An Open Letter to Blake L and His Parents

10.3.2008 | 12:13 pm

A Note from Fatty: The Ciclismo Classico Cycling Trip raffle continues. Learn more about it here and here, and buy tickets here.

Yesterday I got the following email from Carla:

Blake L is fighting for his life. He has leukemia and has received a bone marrow transplant. Various things have happened along the way. He has had seizures, they placed him in a drug coma, various infections, now he is “storming.” They are slowly bringing him out of the coma and he is starting to make eye contact.

He had promise playing football for —- State, now walking again would be a blessing. His parents have not left his side at Children’s in ——- in 4 months. They are looking for things to motivate and give hope. They have an excellent circle of friends with a wonderful prayer chain.

I am an ovarian cancer survivor and I know how important it is to get motivation and prayers. What I would love is an email to forward to Blake for his dad and mom to read to him about staying strong. Can you help?

I told her that I’d do my best, and asked if she minded if I made my letter public and asked my readers to offer their support to Blake and his family in the comments section here. Carla said that would be fine.

Dear Blake (and Blake’s parents),

I probably don’t have anything to tell you that you don’t already know. Since my wife is fighting cancer, too, maybe it’s helpful to hear from someone else who’s fighting a battle a little bit like yours.

There’s nothing at all good about having cancer. Not a single thing. I hate it and what it’s done to my wife more than I would have believed it possible for me to hate anything. I expect you hate what it’s done to you, too. And you should.

On the other hand, there are some pretty great things I’ve learned about me, about my wife, and about people in general.

I’ve learned that people are really good. We’ve gotten to know a lot of doctors and nurses, and we’ve gotten to know our neighbors better than we used to. Everyone I meet shares in our anger at cancer, and everyone wants to help in any way they can.

I’ve learned that everyone takes turns being both strong and weak. Sometimes I feel like I can take care of everything. Sometimes my wife feels like fighting. And sometimes neither of us feels like we can make it to the end of the day — I mean that seriously; there have been days when my wife simply has not been able to imagine how she could make it to bedtime. When you’re feeling strong, that’s great. And when you’re feeling weak, be weak. That’s fine, too. You’re already coping with something most people can’t even imagine. You have permission to tell people that you need them to do everything right now, that right now staying alive is all you’ve got energy for. I promise you that people will be glad to help, and will in fact be grateful to you for giving them a chance to pitch in.

I’ve learned that I can make it through the day. Whether you’re suffering or watching someone suffer, sometimes focusing on one simple thing — enduring — helps. Tell yourself you’re going to make it, and you will.

I’ve learned to not be surprised by surprises. Cancer seems to be as devious as it is evil, and we’ve been caught off guard by it several times. But we’ve learned that we can adapt and we can fight, and we can lean on people who will help us with that fight.

I’ve learned that there are good days. Sometimes, things will level off or even get easier. When your fight is especially difficult that may be hard to believe, but it’s true. You’ll have good days.

I’ve learned to say “thanks.” This has been a hard lesson for me, and I think it’s a hard lesson for most people, but it’s worth learning. When people offer help, say “thanks,” and find a way to take them up on it. When they offer to pray or meditate or send healing vibes or whatever, say thanks and take them up on it.

Be strong when you can, and be glad for others’ help when you need others to be strong. Hate the cancer, but be proud of your own strength. The fact that you’re fighting shows you are strong, even on the days when you don’t feel strong.



PS to readers: If you can, leave a comment offering your own thoughts and support. Thanks.

PPS: You can learn more about Blake, see photos, and read his parent’s journal by clicking here.


  1. Comment by Carl & Kim | 10.3.2008 | 12:21 pm

    We will pray for Blake and his family.

    Carl & Kim
    Youngstown, OH.

  2. Comment by Scrod | 10.3.2008 | 12:21 pm

    As parents of chronically ill kids, we are often asked “how do you do it?” What people like us understand is that there is no alternative. We do whatever it takes, whenever it needs to be done. Alone the way we have met some special people who have helped out tremendously, and it is hard to be gracious and accept this, but we are learning. I hope you folks can learn that as well. May the Blake family have enough hope and strength to get by today, then worry about tomorrow when it comes.

  3. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.3.2008 | 12:33 pm

    We are all behind Blake and his family 100%….with love, prayers and positive thoughts.

    We will also show our support by wearing our NEW 2009 FC Jerseys which arrived today!!!!!

    Together, as a family, we will:


  4. Comment by Michael in TN | 10.3.2008 | 12:33 pm

    Blake – As I helped a loved one fight cancer, you learn things about yourself, about everyone around you, but most importantly about the person fighting for their life – You have an unbelievable strength inside of you, a strength you never knew you had. Relish in the thought that you are not alone and that you can dig deep and FIGHT LIKE HELL.

  5. Comment by Di | 10.3.2008 | 12:36 pm

    As a health care worker, my only contact with cancer patients is usually when they need to have fluid drawn off – fluid in their abdomen or around their lungs. This usually occurs in the later stages and my part is really only therapeutic: it relieves internal pressure so the patient can breathe easier.

    I can tell you that while I’m with these patients, I can’t help but to offer a prayer from my heart to God for these patients and their families. I look like I’m just doing my job and I’m pleasant, but I can feel it in my heart the whole time. It’s not a prayer for miraculous recovery, but a plea for comfort and strength for these people. I find that that is when God is most powerfully felt: when we allow him to offer us comfort and strength not only from the heart, but from others.

    I wish you the best.

  6. Comment by Holly | 10.3.2008 | 12:51 pm

    Blake- I ride with a survivor and as we ride she tells tales of bone marrow transplants and weeks of hell and days of crap and medical things I cannot imagine. She does this while riding hard and training and making me laugh, then she returns home to her four young sons (sons she was told she’d never have when she was diagnosed 20 years ago)… and she is thankful and humble and wonderfully entertaining …. because she fought and she won and you can too. I will tell her a tale when we ride next, and it will be about you, Blake, and your fight. And we’ll both pray and ride even harder. God bless and WIN.

  7. Comment by 331miles | 10.3.2008 | 12:52 pm

    Keep fighting Blake! Many, many thoughts and prayers are coming your way.

  8. Comment by mmat | 10.3.2008 | 12:53 pm

    my cousin’s son is a cancer survivor. i can’t even recall how many times phone calls and emails were sent around worried that the poor little guy wouldn’t even make it through the night. with the support of family members and a strong positive attitude, he managed to pull through. he survived when the best anyone could do was cross their fingers and hope and it seemed the more people who were there, even for just the little things, the better.

    all the best to Blake and family.

  9. Comment by Hamish A | 10.3.2008 | 12:54 pm

    Blake & Family, I’ve got no wise lessons to impart and I can’t offer you words that will make the fight you’re facing any easier but I can offer you positive thoughts and prayers that things start to go your way soon.

    The important thing to try and remember is that no matter how much it might feel like you are – you’re not alone in this. There are great people in the World ready, willing and able to help in anyway they can. Don’t be afraid to call on them when needed.

    Keep faith, keep strong, keep fighting. We’re pulling for you.

  10. Comment by Jon | 10.3.2008 | 1:10 pm

    Blake and Family, I encourage you to lean on God and the loved ones he has placed around you to help when you need it.

    I will keep you all in my prayers and wish you nothing but the best.

  11. Comment by BamaJim | 10.3.2008 | 1:12 pm

    Blake and family,

    I read this just after the alarm on my watch went off, reminding me to pray for Susan Nelsen and several others who are also fighting cancer. You’re now on that list. May God bless and keep you strong as you fight this disease.

  12. Comment by Bob | 10.3.2008 | 1:14 pm

    Be strong Blake…we’re with ya

  13. Comment by chtrich | 10.3.2008 | 1:16 pm

    Blake and family,
    Keep on Keepin’ on!!

  14. Comment by TomE | 10.3.2008 | 1:21 pm

    Blake and family – Be as strong as you possibly can everyday! The entire Fatty readership is behind you!!!

  15. Comment by Richard | 10.3.2008 | 1:23 pm

    Blake; I can’t be as eloquent as Elden, but you need to know that we are all behind you 100%. Even if we aren’t there physically, we are there. It is amazing what the mind and body can do. So hang in there and let us know when you need something, somehow it will be done.

    WIN Blake

  16. Comment by Joe Rosario | 10.3.2008 | 1:31 pm

    Hang tough Blake! Most of us cannot even imagine the battle you’re going through but we’re praying for strength for you and your parents. Don’t lose sight of your love of football. If you were preparing to play it collegiately, then you’re obviously talented. Use that talent and the strength you gain from this battle to teach others. I know I would be proud to have my son learn from someone like you! God bless.

  17. Comment by Trail Dog Craigers | 10.3.2008 | 1:34 pm

    Blake and Family,

    All our thoughts and prayers are with you in your fight. Be strong and persevere. We are all thinking of you and we know you can beat this thing.


  18. Comment by KyClyde | 10.3.2008 | 1:40 pm

    Know that there are people who are thinking of you from all over the country. You are not alone in your fight. We believe in you and your strength to fight and WIN!

    Alan Shepherd
    Madisonville, Ky

  19. Comment by FMS | 10.3.2008 | 1:43 pm

    Win Blake!

  20. Comment by | 10.3.2008 | 1:50 pm

    Win Blake Win!

  21. Comment by kellene | 10.3.2008 | 2:10 pm

    Dear Blake,
    There is nothing easy about hardship…that is why it is so discouraging at times. It can be tedious, long, and without answers. This does not mean that you cannot rise above your current circumstance though. You are obviously a talented, strong young man. Use your energy to stay positive and see your self through this. Many people will be there to walk this walk with you.
    Many prayers of hope, comfort and peace will come your way. I know you can benefit from this and from the love you will be surrounded by.
    Elden (fat cyclist) is my brother and I have watched in awe as they have gone through the pains of cancer too. They have been blessed in many ways as they continue to fight this mean disease.
    Wishing you the very best.

  22. Comment by Jodi | 10.3.2008 | 2:28 pm

    Hi Blake and Blake’s family!

    My name is Jodi, I am (another) of Elden’s sisters. Cancer hit my brother’s family in a definite way with Susan’s battle, and my husband’s brother Shawn did hard time with Leukemia as well. While I have had the opportunity to try and help both families, it has never felt like I could quite do enough. I guess that is born from the desire to make things better, to fix things. And with Cancer – it’s just never up to you to “fix” it. Sometimes things work, other times, not so much.

    What remains constant is that smiles can still be had, laughter can still be summoned and love will rain down in an unending stream. I have seen support from all over the world come to my brother when he needs it the most – and I do believe it is what lifts him up enough to get to the next day.

    To echo Fatty my brother – ask those around you for what you need or want. And believe that there is a growing number of people in this world putting your name on things they hope the best for. This Brooklyn family will be doing just that.

  23. Comment by Jim | 10.3.2008 | 2:52 pm

    WIN Blake
    WIN Susan

    Obstacles are those frightful things
    you see when you take your eyes
    off your goal. – Henry Ford (and others)

    Focus on the goal and the journey toward it, not the obstacles in your path.

  24. Comment by El Animal | 10.3.2008 | 3:05 pm

    Win Blake!

  25. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 10.3.2008 | 3:06 pm


    I lived in Vandalia, Ohio on Old Brown School Road as a LDS missionary 20 years ago.

    In kind of a unique situation I was actually companions with my older brother dave in that very town for his last month of his mission. We over lapped for 1 year.

    So my thoughts and prayers go out to my “old” neighbors in the crossroads of America. Good luck bro. keep fighting!! Kinda like my Utes did last night.

    “Elder” Mike Lewis

  26. Comment by rich | 10.3.2008 | 3:07 pm

    Blake and family. Be strong, take comfort in the little things and keep fighting…never give up, never give in.
    Remember to accept help when it’s offered. As hard as it is to accept, it’s often as good for the giver as those that receive it.

    You’re in my prayers….

    Win Blake
    Win Susan

  27. Comment by rexinsea | 10.3.2008 | 3:31 pm

    Blake and family:
    Trust in yourself, your family, your friends, your communinity and God. Our prayers are with you today.

    Elden (and many others in the comments) have excellent advice for you. Follow what makes sense to you and know you’ve got a whole little slice of the world pulling for you on Fatty’s blog.

    All the best,

  28. Comment by Big Boned | 10.3.2008 | 3:34 pm

    To Blake, his family and friends,
    I can’t say I know what you are going through – I don’t. All I can do is include you in my 2:01pm daily prayers from Northern Virginia. And I will. That prayer started for Susan. It saddens me that the list of names continues to grow.
    Stay strong, be well, and be there for each other.
    Big Boned

  29. Comment by Woody | 10.3.2008 | 3:40 pm

    Sending prayers your way. Stay strong!

  30. Comment by NW | 10.3.2008 | 3:47 pm

    Sending good thoughts for Blake and Susan.


  31. Comment by sansauto | 10.3.2008 | 3:49 pm

    I think that the little yellow arm bands representing the fight against cancer say “LIVE STRONG” for a reason. I think that reason is less about Lance’s last name and more a command to those with cancer on how they need to live. My family will be praying for you.

  32. Comment by Linda | 10.3.2008 | 3:59 pm

    Blake and family…..We are praying for you, and will ask our son’s football team to pray for you also.


  33. Comment by Walter | 10.3.2008 | 4:09 pm

    Dear Blake and Family,
    I’m not nearly as eloquent as Elden and some of the other regular posters here, but wanted to offer my words of encouragement and support nonetheless. My wife is a cancer survivor, and the bike team I ride with to raise funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute here in Boston was started by good friends whose youngest daughter had leukemia. Like the others have said so much better than I can, there is nothing good about cancer, but if it’s the hand you’re dealt, you might as well make of it what you can. Some days that will be difficult if not impossible, other days it will be easier. Don’t get down on yourself during the former, and try to enjoy and cherish the latter.
    Live strong, keep up the fight, and WIN!


  34. Comment by ryed4fuhn | 10.3.2008 | 4:11 pm

    Keep up the fight, continue to win, and always livestrong. My prayers are with ya brotha.

  35. Comment by Kathleen | 10.3.2008 | 4:15 pm

    Thinking good thoughts for you and your family Blake…sending big virtual hugs :-)

  36. Comment by Indy | 10.3.2008 | 4:26 pm

    Blake, keep fighting- You are all are in my thoughts and prayers-

    Fatty, what an amazing letter. You hit the nail on the head.

  37. Comment by Clydesdale | 10.3.2008 | 5:35 pm


    Blake, I hope that you realize that although you are by yourself you are not alone. This place, this incredible community, that Fatty and all of his readers/ contributors/ commentors have made is proof of the good things people can do. Your fight is now part of our fight.
    Just like wind sprints on the field, it’s deadly hard but boy does it feel good when you/we WIN!!

  38. Comment by pammap | 10.3.2008 | 5:43 pm

    Blake and Blake’s Mom & Dad,

    Like others here, I don’t know firsthand the fight you’re in but I stand with you just the same.

    Everyday the alarm on my cell phone rings at 2:01 p.m. CT at which time I breathe a prayer for Susan and others fighting things like cancer and MS and now leukemia. Blake, Mom, and Dad, you’re now on that list. WIN! WIN! WIN!

  39. Comment by Stites fam | 10.3.2008 | 8:03 pm

    Blake and Family,

    Keep focused on things you can control, fighting all the way. Try not to worry about what you can’t control. We can only imagine the fight you are in, but we are proud of the courage you are demonstrating. Your efforts makes others try a little harder, you are inspiring. WIN!

    Stites fam,

  40. Comment by Chris B. | 10.3.2008 | 8:23 pm

    Blake (and everyone else who hates cancer),
    My 52 year old father was diagnosed with brain cancer on his 51st birthday. After a year and 3 surgeries we thought we had more time with him but the cancer decided otherwise. He died 29 days after his 52nd birthday. Sometimes you don’t get long to fight because of surprise comebacks from cancer. Sometimes you get to surprise cancer and comeback. Whatever the circumstances there are many prayers offered and many people cheering from the sidelines for you, Fatty’s wife and those close to us.
    Some of us can only fight cancer by sending sincere (albeit cheezy) comments on well-known blogs and donating to the cause, but we’re still fighting.
    -Chris from Canada

  41. Comment by Lucas | 10.3.2008 | 9:00 pm

    Hang tough..
    Ask for help…
    Keep Climbing…

  42. Comment by Charisa | 10.3.2008 | 9:40 pm

    Be strong and our prayers are with you and your family! God bless.

  43. Comment by Don | 10.3.2008 | 10:30 pm

    Blake, and family:

    Much love, and many Prayers coming your way. You MUST fight like hell right now. It is important to be strong every second that you can, and in the moments you just can’t take a minute to catch your breath to kick the leukemia’s a__ when you’re feeling up to it! Staying positive is the only hope to pull through. Again, much love is coming your way, and many Prayers will be said.

    Cleveland, Ohio

  44. Comment by adp | 10.4.2008 | 1:37 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Team Blake!!

    Good vibes headed your way from Texas!

  45. Comment by phay | 10.4.2008 | 2:42 am

    Today is Winner Day all over the World!
    Everybody out day fighting anything WINS TODAY! … I just decided that … !
    So Blake you and Susan are on top of that list.



  46. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.4.2008 | 2:52 am

    Keep fighting Blake and lean on your mates, they will be there for you. When you beat cancer, take up rugby! :-)

    With love from London.


  47. Comment by Linda in Maryland | 10.4.2008 | 4:09 am

    Blake & family,

    We’ll be keeping you in our prayers. Keep up the good fight Blake.

    Win Blake Win!

  48. Comment by Sara | 10.4.2008 | 4:43 am

    Sending a lot of good thoughts for Blake and Susan.


  49. Comment by Rob L | 10.4.2008 | 6:58 am

    Sending good thoughts from Blake and his family also.

    Win Blake,
    Win Susan,
    Win Everyone!

  50. Comment by Layne | 10.4.2008 | 8:06 am


    Beat this thing. My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time. Hang in there!

  51. Comment by Caren | 10.4.2008 | 8:29 am

    Blake and Family,

    I am a recent breast cancer survivor. My fight was nothing compared to yours, but having to walk down the cancer path means that we have shared many of the same experiences. Fighting, and defeating, cancer is not something you can do alone – you need all of your strength AND the love and support from family, friends, and yes, complete strangers. It is truly amazing how uplifting it can be when others reach out to hold you up…for you and for them! Let them, they need to do it as much as you need it.


    ps. Fatty – your letter really touched me…here come the tears again. Thanks for sharing the good and the tough times.

  52. Comment by Bluenoser | 10.4.2008 | 9:24 am

    Prayers Blake from Nova Scotia Canada.


  53. Comment by leon | 10.4.2008 | 9:26 am

    It’s posts like this and the comments that come after that restores my faith in humanity.

    To Blake and family, LIVESTRONG and WIN!
    Keep in mind that cancer can be and have been beaten, before, i’m a living testament to that. Just don’t
    give up, especially now that you’ve got the fatty community behind you.


  54. Comment by Maile in Florida | 10.4.2008 | 9:36 am

    Dear Blake,

    My best wishes, hopes, and thoughts are going out to you and your family. When the battle gets overwhelming, just do your best to take it a step at a time and keep on fighting–we’re all rooting for you.

    WIN Blake!
    WIN Susan!

    With best aloha,
    Maile in Florida

  55. Comment by Anonymous | 10.4.2008 | 9:46 am

    Dear Blake,
    try to stay focused on the love that surrounds you, that envelops you at every moment, and on the positive things, though they may seem few and far between at the moment. They are there, and they can help keep you focused on healing. You, and your family are now loved by many hundreds more people you don’t know from all over the world, all adding their prayers and positive energy to the ether that is this world – it is making its way to you, you can be darned certain!

    Fatty has some great suggestions, and there’s none better than him to give them to you, as he lives it daily.

    I’m devoting my entire day today to sending you prayers. Listen, breathe, believe, WIN.

    Jennifer in Colorado

  56. Comment by wanpablo | 10.4.2008 | 11:42 am

    All the best in your fight!


  57. Comment by Kamikaze Kris | 10.4.2008 | 6:17 pm

    All you have to do is to believe that you CAN beat it! Will is the weapon of mass-healing!


    K. in Australia

  58. Comment by John Gilliland | 10.4.2008 | 8:39 pm


    Eldon described what it’s like to live strong. Follow his advice.

    Our thoughts & prayers are with you and yours.


  59. Comment by Jenni | 10.4.2008 | 8:42 pm

    I am currently dealing with breast cancer. How about this- I will take the crap for both of us- you go and be well and happy and everything will be ok. I’ve got it covered.

    Much love and light my friend,

  60. Comment by Shiny Flu | 10.5.2008 | 3:40 am

    It’s a hard fight, but you can fight it. It’s a hard game, but you can win it. Never, ever give up.

  61. Comment by Mom of Fatty | 10.5.2008 | 8:46 am

    For Blake’s mom and dad,
    I know how hard it is to see and live with the fact that your child is going through so much more than you ever thought possible. I know the feeling that, “Oh that I could take his place and he could live the life of his and our dreams.” My admiration to you for the love you have put into action. I marvel at my children, each in their own way, of dealing with the heart aches of life. And I feel blessed that they have so surpassed me.

  62. Comment by Ed W | 10.5.2008 | 9:37 am

    My wife has a chronic, debilitating disease, so we know about good days and bad ones. We cherish the best of them, but when you give it proper consideration, all of us – regardless of our health – should accept good days with joy and grace. And we should provide mutual support for the inevitable bad ones.

  63. Comment by Uphill Battle | 10.5.2008 | 11:28 am

    Fatty, you never cease to amaze me. Your words are words of comfort and hope not only to Blake’s family but to every family who is watching a loved one suffer. Continued prayers for Susan, you, and the family. I’ve added Blake to my caringbridge list. (I’ve alreay got about six caringbridge kids.)

  64. Comment by REDRUDY | 10.5.2008 | 6:25 pm

    Normally I read fatty and get a good chuckle and just keep moving, but today I was compelled to stop. Not that it is the same, but my Mom had cancer and it is something that she fought as hard as she could. The result wasn’t what we hoped for, but it showed me the absurd stength an individual can have. You have that strength, actually you probably have at least twice that strength. So, although your days may suck right now, and as unpleasant as they may be, you need to think positively. Use all those positive thoughts that you have and those from others to feed your strength, it will make a difference. I wish you all the best and hope you will have a long, happy life.

  65. Comment by dr_robert | 10.5.2008 | 9:18 pm


  66. Comment by AJ | 10.6.2008 | 6:24 am

    Blake – I wanted to let you know that I am part of the Team in Training program in central IL. I am passing this letter and your story along to my team to remind them what we are fighting for. I want you to know that there are thousands of people out there training and running to find a cure for cancer. We know that what we’re doing cannot compare at all to the fight that you’re engaged in. Please know that we keep you and all of those fighting this awful disease in our thoughts and prayers. Know that we think of you and your family and that we want you to WIN!

  67. Comment by Gillian | 10.6.2008 | 7:32 am

    Blake –

    Two days ago, my corporate Relay for Life team turned in $5000 to the American Cancer Society to fight cancers like yours. My community raised over $250,000. There are people all across the nation doing just the same thing, pouring money into LiveStrong and the ACS, so that researchers and support systems have the money they need to help you. The entire country is behind you and your parents in this fight.

    I’m sorry this is happening to you. It isn’t fair. It sucks. All I can say to it is – WIN BLAKE. Win.

    Gillian in North Carolina

  68. Comment by Blorgh | 10.6.2008 | 7:41 am

    Win Blake and Win Susan!

  69. Comment by Ka_Jun | 10.6.2008 | 8:02 am

    Will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Fight hard!

  70. Comment by Jon | 10.6.2008 | 9:59 am

    Don’t give up, Blake. Fight hard and keep your faith up.

  71. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.6.2008 | 10:32 am


    I am praying for you at 2:01 PM PST, along with Susan




  72. Comment by Mrs F/C Susan | 10.6.2008 | 10:38 am

    Blake and family,

    I am so sorry for what you are having to endure. Stay Strong and fight. There are so many good people in this world that go up and beyond themselveves to show love and that they want to help. So amazing. Let them help you if can. I think these acts of kindness can bring a little peace to both sides.

    Give thanks for each day and each person you love. Some days will be good, others not so good.

    Try and stay positive. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Mrs. F/C


    p.s.I have to say it :Cancer Sucks!

  73. Comment by nibo | 10.6.2008 | 1:44 pm

    People have it and fight it every day and every day there are people who make it. You can make it.


  74. Comment by Bill F. | 10.6.2008 | 4:12 pm

    Welcome to the Fatty Family. The funny thing about this blog is that it is more like a living room than a website. We have a great time together but most of all, we support each other.

    We will include you in our family prayers.



  75. Comment by tough cookie | 10.7.2008 | 3:44 pm

    i’ve been fighting lung cancer for the better part of two years – since i was 26; i’ve never been a smoker; i’ve always been an athlese; now i’ve had chemo, had two lobes of my right lung removed, had more chemo paired with radiation, they told me i was clear, they told me it was back, i’ve been back on the chemo for the past eight months.

    it is nothing less than a roller coaster. for me, and unfortunately, those closest to me.

    i find the best i can do is reflect on the good things when my head hits the pillow each night, never miss an opportunity to say “i love you” – be it to family, my boyfriend, or friends – and never miss a chance to say “thank you”, either – for things big and small, to nurses, doctors, people holding doors, or even a pizza guy bringing much needed tasty goodness.

    i hate the cancer with all my being, and i hate the cancer that has found the way into friends’ lives, and strangers’ lives, too.

    be thankful for all that is good in the world, because there is a whole lot of it.

    fight like hell.

    you have one more fan out there in cancer land tonight, blake & family.

  76. Comment by Cliff | 10.8.2008 | 2:03 pm


    I’m a 3-time blood cancer survivor (aggressive chemo-resistant nHL, Hodgkins, grey-zone B-cell lymphoma) and had my allogeneic BMT two years ago this month. I currently have chronic GvHD, courtesy of the BMT. Throughout my 5 years dealing with cancer, endurance SS and fixedgear cycling has been my primary exercise regimen. Every other type of rigorous exercise is either too harsh for my body (having done four major treatments) or bad for my immune system, which is always weak or non-existent. I’ve been on high doses of prednisone (corticosteroid/immunosuppressant) for the last 5 months to tame my latest GvHD flare-up, and that makes me very weak, but I’ve been able to do three century rides since the NYC Century on 9/7 within the past five weeks. One century every other week, with the first two on my fixie and last week’s was the hilly Bike MS-100 NYC. (I’ve done the NYCC every year since my first diagnosis in 2004 and it usually coincides with when I’m at Stage 4 just before a major treatment.)

    So, being able to get out there and do your thing AFTER a BMT is very possible. Have hope. And know, that one day, you’ll be out inspiring others to do the same. Hoping the best for you, buddy.


  77. Comment by Penny | 10.9.2008 | 3:22 pm

    I am an ICU nurse. It may seem that my personal experience is limited to a loss of my father to Adenocarcinoma, but it has grown with the many individuals that have stepped through the hospital doors.
    Believe. Like the many people who have posted before me I encourage you to have faith. Faith in a higher power, your family, your physicians and caretakers – most importantly yourself. Will is an amazing vehicle. You can drive yourself forward to the future, one moment at a time.
    As for me, I will pray for you. The words of one more person joining the thoughts of many. Take Care.


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