Fighting LIKE Susan

07.8.2009 | 7:39 am

You know you’re living a different sort of life than most people when you stop checking to see what bone your wife has just broken.

But that’s where we are.

Last week — just a couple of weeks since her left collarbone broke — when I was helping Susan sit up, planning to transfer her to the wheelchair, something gave. It was probably a rib (or might have been a vertebrae), but we don’t know which one.

We do know that this establishes a pattern: the narrow structural bones — the ones that get lots of stress on a daily basis — are the ones that are going first.

And since Susan’s right collarbone is starting to ache, I’m officially terrified to move her. Not that she’d let me anyway: any position but flat on her back triggers the pain that only a freshly-broken bone can bring.

Which means that I’m currently totally stymied. Every day, several times per day, I ask Susan, “Is there anything I can do for you?” And she knows I don’t mean get her something to eat, or read her a book, or massage her scalp. I mean, “Is there some way I can fix you? Or at least rig something together to make your life more comfortable or convenient?”

But nothing comes to mind.

The Story So Far

To understand my frustration, you need to see that doing something to help has been my coping mechanism through this whole process. Back in Christmastime of 2003, when Susan first found a lump in one of her breasts, my reaction — odd as it might seem — was to start looking in earnest for a better-paying job with better benefits. With better insurance, I’d be able to get Susan better treatment. I did what I could to fix what I could.

And that worked. I found a good job at a company with a great health plan. But we’d have to move.

Of course, that meant that while Susan was recovering from a mastectomy, we were also putting the house up for sale and packing and moving across the country…while taking care of twin toddler girls and two young boys who did not want to move.

Then there were a couple of temporary houses and the house we finally bought — all while Susan endured chemo.

The chemo, though, had a surprisingly common side effect afterward: depression. Think about it: your body’s weak from enduring weekly poison. You’ve been through a huge emotional and physical experience but will have to wait for resolution. You’re bald and probably puffy from steroids. Most oncologists, I understand, plan on depression as an after-effect of chemo.

So again, I tried to fix things. I found a new job, closer to friends and family, and in the sun. We moved again, back to Utah.

Susan loved the house, loved the neighborhood, and felt better in general. She started working out, getting her strength back.

200907072308.jpgAnd then her hip started hurting.

Neither of us wanted to even acknowledge the possibility of what that might mean, so for weeks she just treated it like a sports injury.

Finally though, she went to the family doctor, who did some X-rays. And then he immediately called the oncologist.

And that’s where the news got bad. Susan’s cancer had metastasized, and was in her bones, lungs, liver, lymph nodes, and spine.

Honestly, I now can’t even remember the order of some of the treatment from that point forward. Did we do radiation and then chemo? Or was it the other way around? It almost doesn’t matter, because before too long, Susan couldn’t walk any more without crippling, crushing pain in her hip.

A tumor had destroyed it.

An excellent surgeon at the Huntsman Cancer Institute did a partial hip replacement, while I scrambled, fixing things around the house as well as I could. A stair elevator. Rails in the bathroom and shower. Furniture rearrangement galore.

200907072256.jpg Then there was more chemo, and for a while things were looking pretty good. Susan could walk using nothing but a cane (and even short distances without the cane), and she even had the mental energy to start writing a novel.

And then, a little over a year ago, Susan lost the ability to sleep. Three nights went by, with her getting no sleep whatsoever. I tried to help with soothing music, back rubs, sleeping aids and reading obsolete technical documentation I had written years ago out loud to her.

And then she had an MRI. Brain tumors. Too many to count. We did the radiation, and then chemo for a while, and that’s been about as much as we can do.

So now, as Susan’s become weaker, I’ve been adapting and solving. When she couldn’t sit up, I learned to swing her into position and move her into a wheelchair.

When she was uncomfortable being in one position in a chair all day, I bought an easy chair that can change positions with the touch of a remote control.

When one of her collarbones broke, I learned to do everything I had done before, but without pulling on that arm or shoulder when I lifted her.

Which brings me back to where I started this post. Stuff’s breaking faster and worse than I know how to adapt to now. Susan’s on her back, and when I tried to lift her into a sitting position a couple of days ago, I may as well have jabbed her with a knife.

Susan doesn’t complain, at least not very much. Nowhere near as much as I would. I would complain all the time. I would find new ways to complain. I would make it my primary function.

200907080752.jpgSusan, on the other hand, just wishes she could make jewelry again. Or get back to work on writing her novel (she’s working on the final chapter). Or drawing with the twins, who seem to have inherited their mom’s creative ability, and go through reams of paper per week.

Susan is fighting, in other words, with grace, courage and strength I could never hope to match.

At the time I married her, I would never have suspected it of her, but Susan has inner reserves I can only call heroic.

Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting For Susan200907072301.jpg

At the beginning of this year, I put together Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan for the LiveStrong Challenge in all four event cities (Seattle, San Jose, Philly and Austin), because — as is my way — I wanted to feel like I was doing something. Helping somehow.

Most of you don’t know how much time and thought I put into the “Fighting for Susan” phrase, though. I considered it pretty carefully. “Fighting for Susan” could mean that we’re fighting to help Susan. Or that we’re fighting because Susan can’t. Or that we are fighting in her place. Or as a tribute to her. I meant — and mean — all of those things.

But when I look back at what Susan’s gone through and how she is — in spite of everything that has happened and is happening to her — the same wife, mother, friend, and creative force she has always been — I realize something.

We can all fight for Susan, but there are very few of us — not me, certainly — who could ever fight like Susan.

Still, it’s definitely worth fighting. And if enough of us fight with even a fraction of the tenacity my wife has shown, someday maybe we’ll get to pick a different battle. Hopefully, before our twins are old enough to worry about this disease.

Thanks for fighting with us. And for us.


  1. Comment by The Incredible Woody | 07.8.2009 | 7:47 am

    I wish I had something eloquent to say. I wish I could blink and make it all go away. But I don’t and I can’t. So I will pedal. And I will pray.

  2. Comment by Maile in Florida | 07.8.2009 | 7:55 am

    That was marvelously eloquent. I can’t type anymore as I am in tears. Susan is my hero.

    Aloha nui loa to you, the kids, and most of all Susan.

  3. Comment by MattC | 07.8.2009 | 8:00 am

    Fatty and Susan…I echo Woody’s sentiments exactly. And your post today is another reminder of why I joined your team. Fighting for those who can’t. You also have strengths that are far and above what you give yourself credit for. I suspect that when called upon, most of us do. My thoughts and prayers are with you both. WIN SUSAN!!

  4. Comment by Leslie | 07.8.2009 | 8:01 am

    Yeah, I would become the champion complainer as well. What a graceful lady. May God bless your entire family.

  5. Comment by CeeCee | 07.8.2009 | 8:02 am

    She reminds me of Morrie of “Tuesdays with Morrie”. She’s enduring this with grace and gentleness for her beloved family.
    No kind words on my part can take away your feelings of helplessness, but please know that I’m praying for your family.

  6. Comment by Kyle | 07.8.2009 | 8:03 am

    teared up on this one, I must say.

    i’m a fixer and it is so tough when a situation arises where i can do nothing.

    whenever i ride i think of you guys, a family in utah i’ve never met.

    haven’t really said much, but just know i want to and don’t quite know how.

  7. Comment by Laurie | 07.8.2009 | 8:05 am

    You both are inspiring. Your relationship, bravery, resourcefulness, and spirit are just amazing. Thank you for sharing and for your work in fighting cancer.

  8. Comment by Rob M. | 07.8.2009 | 8:14 am

    Ditto to the above posts. I can’t improve on them.

  9. Comment by Carl | 07.8.2009 | 8:16 am

    There is nothing we can say that will make things better… but we can do something by trying even harder to raise money for Team Fatty and praying. See you in Philly everyone!

    WIN SUSAN!!!

  10. Comment by Tim E | 07.8.2009 | 8:18 am

    This post is why I read you in the privacy of my home. The tears at work are hard to explain. I can only dream of saying things so well, or being as supportive.

    Fix what you can, Fatty. The rest is love.


  11. Comment by carson | 07.8.2009 | 8:20 am

    I can’t reach through the screen and hug you so I’ll just pray for you and Susan and your kids.

  12. Comment by nosferaustin | 07.8.2009 | 8:22 am

    I’m not sure I would have the courage or grace of either of you… the fact that you’ve turned your lives into such an inspiration for all of us, and turned this vast team of strangers into a team of fighters speaks wonders for the love you have in your lives. Thanks for sharing again… WIN!

  13. Comment by tom | 07.8.2009 | 8:24 am

    I’m not overly religious but I will say a prayer for you and your family today. Stay Strong. WIN.

  14. Comment by bikemike | 07.8.2009 | 8:35 am

    cannot even possibly, remotely, in my wildest dreams, imagine the fight that Susan has taken to task.

    there are no words in this or any other language to express the fight you have given.

    God bless.

  15. Comment by FatMass | 07.8.2009 | 8:37 am

    We will NEVER quit. We WILL win.

    Fight for Susan. Fight for your personal Susan. Today and Everyday.


  16. Comment by akaKathy | 07.8.2009 | 8:42 am

    So much of what I feel has already been said.

    It’s amazing how in the short time that I have been a “Fatty Fan” that my heart has become so touched by people that I have never met. I’m not the crying type, but I can feel the tears wanting to spill.

    Susan’s strength and your love for her (and frustration in not being able to fix everything) are more than inspiring.

    Prayers, good karma, thoughts and whatever else can be sent are coming to Susan, you and the kids.

  17. Comment by sharon | 07.8.2009 | 8:42 am

    you have a beautiful way with words. I pray for you and your family

  18. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 07.8.2009 | 8:44 am

    My heart aches for you all.

  19. Comment by stewoz & miss | 07.8.2009 | 8:45 am

    We’re standing alongside you, shoulder to shoulder. We’ve got your back. Together we’re definitely making a difference in this goddamn Fight.


  20. Comment by Paul | 07.8.2009 | 8:48 am

    There are no words, Elden, that I can think to say other than I’m sorry for your pain.

    Thank you for sharing your history with us.

  21. Comment by Mehera | 07.8.2009 | 8:49 am

    I finger the lovely bracelet she made me, thinking of her attaching each bead so carefully. And I feel connected to her. The world is a finer place because of Susan and because of Elden. Thank you for sharing with us.

  22. Comment by Dana | 07.8.2009 | 8:51 am

    Always on your side. Stay strong.

  23. Comment by whitney | 07.8.2009 | 8:52 am

    I don’t think there’s anything of substance I can contribute aside from a really loud “WIN SUSAN!” from Chicago. Keeping you all in my thoughts. Susan, you are an inspiration.

  24. Comment by Sharon | 07.8.2009 | 9:04 am

    Thank you for everything you have done for us, the strangers who learn from you every time you post.

    I’m wearing Susan’s bracelet again today.

    And do you know about the forthcoming Lance Armstrong documentary? Some possible fundraising ideas there, once it’s finished?

  25. Comment by Tyler | 07.8.2009 | 9:06 am

    Powerful words Fatty. I wish I had something to add that hasn’t been said above but I’m at a loss for words. A strong “WIN SUSAN” from Boston, and looking forward to pedaling in Philly.

  26. Comment by Boomer | 07.8.2009 | 9:12 am

    For what it’s worth…

  27. Comment by ann | 07.8.2009 | 9:13 am

    My prayer – among the many for peace, comfort, hope, healing – is that you both know that amidst all the ‘doing’ the heroism shines in your ‘being’ as well. Grace under pressure – you bring it every single day. Blessed children, blessed friends and family, blessed strangers! Praying.

  28. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 07.8.2009 | 9:17 am

    I’ve been reading for some time, but never commented until today. My heart aches for all of you, I went through this journey with my mother during the 1990s and today’s post brought a flood of painful memories. Praying for you today. Fight on, Susan!

  29. Comment by Rantwick | 07.8.2009 | 9:18 am

    No words. I don’t even know why I’m typing this. Carry on, man, as much like Susan would as you can.

  30. Comment by Lydia A | 07.8.2009 | 9:30 am

    Just wanted to echo what others have said more eloguently than I could. Thinking and praying for you guys. Your (collectively) strength is to be admired.

  31. Comment by 3sushis | 07.8.2009 | 9:31 am

    Do you have a p.o. Box or an address? I cannot get to the paypal site on my phone. Win.

  32. Comment by BettyBetty | 07.8.2009 | 9:32 am

    She is lucky to have you

  33. Comment by Griffin | 07.8.2009 | 9:37 am

    We (your readers) are lucky to have both you and Susan. The world doesn’t have enough role models and both of you are such great inspirations on multiple levels.

    Thank you, as always, for sharing.

    I’m definitely wearing my Team Fatty jersey on my evening ride tonight.

    WIN Susan!

  34. Comment by Deedle | 07.8.2009 | 9:40 am

    My heart holds your family and wishes you love and peace.

  35. Comment by Mike Roadie | 07.8.2009 | 9:42 am

    Team Fat Cyclist………….hmmmmmmmmmmm

  36. Comment by Charise | 07.8.2009 | 9:43 am

    I don’t have anything to add, other than that we’re thinking of you and your family here in Denver too.

  37. Comment by Jamieson | 07.8.2009 | 9:48 am

    Elden –

    I can can empathize with you and your family as you go through this, I was with my father as he fought against the bone cancer like Susan.

    Susan’s inner strength is matched by yours as you show your love for her to us all. In this time, share your love and leave no regrets.

    Your love for Susan and the love for your family will be what will carry you through.



  38. Comment by mtnbkr | 07.8.2009 | 9:52 am

    prayers of strength…

  39. Comment by Philly Jen | 07.8.2009 | 9:52 am

    I have a big fat Pain Pellet lodged in my heart right now.

    We’re with you.


  40. Comment by Dan O | 07.8.2009 | 10:03 am

    Sent “FIGHT LIKE SUSAN” to chalkbot.

    Cancer sucks.

  41. Comment by Shar | 07.8.2009 | 10:08 am

    I wear my bracelet with pure admiration for Susan. You all are heroic.

  42. Comment by Micheal Green | 07.8.2009 | 10:08 am

    go team fatty!

  43. Comment by Bo Zimmerman | 07.8.2009 | 10:08 am

    Can’t really respond articulately to this. Inspiring and heartbreaking, so say the least. WIN SUSAN!!!!

  44. Comment by MikeonHisBike | 07.8.2009 | 10:21 am

    I know there isn’t much I can do for you but both of your names are on the prayer roll in Seattle. Hopefully, you know what I mean.

  45. Comment by Angie G | 07.8.2009 | 10:32 am

    Susan, your courage and strength are amazing. We have all been blessed by just knowing you, even if its just virtually. Thank you both for your generosity in sharing your lives with us and helping all of us to be better people.

  46. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 07.8.2009 | 10:36 am

    I wish I could say that I don’t understand what you are going through but, unfortunately, I can. My wife’s pain level continues to ramp up as the cancer continues to spread. I try to do everything I can think of to ease her load, like I have for the past 4 years since she was first diagnosed, but it seem to be helping less and less.

    The reason I admire you so much is that you are able to direct your anxiety and helplessness toward such a worthy cause – something that does not help her physically, but that I’m sure calms her spirit, knowing that your efforts may protect others from this horrible disease. I find it hard enough trying to remain productive at my job and make my girls’ lives as normal as possible during his time.

    You are (both) an inspiration.

  47. Comment by Seth | 07.8.2009 | 10:37 am

    Wow. I’m so in awe of you, Susan and your family. You have so much strength and power.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  48. Comment by Christy | 07.8.2009 | 10:40 am

    I love, admire, and respect you beyond words. You and Susan have created the new kind of hero that we should all strive to be.

  49. Comment by Leslie | 07.8.2009 | 10:51 am

    Ugh. Sorry doesn’t even come close. Thank you for sharing your story with all its highs and lows, for showing us your beautiful wife.

  50. Comment by Bill | 07.8.2009 | 10:57 am

    Fatty & Susan,

    Many have said it today and I will try and word it my way. May God be with both of you while fight this battle and may you overcome all to show us all what strength truly is. RAAM, Tour Divide, GDR, TransIowa, 24 Hour Races, etc… are nothing compare to the endurance event you are battling – Be strong and feel our prayers!

  51. Comment by Jonnie J | 07.8.2009 | 10:59 am

    Fatty- Susan is lucky to have you. Keep up the fight!

  52. Comment by Linda | 07.8.2009 | 11:00 am

    My heart hurts. I am speechless. Love and prayers to you and your family, Elden.

    WIN SUSAN!!!!

  53. Comment by m00se | 07.8.2009 | 11:09 am

    Your writings have put a lot of things in perspective for me, and you guys are an inspiration to us all.

    Elden- you and Susan are rock stars! Keep up the fight, Susan, and WIN!

  54. Comment by Big Boned | 07.8.2009 | 11:11 am

    Still praying for your Susan @ 2:01.
    Wish there was something else I could say. I’ll be in Philly riding for her and the others who fight.

  55. Comment by mark | 07.8.2009 | 11:13 am

    You’re welcome. But we should be thanking you. Thank you.

  56. Comment by Lisa | 07.8.2009 | 11:21 am

    That was so beautifully put. Thank you for sharing your story. My prayers are with you!

  57. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 07.8.2009 | 11:27 am

    Sending “FIGHT LIKE SUSAN” to chalkbot too. Allez!


  58. Comment by Linda | 07.8.2009 | 11:37 am

    I walked 60 miles twice once in 2004 and again in 2007 both for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. My mamma passed away from metastasized breast cancer in 2004. She, too, had so much pain we could not move her even the slightest without her moaning, and she, too, lost her ability to sleep and swallow. She coughed all of the time. The suffering of those with cancer is so great and the bravery and courage with which they fight it even greater. My heart and love go out to Susan and your family and all of those who continuously keep on living despite the odds stacked against them. Let us learn from them and enjoy all that we are able to do on a daily basis. What have we got to complain about? Keep on fighting Susan, and enjoy all of the love you are surrounded with….there is a lot of it! You are beautiful!!!!!

  59. Comment by buckythedonkey | 07.8.2009 | 11:42 am

    Thanks for the update Fatty. Your strength is amazing. Four long-distance hugs to you all.


  60. Comment by lara | 07.8.2009 | 11:43 am

    i am so inspired by susan’s courage. she is a brave woman, lucky to have you by her side, lucky to have her children. you are all in my prayers…win susan!

  61. Comment by Doug Bostrom | 07.8.2009 | 11:47 am

    First post here, possibly the last though I’m a routine lurker.

    Fatty’s words about moving around the country in search of useful health insurance really resonated with me. My brother has the good fortune to live in Hawaii, fortunate because 3 years ago he was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma primary to a testicle. Hawaii happens to have a more functional health care system than other states, particularly when it comes to catastrophic situations. My brother is alive yet, in large part purely as a matter of circumstances.

    Regardless of your political bent, –please– weigh in with your elected representatives in D.C. regarding the current health care reform effort. Circumstances of geography should not play a defining role in our health care, patients should not have to be carted around the country while battling a disease because through no fault of their own they’ve become sick in the wrong place. We have -got- to get a handle on our randomly engineered and deeply dysfunctional health care; not only is it cruel but trying to ignore this elephant in the room is bad for our country on multiple levels having nothing to do with compassion. I won’t even grace the current implementation with the name “system”, it’s not that, it’s a collection of spaghetti thrown against the wall, ugly and dripping.

    Fatty, now I need to step up and give money. I can’t find a place to do so without receiving gear in return. As an ex-public radio exec I can’t stand getting a gift in return for a donation. How do I cough up?

  62. Comment by snapper | 07.8.2009 | 11:56 am

    You have said everything beautifully and are giving Susan the best help you can by being there and letting her feel your caring.
    Know that so many of us care and pray for you.
    Keep on fighting the good fight!

  63. Comment by MOCougFan | 07.8.2009 | 11:58 am

    Well said brother. You have a talent for words. Not sure what else to say.


  64. Comment by VA Biker | 07.8.2009 | 12:04 pm

    Elden, very eloquently said. Susan, you, and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers daily.

    I’d written in the comments section of Jill Homer’s blog that she was “tough cookie”, but the writer above is correct, Susan’s toughness is greater still.

    When you’re tougher then Jill, that’s sayin’ something.

  65. Comment by Dan O | 07.8.2009 | 12:23 pm

    Wow – you guys have been through, and are going through, an incredible ordeal.

    I’m family guy – one paycheck, 2 kids (5 and almost 10), wife at home – usual stuff and I still feel insanely busy at times. I can’t even imagine having someone really sick added to the mix. It’s amazing you guys seem to keep all together so well.

    My sister-in-law just went through the ovarian cancer routine. After a year or so of being down, is getting back to normal.

    Old coworker pal I just reconnected with – his wife just discovered she has breast cancer.

    Reading and hearing about people going through this kind of thing makes me appreciate that I’m not sick – or my kids or wife. You realize that anyone could get wacked with this anytime.

    Thanks for the blog and keep fighting.

  66. Comment by Bobby | 07.8.2009 | 12:28 pm

    You guys are in my prayers. God bless!

    Win Susan!

  67. Comment by KP | 07.8.2009 | 12:33 pm

    Your strength as a family is inspiring. Sending prayers and good wishes your way. Win Susan!

  68. Comment by Lorie | 07.8.2009 | 12:39 pm

    Someone else put it well – cancer sucks. Big time.

    Your entire family is in our prayers and thoughts.

    Eldon: Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us. I’ve never met you, but I feel like our families have been friends for years. Anytime I ride, I think of you and so many others that are going through this. Be strong, my friend.



  69. Comment by Maggi B | 07.8.2009 | 12:39 pm

    Lance tweeted a Mahatma Ghandi quote today– “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Susan is certainly the embodiment of INDOMITABLE.

    You have both inspired many people, Elden. Know you are all in our hearts.

  70. Comment by mikeb | 07.8.2009 | 12:44 pm

    Praying. Fighting. We will win.

  71. Comment by Saso | 07.8.2009 | 1:06 pm

    Live strong.

  72. Comment by marce | 07.8.2009 | 1:13 pm

    Have been fighting the cancer fight for my big brother for some time, I know the pains of which you speak. I also know that we are all both utterly bereft and absolutely fine at the same time — and you sound as though you’re exactly that. I am riding the Pan Mass Challenge for my brother in August, I will ride for Susan, too.

    Enjoy each moment with Susan. We certainly do. Thank you. Make memories. Keep riding. Keep writing. Stay well.

  73. Comment by MattC | 07.8.2009 | 1:15 pm

    Doug Bostrom (and any others who don’t know where to go to donate)…here is the link to Fattys San Jose page:
    We can use all the help we can get…tomorrow morning at 7am (Pacific time) is the fundraising deadline for our team. And THANKS for any help you can provide!
    Matt, Team Co-Capt, San Jose

  74. Comment by Veteran Sculler | 07.8.2009 | 1:28 pm

    Fatty & Susan

    Thinking of you both. Here I am at Henley Royal Regatta. Strict dress code; blazer & club tie compulsory, funny hat optional, FC socks essential.


  75. Comment by Kiwi | 07.8.2009 | 1:29 pm


  76. Comment by Robert | 07.8.2009 | 1:40 pm

    We can only hope to Fight LIKE Susan. It would be amazing.

    Instead we’ll Fight FOR Susan.


  77. Comment by Eloise | 07.8.2009 | 1:43 pm

    Susan is amazing. And so are you.

  78. Comment by nick | 07.8.2009 | 1:55 pm

    The way you’ve been dealing with this has been continually inspiring to me. I’m so sorry to read about the pain Susan is in, and I wish I could express myself better about this. Keep fighting.

  79. Comment by Asthmagirl | 07.8.2009 | 2:06 pm

    You’re both amazing and I never know when I read your site whether I will laugh or cry. But I’m always moved.

    Carry on…

  80. Comment by kawika | 07.8.2009 | 2:17 pm


    as a physician, cyclist, and someone who has lost three (four, but i never knew one) family members to cancer, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. eloquence and strength in the face of overwhelming adversity.

  81. Comment by MommyAmy | 07.8.2009 | 2:25 pm

    Such a beautiful post, made me cry. I too pray that there will be a cure for this disease before my own twin girls have to worry about it.

  82. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.8.2009 | 2:26 pm

    Elden, Susan is the embodiment of what it means to Live STRONG. Some people say, at some point that they ‘lost their fight’ with cancer.

    No matter how long or short of a time Susan is with you, it will never be appropriate to say she lost. She WINs by the graceful and courageous manner in which she lives and fights.

    You and her are still in my prayers at 2:01.

  83. Comment by bobbieh | 07.8.2009 | 2:47 pm

    How can I feel so deeply for a family I’ve never met other than thru a blog?!?!
    Your words about your journey with this cancer are plain & simple, yet they are so very eloquent and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your continuing testament to strength, courage and most of all, to love.
    Know that all of you are in my heart and thoughts each & every day ~
    Big hugs ~~~

  84. Comment by Jaime O. | 07.8.2009 | 2:50 pm

    Nothing I can say, nothing I can do…so instead I’ll promise you that we’ll be here, virtually holding your hands every step of the way. We will, someday, be able to whisper to each other “We won.”

  85. Comment by Dogwood | 07.8.2009 | 3:23 pm

    Sorry, couldn’t finish reading the post. Trying to keep from crying in front of my girls.

    Cancer sucks.

    God bless.

  86. Comment by Anonymous | 07.8.2009 | 3:38 pm

    Keeping your family in my prayers.

    Help her finish that book!

  87. Comment by Lisa B | 07.8.2009 | 4:12 pm

    As someone else said, whenever I ride I think of you, and Susan, and your boys, and the twins, and wish I could do something concrete, something demonstrative to help. All I can do is ride my bike, live my life, and hope that when this happens to me, I have half of Susan’s grace and all of your desire to fix things.

  88. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 07.8.2009 | 4:17 pm

    Hey mate, we’ll keep fighting for Susan until we beat cancer. You are both in our thoughts, take care.

  89. Comment by Heidi | 07.8.2009 | 4:18 pm

    You both rock, big time.

  90. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 07.8.2009 | 4:19 pm

    fatty and Susan , you are both truly an inspiration.

    Win Susan!

  91. Comment by tim | 07.8.2009 | 4:26 pm

    brave and brilliant words
    fight on, and WIN!

  92. Comment by Kelly Walker | 07.8.2009 | 4:38 pm

    You are both so inspiring. You are both in my prayers. You are both loved.


  93. Comment by Justin | 07.8.2009 | 4:43 pm

    Well said.

  94. Comment by Steve | 07.8.2009 | 5:02 pm

    I’m sorry, Fatty. You always make me think of how I’d feel if my wife were to go through something similar, and I hug her a little more tightly as a result. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  95. Comment by cyclingeurope | 07.8.2009 | 5:07 pm

    I just wrote a blog post on my Spinning blog urging my readers to do a class to honor someone they know who has been affected by cancer. My readers are instructors from around the world, many who are currently doing Tour de France profiles in their Spinning/indoor cycling classes. (I give them TDF profiles and ideas). I had planned to write this anyway, posting the Livestrong manifesto video…then i read your blog post and had to include it. Hopefully this will do several things: urge everyone to do a TDF ride in their Spin classes and honor someone they love who has had cancer, AND send tons more energy and love your way.

    Any of you reading this, share this with your Spinning/indoor cycling instructors to add to the mix. There’s nothing as fun as simulating a TDF stage in Spinning – add to it the benefit of promoting Livestrong and sending more love Susan’s way!

  96. Comment by NEIN | 07.8.2009 | 5:08 pm

    I was thinking about you guys today on my ride to work. Susan is doing an incredible job, as are you. Have you stopped to consider your own accomplishments in the last few years? You’ve done something really incredible. At some point, you’ll look back on this and it will really hit you. You’ve actually done a lot towards making the world a better place, and that’s not just lip service. Well done.

  97. Comment by Dan J | 07.8.2009 | 5:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing and allowing us to care. Thank you for uniting us all in a cause like this.

  98. Comment by nono | 07.8.2009 | 5:28 pm

    I’m a long time reader and a noncyclist from the Boston suburbs. I’m truly at a loss of words due to the emotion that your post has invoked. Please know, that like everyone else, I send you, Susan and your children strength and peace on this heartbreaking journey you are on.

  99. Comment by Sue W | 07.8.2009 | 5:30 pm

    You and Susan are incredible people. Your are handling such a difficult situation with courage and grace. You are setting a wonderful example for your children. I feel so much and care so much about your family. I wish I could do more. A family friend just had breast cancer surgery today. You are doing so much to try and fix this, in spite of all that you are going through in your own lives. You humble me. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  100. Comment by run-girl-run | 07.8.2009 | 5:31 pm

    When Randy Pausch was giving lectures and he and his wife Jai were being interviewed I was struck not only by the tragedy of their situation, but by the love they shared. Whether their love was always so fierce or whether it was reawakened by the knowledge that he only had a short time left, I don’t know. But the depth and beauty of their love made me ache for them – and envy them in some way that is hard to explain. Though they only had a short time to share it they were able to find a love that most never experience. And I must tell you, Elden, that’s what I feel when I read your blog about Susan. Your story is both heart-breaking and heart-warming.


  101. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 07.8.2009 | 5:41 pm

    You and Susan are the embodiement of LIVESTRONG. Your characters, inner strengths and will to fight are inspirational. I would not even have the courage to express my feelings the way you do in writing let alone take this Cancer crap head on and lead others like myself into the fight. Thank you for doing what you do and all our love to you and the family. I’m honoured to be fighting for and alongside you with all the other members of Team Fatty.
    Livestrong WIN Susan.

  102. Comment by Susie | 07.8.2009 | 5:54 pm

    nothing can enable me to imagine the strength you are both exhibiting. and to do it all with such grace and, yes, even humor. KEEP fighting!

  103. Comment by AlicesYellowPorsche | 07.8.2009 | 6:03 pm

    i can’t think of anything that could possibly express what this post made me feel… my favorite quote comes the mind – “one day i will find the words, and they will be simple.”

    WIN Susan!

  104. Comment by Nette | 07.8.2009 | 6:04 pm

    My love goes out to Susan and you are truly an angel. Love to the kids from me.

  105. Comment by Uphillbattle | 07.8.2009 | 6:06 pm


  106. Comment by Fat Cathy | 07.8.2009 | 6:11 pm

    Strength to you both.

    WIN SUSAN!!!!

  107. Comment by jtm | 07.8.2009 | 6:15 pm

    Wow you both just continue to blow me away! I came here for laughs (and amazingly you are still able to deliver those!) but now you and Susan inspire and set an example for the rest of us to strive for. Thank you! WIN

  108. Comment by PQuotes | 07.8.2009 | 6:27 pm

    You may not see us, but we are here for you…for you, Susan and the kids….the whole fatty family.

    Rock on, Susan!

  109. Comment by justrun | 07.8.2009 | 6:29 pm

    I feel blessed to “know” you both through this website. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you all and do my best to send strength your way.

  110. Comment by Cliff | 07.8.2009 | 6:39 pm

    Very heartfelt and emotional post. Praying for you & yours. Very inspiring post to remind us all of what is important.


  111. Comment by BikecopVT | 07.8.2009 | 6:55 pm


  112. Comment by Miles Archer | 07.8.2009 | 6:55 pm

    You made me laugh with this line: …reading obsolete technical documentation I had written years ago out loud to her.

  113. Comment by Dorothy | 07.8.2009 | 6:57 pm

    Susan IS truly inspirational…
    as is her husband.

  114. Comment by Erine | 07.8.2009 | 6:58 pm

    Susan- and Fatty- how you amaze and inspire us. You guys, and your entire family, are in our thoughts and prayers.

  115. Comment by kentucky joe | 07.8.2009 | 7:29 pm

    you inspire me, susan amazes me….I read this blog, including the comments, to remind me of how much good is in the world.


  116. Comment by Charlie Brown | 07.8.2009 | 7:39 pm

    Dig deep, man… Thinking of you, Susan and the kids.

  117. Comment by sansauto | 07.8.2009 | 7:51 pm

    Our prayers are with you!

  118. Comment by Nick | 07.8.2009 | 8:01 pm

    I’ve sat here for a while tying to figure out what to say, but there’s really nothing adequate. You, Susan, and the rest of your family are in the thoughts and prayers of mine.

  119. Comment by Don | 07.8.2009 | 8:02 pm

    Teary eyed, Praying for Susan, Fatty, the entire family.
    Thank you for opening up your life to a bunch of ’strangers’ who truly care about you guys. I wish I could wave a wand, snap my fingers, something. All I can do is Pray, send kind thoughts and words, and do my best for Team Fatty Philly.
    God Bless!
    Love and Prayers abounding!


  120. Comment by Cary | 07.8.2009 | 8:12 pm

    Fatty & Susan’s collective story is truly incredible and continues to inspire hope.

    Your story is one I am always sad to tell, but one I am glad to share its’ wonderful message.


    Keep up the fight!

  121. Comment by BamaJim | 07.8.2009 | 8:34 pm

    Your continue in our prayers. May God bless and keep you.

  122. Comment by WheelDancer | 07.8.2009 | 8:57 pm

    Wow, I’m out of words.

    Win Susan, Win Eldon!

  123. Comment by Chris Coyle | 07.8.2009 | 9:05 pm

    I know I’m not the first but
    “Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan”
    has been sent to the TdF chalkbot.

  124. Comment by NikkiJade | 07.8.2009 | 9:24 pm

    Unbelievable, beautiful, post. Let Susan continue to inspire us all to find the kind of inner grace and beauty you describe. Big hugs to you and your family, and thanks again for sharing …

  125. Comment by p.j. | 07.8.2009 | 9:25 pm

    May you and Susan and your beloved children continue to go from strength to strength. You write beautifully, Elden. I wish I could take the pain away – Susan’s pain as well as yours and the kids’.

    Your patience, devotion and love for each other are an inspiration to me.
    Shalom, p.j.

  126. Comment by donbiker | 07.8.2009 | 9:30 pm

    If there is a better story as to why we need to fix our dysfunctional health care system, I can’t think of one. Everyone in Congress should be sent your story. Is it ok if I send it to my representatives? The ones who really need to hear this from their constituents are the Republicans and the renegade Democrats.

    My 9 year session with breast cancer is a stroll in the park compared with what Susan is going through. My care was right here and covers everything. No fair. Spare the 77 year old geezer and devastate the lovely young mother.

  127. Comment by Jen | 07.8.2009 | 9:41 pm

    Wow. It breaks my heart to know anyone has to go through this. It can’t be easy on anyone in the family. Just know that you are all examples for the rest of us. Good luck. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  128. Comment by Anonymous | 07.8.2009 | 9:46 pm

    Long-time reader, first-time commenter.

    Nothing new to add, just thinking of you and your family.

    I would hope that the comments here (below and above) could give you at least a fraction of the inspiration that you give us.

  129. Comment by Andy | 07.8.2009 | 9:50 pm

    Thanks for the courage to share this with all of us. Fight and win, Susan. With grace and courage….

  130. Comment by leroy | 07.8.2009 | 10:09 pm

    There are some things cancer can never touch. One of them is love. You and Susan prove that.

  131. Comment by Jeff L. | 07.8.2009 | 10:15 pm

    I’ve sat here, looking at the screen for some time, trying to type something eliquant. Something meaningful. But I am at a loss. I can only say that I am touched by your careing, Fatty, and by your strength, Susan. I am saddened and angered by what you are both being put through. I am inspired by your tenacity and drive to win. My thoughts are with you.

  132. Comment by LuckyLab | 07.8.2009 | 10:51 pm

    I’ve passed this on. You, Nelson family, are truly and inspiration to us all and I am privileged and honored you have allowed us to be a part of Team Fatty, to make a huge difference collectively.

    I hope everyone will jump over to one of the cities and plunk down a few dollars to somebody. To accomplish the team goals, we really need all those low numbers up to $100 each so use those links on the right to go to Philly and Austin. Help somebody reach $100 or join as a virtual member. Let’s sweep every team award in every city and do this thing right for Susan. I pledge to jump in for the other cities where I can, will you?

  133. Comment by Amelia | 07.8.2009 | 11:17 pm

    I’ve been studying cancer for a few years now and hope to study more about it as part of a doctoral program in the coming years. It’s funny, in the lab the gravity of what ‘cancer’ means usually drops away. You’re just there, doing research, trying to find an answer, a lead, a protein target, anything. Your post brought the gravity of cancer back to me – whenever we work on human cell lines, someone had to process a tumor to make that cell line, someone had to fight and hurt so our research could be possible. I wish I had a cure or gene therapy in a bottle that could take this all away from everyone who experiences it. Our best efforts now are so clumsy and systemic in nature. I just hope someday I can help make a cure or noninvasive treatment a reality. Keep fighting and I will too. Thank you for all you do.

  134. Comment by aussie kev | 07.8.2009 | 11:24 pm

    crying in work again

    allez susan

  135. Comment by @PeckishCyclist | 07.9.2009 | 12:03 am

    Fatty, Susan, and the whole Fatty clan–you’re in my thoughts. Riding, thanks to your altruism, in San Jose for LiveStrong this Saturday.

  136. Comment by Pinkbike | 07.9.2009 | 12:23 am

    You bet we’ll keep fighting.

    We’ll be in Austin with bells and Fatty gear on.

    Sue and Tom

  137. Comment by Little1 | 07.9.2009 | 12:30 am

    Thank-you Susan, for all that you are, to so many of us who have never met you. Thank-you Fatty, for sharing yourselves with us in this most painful and difficult and private of times you are letting us in. Praying for you all everyday 2:01 CAT (Central African Time)

  138. Comment by Shiny Flu | 07.9.2009 | 2:53 am

    It breaks me to read that. But is as equally inspiring.

    Every time I put my Team Fatty tee/jersey on, I always pause to think about Susan and you… my partner’s mother who lost her fight with breast cancer and my high-school friend who had an undetected tumor in his brain.

    I hate cancer.

  139. Comment by miss & stewOZ | 07.9.2009 | 4:06 am

    We are all fighting for Susan.


  140. Comment by miss & stewOZ | 07.9.2009 | 4:08 am

    Elden, we are also fighting ‘with’ Susan. And you.

    I think you know this but we won’t stop reminding you.

  141. Comment by Carole | 07.9.2009 | 4:41 am

    You are both amazing people. God bless you and your family. WIN SUSAN!

  142. Comment by eandjmum | 07.9.2009 | 5:26 am

    Kia kaha (be strong), LIVE STRONG…. WIN SUSAN… thank you Elden and Susan for having the amazing strength to love no matter what… I am blessed to read your words – thank you – WIN SUSAN!

  143. Comment by Mark Kynaston | 07.9.2009 | 5:48 am


    Admiration and tears in equal measure


  144. Comment by Becky | 07.9.2009 | 5:51 am

    Wow. Win Susan.

  145. Comment by GrannyGear | 07.9.2009 | 6:16 am

    Elden, or is it Stanley…

    You married way above your head my friend. Keep doing what you are doing, it is making a difference.
    Livestrong and WIN Susan.

  146. Comment by Ka_Jun | 07.9.2009 | 6:59 am

    Praying for you and your family. Laban!

  147. Comment by Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) | 07.9.2009 | 7:20 am

    I’m not a regular here. But I do happen over occasionally to see ‘wazzup’. And what’s up is a whole lot… a lot of courage, a lot of love, a lot of strength, a lot of support, a lot of heartfelt eloquence. A lot your kids can look at in years to come and feel proud of.

    I will keep checking in. And I will keep on feeling like I take away much more than I leave. Keep up the great work. And keep up the love.

    Gentle, gentle hugs

  148. Comment by Lowrydr | 07.9.2009 | 7:35 am

    Hope, Thoughts and Prayers are going out for Susan and your family.

    Fight for Susan
    Fight with Susan
    To hope to Fight like Susan

  149. Comment by BenMac | 07.9.2009 | 8:37 am

    I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. My thoughts and prayers are with your whole family. WIN SUSAN!

  150. Comment by mo | 07.9.2009 | 8:57 am

    no words…. WIN!

  151. Comment by fatkatonabike | 07.9.2009 | 9:22 am

    You are both winners in your own right! God bless you both.

  152. Comment by Abram | 07.9.2009 | 9:57 am

    Lost my dad to colon cancer in January. He hung on, with radiation and chemo, for about two years. He died surrounded by his family. I know you want to fix and often feel at a loss, but just being there is the most important.

    I wish I could contribute to the LiveStrong challenge, but I am barely making ends meet with my partner’s knee injury and my salary cutbacks. So I’ll just say this–be there, encourage her in her writing, and above all, know that you are not alone in the fight.

  153. Comment by FliesOnly | 07.9.2009 | 11:55 am

    Words alone cannot describe how felt I after reading this. Fight.

  154. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 07.9.2009 | 2:00 pm


  155. Comment by Christa | 07.9.2009 | 2:03 pm

    This might be just a little thing, but finished or not, I’ll buy a copy of her novel.

  156. Comment by mhb | 07.9.2009 | 2:23 pm

    I second Onan the Barbarian.


  157. Comment by rexinsea | 07.9.2009 | 2:32 pm

    Elden and Susan – you continue to inspire. WIN!

  158. Comment by Charisa | 07.9.2009 | 3:19 pm

    And if ever there was someone who deserves to WIN, it is Susan and your entire family. I wish I could do more to help.

  159. Comment by Cat | 07.9.2009 | 3:36 pm

    Susan is so lucky to have a husband like you.

    She is amazing. And inspiring. You both are.


  160. Comment by Jeremy Smith | 07.9.2009 | 3:44 pm

    I follow your post quite often and this update brought me to tears. You and Susan are amazing…
    I’m thinking about you both and how amazing it is that you are sharing your experiences and challenges with all your readers. I’m in awe of you and Susan’s strength and attitude.
    Ride with you soon.


  161. Comment by Kristin | 07.9.2009 | 4:03 pm

    We all learn courage from one another. I learned more today (and thanks). You and Susan teach me, and it gives me more to pass it on to others.

    I will cycle and send good thoughts from Philly.

  162. Comment by Christine | 07.9.2009 | 5:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! I have a family member also named Susan fighting her own battle with breast cancer. Your humor and Susan’s grace and tenacity are inspiring. Win, Susan!

  163. Comment by Gibbles T. Chimp | 07.9.2009 | 5:50 pm

    Sending good thoughts your way from Virginia.

    Win Susan!

  164. Comment by Claire | 07.9.2009 | 6:47 pm

    She is one hell of a woman, the kind the rest of us women look at and hope that under trying or difficult circumstances we can draw on even a fraction of Susan’s grace and strength.

    I am thinking of you both.

    Win Susan!

  165. Comment by Dandy | 07.9.2009 | 8:02 pm

    Sending you warmth and comfort.

  166. Comment by Debbie in Memphis | 07.9.2009 | 8:07 pm

    If wishes could cure, there would be no cancer, but until then, we’ll all be “Fighting for Susan”. Sending love, hopes, prayers and wishes.

  167. Comment by Pam D | 07.9.2009 | 8:34 pm

    I suppose we all have to fight.. either physically, ourselves, or FOR someone we love. Someone who is either IN the fight right now, or who has already taken off their armor, laid down their weapons, and walked into eternal healing. I volunteer with a organization called The Lighthouse Family Retreat; it provides a week of vacation in Florida for families who have a child with cancer. We just lost a mom last night from breast cancer; her son is days away from leaving earth as well. They leave behind a devastated dad and two other teenaged kids. I hate cancer. I HATE CANCER. Praying .. for you.. for your wife.. for your kids. Keep fighting. Keep praying. I’m with you.

  168. Comment by bg | 07.9.2009 | 8:37 pm

    I pray Susans pain is eased for both of your sakes.
    It has to be tremendously difficult to watch someone you love go through it. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys.

  169. Comment by Marla | 07.9.2009 | 8:42 pm

    I will be praying for Susan and your family.

    Let’s all keep up the fight against this horrible disease.

  170. Comment by Joy | 07.9.2009 | 8:43 pm

    like others.. I would never be able to say enough to make you know I care.. I will be praying and donating. Susan… keep fighting.

  171. Comment by Courtney | 07.9.2009 | 8:58 pm

    I’m truly touched by your story.. Your precious wife seems like an angel sent from heaven.. She’s gone through so much yet she does it with a smile it seems. Your family is in my prayers.. God Bless you.

  172. Comment by Laura Beth | 07.9.2009 | 9:26 pm

    This is so very moving. Thank you for sharing your story.

  173. Comment by Lene | 07.9.2009 | 9:26 pm

    Wish I could help, somehow. That thinking and worrying could fix things.

  174. Comment by Amy Giampetroni | 07.9.2009 | 9:28 pm

    I had never heard of your or your blog before tonight, when I found a post about it on Ree The Pioneer Woman’s blog. I just read your latest post about Susan’s struggles with her advancing cancer, and I’m sitting here in awe of BOTH of you. Your strength and courage and tenacity are no doubt tools of survival to the two of you, but I’m so moved by them.

    If Susan wants help to finish her novel, please allow me to offer my services. I’d be honored and happy to “write” for her. She could dictate to me by phone or recording, and I could do the word processing and editing for her. I’m working on my first novel, too – and have been for about 4 years now – but I’ve lost my drive for it at the moment. I’d be delighted to help Susan finish hers instead.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If miracles really do happen, I hope they happen for you.

    All the best to you!

  175. Comment by Rebecca | 07.9.2009 | 9:38 pm

    I am keeping you and Susan in my thoughts and prayers. May God Bless and keep you through this, and may you both win this battle! Keep up the fight Susan. You are an inspiration to all!

  176. Comment by Elizabeth H | 07.9.2009 | 9:44 pm

    Tears, hugs & prayers are all I can offer, but they’re all yours. God be with you all.

  177. Comment by NONA | 07.9.2009 | 9:44 pm

    Well said everyone! Win Susan WIN! God Bless Your Family!

  178. Comment by Steph | 07.9.2009 | 9:45 pm

    I simply don’t know what to say other than my prayers are with the two of your and your family. What a wonderful example of strength and love the two of you are for your children. Praying for you!

  179. Comment by brenda bowens | 07.9.2009 | 9:50 pm

    thanks, I needed this. i feel like today is another step back. I had to do nasal suctioning on my son for an hour with very little complaing from him. I forget about that when I’m thinking about that step back. Will continue to pray for all of you.

  180. Comment by allaner | 07.9.2009 | 9:58 pm

    I came to your site via Pioneer Woman. Susan’s story breaks my heart. Many of my family members have fought this terrible disease, and I hope my small donation can help your fight in some way.

  181. Comment by Traci | 07.9.2009 | 10:26 pm

    Susan defines both grace and courage. She also defines love. You are blessed to have her in your life and I am blessed to have had a small introduction to her through you. You will all be in my prayers.

  182. Comment by Michelle | 07.9.2009 | 10:30 pm

    What does one say after reading something like this? I can’t imagine what you are going through, what your family is going through. Thank you for sharing your story and for reminding us about what is really important. God Bless you and Susan and your children.

  183. Comment by Wendy | 07.9.2009 | 10:35 pm

    I saw your site on Pioneer Woman’s blog. I just wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you, Susan and your whole family.

  184. Comment by Tammy | 07.9.2009 | 10:48 pm

    Your wife sounds so beautiful inside and out and she is very lucky to have a husband like you.
    I lost my mom in 2000 to breast cancer, after battling the disease for about 5 was gone, then came back with a vengence. Her husband was not supportive to her and mad her fight for life even harder.
    I have a friend now battling breast cancer (her daughter is getting married on Saturday with 400 guests and she is attending…bald head beautifully shining).
    I lost another friend in February to cancer.
    I hate cancer….someone please find a cure, to save our children from such misery.

  185. Comment by Shalini | 07.9.2009 | 10:51 pm

    God bless you Fatty and Susan and your family. I wish I could be as strong and heroic as both of you are.

    I saw your site via PW’s blog.

  186. Comment by heather g. | 07.9.2009 | 10:58 pm

    i’m fighting WITH susan…while i can tell by your wonderful heartfelt words about her that she is above and beyond all that encompasses a beautiful and strong spirit, i like to think that all of us alongside her will fight WITH her and FOR her…but definitely not like her…she is a one-of-a-kind lady…bless you and your family.

  187. Comment by Jennifer | 07.9.2009 | 11:03 pm

    Praying for healing for Susan and strength for your family.

  188. Comment by Evie | 07.9.2009 | 11:17 pm

    I found your story and link from Pioneer Womens…I am streaming in tears reading this…I had Ovarian cancer and have almost made 5 yrs. I met many of people going through so much more then me at the time that it made me realize right from the start I had no reason to ever complain a bit. I had a wonderful support team starting with my hubby all my surrounding me. But never ever went through all of what you are going through it’s just SO MUCH! Just know there are so many people praying for you all especially SUSAN! She must have the strength of a million! And YOU…what can I say…SO MUCH STRENTH & LOVE…I wish you nothing more then a NEVER ENDING AMOUNT OF EVEN MORE & MORE OF THE STRENGTH AND LOVE you ALREADY POSESS! To try so hard to do what you can for her…even if she’s in so much pain and might not be able to show it…she has to be beaming with so much LOVE & PRIDE of the man she choose to spend her life with! May GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY WITH ALL HIS PEACE & LOVE! And keep up THE FIGHT!

  189. Comment by M Carter | 07.9.2009 | 11:21 pm

    I hold my breath every time I read about Susan and your family. Hang in there and know that we are all with you in heart and prayer.

  190. Comment by cindy | 07.9.2009 | 11:32 pm

    Fatty, Ive just come over from PW’s. I’ve followed her to your site some months back.

    Susan’s fight. Your fight. is pulsing through me. and the pulse is lumping up gigantic in my throat. I send you prayers of comfort and strength. i cant imagine a greater love than what your family is in the midst of. bless bless bless

  191. Comment by swtkaroline | 07.9.2009 | 11:38 pm


  192. Comment by JoDee | 07.9.2009 | 11:40 pm

    God bless you and Susan! She sounds like a remarkable woman and you a remarkable husband.

  193. Comment by Evie | 07.9.2009 | 11:41 pm

    Hey Fatty…me again…
    Just went and read a little more of your blog…read about you and then your Christmas letter…what a wonderful family! And LOVE your personality! What a humorous guy! I hope you can keep that HAPPINESS no matter what the future brings. Your children will always be so blessed for it!

  194. Comment by Marie | 07.9.2009 | 11:55 pm

    Your story brought tears to my eyes and pain to my heart – for you, for your beautiful wife, and for your children. What you are going through as a family is far and above what anyone should have to endure. Your wife is strong but she is only as strong as she is because she has such a wonderful husband and family standing behind her.

  195. Comment by Java Girl | 07.10.2009 | 12:21 am

    I thank you for sharing with us what so few do. My prayers and praise will go up to Our Father who IS the Great Physician and who has a plan which we can’t often understand.

  196. Comment by Reshmy | 07.10.2009 | 12:22 am

    Its difficult to say anything except that like all others your story brought tears to my eyes as well. I greatly admire your courage for being able to share what you are going through as you watch a loved one suffer and that of Susan’s as she lives through her troubles. May god bless you and your family. Praying for you guys, out here in India.

  197. Comment by corinnea | 07.10.2009 | 1:57 am

    You both humble me.

  198. Comment by Eveline van Heijst | 07.10.2009 | 2:32 am

    I got here through PW. I wish you and Susan and the children lots of strenght to get through this.

  199. Comment by Katie | 07.10.2009 | 4:53 am

    I pray for Susan to have some comfort and the strength to do those things that she enjoys. You have amazing strength as well to be able to share your story with the world. May God watch over you, Susan, and your children each and every day.

  200. Comment by Chris | 07.10.2009 | 5:57 am

    Tears. Hugs. Love. WIN.

  201. Comment by Basic Living | 07.10.2009 | 6:00 am

    I just don’t know what to say. My heart aches for you, Susan, and your family – and, at the same time, I am in awe of the strength and courage that you and Susan possess. I am praying for you both.

  202. Comment by Marla K. | 07.10.2009 | 6:12 am

    Found my way over here from Ree’s site. What a beautiful tribute to what sounds like an amazing, beautiful woman/wife/mother/friend. I know your heart must leap with pride everyday. Thanks for reminding me to appreciate every single moment we are given with our spouses and know that I said a prayer for you and your family this morning. I pray Susan continues to have strength to do amazing items, that she finishes her book, that she is able to sleep peacefully even if only for a short while. I pray that you continue to show love in amazing ways physically and in the deep ways of love that only is known between a husband and wife. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Just this one story has touched me deeply at all the ways God is good and yet still I am bewildered God chooses certain people to bear such horrid pain and suffering that cancer brings. Peace and Grace to you!

  203. Comment by James | 07.10.2009 | 6:28 am

    Wow! another moving post. Thanks for your openness. I think you and Susan are both pretty incredible…truly.

  204. Comment by Kelly S. | 07.10.2009 | 6:34 am

    This took my breath away.
    Wow. I wish there was something I could do to help.
    Your post was beautiful and inspiring.
    I wish you well.

  205. Comment by Amber | 07.10.2009 | 6:39 am

    All I can say is that I will pray for your family. As a mother of two boys I can’t imagine something trying to consume me to where I couldn’t do the things I wanted with them. Let all of this be a lesson to all of us. We need to quit taking our spouses, our children, and our lives for granted. Fatty, as proud as you are of her. I am sure she is equally proud of you. I will never forget the words I just read. Susan will be my hero as well, but so will you. Thanks and GOD BLESS you and your family.

  206. Comment by danielle | 07.10.2009 | 6:47 am

    Incredibly moving. I’m in tears. Win Susan.

  207. Comment by Anna | 07.10.2009 | 6:51 am

    As an oncology nurse, I have to say thank you for what you do for your wife. Family support is SO important. And you are appreciated more than you know. Best, best, best wishes for your Susan and your family

  208. Comment by Astyn | 07.10.2009 | 6:59 am

    My 2 year old is currently looking at me and wondering why his mom is crying. I appreciate your candor. It is beautiful to read of the love of family and the struggles of life. I don’t know you, but I will pray for Susan.

  209. Comment by Erin | 07.10.2009 | 7:14 am

    You’ve come too far to stop now. Kudos to you and Susan for fighting this so well. Keep strong and feel the positive thoughts coming your way.

  210. Comment by Jenny F. | 07.10.2009 | 7:37 am

    What an amazing woman you have for your wife. She is stronger than I could ever imagine, if I were in her situation. How beautiful to read what love and support she has been receiving from you and the fat cyclist community. My prayers are with your family and with Susan for peace and comfort in this fight.

  211. Comment by jenifriend | 07.10.2009 | 7:38 am

    i’m sure your wife would say this if she could, so i’ll say it for her. there’s also no one who can fight like you. you, at the end of all of this, will be her hero. for swinging her into more comfortable positions, buying her automated chairs, and for wanting to merely take away all of her pain so she could make jewelry and play with her babies again. we should also all want to fight like you, my friend…with a love and vengeance and steadfastness that only comes from someone who loves well, deeply and undoubtedly for his partner for life. i’ll be praying for your family. take care and know we all support and love you!!

  212. Comment by Janneke | 07.10.2009 | 7:51 am

    what can one say that hasn’t been said. I take my hat off to you both!! WIN Susan!

  213. Comment by Rebecca (Foodie With Family) | 07.10.2009 | 7:56 am

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Well, probably nothing, but I feel compelled to say it anyway.

    I’m praying for not only Susan, but for the rest of your family, too. The strength and grace you are all showing is a wonderful thing. And it’s heartening.

    My stepmom was just diagnosed with breast cancer a little over a month ago. We were all in a bit of shock. She had the lump removed and begins her radiation and chemo within the next couple of weeks. Thanks for showing us grace. It helps.

  214. Comment by Jeannie | 07.10.2009 | 9:18 am

    I’ve looked at your site a few times over the years, usually after Ree mentions it, and each time it has made my heart ache for your family. You are amazing people. I’m not usually a person who cries much, but today I’m actually sobbing as I think about all of you. Bless you for sharing your journey with strangers. And may you all feel the peace and comfort of God. I am praying for you.

  215. Comment by Michelle Gray | 07.10.2009 | 9:21 am

    Thank you (and Ree) for sharing.

  216. Comment by alayna | 07.10.2009 | 9:27 am

    Fatty & Susan,

    My heart aches for you all. Cancer is a terrible disease, and I hate that anyone has to go through it – much less a beautiful mother of 4 children. Please know that my prayers are constantly with you and your children.


  217. Comment by Ruth Ann | 07.10.2009 | 9:27 am

    I can only say an “amen” to all of the comments above and let you know how much you and your family have touched my heart. We all tend to feel sorry for ourselves about the trivial things in our lives, and yes, they are trivial, because then we read a touching story about such a wonderful, strong, loving family facing so many things. I can only say that my deepest prayers are with you and your family. I admire you so very much. God be with you.

  218. Comment by lcbannon | 07.10.2009 | 9:29 am

    What true love and courage on both your parts.

    WIN SUSAN…..

  219. Comment by Melissa B | 07.10.2009 | 9:34 am

    I commend you. I also understand what you are going through. My aunt Marsha in late 2008 was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors thought that they got it all and within three months of doctors office and surguries stopping she went back to work to come and find out last week she had brain cancer and lung cancer as well. She is know in a nursing home in JOplin, Missouri and deteriating fast. SHe is in her late 50’s and she thinks she is 35 with four children. Has given herself a new last name. Etc. It is very depressing and an awful experience to go through.

  220. Comment by Melanie | 07.10.2009 | 10:04 am

    I knew an amazing woman much like your Susan. Her name was Rose and she was my childhood best friend’s mom. She battled cancer for years, started with breast cancer of course it seems to always start there. She lost her battle in January of this year but she taught so many people so much. Her daughter, my friend, organized the first annual Rose Run 5K to raise money. I’m running it next weekend for Rose and for the hope that when my daughter is older she won’t have to worry about this disease. Prayers to you and your entire family. Go Susan! FIGHT!

  221. Comment by Katee W | 07.10.2009 | 10:41 am

    Thank you for this post, Fatty. I’m a newer reader to your blog and I really appreciate knowing what your journey has been with this disease. Your Susan is so strong! Your love for her is so strong!

    My prayer for you both is that God would make his love and presence in your lives known in real, concrete ways. You are not alone. God is with you and we are with you. Though some might view us internet folks as stalker-like, we’re here now and we’re not going any where!

    In conclusion, I will say this: Cancer Sucks. Cancer needs to be solved, figured out, mastered, conquered, ended. Let’s pedal, let’s fundraise, let’s END this disease!

  222. Comment by Lizzy | 07.10.2009 | 10:48 am

    Well put, Fatty. You are lucky to know such a woman.

    Win, Susan. LiveStrong!

  223. Comment by Erin | 07.10.2009 | 10:50 am

    I’m walking the 3-day at the end of August in Minneapolis. I’m doing it for my dad. (we laugh a lot–he had cancer twice in his neck, but he’s a big fan of breasts so he’s honored. If you can’t laugh…)

    Anyway, I have training walks totaling 30 miles this weekend. I’m scared. I’m not sure I can do it. I still don’t know how the hell I’ll walk 60. I just want you to know that I’m going to find a way. For Susan, and for all the other wives and moms who have families that need them.

    Thank you for using your eloquent voice so beautifully.

  224. Comment by Julie | 07.10.2009 | 10:52 am

    My heart goes out to all of you.
    My husband too always wants to “FIX” what is wrong and he hates not being able to fix (take away) Cystic Fibrosis from our youngest daughter. It must be a guy thing.

    Take Care,

  225. Comment by JeannieS. | 07.10.2009 | 11:19 am

    Another visitor from PW’s site here. I know some of what you are going through as I have experienced this miserable disease twice through my Dad and my Mother-in-law. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you all. WIN SUSAN!!

  226. Comment by Margi | 07.10.2009 | 11:40 am

    I’m also here from PW’s site. I read this post and it took me back 22 years. I also knew a woman like Susan. Her name was Julie and I am her youngest daughter. I feel pain and awe for Susan, for you, for your children … and I’m crying at work so I have to stop. But know you have prayers headed your way from Phoenix.

    And I also participated in the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk 5 times to raise money to beat this beast.

    Much love.

  227. Comment by Cathy Santarsiero | 07.10.2009 | 12:16 pm

    Two of my best friends are breast cancer survivors. Keep fighting. We are all in your corner. Love & Prayers, Cathy

  228. Comment by Lisa from Kentucky | 07.10.2009 | 12:20 pm

    Bless your heart. What struggles your family has and is going through. Your wife sounds like an incredibily strong woman and you obviously love her dearly.

  229. Comment by Joanie Hoffman | 07.10.2009 | 12:28 pm

    My love and prayers to you & your family.

  230. Comment by Michelle | 07.10.2009 | 12:34 pm

    Here from PW’s site, you amaze me! Sending prayers for your family.

  231. Comment by Thursday's Child | 07.10.2009 | 12:37 pm

    Found you thru PW’s site – I recently started biking regularly to help me lose 100 lbs, so I love finding new biking blogs.

    My heart goes out to you and your family – my hubby & I will be donating to your team as soon as we get paid (which should be today – yay)!

  232. Comment by Linda | 07.10.2009 | 12:44 pm

    Adding my heartfelt amens to the many listed above. Susan is an inspiration and you are all in my thoughts and prayers every day.

  233. Comment by NEG | 07.10.2009 | 12:45 pm

    Have never posted before but I felt so helpless for you. I wish someone would find a cure for this f** horrible disease. Will pray for continued strengh for your entire family.

  234. Comment by Wende C. | 07.10.2009 | 1:04 pm

    Here from Pioneer Woman as a visitor. I wish your family all the strength and determination and effort to win this fight!

  235. Comment by Bonnie | 07.10.2009 | 1:06 pm

    I know I’m just one of many comments here but wanted to leave my thoughts. Wow. Where to start. I’m not a cyclist. I’m out of breath just peddling up the hill in my neighborhood. But I am inspired and fascinated by you and your will to bring meaning to Susan’s fight and her courage and strong will to just keep fighting. The story is so incredible and I just want to send positive thoughts to you and your family and let you know how incredibly special your story is and that I was here, reading with admiration. Thanks.

  236. Comment by Alexiajoy | 07.10.2009 | 1:31 pm

    My prayers are with Susan, you and the kids.

  237. Comment by Hennifer | 07.10.2009 | 2:01 pm

    Thinking of you all!

    What powerful words, love, energy you and Susan are sharing with the world.

  238. Comment by Michael | 07.10.2009 | 3:21 pm

    I have been following your ordeal for some time. I think that I am a glutton for punishment. The vitality and vibrancy of your posts is hard to get through sometimes. I just recently lost a friend ( and . . . well it’s taken some time to be able to put thoughts together about it. I am scared to say anymore.
    We don’t get to choose what life brings us, but we can choose to be gracious. You have proven that.
    I am in awe of people like yourself and your family.

  239. Comment by Shannon | 07.10.2009 | 3:42 pm

    I have found a new hero – a family of heros. My prayers to all.

  240. Comment by Melody | 07.10.2009 | 3:48 pm

    Hi Elden & Susan, I found your blog from Ree’s site and I am so thankful she shared your link with us. I am going to be praying constantly for you Susan!! ((Hugs)) I have no idea what you guys are going through, but I just want you to know you have sooo many people praying for and thinking of you guys. You have touched a lot of hearts!!

  241. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 07.10.2009 | 3:53 pm

    Fighting for Susan in Ohio.

  242. Comment by Christine in Texas | 07.10.2009 | 5:14 pm

    My prayers are with you all!

  243. Comment by Sharon M | 07.10.2009 | 5:38 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with your entire family. What incredible couple you two are. I’ve come here by way of PW’s blog.

  244. Comment by Becca | 07.10.2009 | 6:22 pm

    I am speechless. I hope that your wife will know how much hearts are hurting for her, and cheering for her, and praying for her–from every corner of our country.

    Bless your family.

  245. Comment by Annette | 07.10.2009 | 6:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing this ‘journey’. I will add Susan and your family to my prayers. God does a plan in all of this chaos. I don’t believe He ever wants any of us in pain, but He will provide a way thru it. Many will be brought to their knee’s because of knowing Susan and her story. In that way, Susan is providing a way for others to come to God – she is cool for so many reasons. Blessings.

  246. Comment by Lauren | 07.10.2009 | 8:59 pm

    Two very close people to me were just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and had relatively no symptoms prior to diagnosis. I am struggling to wrap my head around this horrible thing called cancer… I am happy to help you in any way I can to beat this thing…

  247. Comment by Stephanie | 07.10.2009 | 10:31 pm

    Go Susan! Go Elden! God bless you and your family. My mother is a 46 year breast cancer survivor, but now she is fighting pancreatic cancer. She’s dealing with surgery recovery and chemo. She is a fighter also. My heart goes out to your family. I’m glad I could help.

  248. Comment by ~Kristi | 07.11.2009 | 3:34 am

    You and your family are in my prayers everyday. Susan sounds like an amazing woman and you…. you are a wonderful husband. We all should be so lucky to have someone like you in our lifes.
    Hang in there…

  249. Comment by A Canuck | 07.11.2009 | 7:53 am

    Came from PW’s blog, and have been inspired by your post. Cancer touches so many lives, and your story inspires us all to face it with the same courage, determination and grace. Bless you.

  250. Comment by Alison | 07.11.2009 | 10:55 am

    It makes me want to live each day to its fullest. Many of us have it good and we don’t realize it until we read about situations like this one. Susan you are such a trooper and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story.

  251. Comment by Tanya | 07.11.2009 | 11:15 am

    Sitting here, tears gushing as I read this post it takes me back some very short five years ago watching my mom battle this disease – almost in a mirror of what you speak here. I don’t have words. But I will pray.

    Win, Susan, Win!

  252. Comment by Susan | 07.11.2009 | 7:47 pm

    Wishing you peace and much love… thank you so much for sharing your story.

  253. Comment by wayoutnumbered | 07.11.2009 | 8:07 pm

    I also have 4 children. I can barely imagine the thought of going thru that battle while raising my young children and thinking of their future. I’ll keep your family in my prayers…your story is touching, thank you for sharing and making us more aware of what we need to fight.

  254. Comment by ileana | 07.11.2009 | 8:25 pm

    There’s a huge lump in my throat and in my heart – and I wish, like you, that there was something I could do for Susan. I will pray for your family. And I will strive to live with as much grace and strength as Susan, and the rest of your family. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. Much love.

  255. Comment by Heather Miller | 07.11.2009 | 10:34 pm

    I found your website by linking from The Pioneer Woman. My best friend lost her 10 year old son, Mitchell, to leukemia in September 2007. His last coherent words were “Keep fighting”. May you keep fighting for Susan and for those who need to beat cancer. Thank you for sharing your story and may God richly bless your fundraising efforts. Best wishes.

  256. Comment by Terri | 07.12.2009 | 12:15 am

    Also from PW’s site. Unfortunatley we are so incredibly broke and unemployed right now I don’t even have 5 dollars BUT when I do (Hopefully in the next 6 weeks or so :)) I will definitely be on board and contribute. We’ve had a rough year, probably the roughest of my 56 years but you know what? As far as I know we are not sick and for that I’m so grateful. Reading your story keeps me very aware of that. I’m so glad PW let us share in your story…thank you.

    Keep fighting Susan…you are amazing!

  257. Comment by Kippy | 07.12.2009 | 10:41 am

    I am so touched by your story and just the love you have for your wife. Please know that I will be praying for Susan and your whole family.

  258. Comment by Wendy | 07.12.2009 | 1:04 pm

    God bless you all. I wish that love could heal this. Stay stong and keep fighting.

  259. Comment by DeniseG | 07.12.2009 | 5:53 pm

    I’m not a cyclist and although I don’t know you or your family (I came upon your site through Ree’s website) I want to send positive thoughts and prayers your way. My heart breaks for you all. I’m hoping you all can stay strong and continue to love one another.

  260. Comment by devin | 07.12.2009 | 7:17 pm

    I was racing yesterday, fatty socks, fatty shorts (no jersey because the sponser wants some publicity). I crashed. Pretty hard. I wasn’t sure where I was, once I knew I was ok I kept racing…my thought was that this is nothing compared to what Susan and Fatty are going through. Keep fighting, Fatty I hope we meet in Austin.

  261. Comment by Marci | 07.13.2009 | 6:24 am

    Elden, God bless you. You are a real man!
    I will be praying for you and your family.

  262. Comment by Patricia | 07.13.2009 | 11:05 am

    There will never be the right words to say, but positive energy goes a long way…..I too lost my mother to breast cancer after a long fight. I’m holding a Breast Cancer Charity Ride/Event in Cairo on 15th October, we’ve already had lots of positive feedback from people wanting to help and donate, t-shirts, free consultations and mammograms. We are only a drop in the ocean, but every little bit helps. Please don’t give up…your courage and strength is an inspiration to us all…..This comes with heartfelt love and best wishes from Egypt.

  263. Comment by Tanis P | 07.13.2009 | 11:29 am

    In the very first post, Woody said it better than I could ever hope to.
    Thoughts & prayers being sent your way.

  264. Comment by the inadvertent farmer | 07.13.2009 | 11:29 am

    As the daughter of an ovarian cancer survivor I understand the amazing fight some cancer patients display…it amazing to see the strength in them. My heart felt prayers go out to you and your family and especially your wife, may God grant you some form of peace in this trying time. As a mother who has buried two children (twin girls) I can tell you from experience that the human heart can withstand great and aweful pain but still have an unending capacity for joy…may you find great joy in your time with Susan. Kim

  265. Comment by Egghead | 07.13.2009 | 1:02 pm

    Oh how my heart goes out to you and Susan. God bless that beautiful soul and your family. Heartbreaking as it is to watch and experience this beast we call cancer, the true heart and soul of people shine through in these moments. I lost my lovely 28 year old daughter to brain cancer three years ago and I never fail to be in awe of how she handles her illness, life and love of her little girls.
    You are in my prayers every day. Bless you all.

  266. Comment by Clay | 07.13.2009 | 3:19 pm

    My prayers are with you …


  267. Comment by Penny | 07.13.2009 | 4:45 pm

    I lost my Mom to breast cancer 8 years ago. Susan you are in my prayers…..keep fighting. WIN SUSAN!

  268. Comment by Karen | 07.13.2009 | 4:45 pm

    Oh, Lord, we lift up this precious family. Bind their hearts with Your love and peace during this trial. Be present in their home through friends and family, through words and deeds. Lay Your hand of healing and comfort on Susan. Amen.

    My thoughts are with you all! And every time I hop on my cruiser bike I will pray for you.

  269. Comment by Sabrina | 07.13.2009 | 10:03 pm

    I am at a loss for words, as I read your story that readily comes from your heart. I feel your pain and frustration in the aspect, there’s not a damn thing you can do to make it all better. I have a niece who is 14 years old, she has endured numerous open-heart surgeries since birth, was fortunate to get and survive a heart-transplant at 9 years old, only then to get cancer at 13 years old…survived cancer and chemo to go into heart rejection, surpasses that and is now in heart-failure, along with diabetes and arthritis, there will be no more heart-transplants, or surgeries. After awhile you begin to feel numb to the hopes and dreams that have or are being lost for that loved one, then anger, then sadness and then it all seems to cycle over again…I ramble, sorry…

    I wish your wife comfort, peace and continued strength as well as you and your family. May god bless her with one of his many miracles.

    Best wishes and prayers,


  270. Comment by Amy | 07.14.2009 | 12:16 am

    My goodness, Eldon, what a beautiful post. I am new to your blog, but want to say how inspired I am by your wife, and by your love for her and complete devotion. It’s so touching. Thank you for the reminder about what really matters, and for your beautiful work in organizing people and raising money. Win Susan!

  271. Comment by Kellie | 07.14.2009 | 10:07 am

    Thinking of you, Susan and your family…take care and know you are thought of.

  272. Comment by Anonymous | 07.14.2009 | 12:32 pm

    I’m thinking of you and your family as my town has it’s Cancer benefit, Relay for Life.

  273. Comment by the dude | 01.7.2010 | 6:53 pm

    Makes me want to cry. My wife just found out her breast cancer has progressed to stage four… bone, lung, liver mets. We are hopelessly lost.


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