Not Just Bad

10.30.2008 | 7:45 am

Susan’s good stretch lasted maybe 20 hours. In hindsight, maybe it was foolish of me to hope that it would last much longer than that. In fact, I had hoped that she’d be OK for weeks, or at least a few days.

So I couldn’t sleep last night.

Instead, I laid beside Susan as she pressed her hand to my chest to stop the flow of blood from the knife wound she was certain she had just given me.

There was more. All of it horrible.

Around 2:00am, I gave her more drugs, hoping they would help her sleep. They did not.

As the night wore on, I tried new tactics.

I stopped responding directly to what she said, instead telling her what I wanted her to know. This didn’t work; for the first time since we’ve been married (yes, really), Susan started shouting at me.

Eventually, I stopped responding at all, figuring that nothing I said made any difference, so maybe saying nothing would be an improvement.

Around 5:00am, Susan went to sleep. But by then I was — am — too frazzled to settle down.

Through the night, I kept thinking: cancer isn’t just bad-as-in-unfortunate. Cancer is evil. It took my wife’s breast, then her health, then her hip, then her energy, then her dexterity — all things she cared about.

But Susan stayed tough and positive through all of that.

And so now it’s taken her mind and her ability to enjoy being with her family.

Right now, to me, cancer seems both insulting and malicious.

I hate it.


  1. Comment by john | 10.30.2008 | 6:47 am


  2. Comment by Mocougfan | 10.30.2008 | 6:50 am

    I hate it with you Elden. Nothing genious to say. I just feel sad for you/ with you. Hope your kids are doing ok. I know your tough. It must be horrible for them.

    I’m sorry my friend.

  3. Comment by DP | 10.30.2008 | 6:52 am

    Thank you for sharing these personal moments in your family’s life. I am so sorry that they are happening to you or anyone else. Cancer definitely is evil. Destructive to the person who has it and destructive to those around them. Cancer is one of the injustices of life and is not fair in any way. Know that there is a whole army behind you fighting this battle however we may know how. Again, thanks for sharing – I hope it helps you, which in turn will help Susan.

  4. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 10.30.2008 | 6:53 am

    I hate it too.

  5. Comment by Dan O | 10.30.2008 | 6:53 am

    Cancer is the worst thing in the world.
    Take care of Susan, the kids, and yourself.
    Everything else is secondary.

    life is good

  6. Comment by Peter | 10.30.2008 | 6:56 am

    I’m glad that you and the kids got another day with Susan as she used to be. Be strong, there are no words to express what all of us out here in teh internets feel for you.

  7. Comment by Jodi | 10.30.2008 | 6:58 am

    How exhausted you must be.

    All the love and prayers and hope in the world right now are not enough to lift you up I know.

    So from here I’m waiting for you to say the word and I will be there. I’m not you and can’t take your place there but I’m rested and can fill in the gaps.

    Anytime brother.

  8. Comment by El Animal | 10.30.2008 | 6:58 am

    I am praying for you Fatty. Be strong, it’s probably the hardest climb that you’ll ever need to ride.

  9. Comment by Andrea | 10.30.2008 | 6:58 am

    Here, here, cancer is evil. Thank you for sharing these moments with us. I know how difficult it is.

  10. Comment by ryan | 10.30.2008 | 6:59 am

    dude. I wish you peace. I’ve been there with my sister and my father.

  11. Comment by Tiger | 10.30.2008 | 6:59 am

    I haven’t had any first hand experience with cancer, but I can imagine the toll that this is taken on you and your family. Atleast you are grateful for the last 20hrs. I’m sorry this is happening.Thank you for sharing this with the world. We’re all behind you.

    <3 Love and prayers to you and your family

  12. Comment by Chris & Debby | 10.30.2008 | 6:59 am

    We are so very sorry that you and Susan are going through this, especially this stage of things. Through your blog, your experience is touching us in profound ways, making us even more grateful for the time we have with our own loved ones. No matter what, you must know that Susan knows how much you and the kids love her. We continue to pray for you, Susan and the rest of your family through this awful time.

  13. Comment by Sarah G | 10.30.2008 | 7:04 am

    Oh Elden. Words fail.

    You are fighting the evil that is cancer with the goodness that is inside you. You are the shield against that evil for your kids. You are a living refutation of all that cancer represents.

    I’m praying for you each day.

  14. Comment by JDogg | 10.30.2008 | 7:05 am

    Nothing but love and support as you pass these days and hours with Susan. You have been strong for your family and Susan through this, and you have to remain strong for yourself.

    Having the 20 hours that you had and having taken the time to make sure you said all that you wanted to say, you can rest well.

    I took your advice and reached out to those people who are important to me yesterday and the love that I got back from them made me very grateful to have taken that time.

    Be strong Elden, we are praying with you and for you and Susan.

  15. Comment by Dave | 10.30.2008 | 7:06 am

    I’m so sorry. My thoughts truly are with you.

  16. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 10.30.2008 | 7:06 am

    I’m so sorry, Elden.

  17. Comment by BellaCroix | 10.30.2008 | 7:06 am

    Eldon, I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through… it’s amazing just how fragile we actually are. I’ve been there for family members through cancers, multiple sclorosis, and dementia… all are dehumanizing when they finally start wrapping up what they started.

    I honestly believe (once everything settles) that you should write a book to help others going through the same thing. Your ability to mix pain and humor and share so honestly and openly what your family is going through could really help people going through the same thing.

    I know you don’t want to hear that things happen for a reason and I wish these things didn’t have to happen to you and your family but I honestly believe you have a talent that came out through all this and it would be a shame to not use it. You’re surrounded by a lot of wonderful and caring people through this but a lot of people do go through it alone… it would mean a lot to them to know someone else has been there.

    Peace Susan! F Cancer!

  18. Comment by jason | 10.30.2008 | 7:07 am


    Thank you for sharing your feelings and emotions for your wife and family. Every time I read the Susan posts it inpires me to be a little more kind, loving, and appreciative of my wife.

    With that said, I best cover my face before the guy next to me on the train sees me sobbing.

    Thanks fatty for being a great example of what a man, husband, and father should be.


  19. Comment by carey | 10.30.2008 | 7:07 am

    I am so sorry.

  20. Comment by Big Shorty | 10.30.2008 | 7:08 am

    Stay strong Fatty……..please remember to take care of yourself also.

    Good thoughts, prayers and love.
    BigShorty & family

  21. Comment by canknitian | 10.30.2008 | 7:09 am

    How awful. I’m so sorry.

    Big hug,

  22. Comment by stewOZ and miss | 10.30.2008 | 7:11 am

    Please stay strong Elden. And you have every right to be angry – cancer is a terrible disease. It touches every one of us throughtout our lives – you, me, Susan, everybody. Please let Susan know that we are sending her our best wishes and keeping her and her family in our thoughts.

  23. Comment by buckythedonkey | 10.30.2008 | 7:13 am

    Sorry mate. We all hate cancer. I sincerely hope that you get her back for a while.

  24. Comment by Gillian | 10.30.2008 | 7:14 am

    Dear Fatty -

    This is terrible. Nothing good about any of this. I am so sorry you and your family are going through it.

    I give you what I can – support – and pray for peace for all of you.


  25. Comment by MikeonhisBike | 10.30.2008 | 7:15 am

    I’m really sorry to hear about this bad turn. I pray that you will receive the guidance that you need to make it through these tough times. Stick close to the Lord and he will let you draft off of him.

  26. Comment by Jaime O. | 10.30.2008 | 7:16 am

    There aren’t words, Fatty. Strength and peace to your family.

  27. Comment by Henrik | 10.30.2008 | 7:16 am

    Reading this brings back sad memories where I went through the exact same thing with my mother.
    It came to a point where I had to stop looking at the person i front of me as my mother but as a stranger that I had to make as comfortable as possible.
    Sounds horrible but it kept me focused.

  28. Comment by Shirls | 10.30.2008 | 7:16 am

    I just wanted to say that each time I read about your family, I admire your strength, courage and spirit. Please know that you provide so much, to so many by sharing your story.

    And yes, hate is the perfect term for cancer

  29. Comment by Marla | 10.30.2008 | 7:19 am

    I am so very sad that you are having to watch the woman you love consumed by such a horrible disease. I am very glad you had the opportunity to share important and loving words with each other. What a blessing that short time of lucidity was! Please know I am praying for you, for your beautiful children, and your beloved wife. I am so sorry you are going through this.

  30. Comment by TomE | 10.30.2008 | 7:19 am

    I hope you are finding some sort of release by keeping up with this blog Fatty. While most of us have never met you, we feel so connected to your family. We are thinking about you in Denver!!

  31. Comment by Blorgh | 10.30.2008 | 7:23 am

    I really should stop reading your blog at work. Every day this week I’ve been either sobbing with grief for you or crying with relief. My coworkers think I’m sick because of all the sniffles.

    I’m so sorry that you’re on this rollercoaster that seems to go no place you want to go. We’re here for you. Peace, my friend.

  32. Comment by Woody | 10.30.2008 | 7:25 am

    I have no words…..

  33. Comment by mamafitz | 10.30.2008 | 7:27 am

    I don’t have the words. Only the prayers . . .

  34. Comment by Bandit | 10.30.2008 | 7:28 am

    Hate is such a strong word.

    But for cancer, it is the right word.

    Hate the cancer, Fatty – it’s ok. Love Susan. Love your kids. Love your family and friends. But go ahead and hate cancer.

    God be with you all.

  35. Comment by KaliDurga | 10.30.2008 | 7:28 am

    Tom said exactly what I was thinking about release through the blog. You’re staying so strong, Elden, and it’s incredibly admirable. I can do nothing but wish peace for you, Susan, the kids, and all the rest of your family.

  36. Comment by NoTrail | 10.30.2008 | 7:32 am

    To say that I hate cancer, and all it’s done to my family, would be the understatement of the century.

    I can only hope that you continue to find strength during this time in your life.

  37. Comment by NW | 10.30.2008 | 7:33 am

    I am so sorry. Cancer is evil, you’re right.

  38. Comment by Paula Kirsch | 10.30.2008 | 7:37 am

    We hate it too, but through it you have found courage that I am sure you never knew existed within you, We , all of us here, have so much admiration for the fact that you are sharing this with us, thank you…we are here listening…


  39. Comment by Maile in Florida | 10.30.2008 | 7:38 am

    I am so sorry. I’ve now erased five different messages, so I’ll leave it at that for now. Best wishes for more clear moments for Susan.

    With much aloha,

  40. Comment by Patrick | 10.30.2008 | 7:41 am

    I’m so sorry you all have to go through this. I guess you can’t necessarily win every time, but you’re the biggest winners I know of for dealing with this with such courage and grace. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Stay strong.

  41. Comment by Uphill Battle | 10.30.2008 | 7:41 am

    I hate cancer and what it does to its victims and their families. I hate that with all of our American resources and brain power that we haven’t conquered this monster yet. I hate that cancer steals lives, hopes, and dreams.
    Cancer IS evil.
    Cancer IS uncaring.
    Cancer IS malicious
    Yet, its victims rise above, as you and Susan have done.
    Sending you love and peace and prayers for comfort.

  42. Comment by Dutch Girlie On a Bike | 10.30.2008 | 7:45 am

    Words can’t convey what I am feeling for you right now. Cancer IS evil. Remember that — it’s the cancer talking, not your precious Susan. Hugs.

  43. Comment by Jeff | 10.30.2008 | 7:47 am

    +1 to what Mikeonhisbike said:

    “I’m really sorry to hear about this bad turn. I pray that you will receive the guidance that you need to make it through these tough times. Stick close to the Lord and he will let you draft off of him.”

  44. Comment by jt | 10.30.2008 | 7:51 am

    Amen, brother. Peace to you and all your family, Fatty.

  45. Comment by Bryan | 10.30.2008 | 7:51 am

    I wish I had the words to convey the aching sadness that I feel. I cannot imagine how you have the strength to continue, and yet you do. That is remarkable. Your account of these events is one of the most powerful things I have ever read. And while I do not feel worthy to share in such an intimate thing as this, I am compelled to read your words and to try to bear some portion of the burden. Silly, I know, but it’s all I know to do.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  46. Comment by tschmidty | 10.30.2008 | 7:53 am

    I can’t imagine anything more torturous for you to have Susan there but not there, and I hate that this is happening to such a wonderful family. But you are an amazingly strong man and your children are lucky to have such incredible parents.

  47. Comment by Tim E | 10.30.2008 | 7:55 am

    Cancer IS evil. It is the worst kind of parasite. It slips in without notice and feeds on its host. It affects everyone around that host in the worst way. Cancer sucks.

    Eldon, you are awesome, an overused word that absolutely applies: you inspire awe. You are a good man who has to deal with terrible pain, and yet through that pain you remain a good man doing the best that anyone in this situation could possibly do. You affect everyone around you in the best way, even when things are at their worst.

    All of this is just to say, you are there for Susan and the kids, and because of who you are, we (friends and strangers alike) will all be there for you.

  48. Comment by AJ | 10.30.2008 | 7:55 am

    Each and every day I’m amazed by the strength that you, Susan and your family has. I wish I could find the words to express my sadness. I want you to know that my running team is keeping you in their thoughts and prayers and that we are working to find a cure for cancer. You’re right…cancer is evil!

  49. Comment by bobbieh | 10.30.2008 | 7:56 am


  50. Comment by David Schloss | 10.30.2008 | 7:56 am

    I hate it too, for you Elden. I hate cancer, I hate what it does to people. I hate the pain and fear you’re facing. I hate your family torn apart. I hate good people afflicted with something so terrible.

    Next week I’m going for my first platelet donation (I’m O+ so I’m a perfect donor for platelets) since platelets are often used in cancer treatment. I’m going to go for Susan, then I’m going to keep going for her.

    Today I’m giving more money to LiveStrong, while thinking of Susan, and also to Susan Koman, and I’m going to keep doing that as well.

  51. Comment by Red | 10.30.2008 | 7:56 am

    Eldon I can relate to your confusion, frustration and sadness. As the oldest son my mother relied on me as she struggled with cancer. She pleaded with me to do something about the doctors that she was sure were trying to kill her. When I told her I was moving her to another place she was then worried and fretted about the rest of the patients.

    All of this was so real to her.

    It was so painful to watch a loved one go like that and I, like you, didn’t know what to say.

    May the Lord’s peace be with you and your family.

  52. Comment by XCTiger | 10.30.2008 | 7:57 am


    The only thing any of us can do is pray for strength to make it a little further. You are doing an incredible job in an impossible situation. Just know that you and your family continue in my thoughts and prayers.

  53. Comment by TCR Dave (formerly dave) | 10.30.2008 | 7:58 am

    Horrible is good word for your night. Horror being the root word. I am so sorry cancer has taken your wife the way it has. This is just awful. But once again, thank you. Thank you for sharing your strength and dedication to your wife and family in all this. You are a good man.

  54. Comment by Jeff | 10.30.2008 | 7:58 am

    Hi Elden, I’m a pastor (and cyclist) who has been following you for a long time.

    I will send your story out to our church and we will all pray for you and Susan. There are certain situations that humans are not designed to endure, and I’m sorry that you are right smack in the middle of one. I will pray that that you receive a strength beyond yourself and for wisdom and discernment on how to handle Susan and her current state with your children.

    My wife, children, church, and I will be lifting you up in prayer this day.

  55. Comment by Leslie | 10.30.2008 | 8:00 am

    You poor thing. No one should ever have to go through any of this. I hope that writing about your difficult feelings and the yoyo range of emotions you’re going through, is the tiniest bit helpful.

  56. Comment by Bikerchick_Barb | 10.30.2008 | 8:00 am

    Please know that we are all behind you, like the high tide that raises all ships. I hope you will take care of you, so you can continue to be present for everyone else. Much love and peace to Susan.

  57. Comment by JAM | 10.30.2008 | 8:01 am

    I am so sorry for this hell you are going through. May prayers are with you.

  58. Comment by Tina C | 10.30.2008 | 8:01 am

    Elden, I hope you realize that there is a world of people whom you don’t know that think of you and Susan all the time. I’ve been following your blog for some time now and it is heartbreaking that you and Susan are going through this.

    I’m glad you had the chance to “see” Susan again and talk to her. I know you are treasuring those moments. When things are bad, just remember the peacefulness you felt when you were having a great day. I’m praying for you both to have strength and peace.

  59. Comment by CeeCee | 10.30.2008 | 8:07 am

    There really aren’t proper words.
    I’m sorry it’s gotten so bad. Remember to try to take care of yourself, if only for a bit. Maybe a nap.
    Praying for strength and peace for your whole family.

  60. Comment by svandiver | 10.30.2008 | 8:07 am

    Oh, Elden I was hoping it would last longer too. We had a similar experience with my sister. Talking with her during her eight hours of normalcy was so great. I was looking forward to the next eight hours after she woke up and we could do it all over again. But it wasn’t to be. The next days were days filled with what you described above. I am praying for you and your family and for Susan to find some peace. You are right, cancer is just plain evil in what directions it takes. Hang in there and know we are all thinking about you and your situation.

  61. Comment by Susan (another one) | 10.30.2008 | 8:10 am

    Please try and get some sleep for yourself. I know you want to be right there.


  62. Comment by Amy | 10.30.2008 | 8:10 am

    I’m sorry you’re all going through this. Sounds like it might be a good day to do some climbing…hard climbing.

  63. Comment by je | 10.30.2008 | 8:12 am

    I’ve resisted posting replies on any of these recent developments because I really don’t know what to say or how to be of much comfort.

    But I am praying for you, fatty, and I pray that God will embrace you and your children through what can only be a very difficult time.

  64. Comment by Kristi | 10.30.2008 | 8:12 am

    So, so sorry. It is evil. It really is.

    Prayers from Texas,

  65. Comment by Joe | 10.30.2008 | 8:15 am

    Stay Strong she needs you!

    Take Care, peace will come.

  66. Comment by E | 10.30.2008 | 8:16 am

    how terrible.

    i feel for you two.

    love and hope.

  67. Comment by Chris | 10.30.2008 | 8:16 am

    We are just so sorry. Continuing to pray…

    The Ross’

  68. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 10.30.2008 | 8:18 am

    I have no good words to share with you, other than to tell you myself and my family continue to send you our thoughts and continued support through this very trying time.

  69. Comment by Bill Martin | 10.30.2008 | 8:18 am

    Thinking of you today. Some day maybe we can all go on a ride together and remember Susan and all the ways she made life good. Remembering the good things are our only weapon against evil!

  70. Comment by Kathleen | 10.30.2008 | 8:21 am

    No no no. Not fair. Not to Susan. Not to you.

    I hope you have people with you who can help navigate the hospice path. Yours sounds as if it will be particularly challenging.

    Sending hugs and love and good thoughts your way…hoping they bring some relief.

  71. Comment by Pablo Wescobar | 10.30.2008 | 8:25 am


    I am so sorry for all you are going through. As a follower of the blog and thus your life I know one thing for certain. Cancer can not take away the love you have for Susan or the love she has for you. In the end that is all we have as a family, and as cheesy as it sounds it is true, in these instances love can conquer all. No matter what happens with this EVIL illness it will go on.

    Along those lines know that we as a fatcyclist community also love you and your family.

    Thoughts and Prayers daily for you and your amazing family.


  72. Comment by Donald | 10.30.2008 | 8:25 am

    More Prayers and Peaceful thoughts from North Carolina. Don’t let the overwhelmingly evil effects of cancer take away the Susan you know. Try your best to hold on to her smile and her true voice.

  73. Comment by Fat Cathy | 10.30.2008 | 8:26 am

    Strength to you and your family, Eldon.

  74. Comment by chtrich | 10.30.2008 | 8:26 am


  75. Comment by Erik | 10.30.2008 | 8:26 am

    We are with you and your family.

  76. Comment by Rufus | 10.30.2008 | 8:35 am

    Prayers, prayers, prayers for you and your family.

  77. Comment by adam | 10.30.2008 | 8:36 am

    dude, stay strong. we’re thinking about you all.

  78. Comment by ann | 10.30.2008 | 8:36 am

    The best (and it is the BEST) I can do for you from here is pray – so, prayers, prayers, prayers for relief and for strength.

  79. Comment by Aaron | 10.30.2008 | 8:36 am

    Sorry Elden. Nobody should have to ride this rollercoaster you are on. You’re a good man.

  80. Comment by KD | 10.30.2008 | 8:37 am

    My heart aches. Prayers of peace to you, Susan, and the kids.

  81. Comment by Rocky | 10.30.2008 | 8:42 am

    Hate is a strong word that I hesistate to use with any frequency. However, in this case, it is clearly mandatory. I am on the hate wagon with you. And I am so sorry for the hurt.

  82. Comment by Frank | 10.30.2008 | 8:43 am

    Cancer sucks!! Sorry dude!

  83. Comment by James | 10.30.2008 | 8:43 am

    Been there brother. Be strong when you need to and hammer out a lap or punch a wall when you need to let it out.

    You are all in my prayers.

  84. Comment by Alex | 10.30.2008 | 8:45 am

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”

    You are a good man Elden and you are doing all you can. Evil will not triumph. Love and prayers to you and your family.


  85. Comment by A.J | 10.30.2008 | 8:45 am

    My heart aches and I hurt for you. The 20 hours are a gift .
    I hope for more time like that for you and your family.

  86. Comment by Rob | 10.30.2008 | 8:47 am

    I’m so sorry. No one should have to go through this. Thoughts and prayers.

  87. Comment by winner27 | 10.30.2008 | 8:52 am

    Love and prayers to all of you. Although we will never meet, you are my friends and my heart breaks with yours.

  88. Comment by Yvette Z. | 10.30.2008 | 8:53 am

    My prayers for the Nelson family. Prayers for strength, mercy, and peace. -y.

  89. Comment by bikemike | 10.30.2008 | 8:54 am

    We love you, man.

  90. Comment by Jennebelle | 10.30.2008 | 8:56 am

    I HATE it too! It’s a freakin’ bastard that comes in a ruins everything. I hope some day we kill it so it can never ruin anything again!

    Prayers to you and your family.

  91. Comment by judi | 10.30.2008 | 8:56 am

    I hate it too – we’re all here for you buddy. Take care. Stay strong for the kids, and for Susan.

    I don’t know what else to say…..

  92. Comment by Tez | 10.30.2008 | 8:59 am

    It is heart breaking what cancer does.
    Keep strong Elden.

    Take some time for yourself today, your kids and Susan need you to be well! I know it is hard to take time away but believe me it is important. Hop on that bike and clear your mind.


  93. Comment by Bluenoser | 10.30.2008 | 8:59 am

    I’m at a loss for words Elden.


  94. Comment by regina | 10.30.2008 | 9:00 am

    I hate it too. Hug.

  95. Comment by annemarie08 | 10.30.2008 | 9:05 am

    I wish you strength and peace and hope, even when there is none.

    My mom recently shared with me a story about my grandmother, who passed away when I was 7 from cancer (lung, breast, liver, stomach, colon, bone). My Mimi said once that the times that were good were worth the effort and pain that it took to get them. I think that that is about all that we can look for – and I hope that they are true for Susan.

    Prayers, and hugs.

  96. Comment by isela | 10.30.2008 | 9:06 am

    I am sorry Elden. I am sending strength and comfort for you and your family.

  97. Comment by Melanie | 10.30.2008 | 9:08 am

    Elden, Thank you for sharing your feelings and emotions throughout this experience. You have given me priceless insight and every day inpire me to look, really LOOK, at my husband and to be consciously kind, loving, and appreciative of all my loved ones. Sharing your experience has been profound for me, has made me grateful every day for the time I have with my loved ones.

    I wish I could somehow ease the pain and fear you and your family are dealing with. All I can do is hold you all gently in my heart and pray for your comfort.

  98. Comment by Sue | 10.30.2008 | 9:09 am

    Words fail me right now, I’m praying for you and your family …

  99. Comment by Asthmagirl | 10.30.2008 | 9:13 am

    I can’t imagine anything worse…
    My heart goes out to you and your family.

  100. Comment by Robb | 10.30.2008 | 9:17 am

    Cancer is the most evil disease I’ve encountered. My heart goes out to you and the whole Nelson Family.

  101. Comment by VeloMom | 10.30.2008 | 9:19 am

    I’m so sorry about what’s happening. I know it’s little comfort when things aren’t going the way they should, but you’re doing more than is humanly possible! Wishing you, Susan, and your kids peace.

  102. Comment by fremont mike | 10.30.2008 | 9:19 am


    Prayers for Susan,you, and family.

    I to have no words.

    I’m hating it with you.

    Peace to you and family,


  103. Comment by patty | 10.30.2008 | 9:21 am

    I am at a loss for words, fatty. My heart aches for you and your family. please take care of yourself, too…. continued prayers, love and hugs to the Nelson family.

  104. Comment by Emy | 10.30.2008 | 9:22 am

    I am so desperately sorry that you are going through this. I am at a loss for words but continue to pray mightily for you and your family. Hold strong, Elden.

  105. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 10.30.2008 | 9:22 am

    Keep Hope alive!!!

  106. Comment by CORoadRage | 10.30.2008 | 9:24 am

    Your blog has brought so many smirks and smiles and gales of laughter to my days I wish there was something, anything, one thing I could do to help ease your burdens. I’m, we’re all, listening, and praying and hoping…

  107. Comment by CovingtonKat | 10.30.2008 | 9:24 am

    Fatty – I’m even more glad for you now than I was yesterday – that you had the chance to have that EXTRA ordinary day with Susan and your family. We all wanted that so much for you. I can’t even begin to imagine what last night must have been like for you and Susan. I hope your writing is as cathartic for you as it is inspiring to us. You touch my heart…
    Sending positive thoughts, hopes for peace, and lots of love,

  108. Comment by run-girl-run | 10.30.2008 | 9:28 am

    LiveStrong, Eldon.
    Hold Susan.
    Be there for your kids when you have the strength.
    Hug your mom, she probably hates watching you go through this as much as Susan.
    Cry when you need to.
    F Cancer.

  109. Comment by whumpus | 10.30.2008 | 9:28 am

    Stay strong. There are so many people here who love and support you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Susan, and the kids.

  110. Comment by Maddy | 10.30.2008 | 9:32 am

    Dearest Elden,
    No matter how distressing your posts must be to write, the overwhelming love you have for Susan and she for you rings out like a beautiful and sonorous bell, clear above all the pain and fear. No one who has heard this clarion tone will ever forget it.
    My deepest respect and my very best wishes to you, Susan, and your family.

  111. Comment by Charisa | 10.30.2008 | 9:34 am

    Your ability to share what you feel is amazing. I hate the cancer for you. I wish I could take it all away.

  112. Comment by abi | 10.30.2008 | 9:35 am

    I’m so sorry :/

  113. Comment by Carolyn Online | 10.30.2008 | 9:37 am

    It is evil. And heartless. And I’m so sorry for you.

  114. Comment by Kathi | 10.30.2008 | 9:41 am

    I lost my husband to the side effects of cancer treatment three years ago. My thoughts are with you. Please know that there are others out there who have ridden this same road.

    If you ever need more support or advice on how to support Susan, the Young Widow’s Bulletin Board is a great place to start.

  115. Comment by Bravo Delta | 10.30.2008 | 9:53 am

    F*CK Cancer… Oh and..

    we love you Fatty. Thanks for being an example for us all…

  116. Comment by Kris | 10.30.2008 | 9:53 am

    Hate it….

  117. Comment by Jaden | 10.30.2008 | 9:53 am

    You are an incredibly strong person to do all you have done and continue to do to help your wife. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  118. Comment by Al Maviva | 10.30.2008 | 9:54 am

    Hang in there Elden.

  119. Comment by Hillphobic | 10.30.2008 | 9:56 am

    My heart is sore – I feel so very, very sad for you, Susan and your family.

    You are a good man, Elden – a good friend, a good father and a good husband. You are also a strong man who has a terrible ordeal ahead. Please marshal that strength carefully, lean on your core friends and greater family, and shepherd your wonderful little family carefully through the days ahead.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you from half a world away.

  120. Comment by montanapat | 10.30.2008 | 9:57 am

    I am so sorry. My thoughts go out to you and your family. Livestrong.

  121. Comment by KeepYerBag | 10.30.2008 | 9:58 am

    Cancer has sufficiently earned your hatred, Elden.

    It really pains me to be in a position where I cannot be of more help. We continue to pray for Susan, for you and your children, and everyone who is lending you their support.

    - weep -

  122. Comment by Aunt Mary | 10.30.2008 | 10:01 am

    God Bless you and grant you the strength. We are all here with you to support you and your family.
    Love to all
    Aunt Mary

  123. Comment by geckonia | 10.30.2008 | 10:02 am

    What an awful thing to go through. I’m just heartbroken for you and your family.

  124. Comment by Wine Dog | 10.30.2008 | 10:04 am

    I hate it too. I’m so sorry.

  125. Comment by gregc | 10.30.2008 | 10:06 am

    Eldon, your words are chilling and bring overwhelming emotions. I cant imagine how hard this is to share- thank you for trying. Be strong, this is the biggest mountain you have ever climbied and you cant stop for anything. Be strong, Susan and the kids need you now more than ever.
    Win Susan

  126. Comment by David | 10.30.2008 | 10:12 am

    I know no words to express my sentiments, but know that everyone who knows how evil cancer can be is in your corner. Give her a hug from us.

  127. Comment by Wonderdyke | 10.30.2008 | 10:14 am

    Elden – I’m really sorry – that’s got to be awful for you. Bottom line – deep down inside her, Susan knows you’re there. Please take care of yourself in this, too.


  128. Comment by KTBee | 10.30.2008 | 10:16 am

    Hoping and praying for you during this challenging time in your life. Peace and comfort to Susan, rest and hugs for you, and much love to your children and family.

    You are so brave for sharing your life, and we are so blessed to witness your strength, courage, and love for your family. Thank you.

  129. Comment by Medstudentitis | 10.30.2008 | 10:16 am

    I’m right there with you hating it. I hope that you are able to find the medication it takes to make her more comfortable.

  130. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 10.30.2008 | 10:20 am

    It is evil, Elden, with a capital E. Hang tough bro.

  131. Comment by rita | 10.30.2008 | 10:24 am

    Yes, completely evil and completely violent. Totally hate it.

    If only our love could take away all the horror and restore peace and comfort, we’d somehow find the way to love and wish and pray even harder for your Susan and the entire family circle. Susan has loved well, and her light will be forever reflected by those in her embrace, even as you all will be warmed by it.

    We are with you through these hours.

  132. Comment by SteveW | 10.30.2008 | 10:32 am

    Fatty, I’m humbled by your ability to share your story under these circumstances. You’re fighting the good fight, and will remain in our prayers.

  133. Comment by GenghisKhan | 10.30.2008 | 10:32 am

    I’m sorry for your terrible night, but I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share.

    I support the book idea–cathartic for you, inspirational for others.


  134. Comment by Jenni | 10.30.2008 | 10:34 am

    Go for a ride- let it out.

  135. Comment by Shannon | 10.30.2008 | 10:34 am

    I hate it too.

  136. Comment by Philly Jen | 10.30.2008 | 10:34 am

    Oh, man, I am so sorry.

    It wasn’t Susan that was yelling at you — it was the cancer. So feel free to tell it where it can @#*&^! go.

    And please, don’t berate yourself for your “foolish” hopes. In love, we are all foolish…until we are right. You’ve been right for more than twenty years, and nothing is ever going to change that.

    Wishing you rest and peace.

  137. Comment by Sandy B | 10.30.2008 | 10:43 am

    While you are bearing the horrible brunt of all of this please know that we are with you. I wish I knew you and Susan personally, but I don’t. I wish I could be of help to you and your family, but I can’t. The only thing I can do is hold you all in my heart and try to put that out there to the universe.

  138. Comment by Kellie | 10.30.2008 | 10:45 am

    Take a deep breath and try to get some rest. I’m sorry for the night you experienced, and you know in your heart it wasn’t your Susan saying/doing those things. I’m glad you got the opportunity of a beautiful day and to say everything you wanted to say one more time. I have a feeling she already knew it, but good for you for saying it again. Let hospice help you with this ordeal – they are truly angels on earth. Take care of *yourself*. Thinking of you and your family and sending a prayer your way.

  139. Comment by FliesOnly | 10.30.2008 | 10:45 am

    Fatty…nothing…there’s just absolutely nothing to say.

  140. Comment by Jim | 10.30.2008 | 10:48 am

    You, Susan, & the kids are in my prayers every day.

  141. Comment by Caren | 10.30.2008 | 10:51 am

    CANCER SO DEFINITELY SUCKS! The Susan who can’t sleep, who is hallucinating,who is yelling…that isn’t your Susan! That is the cancer in Susan.

    I found this card that I’ve kept and refer to often.

    COURAGE…There is deep within you, whatever you need to take on this challenge and somehow succeed. Believe in yourself and in what you can do. Step out and be strong!

    I wish that my reading your post and the FC team posts translated into being able to take on part of this burden you have to carry right now. I know I am not in alone in that wish!

    Believe and LIVEStrong!

  142. Comment by Julie | 10.30.2008 | 10:52 am

    Just want you to know – I care, and this matters to me, even though you and Susan are strangers to me in real life, you’re dear to me nonetheless.

  143. Comment by Susie | 10.30.2008 | 11:01 am

    so, so sorry…

  144. Comment by adp | 10.30.2008 | 11:07 am

    We’re praying for you.

  145. Comment by Sarah | 10.30.2008 | 11:09 am

    Thank you for letting us “walk” with you through this. Thank you for letting us keep vigil. I continue to pray for peace – for Susan, for you and your kids.

  146. Comment by ricky | 10.30.2008 | 11:09 am

    thinking about you and praying for you.

  147. Comment by rexinsea | 10.30.2008 | 11:11 am

    Cancer is indeed evil. I continue to pray for you and your family. Stay as strong as you can and thank you for sharing.

  148. Comment by rose | 10.30.2008 | 11:12 am

    I don’t know either of you except from this blog, but I know this pain, and it is evil. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless in the face of a loved one’s struggle. I continue to pray for peace for all of you

  149. Comment by Nosnow2ski | 10.30.2008 | 11:27 am


    Delurking here…words often fail at times like this, but here I go. Without a doubt, cancer is evil. As you and Susan and the kids face the uncertainity each day brings, know that your friends, known and unknown (in my case), across the country and around the world are praying for all y’all (it’s the plural of y’all). We will help carry this burden with you. I’m not a fan of the poem about footsteps in the sand, but consider us, your friends, more like the guys in verizon commercial. We can’t take your place, but we’re behind you all the way.


  150. Comment by Adventure Nell | 10.30.2008 | 11:28 am

    More prayers, love and support from Victoria, Canada. We weep with you.

    WIN Nelsons Family

  151. Comment by Daniel Berlinger | 10.30.2008 | 11:28 am

    “I remember that time you told me
    Love is touching souls
    Surely you touched mine
    Part of you pours out of me
    In these lines from time to time”

    –Joni Mitchell, A Case of You

    Our hearts and prayers are with you, Susan, and the entire Nelson family.

    Noah, Lisa, & Daniel

  152. Comment by ellen | 10.30.2008 | 11:32 am

    We all hate it with you.

    thoughts and prayers.

  153. Comment by monkeywebb | 10.30.2008 | 11:33 am

    My wife has officially put cancer (Susan’s in particular) on her “to beat up” list. Look out.

  154. Comment by Terri | 10.30.2008 | 11:43 am

    Cancer is evil and it must be stopped.

  155. Comment by dido | 10.30.2008 | 11:49 am

    Sending more prayers your way…

    Keep hoping, Elden. It’s definitely not foolish; that’s what keeps us going.

    Also, amen to MikeonhisBike. Don’t lose His wheel. The Lord will shelter you from this storm.

  156. Comment by MAJ Mike | 10.30.2008 | 11:50 am

    We hate it, too.

  157. Comment by Brewinman | 10.30.2008 | 11:57 am

    I’m right there with you brother. Cancer SUCKS!
    Stay Strong, we all know you can.


  158. Comment by Jer | 10.30.2008 | 12:00 pm

    Cancer is pure evil, it ranks up there with Alzheimers as far as I’m concerned. you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  159. Comment by redemske | 10.30.2008 | 12:07 pm

    Venga venga venga!
    Allez allez allez!
    Up up up!

  160. Comment by Mike Roadie | 10.30.2008 | 12:10 pm

    Hate is a bad word, and one so befitting such an evil and insidious disease. Hate it, we will….as we fight it; fight it from affecting those we all love so dearly.
    If the opposite of hate is love, then that is what you can do–and I know it is what you will do–just love Susan; unconditionally and uncontrollably, and forever…..


  161. Comment by Danny | 10.30.2008 | 12:19 pm

    You know you have all of our thoughts and prays are with you. It seems that everything else seems so trivial at a time like this. Livestrong

  162. Comment by Paige | 10.30.2008 | 12:21 pm

    Rather than sit and struggle searching for the right words I’ll let one on my favorite songs do it for me:

    “Show the Way” by David Wilcox

    You say you see no hope
    You say you see no reason we should dream
    That the world would ever change
    You’re saying love is foolish to believe
    ‘Cause there’ll always be some crazy
    With an army or a knife
    To wake you from your daydream
    Put the fear back in your life

    Look…If someone wrote a play
    Just to glorify what’s stronger than hate
    Would they not arrange the stage
    To look as if the hero came too late?
    He’s almost in defeat
    It’s looking like the evil side will win
    So on the edge of every seat
    From the moment that the whole thing begins

    (…and here’s my favorite part!)

    It is love who mixed the mortar
    And it’s love who stacked these stones
    And it’s love who made the stage here
    Although it looks like we’re alone
    In this scene, set in shadows,
    Like the night is here to stay
    There is evil cast around us
    But it’s love that wrote the play
    For in this darkness love can show the way

    So now the stage is set
    You can feel your own heart beating in your chest
    This life’s not over yet
    So we get up on our feet and do our best
    We play against the fear
    We play against the reasons not to try
    We’re playing for the tears
    Burning in the happy angel’s eyes

    For it’s love who mixed the mortar
    And it’s love who stacked these stones
    And it’s love who made the stage here
    Although it looks like we’re alone
    In this scene, set in shadows,
    Like the night is here to stay
    There is evil cast around us
    But it’s love that wrote the play
    For in this darkness love will show the way

    What an inspiration it has been to watch (translation: I’m a lurker of the worst kind!) you and Susan living out this play over the last several months, and what courage and hope it gives me to know that your love will see you through this darkest of nights and show you the way to the light of day.

    Peace be with all of you,

    Paige in Georgia

  163. Comment by erin | 10.30.2008 | 12:33 pm

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  164. Comment by leenie | 10.30.2008 | 12:37 pm

    sending thoughts and prayers against the evil.

  165. Comment by Matt | 10.30.2008 | 12:46 pm


    Romans 12:9
    “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

    You are showing the most sincere love that a husband can! You’re right, cancer is a very physical form of evil. I wish we could all do more.

    Continued prayers from Cleveland.
    – Matt

  166. Comment by Christopher | 10.30.2008 | 12:52 pm

    I dunno what to say. Love from our family to yours. We are thinking of all of you.

  167. Comment by Sprocketboy | 10.30.2008 | 12:54 pm

    Think only of the good times. They are the memories that must last. It is so hard to move forward but when all the weight comes down, nwanted and unjustly, we find the inner strength to meet our obligations and push onward through life. Elden, you are a kind and honorable person and we are all thinking of Susan, you and your family.

  168. Comment by Andy | 10.30.2008 | 12:56 pm

    Of course, thoughts and prayers. Take solace in that you and your family serve as inspiration for all of us. Thanks for sharing what you are going with.

  169. Comment by eugie | 10.30.2008 | 12:57 pm

    We hate it too. I’m sure this is unbearable, and we are so sorry for that. Thanks for sharing and letting us be apart of this. Though we never met we feel love for you guys and hope things were different.

    Eugie and Seth

  170. Comment by Leigh | 10.30.2008 | 1:09 pm

    So, so sorry Fatty. Still praying. Still thinking about your family.

  171. Comment by Richard | 10.30.2008 | 1:13 pm

    I wish there were more we could do.

  172. Comment by Clydesteve | 10.30.2008 | 1:18 pm

    Romans 12:9 Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good.

    Hate is just exactly what is called for, for cancer. Keep it up. And keep loving Susan.



  173. Comment by Tracy (Oklahoma) | 10.30.2008 | 1:19 pm

    I am angry for you. So very sorry…words are not enough, so I won’t even try. God Bless each of you. How my heart aches for all of you.

  174. Comment by Sassy | 10.30.2008 | 1:29 pm

    I believe I have only commented on your blog 2 or 3 times, though I have been reading since 2006. Now when I check for updates my eyes tear up and the lump forms in my throat for you and your family. I feel as if I know you, and my heart aches for what this disease is putting all of you through. I have no words that will really matter, I just wanted to let you know that there is just one more stranger that cares. You are an amazingly strong person, and following your life has made me a stronger person as well. Thank you and god bless.

  175. Comment by Big Boned | 10.30.2008 | 1:29 pm

    Still praying here in Virginia. 2:01 pm (and every evening). Be relentless in your strength.

  176. Comment by BamaJim | 10.30.2008 | 1:31 pm

    I am heartbroken for you. Praying for God’s peace, strength, and love to cover your family.

  177. Comment by bikesgonewild | 10.30.2008 | 1:38 pm

    …there is great strength & beauty in your whole family despite what you’re forced to endure…

  178. Comment by Debi | 10.30.2008 | 1:42 pm

    I recently married a man who lost his first wife at the terribly young age of 32 to brain cancer. She had fought through this for 8 years before it finally got her. He has told me about the times when they went through what I believe you’re going through now. My heart breaks to read your words. I think I’m finally realizing what this wonderful man and their 2 daughters went through. I only hope it makes me a better wife and stepmom.

    I am so sorry you have to go through this, but you are not alone. You have, many many people thinking of you daily, hourly, and praying for all of you. And you are touching all of us.

  179. Comment by Linda in Boston | 10.30.2008 | 1:47 pm

    Having been through it with my Mom, I’ll just say that my heart aches for all of you.

    Sending lots of prayers your way.

  180. Comment by Kyle | 10.30.2008 | 2:06 pm

    Stay strong!! Prayers for you and your family.

  181. Comment by Kevin | 10.30.2008 | 2:07 pm

    I don’t really know what to say, but I feel like I need to say something. Even though I’ve never met you, from reading your blog I feel like you and your family are all friends. Having been close to cancer in the past, I know that cancer is truly evil. You are not alone in your struggle.

  182. Comment by Paul Franceus | 10.30.2008 | 2:15 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you and your family, my brother.


  183. Comment by Hillary K. | 10.30.2008 | 2:16 pm

    Oh Eldon. I’m so sorry. I wish as so many others that there was some way to take all this pain away from you. There are so many people who care about you and your family lean on them for help. I’m here in the valley too and I’ve been trying to think of any way to help. For now know that many many people care and are so sorry. You’re never alone.

  184. Comment by Harry H | 10.30.2008 | 2:29 pm

    Cancer is EVIL. I’m keeping you and your family in my thoughts and hope you get more days of clarity with Susan.

  185. Comment by mo | 10.30.2008 | 2:52 pm

    “IT” has no friends here… And someday we WILL kick its ass for good. Fatty, I’m so sorry it may have won this time. But with each life it claims, it brings its own end closer. By causing us to unite against it and fight it to the finish. WE WILL WIN!!!! – LIVESTRONG

    You, Susan and the kids are in my prayers – may God’s peace be with you.

  186. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 10.30.2008 | 3:01 pm

    As always we wish you well and hope Susan’s health improves. Reading your words is like reliving what my mother went through. You are dead right, Cancer is evil. All I can do now is give as much as I can to cancer research so that a cure can be found so that other families don’t have to go through this as well.

  187. Comment by RJ | 10.30.2008 | 3:05 pm

    I lost my beloved sister in exactly this way. I am so sorry for you and your family.


  188. Comment by Faye | 10.30.2008 | 3:12 pm

    My heart is breaking for you and your family. I wish there were some way that all of us out here could absorb some of your pain. You’re a hero, Elden, to your wife, to your children, and to your army of friends. It probably doesn’t help you any to read that, but it helps me a little to type it.

  189. Comment by Falstaff | 10.30.2008 | 3:13 pm

    Someday, in years to come, you’ll be able to point to this blog and all the good you’ve done for others in Susan’s name as she’s gone through this fight. Someday there will be a cure and all this will have meant something. Someday you’ll know that you helped a lot of other people deal with their own pain.

    Right now I’ll offer up a little prayer to lend you the strength of everybody that stops by here as you go through this. I wish I had words to help, but all I can say is that I’m sorry and I hope you can eventually forget the nights like last night and remember the good times.

  190. Comment by Maria | 10.30.2008 | 3:20 pm

    I just don’t know what I could possible say to offer any encouragement, Elden, except that I’m so very sorry you all are having to go through this. As many have said here, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  191. Comment by Renee | 10.30.2008 | 3:21 pm

    I am praying for you and your family right now and hoping that you get a few more bright spots and as much peace as possible. You and Susan have been such an inspiration and as hard as I am sure as it has been, I appreciate you sharing your life with us.

  192. Comment by siobhandee | 10.30.2008 | 3:23 pm


    All I can say is that the love, goodness and compassion of you and your family comes through in every post. Hope some of it flows back the other way to you all.

    Siobhan in Toronto

  193. Comment by Rachael | 10.30.2008 | 3:30 pm

    Call your hospice nurse (or the on-call) as often as you want. I can’t emphasize how great they are on the phone when they can’t be with you. Page them every ten minutes if you need to. Talk to them even if you don’t need medicine advice — call to tell them you’re freaking out or too sad or anything. I took my mom through hospice this year, and she went into the same lost, awful, terrible place (she thought was in Antarctica a lot, and couldn’t get home and no one would find her, or she was in jail because she’d done something terrible) and my sweet happy mother cried in fear all the time. It was the worst fucking thing ever. But the drugs finally got right and kept her mind calmed and it worked out okay if you can call dying in peace (really) okay. But goddammit, it sucks ass. Call the nurse! We’ll be thinking of you.

  194. Comment by Andy | 10.30.2008 | 3:38 pm

    We are praying for you.

  195. Comment by Cat | 10.30.2008 | 3:44 pm

    Delurking to say-Susan is a lucky lucky woman to have someone who loves her so deeply, dearly and completely.

    I hope if it ever happens to me, my husband is as strong as you. Or I’m as strong for him.

  196. Comment by Jennifer | 10.30.2008 | 3:49 pm

    I’m so sorry Elden. Cancer is evil, it’s horrible, and I hate it too. Sending peace and love to you, Susan and your family.

  197. Comment by Kristen | 10.30.2008 | 3:52 pm

    Your love has spilled over on to so many and I wish there was something we (all your readers) could do to help in return. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  198. Comment by Vito | 10.30.2008 | 3:57 pm

    At this point Elden, I don’t even know what to say that would make any difference. Your sharing of Susan’s struggle with this insidious disease is painful yet it makes us all aware of how much more needs to be done.

    I know that there is nothing I can say to ease the pain that Susan, yourself, and your family is experiencing.

    Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    God Bless, hang in there, and know that many of us continue to pray.

  199. Comment by Jenn @ Juggling Life | 10.30.2008 | 4:01 pm

    I am sorry to hear this but not suprised, having been in your spot 3 times (though never with my spouse which I know is a special type of hell). Talk to the hospice people about the morphine. It is there to keep her from having to live her final days in pain and terror.

    You do not know me, nor I you, but I hold your family in my heart every day.

  200. Comment by Jeff&Jenn | 10.30.2008 | 4:02 pm

    We’re praying for you. Please take care of yourself too.

  201. Comment by Joe Elswick | 10.30.2008 | 4:16 pm

    Stay strong my friend.

  202. Comment by Kt | 10.30.2008 | 4:24 pm

    I checked in, and you already had 201 comments.

    I thought to myself, that’s eerie. 201.

    Elden, hang in there. We’re with you.

    Susan, we’re with you, too.

  203. Comment by cheapie | 10.30.2008 | 4:25 pm

    that’s why i hate cancer so much. like heart disease, can take a person away but causes so much more pain. and when it takes a while, it causes even more pain…both physical and emotional.

  204. Comment by Me | 10.30.2008 | 4:31 pm

    There are no words we can say to help you now. Just remember, we’re all with you.

  205. Comment by dbean | 10.30.2008 | 4:46 pm

    Wishing you and your family at least a little bit of peace in these desperate times.

  206. Comment by AlicesYellowPorsche | 10.30.2008 | 4:54 pm

    i’m so sorry

  207. Comment by Anita Doberman | 10.30.2008 | 4:56 pm

    So so sorry – hope that you guys can hang in there ….lots of love from all of us….

  208. Comment by Andy | 10.30.2008 | 5:05 pm

    My thoughts and Prayers are with you Fatty. I am so sorry that such a great family has to go through this.

  209. Comment by hoggy | 10.30.2008 | 5:05 pm

    On behalf of my family (who dont read cycling blogs) and my 80+ member cycling group) we wish you all the strength and support we can muster, we collectively hate cancer as well.

  210. Comment by Heatherann | 10.30.2008 | 5:13 pm

    It is evil. You have every right in the world to feel and know that.
    I am so sorry that this is happening.
    You still have my prayers.
    Thank you for being so brave and open about your feeling and experiences.
    God bless you and your family.

  211. Comment by Charlie | 10.30.2008 | 5:15 pm

    Wow – in her suffering, she is convinced she has wounded your chest – deep down inside she realizes how much pain the cancer is causing you, literally stabbing you in the heart as it attacks her.

    Hang in there!

  212. Comment by suziburns | 10.30.2008 | 5:23 pm

    People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when it is sunny and bright, but when the sun goes down, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. You are an example of that, Eldon. Your inner strength and “light from within” is shining through, whether you think it is or not. Your kids , and Susan, are benefitting from it. Be strong,but take time for yourself when you need it, and know that you are all being prayed for by the Burns family in Washington, DC.

  213. Comment by Steve | 10.30.2008 | 5:42 pm

    I hate it too, Elden.

  214. Comment by FishrCutB8 | 10.30.2008 | 5:44 pm

    I wish there were words for moments like this, but I have come to realize the wisdom of silence. You will be in my thoughts, and in my prayers.

    Godspeed to you and your family.

  215. Comment by Dana | 10.30.2008 | 5:50 pm

    I urge you to write a book so others will fully understand this horrific disease. Although I would have never been able to describe what happened with my father during the days just before he entered hospice, the similarities stun me. As his cancer progressed, I searched for this information so that I could be prepared, but came up empty.

    As others have said, you are a remarkable man. Your family is so lucky to have you, and the rest of us only hope that we could be so strong and loving.

  216. Comment by Robin | 10.30.2008 | 5:53 pm

    found you on reverbs blog…I have no words. I am praying though.

  217. Comment by Mary Danielsen | 10.30.2008 | 5:56 pm

    My prayers are with you man. Cancer may have your wife for a little while, but she is and always will be your beautiful wife. I wish you all strength and peace.

    This is why we fight the fight through organizations like the Lance Armstrong Foundation. There must be a better way to live than a life with cancer. We work hard today for your tomorrow.

    Until then Godspeed and please say the things to your wife that she needs to hear. She really will hear you.

  218. Comment by Sara | 10.30.2008 | 6:04 pm

    my thoughts and prayers are still flying your way, every day, non stop.
    My heart is broken that you, and especially Susan, and your family, have to suffer for this, don’t know what to say expect that I’m pulling for for you, and I still hope things to turn around….
    Why bad things happen to good people? Unfair!

  219. Comment by Mark | 10.30.2008 | 6:10 pm

    I’m so sorry. I wish there were better words I could use to say how sorry I am to read about what you’ve been going through. Nobody should have to go through that. But Susan and the kids are so lucky to have you there for them and you are doing everything you can for all of them.

    Our thoughts are with you, all the best to you and your family. Take care.

  220. Comment by hana | 10.30.2008 | 6:36 pm

    I hate it too!

    Praying for wisdom and love for your family!
    Praying for good friends, family and hospice staff!

  221. Comment by Alison Veres | 10.30.2008 | 6:38 pm

    Hi Elden — (can’t call you ‘Fatty’ when you have a name as excellent as Elden. Props to your mom and dad for giving you such a cool name)
    First time visitor to your website. Damn! I was reading Maggie over at and looking at the comments on her last post. Which led me to who mentioned your site at fatcyclist. I’m a fat hockey player — so I thought — cool! fat guy riding a bike! and I’m a fat girl– on skates! This could be fun! And then I read the post. And a couple of others. And here’s the picture I get:
    Beautiful family. Love and strength. Breast cancer. Physical suffering, emotional suffering. Writing from the heart. Love and strength. Life, Death, Gratitude. Love and strength. Pain.
    Oh man. Not what I was bargaining for! And, probably, not what you were bargaining for either. Here is what your writing made me think about:
    Life is a gift.
    Death is a gift.
    Gratitude is the ribbon on the box that contains that contains those two gifts.
    I don’t imagine I will ever meet you, or look into your eyes. I don’t imagine I will ever meet Susan, or hold her hand. But in my mind, I am doing both of those things right now.

  222. Comment by Jenn | 10.30.2008 | 6:38 pm

    It must seem so hollow at this time, but I wanted to say how much I am appreciate reading about this very personal and terribly sad time in your life. Your words communicate your experience so sharply and I so want to comfort you but I know I can’t. Your experiences help me remember that cancer could befall ANYONE and I must be grateful for my health and the general well-being of my family.

    My heart breaks for you and I hope that you can find peace.

  223. Comment by Mir | 10.30.2008 | 6:47 pm


    I am fairly new to your blog and have a request. I have seen pictures of you, and your beautiful little girls, but not Susan. Would you mind putting up a few pictures, so we have a face to go with the name when we’re praying for her? Not Susan now, but the Susan you’d like for us to remember when we hear the name.

    Our prayers and tears are coming at you from Georgia. We’ll be praying for many, many more lucid hours for you and your family with what must be an extraordinary woman.

  224. Comment by elise | 10.30.2008 | 6:54 pm

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

    May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

    May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  225. Comment by Don | 10.30.2008 | 7:05 pm

    Its surely is evil…
    Be strong…
    The Lord will watch over you…
    Continued prayers from me and my family in Cleveland.

  226. Comment by L'hippo | 10.30.2008 | 7:17 pm

    Peace. Love.

  227. Comment by Anna Murphey | 10.30.2008 | 7:19 pm

    I hate this. I hate it so much. I keep praying for a miracle. This isn’t fair. Not at all. I am sending my prayers and thoughts towards yall.


  228. Comment by Rob L | 10.30.2008 | 7:20 pm

    Even now 12 hours after reading this I still don’t have the words I want to say. I’m passing every positive thought and wish on for you all is the best I can do for now.

  229. Comment by anon | 10.30.2008 | 7:20 pm


  230. Comment by Jamie in Maryland | 10.30.2008 | 7:21 pm

    All I can say is ‘I am thinking of your family’.

  231. Comment by scottmorrison99 | 10.30.2008 | 7:25 pm

    I’m still praying for you and your family.

  232. Comment by Debamundo | 10.30.2008 | 7:28 pm

    Thank you for the advice yesterday. I took it. I wish I had something for you. I am thinking of you and Susan and your children every minute of every day.

  233. Comment by Jodi | 10.30.2008 | 7:32 pm

    Mir –

    If you click on the “About Fatty” Tab, you can see a goofy picture of fatty. Then scroll down and you can see the whole family, including Susan.

    That picture is not from that long ago, but it is Susan. Happy. Awesome.

  234. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 10.30.2008 | 7:34 pm

    Said a prayer for you today.

  235. Comment by Sue | 10.30.2008 | 8:14 pm

    I am so, so sorry for what you’re going through. You, Susan, and the rest of your family are in my prayers.

  236. Comment by Parker in Austin | 10.30.2008 | 8:20 pm

    I HATE IT, TOO. You are both the definition of courage and you will find peace. Praying for you all.

  237. Comment by Jennifer | 10.30.2008 | 8:27 pm

    There is love in every moment, even the ones that are completely whacked.

    I wish I could share my experience with you, but it is just impossible. I will share the love instead, with prayers and good thoughts for all of you. And a small practical detail: ativan (lorazepam) lotion is a nice thing. Our hospice nurse taught us to apply ativan in a lotion base (with something that drove it through the skin, I’m sorry but I don’t remember what it was) to the thin skin of the inner arm, and then wrap the arm in saran wrap. The ativan took the edge off the agitated nightmare-ish stuff. The lotion delivery-mode is gentle and unobtrusive.

    Please remember that there is love. Always. Even when the body communicates something else. The cancer may be talking and acting, but the soul is loving even during those moments it can’t get through to you.

    We are all here. Call on us when you need us.

  238. Comment by Dana | 10.30.2008 | 8:38 pm

    Cancer is unjust, unfair, and evil…it is difficult on those of us who go through it but far more difficult for those who love and support us through it no matter what, not quite knowing just what to do but yet never giving up, never not loving. I wish I could take away your pain, Susan’s pain, and the pain your kids have and will endure. Your posts say a lot about your love for Susan and for your family and her love for all of you! Despite everything she feels you there, she knows you are there for her and she greatly loves you…

  239. Comment by Mark | 10.30.2008 | 9:03 pm

    Hate is a powerful word that I try not to use.

    Having said that, I hate cancer, too. Hate it.

    My thoughts are with you and your family, Fatty.


  240. Comment by crazycanuckoz | 10.30.2008 | 9:33 pm


    I’ve never had a loved one go through anything like Susan has. I’m so glad she has you to support her through the bad times. You certainly seem like an amazing man.

    May you and your family cherish Susan for as long as you can.

    Take care of yourself.

  241. Comment by Kyddryn | 10.30.2008 | 9:46 pm

    I hope that she returns to herself again, and somehow, some way, manages to remain herself.

    Normally, I don’t bother with hate…but like you, I hate cancer.

    I wish cancer was a reflection of the evil inside a person, and not some random bastard of a disease that makes a body devour itself for no particular reason, with no thought for the devastation it causes.

    I think of you, of Susan, and of your children daily, and continually hope that the good moments outweigh the bad.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  242. Comment by Jeannine | 10.30.2008 | 9:48 pm

    Oh Fatty, Elden, I’m so sorry. Though we’ve never met, I wish like anything there was something I could do to help.

  243. Comment by Nancy | 10.30.2008 | 9:50 pm

    I know this sounds crazy but rest.
    I know you can’t stop your brain from running and because you can stop it you try to do everything and something just because you have too.

    But please rest. Have someone give you hugs you won’t believe how much just the physical contact helps.

    In my prayers always.

  244. Comment by Becky | 10.30.2008 | 9:52 pm

    Hate it.

  245. Comment by Glenda | 10.30.2008 | 10:02 pm

    LOVE and PEACE Nelson family…you are always in our thoughts…..

  246. Comment by Scott Swimmer | 10.30.2008 | 10:25 pm

    So sorry you and yours are having to deal with this.

    I know you are living a nightmare right now but you are touching many and the good from this evil is manifesting. You have asked us to express the love we feel, now. I embraced my wife and sons and shared your story. Tears and love flow.

    Understandably, this may be the last thing on your mind but music works for many and helps on many levels … maybe it will help Susan maintain calm and soothe her (and you).

    Something familiar or that connects to pleasant times (Beatles, Talking Heads, Bob Marley…) or simple percussion (Afro, Latin, Indian…)

    Keep breathing Fatty; breath deep.

    I hold you all in my heart,


  247. Comment by Tony | 10.30.2008 | 10:28 pm

    Having hope is never a bad thing. Our thoughts are with you Fatty.

  248. Comment by C-Fiddy | 10.30.2008 | 10:59 pm

    Praying for you, brother. You are a blessing to Susan, your family, and your readers. Keep it real, we all love you and wish there was more we could do for you.

  249. Comment by Pinkbike | 10.30.2008 | 11:40 pm

    The prayers continue for you and Susan. We’re praying for peace for you both.

  250. Comment by Par | 10.30.2008 | 11:53 pm

    The eternity you crossed last night–with but without Susan–must have been unutterably lonely. I went there with my mom. You can’t always know that you are doing the right thing in the moment, but KNOW that you do right by Susan and the kids by showing them how one loves.

    I hope you can pace yourself, too. Can hospice cover while you go for a short ride, or do something normal with the kids? Blog your heart out. It does you good, and inspires the rest of us.

  251. Comment by GG | 10.30.2008 | 11:54 pm

    I recently lost my wonderful husband to brain tumours, and can see many parallels with your harrowing story.

    Those who say there is a silver lining are wrong, nothing could compensate for the pain of a loved one.

    However, there is peace behind and ahead of us, where joy banishes despair.

    Love to you all.

  252. Comment by Evan | 10.30.2008 | 11:57 pm

    Love now, more than ever.

  253. Comment by victoria | 10.31.2008 | 12:15 am

    Words once again seem totally inadequate. Thinking about you, Susan and your kids once again with love.

  254. Comment by Janel | 10.31.2008 | 12:59 am

    Elden I agree with the writer that suggested to call Hospice, anytime day or night. They are such good support and have dealt with the situation you experienced the other night. You don’t have to try and figure out how to help Susan, they have that experience and are on call 24/7. Please use them often, they will also help the children as they build relationship with them. I experienced this with my father and they were a great comfort to me (because of the professionalism and care) and my family.
    There are beautiful lessons to learn from such hardships, one, handing our burdens or trials to a loving Heavenly Father, and complete trust in the Lord to the things we have no control over. That will bring you peace in this most difficult time. I am sure He is very aware of you and the children. We pray continually for you that you will have strength to get through this and time will heal your terrible hurts. I love you!

  255. Comment by Tanja | 10.31.2008 | 1:18 am

    I am so very sorry that you have to go through this. It is awful, heart breaking. I wish I could say I didn’t recognize it, but unfortunately I do. My husband passed away from cancer too, and reading your blog is like getting flashbacks.

    I wish you much peace, strength, and love.

  256. Comment by Bjorn 4 Lycra | 10.31.2008 | 1:39 am

    I read your words and they fill me with awe. Susan is a very special lady and she deserves a very special man. She knows in you she has one and that you both have very special kids and family. Stay strong Nelsons you don’t deserve this. Love to you all – Livestrong.

  257. Comment by Steve | 10.31.2008 | 3:22 am


    Words are never going to be enough in a situation like this, but just know that there are people out there praying for you, Susan and all of your loved ones.

    You have both my respect and my thoughts


  258. Comment by william | 10.31.2008 | 4:18 am

    Sorry to hear that.
    When you are going through hell, just keep going.

  259. Comment by flossy | 10.31.2008 | 4:52 am

    Eldon, I’m so sorry to hear this. Love to you, Susan and the kids

  260. Comment by Jim | 10.31.2008 | 5:15 am

    The words dont exist.

    You’re a rock.

    I want to come back every day to see if the miracle everyone prays for is happening, but I’m afraid.

    Win. All of you.

  261. Comment by david hannah | 10.31.2008 | 5:50 am

    long time lurker
    first time commenter

    i am so sorry dude.
    i am worried about what to say just cause i am horribly blatant and oblivious to tact.

    so i will just say i FEEL for you and your wife and your kids. totally.

  262. Comment by Ka_Jun | 10.31.2008 | 7:18 am

    Don’t lose hope, don’t let it break your spirit. I’m sorry for what your family is going through.

  263. Comment by stefano | 10.31.2008 | 7:36 am

    I’m without words, so I’ll just use those of my 14-year old: “cancer sucks.” I am full of prayers though and sending them your way.

  264. Comment by Sylvie | 10.31.2008 | 7:41 am

    Not fair at all.

    Thinking of you.

  265. Comment by seth | 10.31.2008 | 7:52 am

    I dont know you or your wife, but I hurt for you guys. I’m a Christian and believe that “all things work together for good” but things like this really bother me. I will be praying for your whole family.

  266. Comment by e-hund | 10.31.2008 | 8:42 am

    Thanks for your honesty. You are right. It is evil! It is not supposed to be this way, but his is the reality we live in.

    You and Susan have my prayers! May God bring you both rest, comfort, intimacy, and ultimately, health!

  267. Comment by Tim (Taocat) | 10.31.2008 | 9:19 am

    I read your blog frequently but don’t post many comments. I can’t imagine what you and you’re children are going through, but want you to know that my thoughts are with you.

  268. Comment by p.j. | 10.31.2008 | 9:23 am

    You, Susan, your children, parents, and caregivers are all in my thoughts and prayers.
    I am so sorry that Susan is where she is mentally, but know that you are doing the best you can, and that is all you need to do. Please take care of yourself, eating healthy foods and getting some rest and fresh air. Fruits and nuts got me through my mother’s last week. Many foot massages helped both of us to calm, and helped me to stay focused as well.
    Take care, p.j.

  269. Comment by MTB W | 10.31.2008 | 9:40 am

    Elden, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Just allow yourself to take the time to rest and lean on those family and friends as you need it.

  270. Comment by Leslie | 10.31.2008 | 9:56 am


    I am the wife of a biker, so I always read your posts but haven’t felt that I was the one who should comment. But I am a 3 year breast cancer survivor, which is why your blog connects my world with my husband’s. I have thought about you and your family for days, following this difficult path you are on. I, like the rest of your readers, am sorry for what you are going through. I hear the love and the pain in what you write. Susan and your kids are lucky to have you, but it is such a lot for life/fate to ask so much of you right now. Please know that as we read your posts each day, I think I speak for many when I say that you seem to be doing “the right thing” with such a high percentage that it is amazing to hear, even when “the right thing” still doesn’t feel very good I’d imagine. Just know that many of us are thinking about you and sending our best strength your way, as you do your best in an incredibly difficult situation.

  271. Comment by maggie, dammit | 10.31.2008 | 3:00 pm

    New here but thinking of you. Very, very much.

  272. Comment by deprogram | 10.31.2008 | 4:38 pm

    It’s taken so many of my family, and my friends. We all hate it, Elden. How could we not? It’s capricious and uncaring, striking down the best among us with the worst.

    For what it’s worth, we understand.

  273. Comment by Beth | 10.31.2008 | 5:33 pm

    Elden, I am so sorry to hear of these developments. It is an evil disease. I continue to offer my thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  274. Comment by Rob | 10.31.2008 | 11:18 pm

    Elden, you have narrated the infinite strength that your wife has maintained through this terrible disease, but your fortitude seems nothing short of mythical. I believe that through your hopefully therapeutic sharing, you should take some satisfaction knowing your words will serve as a catalyst for your readers to really appreciate how precious our families and loved ones really are.

  275. Comment by Julie | 10.31.2008 | 11:37 pm

    It is amazing what we are tested by and what we find ourselves able to do. I am sure there are people who love you all who can be called on to help when you need it. Don’t go it alone. You are not alone….Love to you all…

  276. Comment by Mike | 11.1.2008 | 4:19 am

    wishing you all the best buddy. Stay strong. Don’t let it get to you, the kids will rely on you in times to come.

  277. Comment by Alexia | 11.1.2008 | 5:30 am

    So sorry to hear — I hate it with you. Love and prayers. :-(

  278. Comment by Ryan | 11.1.2008 | 11:39 am

    The intention of my daily practice is peace and happiness for you, your wife, and your family.

  279. Comment by Jennifer in Tampa | 11.1.2008 | 1:50 pm

    I read this yesterday and again today.

    How brave you are to share these most horrible and heartbreaking moments. It’s a priveledge to have this glimpse into your life.

    I feel so much for you and your family. My dad had cancer but his was mercifully quick. My sister in law died 2 months ago, but her ending was peaceful. I’m so sorry yours is seemingly the worst it can be. I simply ache for you.

    I will proudly wear my new FC jersey tomorrow on my ride w/ SWAMP and pray (even tho I’m not religious at all it’s what I feel like doing) for you and Susan and your family.

  280. Comment by Peter in England | 11.1.2008 | 5:43 pm

    Nothing I can say will take away the hurt – my thoughts are with you and I hope that you may find some rest

  281. Comment by bcchickadee | 11.1.2008 | 8:19 pm

    I really want to say how much I appreciate you opening your soul, your family and your life to all of us who read your site. I’m dealing with cancer in the family too – and reading about your struggles and learnings are helping me deal with my situation in ways that I cannot express with words. Thank you, and God Bless you and Susan and the kids.

  282. Comment by Simon | 11.1.2008 | 11:06 pm

    What more can be said?
    My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Be strong.
    Be there.


  283. Comment by vixin13 | 11.1.2008 | 11:16 pm

    So so very sorry, my heart aches for you darling Fatty.

  284. Comment by 4get2remember | 11.2.2008 | 9:10 am

    You have a way of expressing your experiences in a poignant, candid, and breathtakingly painful manner, all of which results in a beautiful prose style. My goodness, there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said….Please just know that your story has touched yet another person, and I, like so many hundred of others, am lifting you and your family up in prayer. I hope God gives you all peace and comfort.

  285. Comment by Joe | 11.2.2008 | 10:42 am

    I’m at a loss for words…You and you family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  286. Comment by Brian | 11.2.2008 | 4:04 pm


    It is evil, especially when it messes with your loved one’s mind. I know the approach you talk of – my father, when at a similar stage, wanted to go and milk the cows (which we did not have) and lived in this ever changing world divorced from reality. But he really lived it. Have to “go with the flow”, which is bloddy diffcult.

    Great Halloween outfits.

  287. Comment by Undomestic | 11.2.2008 | 11:12 pm

    Thank you for your continued sharing and honesty. I continue to pray for your family.

  288. Comment by Mal | 11.3.2008 | 10:50 am

    In a world were we think people do not care , know that your words are creating a place of love hope and pride. A place where Susan will be proud to have a best friend called Elden.
    Have strength courage and you know we are there for you
    London UK

  289. Comment by duckboy | 11.3.2008 | 12:16 pm

    My family had a similar “second chance” experience with my sister. I am still thankful for that little bit of extra time we had.

    Thanks for sharing your struggle. You are an amazingly strong man.


  290. Comment by Jesse | 11.7.2008 | 10:58 am

    Your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Thanks for the priceless advice.



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