Jumbled Mess

10.20.2008 | 10:55 pm

I love stories. I love listening to people tell stories, and I love to cram my own experiences into stories, changing, creating, and ignoring events as necessary to fit the pace I like. Eventually, I expect that today (i.e., Monday) — which started for me at 12:15 this morning — will resolve into a story.

Right now, though, it’s an extraordinary jumble of events that I have a difficult time believing fit into a single day.

I have a suspicion I won’t get to sleep until I type all this down — not sure why that’s true, but it is — and since hundreds of you took the time to express support to my quick message earlier today, I figure a lot of you would appreciate knowing what’s going on (as far as I know).

Monday, Just After Midnight

Susan woke me with these words: “I think I’m dying.”

I can’t remember what the order of my responses were, since they all gushed out of me in pretty much random order. I asked her what was wrong. I asked if I should call 911 or the oncologist. I told her she wasn’t dying. I asked her what I should do.

But Susan wanted to tell me she loved me and that she would miss me and the kids. And she was apologizing for having to die. And she couldn’t breathe.

I told her she couldn’t die and that I wouldn’t allow it. She looked at me, perplexed. My permission didn’t have anything to do with it.

But I could at least make phone calls.

I called the on-call oncologist first. He said I needed to call 911 and get my wife to the emergency room.

I called our neighbors second, told them I needed someone to come stay with the kids.

And I called 911 third. Weirdly, I took pride in the fact that even in the state I was in, I was answering questions calmly. I knew our phone number, for example, and my wife’s age and birthday and what meds she’s on. What a cool head I am.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t necessary for the dispatcher to send the police and fire department along with the ambulance. At one point, there were nine people in our bedroom.

By the time they loaded her into the ambulance, Susan was only semi-conscious.

Then we went to the hospital.

At the Hospital

Susan started feeling some better as soon as she got some oxygen, at which point she started feeling like it had been a silly idea for her to come to the hospital at all. She also got it into her head that everyone thought she was either ridiculous or faking it.

I couldn’t convince her otherwise. And she still can’t shake these new feelings of intense anxiety and embarrassment.

This isn’t like Susan and it scares me more than when she couldn’t breathe.

The thing is, Susan’s vital signs weren’t bad at all. Which is nothing at all like saying, “she’s fine.” It just means that whatever’s wrong isn’t something an emergency room doctor can fix with a pill or an IV.

They wanted to run tests, but I knew — yes, “knew:” it’s strange how much practical medical knowledge a normal person can quickly gain when it’s relevant — that the tests wouldn’t lead to a conclusion that would be immediately helpful to us, and I furthermore knew that this hospital doesn’t play well with my insurance company.

So I told them I wanted to consult with Susan’s regular oncologist to get the tests he wanted.

That’s fine, the doctor said. And then, the Twilight Zone moment of the night. The ER doctor said, “Hey, do you happen to know Rick Sunderlage?”

“That’s not his real name,” I replied. The doctor didn’t get it, so I amended, “Yeah, he’s a good friend of mine.”

“Huh. We ride together,” said the doctor.

Small world. Or at least, small town.

So that brings us to about 4:00 am.

This Morning…And Afternoon

I got Susan home, and was so glad we have the ramp my friends built a couple months ago. Susan was really weak, totally unable to use the walker, and not very lucid.

Thanks to the ramp (built by the core team), the wheelchair (donated by a Fat Cyclist reader), and the stairlift (paid for by jersey sales to the Friends of Fatty), I had no difficulty getting Susan into our second story bedroom.

Which is to say, I owe a very large thanks to my friends — the ones I know and the ones I don’t — who have helped me set things up to take care of Susan.

We got to bed and slept in. Luckily, the kids had the day off school.

Once we were up, I set up an appointment at the oncologist’s. Unfortunately, he’s on vacation, so we had to make do with the nurse practitioner. We’ve met with her before though, and she’s helpful.

I told the nurse my two theories on what could be wrong. We’ve been tapering Susan’s Decadron dosage (again), and things went bad the day after we dropped to 4mg / day. We’ve had bad results before when trying to get off the steroids, so maybe that was it.

My other theory — the one I hate but can’t shake — is that the brain tumors are back.

The nurse agreed either of them could account for what’s going on. So we’ve upped Susan’s Decadron dosage back to 6mg / day. The nurse also scheduled an MRI for Susan’s brain on Wednesday. Shortly (an hour or so) after that, we’ll have a meeting with the oncologist.

And then we went home. To wait. Susan says she doesn’t even want to know. And a big chunk of me doesn’t want to know, either.

On the way home, we stopped by the grocery store, so I could pick up a prescription and a couple gallons of milk. Inside, it occurred to me that I hated being in a grocery store right then. So many people giving “polite stranger” smiles, and probably wondering why I didn’t return their smiles. I didn’t mean to be rude; I just wasn’t able to smile right then.


Two different neighbors took it upon themselves to bring dinner tonight. Both of the dinners were big enough to feed us for two nights. So we’re set for dinner for most of the rest of the week. I have great neighbors.

I’ve got the kids in bed, I’ve got the house straightened, I’ve got the dishwasher running, I’ve got one load of laundry in the washing machine, another in the dryer. I’ve got Susan asleep, medicated with her new higher dosage of Decadron. If we’re lucky, that will have been the problem and she’ll wake up feeling better and stronger.

I can’t remember ever being so simultaneously hopeful and scared for what the morning will bring.

PS: Morning Update: Susan’s able to get around with the walker today, much as she has been for a while. Very encouraging.


  1. Comment by Matt | 10.20.2008 | 11:03 pm

    Man, my heart jumped when I saw your headline. Do your best we’re praying for your family.

  2. Comment by Ty | 10.20.2008 | 11:04 pm

    Praying for the best!

  3. Comment by Kellene | 10.20.2008 | 11:06 pm

    Somehow I thought you might try to make sense of the day through some writing. Thanks for the update…I will now spare you a late night phone call for the details. I will be in touch tomorrow. Try to get some sleep…even if it is a medicated one.
    I will be there to help with whatever I can on Wednesday. You know our love and prayers are with you all right now. Always.

  4. Comment by Dorothy | 10.20.2008 | 11:06 pm

    Still praying for you and your family. I’m glad Susan’s home, and doing a little better. My heart goes out to all of you.

    Just one of the many pulling for you…
    WIN Susan

  5. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 10.20.2008 | 11:19 pm

    Thinking of you at this time. I hope the doctors can give you something “conclusive” tomorrow. Your courage and bravery are remarkable and I will be praying for you tomorrow.

  6. Comment by Dobovedo | 10.20.2008 | 11:26 pm

    I can’t help but thinking this is going to sound stupid: I was relieved to get to the end of the update where things are at least under control, if not great. So I can only hope that you felt the same when you got done writing it, and get some sleep. And then.. that things continue to improve for Susan with the light of a new day. WIN!

  7. Comment by victoria | 10.20.2008 | 11:30 pm

    Again, thinking of you and Susan and your kids. This is very sucky.

  8. Comment by Jenn | 10.20.2008 | 11:31 pm

    I understand why you wanted to write. Thank-you for sharing with us. I hope you can sleep (are sleeping) now. My “WIN! Susan” thoughts will continue.

  9. Comment by Kingfisher412 | 10.20.2008 | 11:37 pm

    wishing you hope, strength, courage, wisdom and comfort…
    we hold you in our hearts

  10. Comment by Ginger | 10.20.2008 | 11:40 pm

    I’ve been hoping for an update since your post earlier–my thoughts have been with your family all day. I’ll keep my prayers and thoughts directed your way.

  11. Comment by bobbieh | 10.20.2008 | 11:40 pm

    I hope the writing helped ~ thank you for the update. Know my thoughts and heart will be with you thru the coming days ~

  12. Comment by Co | 10.20.2008 | 11:42 pm

    My friend, you are the best thing that ever happened to Susan, definitely that to your kids, and the fact that you do laundry is icing on the cake. I know it’s hard to hear when things are yucky, but God is in charge, so you don’t need to be scared about the morning.
    Love to all,

  13. Comment by Little1 | 10.20.2008 | 11:45 pm

    2:01 remains a key focal point of my day!

  14. Comment by Jill | 10.20.2008 | 11:49 pm

    I also wanted to join in and say thank you for taking the time to write down your experiences. I’ve been thiking about you guys all day.

    Susan is strong, and so are you. I will be keeping you in my thoughts.

  15. Comment by James | 10.20.2008 | 11:52 pm

    Gambatte Susan!

  16. Comment by stewOZ & miss | 10.21.2008 | 12:20 am

    We’ve both been thinking positive thoughts and sending positive energy. WIN SUSAN WIN. Elden, please go and get some rest too.

  17. Comment by Tyler | 10.21.2008 | 12:29 am

    Man, you had me worried. I’m glad things are stable now and want to thank you for taking the time to write.

    Take care of yourself. Us in internetland, though appreciative of what you do and that you took time to update us on the situation, will wait for you to do whatever it is you need to do.

    Peace, Fatty, and WIN Susan!

  18. Comment by Shiny Flu | 10.21.2008 | 1:22 am

    Thanks for the update fatty, hang in there.

  19. Comment by Aaron | 10.21.2008 | 1:40 am

    Win Susan and importantly keep Winning Elden. You have a wonderful family and family of supporters here on the WWW.

  20. Comment by Tony in Oz | 10.21.2008 | 1:50 am

    Hope everything is better in the morning. Keep you head up!

  21. Comment by Dad and Janel | 10.21.2008 | 2:01 am

    We are praying for a better day for you all. We bet it is the medication.
    They always send the fire truck and police with ambulances, the rule!

    We will be waiting to hear about the next day. It is hard to know what to say other than keep doing what you are doing and have faith, you know who is in charge! He is the source of strength.

    love you

  22. Comment by Alexia | 10.21.2008 | 4:04 am

    Thoughts with you both.

  23. Comment by Brian | 10.21.2008 | 4:07 am

    Fatty, my heart goes out to you, Susan and the children. I hope that you are right about the steroids, it is the most likely scenario. I’ve had patient who as they withdraw from similar medications get both physical and anxiety type symptoms. Although we are half a continent and an ocean away your story and that of your family has come to matter in our home.

  24. Comment by aussie kev | 10.21.2008 | 4:18 am

    a big “polite stranger” smile from us here in qld

  25. Comment by john | 10.21.2008 | 4:24 am

    Thinking of you and Susan.

  26. Comment by Paula Kirsch | 10.21.2008 | 4:30 am

    Good luck Sweeties, as always you have all the good thoughts and prayers that we can send out west to you.


  27. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.21.2008 | 5:05 am

    Thanks for the update…..at least we can all be hopeful! Your newly found medical knowledge and abilities to deal with those in the ER probably will make this a lot easier experience for Susan….you are a Prince (not the Pinarello kind, either!). Lucky for you to have such good friends and neighbors as well.

    As with all the others, our hopes, prayers, wishes, thoughts, karma, etc. are ALL with you guys.

    Me, Clydesteve, Brad and others will be doing our Susan Support Ride in Austin this weekend with the LAF.

    We say “WIN Susan”.

  28. Comment by Bjorn 4 Lycra | 10.21.2008 | 5:10 am

    FC I reckon in life you often get the neighbors you deserve it’s karma if your pleasant to be around the neighbors get that way as well. Susan, you and the kids deserve the best and you got them – I would just like to congratulate them for doing what most of your friends Core and the rest of us out here in the ether would do given the chance. Your family are all top quality as well.
    Love and best wishes to you all – Win Susan and double bollocks to the cancer.

  29. Comment by Kino | 10.21.2008 | 5:13 am


    Wishing Susan, you and the kids all the very best at this diffciult time. Even though it must be very hard please keep fighting.


  30. Comment by Kate | 10.21.2008 | 5:22 am

    Elden and Susan,
    I read your first previous post when I was on-call in the emergency room last night and my heart sank. This post gives me hope because Susan is still with us and she’s still fighting. I wish you lived in Canada where there are no insurance issues.

    I will be keeping you both in my thoughts today. I woke up this morning feeling tired and sorry for myself and you’ve given me a kick in the butt because all of the patients I treated last night were scared and real and needed someone to be there for them just like I hope and I know there are lots of people there for you two. You both enlighten and inspire me.

    Win Susan.

  31. Comment by lady clay | 10.21.2008 | 5:26 am

    I’m not the praying type, but please know that I’m thinking of you and Susan and your children – and sending as much hope your way as one person can hope.

  32. Comment by Ray | 10.21.2008 | 5:27 am

    Suzan should never feel embarrassed about making a trip to the ER. I battled a health issue for 8 years that caused a number of strokes. When a person reaches a certain point , between being physically exhausted and suffering the side affects of medicine, you get some feelings you never experienced before. Typically these are not “good” feelings. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I am a firm believer in miraculous recovery.

  33. Comment by Uphill Battle | 10.21.2008 | 6:05 am

    Fatty, thank you for sharing. I was praying all day yesterday. I must have checked back twenty bazillion times for an update. Sending love and strength to all the Nelsons.

  34. Comment by AJ | 10.21.2008 | 6:16 am

    Thank you for the update. Please know that Susan, you, and your children are in my thoughts and prayers.

  35. Comment by Allan | 10.21.2008 | 6:20 am

    Fatty, like some others here I’m not usually the praying type. I’m definitely praying for yall though. WIN!!!!!

  36. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.21.2008 | 6:26 am

    Thanks, Fatty, for putting it into words and being generous in sharing with us.

    Pulling for you, Susan! *WIN*

  37. Comment by Boz | 10.21.2008 | 6:26 am

    Wow – much better than the cliff hanger you left us with yesterday. Those steroids can play havoc on ones system. I found that out 3 weeks ago with a cortisone shot. Your weather is supposed to be bright and sunny today. I hope the outlook is the same for you and Susan.

  38. Comment by Al Maviva | 10.21.2008 | 6:29 am

    I wish I had something uplifting or funny to say but I don’t. Sometimes the cupboard is bare of that stuff, there’s no mental donuts and emotional pie, and all you’re left with are the staples, the sustaining things. Family, friends, and God’s love – all forms of a kind of love the Greeks described as ‘agape,’ which is a sort of sustaining, ‘always there for you’ emotional bond that is expressed in a variety of ways but which is always some form of providing support for others. There isn’t anything else. It may look really bleak at times, but I hope you are able to see how tremendously wealthy you are in this respect and draw strength from it, as we draw strength from the way Susan and you are fighting onward.

  39. Comment by Lazy Bike Commuter | 10.21.2008 | 6:32 am

    We’re all pulling for you, Susan!

    And I agree with Ray above, she knew there was something very wrong at the time and chose to go to the ER. No reason to be embarassed at all.

  40. Comment by Sara | 10.21.2008 | 6:33 am

    Thanks for the updates fatty, my heart sunk when I read this.
    Hang in there, lots of thoughts and prayers coming your way.

    WIN Susan!

  41. Comment by G | 10.21.2008 | 6:34 am

    Fatty – hang on in there. Its just another bump in the road.

    Everyone else – if, like me, you are feeling particularly helpless this morning – is there a way to help Fatty with his impending ER charges ? Is there a paypal account setup for Fatty ? If we all donated $20 I’m sure that would go a long way to cover the ER cost if Fatty’s insurance doesnt play ball.

  42. Comment by chris | 10.21.2008 | 6:37 am

    Thank you so much for the update. I’m emailing Chris immediately after this comment with the information.

    Still praying…
    The Ross’

  43. Comment by Gillian | 10.21.2008 | 6:39 am

    Agape, as Al Maviva said. Agape to you both, and your kids. We are lifting you up, over here, as best this handful of polite strangers can.

    Win Susan.

  44. Comment by Tammy | 10.21.2008 | 6:42 am

    Prayers to you all.

  45. Comment by Eloise | 10.21.2008 | 6:42 am

    What a poignant post. I am so very sorry that this is happening to such nice people.

  46. Comment by Susan (another one) | 10.21.2008 | 6:51 am

    Hoping the medication takes care of the current problem. Will be thinking of your fam tomorrow (wed).

  47. Comment by Leslie | 10.21.2008 | 6:52 am

    We are waiting with you… Thank you for making the time to update us during a scary, difficult time. Writing has been my small solace during dark moments, too.

  48. Comment by bikemike | 10.21.2008 | 6:53 am

    i kept waking up during the night thinking about you and Susan. i can’t manage to do the things you do in my “normal” life and can’t begin to imagine doing them under those circumstances.

    with all of the insanity in this world you define, in my book, what it truly means to be a man.

    God bless

  49. Comment by mgr | 10.21.2008 | 6:56 am

    Thanks for the update. We’re hoping and praying for the best. Take care.

  50. Comment by JAM | 10.21.2008 | 7:00 am

    Been reading your blog since this summer, your post make me laugh, worry (for susan and your family) and as of Monday cry when i read your post. Like hundreds of others I pray daily for your wife and family. I have Dear friends fighting cancer and i have come to really hate what this disease does to individuals and families. Thank you for keeping us informed on Susans condition. Fight on Susan!!!!

  51. Comment by BamaJim | 10.21.2008 | 7:01 am

    Thanks for the update, this has been on my mind, and in my prayers, which continue. May God bless.

  52. Comment by Annie | 10.21.2008 | 7:02 am

    We’ll continue to pray. Thanks for letting us know.

  53. Comment by Flatman | 10.21.2008 | 7:07 am

    Continuing to pray for your family…thanks so much for taking the time to update us.

  54. Comment by rich | 10.21.2008 | 7:08 am

    Thanks for the update.
    Throughout the day and night you guys were on my mind and in my prayers. I woke early this morning again with you guys on my heart.
    I continue to pray for you and your family.


  55. Comment by BellaCroix | 10.21.2008 | 7:10 am

    Thank you for the update Fatty… I was worried about the two of you all night and the first thing I did when I got to work today (after punching in of course) was to check if you’d posted an update.

    Me heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

    I’m glad you’re surrounded by what sound like such wonderful people.

    Win Susan. Win Fatty.

  56. Comment by Maile in Florida | 10.21.2008 | 7:16 am

    My heart goes out to Susan, you, and your family. I hope she is feeling better today. Thanks for the update.

    I was thinking of Susan Sunday when I wore her jersey on the Share the Road ride. Win Susan!

    With much aloha,
    Maile in Florida

  57. Comment by rz | 10.21.2008 | 7:22 am

    Strength, Elden. That is my prayer for you

  58. Comment by stefano | 10.21.2008 | 7:23 am

    Praying for you guys everyday. Thanks for letting us all into your life. You’re a good man fatty, with a great family and loads of the best friends willing to do anything for you.

  59. Comment by Lowrydr | 10.21.2008 | 7:24 am

    May you have shoulders of Steel to help you carry the load. Heart felt wishes for a continued improvement for Susan. And that the rest of the family is doing well.

    *****Karma*****Karma*****Good Karma*****

  60. Comment by Jaime O. | 10.21.2008 | 7:26 am

    I wish I could hug all the Nelsons or help with the laundry or do something, because words don’t cover the times when you are the most terrified…when your hope is so fragile if feels as if only silence can keep it alive. Tell Susan that if she thought she couldn’t breathe, she really couldn’t and that’s an expert opinion from a fatty reader.

    How can you love a family so much when you’ve never met them?

    You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  61. Comment by dave | 10.21.2008 | 7:28 am

    I woke up thinking about you guys. I’m happy things have stabilized for the moment. My prayers will be with you.

  62. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 10.21.2008 | 7:31 am

    Sorry to hear about the complication/hope things have stabilized.

  63. Comment by Orbea Girl | 10.21.2008 | 7:31 am

    I truly hope it was the change in dosage and that the doctor will have “good” news for you tomorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  64. Comment by Marla | 10.21.2008 | 7:32 am

    Continuing to send healing thoughts and prayers your way. Hope the med adjustment helps.

  65. Comment by Pete | 10.21.2008 | 7:41 am

    Breathe…all of you. I’m breathing and I’m helping. Trust. Breathe.

  66. Comment by josh | 10.21.2008 | 7:43 am


    Thanks for the update, our thoughts and prayer are with you and your family.


  67. Comment by Woody | 10.21.2008 | 7:44 am

    Continuing to lift you up…..

  68. Comment by Sue | 10.21.2008 | 7:48 am

    My family and I are sending our thoughts and prayers to your family. I am amazed by your and Susan’s strength. Keep on fighting. WIN SUSAN WIN!!!

  69. Comment by Blorgh | 10.21.2008 | 7:55 am

    You and your family are in my thoughts. Keep fighting.

  70. Comment by Miles Archer | 10.21.2008 | 7:56 am

    Thanks for sharing.

  71. Comment by Bikerchick_Barb | 10.21.2008 | 8:01 am

    Elden, you always amaze me with your mad “bunnyhopping” skillz. This is just another bump and you are so very adept at breaking them down and making them eat your dust. This one is no different. Thank you for taking the time to post an update– it’s obvious how many “polite strangers” love and fret with you. Stay strong, and WIN (dammit).

  72. Comment by MikeonhisBike | 10.21.2008 | 8:06 am

    If it’s any consolation when I pray for you and your family I have the distinct feeling that everything is going to work out. Hang in there.

  73. Comment by rose | 10.21.2008 | 8:08 am

    Thinking of you all, praying for you all.
    FYI, most fire departments send a several vehicleson each run and usually at least one police car. Things aren’t always what they expect when they get a call. Besides, it keeps their “run” stats up the more vehicles they send, that keeps their funding up too.

    I hope the steroid scenerio is the correct one.

  74. Comment by Uphill Battle | 10.21.2008 | 8:13 am

    Fatty, Thank you for sharing. I must have checked back millions of times yesterday looking for news. Prayers for strength and courage in this difficult time. But mostly, prayers for love and peace.

  75. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 10.21.2008 | 8:15 am

    I’m not sure of the timeline here, but maybe something was wrong when you called 911, but due to the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of prayers, well-wishes, positive energy sent your way the results changed?

    I’m glad she’s doing better and hope it’s just the meds not option 2.

    Oh, and had to smile a bit when you talked about smiling at the grocery store. It kindof threw me. I kept thinking what? Smiling at the grocery store?

    Then I remembered that people outside of NYC nod and smile at each other when they pass each other. lol

    Don’t get me wrong, we’re friendly here, just in a get out of my way you’re moving too slow sort of friendly way, not the make eye contact smile while passing sort of way.

  76. Comment by SaraSpin | 10.21.2008 | 8:16 am

    Stay strong sweety – for yourself, Susan and your kids. I know that feels almost impossible given your own feelings but the core of you is where your strength lies. Love to you!

  77. Comment by Scott B. | 10.21.2008 | 8:17 am

    Thoughts and prayers from us. I always check for the updates with you and your family in the morning. I would be honored to be considered part of your internet “core team”.

  78. Comment by Don | 10.21.2008 | 8:20 am

    I feel a bit weird here. I wouldn’t believe I could feel so sad for someone I’ve never met, if it weren’t the case. (Did that make sense, even?) I feel as though I’ve known you guys forever, and my heart breaks when you share what’s going on. I also cant help but think what HAS TO be going through the children’s minds. Continued thoughts and prayers, always, heading your way. God bless you guys.

    WIN! Susan!

  79. Comment by XCTiger | 10.21.2008 | 8:21 am

    I continue to pray for strength for you, Susan and your family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us updated as you find the time, and feel the need.

  80. Comment by Mom of Fatty | 10.21.2008 | 8:26 am

    A call and then it is 4 1/2 hours our house to yours. Paul too would do anything within his power.
    This is all in the wrong order of things.
    love as always to the 6 of you.

  81. Comment by Ken | 10.21.2008 | 8:36 am

    Me and mine are thinking of you and yours. To those of us who have never been through something like this, the fight you putting up is inspiring… WIN SUSAN!

  82. Comment by srobb54 | 10.21.2008 | 8:38 am

    You, Susan and your family, have been on my mind since I read your post yesterday. I hoped and prayed that Susan would pull through this crisis. Now I hope and pray for a positive result on Wednesday. Keep Fighting.

  83. Comment by sansauto | 10.21.2008 | 8:47 am

    We’re praying for you!

  84. Comment by Aunt Mary | 10.21.2008 | 8:47 am

    our love and prayers are with you. You have so much to be thankful for and writing it down seems to help in the large realm of things. May the calming peace remain with you through the next hours. We are all here for you and your family.
    Aunt Mary

  85. Comment by neca | 10.21.2008 | 8:48 am

    Thank you for the update. My thoughts & prayers remain with you & your family. WIN SUSAN.

  86. Comment by Rick S. | 10.21.2008 | 8:48 am

    I’m glad you guys are back home together with your family. Keep up the fight.

  87. Comment by Jer | 10.21.2008 | 8:49 am

    I’m a fairly new reader and I can say, without a doubt, you’re a good, kind and loving man. Your family is in my thoughts.

  88. Comment by William Martin | 10.21.2008 | 8:52 am

    My heart goes out to you. I am trying to send positive energy and hoping the brain is tumor free. It sure is scary when one isn’t getting correct oxygen uptake. They really do seem to be dying and I can only guess that you were much more worried than you are even letting yourself know. Very scary, I am hoping for the best and thanks for keeping everyone updated.

  89. Comment by Andrea | 10.21.2008 | 8:52 am

    Thoughts and prayers being said for Susan and all of you. Win Susan!

  90. Comment by Joel | 10.21.2008 | 8:53 am

    Here’s hoping the change in the meds helps bring things back to normal.

  91. Comment by leroy | 10.21.2008 | 8:57 am

    Keeping my fingers crossed that all it is is the meds. Good luck!

  92. Comment by FliesOnly | 10.21.2008 | 9:00 am

    I missed the first message so I was caught a bit unaware. Fatty, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for you, Susan, and the kids. I can only say that I hope you get the best possible news.

  93. Comment by M2 | 10.21.2008 | 9:00 am

    Sending good thoughts to you and yours. WIN!


  94. Comment by Truman Soloist | 10.21.2008 | 9:02 am

    God, please heal Susan. By the way Elden, from what you’ve written, it appears that you are doing a great job of taking care of your family. Another person pulling for you and your family…

  95. Comment by WheelDancer | 10.21.2008 | 9:06 am

    Life’s singletrack is always unpredictable and the twists and turns can seem unmanageable but the true nature of the world arrives when not just those who are close to us dive in to help, but those we never will know freely act to smooth our trail. We all ride the same trail and depend on the grace of others for our survival and I am glad your path is being crossed by enough folks who understand that basic fact and are able to act for your benefit.

    I bid you peace.

  96. Comment by Di | 10.21.2008 | 9:07 am

    “Susan woke me with these words: ‘I think I’m dying.’”

    *If* it comes to this (I can’t say “when…”), I can honestly say that there will be many strangers mourning. I was a little surprised at how I felt when I read this. I, like most of the people here, don’t know you and Susan, yet I feel like I do know you just from reading your blog. It’s weird, if you think about it, but I think all of us really do want so much for you and Susan.

    “The ER doctor said, ‘Hey, do you happen to know Rick Sunderlage?’

    “‘That’s not his real name,’ I replied.”

    I’ve been curious about this for a while, and you just aroused my curiosity, again. Is there a story about this, perhaps a previous blog entry I could read? or is this just a private joke? :-)

  97. Comment by Di | 10.21.2008 | 9:08 am

    P.S. Susan is a brave woman – quite remarkable.

  98. Comment by SYJ | 10.21.2008 | 9:09 am

    Yesterday, I had to deal with some crummy HR issues. I got a flat tire (on my truck) and managed to get filthy whilst changing it. I spent four hours waiting for the tire to get patched. I thought that I was having a lousy day.

    Reading your post, I literally had to stifle my sobs, realizing all that I take for granted, and how I’m making a huge deal out of little things. Your strength during the unimaginable is humbling. Yours too, Elden.

    Elden & Susan, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay strong, and get well.


  99. Comment by Jonathan Paul | 10.21.2008 | 9:09 am

    WIN SUSAN WIN. We’re praying for you guys.

  100. Comment by Carolyn Online | 10.21.2008 | 9:17 am

    I’m praying for you. Your strength for Susan and your family is amazing.

  101. Comment by Pat | 10.21.2008 | 9:17 am

    You have an excellent handle on things. keeping fighting as long as you can.
    huggs and regards from ontario canada.

  102. Comment by ann | 10.21.2008 | 9:25 am

    Amazing that you are so willing to ‘let us all in’ to update us, as if we are your family – perhaps holding down the fort at home, or camped out in the waiting room. From far away, physically and not in the biking realm, I am invested in your wellbeing, I awoke mid-sleep to pray, I woke up this morning, praying. You have welcomed us into your world, good or bad, cycling or not, and made me a part of a very dear story. I don’t feel like I am ‘watching.’ That, at this point, we will attribute to your extended metaphorical approach (restored order to your lives by restoring order to your home) and your compelling story-telling. Your grace and eloquence are touching. I consider it a privilege to hold you all close in prayer.

  103. Comment by CeeCee | 10.21.2008 | 9:26 am

    I’m a lurker. I came over from Pioneer Woman’s site a couple months ago. I don’t ride a bike, so seldom comment. I do want you to know that y’all are in my prayers. Thanks for the update, I’m glad she’s feeling a bit better this morning. I’m sorry things have been so scary, glad you have fabulous friends and neighbors.

  104. Comment by justrun | 10.21.2008 | 9:33 am

    Thinking of you all and sending prayers every day.

  105. Comment by KanyonKris | 10.21.2008 | 9:43 am

    Glad Susan is back up. Each of these downturns affects me – yesterday hit me and my wife hard. But keep reporting – better for me to know than be in the dark. We’re praying for Susan and you and your family. If there’s anything more we can do (we just live in Orem), just let us know.

  106. Comment by George | 10.21.2008 | 9:47 am

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I am relieved to hear that Susan is getting around on the walker. Strength to you and your family. You are all in my thoughts. Also, thanks for the update in such an emotionally draining time.

    WIN, Susan. WIN!

  107. Comment by Daddystyle | 10.21.2008 | 9:50 am

    Thinking/praying for you.
    Stay STRONG

  108. Comment by rexinsea | 10.21.2008 | 9:53 am

    You are truly an inspiration. I’m not sure I’d refer to your wealth of friends and a great family as lucky – Good thing happen to good people. Enjoy your family, core team, neighborhood circle. I’m sure they all want to help. Those of us that count you as a friend but have not ever met you will continue to be here. I hope it is a help to you. Thank you so much for sharing your life story with us. We are all pulling for you, praying for you and sending warm thoughts

  109. Comment by Michelle | 10.21.2008 | 9:55 am

    My prayers are with you Eldon, and Susan and your kids. I’m glad Susan’s home and please tell her not to be embarrassed – my mom has been sick for a few years now and she always says that too – but there is nothing to be embarrassed about – especially in the dark of night when everything seems so difficult to deal with.
    Win Susan, Win!

  110. Comment by Sylvie | 10.21.2008 | 9:58 am


    From Canada, if transnational wishes help at all

  111. Comment by Ned | 10.21.2008 | 9:59 am

    Heres hoping for comfort and strength for your whole family – Keep your spirits up and dotn think about the bad stuff !
    WIN Susan !

  112. Comment by Maria | 10.21.2008 | 10:02 am

    Thanks for the update Elden. You all were deep in my thoughts after reading your post yesterday, and kudos for keeping a cool head through it all. Even though I’ve never met you all personally, please give Susan a hug for me and I’m so glad she’s feeling better. Continued prayers to you and your family.

  113. Comment by Bruce | 10.21.2008 | 10:03 am

    Lurker here, I also missed the first post and was terrified when I read this one.

    Here is one from Europe wishing you all the best,


  114. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 10.21.2008 | 10:07 am

    Just pretend I said what Al Maviva said. Even in his loss for words, he has much more ability to say what I’m thinking than I do.

    Prayers for strength, peace and understanding continue from my family to yours.

    Oh, and don’t forget to breathe…

  115. Comment by duckie | 10.21.2008 | 10:34 am

    So glad to hear things are better today and that it might be the meds. Will continue to pray for all of you. Your strength is amazing. Win Susan!

  116. Comment by Lisa B | 10.21.2008 | 10:38 am

    I want to give you and Susan and the kids a long comforting hug, help with the laundry and dishes, and a shoulder to lean on. Of course, you don’t know me, so you might feel a bit awkward. :) Baring that, you’re in my heart and thoughts, and if a prayer from me could help, it’s yours.

  117. Comment by Tim E | 10.21.2008 | 10:40 am

    I think Susan and my wife are a lot alike–similar reactions to events that make them the center of attention for a while. She was right to have you call 911, and I’m very, very glad that she’s improved to the point where she is willing to second guess herself.

    WIN, be strong, and thanks for allowing us to be your long distance support team.

  118. Comment by Pam | 10.21.2008 | 10:41 am

    Still praying for a miracle.

  119. Comment by Susie | 10.21.2008 | 10:47 am

    Al Maviva’s comment encapsulated my sentiments…

    Win Susan, Eldon, and kids!

  120. Comment by Eric P | 10.21.2008 | 10:48 am

    You, Susan and your family wer in my thoguths all day yesterday, and of course still are. I too clicked back numerous times hoping for a positive update. So glad you posted one. Keep WINning.

  121. Comment by Jenni | 10.21.2008 | 10:52 am

    Holy cow.
    Much love to you all and anything you need, ask. We’ll take care of it.

  122. Comment by Juls | 10.21.2008 | 10:55 am

    I am so glad to hear Susan is home, and is regaining some strength.
    Elden, I don’t know how you do it, but I am glad you do. Your nerves must be shot.

    If I could wrap up strength, peace and health in a package – I would drive it to your home immediately.

    Stay strong, Nelson’s. You have an entire community pulling for you.

  123. Comment by ryed4fuhn | 10.21.2008 | 11:13 am

    It’s hard to imagine the fear and anticipation that’s gripping you both. I can only hope for the best and root for you both from the sidelines.

    WIN SUSAN!! Keep up the fight!

  124. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 10.21.2008 | 11:13 am

    I’m relieved to read she’s doing better. Still sending up a lot of prayers for you, her, and the kids.
    WIN Susan!

  125. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.21.2008 | 11:25 am

    More prayers for all of you, esp. at 2:01, Pacific.

    Mike Roadie, Brad, someone else whose name I forgot but is an FC reader and I will be riding in the Austin LiveSTRONG Challenge this Sunday.

    We will all have special “IN HONOR OF” cards affixed to our jerseys, filled out with Susan’s name, and a big WIN!.

    Even if it sometimes takes some extra O2, and more steriods, keep breathing, Susan!

  126. Comment by Jade | 10.21.2008 | 11:25 am

    Thanks for sharing with us, Fatty. I’m glad that writing is helping you through this, it helps me too. Remember to take care of yourself as well as Susan and the kids.

  127. Comment by Jodi | 10.21.2008 | 11:25 am

    I’m doing everything you taught me to do in hard times:

    Listening to loud music
    Eating comfort food

    I love you guys – it feels good to be your sister. I’m there any time you need me (I know Kellene is almost there but she’s a little bossy. Just sayin’.)

  128. Comment by kentucky joe | 10.21.2008 | 11:27 am

    Tonight, just before sleep overtakes me, when I lie awake and gaze at the starry sky and think about my own family, and do my version of prayer, I will think of you and your family and hope better times are ahead for you all. Having been through 2 similar scares with my wife, although due to the very manageable but equally scary bouts with severe asthma attacks and the EMT’s and the nighttime ambulance rides and the neighbors becoming surrogate parents, it really hits how lucky we are that in times of extreme need, people rise to the occasion. People who want to help and lend a hand for no other reason than because it is needed. It is humbling, that spirit that stirs in us and makes us human. Best wishes to Susan, you and your family for some calmer times and stable health.

  129. Comment by Julie | 10.21.2008 | 11:47 am

    Oh dear. WIN SUSAN. Prayers and thoughts to you. Keep going.

    I’ll wear my (new, awesome) jersey tomorrow under my regular clothes. :)

  130. Comment by Michaela | 10.21.2008 | 11:47 am

    Sending you every happy, loving, healing thought I’ve got in me.

  131. Comment by Caren | 10.21.2008 | 11:49 am

    I was devastated to read your post. In spite of being a cancer survivor I still struggle with what might be the right words to offer. Know that we are all here for you in what way we can be and hope that it provides strength to face the next minute, hour, day, etc.

    I am effective immediately re-routing all good vibes, positive karma and well wishes that I’ve been receiving for yesterday’s surgery to remove what turned out to be a complex cyst and not a tumor.

    BELIEVE and LIVEStrong!

  132. Comment by Kathleen | 10.21.2008 | 11:50 am

    Thank you so much for writing through your thoughts Elden…we’re pulling for Susan and rooting for the drugs to be the cause. Isn’t it nice that you don’t have to *fake smile* on the web? WIN!

  133. Comment by Becky | 10.21.2008 | 11:51 am

    Thinking of you throughout my day and sending you strength and calmness.

    (And good for you for thinking to tidy up, do some laundry and eat…all will help maintain peace and strength tomorrow)

  134. Comment by Accident Prone | 10.21.2008 | 12:00 pm

    You guys are in our hearts and on our minds. Praying for strength and for healing. You are an inspiration.

  135. Comment by canknitian | 10.21.2008 | 12:01 pm

    Praying for the best possible results tomorrow. Love and hope to you, Susan and your family.

    Big hug,

  136. Comment by Kt | 10.21.2008 | 12:03 pm

    Al M also captured my feelings.

    All I can say is, Susan, we’re with you. We’re behind you, we’re holding you, we’re struggling with you.


  137. Comment by steve rooney | 10.21.2008 | 12:08 pm

    i dont know what to say 2 wee words may help
    win susan

  138. Comment by MAJ Mike | 10.21.2008 | 12:14 pm

    Good karma headed your way.

  139. Comment by Swedoz | 10.21.2008 | 12:34 pm

    You are in my thoughts and hopes. Fatty and Susan you continue to inspire every day.


  140. Comment by Richie | 10.21.2008 | 12:38 pm


  141. Comment by NW | 10.21.2008 | 12:43 pm

    Thinking of your family a lot right now.

    WIN Susan!

  142. Comment by Sk8rAl | 10.21.2008 | 1:01 pm

    Positive thoughts heading your way…

    Hopefully some rebalancing of the meds with do the trick.

    WIN Susan!

  143. Comment by Tripp | 10.21.2008 | 1:04 pm


    Stay strong. My thoughts are with you and Susan.

  144. Comment by Lerjoy | 10.21.2008 | 1:05 pm

    In our thoughts.

  145. Comment by Dana | 10.21.2008 | 1:09 pm

    I’ll be praying for you and your family. WIN Susan!

  146. Comment by Charisa | 10.21.2008 | 1:13 pm

    Amazing how blogging can make things feel better. We are praying and rooting for you and Susan. Thank you for sharing the update!

  147. Comment by Richard | 10.21.2008 | 1:17 pm

    Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Win Susan

  148. Comment by Jennifer | 10.21.2008 | 1:23 pm

    I’m glad to know Susan is up and about today. Along with so many others, I hope it was the meds causing the problems. Sending you both tons of vibes that the MRI tomorrow is clear.

  149. Comment by K | 10.21.2008 | 1:31 pm

    I’m glad to hear that Susan is up and about today. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you and your family :)

    Thank you for sharing an update, especially when things must be really hard for you and your family.

  150. Comment by KyClyde | 10.21.2008 | 1:33 pm

    Elden and Family….Still thinking of you guys. My family and I talked about you guys on our family ride last night…keep fighting.

  151. Comment by 331miles | 10.21.2008 | 1:37 pm

    My 6 year old daughter always tacks on ’special prayers’ at the end of her bedtime ‘now i lay me down to sleep’ prayers, and then asks me to add on mine. You, Susan, and your family will be there.

    W I N S U S A N ! ! !

  152. Comment by GregC | 10.21.2008 | 1:44 pm

    Thanks for the update- I was afraid we would read about the worst possible scenario today. I’ve been where you are a year ago when my wife had brain tumor surgery. Our outcome has been excellent- miricles do happen everyday. Win Susan

  153. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.21.2008 | 2:01 pm

    Thanks for writing Fatty. Good luck with the tests. We’re all rooting for you.


  154. Comment by cyclingeurope | 10.21.2008 | 2:05 pm

    You are one heck of a Superman! Not just “Superman” but a Super Man! I am sure Susan and your family and friends realize it and are grateful, but do YOU realize it? You are amazing!
    WIN BIG!

  155. Comment by dido | 10.21.2008 | 2:40 pm

    We’re praying without ceasing for Susan, you, and the rest of the family. WIN!

  156. Comment by pammap | 10.21.2008 | 2:54 pm

    You guys remains in my thoughts and prayers. Glad that things have turned. 2:01 for you.

    I diddo the request for the story of Rick S – not his real name. I missed the story on that one.

  157. Comment by BEEF | 10.21.2008 | 3:09 pm

    Thoughts are all with you guys.

    Hang tough and WIN

  158. Comment by CovingtonKat | 10.21.2008 | 3:31 pm

    Climb every mountain…

    I’m sending all positive thoughts to you and your families – just wish there was more I could do.

    Another fatcylist fan,


  159. Comment by bobbieh | 10.21.2008 | 3:45 pm

    Thanks for the update ~ I’m so glad Susan is better this morning!! “Agape” indeed ~ what a wonderful and fitting phrase!
    Hugs and positive vibes ~

  160. Comment by James | 10.21.2008 | 4:03 pm

    I share the sentiment that this was a hard post not to skip to the end of. It was relieving to know that circumstances seem to be at least temporarily better. You are a credit to your family Fatty. I am not sure that I could perform as well under the strain. Best wishes. WIN!

  161. Comment by joe blow | 10.21.2008 | 4:09 pm

    That you were seemingly calm in the face of all of this is somewhat amazing. Even though you can’t remember the details now, the fact that you weren’t a blithering idiot to 911 is just short of a miracle. I’ve had occasion to call 911 under less trying circumstances and was such a mess they offered a translator….

  162. Comment by kiki | 10.21.2008 | 4:21 pm

    Prayers and love from far away, friends. I wish I could do more.

  163. Comment by karen in AK | 10.21.2008 | 4:40 pm

    Oh, so glad that getting the Decadron dosage back up seems to be helping. I’m sure hoping the MRI shows nothing remarkable tomorrow. Wishing you a peaceful evening tonight.

  164. Comment by Carl | 10.21.2008 | 4:48 pm

    God bless the Nelson family. We’re praying for you guys.

  165. Comment by deprogram | 10.21.2008 | 4:56 pm


    What else need I say?

  166. Comment by lyne | 10.21.2008 | 5:07 pm

    Might now say it often enough but my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  167. Comment by Melanie | 10.21.2008 | 5:09 pm

    I hope Susan’s appt. goes well tomorrow. Ree led me to your site months ago and even though I’m not a cyclist, I’ve become a faithful lurker. You’re doing such a great job taking care of everything and everyone. Take care and I’ll be praying!

  168. Comment by mo | 10.21.2008 | 5:11 pm

    Gods Speed.

  169. Comment by KatieA978 | 10.21.2008 | 6:53 pm

    Thank God for your morning update. :)

    Again, everyone is sending thoughts, love, karma, prayers and anything else that can reach you.

  170. Comment by bubbaseadog | 10.21.2008 | 7:13 pm

    thank you for keeping us informed on susans progress,i am still praying for a win….so win susan

  171. Comment by formertdfan | 10.21.2008 | 7:34 pm

    susan is in my prayers
    take care

  172. Comment by the floydster | 10.21.2008 | 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the update. Prayers continuing.

  173. Comment by Walter | 10.21.2008 | 8:24 pm

    (Still) thinking of you… good luck tomorrow.

    P.S.: Your listing off all the household chores and getting all the appliances running totally brought me back to when Leslie was in chemo — not a good place. Hang in there!!

  174. Comment by Vito | 10.21.2008 | 8:46 pm

    Elden…please know that you, Susan, and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Keep fighting the good fight and God Bless all of you.

  175. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 10.21.2008 | 9:46 pm

    Here’s hoping too, that the drop in medication was the reason. Wishing you all the best for Wednesday.


    Win Susan

  176. Comment by Claire | 10.21.2008 | 10:00 pm

    I was glad to see the “PS” at the bottom of the post. You and Susan are in my thoughts. I hope things continue to get better.

    Win Susan

  177. Comment by Susan | 10.21.2008 | 10:14 pm

    “with all of the insanity in this world you define, in my book, what it truly means to be a man.” – Amen bikemike

    After a few stressful months (nothing like your stress), your post brings me to tears – and puts all things back in perspective. Both something I needed. Here’s hoping you find what you need and Susan continues to bounce back…

  178. Comment by Dad and Janel | 10.21.2008 | 10:50 pm

    We checked the mail many many times yesterday wonder how the next morning with susan went, this morning we went to the bottom of your last posting. Relief!!
    thanks for update, we feel so helpless in giving any help. Along with all your friends we are praying. Keep positive!

  179. Comment by dr_robert | 10.21.2008 | 11:56 pm



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