7 Grapes, 4 Spoonsful of Ice Cream, 5 Bites of Rice

07.21.2009 | 5:29 am

7 grapes, 4 spoonsful of ice cream, 5 bites of rice. That’s what Susan ate yesterday. That’s all she would eat.

There was also some discussion of Diet Coke and chocolate milk, which was the first undeniable signpost of where things are headed, and why I’ve been unable to sleep.

Yesterday (Monday) morning, I grabbed a Diet Coke out of the garage fridge as I came back in from my early morning ride. I was surprised to see Susan was awake — she usually sleeps in.

“Where have you been?” she asked.

“On a ride. I told you about it before I left, but you were pretty sleepy and probably don’t remember it.”

“Is that Diet Coke?”

“Yeah,” I said, holding aloft the big 2-liter bottle so she could get a look at it.

“Can I have some?”

“Of course.” I went and poured some into one of those sipper cups they make for toddlers — the kind that you can drink from while laying down, without spilling.

“Here you go,” I said.

Susan took a sip and said, “Are you tricking me?”


“You said you were going to get me some chocolate milk. This is Diet Coke.”

“Sorry, I must have gotten mixed up,” I said. “I wasn’t playing a trick on you. Would you rather have chocolate milk instead?”

“No, Diet Coke is OK.” Then, a moment later: “You probably think it’s really stupid to be drinking Diet Coke this early in the morning.” All while I am of course still holding my own giant bottle of soda where she can see it.

Stop Tricking Me

As the day went on, Susan had hours that were normal, but increasingly frequently — the rapidity of the change has been unbelievable — she’s been disoriented and disconnected.

I suggested we watch one of her favorite movies — Return of the King (last week, we saw the first two movies in the trilogy). “Right. How about we wait until they finish making it,” she said.

So, thinking that she’d be comforted by the sound of my voice even if she didn’t understand everything, I started reading aloud the book I’ve been reading to her and the boys: Watership Down.

After a couple of pages, Susan stopped me. “You’re just reading the same words over and over,” she said. “Stop tricking me.”

Then, finally, close to bedtime, I went and got Susan some chocolate milk for real, thinking maybe earlier she had been trying to express that she wanted some, but had said “Diet Coke” because she had seen the bottle at the time.

“I got you some chocolate milk,” I said.

She held the cup up, looking at it skeptically, then tasted it.

“Please stop tricking me,” she said, and pushed the cup away. Then she started to cry.

At the End

I know that this is not Susan talking. We’ve known each other twenty-one years, and she knows that I wouldn’t play a trick on her, not when she’s sick.

But the cancer is pushing on her brain and has started making Susan see me as someone who is not to be trusted. And I worry that this is just the start, considering how fast things started moving over just the past couple days.

What greater slap in the face could cancer give me, than to make my wife fear and suspect me as I try to take care of her at the end of her life?

There just doesn’t ever seem to be an end to the ways it can find to injure and insult us.


  1. Comment by Rob L | 07.21.2009 | 5:38 am

    I’m sorry Elden. I can only imagine your frustration, anger, and other things. A good friends brother went through something similar with a single large tumor and he had physical issues from it. Hope today is a better day.

  2. Comment by Lone Star Lifer | 07.21.2009 | 5:39 am

    I have no words. Just know I got up early to see if you had posted anything so I would know what to pray for and to be thinking of you and your family today.

  3. Comment by Carole | 07.21.2009 | 5:40 am

    I am so sorry….

  4. Pingback by Fat Cyclist update. « LONE STAR LIFER | 07.21.2009 | 5:40 am

    [...] Early Tuesday morning update: http://www.fatcyclist.com/2009/07/21/7-grapes-4-spoonsful-of-ice-cream-5-bites-of-rice/ [...]

  5. Comment by Simon | 07.21.2009 | 5:43 am

    As one who watched someone I love die from cancer, the memories came flooding back as I read your posts.

    Be sure that through all the pain, tears, anger and frustration, you will come out of this journey twice the man you were when you started.

    You are an inspiration, sir.

  6. Comment by lady clay | 07.21.2009 | 5:44 am

    I’m sorry, too – though it seems a weak word for such an awful situation. I’ll be thinking of Susan, and you, and your children.

  7. Comment by neca | 07.21.2009 | 5:45 am

    As always, you & your family are in my thoughts & prayers.

  8. Comment by Joe | 07.21.2009 | 5:49 am

    I feel for you my friend. I’m praying for clarity for Susan and peace for you and the kids. The strength both of you have shown through this illness is inspiring. WIN Susan!

  9. Comment by buckythedonkey | 07.21.2009 | 6:04 am

    Thinking about you all.

  10. Comment by DOM | 07.21.2009 | 6:10 am

    Wow, Elden, my heart go out to you. You are right, that’s not Susan talking. Keep up the good work, don’t let the cancer break you. Positive thoughts coming your way. Sorry I can’t do more.

  11. Comment by Mark | 07.21.2009 | 6:17 am

    Elden, Susan and Family,

    Cancer is a truly awful disease. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. While we will hope for miracles, we will also pray for a better way for you along this path.

  12. Comment by Cheryl | 07.21.2009 | 6:17 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for awile. I don’t bike. I am a nurse. I just wanted to tell you to keep doing what your doing, don’t take it personally. You are doing a great job….your wife is lucky to have you. Hang in there, my heart and thoughts go out to you.

  13. Comment by Dan | 07.21.2009 | 6:18 am

    Words cannot express how I feel while reading your post this morning. I am praying earnestly for your family.

  14. Comment by MrsEAM | 07.21.2009 | 6:24 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Susan, and the kids. I am so very sorry for what you are going through.

  15. Comment by bo | 07.21.2009 | 6:24 am

    Fatty, you and your family don’t deserve this. I joined Team Fatty to help you beat cancer, and now I just want to work harder at it. Were all here for you.

  16. Comment by Wonderdyke | 07.21.2009 | 6:24 am

    I’m also a nurse – and I do bike – and there’s no way around it – this totally sucks. I can only imagine how hard this is for you and your family. In the end, Susan knows what’s up – even if it doesn’t seem that way. Hang in there and breathe – thinking of you.

  17. Comment by Deb | 07.21.2009 | 6:25 am


    My thoughts are with you.

  18. Comment by Beej | 07.21.2009 | 6:29 am

    I wasn’t ready for this one…it really got to me. My thoughts are with you.

  19. Comment by Chris | 07.21.2009 | 6:31 am

    I’m sorry. Our family continues to keep Susan, you and the kids in our thoughts and prayers.

  20. Comment by Amy | 07.21.2009 | 6:32 am

    Wretched disease…

  21. Comment by Suze | 07.21.2009 | 6:33 am

    Man, at times, life just sucks doesn’t it. My thoughts and prayers are with Susan, you and your family.

  22. Comment by Maile in Florida | 07.21.2009 | 6:33 am

    In tears, but sending all the support I can for you, Susan and your family. Sending thoughts of strength and comfort, riding in my Susan jersey later this morning.

  23. Comment by steventoby | 07.21.2009 | 6:33 am

    I have only prayers to offer, and you shall have them in abuntance.

  24. Comment by Leah Weiss Caruso | 07.21.2009 | 6:34 am

    thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers.

  25. Comment by Wine Dog | 07.21.2009 | 6:36 am

    Morphine is nasty stuff. My Dad was on it after he broke his hip. If it were just me and him when he was saying all that crazy stuff it would be one thing, unfortunately my Mom was there too. (Me and him would have just laughed about it all at a later date). It’s just misfiring synapsis from the drug. Doesn’t make it any easier when it’s someone you love deeply.

    We’re with you in your battle. Win Susan.

  26. Comment by steventoby | 07.21.2009 | 6:36 am

    uh..abundance. (doh!)

  27. Comment by CeeCee | 07.21.2009 | 6:36 am

    Her mind might think you are playing tricks, but her soul knows who you are and that you are trying to take care of her.
    I wish I could offer more than just prayers.

  28. Comment by dawn from Houston | 07.21.2009 | 6:36 am

    Elden, I’m so sorry. The pain you’re going through is not quite the same as Susan’s but it’s real too. You have 21 years of memories with Susan, try to draw strength from them in these difficult days.

  29. Comment by Ows | 07.21.2009 | 6:39 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for months, and this entry is utterly heartbreaking. I’m 3000 miles away, and I’m so very very sorry.

    May you find the strength you need to keeping pulling yourself up this horrible horrible hill. Underneath all that ugly cancer is your beautiful wife, and that’s the one thing to focus on. Ignore the things the C says, and concentrate on what S says.

    We’re with you, if not in body, then in spirit.

    Ride strong, be strong, LiveStrong.

  30. Comment by Lucy | 07.21.2009 | 6:42 am

    Dear Elden, Susan and children,

    We are praying for you to have strength, peace and comfort.

    John and Lucy

  31. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 07.21.2009 | 6:42 am

    Longtime lurker, delurking to say keep slapping that cancer back. Everything you’re doing for Susan just slaps the disease a little more. Every moment you have, even the ones where she’s disoriented, is worth it. You’re all in my prayers for some peace from this and more better days for Susan.

  32. Comment by Jason Crane | 07.21.2009 | 6:54 am

    Thinking of you and your family a lot these days.

    Love and strength,


  33. Pingback by RocBike.com | The RocBike Review » Dammit | 07.21.2009 | 6:56 am

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  34. Comment by NoTrail | 07.21.2009 | 6:59 am

    I went through this about 8 months ago with my mom, and I can tell you this … it’s the Cancer that is causing her to act this way, it’s the Cancer that it making you hurt, it’s the Cancer that doesn’t trust you … Susan knows you love her and Susan knows you’re doing everything you can for her (even if she can’t express it right now).

    Keep your head up the best that you can. Meanwhile, we are all praying for Susan, for you, and for your friends and family.


  35. Comment by amy vw | 07.21.2009 | 7:00 am

    I’m so sorry for all that you’re going through. I watched my mother-in-law battle cancer a few years back. Your post reminds me so much of what we experienced with her. No one should have to endure such heartache and pain.

    My thoughts are with you and your family during.

  36. Comment by patrick a | 07.21.2009 | 7:06 am

    It’s heartbreaking that anyone should have to be as strong as you, Susan and the rest of your family have been.

    I wish no one ever had to go through this.

  37. Comment by John | 07.21.2009 | 7:06 am

    Elden –

    There’s nothing anyone can say to make this any easier on you, but I wish there were. My wife went through this same cycle with her mother and it took her a long time to realize that it wasn’t that her mom didn’t love and trust her, but that the cancer had gotten particularly nasty at that point. Just remember that we’re all thinking about you and praying for you.

    Someday we’ll win.

  38. Comment by Marcia | 07.21.2009 | 7:08 am

    Found you through PW’s site several years ago. Peace, ease and courage to you all. Twice in the past 6 months, the same process has touched our family. You are a strong and beautiful family…and I am so sorry that you must be in this place.
    From the delurking sister of a cyclist who loves your site and is a member of Mark McCormack’s team in MA.

  39. Comment by SharronT | 07.21.2009 | 7:09 am

    You are a warrior. I gain insight into what a real man is when I read your blog. You are staying strong for your wife and your family. You are in my prayers.

  40. Comment by Philly Jen | 07.21.2009 | 7:12 am

    “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”
    — Winston Churchill

    Elden, I’ve spent years shaking my head in astonishment over what you manage to endure on the bike.

    Which utterly pales in comparison to this.

    I just hate that it has to hurt this much for you all, and be so awful.

    The things you are doing mean everything in the world right now, and you are doing an amazing job. It may not feel like it, but you really, really are.

    For Susan, for your family, and for us.


  41. Comment by Wes | 07.21.2009 | 7:17 am

    That’s not your wife that is fearing and mistrusting you. Susan would NEVER do that. Be strong, Fatty…

  42. Comment by Dana | 07.21.2009 | 7:18 am

    what else can we do? what else do you need?

  43. Comment by Biking to Beat Cancer | 07.21.2009 | 7:18 am

    So sorry that cancer is doing that, its a horrible thing. Keep fighting the Cancer and keep up the good work. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  44. Comment by mamajenny | 07.21.2009 | 7:20 am

    I’m so sorry. I just don’t know what to say. You love her so much, and even though she’s confused right now, she has always known you love her. She loves you, too. Cancer can’t ever take that away.

    I’m praying, Fatty. I’m praying for some peace. I’m praying that you will remember that cancer cannot take away the good things you two have shared. You have been so blessed to have a true love, and stupid cancer can’t change that. Ever.

  45. Comment by Donna | 07.21.2009 | 7:29 am


  46. Comment by Rie | 07.21.2009 | 7:30 am

    I’m so sorry to hear what you have been going through. We’re still all praying for you and your family. Cancer is truly evil.

  47. Comment by TimRides | 07.21.2009 | 7:30 am

    You know it, we all know it, and it’s already been said, but…that’s not Susan talking, that’s Cancer talking. She’s still there. You, Susan, and your family shouldn’t have to face this. Nobody should have to face this, which is why it just makes us that much more determined to do whatever we can to beat this thing. LIVESTRONG. WIN. And remember that we are always here for you.

  48. Comment by Jane | 07.21.2009 | 7:30 am

    I lost my husband 5 years ago to brain cancer. He was 39 years old. The very worst was the loss of his mental capacity and knowing who his wife and kids were. I know his pain must have been unbearable at times, but he could never really express it. The best decision I made was to lose him to the pain meds 3 weeks before he his body died. So sorry for you.

  49. Comment by Hamish A | 07.21.2009 | 7:30 am

    As someone said on here a little while ago: Freakin’ dumb Cancer. Today I hate it all the more for what it’s putting Susan, You and your Children through.

    All I can do is offer prayers and thoughts. I wish there was more. Prayers for peace & clarity for Susan, positive thoughts to give you more strength to keep being the amazing Man you’ve shown us all you are.

    Love, hugs and as much good energy coming your way as I can muster.


  50. Comment by Jaime O. | 07.21.2009 | 7:32 am

    We’ve got to find a way to beat this disease in all of the forms it takes. I can’t decide if I’m more sad or angry. We must WIN.

  51. Comment by devin mccune | 07.21.2009 | 7:36 am

    Wow, every day it is harder to hear the news. Your on-line community of friends is here to support you, Susan and the kids any way we can. Sending you all the love and support we can.

  52. Comment by Linda | 07.21.2009 | 7:36 am

    Nothing much I can possibly add here except I am praying, have been praying, and will continue to pray for complete healing and strength for Susan, you and your family.


  53. Comment by Kristy | 07.21.2009 | 7:41 am

    Tears running down my cheeks, prayers lifted up in your behalf. I wish we could do more.

  54. Comment by duane | 07.21.2009 | 7:41 am

    Stay strong for your family. You guys are in our prayers and thoughts.

  55. Comment by Snap | 07.21.2009 | 7:49 am

    Hope you can take just a short moment today, Eldon, to take in all of the loving thoughts and positive energy sent from your friends and strangers that care so much about you and your family. You always give. Take a moment to receive.

    Love and friendship from blogland.

  56. Comment by Gillian | 07.21.2009 | 7:51 am

    Susan knows you are a source of comfort and love. She won’t forget that voice, not after two decades. The cancer is just pushing the wrong buttons in her brain. It may take a lot from her body, but it can’t take love away.

    Everything you are doing is the right thing for her, be confident in that, despite what the cancer is saying.

  57. Comment by UphillBattle | 07.21.2009 | 7:51 am

    My heart is breaking for you, Elden. Continued prayers for peace, comfort, and strength.
    Cancer is an evil and cruel monster. I am so sorry for what it is doing to you, Susan, and the kids.
    Stay strong.

  58. Comment by Anonymous | 07.21.2009 | 7:53 am

    In these times we rarely need a warrior to stand in front of us with a sword and protect us from the bad…but in my eyes that is what you are doing for your wife, against the odds. She knows it. We know it. I am willing my strength to you – I wish it were enough.

  59. Comment by Ann | 07.21.2009 | 7:53 am

    Susan knows who you really are. The cancer is just pure evilness and Susan knows you love her. Stay strong- for both of you.

  60. Comment by Tracy | 07.21.2009 | 7:54 am

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I can only echo the sentiments of everyone else here that this is not your Susan talking — this is the cancer and the drugs. She knows you love her. I believe that like I believe nothing else.

  61. Comment by Pink | 07.21.2009 | 7:55 am

    I lost my mom to lung cancer in 1999. I was in such denial about the whole thing. Really cannot even tell you why. I’m sure they told me, but you must have eyes to see.

    One of my regrets is that I did not realize. God, I know this is hard, but at least you’ve had those good moments —- when she could still make jewelry and when you could still talk.

    You’ve had 20 something wonderful years and you have your children.

    Thoughts and prayers, sir. I hope we help.

  62. Comment by Jessica | 07.21.2009 | 7:57 am

    I continue to think about and pray for you all.

  63. Comment by sllym | 07.21.2009 | 7:57 am

    This is truly heartbreaking. Like the others, I wish there was more I could do. My prayers are with your family.

  64. Comment by Brenda | 07.21.2009 | 7:59 am

    Long time lurker here who was just diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer 3 weeks ago. Susan is my inspiration. I hope I can fight this disease with as much grace and courage as she has shown.
    My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you, Susan, and the rest of your family at this time.

  65. Comment by Woody | 07.21.2009 | 8:04 am

    I have no words……

  66. Comment by Carl | 07.21.2009 | 8:12 am

    Cancer sucks!!!

  67. Comment by Julia | 07.21.2009 | 8:14 am

    This is a terrible thing. This is just the cancer talking so try not to take it personally. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and the kids as well. This too shall pass.

  68. Comment by p.j. | 07.21.2009 | 8:24 am

    My thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort for Susan and for you, Elden. I can’t possibly know how you feel, but take a moment to step outside and take a deep breath when the situation seems to be spiraling down, and out of control. I hope the morphine pump helps Susan and you.

  69. Comment by Madelyn | 07.21.2009 | 8:29 am

    Having been thru this years ago, and uneducated, with my young husband – I find I have nothing new to say to comfort you.
    Prayers, prayers, prayers – are all I have at a time like this. Know there are many and daily.

    ~Mad(elyn) – A Lurker in Alabama

  70. Comment by AZ Colleen | 07.21.2009 | 8:33 am

    My heart and thoughts are with you all.

  71. Comment by run-girl-run | 07.21.2009 | 8:34 am

    Elden, You are a warrior. You have traded some of Susan’s physical pain for more pain in your own heart. You say you wish you could do more but you are easing her pain.
    Continue to fight, continue to love, WIN.

  72. Comment by T.L.S. | 07.21.2009 | 8:35 am

    DAMN CANCER!!! This post broke my heart. I could have written these exact same words about my precious mother in law a few years ago. She had metastasized breast cancer and I took care of her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for many months until she went to Heaven. She, too, thought we were “tricking” her and questioned us on the simplest of things. But as others have mentioned in comments before and as you have said yourself…..this is NOT Susan its that DAMN CANCER! Susan, you and your children, are and will remain, in our prayers. There are no words of comfort that can be offered that will ease your pain of watching your best friend, wife, mother of your children suffer as she has, but, I do believe in miracles and the power of prayer. I pray that one of those miracles will belong to you and your family. You certainly have earned it.

  73. Comment by Jane | 07.21.2009 | 8:35 am

    Susan might not know you, but you will always know and remember her. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  74. Comment by Kathy | 07.21.2009 | 8:37 am

    I’m so sorry that this happens to anyone.

  75. Comment by Carla | 07.21.2009 | 8:39 am

    Elden – I went through that with my mother. Honestly, I don’t think she remembered the incidents. Cancer is no friend and especially to the brain. You just have to roll with it. I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this. You know Susan loves you and she also know you love her.

  76. Comment by DavidV | 07.21.2009 | 8:40 am

    Just hold her hand.

  77. Comment by Lisa | 07.21.2009 | 8:42 am

    You are a courageous and brave man. Susan would be so proud. Stay strong.

  78. Comment by RLove | 07.21.2009 | 8:42 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
    God Bless you all.

  79. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 07.21.2009 | 8:47 am

    Said a prayer for you today. WIN SUSAN!

  80. Comment by Angie G | 07.21.2009 | 8:50 am

    Fatty- Think of this as the hardest climb you have ever done. You know when your quads are on fire, and quiver with every pedal stroke. And you just want it to be over, but you keep making those circles, one at a time. You can hear Susan cheering you on as you keep climbing, inch by inch.

    Don’t let the Cancer win!

    Don’t let it breed doubts in your mind. Susan knows you down deep where the cancer can’t go and you know her. There is no pain there, only love and comfort.

    Dumb Freaking Cancer!!!


  81. Comment by donna | 07.21.2009 | 8:50 am

    My sister, my cycling friend, and this spring, my Mom. I know the pain cancer brings and much of what you have been through is familiar. My prayers are with you, Susan and your family.

  82. Comment by Bridget | 07.21.2009 | 9:00 am

    I just recently started reading your blog but wanted you to know that I, too, am praying for your family. This is very heart breaking, but I’m sure she knows you love her. Stay strong and know that you have many people praying for you and your family. If you need ANYTHING – post it, and we shall be there.
    Thoughts, prayers, and hugs,

  83. Comment by Brian | 07.21.2009 | 9:07 am


    I’m sorry. As a cycling doc can I point out that morphine is recognised to cause taste disturbance so this is not Susan simply ‘losing control’ of her mental faculties but a recognised side effect. Don’t lose hope…

  84. Comment by Frilly | 07.21.2009 | 9:09 am

    You are not alone. We are with you in spirit–fighting this with our bikes, our feet, our time, and our hearts.

  85. Comment by Hannah Hawley | 07.21.2009 | 9:09 am

    Cancer is a cruel and ruthless enemy.
    I am sending healing energy to you and your family.

  86. Comment by MOCougFan | 07.21.2009 | 9:11 am


    I was just gonna mention the same as Brian above. Hold the faith brother. Keep her comfortable.

  87. Comment by Paul | 07.21.2009 | 9:17 am

    I can’t think of anything useful to say, but saying nothing seems worse. love, fear, hope, empathy. I hope for the best.

  88. Comment by Heidi | 07.21.2009 | 9:18 am

    You’re a good husband and father, Elden.

    When a relative was diagnosed with cancer, I started a clean joke list that I send out three times a week. Sometimes you just need something funny to distract you, and here’s one of my favorites:

    A police officer sees a man driving around with a pickup truck full of penguins. He pulls the guy over and says: “You can’t drive around with penguins in this town! Take them to the zoo immediately.” The guy says okay and drives away.
    The next day, the officer sees the guy still driving around with the truck full of penguins. And this time they’re all wearing sunglasses.
    He pulls the guy over and demands: “Hey! I thought I told you to take these penguins to the zoo yesterday!”
    The guy replies: “I did! And we had such a good time that today I’m taking them to the beach!”

  89. Comment by leroy | 07.21.2009 | 9:21 am

    All I can do is echo the sentiments of those above. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    My family experienced my father’s similar reaction to morphine after a tumor was removed a few weeks ago.

    Cancer can take many things, but it can’t touch your love.

  90. Comment by Katie | 07.21.2009 | 9:25 am

    I’m sorry. I wish you all peace. I don’t know what else to wish for.

  91. Comment by Lerjoy | 07.21.2009 | 9:32 am

    I am sorry, Fatty. Your family is in our thoughts.

  92. Comment by Janneke | 07.21.2009 | 9:32 am

    F-ing Cancer. Win Susan and Nelson family. Fight like Susan to kill this murderer for good.

    Love hugs and prayers,


  93. Comment by fattyfan | 07.21.2009 | 9:36 am

    I wish there were more words to express our collective sorrow.

  94. Comment by Hoggy | 07.21.2009 | 9:42 am

    Fatty, I dont have words to express how I feel for you and Susan and the kids … I dont hate easily but I hate cancer

  95. Comment by Daddystyle | 07.21.2009 | 9:50 am

    Eldon and family, thinking of you.

    The real Susan knows and loves you. Hang onto the good memories.

    Love from the Stanhopes

  96. Comment by Cindy Cor | 07.21.2009 | 9:51 am

    Typing with tears rolling down . . .

    You have fought, and are fighting, with such grace and courage, an inspiration to so many of us.

    I’m sending you all of the love, prayers, hope, hugs, energy, good karma that one soul can generate. Know that so many of us are pulling for you. It’s hard to know what to say, and for every comment there are many more lurkers with the same sentiments, praying for your peace and strength.

    Fight like Susan!
    Fight for Susan!

  97. Comment by Kiyomi | 07.21.2009 | 9:54 am

    Susan and your kids are very lucky to have you. I wish you peace and strength for the coming days.

  98. Comment by db | 07.21.2009 | 9:56 am

    I cannot even imagine how much that hurts, Eldon. We’re all thinking of you guys. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  99. Comment by S | 07.21.2009 | 9:57 am

    Fatty- You are such a good man and your family is so lucky to have you. Your family is bigger than this stupid, wretched, evil disease. I am thinking of you and yours today.

  100. Comment by m00se | 07.21.2009 | 10:05 am

    I don’t know what to say that already hasn’t been said. I’m so sorry.


  101. Comment by Amy | 07.21.2009 | 10:06 am

    I’ve been reading for a long time, but have never commented. I’m sure it doesn’t matter, but I am keeping you & Susan in my thoughts. My heart is breaking for you.

  102. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 07.21.2009 | 10:11 am

    I am so sorry for each turn this road is taking your family. You are the super domestique in Susan’s fight. Riding beside her, encouraging, going back for drinks. You are doing it all. Still praying for you all.

    Fight on Susan!

  103. Comment by Kt | 07.21.2009 | 10:15 am

    Keep holding on, Elden. She’s still there, it’s just that the cancer (no big c from me, it doesn’t deserve it) has snuck in and is trying even harder. What a jerk it is.

    The cancer is tricking her, not you. Keep being the wonderful, warrior-strong (Aragorn!) husband and father that you are. Your army has your back.

    Lots of warm fuzzies aimed your way, Susan. Keep pushing back against your invaders. It’s the Battle of Helms Deep going on inside your body.

    Or, it’s the battle in the Honeycomb (Watership Down is one of my favorite books!!), and you’ll prevail.


  104. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.21.2009 | 10:17 am

    Marilyn & I prayed for you and susan and your family this morning, as you were posting this. I cannot imagine your anguish, Elden. But we care.

    Keep fighting with love, man.

  105. Comment by VT Rob | 07.21.2009 | 10:22 am

    So sorry. You are all in my prayers.

  106. Comment by carson | 07.21.2009 | 10:28 am

    I can’t find words, but I also can’t leave here without saying I am thinking about you and your family and your unbelievable strength and courage.

  107. Comment by ann | 07.21.2009 | 10:32 am

    Her words may be confused, but her heart isn’t. The Susan you know trusts the husband she treasures. Praying from afar.

  108. Comment by Jen | 07.21.2009 | 10:38 am

    I don’t know what to say but I can’t say nothing so I guess I’ll say what I always say. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m wishing you peace, clarity and comfort.

  109. Comment by Rachael Herron | 07.21.2009 | 10:39 am

    I was on BART in San Francisco two days ago. A man was wearing a Fat Cyclist jersey, and looked exhausted, leaning against his bike. I said, “Go Susan,” to him, and he suddenly grinned. Two total strangers, who don’t know you or Susan in person, rooting for your family. All love sent your way.

  110. Comment by Justin | 07.21.2009 | 10:41 am

    I’ve been where you are (my sister), and I wish I had words that could do . . . something.

    You and Susan, and the relationship you have, are an inspiration. The courage you both have shown through this ordeal far outclasses any feat an athlete will ever do or any performance an actor or musician will ever give.

    Just keep fighting.

  111. Comment by PeterAK | 07.21.2009 | 10:48 am

    Thinking of you and Susan and wishing for the best. Your dedication is inspiring.

  112. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 07.21.2009 | 10:54 am

    Cancer totally sucks. But Susan loves you and you love her. I’m so sorry. You are all in my prayers.

  113. Comment by alice | 07.21.2009 | 10:57 am

    Cancer is heinous. Standing with you in the fight. You’ve got a good grasp on her, what’s normal what’s not. She might not know at all times what you are doing, but your kids do and that would make her proud.

  114. Comment by Bill H-D | 07.21.2009 | 11:02 am


    After losing my wife’s father and a dear friend to Cancer in the same year a few years back, it became clear to me that one of the worst things about the disease is the havoc that it wreaks on the whole network of caregivers. Cancer is cruel that way.

    As hard as it may be to focus on yourself right now, I just wanted to say out loud that this thing that is happening to Susan is also happening to you. It’s not the same, of course. In some ways her suffering is unimaginably worse. But in many ways, and perhaps especially to all of us who follow your blog, your suffering is pretty damn bad too.

    So as you are taking care of Susan, take care of yourself too, man. We’ll need you fighting for a long time to come.


  115. Comment by Penina | 07.21.2009 | 11:05 am

    My heart goes out to you all.
    As a former Paramedic, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps the MS04 needs to be lowered a bit. Morphine Sulfate can really make a person confused and act in an uncharacteristic manner.

  116. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 07.21.2009 | 11:08 am


  117. Comment by Jeff L. | 07.21.2009 | 11:09 am

    No words. Just tears. I’m so sorry.

  118. Comment by ToddinChicago | 07.21.2009 | 11:12 am

    Hard to type right now. Keep fighting Susan.

  119. Comment by Charise | 07.21.2009 | 11:12 am

    I’m so sorry Elden.

  120. Comment by Jessica | 07.21.2009 | 11:14 am

    I’m so sorry this is happening. You and Susan are such good people. I think it is probably the Morphine that is making her confused. Some people have bad reactions to it. I was like this when I was on a morphine drip, and I can’t believe the stories people tell me about what I was saying to them.

  121. Comment by Jessica | 07.21.2009 | 11:14 am

    Embrace her normal moments and try your best to forget the times where she makes no sense. She will always love you and thanks to you we will never forget her!

  122. Comment by Mark W | 07.21.2009 | 11:16 am

    I can’t imagine the pain you are going through but keep fighting buddy.

  123. Comment by Ryan | 07.21.2009 | 11:21 am

    I’m so sorry. You both are in my thoughts and prayers. What an awful thing.

  124. Comment by Heather | 07.21.2009 | 11:23 am

    Elden-I’m crying at my desk at work, wishing I could drop off a casserole or something to make life easier for you. I just want to say how impressed I am at the way you fight alongside and for Susan. From rigging water bottles and arranging remotes to reading out loud, your resourcefulness and focus on Susan’s best interests have assuredly improved her quality of life (and continue to do so)–she knows this, and would tell you so if she could.

    My thoughts are with you.

  125. Comment by Alex | 07.21.2009 | 11:27 am

    dude. I know there’s not much anyone can say that will make anything better, but I’m so sorry y’all are having to go through this. God bless.

  126. Comment by Susan | 07.21.2009 | 11:29 am

    I’m wishing you and yours peace and sending love.

  127. Comment by Linda | 07.21.2009 | 11:29 am

    I am so sorry

  128. Comment by Gina | 07.21.2009 | 11:33 am

    Hugs and prayers coming to you and your family. I’m sure it is hard to watch the one you love suffer so much. Thanks for sharing with us…

  129. Comment by Andrew | 07.21.2009 | 11:35 am

    Keep fighting, man. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  130. Comment by Dartanyon | 07.21.2009 | 11:40 am

    Thoughts, prayers and love to all of you.

  131. Comment by Linda | 07.21.2009 | 11:46 am

    I am so very sorry.
    Cancer is truly evil

  132. Comment by Kellie | 07.21.2009 | 11:57 am

    You know your wife, and this isn’t her talking – it’s the cancer. Down deep she knows what you are doing for her and she would not want you to be distressed by what she (cancer) is saying. Keep on telling yourself that. You know what is real. Take care of yourself and your family. You’re doing a great job. She’ll always love you for that.

  133. Comment by bikerchick | 07.21.2009 | 11:57 am

    Oh, Fatty and family. My heart breaks for you. The *real* Susan knows the *real* Elden would never, ever do this. Please trust in your 21 yrs together and your heart. I am thinking and praying for you both to make it over the next pass. Peace.

  134. Comment by kentucky joe | 07.21.2009 | 11:58 am

    It’s times like this that mere words don’t really cut it but your actions speak so loudly that I can’t help but respond and continue to marvel at how absolutely resolved you are to make Susan as comfortable as possible. You have comrades in arms. We are in this fight, some soley because you pulled us in, others from personal experience, but make no mistake….you and Susan and your family are not in this fight alone. We came to chew bubble gum and kick cancer’s ass and we’re all outta bubble gum. (apologies to Roddy Piper’s line in the movie “They Live”)

  135. Comment by Nathan | 07.21.2009 | 11:59 am

    I have no words, other than I wish I could take some of the pain from you and your family.

  136. Comment by jim | 07.21.2009 | 11:59 am

    Just praying!!!!

  137. Comment by Argentius | 07.21.2009 | 12:01 pm

    This is terrifying, and terrible.

    I wish I had something comforting to say, about it being for a reason, or it will all work out, but I don’t believe that.

    It’s terrible, it’s sad, and there’s no cause for it.

    I cannot even imagine what you are going through, let alone Susan.

    To the both of you, stay as strong as humanly possible. All of our best thoughts and hopes go out to you.

  138. Comment by bobbieh | 07.21.2009 | 12:04 pm

    Hard to type thru the tears ~ I’m so sorry, Elden.
    I sent this list to all of my ChemoAngel friends…

    What Cancer Cannot Do

    It cannot cripple love.

    It cannot shatter hope.

    It cannot corrode faith.

    It cannot destroy peace.

    It cannot kill friendships.

    It cannot suppress memories.

    It cannot silence courage.

    It cannot invade the soul.

    It cannot steal eternal life.

    It cannot conquer the spirit.

    My love and thoughts are with you all.


  139. Comment by Janet | 07.21.2009 | 12:06 pm

    In her heart she knows, despite what she says. Have peace in knowing that you have gotten to love an amazing woman for 21+ years, and that can’t be taken away.

  140. Comment by Hughes | 07.21.2009 | 12:10 pm

    As everybody has said, I am sorry for this situation both of you are going through right now. It is not easy to read this, here in Mexico city. I have been a fan of yours for a few years, your blog made me laugh during hard times.

    I wish I could do something to help you right now, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.


  141. Comment by Wild Dingo | 07.21.2009 | 12:15 pm

    I never met you, but if I was there, I’d want to wrap my arms around your entire family. I’m heart broken. But I too fight for Susan.

  142. Comment by josh | 07.21.2009 | 12:18 pm

    cancer sucks

  143. Comment by Matt | 07.21.2009 | 12:23 pm

    Prayers from Cleveland

  144. Comment by Sandy | 07.21.2009 | 12:25 pm

    I’m glad that you can separate the cancer from your wife. The disease (and likely the effects of the morphine considering the sudden change) is what is making her behave in this way.

    Fatty, you, Susan and your children are loved and thought about by people spanning many countries, by people who have gone through this before, and by people you’ve never met. You will make it through.

    You are doing an amazing job. As a hospice worker I have seen people abandon their family members because it’s ‘too hard.’ You are an amazing person doing an amazing job with the woman you chose to share your life with. As hard as it is right now, try not to let the things that Susan may say now get to you. She loves you, and trusts you to get her through this. How could she not?

    If I could take away some of the pain you feel, I would.

    I am so very, very sorry.

  145. Comment by Deb | 07.21.2009 | 12:33 pm

    Elden, I simply can’t find the words to express how sorry I am.

  146. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 07.21.2009 | 12:36 pm

    My heart aches for you. I am so very sorry.

  147. Comment by Nick | 07.21.2009 | 12:44 pm

    reading your last couple posts has brought back a lot of memories from my grandfather’s battle with lung cancer.

    You guys are not alone, and there are a lot of people out there praying for and thinking about you.

  148. Comment by Deedle | 07.21.2009 | 12:46 pm

    Hang on. Stay strong. Live strong.

    We are so sorry (and that is such an inadequate word).

  149. Comment by Michael in TN | 07.21.2009 | 12:51 pm

    I really f@#&ing hate cancer

    Fight Like Susan!

  150. Comment by Anonymous | 07.21.2009 | 12:52 pm

    May God bless and keep you, Susan and your family at this difficult time.

  151. Comment by Paula Kirsch | 07.21.2009 | 12:56 pm

    I feel like you guys are family members, and it hurts so much to see the pain you are both in. I sure wish there was something I could do other than express my concern and support, but those you have in spades.


  152. Comment by Melissa | 07.21.2009 | 1:21 pm

    We’ve never met, but I cry daily for you and Susan because I would give my legs that peddle my bike if I could make her mind clear for the rest of her days. She knows in her heart you aren’t tricking her even if her mind is playing games.

  153. Comment by KC | 07.21.2009 | 1:23 pm

    Watching your soulmate struggle is the worst.
    Wishing you peace.

  154. Comment by Susan (another one) | 07.21.2009 | 1:24 pm

    Crap. Kiss her little head for me.

  155. Comment by Amy from Texas | 07.21.2009 | 1:26 pm

    I’ve never posted a comment to your site, but I HAD to, today. You and Susan are in my prayers & thoughts.

  156. Comment by Allan | 07.21.2009 | 1:32 pm

    I really can’t think of any words to say. Yall are in my prayers and thoughts.

  157. Comment by cloud19th | 07.21.2009 | 1:37 pm

    lots of prayers and thoughts for you from Madison WI.

  158. Comment by Casey | 07.21.2009 | 1:47 pm

    I’m so sorry. Sending thoughts of grace and peace for all of you.

  159. Comment by sharon | 07.21.2009 | 1:51 pm

    I am so sorry you and your family are going through this. It is horrible, unimaginable and tragic. Thank you for sharing your life with us. It only makes me appreciate what I have more. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all!

  160. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 07.21.2009 | 2:00 pm

    Fatty – I went through pretty much the exact same thing about a year ago with my father and yes, it IS heartbreaking. Just remember it’s the cancer talking, not Susan.

    Stay strong but don’t hesitate to lean on someone when you need it – even your cyber-friends here. I’m pretty sure any one of us who come here regularly would do ANYTHING to help you and your family through this.

    I wish I could help make this better for you and your family.

  161. Comment by kawika | 07.21.2009 | 2:08 pm

    definitely stay strong. i lost my mother and aunt to leukemia, and i remember my mom’s last days. as others have said, it is not susan talking to you; it is the cancer.

    and lean on everyone around you. peace.

  162. Comment by Mal | 07.21.2009 | 2:13 pm

    We have never met , most likely never will. But your words and emotions reflect what we all fear , take courage in knowing that through you , we also find your strength . And we all in some small way want to take part of your pain away. Know you have friends

  163. Comment by Anna | 07.21.2009 | 2:14 pm

    Hold tight.

  164. Comment by itmustbeken | 07.21.2009 | 2:25 pm

    Fatty, know this, everyone has you in their thoughts and prayers. No doubt in my mind. As soon as I hit ’submit comment’ me and Lord are going to talk for a few minutes…

    Words fail to express my hatred of cancer.

  165. Comment by chtrich | 07.21.2009 | 2:25 pm

    Stay Strong!!

  166. Comment by kathleen | 07.21.2009 | 2:38 pm

    thinking about you all, and hating cancer right along side you.

  167. Comment by Shellyg8r | 07.21.2009 | 2:46 pm

    Prayers for you all……

  168. Comment by Debbie in Memphis | 07.21.2009 | 2:51 pm

    Keeping Susan, you and your children in my thoughts and prayers.

  169. Comment by Carrie | 07.21.2009 | 2:56 pm

    holding you and your family close in prayers.

  170. Comment by Tez | 07.21.2009 | 2:59 pm

    As always, thoughts and prayers to you and your family! Cancer is evil and must be stopped!

  171. Comment by Sean | 07.21.2009 | 3:06 pm

    Keep going. Stay strong. Don’t stop caring.

  172. Comment by Kate | 07.21.2009 | 3:12 pm


    I’m sorry. There’s nothing else I can say, except that my thoughts from Canada are with you. I feel like I’ve begun to know you a bit from this blog, and I regret it’s under terrible circumstances.

    Good luck and take care from Canada.

  173. Comment by Jarod | 07.21.2009 | 3:12 pm

    Win, Elden. There’s no other choice.

  174. Comment by Donna | 07.21.2009 | 3:30 pm

    I’m sorry cannot cannot express how I feel. I hope all our prayers reach Susan and your family.

  175. Comment by Vickie | 07.21.2009 | 3:37 pm

    This disease is evil. I lost my dear sister in January. She, too, got to where she didn’t trust anyone. I have to remember the good times and that she loved me as much as I loved her. I will keep praying for you and your family. God is faithful.

  176. Comment by Wade | 07.21.2009 | 3:40 pm

    Reading this post gives me chills Elden. I can only imagine what you, Susan and your family are going through. I’m so sorry. I pray that things turn around for all of you.

  177. Comment by Patty | 07.21.2009 | 3:52 pm

    Just another note to say — I’m thinking of you and wishing, wishing this weren’t so! I’m so sorry and sad —
    but just remember: Susan always knows you and who you are. Inside, she remembers.
    Sending love your way. We will keep fighting cancer!

  178. Comment by Fremont Mike | 07.21.2009 | 3:54 pm

    I tried to write a couple of comments but they all seemed weak. I’ll just keep praying for peace for you and Susan.

    Damn cancer!

  179. Comment by JeanRN | 07.21.2009 | 3:57 pm


    I am sorry this is happening within your family.I understand that it is a very hard time for you all. A book that has made a profound and positive effect on my journey with hospice patients and families is Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs and Communication of the Dying. The authors are Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, both seasoned hospice nurses. Their knowledge may give you useful insight for the days ahead.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  180. Comment by Adventure Nell | 07.21.2009 | 3:58 pm

    Sorry for the pain that you are going through. My sister is facing the exact same fight as you as her husband has a brain tumour and it is hard to watch helplessly as she has to make the hard decisions and watch her life partner die by increments. My prayers are with you and with her.

  181. Comment by L'Hippo | 07.21.2009 | 4:02 pm

    Strength, love, and win

  182. Comment by Zoe | 07.21.2009 | 4:08 pm

    Man, be strong! I know how you feel. My mom died from processing systematic sclerosis many years ago. She had such mental disconnection too. What you are doing for Susan is very respectful. Keep on pedaling; you make cycling larger than life. God bless your family.

  183. Comment by John H. | 07.21.2009 | 4:11 pm

    Oh my gosh Elden, I’m so sorry to hear the turn that Susan has taken. I know that she takes strength in knowing deep down that you’re there caring for and loving her. She knows that despite what’s going on, she’s lucky to have you. I know this has to be so hard on you. Just know that you’ve got thousands of people praying for Susan and your unbelievable strength. The two of you have done amazing things and will continue to do so.

    Peace and love.

  184. Comment by Jamieson | 07.21.2009 | 4:12 pm

    Prayers as always are with you and Susan, and a deep understanding of the roads upon which you find yourself treading slowly each day.

    Be strong as you have been.

  185. Comment by rockstarshawn | 07.21.2009 | 4:19 pm

    I have been reading your blog quietly for a while and will buy a jersey as soon as I can. I want to help gang up on and kill this disease. I don’t think the rest of the lurkers will mind my saying Win Susan for all of us!

  186. Comment by karen l | 07.21.2009 | 4:28 pm

    Be strong, be courageous, you are not alone.

  187. Comment by B. in Denver | 07.21.2009 | 4:37 pm

    I am so, so sorry. I am thinking of you, and Susan. You are incredibly strong and loving. Your caring for her is something that many of us could not do ourselves. Know that she finds finds peace with your presence. Obviously, the cancer knows that having you there helps Susan, and causes her body to react. I’m so glad you can separate the horrible disease from your wife. I wish you love and peace through all of this.

  188. Comment by annainaspen | 07.21.2009 | 4:40 pm

    I’m in tears. Like so many others I’m so very sorry. Susan, you and your whole family are in my thoughts and prayers. I have never met Susan or you but thru this blog you start to feel a connection and this turn for the worse has brought me to tears. I can’t imagine what you and your children are going thru.
    All I can say is WIN!

  189. Comment by Nick M | 07.21.2009 | 4:43 pm

    Stumbled onto your blog through Bicycling.com cause I’m a ….fat cyclist…. Also, lost my Dad to cancer two years ago and he would not “cross that line” either. You gotta understand that somewhere inside she’s still there, still cares and still understands you care. Continue to do an outstanding job of care for her, stand on your pedals and scream at the world (it works, trust me) and go home and give her chocolate milk. You and she have prayers from me and my family.

  190. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 07.21.2009 | 4:43 pm

    I am sorry to hear the path latest path your enemy (and our) has decided to take. I can only repeat what so many say, it is the morphine and the cancer talking and taunting you. Susan, you and your children are bigger than this. Take the anger and frustrations out on Hog hollow or some other single track.


  191. Comment by Amy | 07.21.2009 | 4:50 pm

    Elden – Survivorship is not only for the individual with cancer its for the caregiver also. Your going to survive but forever be changed. I don’t think enough credit is given to those that endure challenges like this – Susan is a Trooper and so are you and your family -

  192. Comment by Amy | 07.21.2009 | 4:52 pm

    Oh and when I was looking at books about surviving something like this the section changed from Self Help to Sexual Help – It made me laugh at the book store -

  193. Comment by Eric D | 07.21.2009 | 5:01 pm

    Eldon, you are an inspiration and help to more people than you realize. I feel like the floodgates of prayer have been opened in your direction and while my post seams so meager, I will add my own prayers for you and your family. Fight like Susan and WIN!!

  194. Comment by Tony | 07.21.2009 | 5:03 pm

    You’re a good man. Stay strong.

  195. Comment by Jill | 07.21.2009 | 5:18 pm

    I’m so sorry to read how this has progressed. You two are so strong.

  196. Comment by Annie | 07.21.2009 | 5:24 pm

    I don’t know what to say. I am profoundly affected by these posts for a myriad of reasons. But, don’t forget that she recently had a huge adjustment in her pain medication. That’s some powerful stuff she’s ingesting and perhaps its a factor in this rapid change…

  197. Comment by David | 07.21.2009 | 5:25 pm

    Like others here, this blog originally caught my eye because I am a fat rider of bicycles, but my day job is as a physician in the UK. I really respect you and your family for how you have coped with an impossible situation and for what you have done through this blog and Team Fatty to publicise and support the fight against Cancer.

    I know you have lots of support and advice both locally and through the web but if this post does catch your eye then can I reinforce the message that this is the disease talking not Susan, that you are clearly making the best decisions that can be made in the circumstances and that you should feel no guilt as a consequence and that though this is a terribly hard time for your family I am sure from what I have read that your strength and the support of your friends will see you through.

  198. Comment by Ellen | 07.21.2009 | 5:33 pm

    At times like this there are very few words that can ease your pain and the hell you are going through. But I offer my prayers and my thoughts and the hope that for all the people you and Susan have inspired and all the money you have raised to fight cancer, one family won’t have to go through this hell.

    Still fighting for Susan,

  199. Comment by Hilslug | 07.21.2009 | 5:49 pm

    Prayers from Orem.

  200. Comment by Kathy | 07.21.2009 | 5:52 pm

    **HUG** Elden, like all the others I only have words of frustration in what life has dealt to Susan, you and your children. Cancer does SUCK and it’s a F’n shame that anyone has to watch what it can do to someone that they love. We can only hope that our words of support can help you and your family through this. **/HUG**


  201. Comment by lyndap | 07.21.2009 | 5:52 pm

    It could be the pain meds…I was in labor with one of my kids and thought I hadn’t had a contraction in a couple of hours…I had lost all sense of time and was totally confused. Keep up the fight Fatty!

  202. Comment by Chris in Portland | 07.21.2009 | 5:53 pm

    Stay strong Elden. Sounds like you are a great husband.

  203. Comment by justrun | 07.21.2009 | 6:10 pm

    I’m thinking of and praying for you guys every day. You are my heroes.

  204. Comment by Ghengis Jung | 07.21.2009 | 6:18 pm


  205. Comment by dinglearm | 07.21.2009 | 6:25 pm

    Fatty, Cancer sucks, but we are all here for you and Susan.


  206. Comment by Jessica | 07.21.2009 | 6:25 pm

    Your blog reminds me so much of my mother’s battle… only now I get to see what my dad went through. Thank you so much for writing this (although I wish like hell you didn’t have cause to) because you are giving me an even greater appreciation and perspective. Praying for Susan and praying for you.

  207. Comment by cheapie | 07.21.2009 | 6:27 pm

    i know it’s been said already but i’m impressed with how strong you’ve been. weaker men would have just let the hospice take care of it and retreated into a hole. thank God you took those vids of her when she was herself so you and your family can remember her like she really was.

    eff cancer!

  208. Comment by Lisa B in Seattle | 07.21.2009 | 6:33 pm

    Oh Elden, what to say except that you, Susan and your family are in our hearts and our prayers. I’m so so sorry.

  209. Comment by chrissy | 07.21.2009 | 6:40 pm

    Eldon, just know for everyone who posts, there are several of us silently praying for you and your family daily.

    Cancer sucks.

  210. Comment by Connie | 07.21.2009 | 6:41 pm

    I am so sorry. I can’t say anything new or add any insight other than I am sorry. I have lived through this three times with both my parents and my father in law. It is horrible. I am so sorry.

  211. Comment by Freedom | 07.21.2009 | 6:45 pm


  212. Comment by sansauto | 07.21.2009 | 7:07 pm

    You’re in our prayers.

  213. Comment by JEnn | 07.21.2009 | 7:08 pm

    Thoughts are with Susan and your family, more so than ever.

  214. Comment by Kris | 07.21.2009 | 7:16 pm

    Thank you for writing about this painful journey in your life. In my book, both of you have already WON. Susan continues to be a catalyst for change through your voice. This is a gift you were meant to share with the world. Wishing you peace and love.

  215. Comment by bubbaseadog | 07.21.2009 | 7:26 pm

    try as i might i cant add any thing to the comments its all been said ..

  216. Comment by Garmon | 07.21.2009 | 7:29 pm

    I’m glad you are willing to share these personal, painful experiences with us. I’m sorry for what you and Susan are going through, but touched to read about the strength that you have. Our family is beginning a similar journey, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it with the strength and grace that you have.

    Love to you both, we pray for you. WIN SUSAN

  217. Comment by john johnson | 07.21.2009 | 7:32 pm

    Real man…

  218. Comment by Lisa | 07.21.2009 | 7:39 pm

    No words… We are with you.

  219. Comment by Claire | 07.21.2009 | 7:44 pm

    Elden, I am so sorry, I have no words at all. We are with you, thinking you and Susan and your family.

  220. Comment by anji | 07.21.2009 | 7:46 pm

    I’m also in tears… I pray for you guys several times a day, as I think about things…

    I wish I could help you through these times and your family too… I wish I could take all of your pains away…


  221. Comment by jessica | 07.21.2009 | 7:49 pm

    You are doing such important, precious work right now. And possibly, I think you can feel every single person with you right now, in prayer, in spirit, in gracious awareness of what you & Susan & the kids are working through.

    You’ll need a bigger house – everyone is pulling for you and we’re right beside each of you.

  222. Comment by anne | 07.21.2009 | 7:51 pm

    Elden & family,
    I’m so, so sorry. Please be comforted by the knowledge that your readers send all good thoughts & prayers for your continued bravery. You and Susan are an inspiration to us all. Wish I could do more.

  223. Comment by T-odd | 07.21.2009 | 7:54 pm

    Hang in there buddy. We went through a similar patch with my dad when he had cancer. I don’t know what else to say other than I really feel for you at this point. I will say a prayer and keep you in my thoughts. No matter what happens you have so much positive energy flowing your and Susan’s way. I hope you and your whole family can feel it.

  224. Comment by ann | 07.21.2009 | 7:57 pm

    I hope you feel the support of these 200+ people who can do little more than “come alongside” willing to do whatever possible to take a part of the load.

  225. Comment by Tag | 07.21.2009 | 7:58 pm

    You are not alone.

  226. Comment by pmccord | 07.21.2009 | 8:02 pm


    I have been following your funny/painful/poignant/LOVING reports of your life, your children and your lovely wife Susan. But today, my heart is broken for all of you. You (all) are in my thoughts and prayers. Win Susan, win Fatty – through tears….

  227. Comment by Pam | 07.21.2009 | 8:04 pm

    Both you and Susan have touched so many people. Your fight against cancer has been inspirational. But it’s your relationship, your love for each other that has really touched me. I will continue to pray for you.

  228. Comment by courtney | 07.21.2009 | 8:47 pm

    Aw hell. I’m sorry.

  229. Comment by bg | 07.21.2009 | 8:47 pm

    Love her. Love your kids.

  230. Comment by NW | 07.21.2009 | 8:50 pm

    There are no words, other than cancer is a beast that takes so much, seemingly from the best of people. Why, I have no idea and I’m sorry.

  231. Comment by Jason | 07.21.2009 | 8:53 pm

    There will come a day when The Good Lord above will say to you, “Good job, Elden. You’ve touched many lives and truly made a difference with the gifts I gave you in spite of the many trials you faced.” And on that day, we will see the end of death and disease and be reunited forever with those we love in perfection. Keep the faith!

  232. Comment by Jeannine | 07.21.2009 | 8:53 pm

    Dear Fatty, Hugs and prayers to you from Minnesota.

  233. Comment by VA Biker | 07.21.2009 | 8:55 pm


    I’ve been unable to comment on the last few posts. The remembrances are too vivid, the fight too fresh…

    I will state that you have and continue to do the best for your wife. Regardless of her reaction because of cancer, the loving history between you both speaks for itself. I can only aspire to be as strong as you have been.

    You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Peace.

  234. Comment by Jennifer | 07.21.2009 | 9:09 pm

    Bring in a willing volunteer (and I know there are many) to help take care of YOU.

    When things got like this with my dad, we had friends coming over to sit with us, do the laundry, talk, cook for my mom and me, run errands, and just generally take care of US. It made a huge difference, and made it easier for us to take care of my dad.

    Don’t be shy about asking someone to help take care of you, so you can be stronger for Susan.

  235. Comment by KatieA978 | 07.21.2009 | 9:11 pm

    I’ve been holding off commenting, because I really didn’t know what to say. :(

    It’s one of those rare occasions that I still don’t, but I just want to say anyway I’m thinking of you, Susan and the whole family, and sending all the love, good karma, best wishes and happiness in your direction.

    Cancer officially f***ing sucks.

  236. Comment by Pinkbike | 07.21.2009 | 9:24 pm

    Oh Elden, Tom and I are so sorry. Cancer is the gift that just keeps on giving, isn’t it?

    We are sending our love and comfort. We’re praying for you; indeed, we’ve never stopped.

    Sue and Tom in South Pasadena

  237. Comment by Dan | 07.21.2009 | 9:25 pm

    You have alot of people backing you up. $419,409 during the middle of a recession proves that. Our thought are with you. Win Susan, Win Elden!

  238. Comment by Anonymous | 07.21.2009 | 9:31 pm

    Thinking of you in North Carolina…

  239. Comment by Chris | 07.21.2009 | 9:32 pm

    Thinking of you in Arkansas…

  240. Comment by Rant | 07.21.2009 | 9:40 pm

    Wow. That’s not good. You and Susan are in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.

  241. Comment by pammap | 07.21.2009 | 9:46 pm

    So sorry. Thinking of you and Susan.

  242. Comment by Harald | 07.21.2009 | 9:47 pm

    We wish you and you family all the best! Win.

  243. Comment by Melanie | 07.21.2009 | 9:48 pm

    Sorry, Elden. You’re doing such an amazing job taking care of Susan. I will say many extra prayers for you and your family. I really wish things were better.

  244. Comment by swtkaroline | 07.21.2009 | 9:57 pm

    oh Fatty, my heart breaks for you and Susan with each word you write. Please know that I am thinking of you and wishing and willing for pain free and lucid days–for both of you.

    much love,

  245. Comment by Leigh | 07.21.2009 | 10:09 pm

    So, so sorry, Fatty. We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  246. Comment by jeanine dixon | 07.21.2009 | 10:22 pm

    I lost my mom to cancer nine months ago today; reading your post reminded me of some of the time I spent with her towards the end of her life. She accused me of stealing from her (albeit chocolate, but stealing none the less), she behaved much like my then 4 year old son when she wanted something, and she had fairly rapid & strong mood swings. I have spent the last nine months trying to work through those last weeks – and there are a few things that I have come to realize: Pain can do incredible things to the psyche. Fear is a very real and raw emotion. Most of all, no matter how “prepared” one is to die, the last thing they want to do is leave the ones they love behind. Know that Susan loves you and your kids with her whole heart; know that you have done INCREDIBLE things to fight this horrible disease that is stealing her from you far to soon; know that sometimes sleep is the best thing, no matter what. My heart is with you during this portion of your journey.

  247. Comment by Erin | 07.21.2009 | 10:24 pm

    thinking of you in Brooklyn

  248. Comment by Meagan | 07.21.2009 | 10:25 pm


    I’ve been lurking on your blog since the first time PW mentioned it but just had to comment today. There’s nothing to say that hasn’t already been said but I will pray for you and your family and ask that you feel peace and comfort during this time.

    Remember to take care of yourself…Susan and your children need you to do so.

  249. Comment by Sue W | 07.21.2009 | 11:13 pm

    So sorry….

  250. Comment by @PeckishCyclist | 07.21.2009 | 11:23 pm

    So sorry it’s been headwinds for you and Susan for so long. (You so clearly made the best decision re the morphine–it’s terrible that there’s such a trade off with clear thinking…) You’re both in my thoughts–

  251. Comment by Jenn | 07.21.2009 | 11:42 pm

    I don’t know how the 251st post to say ‘I’m sorry’ can really mean anything to you….but I feel compelled to write it anyway. As others have said – you are indeed an inspiration Eldon – you and Susan both. I cannot imagine how awful this is but I still keep you in my thoughts and hope that means the tiniest something. My husband and I both read today’s post and hugged each other a little more tightly tonight. Watership Down is a fine, fine novel. I hope you can occasionally slip into its world.

  252. Comment by Melody | 07.22.2009 | 12:20 am

    I can’t even put into words how sorry I am, and how much it breaks my heart that your family is being tormented with such intensity. I just want to say how deeply, deeply sorry I am that you are watching your wife go through this and I am praying for your beautiful Susan, as well as you and your children. ((hugs))

  253. Comment by Seth | 07.22.2009 | 12:31 am

    Best of all for you and your family in the most difficult of times. Being there for and with her is the most wonderful act of love to witness. I’m inspired, a better person for reading even just the bits of your daily life. And also seeing your grounded humor in the midst of it. Thank you for being an example of what loving someone unconditionally really means. You’re in many prayers.

  254. Comment by Little1 | 07.22.2009 | 12:40 am

    Elden, angels are watching and her brain may not be aware but her soul knows!

    I am a firm believer in Hospice and hope you have a good hospice in your area they are amazing!

  255. Comment by ricky | 07.22.2009 | 1:22 am

    very sorry. our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  256. Comment by KatyO | 07.22.2009 | 1:51 am

    I am not ashamed to admit it-I cried (at my desk at work) when I read this. My heart breaks for you and your family, and you are all in my thoughts.

  257. Comment by Mark Kynaston | 07.22.2009 | 3:21 am

    So very sorry to read your news. Love and best wishes to you all.

  258. Comment by dieselmike | 07.22.2009 | 5:56 am

    My prayers are with you.

  259. Comment by dawn from Houston | 07.22.2009 | 6:45 am

    Hugs to you and the rest of the family. I know your girls are with their aunt, I’m hoping the boys have somewhere “positive” to turn to as well.

  260. Comment by Pat | 07.22.2009 | 6:49 am

    My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. As a former palliative nurse, who nursed her dad at home, we found patches with morphine like drugs very effective. The pump is also a great method to fight pain.
    Many cyber hugs to you, Susan and your children.

  261. Comment by Vet Sculler | 07.22.2009 | 7:46 am


    I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said many times, but I’m thinking of you, Susan & the kids.

    Spreading the word; here’s FC kit in the London Bikeathon



  262. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 07.22.2009 | 7:46 am

    By the time I’ve scrolled through all these comments, the entire front of my shirt is wet with tears.

    I am going to, right now, do a ceremony aimed at sharing your burden and taking your pain. I love you guys and am disgusted with the suffering you’re all enduring.

    To anyone else reading this far down- what about Livestrong donations in the form of $21? For all the amazing years Susan and Elden have had?

  263. Comment by lh | 07.22.2009 | 7:50 am


    Another long-time lurker, first-time poster who found my way here from the first mention by PW.

    I, too, feel that there’s not much more I can say that hasn’t already been said. After going through the same thing with my mom several years ago, I remember how much it helped just knowing that there were people thinking of us & praying for us.

    Hang in there & know that there are lots of folks thinking of you and Susan and the kids.

  264. Comment by Michele | 07.22.2009 | 8:02 am

    I’m so sorry. My thoughts continue to be with you and your family. Susan is lucky to have your support and love.

  265. Comment by GenghisKhan | 07.22.2009 | 8:15 am

    I’m sorry sorry and, like so many others here, wish I had magic words of comfort. I don’t, but it sure would be nice if cancer were a person so I could poke it in the eye with a dirty finger!

  266. Comment by Christi | 07.22.2009 | 8:18 am

    Cancer just sucks!!!!!! I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this!!!!!!!

  267. Comment by Andy Carpenter | 07.22.2009 | 12:05 pm

    Susan, your family, friends and all of us out here know how much you’ve done for her in fighting this terrible disease. You are to be commended on your perseverance and stamina. Keep on writing since it your gift to yourself and all that you love. We appreciate you bringing your personal story to the world. It will help us all in the end.

    I’ll be wearing my Fat Cyclist / Fighting for Susan Jersey this week on my bike commute. It inspires me as do you.

    Win Susan!

  268. Comment by jeff | 07.22.2009 | 7:33 pm


    You know that even when Susan is confused in her head, she knows you love her in her heart. Cancer can’t change that.

  269. Comment by calitexican | 07.24.2009 | 1:39 pm

    hey fatty,

    long time reader, first time commenter. i read this post and i felt a rush of emotion. i must have skipped this one in my RSS feed, because i know that you had two wonderful hours later on in the week. :)

    for all of us that have faced this horrible disease, and for those who have not, i wish you and your family all the best. your strength in the face of adversity is amazing and certainly inspirational to many.

    i’m thinking of and praying for you and your family,

  270. Comment by Christina | 07.27.2009 | 10:23 pm

    Damn cancer. One day, it will be no more. I’m praying for your family.

  271. Comment by Douglas | 07.28.2009 | 5:24 am

    I know this is hard for you to take. My heart and prayers goes out to you. I wish I knew what to say to help you through the pain and suffering that both of you are experiencing but words fail me.

  272. Comment by Sam Lance | 07.28.2009 | 5:49 am

    How sad is this? But everything in life happens for a reason. My heart goes out to you, Susan. Never give up hope.

  273. Comment by candcantiques | 07.28.2009 | 6:27 am

    As a man that lost my wife 9 years ago I wanted to send my support to you. My wife beat back NonHodgkins Lymphoma and was 5 years clean only to die 6 months later from a brain hemmorage thought but not proven to be the result of Phenylpropanolamine in Alka Seltzer. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm150774.htm
    She died Sept 30th 2000. It wasn’t till 2 months later they recalled it. Her death tore me apart. Maybe there is one thing that might comfort you though. Maybe. At the time of her death I was 3 miles away from her. There was absolutely no reason for me to fear for her health. But I knew. I don’t know how but I knew. It scared the hell out of me and I ran to be with her but it was to late she was gone. I have never forgotten that something told me, maybe she did. I know there is something beyond this world. I don’t know what, but I know that this isn’t the end. Death and the loss of the one you love sucks. But for me I am thankful for everyday that I had with her. I wish I could give some good advise that might help but all I truly feel that I can do is pray for you and your family and I am sure that whatever higher power you have will give you the strength to carry on. God Bless LiveStrong

  274. Comment by M Lawson | 07.28.2009 | 6:56 am

    I realy don’t know how you cope, you are a better man than i am i hope today is a good day.
    All the best,

  275. Comment by Wayne | 07.28.2009 | 7:11 am

    Elden I want to say I’m sorry but at the same time I want to tell you to step up this is when those around you going through this as well need you the most.By you helping others in time of need it will help you in your time of need. Hang in there!

  276. Comment by TravisHi | 07.28.2009 | 7:37 am

    My sympathies. I can’t really add much to what has already been said, but you have a great outlet here to share your story. It does inspire others to be strong. I don’t consider myself to have heart strings, but you apparently have found them. Thank you! Be strong! Hang in there! You know that she loves you, and anything that she says or does that seems mean is not her. My prayers are with you and her!

  277. Comment by Boni Cannon | 07.28.2009 | 8:47 am

    My daughter cared for me through stomach cancer and I will never be able to express how much it means to have that caring and love at your weakest moments…the caring,love you are giving are treasures without price….my prayers for you, Susan and your family…..and a continuing radaince of love to you….

  278. Comment by Andy | 07.28.2009 | 9:19 am

    Bless you and your family. I lost my Dad to liver cancer on January 27th, 2004, as he passed away in my arms. Your post reminds me of the week leading up to that date, and I wish you and your family all of the strength, courage, and love that you will need to face what’s coming. The things you say and think and feel now will not be remembered, but the love will be.

  279. Comment by Eric | 07.28.2009 | 9:37 am

    you are strong and selfless and it is so unfair, but remember that she will be in a much better place and you will be able to remember the great times you have both had. Focus on the children and know that you can ask those around you for help and guidance. Pray and put your self in His hands.

    It will be better.

  280. Comment by saundra | 07.28.2009 | 9:46 am

    i read some of your blog. as a nu nurse i am amazed at ur strength, ur compassion and great ability to be flexible. ur heart is very strong. take good care of urself so u can continue 2be supportive 4ur family. i wish i lived nearby so i cld do something 2help.

  281. Comment by Linette | 07.28.2009 | 2:18 pm

    I am also not a bicyclist as many others have said. I actually found you a few motnhs ago through Pioneer Woman’s site. I have been sending prayers to you and your family and especially Susan as you endure this time in your life. I understand why you hate cancer. I wish there was more I could do for you than to just offer prayers but for now it is what I have.

  282. Comment by Biene | 07.29.2009 | 3:05 pm

    I’m sending good thoughts from Munich/Germany.
    I’m lost for words…

  283. Comment by G | 07.31.2009 | 5:02 am

    Before cancer took my mum (the brain tumors got her in the end) I really struggled with how she was reacting so badly to things and in ways that seemed wrong. I so appreciate you sharing these things with us; while hard to relive I know some of what you’re going through.


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