10.22.2008 | 12:18 am

First, some great news: Susan’s back. She’s able to get around again. She’s able to speak complete thoughts again. And — this is the biggest relief to me — she’s herself again.

Also, these really annoying twitches below her eyes have gone away.

So we’ve learned an important lesson: no more attempts to taper off the Decadron. I know Susan’s going to be disappointed that this means she’s stuck with the puffy face this brings, but it’s a side effect we can live with. And live with happily, now that we have had the alternative driven home, forcefully.

The Opposite of Christmas

As a kid, I could never sleep the night before Christmas. That is not hyperbole. I literally was unable to sleep. I would run through all the potential gifts I’d be receiving. I didn’t know what I’d be getting, but I loved thinking about the possibilities.

That’s kind of how Susan and I feel right now, except the opposite.

We’ve been talking, and both of us really wish we didn’t have to find out anything tomorrow. I mean, it’s hard to imagine that we’ve got good news in store for us, and since Susan’s about back to feeling OK, we’d both really like to put this behind us and skip the scan. Ignorance may not always be bliss, but by the same token, knowledge sometimes feels less like power than a kick in the stomach.

But Susan’s drinking her first pint of contrast solution right now, and taking a bunch of pills to combat her iodine allergy, so we’re doing it.


Mostly for one reason: if there’s something there that can be treated now, and in three months we find that it’s too late because we chose to stick our heads in the sand, I couldn’t live with myself. So Susan’s doing it for me.

There are other reasons, too. It’s possible, for example, that we’ll find that things are looking relatively good. It is, in other words, conceivable that we’ll be happy at the end of the day.

We could, on the other hand, find out that things aren’t good. This wouldn’t be a surprise, but confirmation like this hurts just as bad every time you hear it.

Here’s what I think, though. I think we’ll find out — and I say this as someone who has no medical expertise but has nevertheless gotten pretty good at knowing what’s going on with my wife — that there are tumors in her brain, but that they aren’t growing back quickly. This won’t be exactly cause for celebration, but it also won’t be anywhere near as horrible as I have been thinking things are.

The Best Auction Ever

Now let’s talk about something good — and topical — for a few minutes.

Shimano Alfine has teamed up with five bicycle frame builders to create one-of-a-kind bikes equipped with Shimano Alfine components to raise money for breast cancer awareness. 100% of the proceeds from the auction of these bikes will be donated to the Young Survival Coalition to benefit the quality of life for young women affected by breast cancer.

Check out the bikes you can bid on. Click on any of the pictures below to go to that bike’s auction page. [Update: the links from the pics work now; thanks to the folks who pointed out they were busted.]


Ellsworth Handcrafted Roxy


Vicious Cycles Custom Casual Agent

Rock Lobster.jpg

Rock Lobster Custom Alfie


Torelli Custom Lifestyle

Sycip Java Girl

I’m making a serious play for the Ellsworth, and am (at this moment) the current high bidder.

You’re welcome to (try to) outbid me.


  1. Comment by Nix | 10.22.2008 | 1:17 am

    Wow, they all are nice, but the Ellsworth has this look to it… if the exchange rate with the Rand was a bit better, I would make a bid too, but I’m all warmed up for the Ibis Mojo.

    Hope the test and it’s outcome gives some relief.

  2. Comment by Bjorn 4 Lycra | 10.22.2008 | 2:08 am

    All the best with the test from Sth Oz. As usual you are a tower of strength and Susan is just marvelous. I hope the kids are handling things okay. Will be thinking of you. Livestrong and WIN.

  3. Comment by hana | 10.22.2008 | 2:22 am

    Delurking and praying for you here in the City of Angels….

  4. Comment by bikemike | 10.22.2008 | 3:59 am

    here’s hoping todays wait is more like the Christmas one.

  5. Comment by leon | 10.22.2008 | 4:05 am

    hope the tests turn out to be good news, if you can call it that. man, you’re a pillar of strength. my better half and me are praying for you guys.


  6. Comment by leon | 10.22.2008 | 4:10 am

    and that ellsworth is a seriously sexy bike. in a wacky kind of way. i wouldn’t mind finding that under the christmas tree. wink wink to my wife who i know will read this later.

  7. Comment by Dad | 10.22.2008 | 4:16 am

    glad to hear and appreciate knowing what is going on and that Susan is doing better than she was. If you could give us a time and date we will go to the corner pay phone and give you a call or you could call us as we can’t call out on our cell phone. Your explanation of how you handled Christmas Eve while you were growing up surprises me. I though you knew exactly what you were going to get. Sometimes even a promised lump of coal if you weren’t good.

  8. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.22.2008 | 4:34 am

    When I clicked a pic, all I got was a bigger pic!

    Here is the link for the auction site: https://www.youngsurvival.org/donate/Shimano-Alfine-Auction

    Seriously good work here, Elden!

    Best of luck (?) with the test results!!!!


  9. Comment by Paula Kirsch | 10.22.2008 | 4:43 am

    Hang in there guys, as someone whose been through a few scary tests herself, and with family members, it’s always better to know. I feel somewhat like a voyeur here, but please let us know too. “Us” being your “on line family” :-)


  10. Comment by leon | 10.22.2008 | 5:08 am

    what did you do to deserve a lump of coal? just curious.

    click on the bike’s name and not on the pics if you guys want to check out the bids for a particular bike.


  11. Comment by lori sis | 10.22.2008 | 5:10 am

    Man, you guys. This is crazy Christmas.

    I love you and am waiting and hoping with you.

    In other news, Dad used a computer.

  12. Comment by Marla | 10.22.2008 | 5:27 am

    I hope your roller coaster ride is over and things get back to “normal”.

  13. Comment by Caren | 10.22.2008 | 5:42 am

    Will be thinking of you today and hope you don’t have to wait for the test results.

    Your strength is amazing!

    BELIEVE and LIVEStrong!

  14. Comment by Annie | 10.22.2008 | 5:51 am

    Again, we’ll be praying. I hope you’re right with what you suspect.

  15. Comment by Jeff | 10.22.2008 | 6:00 am

    That Ellsworth looks awesome!

    Too bad my wife would shoot me if I bought another thousand-plus dollar bike. Even if it was for charity.

    Best wishes for you and Susan. You’ve both shown a LOT of strength in a time that cause many to crumble.

  16. Comment by Uphill Battle | 10.22.2008 | 6:04 am

    Continued prayers for good days and small blessings of good news.

    AND stop that! I want the Ellsworth!

  17. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 10.22.2008 | 6:06 am

    Eldon, it says a lot about your character that in the midst of your own trials, you are still raising money for others dealing with cancer. My husband got a clean CAT scan from his fight with lymphoma three years ago and just a couple of weeks later found out he has prostate cancer (stage 1 thankfully) so, like you and Susan, just one day at a time. I’ll be praying for good results on her tests. WIN SUSAN!

  18. Comment by Mocougfan | 10.22.2008 | 6:26 am

    I feel for you brother. And I agree, ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s tough to make hard decisions, but I think it’s better if you make them.

    Praying for your family.


  19. Comment by rich | 10.22.2008 | 6:40 am

    Continuing to pray for you guys….glad Susan seems to be getting back and yes, a puffy face is definitely better than the alternatives you went through…

    I’m kinda diggin the Rock Lobster…

  20. Comment by Jodi | 10.22.2008 | 7:05 am


    “In other news, Dad used a computer.”

    That’s funny! Also – Elden, I cannot believe you are getting me that Ellsworth bicycle for Christmas. Awesome.

    Yeh, I can read in-between the lines. I’m picking up what you’re laying down.

  21. Comment by mmat | 10.22.2008 | 7:15 am

    best of luck with Susan’s tests.

    and on the topic of charity auctions, someone needs to run these when i’ve got money instead of when i’m broke-ass.

  22. Comment by Woody | 10.22.2008 | 7:19 am

    Waiting, hoping, praying…

  23. Comment by Gian | 10.22.2008 | 7:39 am

    I wish the best for you. I know it wont be a miracle but it can still be something good.

  24. Comment by NoTrail | 10.22.2008 | 7:56 am

    Why must I be too tall for those bikes? My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I’m dealing with a real similar situation with my mother right now. May we all WIN and LIVESTRONG!!

  25. Comment by Anonymous | 10.22.2008 | 8:02 am

    Dear Eldon and Susan, just catching up, quite a scare for you both, I am praying for you.
    WIN SUSAN!!!

  26. Comment by regina | 10.22.2008 | 8:03 am

    and apparently I am a computer dope this a.m. that anonymous is me. :)

  27. Comment by Di | 10.22.2008 | 8:06 am

    The Ellsworth is nice, but my eye was caught by the Torelli Custom Lifestyle. Unfortunately, I cannot make a bid because I recently purchased a new Jamis Dakar Expert. Yeah, I’m a MTB junkie.

  28. Comment by MikeonhisBike | 10.22.2008 | 8:15 am

    Here’s to some great news today. We’re pulling for you.

  29. Comment by PissedOffCil | 10.22.2008 | 8:26 am

    Wow those news make my day and those bikes make me drool all over. The Vicious is just plain awesome, it’s a shame it’s so small!

    Ho and you forgot to say they all come with a pink Kinetic trainer! Sweet deal!!!

  30. Comment by cdouble | 10.22.2008 | 8:49 am

    I am brand new to this blog and at first was a little stunned by the juxtaposition of these two worlds – biking and your family’s battle with cancer. While biking is what brought me here, the courageous story playing out here has completely consumed and inspired me. I am obviously not the only one, and hopefully the positive energy, vibes, prayers, mojo whatever you might call it from all these souls can be that extra bit that you and Susan need to win this battle. WIN!!

  31. Comment by leroy | 10.22.2008 | 9:01 am

    Thank you for the update.

    Your grace under pressure is an example for many of us.

    We are better for knowing you, even if only via the internet.

    My best hopes and wishes for you and your family.

    Susan has already won a lot. Here’s hoping to many more victories.

  32. Comment by judi | 10.22.2008 | 9:10 am


    So glad Susan is feeling better. Thanks for sharing her story, and the updates from Monday. I can’t imagine how scary that was to you. Hug her for me.



  33. Comment by Tom | 10.22.2008 | 9:23 am

    Hang in there Fatty,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you daily.

    Win Susan,


  34. Comment by Aaron | 10.22.2008 | 9:39 am

    Nice to hear the good news. Good luck with the tests. I think that Rock Lobster has my name on it…..

  35. Comment by Kristi | 10.22.2008 | 9:39 am

    Am praying for you, Susan, and your family.

    Win, Susan!


  36. Comment by Bluenoser | 10.22.2008 | 9:44 am

    Sorry fatty, just ordered a Trek Portland that’s going to double as a first time Cross Bike. Otherwise, if the last of this years bike budget wasn’t used up I’d bid against you. But i will send something to these nice folks seeing I have five girls to think of.


  37. Comment by Bluenoser | 10.22.2008 | 9:46 am

    Not only that, the second wedding of the year is happening Saturday and when your a Dad that really reduces the bike budget. You’ll find out someday, but they are worth it.


  38. Comment by Scrod | 10.22.2008 | 9:47 am

    We will be keeping you in our prayers! It is always tough thinking that you will get bad news or neutral news. Let’s hope that it’s good news!

  39. Comment by Mark | 10.22.2008 | 9:48 am

    I can’t believe all the stuff you’ve been through recently. I’m so glad that Susan is back to herself now, it must have been so scary going through all that. It completely makes sense that you want to know you’re doing all you can to help her. I really hope that you get good news when the results come in.

    Take care, all the best to you, Susan and your family.

  40. Comment by Bluenoser | 10.22.2008 | 9:55 am

    Did I say they and worth it?? They are now beautiful grown women and it’s my pleasure as a dad to help in any way.



  41. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.22.2008 | 10:10 am

    Susan, I’m so happy to hear that you’re feeling more like yourself again! If it’s any consolation, my face is big and round all the time, no Decadron, Decameron, or dodecahedron needed.

    Fatty, very naughty of you to dangle all those nice bikes in front of us. When everyone in my family wants to know why they didn’t get anything for the holidays from me, I will point at you while making my getaway on my new wheels.

    *WIN* Susan!

  42. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.22.2008 | 10:18 am

    The best of luck to you today.


  43. Comment by patty | 10.22.2008 | 10:24 am

    Dear Fatty, I visit your blog daily but I’ve never posted. You and Susan have such courage that I just had to write and let you know my prayers and thoughts are with you both. Hang in there…

    Win Susan!

  44. Comment by Jeff&Jenn | 10.22.2008 | 10:32 am

    We’re praying for good news today.

    WIN Susan!

  45. Comment by Erik | 10.22.2008 | 10:47 am

    Glad to hear Susan’s doing better, and sure sounds like it was the drugs (if it was a cancer change, the drugs wouldn’t have changed things back, let alone that fast). I totally understand the not wanting to know. I hate to offer advice but do have a thought I’ll share anyway. It turns out that you do want to know the answer to 1 or 2 really specific questions: for example; “is there anything that you could be doing differently at this point?”. The docs should be able to tell you that without sharing everything they may know or think – that’s their job anyway. I’d guarantee yourself a happy christmas by tailoring the questions they answer so that the only possible answers are good. “Yup, we can make things better” or “Nope, things are going good and you should stay with the 6mg dose”. If that’s all the info you need, and all the info you get, you win. Besides, aren’t you the guy who’s already riding around on his Christmas present? You’ve got this DOWN, baby. My thoughts are with you! And, I should mention you’re a stud for managing as you are through this. Keep up the good fight.

  46. Comment by Mike | 10.22.2008 | 10:48 am

    I hope the news is better than you expect, Elden. Best of luck.

  47. Comment by Elizabeth | 10.22.2008 | 11:04 am

    I seriously *heart* that rock lobster custom alfie. I’m plotting on ways to sneak it into the house and hide it amongst the other bikes. I’m sure my boyfriend will never notice…

    Go Susan, win, win, WIN!

  48. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.22.2008 | 11:15 am

    Elden, you know what I admire about you? Well, being a guy, you are naturally gifted – You can compartmentalize anything and hide in denial with ease and style. That is natural, and to be expected, and not what I admire about you.

    You actually have thought through how a worst case scenario might play out and taken the appropriate attitude. Wow! That is seriously living STRONG! Hang in there.

    WIN! Susan.

  49. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.22.2008 | 11:17 am

    Oh, and did I say I would really like to get that Torreli for my wife? Right now she is 5-11″. But if I encourage her to quit taking her calcium so her bones cave in and she shrinks, maybe she would fit it. Well, maybe not.

  50. Comment by AlicesYellowPorsche | 10.22.2008 | 11:22 am

    wow, just logged on. praying for susan & you & your family…. that is a pretty sweet auction!

    WIN Susan!

  51. Comment by Kt | 10.22.2008 | 11:37 am

    Good thoughts and hopes for your news later….

    WIN Susan!!!!!

  52. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 10.22.2008 | 11:58 am

    Sooooooooooo glad to hear that Susan is doing a little better! I’m praying for good results from today’s scan.


    Oh, and I think the Torelli looks pretty awesome, or maybe it’s just the pannier saddle bags I’m in love with… I’m not sure.

  53. Comment by Jennifer | 10.22.2008 | 12:36 pm

    Thinking of you both and I hope you get good news from the scan.

    And I can’t believe you so casually put up those bike pics. Like I need ANOTHER bike in my already full quiver! Might just have to sneak in a bid, depends on the ole checking acct balance.

    Go Susan!

  54. Comment by formertdfan | 10.22.2008 | 12:48 pm

    sending good karma your way — praying the brain MRI is clean

  55. Comment by Jill | 10.22.2008 | 1:00 pm

    I hope the news is better than your best Christmas.

  56. Comment by Jaime O. | 10.22.2008 | 1:11 pm

    Sending peace your way…praying for good news.

  57. Comment by Jen | 10.22.2008 | 1:28 pm

    Can you read a blog with one eye closed? Some days that’s how I feel. Somehow you managed to always capture that weird dichotomy that happens when you’re life is being wrenched apart. There is the worst thing in the world trying to happen in one area and in another life is moving on. Children grow, friends surround, and bike porn is still bike porn.

    Brain mets still suck donkey balls …

  58. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 10.22.2008 | 1:36 pm

    Great news regarding Susan! Here’s to hoping that the good news continues.

    Dear LORD give me strength! I didn’t even know I really really really needed to get an Ellsworth commuter bike and a Viscious Cycles communter bike. And a Rock Lobster commuter bike. It burns. It burns.

    There’s only one solution. I need to get two more offices so I have 3 places to which I need to commute, and therefore, need 3 commuter bicycles.

    Hey Fatty, can I borrow your credit card? I just need to pick up a few items….

  59. Comment by Kathleen | 10.22.2008 | 1:53 pm

    I received my FC jersey yesterday and took it out for a spin this morning…chanting to myself over and over “Susan will be well.”

    It was a glorious ride down the California coast…warm and the sun glinting off the blue water and white-capped waves. A perfect day for sending good karma thoughts over the miles to you.

    I returned home to fall in love with the Rock Lobster – serious *swoon*

    WIN Susan!

  60. Comment by Al Maviva | 10.22.2008 | 3:35 pm

    I’d put in a bid for one of those bikes but unfortunately it’s getting harder and harder to steal kidneys from people these days and sell them on the black market.

    Guess I’ll just have to read about the lucky winners.

  61. Comment by Cindy | 10.22.2008 | 8:24 pm

    You and Susan are two of the bravest people I know of.

  62. Comment by Jennifer | 10.22.2008 | 8:48 pm

    My wife and I are sending you guys prayers, good thoughts, positive vibes, strength, EVERYTHING.

  63. Comment by Jsun | 10.22.2008 | 9:10 pm


  64. Comment by James | 10.23.2008 | 3:09 pm

    Wow that Ellsworth is nice! I love the Rock Lobster too. And for a great cause too.

    Glad to hear that Susan is feeling a bit better. I will continue to keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

  65. Comment by Jennifer Jilks | 10.25.2008 | 12:00 pm

    Good luck with the cancer battle. I know it is no fun, but you have kept a sense of humour about you. I found that important.


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