. Take care and know there is a whole group of people that will gladly do whatever you need us to – anytime. Even if it’s just say a prayer.

  25. Comment by BellaCroix | 05.22.2008 | 6:57 am

    I have to agree with “Al Maviva”, when talking about why I wear a pink jersey, why I’m crying at my desk at work some days, why the little things in life don’t get me down (because I use you and Susan as my inspiration and rock) I invariably mention something along the lines of how wonderful a writer you are – how you’re able to write from the heart in just such a way that takes a reader through the same emotional rollercoaster you and your family are probably riding.

    One minute I’m biting my lip to keep from crying, the next I’m laughing, the next I feel guilty for laughing and just wish there was an easy emotion to feel for you guys for a change.

    I know now’s not the time to start a project like this but I hope you’ll do something like that in the future (even if it’s just a collection of blog posts from the last few years).

    I remember trying to come to grips with cancer when my grandmother went through it, this blog and you guys would have been a God-send to me at the time.

    Thanks for sharing the roller-coaster ride, Fatty.

  26. Comment by bikemike | 05.22.2008 | 6:58 am

    Al is right and not only can’t we imagine what Susan is going through but to get a glimpse into what you’re feeling and dealing with is nothing short of amazing. cancer and any serious illness affects so many people, the ripple effect is huge.

    the fact that you share this extremely personal issue with so many “strangers” is an amazing testament to your devotion to Susan and hopefully offers some therapy for yourself. my guess is you’re doing better than most would in your situation.

  27. Comment by mikeb | 05.22.2008 | 7:12 am

    Thank God for the strong women in your life, and mine also. Your sweet little twins are watching this and learning how to become strong beautiful women themselves.

  28. Comment by Lowrydr | 05.22.2008 | 7:21 am

    There is no greater strength than the Love that you two share to help in this time of turmoil. As all have said before me, we are here for the both of you. Heck we are here for your whole family. Have grace and peace in the days ahead. Prayers and Good Karma from the Midwest.

  29. Comment by Turt99 | 05.22.2008 | 7:21 am

    My mother had cancer and she found that drinking pineapple juice helped with the burning and dry feeling in her mouth. I don’t know if it would work for Susan at all but I thought I’d mention it.

    Its great to here she is doing better, and is able to enjoy time with the family.

  30. Comment by Swedoz | 05.22.2008 | 7:48 am

    Keep up the good work! Sending positive thoughts to you guys everyday.

  31. Comment by Don | 05.22.2008 | 7:51 am

    Thanks for the update on Susan. If you told me that I could care for someone who I’ve never met before I probably would’ve said “you’re nuts”, but you have proved that I would’ve been sadly mistaken. I feel a combination or sadness and sick to my stomach when I hear what Susan, and you and your family, are going through. I have my phone set to alarm at 2:01 EST, and my family and I pray for you guys every night. God Bless, and tell Susan we send our love, Prayers, and thoughts her way. Kick this things a__ Susan!

  32. Comment by Richard | 05.22.2008 | 8:01 am

    Thanks Fatty. You two hang in there!

  33. Comment by Jen | 05.22.2008 | 8:02 am

    I wonder if you and Susan would be comfortable with me doing some long distance Reiki on Susan. Don’ worry, this isn’t a scam! I’m not asking for money and I’m not promising a miracle cure. Reiki is just healing through touch (or over long distances) but the “healing” is more about getting the body back in synch and not about “curing” anything. Susan wouldn’t have to do anything other than consent to letting us (I work with a Reiki group) do some energy work on her. (I know how airy-fairy this all sounds!) If you have any questions at all I would be more than happy to answer them. Either way, I am wishing you and Susan strength and peace.

  34. Comment by LindaLoo | 05.22.2008 | 8:11 am

    Fatty, No, seriously HOW ARE YOU DOING? The terror and exhaustion you mentioned must be at times overwhelming. PLease know that when we (the readers) are praying it is not just for Susan but for YOU! 2:01p.m.MST everyday and each time I see a cyclist.

  35. Comment by Uphill Battle | 05.22.2008 | 8:15 am

    Elden, I, too, hope that the radiation will continue, for as long as Susan wants it to. I started reading your blog in 2005 during the Tour de France…I found enjoyment in the wit, sarcasm, and humor of your writing. Who’da thunk that three short years later, I would be learning such important life lessons from a cycling/weight loss blog?
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    Praying for comfort and peace for you, Susan, and the family.

  36. Comment by NW | 05.22.2008 | 8:16 am

    Susan’s and your perseverance, strength and love for each other is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this huge part of your life with your readers. I know you both are an encouragement and perspective-giver to me and so many others. Keep fighting!

  37. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 05.22.2008 | 8:22 am

    Thanks for sharing your life once again, Elden. While writing this blog may be therapeutic for you, it is equally therapeutic for all of us as well. You display a side of humanity that we don’t seem to see often enough. Plus, you love riding mountain bikes, which is the best therapy I have found!

    Al, you also have a gift with words and I thank you as well for sharing them with us.

  38. Comment by claudia | 05.22.2008 | 8:23 am

    just kept staring at the screen wanting to say something but not knowing what to say first. You and Susan are in my thoughts. Keep fighting! Don’t give up!!

  39. Comment by Robert | 05.22.2008 | 8:23 am

    When I was going through chemo, my favorite food in the world was strawberry fruit bars… the kind with whole strawberries in them. Those were about all I could taste for weeks on end. I must have gone through 7 dozen boxes of those.
    Good luck with everything.

  40. Comment by Mocougfan | 05.22.2008 | 8:24 am


    I’m with Mike and others. We really do want to know how you are doing. I am very glad to hear that maybe a little “quality of life” has come back. It might be little, but as a loving husband you will take as much as you can get.

    We love you. Keep the faith.

    Very glad to have received my new 08 jersey yesterday. It looks totally cool. I wanted to wear it on my ride this morning but the heavens have opened and it is pouring today.


  41. Comment by Emily | 05.22.2008 | 8:30 am

    I can’t imagine how scary this is for Susan.
    Recently I’m pretty into a smoothie of super cold milk, raw eggs (though you could easily use eggbeaters for safety), honey and vanilla. Whirred up and served over ice. It’s like egg nog! In the summer! And healthy!
    Stay positive and keep fighting.

  42. Comment by BellaCroix | 05.22.2008 | 8:39 am

    Off subject but… *PERK*… did “Mocougfan” say he got his jersey yesterday? Are they in the mail?

    Planning some distance this weekend and would love to be sporting The Pink. Figured they’d be a couple weeks based on the Team Six “we’re just two guys…” order confirmation e-mail.

    Anyone else get their jersey(s) already?

  43. Comment by Travis | 05.22.2008 | 8:40 am

    Behind every great man, there is a greater woman.

    Keep going, keep fighting, keep winning.

    (never had so many lumps in throat)

  44. Comment by KanyonKris | 05.22.2008 | 9:15 am

    The “burned mouth” side effect of radiation is freaky. Glad to hear Susan is more like herself now. But, still, a tough row to hoe. We’re still praying for Susan and hoping for a miracle too.

  45. Comment by CellPhoneGuy | 05.22.2008 | 9:17 am

    Thanks for the update on Susan, we have all wondered how she has been doing with the radiation treatments, good to hear that her motor skills and ability to sleep have started returning. Fingers crossed that this will continue.

    On an upnote yes BellaCroix, jerseys have shipped. I got mine yesterday and rushed home at lunch to pick it up so I could wear it on the trail last night. Coolest jersey ever. Got a lot of compliments on it as well. Big thumbs up to the Twin Six guys, I did not expect to see it for a week, got it in 2 days.

    Team Fatty Fighting For Susan. WIN!

  46. Comment by Philly Jen | 05.22.2008 | 9:34 am

    I’m with Al Maviva — please ask Twin Six to consider make pink snot rags, because I’m down with the crying-in-the-office thing, too. Plenty-six tears.

    Susan, I’m really glad to hear that you’re feeling more yourself again. I’m sending good vibes!

  47. Comment by msj | 05.22.2008 | 10:05 am


    Thanks for the update. The love you two have is a beautiful thing. I’m brought to tears when reading it. The best reply I’ve ever heard when asked “How are you?” was by my grandfather. Even when suffering from stomach cancer he would respond, “I’m peachy keen!” I asked him how he could say that, and he replied that people who know him, knew how he was, and people who don’t know him, really don’t care. He said it also kept him upbeat and positive. I called him a few days before he passed and when I asked him how he was doing, he replied, “Peachy keen”

    Your writings have brought back a lot of memories of him for me.


    PS- Can’t wait for my FC jersey!!!

  48. Comment by Mocougfan | 05.22.2008 | 10:10 am


    I did get my jersey yesterday. It looks awesome!!!

  49. Comment by PandaElf | 05.22.2008 | 10:12 am

    My heart goes out to your family. I’ve been lurking for a while and the courage and grace you, Susan, your children and community all show brings tears to my eyes every time.

  50. Comment by Linda from Portland | 05.22.2008 | 10:20 am

    Thank you for the update! Your readers (supporters) really appreciate it.


  51. Comment by KC | 05.22.2008 | 10:21 am

    I guess you can now sympathize with pregnant overdue women who get asked “You haven’t had that thing yet?

    You’ve inspired me to ride my a*$ off (and some extra pounds too). I am now riding to work and back – 8 miles with a solid two mile climb all the way home.

    I’m spreading the word in my small town, we’ll help as much as we can. I can’t wait for my fatty attire and will wear it with much love and respect.

  52. Comment by rexinsea | 05.22.2008 | 10:22 am

    Here Here Al Maviva. Well said.

    Fatty and Susan, you are an inspiration to me. I only hope to be half as courageous as you are if I ever face such tough odds. Fatty, I also agree, your story could be extremely inspirational to many, many people one day when you’re ready to tell it.

    My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.

  53. Comment by RoadRage | 05.22.2008 | 10:33 am

    “I wish it could go on indefinitely,” I said. “Because it’s helping.”

    …and with that sentence my heart broke for you again. Prayers and peace everyday.

  54. Comment by KT | 05.22.2008 | 10:33 am

    Amen, Reverend Al M.

    Thanks for the update, Elden. Susan, I’m glad to read that you’re doing better… and I wish this cancer thing would leave you alone already!!!

    A good friend of mine in my other hobby had a brain tumor so bad the whole side of his skull was mishapen– he had radiation, and now he’s 100% better. I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that this can happen for you, as well. You’ve got Fatty’s Army (renamed Susan’s Army) behind you, you can do this.

    Wore last year’s Pink Lemonade jersey to ride to work this morning, with pride!

  55. Comment by Abi | 05.22.2008 | 10:37 am

    Hi Fatty,
    Thanks for updating on Susan, I was on the edge of my seat for awhile wondering how things were going for her and your family.

    I know Jell-o always moisturizes my throat when I’m sick. I know it hardly compares, but I thought Susan might like to try it if she hasn’t already. You could probably even freeze it for an extra cooling experience.

    I hope your girls and boys are doing as well as they can, I’m still wishing hard for all of you.


  56. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 05.22.2008 | 10:43 am

    Having all those sisters is finally paying off!!

  57. Comment by sans auto | 05.22.2008 | 10:52 am

    You’re in our prayers.

  58. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.22.2008 | 10:58 am

    Fatty, thanks for the update. Still praying at 2:01 PST. Al – Well said. It is nice that someone can articulate the readers’ thoughts & emotions.

    Can I share one more reason I was pleased to see an update on Susan? (Pleased, in spite of the tearing up in the office factor?) It is because (at least) the last four blog entries have not been updates on Susan. The triathAlon, a ride report, the jerseys, Kenny’s report – Do you know what thoughts went through my mind yesterday when I saw that the blog entry was a Kenny race report?

    Two things – And in this order – 1) “Oh, oh, I hope Elden & Susan are not doing so poorly that Elden can’t bring himself to write”; and 2) “Oh, good! I like Kenny’s race reports!”

    Listen, Fatty, the time may indeed come when you can’t/don’t want to write for a time. We can deal with it. The “Oh-oh” is because we care. And we are interested.

    Bearing pain & suffering with dignity. Writing of your life transparently (even as you relate the lies you invent to answer others!). Powerful stuff, and welcome, to us your readers.

  59. Comment by jill | 05.22.2008 | 11:15 am

    I think your recent posts have been really eye-opening to those of us who have never lived closely with cancer. If and when I ever go through this myself, I will remember to draw on the stregnth of your and Susan’s experiences. Thanks again for being so open and honest.

  60. Comment by Joe | 05.22.2008 | 11:25 am

    All my problems and fears pale in comparison to yours. Your posts really prevent me from giving up and falling in to dispair.

    My wifes illness of the past 3.5 years has not abated, has not been diagnosed and not cured. For the last 3 months she has been medicated and horizontal most of the time. It has finally started having a noticeable impact on my girls, and since they’re so young (4, 5 and 8), they’re still too young to comprehend why Mommy isn’t able to take care of them or play with them.

    We will find a cure or treatment, I have to be hopefull of that. Which is why your site is so helpful to me. I know it could be much worse.

    I’m sorry if that sounds cruel, but I’m just being real. And if anybody understands real right now, I know it is you.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Susan. May your miracle happen!!!

  61. Comment by Lisa | 05.22.2008 | 11:39 am

    Still praying everday! Thank you for sharing. As some have already said…you are helping people you don’t even know, just by posting so honestly.

    God Bless You All!

  62. Comment by Matt | 05.22.2008 | 11:41 am

    There is a loss of words I have for you at this moment, but I will try. I am at work with the watery eye syndrome. I want to say that with every word you write, you give hope to your self and others, to win. You bring reality. You bring hope. Thank you for continuing to post on your blog about this battle. May not Susan just win, but your whole family walk across the finish line together.

  63. Comment by Denise | 05.22.2008 | 11:53 am

    Teary and speechless yet again. Much love and prayers for your entire family.

  64. Comment by Island Girl | 05.22.2008 | 12:22 pm

    I’m with RoadRage. That last line brought me to tears in the office. Thank you for sharing this struggle with so many strangers. All of our hearts go out to you, Susan and your family. I wish there was more I could say, but you have left me speechless (quite the accomplishment, as my friends will tell you!)

  65. Comment by Jodi | 05.22.2008 | 12:24 pm

    Mom and Dad totally should have made more sisters for you. Who knew that having four would barely be enough?

    I’m currently trying to learn to cook so that I can keep up with the two sisters that have been there before me….not to mention the mother. Oy vey. Luckily I pride myself on being the cool and fun aunt rather than the well-domesticated one. They have delivery and take-out in Utah, yeh?

    I kid.

    Can not wait to be with you and yours.

  66. Comment by Liz | 05.22.2008 | 12:27 pm

    Sometimes, reading through the comments, it’s unbelievable to me how many lives you and Susan have touched through this ordeal. . . But on the other hand, having known you for many years, it makes perfect sense that you would. Your gifts are coming together in ways that are so meaningful to others. Thank you for the updates. Dave and I love you & Susan & your kids, and send our prayers and energy your way every day.

  67. Comment by chtrich | 05.22.2008 | 12:42 pm

    Thanks for the update. We seriously do want to know. I think I check the blog now hoping more for an update than a funny story.

    As a side – I got my ‘08 jersey yesterday. Super fast shipping! And it looks so awesome!

    Prayers always. Chris

  68. Comment by eunicesara | 05.22.2008 | 12:44 pm

    When I worked retail, about 11 years’ worth, I would frequently ask browsers if there were anything I could help them find. Whenever the answer was “no, I’m just killing time,” I would silently reprimand them thinking there would be a moment when they would long for all those useless minutes.
    I wish, I wish, I WISH I could bundle up all that unwanted tim and send it to you and Susan where I know it would be wanted and well used.
    2:01 EDT

  69. Comment by Tim D | 05.22.2008 | 1:13 pm

    Eunicesara, unfortunately all those unwanted bits of me are just fat. I’m not sure that Susan and Elden would want them. But if you can bundle them up and take them away I would be very grateful.


  70. Comment by Joni | 05.22.2008 | 1:21 pm

    Your family is amazing and you are blessed. In all of this crazy world that we live in with all the “very not understood” things that happen to such good people…..we know that God does have a plan. I can not help but to think of this blog and all that you share with so many of us that feel that we know you and your family….and we are only very slightly or not at all..known to you. I think of how inspiring your writings are and how heart wrenching it is for me to hear of Susan’s plight when I have never met her. I am happily married and have a devoted husband but can not help but think of those that do not have that relationship that read your blogs and yearn for someone that cares for them the way you care for Susan and your children. Perhaps you are impacting a husband or wife who has not been the spouse that they should be. Sorry for the novel…I guess I am not effectively expressing what my head is thinking. In a nutshell, I feel that you are reaching so many and the lives that you will change by sharing Susan and your family with us just literally brings me to my knees. I can not help but feel that with the strength and courage it takes you to share all of this with us…..you are changing and effecting the lives of many who read your words. God has a plan in all of this. You may never ever know the effect that your family has had by sharing your lives…..but rest assured….God is using you to reach many. Sorry for those of you that may be offended or put off by my speaking of God. I respectfully offer my beliefs and mean to offend no one. Many blessings and prayers to Susan, yourself, your children and your families. Thanks for letting us know how you both really are….nice to know that people really do still care….even if you dont know the lot of us! :)

  71. Comment by the greg | 05.22.2008 | 1:25 pm

    hey fats, i say tell them the truth. either it will give them perspective on their own lives, or it will get them to just say hi. sorry, i REALLY dislike it when people ask how you doin?, when they don’t mean it. good to hear susan has come back a little bit. we’re all riding with crossed fingers, which is hard, let me tell ya.

  72. Comment by bobbieh | 05.22.2008 | 1:48 pm

    Many, many hugs to the both of you ~

  73. Comment by Amy | 05.22.2008 | 2:17 pm

    Hi Fatty – I’m a lurker – been reading your blog for a long time now and wish all the best for you and your family. Reading your intro paragraphs (“How are you? How’s Susan?”) made me think of this entry from Overheard in NY dot com. It’s a bit off the wall, but hopefully it will be good for a laugh.

    How Could You Not Love This Town?

    Cashier: How are you?
    Customer: Do you want the honest answer?
    Cashier: Yes.
    Customer: I feel like the business end of a donkey. I am extremely hungover and did a mountain of cocaine last night. Now I have to make dinner for a 68-year-old gay artist who is trying to fuck me.
    Cashier: I’m… sorry.
    Customer: And the woman I love is in another state pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby, and I wish the baby was mine. And I’m sleeping with a dominatrix. And it’s all true.

    –Whole Foods

  74. Comment by Jeff&Jenn | 05.22.2008 | 2:18 pm

    We are so glad that Susan is doing better. We pray every day for a miracle for you. We love you guys!!!

  75. Comment by Elizabeth | 05.22.2008 | 2:25 pm

    Hi Elden and Susan,

    I’m all signed up for the livestrong challenge, and have raised 200 dollars so far. I’m working on my friends and coworkers to give more money, but they all want to do the ride themselves. I guess that’s a good thing?! :) Anyway, I’m waiting for my pink jersey so I can ride the trails and tell everyone how to help Susan fight!

    Be well, you’re in my prayers!

  76. Comment by aussie kev | 05.22.2008 | 2:41 pm

    i feel honoured that you take time out of your day to share stuff like this with us.
    what movie did you watch with susan ?? – did she enjoy it ??

    take care k

  77. Comment by Jim B. | 05.22.2008 | 2:45 pm

    Fudgesicles!!!!!!!!! No, this is not a subsitute swear word, your story made me think of my Dad and that is what he liked when he went through radiation. Made me smile thinking of him. Fatty your courage and dignity humbles me. Well said Al M.
    Thinking of you and your family.

  78. Comment by El Animal | 05.22.2008 | 3:00 pm

    At 2:01 PM CST, everyday my prayers go for Susan and a brother in-law that I tragically lost this month. I am really moved by your strength. Keep up the fight.

  79. Comment by Christine H. | 05.22.2008 | 3:04 pm

    My parents informed me of your blog about 1 week ago and since then, I have been lurking and enjoying the biking info and tearing up while reading about your amazingly difficult journey.
    You have come a long way from the little Elden that got the tape recorder for Christmas and went about interviewing every cousin, aunt and uncle in sight. I should have known that you would evolve into a great commuicator. Your writing evokes a gamut of human emotions…thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your days filled with joy, despair, hope and most importantly love. Our prayers are with you all. Where’s the cousin sign-up for cooking, cleaning, etc.?

  80. Comment by Heatherann | 05.22.2008 | 3:17 pm

    You have my continued prayers. You bet remission happens!! Win SUSAN!!! Thank you for the update. I am so glad to hear that she is doing so much better.

  81. Comment by bikesgonewild | 05.22.2008 | 3:36 pm

    …stay strong as ya can, you two…your both amazing in your own ways…

  82. Comment by Saso | 05.22.2008 | 3:51 pm


    thanks for sharing this. I wish I were able to deal with difficulties with so much dignity and graciousness as you do. Not to mention my difficulties are not even worth mentioning. You and Susan are an inspiration. All the best.

  83. Comment by Ripa | 05.22.2008 | 3:57 pm

    Elden, Susan and Family,

    Keep winning everyday! We are all here for you, just ask.



  84. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 05.22.2008 | 4:19 pm

    Eldon and Susan, Your strength and dignity continue to amaze and inspire me. Thank you for sharing all your daily struggles and joys with us. I wish there was more I could say but eloquence was never my strong suit. I look forward to wearing my new pink jersey with pride.


  85. Comment by charliebrown | 05.22.2008 | 4:23 pm

    In addition to being a great role model for all of us, you’re teaching your kids how to be good people through all of this. I’m sure they’re terrified and may be hiding it – let them know that we’re all thinking of them as well!

  86. Comment by geckonia | 05.22.2008 | 4:53 pm

    It’s impossible to take anything for granted after reading this entry. Thanks for the perspective and the reality check. Our hearts go out to you and yes, I believe in miracles! I hope one falls upon your family soon.

  87. Comment by Born4Lycra | 05.22.2008 | 5:33 pm

    I was sitting here still mildly pissed off that the internationals had fared badly in the FC top stakes and you write something that just puts everything back in perspective. The word dignity has been used on a number of occassions in this post by readers and it is so true. Look in the dictionary for dignity and it will say Team FC – all aspects of Team FC – family, inner circle and the rest of us.
    It may not be somewhere you want to go and I am really not being trite but I thought I would ask how the kids are and send them love and best wishes also.
    P.S. Susan does look great bald and it’s great to hear of her wins. Livestrong and Bollocks to Cancer.

  88. Comment by dr2thfxr | 05.22.2008 | 5:51 pm

    Eldon, your (long lost) cousins in Canada are thinking of you and Susan. Even though we aren’t near you..you’re in our thoughts and prayers. I have a wife and 3 kids of my own (younger albeit) and can only imagine how sucky (cubed) things are/have been for you. Thank you for sharing…I agree with geckonia..reading your words has helped me to re-focus on what is really important. I am not as eloquent as you are, but I will say our prayers and love are with you.

  89. Comment by Melisa | 05.22.2008 | 6:55 pm

    I am a loyal reader. My thoughts and prayers are with you two. I am praying for a MIRACLE! It can happen…

  90. Comment by Ms. Moon | 05.22.2008 | 8:01 pm

    Oh bless you all. Just that- bless you all.

  91. Comment by miss & stewOZ | 05.22.2008 | 8:10 pm

    Please take care Elden. There is always a rainbow. Focus on realising one each day…

    Please send our love to Susan and the family, also.

  92. Comment by Friend | 05.22.2008 | 9:20 pm


  93. Comment by Undomestic | 05.22.2008 | 9:49 pm

    I was in Orlando a few weeks ago when I read about Susan’s brain tumors. The whole time we were at Disney, I was thinking about your family and glad that you all got to vacation together recently.

    Still thinking about and praying for Susan, you and your children.

  94. Comment by MOM | 05.22.2008 | 10:56 pm

    For a mom to have such a son and daughters – and their families, well all I can be is thankful.

  95. Comment by Dorothy | 05.22.2008 | 11:14 pm


    Add another to the ever growing list of those praying for you, and your family…

    You don’t know me, as you don’t personally know most of your readers, but our paths crossed briefly several years ago, while we were both working on the “MXT” with Bry and Cheri, Mark and Serena, and others.

    Bry had told me of your blog a few years ago, and of Susan’s battle with cancer, but I had never experienced the “Fat Cyclist.” I just wasn’t a part of the whole blogging world. On Tuesday I ran across a “Fat Cyclist” link for the first time, on the blog of another local mountain biker.

    Elden, your blog IS amazing! I was absolutely riveted. I read for hours. Your humor, wit, insight, and the ability to capture what we have all often experienced (or wish to experience) in cycling, and in life is without parallel. I truly mourned for you and your wife, shedding many tears. I will not even pretend to know the depth of pain and heartache you are experiencing in dealing with this, caring for your wife of so many years, and seeing her health deteriorate. I can only partly imagine the anguish that Susan must feel, as a mother, thinking she may not see her children grow up. Cancer. “Terminal” illness…
    I cried, but kept it pretty much together until you talked of telling your children. It was then I completely lost it. Theirs is a pain I know. Deeply. Intimately. My own mother lost a valiant battle with cancer when I was just 15, just one month after her 41st birthday. I know how feels to see your mom be sick, and to loose her much too soon. They are in my prayers every day now.

    My question is this: How are your children doing?

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing such a deep, painful, and intimate part of your life. You have given us all a gift. A gift of perspective–a reminder of what’s truly important in this life. A gift of courage. A gift of an incredible example of selfless love. You are an inspiration to us all.

    I’m sorry this is so lengthy, but I have thought of little else but your children, and their mother, since I happened upon your site just a few days ago. Your readers have given me renewed faith in HUMANITY… The outpouring of prayers, hope, charity, love and good wishes from so many have truly been inspiring.

    I echo what so many have said before me.
    Keep up the fight! We are here with all of you!

  96. Comment by Jenn @ Juggling Life | 05.22.2008 | 11:37 pm

    I’m thinking good thoughts for your family every day.

  97. Comment by Dr. Robert | 05.22.2008 | 11:52 pm

    Fuck cancer. WIN Susan!

  98. Comment by Rob | 05.23.2008 | 4:03 am

    I became a regular reader several weeks ago. I read with hope for the miracle as much as I read to see every comment that is sent. I read each one and savor in the fact that there are so many wonderful people, friends and strangers like me, who sincerely care for Susan, you and your family and are selfless in sharing their feelings and shedding their tears.
    Believe in the power of the bicycle; it brought me here to this blog and I hope it’s energy will keep you strong.

  99. Comment by Pammap | 05.23.2008 | 6:33 am

    Fatty, thanks so much for the update and for telling us how you’re doing. At the grocery store, a short response is appropriate but, I think I can speak for all Friends of Fatty, we really want to know! We care so much.

    Al M’s comment is spot on and eloquent too. It’s not uncommon for me to try to read through tears. You and your beautiful family have touched all of our lives. While your struggle has been long and hard (to put it lightly) your love is astonishing and wonderful.

    2:01 p.m. CST – WIN SUSAN!! I believe.

  100. Comment by Carolyn | 05.23.2008 | 7:24 am

    Bravo to you. I would be irrationally pissed off at my real life friends if I told them this blog was out there and they didn’t check it every day for news, updates, stories. I am petty and small. You are amazing and strong.

    Someday, when they’re older, your kids (and their kids) will be so thankful that you wrote these things down.

    Keep fighting.

  101. Comment by Mitch | 05.23.2008 | 9:23 am

    I received my new jersey today. I’ll think of you guys everytime I wear it.

  102. Comment by Minette | 05.23.2008 | 9:32 am

    Hello Elden and Susan – I almost never comment here, but I wanted to give you two a shout-out from Seattle and tell you that you’re in my thoughts all the time. I came across a cycling race last night up here and tried and tried to find someone in a Fat Cyclist jersey to photograph for you, but…alas…I failed. Maybe I can get Mr. Bringhurst to model one while he has that enormous hair going.

    Sending you love and good wishes from the north country.

  103. Comment by Sarah | 05.23.2008 | 9:39 am

    I know a family who started a positive thought campaign while their youngest child battled an extremely rare form of leukemia – Jack’s Rabbits. Bumper stickers and shirts were all over North Carolina, and still are…several years after his recovery.

    Your blog reaches across the globe and the jerseys may travel just as far. There were 101 positive thoughts on this post alone before I added my comment. Now there are 102.

  104. Comment by mtnbker | 05.23.2008 | 10:06 am

    Thank you very much for the post. It seems irrational, but I feel anxious and find myself thinking of you, Susan and the Family at all times of the day, if you go a fews days without an update. Please don’t feel presured by this. None of us understand what it is to be in your shoes, and when the time comes that you don’t want to share anymore, we will understand. But for right now, we all care, we care a great deal, and we want to know how you are REALLY doing. I commend your abbility to share your truest feelings and emotions.
    btw – just got my new FC 08 jersey today!!! Looks great! Can’t wait to wear it on this afternoons mt ride! We have also changed casual friday to Fatty fridays here at the office, where we all sport our FC tees and drink from our FC bottles.

  105. Comment by AlicesYellowPorsche | 05.23.2008 | 12:08 pm

    I have never been so grateful to have so many hyper-competent and caring women in my family.

    Amen to that. WIN Susan, and keep on drinking milkshakes. :-)

  106. Comment by Beth | 05.23.2008 | 1:03 pm

    I remember driving my MIL to and from the chemo treatments. We always stopped afterwards for those seasonal shamrock milkshakes at McDonalds. She loved them at the time. Can’t stand them now.

    I can’t look at a shamrock anything without remembering.

    Sure am praying for Susan’s miracle. Glad she is getting some physical relief from the treatments.

  107. Comment by je | 05.23.2008 | 1:47 pm

    Hope the ‘progress’ continues forever.

    I got my pink jersey in the mail today and I’ll be wearing it on my group ride tomorrow.

    Win, Susan.

  108. Comment by Andrea | 05.23.2008 | 7:52 pm

    We are praying for you, Susan and your children. Life is a challenge and an adventure. My husband passed along your blog to me and I have been hooked. I cry almost every time I read one of your entries. Our family story is different but similar. I have come to learned how loaded the question is “How are you doing”. My recent answer to others is I’m alive. My husband also writes about our life adventure through a letter/email updates. People seem to really appreciate the honesty and humor. You are truly blessed to have an amazing family and friends to help.

  109. Comment by GSG | 05.23.2008 | 8:26 pm

    Random lurker, the jersey is great. I read, I care. Wishing you all strength.

  110. Comment by scoops | 05.23.2008 | 10:08 pm

    T6 came through, shirt will be on for the Ski to Sea this weekend.

    Plenty-six happy.

  111. Comment by Correy | 05.23.2008 | 10:15 pm

    Thank you so much for chronocling your wife’s illness. I’ve been a lurker for a long time, and two years ago I lost my mother to a similar situation – as far as the brain stuff goes, anyway. I’m so happy that radiation is working for susan. It didn’t work for my mom at all. The side effects of the radiation just made it worse. And it was like one day, she was my mom, and the next day she was a completely different woman. I remember when we shaved her head too, honestly, at the moment it was done – she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

    I’m sorry, I’m rambling, I didn’t want to write a comment to purge my own story. I just wanted to let you know that I wish your family the strength to get through this time, and the ability to enjoy the moments that you have together.

    As a side note, your writing is absolutely wonderful. I’ve read your blog for a couple of years without ever commenting, and I don’t even know a thing about cycling. It’s just the way you write and describe things that makes it all sound incredibly interesting to me. And reading what you’re writing now is cathartic in a way, and is so extremely helpful to me on a deeply personal level. I just wanted to thank you for that.

  112. Comment by Terri | 05.23.2008 | 11:41 pm

    As a Cancer survivor, I can say without any hesitation, that writing the good, bad, and ugly (along with some hair raising comical occurrences) helped me get through it.
    So if documenting things here help you “let it out” then I will enjoy “lurking” and offering up any form of support.
    I’ve linked your blog off mine to honor both of you.

  113. Comment by Mr. Flynn | 05.24.2008 | 10:37 am


    Got my pink jersey yesterday. It looks sweet, I can even see my nipples through it. Bonus. Good thing I wear bibs which add an extra layer over these things. Otherwise, I would have to find some pasties to stick on them so I didn’t freak out people.

    I continue to wish, hope, and pray for the best for you guys.

  114. Comment by Skitch | 05.24.2008 | 5:54 pm


    I’ve lurked on your blog for awhile now, and I’m always impressed by your candor, sense of humor (even when facing something seriously dark), and your spirit. I wish you, your family, and especially your wife the best.

  115. Comment by Walter | 05.24.2008 | 6:08 pm

    Thanks for the update — you know all your readers really care and really want to know. I want you to know that, even though I don’t post all that often, I do read it every day (sometimes multiple times in the same day), and think of and pray for you & your family often. (Especially during the spring & early summer, when I’m ramping up training for the Pan Mass Challenge.)

    A random note: the Pan Mass Challenge just held an event earlier this week where Ed Benz, the head of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute gave a moving speech (among several others), and he mentioned how about 10 days ago, he was in Washington DC with some other cancer advocates (including Lance) testifying at a hearing hosted by Senators Kennedy and Hutchison about the urgent need for increased NIH funding for both cancer care and cancer research. Very poignant, given Sen. Kennedy’s diagnosis last week. I guess the point is, maybe there’s some hope that some increased attention and funding will go in this area, and maybe some day, people won’t have to go through this anymore.


  116. Comment by heather | 05.24.2008 | 6:59 pm

    i have been reading your site. im a nurse and have been hearing about a new cancer – possible breakthrough. it has to so with nano technology. it was just on the news again last night. im not sure if they have started any trials yet but they said that tons if cancer research money is going towards it. its not a gimic solution. its a wonderful website you have and enjoy reading it. im glad you have a wonderful family and a great mom to your kids.

  117. Comment by Di | 05.24.2008 | 9:31 pm

    Fatty -

    I’m one of those hopeful people, and a fighter to the end, so it makes me happy to know that radiation is improving the quality of your family life. :-)

    “How is your wife?”

    You could probably come up with a general answer for this as well. I think most people, when they ask you this question, are asking it with the intention of showing concern for you and her, and not necessarily looking for the true answer to this question. If they want details, they’ll ask. Your generic answer could be something like, “She has developed a taste for funky-flavored milkshakes!”

  118. Comment by LW | 05.24.2008 | 9:57 pm

    Don’t remember how I got to your blog. I have chemo brain still. But, I’ve been reading it ever since.

    Thank you for your honesty. I just finished treatment for cancer in March and I used to respond to people that asked me how I was doing with, “Well, other than cancer, I’m ok.”

    Today has been rough, but compared to your situation, I have nothing about which to complain. I am praying for you guys.

  119. Comment by LW | 05.24.2008 | 10:03 pm

    Ok, I really have chemo brain. I tried to type in my blog plus one my husband designed for me, but I messed the whole thing up!

    My husband designed some shirts, etc for me to encourage and support me with my battle with cancer. You can check them out if you ever have time. I really liked the ones made in honor of your wife. Very special!

  120. Comment by Yukirin boy | 05.25.2008 | 12:39 am

    It is great to here Susan is feeling better, and love and warmth just poured from your last sentence. Lots of little wins can add up to a big win.

  121. Comment by TW | 05.25.2008 | 9:57 am

    I think we’re all put on this earth to serve a purpose. And I feel that every time you post something you’re fulfilling that purpose. It’s made me realise I never want to live far away from my family again. I treasure every special moment.

    You keep on fighting with that awesome spitit, Fatty. If I can attain even half the positivity that you and Susan maintain my life will be awesome.

    We’re all cycling this epic with you!

  122. Comment by Aunt Mary | 05.25.2008 | 7:12 pm

    Dear Elden, Susan and family,
    Thank you for the update as I have been checking as this seems to be the only way I have right now of keeping in touch and hearing the latest. You have a way in your writing of putting life in a perspective that touches all of us and helps others in dealing with whatever might be in their lives. You are all amazing and our love and prayers are with you each day. Hey, Jodi, you are the best and you can call this “Centerville Take out” with any order you want for Elden and family and it will be delivered pronto. I hate this thing I have that will not allow me to be around anyone with a compromised immune system as I feel helpless when I could be helping also. Also Elden, my good friend owns Keva Juice and there is supposed to be a special smoothie being made up for Susan in her favorite flavor and he is going to somehow get it to you. Hugs and kisses to you all and thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world!

  123. Comment by justin70 | 05.25.2008 | 7:17 pm

    Hey Elden,

    I’m praying for you and your family. The blog is great. Good luck with everything.

  124. Comment by Jaime O. | 05.25.2008 | 8:38 pm

    I’m relatively new to the site, the Pioneer Woman had your link up…the first day I read your blog I read a bunch of the archives too…there’s not words really to express how connected these blogs can make you feel to people you’ve never met. Susan, you and the kids are in my thoughts and prayers for continued relief, and yes, a miracle.

  125. Comment by A different Rachel | 05.26.2008 | 5:54 am

    Thanks so much for the update, and amen to everything said so well by others above. We are so glad to hear about Susan’s improvement. Although I don’t have the same reasons for it, I too love Sonic’s orange cream slushie. Every one I drink for the rest of the summer will make me think of your wife.

    “I have never been so grateful to have so many hyper-competent and caring women in my family.”

    Someone commented that your girls are learning by example during this time. I’m sure they’ve always learned from Susan, but along with that, your boys are also learning the true worth and value of a hypercompetent, caring woman. And how to be wonderful, loving husbands. And they all live with a shining example of a “good” (that word is too weak)marriage.

    After reading your post above I went out to work in my garden for a while, which is my personal therapy as cycling is for you. And every shovelful of earth, every budding plant, every muscle of my aching back and legs somehow carries and releases the best and warmest wishes and hopes for a summer full of love, peace, all possible joy and everafter improvement for you and your family.

  126. Comment by Toni | 05.26.2008 | 7:17 am

    Thank you for sharing Susan’s story (and yours) so eloquently and honestly. I just found your blog a couple of weeks ago, and think about you guys often. Funny how this Internet deal works, huh? And yes, remission is always possible, and I’m very glad the radiation is bringing relief and that you both have so much support.

  127. Comment by Kevin Noel | 05.26.2008 | 9:14 am

    I don’t know you probably never will but my prayers are with you and Susan! Fight!

  128. Comment by turnonthejets | 05.26.2008 | 1:06 pm

    Thanks for keeping everyone in the loop. I hope it helps you both in some small way to know there is positive energy coming at you from all directions. win.

  129. Comment by Rocky | 05.26.2008 | 1:35 pm

    It has been a few days. It seems that so many that I know are fighting the same fight (different stages) than you are – my sister, my niece, a lady at work, a friend at church. But when I read here, I feel the crush of your situation. I wish everyday that there was something that I could do – something tangible as in substitution, even for a day, to relieve your burden and hers completely, so completely that you and she would not even have to think of cancer for a day, or for more. Or ever. Short of that, you are in our every prayer, and in our thoughts all of the time.

  130. Comment by BellaCroix | 05.27.2008 | 8:08 pm

    Jersey arrived over the weekend… saw it and wondered why the hell I ordered a pink jersey. I’m riding for MS this year but tossed on the Fatty jersey since all my others were on the line fresh from the wash. I bonked at 25 miles and considered calling my “rescue vehicle” to come pick me up, then I noticed the Pink on my arm and finished out the (abbreviated) ride I had planned.

    Thanks for the motivation to finish it out.

    Will send a pic of the newest Team Fatty member soon.

    -Wearing the Maglia Rosa de Susan proudly.

  131. Comment by Murat Altinbasak | 05.28.2008 | 2:13 am

    Hello Fat Cyclist. Murat here- I flew over here to Turkey for two weeks to spend some time with my father who is rapidly losing the fight with lung cancer. These appear to be his last days. You have an astonishing amount of support here- I’m glad to see it. Me, I cant even get any of my father’s six brothers and sisters to take an interest in his illness and inevitable death. It just makes a sad situation sadder. Best to you and Susan. I’m not the praying type- more of a “hoper” and I hope you are spared from going thru what we’re now going thru. This sucks balls.

  132. Comment by matt | 05.28.2008 | 10:42 am

    I’ve been a cyclist/racer for 20 years. I just came across your blog. About 18 months ago, my partner was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in her bones in her pelvis and lower back. This was 9 years after she first “beat” breast cancer.

    Physically, she’s doing well. Her cancer is “stable.” But the fear and psychological pain have wrecked me. In fact, I can’t read your blog because I can’t face the future prospect of her confusion, disability and suffering.

    You are definitely filling a need to hear from the perspective of the caregiver. I will try to read more of your blog to find out how you are really feeling about all of this. In the meantime, I’m not sure that “WIN” is the proper admonition, with all due respect. Life isn’t about winning and losing…in the end, death gets all of us. I’m more of the mind to write, “LIVE, Susan, live with as much joy as you can find.”

  133. Comment by James | 05.29.2008 | 1:03 pm

    Hey Fatty – I haven’t posted a comment in awhile because I struggle with how meaningful it is to post a comment when there are so many. So then I think – “With what they are going through, maybe I should just post one anyway?” So here I go – no advice, no questions, no personal anectdotes – just best wishes and the sincerest hope that you are both able to continue to endure your hardships and continue to find enjoyment in your lives.

  134. Comment by Tomfree | 05.30.2008 | 1:57 am

    Hey Elden,

    I just looked back at the blog after being away for a while and see that things have taken a turn for the worse. I don’t know what to say other than the ’softies haven’t forgotten you and will pray for Susan and the family – http://teammicrosoft.spaces.live.com/default.aspx



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