A Susan — And Fatty — Update (Plus More Prizes)

10.6.2008 | 11:08 am

In comments and email, I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately for an update on how Susan’s doing. I’ve been mostly ignoring those requests, though. And I have a good reason.


Basically, things have been going pretty well for the last several weeks, and I’ve been loathe to jinx our good luck by saying, “Things have been going pretty well.”

However, it’s well known (within the part of my head that sets the rules for jinxes) that by explicitly acknowledging the potential jinx, you defuse it, so I think we’re OK, and I can give you a little bit of an update about how she’s doing…and about how I’m doing, too. Because I like to talk about me.

Mildly Good News Is Really Great News
Susan’s recent MRI shows no new cancer growth in any of her soft tissue trouble spots: nothing in her lungs, nothing on her liver. The MRI also shows that the blood clot that went into Susan’s lung is dissipating.

MRIs don’t show what’s going on in the bones and it’s been a while since Susan’s had a bone scan, so we don’t really know for sure how she’s doing there — and her bones are where the cancer has really taken root and given her trouble. However, a pretty simple way to tell whether you’ve got tumors growing in your bones is by the intense pain they cause — and Susan isn’t experiencing any new pain.

Susan’s tolerating her chemo very well. We seem to have the dosage right, because by being careful about what she eats, Susan isn’t feeling a lot of side effects from the Xeloda. Meanwhile, we’re slowly reducing the steroid (Decadron) dose, which Susan is really excited about, because she hates the way it puffs out her face. Who wouldn’t?

Susan has a physical therapist coming over to our house three times a week, helping Susan get some strength back into her legs. And it seems to be helping. I notice that Susan’s able to get around much more quickly and confidently with her walker, and is able to do tasks that she hadn’t been able to do just a month ago.

There are some little signs that Susan’s getting some feeling back in her lower legs. That’s of course good news, but the bad news is that feeling is in the form of pain. Susan’s being very tough about that, though, and only complains about the pain when I tell her that she’s required to complain at least a little bit or I won’t feel good about myself when I complain nonstop about this nasty hangnail.

As far as her brain goes, Susan’s still totally mentally clear, which is the best news of all.

How I’m Doing
If it’s OK, I’d like to take a moment to boast, because I feel like it. Namely, I feel like boasting that I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’m able to take care of Susan and the kids. Right now, every day I am:

  • Getting the kids up
  • Getting the kids dressed and to school on time
  • Fixing all the meals for everyone
  • Taking care of the dishes
  • Doing the laundry
  • Straightening the house
  • Making sure homework gets done

Until this year, I’ve pretty much left these tasks to Susan. Sure, I could handle these jobs when Susan was sick or unavailable, but that was always in emergency mode. Now I do them every day, and I’m getting darn close to having them down to a system.

In addition to all this, I of course still have my job, this blog, and my cycling. And other stuff.

So yeah, I feel pretty pleased with myself. Kind of like I’ve moved into the Expert class or something.

Win a Cycling Trip in Italy or France — More Prizes!
As you no doubt know by now, Ciclismo Classico is donating a cycling trip — either the Maratona of the Dolomites in Italy or the Tour de France, your choice — as part of a raffle to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Well, The Minnehaha Classic Canvas Bag Company is sweetening the pot. First, Second and Third prize winners will also get their choice of one of the following:

Canvas Shoulder Bag


Canvas Saddle Bag


Canvas Grocery Bag Pannier


You’ve only got today and tomorrow to enter the raffle, so you’d better get going on it now.


  1. Comment by nearlyfamousfred.blogspot.com | 10.6.2008 | 11:22 am


    Glad to hear that Susan’s doing feeling better. (Knock on wood. Don’t want to tempt the jinx god’s either).

    Also glad to hear that your doing better too.

    Hang in there.


  2. Comment by Trail Dog Craigers | 10.6.2008 | 11:24 am

    Glad to hear everything is “stable” so to speak. We’ll keep praying and keep you both in our thoughts

  3. Comment by Boz | 10.6.2008 | 11:24 am

    Fatty, don’t jinx your good fortune. I posted the other day about how things were turning around for me, and 2 days later, it all went in the toilet.

    Win Susan!!

  4. Comment by Woody | 10.6.2008 | 11:26 am

    Always love to hear good news! Stay strong!!

  5. Comment by The D | 10.6.2008 | 11:29 am

    I am glad to read that the latest news is, in relative terms, non-horrifying. As always, I continue to draw strength from the way both you and Susan handle this accursed thing.

    BTW – just got the FC jersey this weekend. Looks terrific, and it sure is a conversation starter…

    Just so you know, I generally characterize your blog in the following manner,

    “Imagine a reality show that did something other than justify your jadedness. Fatty’s site’s “about” being an half-kid/ half-family-man with an unwholesome bike fetish. But, well, you know how some things can be pant-wettingly funny or heartachingly serious depending on the hour? It’s like that. You should check it out. Yes, you’ll understand the pink and the “win” if you read it.”


  6. Comment by PissedOffCil | 10.6.2008 | 11:39 am

    It’s great to hear the good news, very encouraging.

    But the problem is that the LAF website for donating doesn’t accept either one of my credit cards… It might me a server error so I’ll try again and hopefully I’ll be able to donate becasue the 8th the big day, b-day that is and with the extra bag in the raffle it’s getting a better and bigger gift!!!!

  7. Comment by XCTiger | 10.6.2008 | 11:40 am

    Glad to hear things are holding well for your family, and we’ll continue with prayers and hopes that the good stuff continues.

  8. Comment by Melski | 10.6.2008 | 11:57 am

    Great word! And good job! Any further update on Dan, Botched Experiment? How’s his leg healing? I’ve been praying for him too.

  9. Comment by RockLobster | 10.6.2008 | 12:03 pm

    Great to hear things are going well. Unfortunately, we had some depressing news on Friday. A close friend of my wife and I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and is scheduled to have her uterus removed on Wednesday. Our friend is only 29 years old. Thankfully, she already has two children. Sadly, they had hoped to have a third, which of course is impossible now.
    Another close friend of my wife lost her mother over the weekend to cancer.
    Damn this disease.

  10. Comment by Gavin | 10.6.2008 | 12:10 pm

    Glad to hear all is (relatively) well. In other good news, as above, I got my FC Jersey in the post this morning ! It’s deadly, thanks v. much

  11. Comment by Paula Kirsch | 10.6.2008 | 12:14 pm

    Fatty , you should be pleased with yourself. It’s very few men who EVER get to realize how difficult it is to run and home and bring up responsible kind human beings. As for Susan, well there must s a dictionary somewhere with her picture about the word courage, hers and yours. Win Susan, Win Fatty!


  12. Comment by Flatman | 10.6.2008 | 12:18 pm

    So glad to hear the good news about Susan…!

    Also, big kudos to you for handling it all while she needs you to. You are a good man.

  13. Comment by Don | 10.6.2008 | 12:18 pm

    HOLY $14,206 BATMAN!!
    WHOA! Fatty, I’m sure you caught that, but the raffle is up to $14,206! I’m glad you mentioned that, on account I’d have totally forgot that I haven’t entered and likely would’ve forgot.

    @ Paula Kirsch: Amen, sister! I will throw in my two cents and say this; God forbid something ever happens to my wife… The house and everything surrounding it… Screwed. That’s right, If something happens to my wife, plan for catastrophic failure!

    Way to go Fatty!
    WIN SUSAN!!!

  14. Comment by Kathleen | 10.6.2008 | 12:18 pm

    Go Fatty! Check you out handling all the challenges of running a household and managing a family. So it’s true…men really *can* do all that stuff. I’m so proud of you :-)

    Hugs to Susan – she’s amazing!!

  15. Comment by bikemike | 10.6.2008 | 12:30 pm

    I’m posting my good luck wishes and prayers to Blake L. here because i didn’t want to jinx him by posting direct on your last post. i know that sounds skewed but there’s a good reason i don’t gamble in vegas.

    God bless you Blake and your family. you’re part of the fatty family and our thoughts are with you. fight the good fight.

    wasn’t Xeloda and Decadron on Xena Warrior Princess?

    keep fighting Susan.

  16. Pingback by A Susan — And Fatty — Update (Plus More Prizes) | Randomblog blog | 10.6.2008 | 12:32 pm

    [...] A Susan — And Fatty — Update (Plus More Prizes) Posted by admin on October 06, 2008 random In comments and email, I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately for an update on how Susan’s doing. I’ve been mostly ignoring those requests, though. And I have a good reason. [...]

  17. Comment by Annie | 10.6.2008 | 12:36 pm

    I’m so glad to hear how you all are doing. Win, Susan!

  18. Comment by Slow Rider | 10.6.2008 | 12:43 pm

    can you explain the quote on the inside of the back pocket?

    I must have missed the discussion about it.

    many prayers for Susan

    I am also looking for a sleevless jersey like Kenny. I am doing a half IronMan next year and want to wear a “win Susan” jersy that will function for both the bick and run.


  19. Comment by fatty | 10.6.2008 | 1:01 pm

    slow rider – you’ll find an explanation of that quote here:


    as to the sleeveless jersey, kenny got his by taking a pair of scissors to a regular jersey.

  20. Comment by KanyonKris | 10.6.2008 | 1:22 pm

    Very good news! WIN Susan!

  21. Comment by fremont mike | 10.6.2008 | 1:25 pm

    Glad to hear things are going well. I pray that they will stay that way for you guys.

    Best wishes and continued prayers!!!
    Win Susan!!!

    mike jones

  22. Comment by Lizzylou | 10.6.2008 | 1:38 pm

    Hangnails are a pain aren’t they!!!

    Susan, glad to hear all the good news. Fight like a Girl!!

  23. Comment by reagan | 10.6.2008 | 1:41 pm

    I just wanted to leave a comment letting you know how impressed I am with your scheduled abilities at cooking and taking care of the kids as well as all the other things you’re doing. Like work. That’s a heck of a lot more than I do.

  24. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.6.2008 | 2:39 pm

    Minnehaha bags, eh? Too bad Gary Fisher stopped making the Gitchee Gumee.

    I’m psyched to hear that the jerseys are on their way.

    And even more psyched to hear that…oh, I’m not going to jinx things, but you know…

    * WIN Susan *

  25. Comment by Lins - Aust | 10.6.2008 | 3:02 pm

    Fatty – You are a champion.

  26. Comment by Bjorn 4Lycra | 10.6.2008 | 4:07 pm

    It’s good.

  27. Comment by Jennifer | 10.6.2008 | 4:35 pm

    Got my jersey Saturday and proudly wore it on a SWAMP (Southwest Association of Mountain Bike Pedalers) ride yesterday. Neglected to bring a camera to capture the sight, but I did pick up enough sand in my face that, when I looked in a mirror, it appeared that I had applied a light grey eyeshadow.

    Glad things are going well.

    WIN Susan!

    (Even though we’re in the middle of the state of Florida we still call ourselves South….go figure…we’re all geographically challenged. The University of South Florida is here in Tampa.)

  28. Comment by Di | 10.6.2008 | 5:03 pm

    Fatty -

    It sounds like things are “normalizing.” Not the old normal, but a new normal. That’s good. It’s nice to be able to get into a groove for a while. I wish you the best. :-)

  29. Comment by El Animal | 10.6.2008 | 5:24 pm

    WIN Susan! I have no problems you and your family are my heros.

    I just received my jersey the day before my birthday. It basically saved my BD. Last week it was an awful one and I thought I would just bury myself and lay to rest instead of celebrating, and then I received that package. Thank you, you made a sad cyclist happy for one day!!!

  30. Comment by BUBBASEADOG | 10.6.2008 | 6:58 pm

    just got my jersey after a wkend ride from San Antone to Corpus for MS win susan its really a cool jersey and ill wear it proudly.

  31. Comment by Jeff&Jenn | 10.6.2008 | 8:05 pm

    So glad to hear that Susan is doing so well! The last time I saw Susan we talked about getting together and firing up her jewelry kiln but then she started chemo and I didn’t want to bother her while she wasn’t feeling good. I will call her and see if she feels up to it. I think about you guys everyday. You are an awesome dad and husband to help out so much with everything!

    Win Susan!


  32. Comment by Chubby | 10.6.2008 | 8:14 pm

    Way to go, Susan!

  33. Comment by Jodi | 10.6.2008 | 8:20 pm

    So eh….Mr. Fatty Fantastic doesn’t need his little sister out there anymore, eh? C’mon….brother! You gotta lower the bar a little so that when I come out to “help” it actually feels like help!

    You’re a good man Charlie Brown. I can not believe this contest you have going. Awesome.

  34. Comment by Jsun | 10.6.2008 | 9:01 pm

    thish ish shtill shome shweet shtuff
    thanksh fatsh shycylisht

  35. Comment by Undomestic | 10.6.2008 | 9:56 pm

    So glad for the update and for the continued strength I gain from Susan.

    And yeah for you! What you’re doing is so important for your family!

  36. Comment by leon | 10.6.2008 | 9:59 pm

    so even though you’re the slow middle-aged guy on the bike at least you can say that when it comes to being
    a parent-husband you’re Cat-1.


  37. Comment by Ian Hopper | 10.6.2008 | 10:16 pm

    Yeah for good news! No new bad news is good news is my book! I don’t pretend to be fighting anything like what Susan is, but I do totally sympathize with the housebound/wheelchair business: I’m stuck in a wheelchair (and *gasp* off a bike) for about 3 months. I’m actually jealous of Dan’s (Botched) injury because he’s going to be laid up a lot shorter than I am (I went to his wife’s blog and we swapped comments) I’m bummed but trying to keep my spirits up. Fatty, your blog and the other bicycle related blogs are what’s keeping me from ripping out my hair: they are the balm for my bicycle desperate mind. BTW, I donated & entered the Raffle last week… I’m waiting anxiously for Wednesday!

    Eldon, BIG Kudos to you for taking on the increased parental wranglings with aplomb: my wife has had to take on a lot more parental responsibility since I got hurt so I know how much you are shouldering… good thing you’re a strong stout man because I know the load can be heavy sometimes. And I agree: Susan’s name is part of the definition of “courage” for me. WIN SUSAN!

  38. Comment by Swedoz | 10.6.2008 | 11:19 pm

    Great to hear things are going OK. So if you´ve moved into expert class is it possible to find a word to describe Susan – awesome, incredible, fantastic – don´t seem to quite capture the image I´ve built up in my head over the past couple of years. I´ll leave it up to your superior wordsmith skills to solve this one Fatman.

    Sending all the positive vibes I can to two of the most amazing people I´ve heard of, plus their kids of course.


  39. Comment by Dad and Janel | 10.7.2008 | 4:13 am

    It is so good to get an update. We have been wondering for a while. Sounds like you are handling things very well, good for you.
    Your Dad wants to know if Susan got the package we sent, I want to know about the children!! With your description of all the task you do each day tells me that all that training at home and all the chores you were assigned really paid off!! ha ha, However, you being big in bikes also tells me I should have spent more days fishing with you, then you could really be doing something that involves great concentration and skill… so, it’s not too late to learn something new and is really fulfilling. Remember fish is brain food and we could all use a little help, also a day spent fishing is not deducted from a man’s life!!

  40. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.7.2008 | 5:24 am

    I am traveling this week and spreading the news about FC, the raffle, the LAF and Susan.

    Thanks for the updates…..and it ain’t braggin’ if it’s true!!


  41. Comment by MikeonhisBike | 10.7.2008 | 5:57 am

    I’m really glad to hear that Susan is doing better and that you have settled into Super Dad mode. It can’t be easy for either of you. Keep fighting!!

    Mike J

  42. Comment by Mocougfan | 10.7.2008 | 7:02 am

    Always good to hear positive news. I make our bed every morning and make breakfast for the kids. I really can’t imagine being able to do to much more than that. Very impressive.

    Good job Dad.

    WIN SUSAN. We’re all pulling for you.

  43. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 10.7.2008 | 7:11 am

    I’m glad to hear that you’re “taking care of the dishes.” I’m sure they’re enjoying the extra attention.

  44. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.7.2008 | 10:49 am

    Thanks for the update, Elden. So glad things are going well with Susan. And I am pleased to hear you are able to straighten the house – a crooked house would be demoralizing.

    Got the new jersey yesterday. – It is the best one ever. T6 guys – Sorry I whined about the jerseys being too short – that must have been the 2006 models. This 2008 model is plenty long, the fabric is improved, the fit is excellent. Best ever!


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