Getting the Ending Right

10.28.2008 | 5:36 am

Yesterday’s trip to the oncologist taught me exactly how easy it is to hear what you want to hear. Specifically, when last week I heard “dramatic improvement,” what I didn’t hear was the context: Susan’s brain is filled with too many lesions to count, and the ongoing inflammation can only be moderated — not eliminated — by steroids.

Yes, the size of the lesions had dramatically improved. But the truth is, the brain is delicate. When you throw a handful of gravel into it, the size of the individual pebbles is only one of the things that matters.

So while I’ve been pinning the blame of these episodes on Decadron, the fact is they would be happening regardless. The timing would just be different.

So: we’re up to twice as much Decadron now as we used to be.

But the truth is, it doesn’t matter much. Things are changing fast now.

Here’s what I mean.

As we got back from the doctor yesterday — around noon or so — and I had gotten Susan into the wheelchair to go into the house, the weather was so perfect I suggested we go for a walk instead of going into the house.

That sounded good to Susan.

So I pushed her around the neighborhood, loving the feel of Autumn: warm sun, cool breeze. The trees in the valley are changing colors, and the sound of a wheelchair rolling over crunchy leaves is incredibly soothing.

We talked, and Susan seemed — for the first time that day — to be happy and herself again.

After an hour or so she was tired, so I wheeled her home and got us lunch.

By the time lunch was over, she could no longer remember that we had been on the walk. She couldn’t remember the trip to the doctor. And for a while, she was certain that she was not at her home at all.

And she got worse as the day progressed. She’s now confused, lost, and afraid most of the time. It is unbearable for me to watch. Not so much that her reality is slipping; I expected that to happen eventually. What I hate is that it’s slipped into such an awful place.

So I spent the afternoon trying to answer the question: how can I be kind? Kind to Susan, and kind to the children, who can’t understand what’s going on and find themselves frustrated and scared when they try to answer Susan’s impossible questions (“Is that me walking around upstairs?” “Have I died?”).

The answer I’ve come up with is something like this:

I know how this will end now; the last chapter of Susan’s cancer is already written. I can’t control that. I can however try to exert some control over how Susan experiences this last chapter. And equally important to me: I can control how my kids experience it.

So we’re switching to hospice now, and the emphasis of the medication Susan takes will be on blocking the fear and confusion she’s feeling. I can try to make her time with the family pleasant for her, even if I can’t hope to have her understand it.

And meanwhile, I’m explaining as best as I can to the kids that mom has spent her whole life taking care of us, and now it’s our turn to take care of her.

There’s one big piece of this puzzle I haven’t figured out yet, though: I am clearly pretty messed up right now, but I’m dealing with it by staying extremely busy. I feel OK whenever I’m making myself useful. So far, that’s working, because I have a lot to do. But I know it’s not a permanent solution. I’ll get to that later.

For now I need to focus on my wife and kids.


  1. Comment by K. Haizlip | 10.28.2008 | 5:45 am

    Though it’s a phrase I’m sure you’ve heard endlessly through this ordeal, I felt the need to write to say my thoughts are with you and your family. Being 2000 miles away and of limited financial means I cannot offer a great deal else in the way of assistance.
    I’ve only been following your blog for a short time but took great pleasure from the optimism of your post last week after the “dramatic improvement” and it pains me to hear such a change in your voice, so to speak.
    My exposure to cancer was limited to a coworker with Pancreatic cancer who deteriorated fast, but I have had two grandparents suffer from severe dementia in the later stages of their life and wouldn’t wish such an experience on anyone.

    Stay strong, Fatty.


  2. Comment by Ant | 10.28.2008 | 5:52 am

    Elden, it sounds like you have made the hardest decision in the world, but I’m also sure in your head that you know you have made the right decision.

    You will no doubt have a thousand different people giving you a thousand different versions of what you should be doing, and I am not going to add to that extra layer of confusion for you. Other than to say – whatever you decide to do – it is the right thing. You know what is best for your wife and your family, you know how Susan would wanting to be spending her time now, and you know how she would want your children looked after. And you know what sort of memory Susan would like to leave your family with.

    She is an amazing woman, and you have an amazing family, and the Nelson legacy will carry on for generations, and not just through your family, but through the thousands of people that read this blog every day.

    We are all with you 1000%.

  3. Comment by Jamie in Maryland | 10.28.2008 | 5:55 am

    Sending BIG (((HUGS))) to you and the kids. I am so sorry it has come to this. Praying for some relief for all of you.

  4. Comment by MikeonHisBike | 10.28.2008 | 5:55 am

    Your focus sounds like it’s in the right place brother. It can’t be easy for you right now. Here’s to the strength to make it through your ordeal. You’re doing the right thing. Hang in there.


  5. Comment by Ian P | 10.28.2008 | 5:56 am

    So, so sorry. From very recent personal experience, I know that people are right to say “stay strong”. But also be aware that there will be some times when you have to allow yourself not to be “strong” — to allow your true feelings to come out fully. God bless you and your family, thinking of you.

  6. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.28.2008 | 5:57 am

    I’m so sorry to hear that things have taken this turn.

    No matter what happens on the outside, we all can see that Susan’s love for you and the kids is, and will always be, undiminished on the inside.

    Whatever you do, don’t worry about us out here. We’re supposed to be available to carry your water, not the other way around.

    Take care, Nelsons. We’re with you.

  7. Comment by Bob in Texas | 10.28.2008 | 5:58 am

    Your optimism is inspirational.
    I’m praying that God gives y’all the strength you need to endure this difficult time.

  8. Comment by Uphill Battle | 10.28.2008 | 6:02 am

    Elden, my heart is breaking for the Nelson family. Continued prayers for courage and strength during this difficult time. How I wish there were more that I could do.

  9. Comment by Shane | 10.28.2008 | 6:04 am

    Dear Elden,

    You’re doing everything right.

    ‘Dealing with it’ is something you negotiate with yourself and those around you day by day. There is no ‘right way’ except to include, share with and do right by those you love.

    I’m wearing my FC jersey with great pride today.


  10. Comment by Lowrydr | 10.28.2008 | 6:08 am

    Such a heart wrenching post to start the day. And it’s tearing at mine right now. I’ve only got words of support to give, but they are all yours to help the family cope with the coming days.

    We just lost our Grandaughter at 3 1/2 and reading your site has helped me come to grips with that loss. Thank-you Fatty for that.

    Now shore up the kids they are going to need that even more as the days progress. Heart felt wishes for you and yours.

    Peace Susan Peace in your heart.

  11. Comment by Paul H | 10.28.2008 | 6:08 am


    You have amazing fortitude in the face of terrible obstacles. I pray that you will be given the strength needed for the coming days.


  12. Comment by Susan | 10.28.2008 | 6:09 am

    To all the Nelson’s…You are loved!

  13. Comment by simon zappia | 10.28.2008 | 6:12 am

    dude, i have been reading your blog for sometime, yet this is the first time i have made comment.

    i kinda know where you are at, everything is black, it’s hell on earth. i remember when receiving bad news from doctors regarding my mum, a shot of adrenaline would flow thru my veins and a metallic taste form in my mouth….

    my mum, an absolute angel died from bowel cancer in 04. we remained positive with her, we never discussed the inevitable….which now i regret to some degree as we never had that ‘last’ chat…i sometimes wish there was a letter from her waiting for me…..

    the onset of the end was so rapid that by the time we realised what was happening she was so doped up we couldn’t communicate….

    basically what i am saying is…if you can, and you probably already have, talk about what you can’t later.

    another thing i learnt is that whilst we aren’t infallible, we are mentally tough and we can survive grief…

    feelin for ya pal down here in oz

  14. Comment by rose | 10.28.2008 | 6:13 am

    So sorry you have had to go on such a roller coaster ride these past few days. Understanding that the end is coming, and trying to bring dignity to the situation is such a challenge, but you have met all of the challenges this horror show has bought so far. That seems to be the puzzle piece. I think it is not so much a puzzle but a process. There is no easy or right way to do this. My prayers are with all of you that these next days bring peace and serenity to ALL of you.

  15. Comment by Jim D | 10.28.2008 | 6:14 am

    Elden, Susan and kids:
    You are loved indeed. My prayer today is that God gives you the comfort and peace that only He gives.

    Lean on family and friends (even us here in cyberspace). It is an honor to serve, in any way. People want to help, so give them assignments where necessary. Your family has given all of us so much over the years, so let us give back in whatever ways are possible.

  16. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 10.28.2008 | 6:17 am

    Elden -

    Thanks for sharing your most private thoughts. You have so many that would do something if they could. Wrap your children in your love and let them give you their strength as well. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  17. Comment by Robb Sutton (198) | 10.28.2008 | 6:18 am

    Thoughts and prayers from my wife and I in Atlanta. I can’t even begin to image what you and your children are going through.


  18. Comment by Marla | 10.28.2008 | 6:18 am

    SO sorry that your family is having to make such difficult decisions. I will continue to pray for you all, for peace and comfort, for dignity and love, and for each of you to know you are doing the exact right thing for your beloved Susan.

  19. Comment by AJ | 10.28.2008 | 6:22 am

    Elden -

    I have been following your blog over the past year and I have shared it with many others. Your stories inspire and amaze me. You and your family’s courage is incredible. I’m so so sorry that you are all going through this awful trial. You are making tough decisions and you are making those decisions with alot of strength and courage. Please know that my thoughts and prayers will continue to be with your family. Thank you for sharing your stories and your most private thoughts.

    Stay strong. Rely on others for their strength. Know that there are thousands of us out here thinking about you and Susan and your children. I hope that you’re all able to find some peace and comfort.

  20. Comment by Khirsten | 10.28.2008 | 6:26 am

    Your family is in my prayers. Thank you for always sharing and being so open with all of your readers.

  21. Comment by Slowracer | 10.28.2008 | 6:27 am


    We are thinking about Family Nelson

  22. Comment by Big Shorty | 10.28.2008 | 6:27 am


    I watched my father-in-law get taken slowly away from his family by this damn cancer, a simple cluster of misformed cells. The emotions that go through your mind, as well as everyone elses whom Susan has touched, are insane. I’ve seen family members go from uncontrolled crying to anger, fear, then back to happy within minutes.

    Everyone tends to forget that life is a finite time for each and every one of us and in doing so often says, “I can do that tomorrow”, when tomorrow isn’t a guarantee for anyone.

    Please take as much time as you need and focus on spending the most time possible with your loved ones. I’ve said it before, I think this group can be entertained easily (no disrespect of course!) Also, eveyone should make some time and spend a little extra time with their loved ones…..I know I will.

    We are continuing to pray,

  23. Comment by Craig | 10.28.2008 | 6:27 am

    This all just sucks.

    Sorry Dude.

  24. Comment by Dave | 10.28.2008 | 6:29 am

    Having experienced the same thing you are going through (albeit from a child’s perspective, not a husband’s) I can only say that you are maintaining for now the right attitude for your family.

    These sour times test the best of us all. Do know that you and your family will be stronger as a result of your continued dedication to Susan. Your family unit is strong and I cannot even begin to describe the value of that. There are few words.

    God speed!

  25. Comment by Scrod | 10.28.2008 | 6:33 am

    Thanks for sharing this all with us, know that we will all be waiting for you when you have the time to pop in and say hi, even if it is not very cheery news. We will be remembering your wife, your children and you in our prayers.

  26. Comment by Annie | 10.28.2008 | 6:35 am

    We will continue to pray for you, Susan, and the kids.

  27. Comment by Amy in Edmond | 10.28.2008 | 6:35 am

    My heart goes out to you as you deal with Susan and your children. I will pray that you have the patience and strength you need for Susan and for your children. God bless you during this difficult time.

  28. Comment by Faye | 10.28.2008 | 6:37 am

    Tears here for you and your family … and deep admiration for your strength and grace. You have an army of friends out here, all thinking of you and wishing we could help.

  29. Comment by Southsiderpgh | 10.28.2008 | 6:39 am

    Elden, Please remember to take some time for yourself–give Dug a call, go for a ride–eat some comfort food. You’ve got a wonderful support system out there, please don’t forget that your needs are important too.

    I wish I had something profound to say–you’ve handled this situation with such courage and determination. Best wishes to you and your family.

  30. Comment by Abram | 10.28.2008 | 6:41 am

    It was so heartbreaking to read your post today… I feel like we are a part of your family and are going through this with you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Eldon.

  31. Comment by Paula Kirsch | 10.28.2008 | 6:42 am

    Elden, how brave you really are to share this all with us. And even though most of us are “out there somewhere” and are people you hardly know, or don’t know at all, we are now part of your “extended family”. Even though most of us cannot be there for you in the way we might want to be, we are HERE for you and we are listening and trying to understand what is only possible for you to know. We are crying real tears, and we are praying real prayers for you, Susan, and your kids.


  32. Comment by Michelle | 10.28.2008 | 6:42 am


    Please surround yourself with those you love and those who will be there to support you and your family as you face the most difficult chapter that’s left to be written. Making the decision to focus on hospice is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions a caregiver can make, but will ultimately result in the best quality of life Susan could ask for in the upcoming weeks and months. But now that you’ve made that decision, please don’t forget to take care of yourself as well – for your sake and for your family’s sake.

    My best wishes are with you and your family.

  33. Comment by snobound | 10.28.2008 | 6:44 am

    I second Ant’s post (#2). You and your family have had a rough couple of years, and you’ve managed to come through it relatively intact up to this point. I know that the Lord is going to give you the strength you need to get through this chapter – as I can see he’s been with you the whole way so far. Please know you, Susan, and your children are going to be in my continued prayers. Enjoy the time you have left – laugh often and love well.


  34. Comment by Gillian | 10.28.2008 | 6:44 am

    Win Elden.

    Win. Win. Win.

  35. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 10.28.2008 | 6:45 am

    I am so heart-saddened to read this, but also extremely happy that you are working so hard to make Susan happy and comfortable and give her and the kids positive memories. You are an inspiration to others.

  36. Comment by Kim | 10.28.2008 | 6:45 am

    I have nothing to offer you but my sympathy. I’m stunned. I can’t offer you a hug, but I send all the positive energy I can muster to you.

    As part of Team Fatty riding for Susan, I want you to know that I’m also riding for you, Elden. Take your time. We’ll be here whenever you get back, and for whatever we can do in the meantime.

  37. Comment by Carl & Kim | 10.28.2008 | 6:47 am

    So I pushed her around the neighborhood, loving the feel of Autumn: warm sun, cool breeze. The trees in the valley are changing colors, and the sound of a wheelchair rolling over crunchy leaves is incredibly soothing.

    We talked, and Susan seemed — for the first time that day — to be happy and herself again.



  38. Comment by RTM | 10.28.2008 | 6:48 am

    I’m praying for Susan, you, and the kids. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through. You both are an inspiration.

  39. Comment by Linda | 10.28.2008 | 6:49 am

    I am so sorry…

  40. Comment by Boz | 10.28.2008 | 6:51 am

    Being one of your original readers (and to your annoyance, commenters) I have finally realized why I visit daily. Your stories are real. Good or bad, fact or fiction, we can count on your real perspective of life. Love of family and friends can’t be faked. No matter what happens, keep it coming. You are a gift to all of us, several times week. Thank you.

    WIN SUSAN!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Comment by Pete | 10.28.2008 | 6:51 am

    Any words that I can think of are going to come off as sounding trite, so I’ll leave them off. My thoughts are with your wife, you, and especially your children. This is a difficult time (one that I’ve been through, having lost my mom to cancer), but one that you must take minute by minute so you can live these remaining days with your wife to their fullest.

  42. Comment by James | 10.28.2008 | 6:53 am

    I’ve read your site with enjoyment for a while now, but never commented. I just want to take the time now to tell you I am praying hard for you and your family.

  43. Comment by dido | 10.28.2008 | 6:53 am

    Sending hugs & prayers your way…. May He provide you with the peace and comfort you and your family need during this very difficult time.

  44. Comment by joe | 10.28.2008 | 6:55 am

    We’re Jodi and Anson’s friends here in Brooklyn. Our church family has prayed for you guys often. My own family prays for you every night. Please allow our prayers to be your prayers when you are not able to pray. And please know that even in this dark place, God has gone before you and prepared the way.

  45. Comment by medstudentitis | 10.28.2008 | 6:57 am

    I hope that you all find a bit of peace and sanctuary today. I will be thinking of you all and sending my best wishes.

  46. Comment by Steph Bachman | 10.28.2008 | 6:58 am

    May God hold you all in the palm of his hand. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to make this decision but it sounds like the right one for you and your family. Our prayers are with you.

  47. Comment by Sk8rAl | 10.28.2008 | 6:58 am

    So sorry to hear of this turn of events. Feel confident in your decision on how to proceed. Though the decision to go to hospice is difficult, I think you will find it to be an excellent service. I’ve had two relatives take advantage of hosipice, and it made their lives, and the lives of those around them, as comfortable and stress-free as possible in a unhappy situation. Hopefully this decision will give Susuan, you, and your children some nice times.

    Warm and positive thoughts heading your way…

  48. Comment by fremont mike | 10.28.2008 | 7:00 am

    My heart ached when I read your facebook entry last night. I know you are doing what is best and making Susan’s remaining time here comfortable. It’s still unfair and heartbreaking. This damn disease took my grandfather a few years ago.

    My prayers and sympathies are with you and family.

    Be strong,


  49. Comment by stefano | 10.28.2008 | 7:03 am

    prayers and tears, God bless and look after you all, focus on your family and let us all know anything when it moves you…

  50. Comment by Eloise | 10.28.2008 | 7:03 am

    I am so very, very sorry.

    Susan and your children are lucky to have you in their lives. You are doing an incredible job taking care of them. Please don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. So many are depending on you.

    I am praying for healing, strength and peace for your family.

  51. Comment by Amy | 10.28.2008 | 7:05 am

    You’re doing everything right Eldon. My thoughts are with all of you.

  52. Comment by Gil Middlebrooks | 10.28.2008 | 7:07 am


    I wish we could lighten your load. I hope Susan finds peace. I know your kids will understand how lucky they have been to have great parents and will grow in their appreciation of how much they’ve been surrounded by a community of strangers through this website who have been pulling for all of you.

    Your writings about Susan and the kids have touched all of us.

    Gil Middlebrooks

  53. Comment by Pepper | 10.28.2008 | 7:08 am

    I’ve been reading here for some time now. I’m not a ‘biker,’ so I’ve never really felt I had much to contribute. I’ve been drawn more to the stuggle your family has been subjected to, and your own personal and admirable way of handling the hand life has dealt you all. I am a cancer survivor (so far, and a different kind), so I can really relate to some of the feelings you must be experiencing.

    But this morning, after reading this post, I felt the need to offer my prayers and support to you and your wonderful family. Stay strong, as I know you will.

    It is so heartbreaking to see such bad things happen to such good people…

  54. Comment by Clayton | 10.28.2008 | 7:08 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You’re not alone, we’re all thinking of you.

  55. Comment by Stephanie | 10.28.2008 | 7:09 am

    The people at Hospice proved extremely helpful in our time of need, I hope that they are able to offer you similar support in your time of need as well.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  56. Comment by Rob | 10.28.2008 | 7:12 am

    Elden…you’re courage is incredible. Thoughts and prayers for all of you. I can’t imaging how difficult this is.

  57. Comment by Annalisa | 10.28.2008 | 7:13 am

    Eldon, there are not enough words to express how sorry I am for your family. You are doing everything right, and doing all you can. You & Susan are in my prayers every day.

  58. Comment by hana | 10.28.2008 | 7:14 am

    Praying for you Elden, Susan, your children and your family. Praying for love and wisdom.

  59. Comment by Susan (another one) | 10.28.2008 | 7:16 am

    I hope it helps that lots of folks have Susan, your children and you in our thoughts today.

  60. Comment by Blorgh | 10.28.2008 | 7:17 am

    Dear Elden, I’ve been following your blog since you were on MSN. You introduced me to the world of road cycling (and triathlons…unwittingly ;) ) and I feel so privileged that you share so much of your life with us.

    That said, my heart is breaking for you. I don’t know how to give you words to take away some of the hurt.

    Just know that we are with you in this time. Let us know if there’s anything we can do for you or your family at all.

  61. Comment by Lucky Cyclist | 10.28.2008 | 7:17 am

    No Words man.
    So Sorry.

  62. Comment by Michael L | 10.28.2008 | 7:21 am

    I’ve been following your blog for some time and the transition from biking (something I love) to Susans’ story has been one of the most powerful stories I’ve heard in a while. I’m an nurse in critical care unit, and I see many families during very hard times, but I usually see them with a professional disconnect. Your story today made me straight up cry today. My girlfriend and I both wish the best for both of you in this tumultuous time.

  63. Comment by Kristy | 10.28.2008 | 7:21 am

    I have been following your blog for a long time. I have never left a comment and really find all they cycling stuff boring. I got pulled in by your wife’s illness and how your family is doing. Anyway, I just really wanted to say something to honor you and your family. Your children and wife are so very lucky to have a father/ husband like you. There i nothing I can say that will make anything better for your family. Just enjoy cherish and live in the moment with these times with your family. My prayers are with you all.

  64. Comment by James | 10.28.2008 | 7:22 am

    Yo Elden- I am feeling guilty for not commenting more. I am so sorry that Susan and you and your kids have to go through this. I don’t know what else to say other than we are thinking about you and praying for you here in Boston.

    I have the bracelet that Susan made, that I won in your very first contest. I look at it every morning as I get dressed. I won’t forget.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.


  65. Comment by Bandit | 10.28.2008 | 7:23 am


    Thank you for sharing your family’s life with us. I have several extended family members who are fighting cancer and it is through you that I have a deeper understanding of what those closest to them are going through.

    I am praying for comfort for Susan, strength for you and your children and praise for the family members, friends and medical community that are helping you all through this.

  66. Comment by miss @ stewOZ | 10.28.2008 | 7:24 am

    Sitting in front of the screen for about 30 minutes and still not sure what to say. But maybe it’s not about the right thing to say. Rather, just another post to add to your army of support. It’s 12.26am here and we are sending you and beautiful Susan thoughts of care and concern like anything.

    Please get some rest as well, Elden. You need to rest.

    miss & stewOZ

  67. Comment by KTBee | 10.28.2008 | 7:26 am

    Take the time to do what you need to do. We’ll all be here when you are ready to come back. Much love and prayer from CT…

  68. Comment by traci | 10.28.2008 | 7:26 am

    You don’t know me and I only know you through what you write. I am not even sure you will read this but I had to let you know that I think of you and your family often. Having gone through the horrible ordeal of losing a loved one to cancer I feel that I do know some of what you are going through. In my very minor opinion being able to “be” with someone at the end of their life is a gift. You are able to love them and comfort them and know in your heart that you helped with thier final journey.

    Your definition of WIN has changed and now winning is helping Susan, yourself and your children. Please know that this “stranger” is praying for you and yours.

  69. Comment by Donald | 10.28.2008 | 7:26 am


  70. Comment by SaraSpin | 10.28.2008 | 7:27 am

    Saying sorry is just not enough. Saying you are always in our thoughts isn’t enough either. Control what you can – focus on your family. We’ll all still be here, hoping, praying and sending love and support to you.

  71. Comment by ann | 10.28.2008 | 7:30 am

    You have let us all ‘in’ to share it, so we’re in for the long haul – praying from way far away is all I can do. I am praying so specifically for your children, and for you as you walk with them. They can and will rise to the occasion, don’t be afraid to let them do just that. Praying, praying, praying,

  72. Comment by Woody | 10.28.2008 | 7:31 am

    I have no words to express the heartache that I feel for you and your family. Just know that I will be thinking of you. Often…

  73. Comment by Nick | 10.28.2008 | 7:32 am

    Empathy and love from a fellow cyclist, husband and father. Peace, brother.

  74. Comment by Sandy B | 10.28.2008 | 7:34 am

    You are one amazing Father, Husband….human. LOVE

  75. Comment by miss & stewOZ | 10.28.2008 | 7:35 am

    You focus on your wife and kids…. and we are also here for you, Elden… for all of you.

    miss & stewOZ

  76. Comment by KaliDurga | 10.28.2008 | 7:36 am

    There’s not really anything I can say that others haven’t already but, whatever happens and however you deal with it, know that you, Susan, and your kids have made a tremendous impact on the lives of many others. I wish for each of you whatever sort of strength and peace that you require to get through this.

  77. Comment by vertigo | 10.28.2008 | 7:38 am

    Words fail me. Peace, love and prayers for you and your family.

  78. Comment by NoTrail | 10.28.2008 | 7:39 am

    I’m so sorry to here that Susan is not doing well. On the flip side, you sound like you’re doing everything you can for her right now. Be strong. Your family is in my prayers.

  79. Comment by Josh | 10.28.2008 | 7:39 am


    After reading your post I flood of emotions came back to me remembering our families struggle with cancer. I am so very sorry for what you are going through. You and your family are an inspiration to all of us. Stay strong your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  80. Comment by Paul | 10.28.2008 | 7:41 am

    My uncle died of brain cancer a couple of weeks ago. My wife, two kids and I lived with him and my aunt for several months a couple of years ago, so were all closer to him than a ‘normal’ uncle. What you’re doing in focusing on the relationships in your family, rather than on Susan’s disease, sounds like a good choice. In the last few weeks of Tom’s life everyone knew that time was up, even Tom. During his lucid periods he made it clear that what he valued more than any practical help (which he did appreciate) was a hand to hold, or someone to read to him. In other words, company.

    So carry on ‘making yourself useful’, but remember that the most useful thing you can do is be with Susan and your kids. Don’t worry, we’ll be here when you get back.

  81. Comment by Chad | 10.28.2008 | 7:44 am

    Peace be with you my friend.

  82. Comment by Shannon | 10.28.2008 | 7:47 am

    Elden: Two utterly inadequate thoughts: I’m so sorry that you have to go through this pain; Susan’s so lucky to have someone as thoughtful as you caring for her.

  83. Comment by Paul | 10.28.2008 | 7:47 am

    I just re-read that last paragraph and I sound cynical or reproachful or something. That wasn’t meant at all – there’s practical stuff that needs to get done, and unfortunately you’re the one that falls on. But don’t think for a second that a morning spent holding hands has been wasted.

  84. Comment by Wes | 10.28.2008 | 7:48 am

    Elden, I just want you to know that your strength is inspiring. God bless you guys…

  85. Comment by Leslie | 10.28.2008 | 7:48 am


  86. Comment by jt | 10.28.2008 | 7:49 am

    LiveStrong Fatty. The Strong part is you, for Susan and your kids and ultimately you. Peace to you and your family, my friend.

  87. Comment by Dan O | 10.28.2008 | 7:50 am

    Take care of Susan and the kids, we’ll be here when you get back. As recent survivor, with a 7 week old daughter, our thoughs go out to you and your family.
    Win for Susan.

    life is good

  88. Comment by Roadent | 10.28.2008 | 7:52 am

    “equally important to me: I can control how my kids experience it” – very good, and very important for them: they need to remember their Mother at her best. Tough it out…

  89. Comment by mnbiker | 10.28.2008 | 7:53 am

    There isn’t a whole lot to say that hasn’t already been said, but the strength of character that you show is nothing short of amazing. You are making the right decisions for your family, so you can take strength from that. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts.

  90. Comment by JAM | 10.28.2008 | 7:53 am


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My heart breaks to hear the news, but am encouraged by your strength and love. Time with your family is most important, our relationships with others is all that we take with us. Susan and your children are most important, make the most of this time you have. Know that there are many around the world praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your life with us, we are here for you.

    I have family that live up Big Cottonwood Canyon, if you would like to go and get away, contact me.

  91. Comment by Eric | 10.28.2008 | 7:54 am

    Having experienced the loss of both my mother and grandfather to cancer, I read your post today and experienced that same feeling when the conversation turned to hospice and “making them comfortable.” My heart goes out to you. I pray that there will be peace for you and your children as this process goes forward. It is a difficult path, know that you are not walking it alone.

  92. Comment by AA | 10.28.2008 | 7:55 am

    My prayers are with you and your family.

  93. Comment by Tom | 10.28.2008 | 7:57 am


    You have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. What I am writing is nothing new here but I just wanted you to know how many of us care. I wish there was more we could do.

    God Bless You

  94. Comment by Sean | 10.28.2008 | 8:00 am

    I don’t want to act like I know how it feels. I cannot imagine what you are going thru. You are doing exactly what you need to do. Focus on the your beautiful wife and your family.

    You will surely be in my prayers.

  95. Comment by BamaJim | 10.28.2008 | 8:02 am

    May God’s peace, grace, and strength be with you and the family. Still praying…

  96. Comment by Ned | 10.28.2008 | 8:03 am

    Eldon – so sorry to hear about this turn – its terribly tough, but , I know your family will get through this – Just know youve got a ton of folks who care and wish nothing but the best for you guys –

    One thing, make sure you guys take full advantage of the Hospice care . The folks who are going to help you are some of the best, most caring nurses and MDs youll ever meet . When you have questions , ask them ! Id also ask about thier counsling service . They have some really good stuff going that can and will help you all, particulary the kiddos -

    God vibes and wishes for peace –

  97. Comment by Stan | 10.28.2008 | 8:05 am

    I’m sorry to hear this, but I know you’re strong. You’ll find a way to get your family through this.

  98. Comment by Angel | 10.28.2008 | 8:05 am

    Elden, thanks for the amazing ride that you have allowed us to accompany you on with Susan’s illness. I’m sure there are times where you will doubt yourself but rest assured in the fact that there are a good number of us that know you are doing the right and best thing for you, Susan, and the kids. Thinking of you all and sending prayers …


  99. Comment by Shellyg8r | 10.28.2008 | 8:05 am

    Prayers, thoughts, and love coming your way.

  100. Comment by sean | 10.28.2008 | 8:09 am

    Even though everything’s wrong, you’re doing everything right. Thank you for letting us in. Thank you for showing us how to win.

  101. Comment by Claire | 10.28.2008 | 8:09 am

    Hi Elden,

    Thank you so much for your writings. I can only offer you my thoughts and hope in return. Much love to your whole family.


  102. Comment by Nick | 10.28.2008 | 8:18 am

    I wish you the best of times during what’s certainly the toughest thing anyone has to deal with.

  103. Comment by Tim E | 10.28.2008 | 8:18 am

    Eldon -

    Strength and love to you, Susan, your kids, and all your family.

    We (your rather extended “family”) will be here whenever you need to “talk”. Even if that’s all we can do, we’re here for you.


  104. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 10.28.2008 | 8:19 am


    It sounds like you’ve made the right decision for Susan, for yourself, and for your children. We are praying for all of you. Know that God can and will help you get through this.

    Psalm 73:26 –

    -Bryan and family

  105. Comment by GroomPerro | 10.28.2008 | 8:22 am

    We will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers. Sharing you life with us has been such a blessing and inspiration. Win. Win. Win.

    Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
    —2 Thessalonians 3:16

  106. Comment by VA Biker | 10.28.2008 | 8:22 am


    I can offer no substantial advice as I haven’t walked in your shoes.

    I think you’re doing a great job taking care of your entire family. You’re correct that is your first priority.

    I’m praying for you all.

  107. Comment by NW | 10.28.2008 | 8:26 am

    I am just filled with compassion for your family.

  108. Comment by TCR Dave (formerly dave) | 10.28.2008 | 8:27 am

    You’re a great man doing a very hard job. May God bless you and keep you and your family. We’re still praying for you and Susan.

  109. Comment by UtRider | 10.28.2008 | 8:28 am

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned about love and compassion from your writing about Susan’s cancer. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  110. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 10.28.2008 | 8:29 am

    Thank you for letting us in to your thoughts and feelings.
    words feel truly inadequate, but my thoughts go out to all the Nelson family. Love.

  111. Comment by tom | 10.28.2008 | 8:29 am

    Fatty –

    I don’t know what to say. I don’t comment often but I’m here everyday to read your posts. My best wishes for you and your family in this trying time. It sounds like you are doing a great job handling this but it probably doesn’t feel like it now. I hope my thoughts and prayers and those of the others here help you in some small way.


  112. Comment by Drew | 10.28.2008 | 8:30 am

    Im sorry Eldon but as someone who supported some people during a cancer loss, I have to disagree with your last point. You need to take care of you now, or you won’t be able to care for your kids later. Find some time alone to deal with it, or lean on some friends, but come to terms with it as soon as you can.
    Your kids need you as you were, not some disconnected automatron.

    I am sorry. Thinking good thoughts for you.

  113. Comment by minx | 10.28.2008 | 8:31 am

    all our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    stay strong.

  114. Comment by Marla | 10.28.2008 | 8:35 am


    No matter how this goes, knowing that you are doing everything for the good of Susan and your family will help later. She knows just how much you love and care for her.
    Hospice is a great help. Make sure you let yourself feel all the emotions, even if you have to do it away from everyone. It helps, as well.
    Thoughts, prayers, energy, everything is flowing y’all’s way.

  115. Comment by Isaac Ben-Moshe | 10.28.2008 | 8:35 am

    Know that you’ve made the right decision to go with hospice. Remember that hospice care isn’t only for Susan-it’s for you and the kids, too. Hospice also has social workers and chaplains to help you deal with what’s happening. Please avail yourself of them. Being the caregiver for Susan and for your kids is the hardest job of all.
    One of my jobs is as a hospice chaplain. If you want, please feel free to e-mail me or give me a call.
    My contact info is (904)945-8374(cell)and my email is
    May God grant you strength, and bless you and Susan and all of your family with peace.

    Cantor Isaac Ben-Moshe
    Chaplain, Heart to Heart Hospice of Austin

  116. Comment by sincain | 10.28.2008 | 8:35 am

    I’ve never writen on the board but read it everyday. I figured I’d write today to give some support. I’ve been through it with three grandparents and all I can say is be there with her. And remember you can only do what you can, don’t regret the things that can’t be controlled. Whenever it gets to be too much think about something awesome you shared together and it will make it that little more barable.

    Stay Strong Bro, wish you and your family the best.

  117. Comment by bikemike | 10.28.2008 | 8:37 am

    if you need anything from all of us, let us know.

    lean on us hard, we’ll be here for you.

    Devine Faith, Hope and Love.

  118. Comment by Annalisa | 10.28.2008 | 8:39 am

    Elden, Susan and children, family and friends,

    Thank you for all of your inspiration through the reading of this blog. It’s my turn to give you my prayers and love. Even from a stranger. Sincere love is a gift.

    I wish you all much strength in the coming time. It is my own experience that this, too, will become a beautiful eulogy…a beautiful part of the book of your lives together.

    Annalisa (The Netherlands)

  119. Comment by Chris | 10.28.2008 | 8:40 am

    Chris, the boys and I prayed for all of you last night. Not saying that pridefully, just know that a family (I’m certain one of many) in your small town is on their knees every night on your, Susan’s, and your children’s behalf.

    The Ross’

  120. Comment by Emy | 10.28.2008 | 8:41 am

    I have followed your blog for years and yet never commented. Today I feel compelled to say something and yet anything I could say would be completely inadequate. Just know that my prayers are with you and Susan and your entire family. May God grant you peace and strength.

  121. Comment by sansauto | 10.28.2008 | 8:41 am

    We’re praying for you. That is the comment I have posted the last several times I have commented. It feels so insufficient. I hardly know you, but would do almost anything for you and your family if you were to ask. Until then, we’re praying. As a scientist, prayer is funny. We pray that Susan will get better, but realize that isn’t the likely outcome. Fervently we pray that your family will have smiles and laughter to remember in what is certainly a hard time. We pray that you will have peace in your home. We pray that your children will understand and enjoy the time with their mom. We pray that Fatty will have the strength to manage all that he and his family is going through.

    While I’m certain that nothing has become easy for the Nelson family, I am also certain that the prayers being offered are helping.

  122. Comment by cyclingeurope | 10.28.2008 | 8:43 am

    Who out there in the blogosphere has shared so much of himself, of his family’s trials, of his own personal grief and tough decisions, and with so much compassion, as Fatcyclist? No one! And who has gathered such a wide fan base because of this sharing and compassion? Fatcyclist! You are truly an amazing human being Elden.

    Your time with Susan yesterday was a gift to you. And you are such a gift to her, and to your children. And I want you to know you are a gift to every one of us reading your posts. I can’t imagine a single one of us walking away from reading these posts, especially this morning, who doesn’t transform our own sorrow for your family’s experience into doing something nice for someone or being kinder as a result, and into saying more prayers about everything, not just for you and your family, but our own families or people we’ve lost touched with. That’s the effect you have on me, and I am sure, on the world.

    Hospice is a transformational experience. You will meet people you swear have hidden their wings and halos, and you will know you have done the right thing.


  123. Comment by Sarah G | 10.28.2008 | 8:43 am

    God bless you and your family, Eldon.

    Your wife is sustained by your love in ways beyond understanding.

    Your children will find peace in your strength.

    Your compassion and ethic of “kindness” represent the best of the human animal.


  124. Comment by LidsB2 | 10.28.2008 | 8:48 am


    I am sorry for the pain and heartache you, Susan and your children have been through. May the Lord bless, comfort and sustain you through this most difficult time. Nobody deserves to go through such a challenge, but you are shining examples of strength, grace and poise in the face of adversity. My hat is off to you, and my prayers are with you.

    Shawn Cotton

  125. Comment by jumbly | 10.28.2008 | 8:56 am

    Thinking of you all.

  126. Comment by slowerthensnot | 10.28.2008 | 8:56 am

    my heart crys out for you and your family!

  127. Comment by FliesOnly | 10.28.2008 | 8:57 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. To say that it sicks does not really do justice to just how much it truly sucks. You’re being an unbelievable husband and father through times that only a few can imagine. Do your best to keep it up.


  128. Comment by Madelyn | 10.28.2008 | 8:57 am

    I’ve never commented before but feel compelled this time.

    I went through this years (and years) ago with my young husband (melanoma) and more recently with my elderly mother.

    Hospice is a WONDERFUL thing – they are there for ALL of you all – I hope your expeience is such that you will be so thankful for their direction.

    I will be thinking and praying and following your time together.

    Peace – Madelyn in Alabama

  129. Comment by XCTiger | 10.28.2008 | 8:59 am

    I just read your post from this morning and find myself at a loss for words. I know there is nothing that I can write to ease your pain. There is nothing I can do that will possibly lighten your burden. The only thing I can do is pray that you find the strength to continue on. Remember, take it one day at a time, and maybe one minute at a time when things are the darkest.

    Please know you are in my prayers and thoughts.

  130. Comment by monkeywebb | 10.28.2008 | 8:59 am

    We’re thinking of you.

  131. Comment by daddystyle | 10.28.2008 | 9:02 am

    Feel our love. We care. Prepare for the worst and pray for the best.

    Our prayer’s are with you

  132. Comment by KeepYerBag | 10.28.2008 | 9:04 am

    Peace be with you, Elden. You are truly one of the good guys. Our continued prayers are with your whole family.

  133. Comment by joe blow | 10.28.2008 | 9:05 am

    I think this is the first time I can remember crying while reading a blog. Most of us don’t know Fatty and Susan except through the blog, yet somehow reading these updates effects me (and judging by the comments, many others) in a deeply personal way.

    If you’re taking hospice donations, I’m here with my wallet, which is unfortunately the only way I can think of helping.

  134. Comment by Robb | 10.28.2008 | 9:08 am

    My prayers are with the entire Nelson family.

    Elden, you are a hero, Susan, you are a hero. Godspeed to you both.


  135. Comment by sllym | 10.28.2008 | 9:10 am

    I am so, so sorry to hear this news. We’re praying for your family.

  136. Comment by Selene | 10.28.2008 | 9:10 am

    All of our thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care of yourself, too.

  137. Comment by Nick | 10.28.2008 | 9:11 am

    I’m so sorry, and I hope for peace for you and your family.

  138. Comment by Bikerchick_Barb | 10.28.2008 | 9:15 am

    Oh, Elden. How is it that you are so very clear and sage, even in this most testing time? Much peace and grace to all the Nelsons and those they love, including your readers.

  139. Comment by Russell | 10.28.2008 | 9:16 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  140. Comment by Ken | 10.28.2008 | 9:19 am

    I know from experience how your ordeal can provide a hard-earned wisdom. Hospice is a blessing and with it the time you spend is made richer by the care of others. But now faith, hope, and love remain–these three. The greatest of these is love.

  141. Comment by Dobovedo | 10.28.2008 | 9:19 am

    You are doing great. Great sounds like a stupid word, considering, but that’s what it is. Your kindness, your support, your love, you caring and sharing. It’s all amazingly great.

    Peace. Live STRONG.

  142. Comment by Kellene | 10.28.2008 | 9:19 am

    You really are an amazing brother. I stand in awe and watch as you have done everything in your power to bring comfort, peace, security and love to your wife and children. You never ask for much. You are content when they are content. I am so, so sorry that this is so hard. We love you all and will be there for you always.
    Give Susan a hug today and remind her we love her.

  143. Comment by Jeff&Jenn | 10.28.2008 | 9:26 am

    Oh Elden… My heart is breaking for you. You are so brave and have handled everything in the best way that anyone could. You are an incredible husband and dad. You do a great job taking care of your family and doing the best thing for everyone. Please take care of yourself too.

    We would love to watch the kids anytime or do ANYTHING else that might help you. We are praying for you all every day. You are not alone.

  144. Comment by crashtest450 | 10.28.2008 | 9:33 am


    I have had the pleasure of reading your blog for many months now and as many before me, this is my first comment. I want to thank you for your candor, I want to thank you for your humor, and I want to thank you for sharing it all with us…the good and the bad. I only wish I had more to offer in return than my thoughts!

  145. Comment by Lisa B | 10.28.2008 | 9:34 am

    FC – Words fail me, tears come, love flows out to all the Nelsons. I feel honored that you continue to write to us and hope that this little piece of the world can continue to help you, emotionally and mentally.

  146. Comment by Shadowduck | 10.28.2008 | 9:35 am

    I wish I had the words to say something, anything that might help you in some small way… Thinking of all of you.

  147. Comment by mtnbker | 10.28.2008 | 9:37 am

    Strength, Hope, Love & Peace

  148. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 10.28.2008 | 9:37 am

    I just want to join the chorus in saying we are praying for strength for you and understanding for your children in this amazingly difficult time.

    My wife is a breast cancer survivor who has had it recently return in her liver. I fear for the days you are now experiencing, especially for how they will affect our young children. You are an inspiration to me and offer me hope that, no matter what the future holds, I may find the strength and wisdom to do what is best for my family.

    Thank you, Elden, for sharing your family’s journey with us.

  149. Comment by CORoadRage | 10.28.2008 | 9:38 am

    In a gentle way you can shake the world. -Gandhi

    You and your family have gently shaken my world and I pray that your path will be as gentle as possible. You have created a virtual family of literal strangers and we are all pulling for you.

  150. Comment by Dan C | 10.28.2008 | 9:38 am

    Stay Strong Elden and family. I am praying for you.

  151. Comment by Anonymous | 10.28.2008 | 9:41 am

    I am sending you and your family all my best. You are all so strong.


  152. Comment by Jared | 10.28.2008 | 9:44 am

    I almost dread reading now Elden, but your posts keep me feeling strong throughout my own personal struggles. Thank you for allowing us into your life. Your mind is in the right place. You, your wife, and your family keep fighting the good fight. My thoughts are with you.

  153. Comment by Charlie | 10.28.2008 | 9:44 am

    As awful as this may be, it seems your head is in the right place to deal with the pain you and your family are going through. Make your decisions with love and compassion!

    Be there for the kids – and let them be there for you!

    Best of thoughts…

  154. Comment by Joel | 10.28.2008 | 9:45 am

    For not having met either you or Susan, I feel I know you from your writing. I can only echo everyone else in good wishes and hopes for you and your family. Know you are in the thoughts of all of us.

  155. Comment by Bill Martin | 10.28.2008 | 9:46 am

    Elden, this has to be one of the most heartbreaking blogs I have ever written and now I am understanding the power of writting. I can not fathom how you must feel. We are all here for you, thousands of us, just mention if you need anything … and we are there for you. I am hoping that the last chapter can somehow lead to another.

  156. Comment by Pammap | 10.28.2008 | 9:46 am

    So, so sad. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers today. You and Susan have raised bright and thoughtful children and they will not disappoint you at this time.

    Much love and hugs to you and your family.

  157. Comment by Kevin Brady | 10.28.2008 | 9:51 am

    You have put an incredibly real face on cancer over the past few months. I’m not afraid to admit that I teared up reading your post. As a father of three, I can’t imagine what you are going through. Just know that many many thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Peace be with you and yours.

  158. Comment by Becky | 10.28.2008 | 9:52 am

    Oh how I hope, were my husband in the same place, he would be making the same thoughtful decisions that you are making. Kids first…us after…all of it as best you can.

    I send you strength and wish I could help more.

  159. Comment by Jen | 10.28.2008 | 9:53 am

    Be sure to be kind to yourself through all this too. I’m sending good wishes and positive energy to all of you right now.

  160. Comment by Misty | 10.28.2008 | 9:54 am

    All my love to you, Susan, and the kids.

  161. Comment by Charisa | 10.28.2008 | 9:55 am

    Our prayers are with you and your family. Remember to take care of yourself as well!

  162. Comment by EdL | 10.28.2008 | 9:56 am

    My heart goes out to you, Susan, and your whole family. Much love and encouragement.

  163. Comment by gewilli | 10.28.2008 | 9:59 am

    Choked up reading this. My heart is desperately torn. Be strong, but don’t isolate your heart. Don’t build a wall of busy-ness,

    thoughts and prayers with you, susan and your kids,

  164. Comment by McBain_v1 | 10.28.2008 | 10:00 am

    I’ve only been following this blog for a short time but already I am railing against the apparent injustice of this whole episode. I feel heart-sorry for you, Susan and your kids and I admire the fortitude with which you are carrying on and trying to stay positive. When there are so many useless, evil feckers out there it reeks that someone so manifestly decent has to suffer.

    Stay strong. We may only be anonymous people at the end of the internet, but we are all pulling for you all the same.


  165. Comment by Sarah | 10.28.2008 | 10:02 am

    The choices that you and Susan have made in regards to her life and death are such a beautiful example to your kids and the rest of us – life is precious and important – every moment of it, even the end when it’s scary and confusing and heartbreakingly painful. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I’m praying for you and the entire family. Zephaniah 3:17

  166. Comment by Yvette Z. | 10.28.2008 | 10:03 am

    Thank you, Elden, for taking the time to let us know what is going on. Time is more precious now than ever. I know I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through, but please know that you and your family are in my prayers. Peace be with you.

  167. Comment by chtrich | 10.28.2008 | 10:03 am

    Cherish the time you have!

  168. Comment by Kyddryn | 10.28.2008 | 10:04 am

    I’m so sorry…what more can one say? I am so very sorry…

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  169. Comment by Tiger | 10.28.2008 | 10:09 am

    I’m sorry, but I know that’s completely inadequate. You have thousands of people behind you. Your strength is inspiring. You are inspiring. Love to you and your family.

  170. Comment by Canadian Roadie (posing as a mtn biker) | 10.28.2008 | 10:10 am

    Words fail as usual. You are all in my heart.

  171. Comment by AZ XC | 10.28.2008 | 10:11 am

    Focus on your wife, stay strong in your beliefs and take care of your family. The online blogging world will always be here for you through thick and thin.

    Sending positive vibs from AZ

    AZ XC

  172. Comment by Chris & Debby | 10.28.2008 | 10:14 am

    Words really fail, but want especially to let you know how profoundly touched we’ve been by being allowed to follow you a little on your family’s journey. Your blog, and the lives that it’s touching, will be a lasting legacy for all who know anyone battling this disease.

    Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you, joining with all the others from around the country and the world.

    Chris & Debby

  173. Comment by Karen | 10.28.2008 | 10:15 am

    Thank you for sharing your story on such a personal level. Your ability to see your situation through the eyes of your children and your loving wife is so very admirable. Just another stranger… thinking of you, Susan, and your kids… and learning to appreciate life by your example.

  174. Comment by Kathleen | 10.28.2008 | 10:19 am

    I am so very sorry Elden.

  175. Comment by Kingfisher412 | 10.28.2008 | 10:21 am

    praying for comfort and peace for you, susan and your children

  176. Comment by Rufus | 10.28.2008 | 10:22 am

    Words fail when the heart aches like this, so simple words are best.
    You, the Nelson family, are loved.
    You are surrounded by prayers.
    Your wisdom and love are a testament and gift to all of us.
    You are not alone.


  177. Comment by Robin | 10.28.2008 | 10:24 am

    Not much to say that hasn’t been said already-I pray that hospice helps you ease this final transition and lets you all make the most of your time together.

    Make sure not to bury yourself too much in other things. Grief takes time and it needs to be expressed just as much as your hope and love do – you can only try to hide or ignore it for so long before it catches up to you.

    Keep the rubber side down, my friend.

  178. Comment by Little1 | 10.28.2008 | 10:28 am

    Nelson Family all.

    There is a passage Matthew 6:21. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.

    I will add your family to our Hospice tree of lights this year.

  179. Comment by Di | 10.28.2008 | 10:28 am

    “So we’re switching to hospice now, and the emphasis of the medication Susan takes will be on blocking the fear and confusion she’s feeling.”

    :cry: Wow. There really is nothing I can say. I think you’ve done the right thing for Susan. You’ve done everything you possibly could with the knowledge and resources you’ve been given. This whole journey you’ve shared with us is proof that your family has been blessed a thousand times over simply because of the incredible love you have for one-another. Unfortunately, all journeys must come to an end.

    I mourn for you. I pray for you.

  180. Comment by Harry H | 10.28.2008 | 10:28 am

    I’m keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  181. Comment by Cheryl | 10.28.2008 | 10:30 am

    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers…to say so sounds so superficial and trite, but please know so many are holding you all up and wishing you peace amidst the anxiety and grief.

  182. Comment by Big Boned | 10.28.2008 | 10:30 am

    God be with you and your family. May we all be surrounded by the amount of love and support Susan has now when our time comes.
    Today is the first time a blog has caused me to cry. Cherish each other.

  183. Comment by Mtbnomore | 10.28.2008 | 10:31 am

    I have experienced the loss of loved ones from cancer more times than I wish I could say, and it never gets easier to deal with or to explain. I can’t tell you how sorry I am for you and your family.

  184. Comment by Steve | 10.28.2008 | 10:31 am

    My heart aches for you and your family. So much love….my thoughts and prayers are for you all.

  185. Comment by Rachael | 10.28.2008 | 10:33 am


    I wear my fat cyclist pink today with profound sadness and with love… I’m only the 177 person to post today…so I doubt you even get this far down the list. But thankyou… for sharing your story, your love, your heartbreak, your family.. with us all.

  186. Comment by Amanda | 10.28.2008 | 10:43 am

    This sucks and I am sorry. My prayers are with you.

  187. Comment by Heidi | 10.28.2008 | 10:45 am

    Sending peace, love and comfort…

  188. Comment by BellaCroix | 10.28.2008 | 10:53 am

    Everyone knows our time on Earth is finite, at some point we all have to face mortality. I hope when my time comes I can reflect that I’ve shared as much love as you and Susan have obviously seen. Both of your strength over the last year or so I’ve been reading have inspired me through a lot of my own difficult times.

    May your remaining time together be filled with as many smiles and laughs as possible.

    Hugs to all and (of course) my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  189. Comment by Wendy | 10.28.2008 | 10:54 am

    I’m so sorry things have taken a turn. I wish we had done hospice for my dad. I think it would have made life easier and more enjoyable for him in the end. What a courageous and smart decision you have made. You, Susan, and the kids are in our daily prayers.

  190. Comment by Jenni | 10.28.2008 | 10:59 am


  191. Comment by Shannon | 10.28.2008 | 11:02 am

    I’m sorry….

    You have a special crown waiting for you in heaven. It’s heavy with all the jewels and what your doing for your wife and children is noble and it honors God. If your not a man of faith, I hope I haven’t offended you. I just wanted to give you some encouragement. God Bless you and your wife.

    My father-in-law is in a similar situation as you. I admire you for what your doing, when so many would run to the door.

  192. Comment by Danielle | 10.28.2008 | 11:04 am

    Love and prayers from my family to yours.

  193. Comment by Jill | 10.28.2008 | 11:07 am


    I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to share. Like many here, I feel like I know you and Susan even though we have never met. Your strength continues to give us hope, and your perspective gives us clarity.

    I lost my great-grandmother to brain cancer five years ago. When she began to forget her past, her memories, who she was, the family moved her out of the hospital and into her own bed. I would sit next to her and listen to her speak incoherently, and it would break my heart. Here was a woman I had known all of my life, who taught me how to pick grapes and make grape juice, who made me blankets and took care of me when my parents were away, and she remembered none of it. But when I looked in her eyes, I could still see my great grandmother’s spirit. She was waiting, and I believed she was happy.

    I still believe she’s happy.

    Cancer can’t destroy who Susan is, and what she means to your family.

    Wishing you peace, love and continued hope.

    - Jill

  194. Comment by Nick in Seattle | 10.28.2008 | 11:11 am

    Elden – Not sure what to say – Sarah and I are thinking of you all through this incredibly rough trot.

    Peace and Love


  195. Comment by Josh | 10.28.2008 | 11:15 am

    Write to us as long as it makes you feel better or helps you sort things out. Know that many people who’ve never met you are heartbroken over what you’re going through. For many of us, it’s all too familiar.

  196. Comment by Kellie | 10.28.2008 | 11:15 am

    It is tough what you are going through – no doubt. I lost both my husband and father this past year and I am, at the age of 51, learning how to reinvent myself and my life. Like you, my emphasis has been on my three children, although my baby is already 20 and my oldest is 28. Even though they are older, they have needed me and we have worked through and talked a great deal. Open communication now, and in the future, is a huge key to the success of dealing with your tragedy. Another important aspect is to please remember to take care of YOU – you are no good to your family if you don’t take care of yourself – mentally and physically. My last thought is that even though it is the cancer that is talking, and not your Susan, continue to talk with her as if she is there – I promise that she will hear it in her soul. Take comfort in that. I hope you and your family find comfort and peace in the love and caring of strangers and friends. God Bless…

  197. Comment by Ree | 10.28.2008 | 11:16 am

    Elden, I’m just going to write what is welling up inside me, what I’ve wanted to scream so many times over the past eighteen months or so, ever since you and I became buddies:


    I say that knowing it probably won’t help you at all. But it’s from the heart, as are all the wonderful messages your friends are leaving you here. I pray for peace and serenity in Susan’s mind…and in your family.

  198. Comment by Asthmagirl | 10.28.2008 | 11:19 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family in these, the most difficult of times.
    Remember to care for yourself so you can continue to do the things you must.

  199. Comment by Deb. | 10.28.2008 | 11:27 am

    delurking and saddened…

    You are a very special father and husband.
    God bless your family is all I can muster. God bless you all.
    many Hugs from michigan

  200. Comment by Juls | 10.28.2008 | 11:28 am

    Elden, Susan and kids, I am so sorry you are going through all of this. Focusing on family instead of the disease is the right thing to do. You will look back on that decision, and be glad you made it.
    Let Hospice do the hard work for you. They make it possible for you to focus on family and only family.
    We were grateful for them when Cancer took my grandfather at 65 – much too early.

    May God grant you peace.

    Julie, from Cleveland.

  201. Comment by 1E guy | 10.28.2008 | 11:28 am

    My heart bleeds for you. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. You have helped us in ways you cannot know. Peace to you. Strenght to your family. Love and hope to all.
    Ricky G

  202. Pingback by A fellow cyclist and his family needs your prayers « Cycling in Europe | 10.28.2008 | 11:28 am

    [...] some of the very painful decisions that he’s had to go through, especially this morning. Please go read his blog post of this [...]

  203. Comment by Bruce | 10.28.2008 | 11:29 am

    I wish you peace. Grace, you already have……….

  204. Comment by Ian | 10.28.2008 | 11:31 am

    Congratulations, there, I said it. You have made a very hard decision to go with hospice but from my reading of your blog and from my experience working in palliative care, you have been wise. Your strength of character is tremendous. I echo what some others have said, it is ok to take some time to also look after yourself. Good luck and LIVESTRONG!


  205. Comment by Shiny Flu | 10.28.2008 | 11:33 am

    You, your wonderful children and your beautiful wife are in my and Lena’s thoughts right now.

    Most of us only know you through this blog and you only know us through these comments. But it’s as if we’ve known you for years. I believe in what you are doing, being strong, caring and taking control of what you can. What you’re doing (and have been) is so good. I’m not sure if you’re family knows just yet, but you are an amazing person and what you are doing right now is being a great loving husband and father.

    Stay strong and whatever happens, WIN.

  206. Comment by Argentius | 10.28.2008 | 11:34 am

    I’m beyond words, other than to say that nothing I’ve experienced comes remotely close to this.

    I’ve been following your saga for a few years, now, and anything I could say besides expressing my deepest sympathy for your family would be hollow.

    Stay strong. In this world and the next, WIN SUSAN.

  207. Comment by Mike P | 10.28.2008 | 11:38 am

    Having lost family members to both cancer and Alzheimer’s the hospice is something I am familiar with. I have no doubt hospice makes things better, but never easier. My thoughts are with you and your family. Not sure what more to say.

  208. Comment by JTinSC | 10.28.2008 | 11:39 am

    You are doing the best you can in an incredibly difficult situation. Finish strong. We are humbled by your strength. Please know that yout internet family is thinking of you and sending IMs of Love to you and your Family in this difficult time. Peace, John

  209. Comment by Kimberly | 10.28.2008 | 11:45 am

    I said a prayer for you, your children, and your darling wife. I pray you can let “busy” go and cry the tears, give the hugs, and have the laughs that will characterize these last moments.

  210. Comment by Willie Nelson | 10.28.2008 | 11:49 am

    Our family prays for your family and pulls for all of you. We are continually impressed by your example through this.

  211. Comment by Shea | 10.28.2008 | 11:52 am

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Living in the Midwest as long as I have, my first instinct right now is to bring you a casserole, but I can’t do that, so I’ll send you my prayers instead. Stay strong.

  212. Comment by Jaime O. | 10.28.2008 | 11:53 am

    Eldon, I’m so glad you and Susan had so many chances over the past years to have those deeply intimate and painful conversations that will guide you as you have to make decisions for her now, rather than with her. That kind of communication will guide you as you act. I wish there was a way you could shatter the pain you and the kids feel into pieces and we all could carry a piece for you and ease your burden. The friends you have here and in your everyday life will be here to carry you when you can’t be strong. That’s what real life and real love is all about. Prayers, peace, and comfort – Jaime

  213. Comment by Kt | 10.28.2008 | 12:03 pm

    Elden, people the world over are joined in a triple circle, focused on you and your family, buoying you all through this incredibly difficult time.

    I’m honored to be part of that circle, joining my thoughts and prayers with everyone else’s.

    We all feel honored that you would let us experience, removed only by a computer screen, your journey, your life.

    I’m moved to tears at the travails facing you, facing Susan, facing your children. You are such a strong person, but even the strong need to rest their burdens.

    We’re here for you when you want us. Do what you need to do.

    Susan, a message for you: be steadfast. You are surrounded by such love, enfolded in its wings. You are a fighter, thank you for letting us fight along with you.

    2:01, here in Portland, OR.

  214. Comment by pcomeau | 10.28.2008 | 12:04 pm

    Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  215. Comment by Dede D. | 10.28.2008 | 12:06 pm

    Oh Elden. My heart breaks for you and your family.

    I want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing with and teaching us all how to face adversity with grace. How to love one another when the darkness is at the door. Because when it comes down to it, all we have is each other and how we care to treat each other. I have given birth to children and watched and helped as parents and friends have left this world. Our biggest gift is just being there and caring. You have truly loved and are so loving — I believe that you will hold tight to your children and they will be all right. You are giving Susan a great gift by helping her in her biggest task.

    We will hold you and your kids in our hearts and prayers.

  216. Comment by Mikey | 10.28.2008 | 12:06 pm

    Our prayers are with you and your family. Hang in there. You are doing the right things.

  217. Comment by Rube | 10.28.2008 | 12:07 pm

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  218. Comment by | 10.28.2008 | 12:07 pm


    Over the last several month’s and year’s, we’ve all been repeating the mantra of “Win Susan, Win”. While the outcome of this obviously isn’t what you, your children, or Susan wanted, I think we can all agree that you have won. There is something in fighting the good fight, and facing an inevitable outcome with dignity, pride, and grace. While your family may not have gotten the “victory” over cancer that you wanted, you certainly weren’t “defeated” by it.

    “Pain is temporary. It may last a moment, or a day, or a week, or a year, but eventually, it will subside and something else will take it’s place. If I quite however, it last forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with. Facing up to that question, and finding a way to go on is the real reward. Better than any yellow jersey.”
    Lance Armstong

    The victory is your’s.

  219. Comment by Sunnie | 10.28.2008 | 12:20 pm

    I am praying for Susan and for you and your kids.

  220. Comment by Brenna | 10.28.2008 | 12:21 pm

    Elden-My heart breaks for you and your family. I will keep you, Susan and your children in my thoughts and prayers.

  221. Comment by daisy | 10.28.2008 | 12:24 pm

    Our candles are lit for a peacful emergence as your world has shoes we can only walk miles in through your words. Namesté. The power of your words and the presence of compassion in the global community is yours without asking. We are here, loud and strong, quiet and mindful.

  222. Comment by Dennis | 10.28.2008 | 12:25 pm

    There are no words…..
    Ride on in peace.

  223. Comment by Glenna | 10.28.2008 | 12:27 pm

    Dear Eldon and Susan and children,
    This is the first time I have read your blog. We have been updated by Kellene & Rocky on Susan’s situation.

    It seems to me you have endured an incredible amount and have endured it well.

    We have been praying for you and will continue. We pray for your peace and assurance and that God’s love will envelop you all. Our love & thoughts are with you.

  224. Comment by Griffin | 10.28.2008 | 12:27 pm


    From reading over the years all of us have come to see a rather intimate slice of your life.

    I likely echo the sentiments of many others when I say thank you.

    Your strength, honesty, loving devotion, and character have shone through your posts. We have all rooted for and with you, Susan, and the entire family over the past year.

    More than I few times I’ve been guilty of getting misty eyed at work when reading your blog, and todays post caused me to outright cry for you.

    Thank you. Thank you for sharing. You’ve gotten me back into the habit praying, of really appreciating my life, my family, my bike rides, my friends, and on focusing on being a better man.

    Win Susan. We are all supporting your entire clan with thoughts, prayers, and love from afar.

    - Jason

    - Jason

  225. Comment by lin | 10.28.2008 | 12:29 pm

    I have read and enjoyed your site for a long time, but I haven’t commented until now. First, I can’t say how sorry I am about what you and your family are going through. I lost my fathter to cancer, and although I was older than your kids, I just wanted to let you know that as hard as it was, watching him get sicker, what made it a little easier to get through his illness was my dad, my mother and his family and friends talking to us (my sisters and I) about it. The bad parts about what was happening, because not knowing what’s going on for a kid is scarier than anything, but mostly the good stuff about my dad and his personality, telling funny stories, making sure the good memories outweigh the bad. When I think of my father today I don’t think of him when he was sick or when I was scared, I think of funny and loving experiences we had. So keep taking care of your kids, talk to them, and speaking from experience, the good memories will win out, even though it may not seem possible.

  226. Comment by Maggi | 10.28.2008 | 12:34 pm

    Words fail. My heart goes out to you, Susan, and your children. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

  227. Comment by Eric P | 10.28.2008 | 12:35 pm

    If sitting at my desk crying at the unbearable sadness of what each of your family is going through and your honesty in describing it all to us is helpful, then I am being helpful. I just wish there were more I could do. Stay strong.

  228. Comment by Rick | 10.28.2008 | 12:47 pm

    I have no idea what to say,I really don’t. Your words are so descriptive,I hope this finishes peacefully for you all.

  229. Comment by run-girl-run | 10.28.2008 | 12:53 pm


    Wow… First I want to thank you. I have learned so much through reading your blog this year. (I still don’t know how to change a flat tire, but I’m a runner so that’s okay :)). I have learned about your strength as a husband and father. You have been the man your children and wife need. And you even sound surprised when you rise to the occasion.

    As a mother and wife my first thoughts are of your children. You have been forced to perform a difficult balancing act. You are dedicated to Susan’s care and comfort, you are shouldering the responsibility of ensuring your children’s last memories are beautiful and authentic, yet not a departure from the “mom” they want to remember, all while experiencing your own grief. I worry about you, think about your family, your kids, and of course, Susan’s comfort in her final days. I hope you are able to have a few more moments together like your autumn walk. You have great friends and family supporting you – near and far.

    I wrote not because I felt I had something novel to add but because I wanted to show my support. Someone above wrote “Win Elden.” I like that. It’s like you’re taking over the fight for Susan since her body can no longer do it. Fight for your family, fight for your own sanity and health.


  230. Comment by Sarah | 10.28.2008 | 12:56 pm

    Elden and family,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have been following Jennifer Sage’s blog – and her entry today really touched me as she mentioned you and your family. I was compelled to search you out and find out how I could best pray for you and your wife and family as you go through this unspeakable time. Again, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  231. Comment by JDogg | 10.28.2008 | 12:57 pm

    Elden – Susan and your family have been in our prayers these last days.

    Express your emotion and your love.

    Leave nothing on the table, these days will make your hardest climb on a bike seem easy, the burn and ache will find new places to hurt.

    NY, NY

  232. Comment by Richie | 10.28.2008 | 1:02 pm

    Elden- so sorry that things have turned for the worse.
    Do the best you can and your family is in my thoughts.


  233. Comment by Nancy | 10.28.2008 | 1:09 pm

    May God send angels to surround you with peace, comfort, strength, wisdom and clarity. I wish you didn’t have to go through all this. My prayers have been with you for awhile now and will continue to be. Susan won the day she married you, the days she gave birth, and all the days in between just by being who she is. God bless and keep you and Susan and your four fabulous children in the days and weeks ahead.

  234. Comment by matt | 10.28.2008 | 1:10 pm


    youre, one of my heroes.

  235. Comment by Di | 10.28.2008 | 1:10 pm

    I have been reading your blog off and on for a while now, and I have to tell you your blogs of late have really spoken to me. My heart is breaking for you and your family and I just wanted to let you know I am praying for all of you individually and as a family. I am so sorry you have to go through this ordeal, but God is there and will be with you through it all. You definitely seem to have the right outlook on it, but don’t forget to take care of yourself while your taking care of everyone else. Your kids need you to not only be strong but be real as it sounds like you are. Keep it up, we are all supporting you.


  236. Comment by Lin | 10.28.2008 | 1:14 pm

    Such heart and eloquence in these comments. I have nothing novel to contribute, but wish to also express my support for your family’s difficult journey at this time. When the times get tough for you in the days ahead, I’d suggest you retrieve these comments, perhaps print them out, and re-read them over and over. I saved the stack of condolence cards we received when we lost our young son. The certain knowledge I was supported in my grief by so many, even people I didn’t know well, brought me strength and peace. I felt many, many hands lifting and carrying me.

    WIN, Nelsons.

  237. Comment by Kerry | 10.28.2008 | 1:15 pm


    I have been reading your blog for a few months. My heart is aching for you and your family. I will continue to think good thoughts for Susan, you, and your family.

  238. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.28.2008 | 1:15 pm

    Oh, Elden. The title to your post says it all. That is the thing to concentrate on.

    I’ll not stop praying for you, Susan and your family.

    In God’s precious love,


  239. Comment by jwbikes | 10.28.2008 | 1:15 pm


    Words cannot express my sorrow. I could not help but think of my grandfathers favorite bible quote:

    Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Susan, and your family.

    Jeff in NC

  240. Comment by Aunt B | 10.28.2008 | 1:20 pm

    It’s been interesting to read the role call of all the people who love the Nelsen family.

    We hope it is comforting to see all the support you have. For some of us it is the only thing we can do right now.

    May you feel God’s peace and love.

  241. Comment by TomW | 10.28.2008 | 1:22 pm

    You could not possibly have the time to read all of these notes but one day you may. Take comfort in how we all feel about you and Susan. When I went to Vietnam I was amazed at the courage I saw in ordinary people faced with a tough situation and I see that now you in you two. I have spent a career in Law Enforcement (35 yrs) and again I have seen people do the most amazing things. Just as you are doing because events have called on you to do them. Of all of the things I have seen in my life the most significant has been the courage some people have inside them and when tough shows up their courage comes out and they just march and march. Thats you, buddy, you are doing the right things and you are an inspiration to all of us. Just keep marching my friend.


  242. Comment by Jason | 10.28.2008 | 1:24 pm

    No words.
    Thoughts/prayers are with you and your family.

  243. Comment by duckie | 10.28.2008 | 1:24 pm

    Oh, Elden, I am so sorry. May you and your children continue to find peace and hope and be able to treasure each moment with Susan. And may the two of you get the chance to hear the leaves crunch again. Thank you for sharing so much with us all. Prayers continue to be with you.

  244. Comment by Jennifer | 10.28.2008 | 1:32 pm

    Elden, Susan and family,
    I’m sending you every ounce of strength and love I have. My tears flowed freely when I read today’s post. I hope you get more time like you had with Susan yesterday during your walk. I’ll be wearing my FC jersey today for all of you.

  245. Comment by phay | 10.28.2008 | 1:36 pm

    We’ll be here when you are back … !

  246. Comment by yvonne | 10.28.2008 | 1:38 pm

    you’ve taught me so much, with your hilarious anecdotes and stories.

    I can only hope that if I am ever faced with the slipping away of a loved one, that I am as full of grace and elegance as you are, Elden. This is one lesson that I will always hold in the highest regard.

    Yvonne Juarez

  247. Comment by rexinsea | 10.28.2008 | 1:38 pm

    May the days, weeks, months bring peace to Susan, your family and you. God Bless.

  248. Comment by DubaiMTB | 10.28.2008 | 1:40 pm

    Hey Fatty. As much as your situation sucks, be thankful for having the time to say goodbye. Enjoy every minute of it and make the most of your time together. There will be plenty time for greiving once she is gone. She needs you now, the kids will need you later so be there for her now. And somehow try to find time for yourself – you need it.
    Cheers Mate!

  249. Comment by mburdge | 10.28.2008 | 1:44 pm

    Man I am so sorry. I do know that your Susan will spend the rest of her life knowing that she is loved and she belongs. It sounds like your children will go through this, what must be the worst possible thing for a child to go through, in the ‘best’ way possible. Comforts are hard to find right now, but in the future, these two facts may be of some small comfort. Take care, and let others care for you.
    M Burdge

  250. Comment by J the roadie | 10.28.2008 | 1:45 pm

    long time reader, first time comment. I know that no two cases are the same and would never compare my experirnces with what you are going through. But you may want to look up “the healing place”. It is in salt lake and has been great for my nephews who lost their mom to cancer last year. There is also a great support group for spouses. My heart aches and my family will continue to pray for you, Susan and your children.

  251. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.28.2008 | 1:47 pm

    You are an amazing fellow, Fatty, and I can’t imagine that anybody in Susan’s ghastly position could have a better man by her side.

    And yes, WIN SUSAN!!

    Our love you all.

  252. Comment by tschmidty | 10.28.2008 | 1:49 pm

    I want to say a thousand things but I’ll just echo a lot of other comments in saying I wish I could help you or the kids, even a little. The way you are handling this is amazing and inspirational and thank you for sharing your story with us. God Bless, stay strong and remember to let others take a pull every once in a while to help out.

  253. Comment by Joshua Duggan | 10.28.2008 | 1:56 pm

    I never thought I could become so emotionally attached to someone, or an entire family, that I have no inter-personal contact with. But, I quietly cried in my cubicle today when I read your post today, and again when I started reading all the comments off and on. Your words and your story have affected me in ways that I still don’t think I’ve completely absorbed.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  254. Comment by Robbie | 10.28.2008 | 1:57 pm

    You and your family are an inspiration Fatty. My heartfelt thoughts are with you all. Stay strong.

  255. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 10.28.2008 | 1:58 pm

    I was thinking about you guys the other day. I thought that regardless of the outcome of Susan’s cancer, that both you and her have already won. Your character, candor, honesty and sharp humor in these difficult times have been an incredible benefit to all us watching and reading from afar.

    Your attitude and outlook deserve our admiration.

    Hang in there, be strong, and continue the good fight.

    And please let me know if there is anything you need. Anything at all.

  256. Comment by Andi | 10.28.2008 | 2:01 pm

    I have read your blog for a long time and finally was too touched not to comment. I really feel for your situation and can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must be for you. You are being so strong and coping so well. You’ll be in my thoughts and I hope you can stay strong and realise that better days will come if you stay faithful. You should be proud of how much you love your wife it makes me realise I should not be complacent around my girlfriend. She is lucky to have you.

  257. Comment by Pip | 10.28.2008 | 2:01 pm

    I’m sitting at work tearing up again. My thoughts are with you and your family. You are having to make some of the most difficult decisions you will ever make, but it seems clear to me that your heart and your priorities are in the right place. You are an amazing example to your children. I am sorry that things have taken this downwards spiral so quickly and I wish you strength over the coming weeks.

  258. Comment by Stevo | 10.28.2008 | 2:01 pm

    Your courage and optimism are both inspirational.

    I will not stop praying for you, Susan and the family.


  259. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.28.2008 | 2:03 pm

    Love to you all…..and prayers for the best we can hope for…..


  260. Comment by mo | 10.28.2008 | 2:11 pm

    I missed the last few posts as I was traveling to Austin for the Challenge. And as I was filling out the my “I’m a survivor” bib for my jersey I considered doing a “in support of Susan” one but felt odd since I don’t really know you guys. After reading today’s post the most profound sadness has fell upon me because I didn’t. Because now I realize that we are all in this fight together as a family – Be strong Elden, love Susan, love your kids, and know that your Fat Cyclist family is here for you. -mo

  261. Comment by Punkass CG | 10.28.2008 | 2:12 pm


    No matter what happens, you and your family will always be winners.

  262. Comment by Kuma Gail | 10.28.2008 | 2:20 pm


    My Father is in exactly the same place. I am also dealing with all this in a similar way. It flows, I flow with it. It sort of like when I was in labor- I am in the throes of something that I can’t control, and when it’s over my life will never be the same. Meanwhile, manage the pain, manage my breathing and wait for the end.

    I’m convinced that life is all about grace, even when we’re unbalanced.

    You have my support.

  263. Comment by Lins - Aust | 10.28.2008 | 2:21 pm

    You are an out-standing person.
    As usual I send you all my strongest thoughts.

  264. Comment by flossy | 10.28.2008 | 2:22 pm

    So many beautiful words said. I haven’t got anything else to add except to say our thoughts are with you and take care

  265. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 10.28.2008 | 2:23 pm

    The week before my sister passed away from cancer I flew out to UT to see her one last time. (She passed away when I was back in NYC.)

    While I was there, someone suggested that we should all have a few minutes of one-on-one time with her during her more lucid moments.

    I now treasure those ten minutes I spent with her, where I was able to reconnect with her one more time and tell her I loved her and hear and feel those same expressions of love back to me.

    Since we have a large family and everyone wanted to be there all the time, we had to make the time for this to happen.

    Make sure to do the same for you and your family. Make the time to create these moments for your kids and yourself. If Susan doesn’t recover and does pass on from this life, then your family will most likely treasure those moments of mother-daughter, mother-son alone time.

    Also, I know it’s hard, but don’t let people intrude too much. I know friends and extended family will want to be there with you all the time.

    But don’t be afraid to say no. To turn people away, and create a bubble of space where your family can be at peace and not feel pressured and anxiety from outside your home.

    So many cousins and neighbors and old high school friends kept stopping by to see my little sister and it tired her (even though she was happy to see them) and it hard on her. Finally her husband made an immediate family only rule and her final days were more peacefull. Still difficult, but peacefull.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. May you be at peace.

  266. Comment by Sayrah | 10.28.2008 | 2:24 pm

    I’ve read your blog for a while and admire your devotion to your family. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  267. Comment by KatieA978 | 10.28.2008 | 2:27 pm

    Much love to you, Susan & the kids. Stay strong, but do allow yourself moments of letting your guard down, especially for your gorgeous kids, who might be feeling the same as you are, they’re being strong for you as well.

  268. Comment by bobbieh | 10.28.2008 | 2:28 pm

    Sending much love, many hugs, and peaceful, comforting thoughts.
    Never mind what anyone else tells you to do; do what is right for yourself, for Susan, and for the kids.
    I wish you peace.

  269. Comment by Joe Gregory | 10.28.2008 | 2:29 pm


    We are there praying for you and your family. We witnessed the same progression with my mother in law, and I know how hard it is to try and be the best for everyone in the family. I know also that hospice is a Godsend to be able to help with all the symptoms.

    Keep being strong and being an inspiration to all of us. We are thinking about you and again, praying for all of you!


  270. Comment by DerekB | 10.28.2008 | 2:30 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning or so and you have left me hysterical laughing one moment and weeping the next. You are one of the good guys out there. Enjoy all your time together with Susan and family, and I wish you nothing more than to find contented peace. My thoughts will certainly remain with you, Elden.

  271. Comment by The GPC | 10.28.2008 | 2:30 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family.


  272. Comment by Sylvan | 10.28.2008 | 2:34 pm

    Eldon — You deserve a great deal of credit for making such a hard call so Susan can be as peaceful as possible for her remaining time. I hope you are granted the strength to get through this terrible time and that your kids are granted the wisdom to understand what is happening.

    You and your family will be in our thoughts.


  273. Comment by Adventure Nell | 10.28.2008 | 2:40 pm

    Prayers, love and hugs to Susan, you and your children. Thank you for sharing and we are here for you now and will be here for you in the future.

    Win Nelson Family

  274. Comment by MDC | 10.28.2008 | 2:43 pm

    I’ve stopped lurking so that I can say that I will hope for you and your family during this rough time. I work in hospice care, and if the opinion of a stranger matters, you’re making the most compassionate choice for your wife that you could make.

    May you find peace in the days and weeks ahead.

  275. Comment by CeeCee | 10.28.2008 | 2:45 pm

    I’ve been following for a few months now.
    I’m so sorry it has come to this. I can’t imagine losing one of my kids or my husband. They are so much apart of every day.
    My mother died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease in February. Once hospice came on board, no matter how much help we’d received before, we felt at peace. I pray that your hospice workers are as amazing as ours. They can truly be angels on earth.
    They suggested a book for me–”Truth in Dying” by Bernard and Schneider. It was a good and helpful book (considering the subject matter). It walked me through the process of dying. It also was a book of hope and helped me be at peace with the process. I wasn’t so afraid—for me or for her.
    Peace and comfort to you and your whole family. It will be hard. The hardest thing you’ve ever done. I pray for only kind and loving people to be a part of your life as you all make this transition.

  276. Comment by Elizabeth | 10.28.2008 | 2:49 pm

    You are a terrific husband and father. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.
    In my past life I was an oncology nurse. We loved the hospice team we worked – they were so proficient at making the time meaningful and as peaceful as possible for all involved. I hope this is your experience, too.

  277. Comment by Mark Vande Kamp | 10.28.2008 | 2:56 pm

    Elden — Clearly your experience and words touch us all. My wife and I are thinking of you at this time. You face so many difficult decisions. May you be at peace with all of them.


  278. Comment by Greg | 10.28.2008 | 3:01 pm

    Wishing you and your family all the strength you need

  279. Comment by Den | 10.28.2008 | 3:03 pm

    Our hearts are with you and your family.

    We all love you.

    Blessings and peace.

  280. Comment by Swedoz | 10.28.2008 | 3:03 pm

    All my thoughts for strength and happiness at this most dfficult time.

  281. Comment by srobb54 | 10.28.2008 | 3:05 pm


    I have so much respect for you and Susan. You have faced this most difficult of tasks with such courage. Please know that you have the thoughts and prayers of all of your readers with you.

  282. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 10.28.2008 | 3:06 pm

    Our thoughts are with you Elden. Take care of Susan and your family. Be strong for them and give them a hug from me.

  283. Comment by Josh Boggs | 10.28.2008 | 3:13 pm


    I cannot imagine what you’re going through right now, but I can tell you that God has a plan for everything and does everything for a reason. You will find a way, even through your times of pain, sorrow, and grief, to get through Susan’s illness and He will help you “get the end right.”

    Our prayers are constantly with you and your family. Know that you guys are loved and surrounded by friends. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to let us know via your blog.


  284. Comment by Leadville lurker | 10.28.2008 | 3:13 pm

    I went through this process with my brother-in-law a few years ago. Not much helps at this point, but remember as Ken says, “You’re better than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can.”

    Prayers are with you.

  285. Comment by Andy | 10.28.2008 | 3:15 pm

    My eyes teared up as I read your last post. I wish I had half as much courage as you and Susan have shown through this tough time. I am sending prayers from NC although it seems like too little of a thing after all that your posts has given me.

  286. Comment by A in B | 10.28.2008 | 3:27 pm

    You are not the Fat Cyclist… you are the Amazing Cyclist who has touched so many people through intense honesty over the months. Be strong but also be real. Daily thoughts are with you, Susan, and the rest of your family.

  287. Comment by Louie | 10.28.2008 | 3:32 pm

    i dont know how to say anything.
    i hope everything happens exactly as it is supposed to and my prayers are with you.
    this is the time to dig in. lets do it susan, WIN.

  288. Comment by Al Maviva | 10.28.2008 | 3:36 pm

    God bless Elden. You’re in my prayers.

  289. Comment by Jeffy | 10.28.2008 | 3:37 pm

    Hi Elden – My father died of leukemia when I was 7, so here are a couple of thoughts. I have very few independent memories of him and being with him, but those I have I treasure. There are plenty of photos and stories, but not much of just my own. I’d encourage you to figure out an appropriate (each kid might be different, some might want to do it with you, some with another trusted person) way to help each of your kids capture their own memories in writing, on tape, or videoed. As the years go on, the more of her they can hold on to that’s their own, the more she’ll be in their lives.

    I’m crying for you, them, and myself. Thanks for opening your heart…Jeffy

  290. Comment by Major Icehole | 10.28.2008 | 3:40 pm

    I’m not the kind to pray much, but my prayers are with you and your family today.

    I greatly enjoy reading your blog, and admire the courage you display by sharing your life with the world. It’s terrible when good people are made to suffer. Hopefully there will be some solice in knowing you don’t suffer alone.

    I’m sorry.

  291. Comment by Jamie M | 10.28.2008 | 3:48 pm

    I’m not the hugging type (too much German Catholic in me still)…


  292. Comment by Ahab | 10.28.2008 | 3:53 pm

    From the outside looking in I see decision making from the heart of the most challenging nature. For what it’s worth, in your sharing the journal of these challenges I see clearly in you and Susan the absolute brilliance of love and nothing less.
    With sincerest respect and an inspired heart Claire and I continue to keep you close, from afar.
    Dean C

  293. Comment by Heather | 10.28.2008 | 3:55 pm

    Sending out prayers for strength and peace for you all.

  294. Comment by Matt Skalecki | 10.28.2008 | 3:56 pm


    I’ve been reading your blog for several years. The witty TdF articles on drew me in, and you and your great friends kept me coming.

    I’d like you to know that the way you’ve handled this impossible situation has been truly inspirational to me. Your family and friends are lucky to have you, and you’re lucky to have them. And that’s a wonderful thing.

    I can’t imagine what you and your children are going through, but I know that you have each other, and the core-team, and the family. You’ll make it.

  295. Comment by Christy - 'lil sister | 10.28.2008 | 3:56 pm


    Words fail me but I truly hope you can feel how much Susan, the kids and you are loved. Thank you for letting me be apart of your family. I am so sorry that this is so hard. I am here…always.

    Love you big brother,


  296. Comment by Dustin | 10.28.2008 | 3:57 pm


    I just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong.

  297. Comment by Pam | 10.28.2008 | 3:59 pm

    I’m so sorry. We’ll all keep praying for you. And know (this will probably sound stupid) that it’s ok to not be strong.

  298. Comment by CovingtonKat | 10.28.2008 | 4:05 pm

    Dear Fatty – Your blog has made me laugh out loud. And cry. I sit here, lumpy-throated, after reading what you wrote today and the comments from your many readers. And the weird thing is that what is foremost in my mind right now is the picture of you and Susan that you posted on your 20th wedding anniversary. There is so much love in that picture.

    I hope that your family’s love for each other and your cyber family’s love for all of you helps to hold you up during this time in your life.

    Thinking of you daily and sending love and positive thoughts,

  299. Comment by formertdfan | 10.28.2008 | 4:11 pm

    god bless both of you, i add my prayers to the many others

  300. Comment by jenn | 10.28.2008 | 4:14 pm

    just another reminder of the masses who are praying for your family and also for the many who love Susan…

  301. Comment by Anonymous | 10.28.2008 | 4:17 pm

    And to think that I was feeling sorry for myself today because of my petty problems. Sending love, and prayers

  302. Comment by jay | 10.28.2008 | 4:29 pm

    having been unfortunate enough to be in a similar place, I’d never second guess another person’s judgment on matters such as these, but our decision was much like the one you’ve made — do whatever’s necessary to make the remaining memories as good as possible, and make sure the kids have a model of how one person treats another with love and dignity. You’re uniquely qualified to do both, though it may not always seem that way.
    May you have strength, patience, and love beyond your wildest dreams.

  303. Comment by the greg | 10.28.2008 | 4:31 pm

    hey fats. i never know what to say in times like this. just know that you are a loving husband and father who has stuck with suze through all of this. lesser men would have fled. you have my family’s sympathy and admiration. we’re still hoping for a change.

  304. Comment by Whitney | 10.28.2008 | 4:37 pm

    The mysteries of why cannot be clear. The questions of how not satisfied. Only love, in each and every moment, offers all that can be given. Know that on the most difficult of canvases, you are painting with love — for Susan, for your children, and for you.
    Blessings as you traverse this painful trail.

  305. Comment by mrbill | 10.28.2008 | 4:37 pm


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  306. Comment by hoggy | 10.28.2008 | 4:41 pm

    A riding buddy of mine lost his wife to cancer earlier this year. I remember how hopeless we all felt, how strong my friend and his wife were and how they celebrated life rather than focusing on the tragedy of loss.

    stay Strong and celebrate hard

  307. Comment by Bike Girl | 10.28.2008 | 4:43 pm

    Is there some place we can send contributions to help your family cover some of your medical costs?

  308. Comment by karen in AK | 10.28.2008 | 4:54 pm

    It’s so good to hear that you and Susan had a wonderful walk and had that time to really enjoy each other’s company. I hope that having hospice around will help Susan, you, and your kids as this adventure continues. You will all be in my thoughts as I count each day’s blessings.

  309. Comment by Bluenoser | 10.28.2008 | 4:57 pm

    You and yours have my empathy fatty. Deal with things in whatever way you can and know that you are loved by more people than you will ever realize.


  310. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 10.28.2008 | 5:02 pm

    There are no words.

    Only love.

  311. Comment by PJAndrist | 10.28.2008 | 5:03 pm


    My heart breaks for you and your family. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers daily.

    God Bless you and Keep you,


  312. Comment by Sara | 10.28.2008 | 5:06 pm

    My god, I can’t stop crying.
    I feel like I know you, though I live very far away.
    I don’t know what to say, I’m devastated by this, you can be sure plenty Euro’s are praying for Susan, and hoping this to turn out well.
    prayers flying your way,

  313. Comment by John from Long Island | 10.28.2008 | 5:12 pm

    Fatty I hope that you…I don’t know, I just hope the best for you. Good Luck with everything. It’s strange how you can develope a connection with someone just by reading their words, I do not know you aside from your blog but I feel i have become a distant part of your family by checking in everyday to read your great writing. My heart goes out to you and your family.


  314. Comment by Peg | 10.28.2008 | 5:18 pm

    Susan and your children are so very lucky to have you at the helm of this ship. As you sail on through this journey, may love and peace always be on the horizon for you.

  315. Comment by Fat Guy | 10.28.2008 | 5:18 pm

    Everyday, just look for that small something.

  316. Comment by Eric | 10.28.2008 | 5:24 pm

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Several years ago my family accepted the reality that hospice was the best place for my sister. It is a difficult decision to face, and it takes courage to realize that your highest priority must now be making your loved one comfortable, instead of well. Things won’t be easy in the coming weeks, but I have no doubt that you have the strength to support your family through this crisis. Just remember that you aren’t alone, as much as it may sometimes feel that way.


  317. Comment by Donna Tocci | 10.28.2008 | 5:28 pm

    From someone in your “neighborhood” (I was at your Interbike panel)…my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family….

  318. Comment by geo | 10.28.2008 | 5:49 pm

    thinking about ya’ll. best wishes

  319. Comment by anji | 10.28.2008 | 5:55 pm

    There are no “wrong” choices in what happens right now, you are making the absolute right choice for your entire family. It takes a special person to look at the overall picture, and to “do right” by everyone. Over 318 people have left you responses today alone… that’s 318 people with big hearts and strong prayers heading your way… that could be potentially 318 more people than most have in this situation, who can offer comfort, prayers and our unconditional support to you and your family during this time.


  320. Comment by barry1021 | 10.28.2008 | 5:57 pm

    Peace be with you.


  321. Comment by Kathy | 10.28.2008 | 5:58 pm

    Sending up prayers and sending out love to you all.

  322. Comment by Brandy | 10.28.2008 | 6:09 pm

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  323. Comment by Shirley | 10.28.2008 | 6:14 pm

    Dear Elden,
    My heart is breaking – much love to you and your family from Fort Collins. I am praying for you and Susan and your kids. and thank you for sharing your life with us.

  324. Comment by mgr | 10.28.2008 | 6:15 pm

    You’re a good man, Elden. We’re keeping you and Susan and your kids close to our hearts. Take good care.

  325. Comment by Anonymous | 10.28.2008 | 6:16 pm

    I’ve been watching this closely for a couple of weeks now, as I felt that you were going to be needing prayers soon.

    I know you don’t know me, but my heart is breaking for you. It’s breaking for you and your kids. I’m so sorry. I only wish I could change things, and make it all go away.

    I’m praying for you. I’m praying that you will all find the perfect peace that only God can give. Peace, that’s all we can ask for.

  326. Comment by TCluff | 10.28.2008 | 6:19 pm

    You have great courage, to face an unimaginable, frightening situation. God bless you with the strength you need, and appropriate perspective. Praying that peace settles into your family.

  327. Comment by Big Mel | 10.28.2008 | 6:24 pm

    Peace to you and your children.

    “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10

  328. Comment by Joe, Plano TX | 10.28.2008 | 6:26 pm

    Elden and Susan, thanks for touching our lives and giving us a great example of love. Your legacy is strong.

  329. Comment by Elizabeth | 10.28.2008 | 6:30 pm

    My thoughts will be with you and your family daily. You are a remarkable, courageous, loving man.

  330. Comment by Kat | 10.28.2008 | 6:31 pm

    My heart is breaking for you. I wish you so much peace and love.

  331. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 10.28.2008 | 6:34 pm

    Said a prayer for you today.

  332. Comment by AnneMarie | 10.28.2008 | 6:37 pm


    I’ve only been reading your blog for about six months, and haven’t commented before, but I suppose now is the right time. I remember that when I was first pointed here by a chaplain friend one of the first things I found intriguing was the way everyone signed their posts “Win Susan.” It seemed like such a strong statement, such courage and bravado in the face of such a long and arduous struggle. Well, in the last few days, as I’ve read your posts and kept Susan and your family in prayer, it occurs to me that the definition of “win” is shifting now. If winning in this world means achieving, acquiring, outlasting the next gal, well, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards just now. But maybe winning is something else, maybe winning is having lived and loved and co-created a fantastic family that will go on through the generations. Maybe winning now is about making as dignified, pain-free, and gentle exit as can be provided. Susan can not lose, because she has already won the only race that ever counted–the race to love and be loved the most fully. Win Susan.

  333. Comment by Jewel | 10.28.2008 | 6:37 pm

    I’m so sorry.

  334. Comment by Caren | 10.28.2008 | 6:40 pm

    There are many emotions that come to me as I read your post and the 320+ replies, but I am at a loss for words. I think Ant (reply #2) really hit the nail on the head…so for once I’ll be a ditto-head.

    I hope the love and support from Team Fat Cyclist gives you strength when you need somewhere to lean, peace when you need the calm, a release when you need to vent, love … always! Obviously we all wish we could be whereever you need us to be, doing whatever you need us to do…hopefully the postive thoughts, prayers, vibes, karma coming to Alpine will be some comfort to you, Susan and the kids.

    Peace, and no suffering are my sincerest wish…

  335. Comment by Lisa | 10.28.2008 | 6:42 pm

    Sending all my love and positivity to you and your family – I feel it’s fitting to return what I’ve absorbed most from reading your posts all this time.

  336. Comment by Karl | 10.28.2008 | 6:51 pm


    I began reading this blog for a laugh. Someone else who had passed their 20s and realised that the fitness they’d depended upon now required real work. Someone else who had a passion for cycling.

    I didn’t realised what I was in for. Not only can you write, and write well; but you share the joy, pain and humour in your experiences in a way that your reader can relate to.

    But now I find myself emotionally engaged with the life experiences of someone I’ve never met, but I feel I know. I feel the heartaching pain, exhaustion and desperate confusion in your voice, and I want to let you know that we’re all thinking of you, Susan and the kids.

    I’m not amongst those that profess a faith in divinity, but as a human being with a family that I love, I ache for your pain, and wish there was something I could do.

    I am in awe of the clarity and maturity of your decision to support Susan and the kids in this manner, to accept the reality of her condition, and make plans to maximise her comfort. I hold out hope that the situation improves, but know regardless your decision provides the best result for those who love Susan.

    Now, you’ve probably got a long line of people offering advice, and I don’t seek to add to that, but simply to say to remember to also look after yourself.

    Your physical, mental and emotional health is absolutely essential to how well your kids handle this situation. You cannot do this on your own, and will need the support of other family, friends and professionals. When they offer – accept their help. Let them support you in supporting Susan and the kids.

    And remember, you’ve got a boatload of strangers that are thinking of you, and wish they could help too.

    All the best,


  337. Comment by Debbie H. | 10.28.2008 | 6:51 pm

    Adding prayers for you all.

  338. Comment by VeloMom | 10.28.2008 | 6:54 pm

    When I took care of my dying mother, someone said, “This is the hardest thing you’ll ever do, and the best.” You’re doing everything right–and by sharing how you’re helping your wife, you’re helping thousands of others who will need to care for someone they love or need care themselves.

    Thank you–best thoughts for you and your family.

  339. Comment by bubbaseadog | 10.28.2008 | 6:55 pm

    ELDEN you may never read this i hope you do there are so many out there whose out pouring of their souls i cant so happy Susan got to go for the walk with you after all you walked through life together im certain she remembers in her heart the things you said to her on that journey.i thank God the weather was perfect,for that walk and the colors were probably her favorites. she has so many hopeing and praying in all languages and so many countries.your letters have inspired and comforted many. God keep you Susan Nelson…

  340. Comment by Tammy | 10.28.2008 | 6:57 pm

    Having lost both parents to cancer, I can feel your pain. I wish you both peace – however it comes. Prayers from Nebraska.

  341. Comment by Sprocketboy | 10.28.2008 | 7:01 pm

    I have been reading this blog for two years and have followed all the ups and downs of the Nelson family. I live in another country and have a life related to yours only through cycling but also as a fellow traveler on our lifetime trip. Now that the situation is as it is make every moment count. You have touched us all and we our thoughts are very much with you.

  342. Comment by Lerjoy | 10.28.2008 | 7:04 pm

    You, and your family, are heavy in our thoughts.

  343. Comment by cheapie | 10.28.2008 | 7:04 pm

    i have no words except that i am sorry.


  344. Comment by Patty | 10.28.2008 | 7:08 pm

    Just want to add my thoughts and prayers. We will hold you all from wherever we are. Sending you love and peace.

  345. Comment by russ | 10.28.2008 | 7:12 pm

    We are all with you brother. Stay strong.

  346. Comment by joliver3 | 10.28.2008 | 7:26 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear about the latest turn of events. I wish there was something more I could say or do.

    Based on what we’ve seen of you here, I’d say that you should trust that whatever decisions you make will be the right ones. Don’t second guess yourself.

    If it helps you to write about it, we’ll be here to read it. If you need to be silent for a while, we’ll understand.

    All the best to you, Susan, and the kids.

  347. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.28.2008 | 7:33 pm

    I know that I have already commented today, but this news weighs heavy on my heart. I have been thinking about my friends all day…..
    After the joy, the promise, the motivation of our weekend with the LAF in Austin; this is just a wake up call. A call to all of us to support the causes that promote screening and early detection; cancer patient care and family services; healthcare for all; clinical trials and multiple opinions; global attention!!!
    I can’t be there; and probabaly can’t help anyway….
    If you feel powerless like me, please help in honor of Susan by giving to the LAF at:

    God Bless you Elden and the family…….and most of all, Susan. the FC Family loves you all………


  348. Comment by Petit Chévre | 10.28.2008 | 7:33 pm

    Peace. Your strength is inspirational.

    Best to all of you.

  349. Comment by Flahute | 10.28.2008 | 7:35 pm

    I’m not the most religious person in the world, especially here in Utah, but I will be praying for you, Susan, and the kids.

  350. Comment by HobbleCreek Possee | 10.28.2008 | 7:39 pm

    ELDEN our family prayers are for your family. stay strong for them, V.A.

  351. Comment by Leigh | 10.28.2008 | 7:40 pm

    I went through this with my mom just 2 1/2 years ago. The decision to switch to hospice and “palliative” care is the most heart-wrenching ever. Our family is thinking and praying for yours!
    Love those babies!! They may not be able to understand everything that’s going on right now, but one day they will understand what a great husband their dad was for their mom.
    Williams Family

  352. Comment by Walter | 10.28.2008 | 7:43 pm

    I am so, so sorry to hear about these latest developments — especially so soon after you thought things were going well.

    You and your family continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

    Walter & Leslie

  353. Comment by GJMAlcyon | 10.28.2008 | 7:47 pm

    Do what you have to do. Take care of Susan and the kids. If you go away for a while, that’s OK. We’ll be here, waiting for you. That’s what you do for others, right? You wait for them, especially if you love them. We’ll wait for you. Right here.

  354. Comment by Steve | 10.28.2008 | 7:49 pm

    Thinking of you guys.

    Susan and the kids are very lucky to have you. Hang tough!

  355. Comment by roadrash | 10.28.2008 | 7:53 pm


    Please know that the openness, love, courage & strength-of-spirit shown by you, Susan and your family has made a profound impact on myself and hundreds of others. A permanent, living impact.

    My prayers for God’s healing grace in the months ahead.

  356. Comment by ellen | 10.28.2008 | 7:54 pm

    Elden –

    I started reading your blog for the bike stories, but I come now more often for the stories you share about your family and your struggles. Like so many other, I found the tears well up when I read your latest entry. I cannot imagine what your family is going through and I wont even pretend I understand. What I do know is that I am continually amazed by your strength and your love. It is truly an inspiration to the rest of us. Your struggles have reminded me that all life is fleeting. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  357. Comment by Janet | 10.28.2008 | 7:58 pm

    Holding you and Susan and the kids in my heart…

  358. Comment by BikeCopVT | 10.28.2008 | 8:02 pm


    I can only second, third, three hundredth, what everybody else has written. You and your family have alread won…

    As you said, now it is time to focus on yourself, Susan, and your children. Take care. The Fat Cyclist Nation patiently await your return when you are ready.

    Thank you for letting us into you life.

    My thoughts are with you and your family,

  359. Comment by DOM | 10.28.2008 | 8:03 pm

    I find myself thinking of the times you’ve posted about your children and your relationship with Susan. You’ve obviously done an excellent job as parents and will continue to do so. I’m proud of your kids and I’ve never met them, only read of your pride.
    You’re surrounded by amazingly supportive friends and family. You’re obviously good people that others want to not only help, but simply spend time with.
    So much of what is going on in your lives sucks right now, but you are also very fortunate. Please try to remember that and we’ll try to remember that we, too, are fortunate.

  360. Comment by Jennifer | 10.28.2008 | 8:05 pm


    Bless your bones. Bless your family’s bones. I’ve been reading you for about six months now but have so enjoyed you allowing me a peak into your world, your life, and your love of cycling.

    I’ve got to tell you, I shop at thrift stores for almost EVERYTHING. (except socks, undies and bike shorts but those I get on clearance) I’ve even scored some sweet bike jersies. So for me to pay full retail price for anything constitutes the world shifting on it’s axis, but I did it gladly, joyfully; buying my FC jersey, hoping the proceeds could help you and your family.

    I’m so sorry. The decision to call hospice, I know, feels like throwing up your hands in surrender. But man, you need all the help and support you can get, and my gosh, they’re equipped and trained and they can help.

    Just lost my sister in law 2 months ago after a six year fight. She handled herself and the disease with such grace and dignity; she was inspiring. As are you and Susan. That b/w photo you put up last month of you two as young lovers sticks in my mind. That is one awesome photo.

    Know, please, that you inspire people world wide.

    Again, bless your bones.

  361. Comment by Reggie | 10.28.2008 | 8:09 pm


    I have been lurking on your blog for months now, enjoying your stories and rooting for your family. This is the first time I have ever commented on any site, I just feel a strong need to reach out and give something back to you now.

    I have experienced the loss of my mother to cancer. All I can say is that hospice helped our family to make her comfortable in our home, where loved ones were always with her.

    My thoughts are with your family.


  362. Comment by Anonymous | 10.28.2008 | 8:13 pm

    God bless you and your family during this time. No words can ease the pain, but you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  363. Comment by Jacked | 10.28.2008 | 8:15 pm

    As Traci said earlier today –
    “Your definition of WIN has changed and now winning is helping Susan, yourself and your children. Please know that this “stranger” is praying for you and yours.”



  364. Comment by Parker in Austin | 10.28.2008 | 8:28 pm

    God bless you and your family.

  365. Comment by DolphynGyrl | 10.28.2008 | 8:28 pm

    You and your family are in our thoughts. Susan is in safe and loving hands. What more can any of us hope for?

  366. Comment by Re&Et | 10.28.2008 | 8:29 pm

    Love. Grace. Peace. The love you all have for each other is huge, and contagious, and will continue to lead you to good choices. We hope and wish and pray your love and your faith will shelter all of you – Susan, Elden, the children – in the days ahead. We pray for comfort and peace for each of you.

  367. Comment by Nadine | 10.28.2008 | 8:30 pm

    I’ve been where your kids are right now – it’s scary but they’re so lucky to have you and your strength. Hang in there. Thinking of you guys. *hugs*

  368. Comment by Merckx | 10.28.2008 | 8:34 pm


    Not only have you made a lot of friends you have never met, you have made a lot of us better people by allowing us into your life and showing us what true love and strength is. Your family is truly blessed to have you at the helm and you are all in my family’s thoughts and prayers tonight and everynight. Stay strong, LiveStrong.


  369. Comment by M | 10.28.2008 | 8:37 pm

    I’m so sorry.

  370. Comment by J-P | 10.28.2008 | 8:37 pm


    It has been a great following your stories and updates. I lost my Dad in May and the hospice was huge for us. It eased a very difficult time for him and the family was able to spend as much time as possible with him.

    I pray for you and your family.


  371. Comment by Rocky | 10.28.2008 | 8:37 pm

    Kellene told me not to read this until I got home from work. I now clearly understand why. I thought of you this afternoon – of you and of Susan quietly walking around your neighborhood in the beautiful Autumn weather – and instead of riding my bike as I had planned, I spent an hour on the phone with one of my own sweet children – the Lindsey one that loves Susan so much – and I was glad to have the time with her. All our love.

  372. Comment by deno | 10.28.2008 | 8:38 pm

    your strength is inspirational. peace and love to your family.

  373. Comment by Debamundo | 10.28.2008 | 8:38 pm

    I am amazed by the strength and courage you and Susan possess. I just wish I could help. Keeping you in my thoughts doesn’t seem like nearly enough. It seems like nothing. I’m so sorry.

  374. Comment by Tyler | 10.28.2008 | 8:41 pm


    I can’t fathom what you are going through. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I don’t even know you — we’ve never spoken. That doesn’t mean I’m not absolutely torn up by your latest post.

    I just hope that if I were to ever go through something like this I handle it with the same grace, humor, strength, and courage that you have. You’re truly inspirational.

    Please, if you read this, tell your wife that people she’s never met and, given the great distance separating everyone on the intertubes, probably never will, are all pulling for her and are thinking of her every day. We’re thinking of all the Nelsons right now, and we all sincerely hope that you will remain as strong as you’ve been.



  375. Comment by Don | 10.28.2008 | 8:43 pm

    For what it’s worth, I just got through this totally on the third try, that is, without breaking up. I think the one of hardest things in my life was having my father tell me at 18, “You know what this means? I’m going to die.” I found comfort in knowing that God’s will would be done. I sure as heck didn’t like the outcome, but that wasn’t for me to decide. It is very tough on everyone involved.
    I can’t begin to know, or pretend I know what it’s like having a spouse going through what Susan is going through. Or to be a spouse going through what YOU are going through. You seem to be a very strong family, in many ways. That is a good thing. It is also a good thing that you realize you need to focus on Susan and your kids.
    For now, we’ll send words of encouragement, love, and many, many, prayers your way. I ask for the Lords blessing on you and your family. You do what you need to, as a husband, as a father, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from that!
    This might sound a bit rambley, sorry.
    God Bless, and WIN!

  376. Comment by SeanB | 10.28.2008 | 8:45 pm


    Long-time lurker on your site and have enjoyed your humor and felt your pain. You, Susan and you family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  377. Comment by Ken | 10.28.2008 | 8:47 pm


    Your priorities are clearly in the right place. There are so many of us out here sending love and support your way. The Grace, Humor and Love with which you and Susan have met these terrible challenges is awe-inspiring. God bless the Nelson family


  378. Comment by from ellicott city | 10.28.2008 | 8:54 pm

    I hope that anyone who is facing this dreadful disease has a person like you by their side for strength, comfort and love.

    My thoughts are with your family.

  379. Comment by neilro51 | 10.28.2008 | 8:57 pm

    Isiah 46:4

  380. Comment by Buzz | 10.28.2008 | 9:00 pm

    Elden, I think we all wish for the most profound thing to say at this time. The humanity you have and your family have shown all of us reminds us of what is most important in life. As we “struggle” with our own daily challenges, know that we all have you, Susan and the kids in our thoughts.

    Win. And God Bless.

  381. Comment by neilro51 | 10.28.2008 | 9:03 pm

    And Roman’s 5:1-5

  382. Comment by Susan | 10.28.2008 | 9:05 pm

    Thoughts, prayers and peace to the Nelson family.

  383. Comment by victoria | 10.28.2008 | 9:06 pm

    I’m so so sorry.

  384. Comment by MaWaugh | 10.28.2008 | 9:09 pm

    As Susans’ time on earth fades, may you lean on those who care for you and your family to help bouy you up during those dark and anxious moments. It is on those private battlefields that the toughest times are endured. Keep the faith, and continue in the open honest manner that you have shared with so many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. MAW

  385. Comment by bradk | 10.28.2008 | 9:16 pm

    I don’t know what to say other than Tasha and I here for you and Susan and the family for whatever you need. We love you guys.

  386. Comment by Carlo M | 10.28.2008 | 9:19 pm

    My prayers go out to you and your family. Hang in there and be strong.

  387. Comment by dr_robert | 10.28.2008 | 9:25 pm

    fuck cancer

  388. Comment by geckonia | 10.28.2008 | 9:27 pm

    In the future when faced with a tough decision, I will ask myself, “What would Elden do?”

  389. Comment by Laura | 10.28.2008 | 9:33 pm


    Someone once asked writer Madeleine L’Engle to name the greatest gift she and her husband (a talented actor) had given their kids. She immediately replied “We love each other”. Your children will get through this very difficult time – not without some pain – better for the love that the two of you have demonstrated over the years.

    It’s times like this that re-affirms my belief in God. If this were a soul-less universe we would not rage that this is ought not to be this way.

    Constant prayers that all will be truly well.

  390. Comment by leenie | 10.28.2008 | 9:37 pm

    sending constant prayers of peace and patience and love to you and yours.

  391. Comment by Shane F | 10.28.2008 | 9:38 pm

    I’ve been reading for about a year now and have never commented but i just wanted to say you are a great guy, and you and your wife are very lucky to have each other. thanks for all the great posts, and good luck.

  392. Comment by bikeuphill9 | 10.28.2008 | 9:40 pm

    I have been reading your blog for about a year now and have been amazed at how strong your family and you are. I have lost my grandfather and two aunts to cancer. We’ll keep you in our thoughts. Keep up the fight.

  393. Comment by PedalDork | 10.28.2008 | 9:45 pm

    My heart is with you and your family.

  394. Comment by AlicesYellowPorsche | 10.28.2008 | 9:56 pm

    i’m so sorry.

    no words can describe this.


  395. Comment by Peter | 10.28.2008 | 9:57 pm

    Take care of her and take care of the kids. I lost my dad to cancer a few years back and it still sucks hard every time I see a picture. Nothing any of us say will make it go away or suck any less. Susan, you, and the kids are all getting thousands of hugs from all your readers. If there’s anything that we as a collective can do, just ask.

  396. Comment by Shawn | 10.28.2008 | 10:00 pm

    I have read this blog in bits and pieces and was reminded of it while participating in the Austin Live Strong Ride. I can only imagine what you are going through. My thoughts are with you, your family, and Susan.

  397. Comment by Heather | 10.28.2008 | 10:04 pm

    Eldon, I just started reading, but my heart is with you. My family has been affected by cancer and I know it is something that changes you forever. I pray that you find the peace that passes understanding.

  398. Comment by Emily | 10.28.2008 | 10:05 pm

    Stay strong, all of you. My thoughts are with you and your kids and your beautiful wife.

  399. Comment by Bjorn 4 Lycra | 10.28.2008 | 10:08 pm

    The Nelsons Rule! We are all better people because of you. Take care – no idea what else to say. Love to you all – still hoping.

  400. Comment by diamondjim | 10.28.2008 | 10:08 pm

    Dear Fatty
    My mum died of cancer when I was fourteen. She had been sick for quite a while and in and out of hospital, but I never knew she was dieing. I remember asking my little brother when he thought she’d be all well again. She died the next morning, and it was a complete surprise and shock. I didn’t say goodbye.
    I also remember wanting to be strong for my dad, who was about your age. Be strong for your kids, but let them help you too.
    Her wonderful memory and legacy lives on in us.
    Strength to you all – thoughts and prayers from Perth.

  401. Comment by SleeplessInKL | 10.28.2008 | 10:10 pm

    Try to make each day the best day for Susan. Gaze into her eyes with love, don’t look at her with pity or sadness. Talk to your kids and get the facts straight so that they’d know what to expect…then tell them to spend as much time as they can with their mother and tell them to tell her how much they love her.

    As for you, you’re only human. You may be too busy right now but at some point, you *will* need some time for yourself. But right now, it’s all about Susan, because time is running out.

  402. Comment by Paula | 10.28.2008 | 10:24 pm

    Peace, much love, strength and courage to the whole Nelson family.

  403. Comment by flombe | 10.28.2008 | 10:26 pm

    Susan, Elden and family – find peace.

    “Love and only love will endure.”

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  404. Comment by Bobby | 10.28.2008 | 10:31 pm

    You and your family are truly remarkable. Good luck.

  405. Comment by Tyler Ford | 10.28.2008 | 10:41 pm

    Hang in there!

  406. Comment by swtkaroline | 10.28.2008 | 10:42 pm

    I continue to be amazed and humbled that you share such intimate details of your life with us. You are an amazing family, and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Live strong.

  407. Comment by ricky | 10.28.2008 | 10:46 pm

    so sorry. peace and love from all of us.

  408. Comment by Pinkbike | 10.28.2008 | 11:19 pm

    Our hearts are with you, Nelson family.

  409. Comment by jeanine dixon | 10.28.2008 | 11:25 pm

    I have been reading your blog and following Susan’s fight for about a year – my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer Feb 5 2007. I have spent the last 2 years traveling once a month to be with her and help her in her fight. I have a 4 year old & 3 month old son. Mom died last Monday, peacefully and at home with hospice care. I don’t have anything that I can say that will make anything easier for you during this horribly difficult time. All I can tell you from my experience is that I am so very thankful for the last year and 9 months that I had with my mom. At the end of her life, the fear & confusion was a real issue. Keeping her comfortable was our greatest desire. I wish you strength, I wish you peace, I wish for Susan that she be unafraid and that she and you find comfort in the time you have had to spend together. What a gift you have been to her, and her to you. My heart goes out to you. I know everyone offers, but whatever I can do. All my best thoughts are with you.

  410. Comment by Richard | 10.28.2008 | 11:26 pm

    You are in our prayers and thoughts…..

  411. Comment by Mom of Fatty | 10.28.2008 | 11:51 pm

    It is almost midnight. The nelson home is quiet. Perhaps all will sleep tonight. I stand back watching this man child of mine and his beautiful wife and I stand all amazed at the love which abounds here. The children, they ache and then one of the girls plants herself on mom’s lap and they watch together a scene from a long ago TV series or read together a book. Tonight, with Susan being in this world, fully with us, I am thankful for each moment and thankful that I am privileged to be here as mom and grandmom. You who read and pray and write, my prayers of gratitude go out to you for who you are.

  412. Comment by kawika | 10.28.2008 | 11:57 pm

    you, susan and your family are so strong. you have won, even in these difficult times. i am going to see my aunt on friday, who is in hospice with leukemia. it is the hardest thing, to see someone in hospice (my mother passed from leukemia before she could get to hospice), but hospices do amazing work, and focus exclusively on the quality and dignity of life for the patient and family. peace.


  413. Comment by Alex from ZA | 10.29.2008 | 12:03 am


  414. Comment by Burk | 10.29.2008 | 1:01 am

    Our prayers are with you, Susan and your family.


  415. Comment by Saso | 10.29.2008 | 2:43 am

    You have amazing family. You are amazing father and husband. Stay strong. All the best.

  416. Comment by Tom in Dublin | 10.29.2008 | 3:18 am

    my thoughts and prayers are with you. be proud of the courage you have shown and use it to make yourself stronger, then turn your strength into love.

  417. Comment by Kamikaze Kris | 10.29.2008 | 3:22 am

    I just read your latest article… this is the first time i have cried while reading something on the net. If you and/or the kids need anything, just ask.

    Love Susan.

  418. Comment by Travis | 10.29.2008 | 3:30 am

    I can only add my thought and prayers to the masses who are thinking about you.


  419. Comment by DD | 10.29.2008 | 4:05 am

    I hope Susan realizes how many lives she has touched – I might only be able to speak for myself, but I know if I come faced with a tragedy such as this I will fight my hardest to handle it with the courage and grace that your family has.

    This blog has changed people. Elden thank you for sharing – I hope you continue to share long after Susan finds the peace she so deserves.

  420. Comment by Linda in Maryland | 10.29.2008 | 4:07 am


    I’m so very sorry. You, Susan and your children are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  421. Comment by bruce nelson | 10.29.2008 | 4:38 am

    prayers to you and family

  422. Comment by Sylvie | 10.29.2008 | 5:00 am

    Thinking of you…

  423. Comment by bikemike | 10.29.2008 | 5:02 am


    you and your family are loved beyond any words we could possibly post on here.
    we will continue to post and tell you this and hope that it gives you some strength.

    God Bless on this wednesday.

    thanks Mom of Fatty

  424. Comment by Paul | 10.29.2008 | 5:50 am


  425. Comment by neca | 10.29.2008 | 6:04 am

    As always, my prayers are with your family. I think supporting the kids is important now – even as an adult, watching my grandmother lose her mind and self was a scary thing. It’s what I would want my husband to do.

    Love to you all.

  426. Comment by Kino | 10.29.2008 | 6:12 am


    So sorry to read this news.

    My heartfelt best wishes to you Susan and your children


  427. Comment by Ms. Moon | 10.29.2008 | 6:18 am

    The ending will be right. Hospice is filled with angels who will help you with all your angels.
    So many people are sending you love for this journey.
    Bless you all.

  428. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.29.2008 | 6:23 am

    Yes! Big thanks to Mom of Fatty — and to Kellene, Lori, Jodi, and Christy — for giving Elden his appreciation of extraordinary women. You are one amazing bunch. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

    ♥WIN♥ Susan, and everyone who loves her

  429. Comment by Suze | 10.29.2008 | 6:25 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Susan and your family.

  430. Comment by Franky and Mer | 10.29.2008 | 6:30 am

    We are with you guys.

  431. Pingback by La Alma de Fuego… » Blog Archive | 10.29.2008 | 6:32 am

    [...] in her brain and her medication seemed to simply go out of whack–and then today there was this update: So I pushed her around the neighborhood, loving the feel of Autumn: warm sun, cool breeze. The [...]

  432. Comment by devin | 10.29.2008 | 6:41 am

    Our thoughts are with you.. Stay strong and together.

  433. Comment by Julie | 10.29.2008 | 6:44 am

    I am new to your blog, and new to my own battle with cancer as a mum, so I have been praying for you and your wife and the mum of your kids, as I have been praying for myself. I know I am finding out how true my hub is, in dealing with the worse part of our for better or worse vows; and it seems as if your wife also has that lovely experience embracing her, even, and maybe especially when she doesn’t know it.

  434. Comment by Michelle | 10.29.2008 | 6:47 am

    You have received so much support and prayers from others, but I believe you can never have enough. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you come to terms with this new development

  435. Comment by Nick | 10.29.2008 | 6:49 am

    Praying for you and your family.

  436. Comment by Danielle | 10.29.2008 | 6:53 am

    I am so, so sorry.

  437. Comment by Clint | 10.29.2008 | 6:56 am

    You’re a thousand times more rational and tougher than I’d be in your spot.

    Kwan se um Bosal for you and your children.

    Win, Bro. Win.

  438. Comment by Kalgrm | 10.29.2008 | 7:02 am


    I have nothing to say that can ease your pain, but I’ll add my voice to the chorus of those who are sending their thoughts your way.

    Stay strong for your family.

  439. Comment by leroy | 10.29.2008 | 7:10 am

    My prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family.

    My heartfelt thanks to you as well for your example of grace under pressure.

    We are enriched knowing you and your family, even if only over the internet.

  440. Comment by ChinookPass | 10.29.2008 | 7:11 am

    Wishing you and your family so much strength in the coming days. The cycling world is with you.

  441. Comment by Lifesgreat | 10.29.2008 | 7:20 am

    Sending you peace and prayers.

    While you don’t mention your religious faith in your blog, please rely on the peace and knowledge it brings.

  442. Comment by Linda | 10.29.2008 | 7:26 am

    I will keep you, your family and caretakers in my prayers. My heart just hurts for what you and your awesome family are going through. Lin

  443. Comment by kentucky joe | 10.29.2008 | 7:29 am

    Stay strong, you and Susan and your family have already won. Take it all in, this path you are on is well lighted and filled with helping hands.

  444. Comment by JEB | 10.29.2008 | 7:43 am


    Love, peace, and prayers to you, Susan and your family. And to this entire community that you’ve gathered around you, for we all have been touched by hurts in our lives.


  445. Comment by Kristi | 10.29.2008 | 7:44 am

    Please know that you, Susan, and your family are in my prayers. I pray for you the peace that passes understanding.

  446. Comment by Maile in Florida | 10.29.2008 | 8:05 am

    Tears and hugs. My heart goes out to you, the kids, your family and friends, and most of all to Susan. I know you don’t need validation, but your strength and your clearness in making good decisions is inspiring.

    Peace be with you all, and Susan most,

  447. Comment by Jeff | 10.29.2008 | 8:22 am

    It’s people like you and your family that make this world a great place. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  448. Comment by Andrew | 10.29.2008 | 8:25 am

    Elden -

    I remember taking a few minutes to phone my grandpa just a day or two before my grandpa passed away. He was brave and strong while facing the end. I was glad we had a few minutes to talk.

    I’m glad you were able to take a walk with her and just be with her. You’re in my prayers.


  449. Comment by judi | 10.29.2008 | 8:26 am

    Fatty – all of your blogger friends are right there with you. Thinking good thoughts for you, for the kids, and most of all, for Susan.

    God Bless-

  450. Comment by william | 10.29.2008 | 8:33 am

    Stay strong, you’re doing a fantastic job.

  451. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 10.29.2008 | 8:57 am

    Wishing you and your family strength and peace.

  452. Comment by Dingbat | 10.29.2008 | 9:08 am

    My family and I are praying for you folks; you’ve given us–me–a great deal: laughter, thought, and most importantly, a wonderful example of loving fatherhood. Anything I can give back, I will; and anything I can’t, I will pay forward.

  453. Comment by Penny | 10.29.2008 | 9:11 am

    No words Eldon can take away your grief. Just know I will prayer for you and your family.

  454. Comment by Anonymous | 10.29.2008 | 9:13 am

    Look at all the lives she’s touched.

  455. Comment by mikeb | 10.29.2008 | 9:17 am

    We have several people very close to us battling cancer right now, your insights and thoughts are very powerful. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family.

  456. Comment by Mike | 10.29.2008 | 9:21 am

    Keep hoping, Elden.

    “Our tears are just as wet, but not because of despair. Rather, they are tears of heightened appreciation evoked by poignant separation. These tears change, ere long becoming tears of glorious anticipation.”
    -Neal A. Maxwell

  457. Comment by patty | 10.29.2008 | 9:24 am

    prayers, thoughts and much love to you, susan and the kids. livestrong, fatty.

  458. Comment by Aunt Mary | 10.29.2008 | 9:29 am

    My dear Elden,
    My heart goes out to you and your family and know that our love and prayers are with you. There is something about the Nelson family that produces a strength that goes beyond imagination. Hospice will enable you to enjoy you and your childrens time with Susan and to make her comfortable. It was hard when I finally realized that hospice was what was needed with your Uncle Jim, but it made him comfortable and it helped all of us to enjoy him. Elden, the final chapter may be written, but the book will go on for eternity. A big hug to Susan and the children and to you and also to your mother. We love you lots!!

  459. Comment by Jon Grinder | 10.29.2008 | 9:37 am

    Man, my heart goes out to you and yours. Hospice is a good decision, and I think will be best for everyone.

    Cry when you need to.

  460. Comment by Valleri | 10.29.2008 | 9:38 am

    I don’t believe there is anything that can be said to make you feel any better or make your heart any lighter. As I write this there are over 400 comments from people all over the world. We are all holding your family in our hearts, thinking of you and praying for you.

  461. Comment by CoworkerAlex | 10.29.2008 | 9:39 am


    Stopped in to keep up-to-date while I’m away. I’m so sorry. When I read your post, my first reaction was shock- things seem to happen so fast. It seems like just yesterday Susan was blogging about her/your last Leadville 100. My second reaction was that if and when I’m ever in your shoes one day, I hope I can be even half the husband and father your are. You’re a fine man. Susan and the kids are verry fortunate to have you.


  462. Comment by Steph | 10.29.2008 | 9:49 am

    Praying for peaceful moments for Susan and all of you.

  463. Comment by Chris_N | 10.29.2008 | 9:55 am


    As 14 year old & 12 year old children, I & my brother, respectively, experienced what your children are experiencing. I want you to know that they will be alright. It will take time and it will take tears and it will take patience and it will take LOTS of love, but they will be alright.

    As an adult and a husband and a soon-to-be father, I can not imagine what you are going through. But I’m sure your greatest concern is for your kids and I just want you to know that they will be ok. Wishing you all the peace in the world during this terribly difficult time……Chris

  464. Comment by 4ster | 10.29.2008 | 9:56 am

    What a fine example you are to your children. Clearly, from all of these comments, you have touched many others here as well. We will continue to pray for comfort and wisdom for you and your family.

  465. Comment by Ginger | 10.29.2008 | 10:02 am

    You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers, Elden. Some people may say that we were put on the Earth to help one another, and that’s what families do best. By just being there for Susan, you’re doing something that too many people would run from. I know I speak for all of your readers when I say that if there’s any thing we can do to help you through these times, please ask us. Stay strong!

  466. Comment by Rick S. | 10.29.2008 | 10:06 am

    The Sunderlage family (not our real name) is thinking of your family and keeping you in our prayers.

  467. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 10.29.2008 | 10:09 am

    FC & Family,

    You are loved the world over. You are strong, beautiful, powerful, selfless, loving and faithful. God is with you and your readers are too. Peace.


  468. Comment by Anonymous | 10.29.2008 | 10:13 am

    Just another person out here in cyberspace who had hoped that this was not how things would end. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  469. Comment by Erik | 10.29.2008 | 10:28 am

    You, my friend, are a stud. I’m devastated to hear the sad news, and want to echo many others by saying I think what you’re doing is fantastic. I’m confident that you’ll bring the same grace to this terrible situation that you’ve brought to everything else (heck, even your unplanned dismounts have a certain grace to them). Although Susan may not understand everything, she’ll certainly feel that grace, and I’d bet that’s the most comforting feeling possible. And it will help your family have a lifetime of beautiful memories. You’re doing the best job imaginable, and my thoughts are with all of y’all.

  470. Comment by Scott | 10.29.2008 | 12:04 pm

    First time reader here-

    I saw a link to your post from the Up in Alaska blog and clicked it. Sorry to hear of your hard times. Hang in there. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  471. Comment by Natalie | 10.29.2008 | 12:46 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I took a month off last year to spend the last weeks of his life by my grandpa’s bedside (who co-incidentally lived in Highland). I realize it must be at a completely different level had it been my spouse or my mom, but the experience taking care of him during the hospice phase is one I truly cherish. There were some really tough times but we had an AMAZING hospice nurse who helped us through it all. I think you are doing an amazing job wading through the myriad of emotions and I love that you are cherishing moments when you can.

    Stay strong when you can, cry when you can’t. You’ve got lots of love and prayers in your corner.


  472. Comment by Peter | 10.29.2008 | 1:16 pm

    I’ve followed your log as a mountainbiker without writing but feel compelled to do so now, as a internist.

    Your writing and behaviour is and will remain an inspiration and a guide for myself and hopefully my patients.

    Best wishes – you are an incredible husband and father.

  473. Pingback by Zen and the Art of Speedskating » The most beautiful day | 10.29.2008 | 1:33 pm

    [...] A blog is a new art form, and an evolving one. What are the boundaries? It’s different for every writer. But in this realtime story where the ending is unknown, we must write with honesty, and if this world shakes you, let your voice be shaken. A blogger I deeply respect, who lives just a few miles from me, is facing the fact that his wife is… [...]

  474. Comment by Anonymous | 10.29.2008 | 3:07 pm

    I’m so sorry. I’m crying for you. Peace be with you.

  475. Comment by Sudy | 10.29.2008 | 4:56 pm

    Thoughts of you and your family.
    Best wishes – your blog is an inspiration to read.

  476. Comment by Kristi and Lenny | 10.29.2008 | 7:53 pm

    God’s Word promises us that He will keep up during our most trying times in this life. He never says that “if” we go through trials, but “when”. He promises to never leave us and I believe that with all of my heart. We serve an awesome God, the only God that created each of us special. We are here on this earth to serve Him, so that He may be glorified. Your wife and you are precious to Him. We cannot understand God’s ways but we can live with hope that He knows exactly what we’re going through and is right there with us. One day we will understand why we suffer on this earth. God loves you very much and what you are doing right now, loving your wife, is an example of His love for us. Our prayer is that through this you will grow closer to God and your faith will be strengthened. May your children draw near to you during this time and may God bless your family.

  477. Comment by Kat | 10.29.2008 | 9:00 pm

    I’m new to your blog….. but you have my thoughts & prayers…. & love….

  478. Comment by bikesgonewild | 10.29.2008 | 11:07 pm

    …we’ve never met, eldon & we may never meet but w/ tears in my eyes, i send my love to susan, you & your family…

    …as others have said, you are an incredible man, fatty…a strong & incredible man…& susan’s strength has helped make you that way…

  479. Comment by Pod | 10.30.2008 | 8:41 am

    I’m speechless. But know there are those out there thinking of you and your family. God Bless.

  480. Comment by Lil | 10.30.2008 | 10:23 pm

    I am praying for you and your family. May God grant you peace in this time of difficulty. I can’t imagine what you are going through.

  481. Comment by alan | 10.31.2008 | 9:09 pm

    What i learned when my dad was dying of melanoma: just be present. Don’t try to process it all right now. There’s plenty of time for that later.

  482. Comment by Brian | 11.1.2008 | 5:03 am

    Elden – My heart goes out to you and your family. Having very recently been through a similar situation with my father, I think you are dealing with a very hard situation very very well. Give your kids lots of hugs.

  483. Comment by Ed S | 11.1.2008 | 9:12 am

    Elden, words realy can’t describe what I’m feeling right now so I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for you and all of your family. All I can say is that my best wishes and the wishes of my friends are all with you all.

  484. Comment by kingofnewyorkhacks | 11.1.2008 | 12:19 pm

    Hold NO doubts in what you are doing brother. It is the best thing for your family to endure this together and it will bring you all closer. I have lost loved ones to the damn cancer diseases and its never easy for all involved,but the fact that you have the ability to write about it and share your thoughts on what you think is best for everyone is very brave trait and shows how much you love and are focusing on whats best indeed. This New York Hack has your spirit in his taxi and will honk in front of all the churchs in NYC that I pass by as my prayers for you. My best wishes for you.

  485. Comment by Gregh | 11.1.2008 | 8:38 pm

    My prayers to you and your family. Peace be with you.

  486. Comment by wb416 | 11.3.2008 | 4:11 pm

    My heart goes out to you!


  487. Pingback by Holding dear what is Precious « Bob and Penny’s Great Outdoor Adventure | 11.3.2008 | 4:35 pm

    [...] loss.  Jumping around to different posts, I came across a post that was crushing…. the battle his wife is waging with cancer… how the battle is winding down to it’s inevitable end as she moves from coherence to [...]

  488. Comment by fuzzy | 11.4.2008 | 6:27 am


    I have been away for a week or so and have just started to catch up. You are in a tough place mate. I don’t do the prayer thing but I do the positive thoughts bit. I am thinking the thoughts in the hope that they help you with what you face.

    Fuzzy from the UK.

  489. Comment by Jim | 11.10.2008 | 7:13 pm


    My late wife Susan was initially diagnosed with three major brain tumors and a head full of “seed tumors”. The Oncologist recommended radiation treatment, which eliminated all of the seed tumors. Shortly after that process he told us there was nothing further he could do and referred us to a Neurosurgen close by in Las Vegas. The Neurosurgen told us that his skills would not be 100% successful and referred us to Scripps hospital in La Jolla, California, for their Gamma Knife surgery.

    No cutting tissue stuff, but beaming 220 beams of radiation into the tumor to alter its DNA, which killed all of the tumors. It is a highly technical process but is very effective. Susan eventuall passed away, not from the brain tumors, but from the seed tumors moving from the brain via the cerebrospinal fluid down into the spine.

    The Scripps Doctors were great, but the Oncologist in Las Vegas did not do any bone scans of her spine, which would have detected the seed tumors growing there. Eventually there were several tumors in her spine which caused her to become paralized and she finally decided to give up.

    I highly recommend the Gamma Knife process for brain tumors. I have read that there are a couple of medical facilities doing a gamma knife type process on tumors in the spine and other parts of the body. If I had only known this eight years ago.

    EldenI feel your pain. May God bless you and your wife Susan. I apologize for the long e-mail.


  490. Pingback by Bike Review Blog » Blog Archive » People’s Design Award and some stuff you should buy | 11.10.2008 | 11:55 pm

    [...] his wife Susan is battling cancer and that her condition has deteriorated lately. After reading a recent post (one that I found to be very sad but also inspirational), I decided that I should help in a small [...]

  491. Comment by Zuke | 12.17.2008 | 3:41 pm


    I’ve been away from your blog for a while and have come back, catching up on the news. I’m so sorry to hear about Susan. Stay strong, there are so many people here who support you and care about you and your family.


  492. Pingback by Moronacity » Blog Archive » Anticipated Loss | 01.3.2010 | 6:01 pm

    [...] the Fat Cyclist readers read a post that is mostly likely the beginning of the end (Getting the Ending Right). Today, we found out that Susan is in worse shape than we had hoped. She is experiencing confusion [...]

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