Two Good Hours

07.23.2009 | 8:27 am

Yesterday afternoon, I had an IM conversation with my friend Dug, where I gave him some of the details of how things are and where they’re headed.

Then, at the end, I suggested: “Hey, how about a ride this afternoon? My neighbor, Sherry, says she’ll be happy to watch Susan so I can get out.”

Dug already had plans, but he moved them. I think he could tell I wasn’t really just asking for a ride.

We drove to AF canyon, parking at the turnout to Tibble Fork, then rode our singlespeed MTBs up the pavement to the Timpooneke trailhead, across the Ridge trail, then up and down Mud Springs. That joins up to Tibble, which we took all the way down, then pavement back to Dug’s car.

The trail is in pretty bad shape — motorcycles really tore it up during an unusually wet spring — but the ride was still better than any I can remember in a long time. Good to get out on my favorite trails with Dug.

The ride stood in contrast with the rest of the day. As we rode back toward home, I thought back to the morning, and couldn’t believe how long the day had seemed. Or how long the week had seemed, and it was only Wednesday.

It was great to do something normal, something that had nothing to do with cancer, for a couple hours.


By 9:00pm, Susan was sleeping, so I fired up the DVR to catch up with the Tour. My mind boggled as Contador screwed his own team over in what I could tell was a rookie move from the second that ill-conceived attack began.

Between his selfish race tactics, his attitude of vindication, that ridiculous “pistol” salute — really, it’s the pistol salute more than anything else — I am finding it very difficult to cheer for that guy.

Contador’s definitely the fastest guy at Astana — which is saying a lot — but he’s no team leader.


At 11:00pm, I was surprised by the sound of Susan’s voice, clearly calling for me. She was awake and completely lucid. No longer babbling and mumbling, she asked me to explain what’s been happening, and how long she had been “out.”

I caught her up with the details, and to both of our surprise she remembered a lot of it. For an hour or so we had a very serious conversation, where I explained my choices and how she’s doing. I can’t even explain how grateful I am that I got that chance, and that Susan was able to tell me that I was doing the right things.

We also talked about a number of things that won’t go into this blog.

Then I had the boys come in — the twins are still in Colorado with Grandma — and we all talked and joked around for an an hour. The feeling in the house — which had been hospital-quiet and hospital-sad the whole day — went through the roof.

Now, this morning, I’ve just given Susan something to basically knock her out — she was terrified because she was absolutely convinced I had moved her into an Ikea and trapped her there, so she couldn’t get out.

I would never have thought that — after 21 years — an additional two hours would feel like such a huge gift.


  1. Comment by Kel | 07.23.2009 | 8:32 am

    I pray for comfort and peace for you and your family. I also pray that I have just a fraction of your strength. I am humbled.

  2. Comment by Nick | 07.23.2009 | 8:32 am

    With all the tough times, those two hour are definitely a nice gift.

  3. Comment by Jodi | 07.23.2009 | 8:33 am

    What a great gift from Susan. I know it must have been such a relief for your teammate to give you that back-up, that you’re making the right choices for her. Hang on to that, remember that as these days get hard.

    Lots of love to my family in Utah from your family in Brooklyn.

  4. Comment by Shellyg8r | 07.23.2009 | 8:33 am

    Prayers for you all…

  5. Comment by Linda | 07.23.2009 | 8:35 am

    Beautiful…each second is a precious gift. God bless you all!

  6. Comment by chtrich | 07.23.2009 | 8:35 am

    silver linings :-)

  7. Comment by Alli | 07.23.2009 | 8:41 am

    Praying for strength for all of you.

  8. Comment by pammap | 07.23.2009 | 8:42 am

    It was truly a gift. Blessings to you; may you have a few more. You and Susan remains in our thoughts and prayers.

  9. Comment by Tasha | 07.23.2009 | 8:47 am

    Bringing tears to my eyes – so glad you had those couple of hours, Fatty. Truly truly happy for you. Wishing peace and comfort for Susan – thinking of you both….

  10. Comment by CeeCee | 07.23.2009 | 8:49 am

    So glad for that gift. For you and for your boys.
    Prayers and Peace.

  11. Comment by Justin | 07.23.2009 | 8:51 am

    These are hours in the sun. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Comment by Susan | 07.23.2009 | 8:52 am

    Thank you for a very special gift – reminding us that every day, every hour is a gift. I’m glad you got those two hours. I’m so glad for you and your boys. Thoughts and prayers…

  13. Comment by MattC | 07.23.2009 | 8:52 am

    I recall going thru some tough times years back, and my Mt bike was a strange release from all the bad things…a short-circuit to earth-ground of all the negative and bad energy if you will. By the end of a ride I would be refreshed and energized, ready to tackle the tough stuff again. Sounds like it’s working roughly the same for you…good stuff. So very glad you got some REAL time with Susan and the family. Those are and will continue to be very valuable times. Cherish them and thanks for sharing with us. Strength and peace be with you my friend. As are all your “friends you’ve never met” here, I’m sending you all the good-thoughts, strength, energy, and prayers that I have! Stay strong (LiveStrong!)

  14. Comment by db | 07.23.2009 | 8:55 am

    I’m so glad to hear about even a brief reprieve for Susan and your family. Peace and strength to all of you.

  15. Comment by Katie | 07.23.2009 | 8:55 am

    Like everyone else said – what a gift, what a fantastic thing to be able to hold onto when the going gets tough.

  16. Comment by Sarah Goodyear | 07.23.2009 | 8:55 am

    A blessing. Light in the darkness. So glad you and the boys had that.

  17. Comment by c3 | 07.23.2009 | 8:56 am

    What a fabulous gift. Such a blessing.

  18. Comment by Fat Cathy | 07.23.2009 | 8:57 am

    I’m so happy for you, Eldon, that you and the boys got that time with Susan. We are thinking of you and your family.

  19. Comment by Dana | 07.23.2009 | 9:01 am

    it’s amazing how good two hours can feel, sometimes.

  20. Comment by Patty | 07.23.2009 | 9:11 am

    You will get more such gifts, I’m convinced. Thinking of you all and sending what tiny comfort I can send.

  21. Comment by Lerjoy | 07.23.2009 | 9:14 am

    Very nice. In our thoughts.

  22. Comment by florentine | 07.23.2009 | 9:15 am

    oooooooo, that’s so nice to hear :-)
    all the very best to you and susan. hugs to all of you.

  23. Comment by karen l | 07.23.2009 | 9:17 am

    These are the times you will remember with joy. Hugs.

  24. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 07.23.2009 | 9:17 am

    I’m so happy you were able to have some small amount of time. I thought of you and Susan yesterday while riding in my Fatty jersey and each day I pray that you all have a bit of peace in your days.
    Meagerly trying to fight like Susan,

  25. Comment by Cutzi | 07.23.2009 | 9:19 am

    Hi Eldon -

    Like so many in the blog world – we don’t know one another. I started reading your blog a few months back – I think when PW won her blog award. Anyway, over the last couple of weeks I go back and forth between wanting to read and not wanting to. I have a 7 week old and sometimes the stark contrast of the peaks and valleys of life are too much for this sleepless mama to think about. But, I always come back – and I have found myself thinking of you and your family often throughout the last couple of days. Late last night as I was feeding my sweet girl I thought of you again and felt a little strange – wanting to pray for you, not knowing what to pray, not knowing you at all. But I did. I began to pray – and this is exactly what I prayed for. That the Lord would give you some more time with Susan, that you would have some more moments to share together, that you would be able to say the things you want to say and that she would too.

    I was so thankful to read this when I woke up this morning – so thankful for this gift for all of you.

  26. Comment by Katie Bee | 07.23.2009 | 9:24 am

    The briefest of moments are the ones we cherish the most. Praying for wisdom for you to continue to do what is best, peace for the children and comfort for Susan as she begins her journey.

  27. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 07.23.2009 | 9:24 am

    Thank you for sharing with us. My heart lifted hearing about those two hours.

    Dug is good friend.

  28. Comment by Bridget | 07.23.2009 | 9:26 am

    That was a wonderful gift for your family. I’m sure hearing her say you are doing the right things lifted a burden from your chest. I’m so glad you and the boys got your much-deserved ‘true family time’. Stay strong and love her with all you have!!! I’m blessing you all with love and prayers……

  29. Comment by Katee W | 07.23.2009 | 9:27 am

    ohmygoodness, what a gift! To talk to your partner like you’ve been able to do for so many years…what a gift! You and Susan and your children are in my thoughts, Fatty.

  30. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 07.23.2009 | 9:27 am

    What a stunning gift. Wow. Thank you for sharing that good news with us who are on the edge of our seats hoping and praying. Thank you.

  31. Comment by joe blow | 07.23.2009 | 9:29 am

    “Fastest but no team leader” Best description of Contador ever. I am growing to really hate him.

  32. Comment by SkiMoab | 07.23.2009 | 9:30 am

    Sounds like it turned out to be a very beautiful day.

  33. Comment by Gillian | 07.23.2009 | 9:31 am

    You are motivated by love – everything you are doing is the right thing. I’m sure it feels way better hearing it from her than from this stranger.

    Praying for many, many more moments of clarity for you and your wife.

  34. Comment by leroy | 07.23.2009 | 9:37 am

    May you have more good hours.

  35. Comment by Janneke | 07.23.2009 | 9:42 am

    Sad as it is, this is such good news, to hear you were able to have a serious talk and then have some fun. Hope the twins will get home in time to have a talk with their mum too. Always thinking of you.


  36. Comment by devin mccune | 07.23.2009 | 9:46 am

    Knowing you had those two good hours and the time to talk as a family was great to hear. Still thinking of you, Susan and the family.

  37. Comment by IamMatt | 07.23.2009 | 9:46 am

    Thanks for keeping it real.

    Prayers to you and your family.

    Win Susan!

  38. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 07.23.2009 | 9:55 am

    Enjoy each gift and on the harder days come back to this post as a reminder. Those two hours were truly Susan.

    Prayed for you all this morning.

  39. Comment by Terri | 07.23.2009 | 9:58 am

    Eldon you and your family are my heros. Thank you. I am praying for all of you.

  40. Comment by UphillBattle | 07.23.2009 | 9:59 am

    A gift. Truly a gift in the midst of all this sadness.
    Prayers continue.

  41. Comment by josh | 07.23.2009 | 10:04 am

    what a nice moment for your family

  42. Comment by bruno | 07.23.2009 | 10:05 am

    I wish you and your family strength and serenity to get through this ordeal. I’m truly happy you were able to have a couple of hours with Susan and hope that more of those come along. Your and her definitely deserve it.

  43. Comment by MOCougFan | 07.23.2009 | 10:05 am

    Tender mercies of the Lord for you and your family.

    And on a separate note… Cantador’s a selfish chump.

  44. Comment by Debbie | 07.23.2009 | 10:09 am

    I found you through the Pioneer Woman and wanted to let you know that your entire family and Susan’s caregivers are all in my thoughts and prayers. I am so happy you were able to have those couple of precious hours with her and hope there are many more. I am also so happy that Dug was there for you when you really needed it.

  45. Comment by snapper | 07.23.2009 | 10:10 am

    what a precious gift those few hours are – you will always cherish them. Prayers and love to you and Susan. You have such great strength.

  46. Comment by Carolyn Online | 07.23.2009 | 10:13 am

    I’m so glad for you that you had those two hours.

  47. Comment by Jensamom23 | 07.23.2009 | 10:16 am

    What a beautiful gift for you, the boys and Susan! We are praying for all of you.

  48. Comment by anji | 07.23.2009 | 10:20 am

    praise God for that time!

  49. Comment by Caren Gioannini | 07.23.2009 | 10:23 am

    I’m glad you had the chance to talk with you life partner about what was happening, the decisions you were making and what she wants. I can only imagine the “relief” this brought you, in spite of the difficult road that lays ahead. Be Strong and know that we are all here for you and your family, and we hope that the outreach, love and support help in the days ahead.

  50. Comment by Kt | 07.23.2009 | 10:25 am

    Wow, I must be watching a different Tour (I did not watch yesterday’s stage yet, but know what happened). I don’t hate Conti, and I think his actions are a direct result of no one knowing or acknowledging out loud who is supposed to lead the team.

    When a DS says he wants to wait and see who the strongest rider is, then this is what you get: riders trying to prove that they are the strongest and deserve to be the team leader.

    But yeah, the pistol-finger-thing is annoying. At least the other guys mix it up a bit.

    Anyway. Enough about the Grand Carpet (boucle? Doesn’t that mean carpet?).

    Awesome that you and Susan got to share some real time together with your boys. It sounds like, for a time, the light came back into your lives.

    I’m trying to send more light your way. I hope it arrives soon and in abundance!!

  51. Comment by Lisa B in Seattle | 07.23.2009 | 10:28 am

    As with everyone else – so glad you, Susan and the boys had a brief respite, I’m sure that helped you all tremendously.

  52. Comment by greycat | 07.23.2009 | 10:34 am

    You moved me to tears. What a great gift, to be able to have her reassurance and have two hours to be “normal” and laughing with her and your children. God is good. Blessing upon you all.

  53. Comment by Brandy | 07.23.2009 | 10:41 am

    Peace & Love Fatty.
    Stay Strong!

  54. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 07.23.2009 | 10:44 am

    Very glad you got those two hours last night, Fatty. Still praying for you and your family.

    And I agree about Contador. He is the fastest, but I too am not able to cheer for him.

  55. Comment by Jamieson | 07.23.2009 | 10:46 am

    The hours of clarity are special times and do not miss them, do not regret that they end, and revel in joy that that short time can give.

    Leave no regrets and share everything – you will never know when the next moment is going to happen.

  56. Comment by Stephanie | 07.23.2009 | 10:50 am

    Those two hours – I think they call that grace. Heartfelt prayers for all of you.

  57. Comment by annainaspen | 07.23.2009 | 10:52 am

    I like everyone else is so happy that you were given those two hours when they were needed the most. You and your family are in my thoughts. Stay strong!

    I also agree about Contador. He is clearly the fastest in the TDF this year but he has a way of making you not want him to win. I want Astana to win the TDF I just wish it was anyone else on the team but him.

  58. Comment by Don | 07.23.2009 | 10:53 am

    From my family & coworkers in Cleveland to you and yours. Thank you for allowing us into your life. I pray you find comfort and peace to help you through the hard times, and immeasurable joy in the moments of clarity and lucidity.
    201 (2:01)

  59. Comment by dug | 07.23.2009 | 10:54 am

    you can’t just bury the contador controversy in there.

    i’m just wondering how i would react if i had recently won all three grand tours, and but the team director told me he was bringing back his retired superstar and drinking buddy.

    and then, to top it off, they announced in the middle of my greatest moment that they were getting a new sponsor for the team and organizing it around this new old guy.

    i think i might rub my superiority in their faces a bit.

  60. Comment by Fuzzy | 07.23.2009 | 10:58 am

    A real ray of sunshine is how I read your account of the two hours. I’m so very pleased for you, Susan and the young guys.

    I don’t do the prayer thing Fatty, but I do think about folk. Susan, you and yours are in my thoughts regularly dude.

    Luv ‘n Stuff
    Fuzzy from the UK

  61. Comment by Tom Fury | 07.23.2009 | 11:19 am

    Like everyone has said – a gift. My thoughts are with you all.

  62. Comment by Melody | 07.23.2009 | 11:19 am

    Since you tweeted last night, I have been thanking God that you were gifted that time with her. I can only imagine how very precious every minute is and I am so happy you and your boys were able to smile with her again. She is truly a special, wonderful lady and I am so thankful to have gotten to know her in such a short time through your blog. You are so blessed to have her and I pray for many many more times like last night. ((hugs))

  63. Comment by Hales | 07.23.2009 | 11:19 am

    Hi Fatty, I’ve never commented before but I’ve been reading for a while. I’m so glad Susan was able to tell you something that we know in hearts to be true and that’s that you are doing the right things. I lost my mom to cancer 5 years ago and something that has stayed with me was all the support we received. Please know that you, Susan and the kids have legions of supporters who send love, prayer, thoughts and good vibes, along with a promise to take cancer out back and kick it’s butt. Cancer’s a jerk, let’s beat it.

  64. Comment by brw | 07.23.2009 | 11:25 am

    as a cyclist and a survivor, I occasionally make a point to stop by and catch up on your blog. While I’ve always been amazed at your ability to so wonderfully articulate your feelings and the happenings in your life, lately i’ve been extraordinarily touched by what you are going through.

    your love for your wife and family; your willingness to open your entire life to the outside world; all this inspires me to be a better father, a better husband, and a better person.

    Hang tough

  65. Comment by VA Biker | 07.23.2009 | 11:25 am

    What a gift indeed. That spot of reassurance and conversation undoubtedly brought you great relief. I truly hope you get another period like it. Peace.

  66. Comment by Bonnie | 07.23.2009 | 11:27 am

    Just caught up with your blog from the past two days. And well…I guess I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you guys and am hoping you get many more of those “good moment” opportunities.

    Good vibes being sent from Austin.

  67. Comment by XCTiger | 07.23.2009 | 11:28 am


    So thankful that Susan was able to spend a couple of hours with you and the boys. While you know you are doing all the right things, it is also nice to be reassured that she knows you are too. Hope there are more chances for her to connect with you and the kids.

    Praying for Peace, Love, and Strength

  68. Comment by Carrie | 07.23.2009 | 11:34 am

    Those hours are amazing and I am glad you were able to have them. As always, praying for your family

    About the tour…this is the first year we have ever watched and my husband and I are hooked. We tivo it and watch every night. I am with you about Contador. I am glad Lance has shown what team work is about. It’s too bad his year back is with Contador. I just don’t like the guy

  69. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 07.23.2009 | 11:35 am

    Ikea terrifies me too. BikesnobNYC has a pretty funny post on Contador’s salute. I think dug has it right – here is the fastest guy in the peloton having to share the spotlight and “he’s turning the pedals in anger”. Curious if AC will show up on the new RadioShack team?

    I hate cancer and am praying for your family.

  70. Comment by OH-Ang | 07.23.2009 | 11:37 am

    Wishing you strength and peace. Prayers are being said for your family by many.

  71. Comment by Sarah | 07.23.2009 | 11:37 am

    Indeed, what a precious gift. And a reminder that it’s not about anything other than our hearts and minds when it comes down to it. Time is the most important thing. Thanks for keeping this blog, even when there are so many other things to do. I think about you and your family all of the time and send peace out to you.

  72. Comment by ms ellie | 07.23.2009 | 11:43 am

    What a gift God has given you… have the okay from your precious Susan that you are doing what she wants.
    He answers prayers, I’m tellin’ Ya!

  73. Comment by Hamish A | 07.23.2009 | 11:46 am

    Great news that you had some clear time with Susan and the Boys. A fantastic gift for you all.

    And while I hate to do it I have to disagree with you about Contador. He’s done nothing, (aside from the salute, I admit that’s pretty geeky) that Armstrong hasn’t done to other Team Mates a dozen times before. He’s supposed to be team leader but Bruyneel wouldn’t stand by it. Fair play to Contador for showing Armstrong who the boss on the road really is.

    As for the Team Radioshack announcement, I tweeted this earlier (I blame you for Twitter, I only got on there because you mentioned it): Bruyneel: “We’re going to lose the ITT. How can we upstage Alberto?” Lance: “I’ve got an idea…”

    Prayers for more clear time for you all.


  74. Comment by Jan | 07.23.2009 | 11:52 am

    What a blessing the gifts can be. Still praying..

  75. Comment by Little1 | 07.23.2009 | 11:52 am

    every second counts!

    CAT 2:01

  76. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 07.23.2009 | 11:53 am

    It may just be moments, but how precious those moments are. What sweet assurance you got from Susan. You really are doing the right things. Hang in there, Fatty.

    Thoughts and prayers and hugs.

  77. Comment by Heidi | 07.23.2009 | 11:59 am

    Hooray! Hooray for bike therapy, and hooray for confirmation that you are, indeed, making the right decisions. And hooray for a special time with Susan and your boys.

  78. Comment by Chris | 07.23.2009 | 12:01 pm

    I’m keeping the picture of you, Susan and your sons chatting and laughing in my mind. You’re generous to share these moments with us. Blessings, Chris

  79. Comment by svandiver | 07.23.2009 | 12:04 pm

    Having been through something similar with my sister, we had around 6 hours like you were describing. I wouldn’t have given up those hours for anything. It was so good to talk to her and know she was really in there. Just remember that, even when she is “sleeping”, she is still hearing you. It’s comforting to know that you can still talk to her. God bless you and your kids as you go through this difficult time.

  80. Comment by fremont mike | 07.23.2009 | 12:08 pm

    Each lucid moment is a blessing. Peace be with you and family. Our prayers are with you.
    Damn cancer!!!

  81. Comment by jenjen | 07.23.2009 | 12:10 pm

    Praying for you non stop. So glad you had those moments and were able to share them with your boys.


  82. Comment by Annie | 07.23.2009 | 12:11 pm

    What a gift that you got confirmation – from Susan! – that you’re doing the right things. I’m so glad.

    We continue to pray for you all.

  83. Comment by MrsEAM | 07.23.2009 | 12:18 pm

    I was thrilled to see this morning (via Twitter) that you got some good time with Susan yesterday. That confirmation that you are doing the right thing is so important, and usually something that we can’t get. Very glad that you have some peace about the decisions you’ve been making (hopefully) and that the boys got to spend some time with their mom.

  84. Comment by mamajenny | 07.23.2009 | 12:28 pm

    “Gift” is right. How special. I’m so glad the boys got to share in it.

    I got to spend my dad’s last lucid day with him. Just me and him. I had no idea it would be the last one, or I would have called everyone to come see him. I just didn’t know.

    I cherish that day to the bottom of my soul. It was so wonderful. He told me things I had never known about him or his childhood. It was a special “gift”, and I’ve never had a better one.

    I continue to pray for you and your family. You are a wonderful husband and father. The best.

  85. Comment by gail | 07.23.2009 | 12:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing that wonderful gift with us. It is amazing how close all of us – many who never met you or Susan – feel to you, and how much you fill our thoughts, our hopes, and our prayers.

  86. Comment by drKim | 07.23.2009 | 12:38 pm

    Amazing. Susan continues to impress and inspire me. I’m so glad for you, for her, for your boys, that she got to spend that time with you. There is so much love there..and you’ll always cherish those extra hours.
    Susan is such an amazing person…you are lucky to have had the pleasure of so much life with her-it is never enough. Cancer is evil. We’ll continue to fight it. Fight LIKE Susan.

  87. Comment by Frilly | 07.23.2009 | 12:57 pm

    Fatty, like others, I am an admirer but have to say no no on the dissing of Contador. This team was built for him to win the Tour. Lance is the Johnny-come-lately here. Love the man & his foundation–yes, I’m on Team Fatty–however, he’s making Contador out to be a villain and that ain’t right.

  88. Comment by Scrod | 07.23.2009 | 1:00 pm

    Glad you were able to accept the gift rather than lament the rarity of it and miss out. Here’s hoping for many more gifts and minor miracles for your family in the days ahead.

    And yes, Contador is a total knucklehead. Almost want him to bonk on ventoux and drop to 6th. I would love Lance to win, but the Schleck brothers seem to be class acts.

  89. Comment by Chris | 07.23.2009 | 1:02 pm

    Elden, you are my hero. When my daughter died, I retreated into a hole and found it very difficult to get out. I am truly inspired by you and Susan (and your whole family).

  90. Comment by Charisa | 07.23.2009 | 1:06 pm

    What a wonderful 2 hours, I’m glad you got that!!

  91. Comment by Emy | 07.23.2009 | 1:14 pm

    When I was 10, my father suffered a severe heart attack and passed away less than 72 hours later having never regained conciousness. To this day, I would give anything to have had just a minute to say what I wanted to say, so I am overjoyed to hear that you and your boys had two beautiful hours to share with Susan. I pray that there will be more hours in your future and that these moments will bring peace to you and your family. You are all continually in my thoughts and prayers.

  92. Comment by buckythedonkey | 07.23.2009 | 1:18 pm

    OOO for a fortnight. Will be thinking of you, mate. Good luck to you over the next couple of weeks…

  93. Comment by FliesOnly | 07.23.2009 | 1:25 pm

    Time is such a relative concept. I was so happy to read that you got two hours with Susan again. Let’s hope you get many many more.

  94. Comment by Lisa | 07.23.2009 | 1:36 pm

    2 hours of Grace. Thank you for sharing. You too, are a gift.

  95. Comment by bobbieh | 07.23.2009 | 1:40 pm

    What a beautiful & precious gift you all were given in that 2 hours! I have to admit ~ I had been scared this morning to open your blog, so in a cyber kind of way, it was also a bit of a gift to me! Thank you for sharing with us ~
    Still sending comfort, strength and peace for all ~
    and a big hug to dug so being such an amazing friend!

  96. Comment by Claire | 07.23.2009 | 1:59 pm

    A beautiful gift, for you, for Susan and for your boys. I am so glad you got to have it. Dug is a good friend too. Everyone needs a friend like Dug.

    I am still thinking of you all. Sending you strength.

  97. Comment by Paula | 07.23.2009 | 2:11 pm

    I don’t know you or Susan but I read your blog from time to time, my husbands bikes daily and I feel like reading your blog is a crazy way into his head. I am praying for you, Susan and the kids. You are her angel right now and although you may feel like you don’t know what to do for her, you are doing it. You are loving her, and that is what is important. Hang in there.

  98. Comment by Emy S | 07.23.2009 | 2:17 pm

    Sending you all peace and strength…and as calm a heart as possible. I lost my mom when I was 13 and remember those good hours still today as such a blessing. She knows how much you all love her. I saw your team video in San Jose LSChallenge….thank you for sharing your fight with us. We are humbled and honored. Keep fighting!

  99. Comment by akaKathy | 07.23.2009 | 2:41 pm

    What a special time for you, Susan and the boys. It must ease your heart to hear from her that she agrees with the steps that you have agonized over before taking.

    Peace to you and your family in these hard times and I wish you more “good hours”.

  100. Comment by regina | 07.23.2009 | 2:51 pm

    Hey Elden,
    Still always watching always keeping up even if I am running sort of silent, and always praying for you guys.
    with best regards,

  101. Comment by Mel | 07.23.2009 | 3:00 pm

    love & best wishes to you all.

  102. Comment by Linda | 07.23.2009 | 3:25 pm

    If only Contador was one tenth of the man that you are.


  103. Comment by Annie | 07.23.2009 | 3:43 pm

    When my brother went into hospice care, I went and stayed with him while his wife went home to shower and take care of some life management issues. He had been caught in the morphine haze, but we sat and talked for about 4 hours – about all sorts of things. Things he needed to say to me and I to him. It made everything that followed so much less painful knowing that nothing was left unsaid …

  104. Comment by Sue in Grapevine | 07.23.2009 | 3:55 pm

    I pray peace for your family. Grateful, on your behalf, for 2 precious hours w/your beloved.
    It takes quite a man to care for his wife so tenderly.

  105. Comment by Isela | 07.23.2009 | 4:28 pm

    Sending love and comfort to you and your family. I am wishing you all more good hours ahead.

  106. Comment by patrick | 07.23.2009 | 4:38 pm

    I don’t have anything to offer you, but your sharing this means a lot to me.

    Anyone who loves someone should be reminded from time to time that if their relationship is a success, either they or their partner will be in your shoes some day.

    Susan (and you) have already won by making it this far.

  107. Comment by Beth | 07.23.2009 | 4:38 pm

    Fatty; been in your shoes and had a similar experience….for some reason you are given some time be it hours or a couple of days where your loved one is almost the same as they were mentally…..cherish those moments; they are a gift and you will look back on them with a sort of wonder…as in “can you believe we had such a great chat?” etc……day at a time my friend…..

  108. Comment by Hilslug | 07.23.2009 | 5:02 pm

    Like MOCougFan said: Tender mercies.

  109. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 07.23.2009 | 5:03 pm

    Dug and Sherry thanks from Team Fatty.

    FC a bright spot to revel in so important for both you and Susan and the boys. That you were able to talk and reconnect and gain affirmation that what you are doing is right – is a little bit of a magic. Hope the twins are having a great time in Colorado. Love to the Nelsons tons of it. Wishing you peace. WIN Susan

    Watched the whole ITT hoping to spot the Win Susan sign mentioned a few blogs back. Did anybody else see it?
    For what it is worth Contador is still a boy (a very fast boy) he will learn if he listens just seems he is not listening at the moment. Contador will take yellow in the tour – but Lance has already won with yellow across the world. Love him or hate him you know what he is about. Like Susan for all the inspiration, strength and commitment they have shown they have already won – LIVESTRONG

  110. Comment by A Contador Supporter | 07.23.2009 | 5:06 pm

    Uh-oh. Here it comes. Build an ark, for the flood of tears for Lance Armstrong is raining down.

    Fat cyclist, you haven’t done your homework and pretty sure jumped into the bandwagon of people criticizing Contador for his move. From day one, Lance Armstrong and his cronies (aka JB and others) on Astana have been psychologically intimidating and pressuring this young champion. You conveniently speak of nothing about that. And big mouth Armstrong as he is cannot keep his mouth shut as always. If there’s one thing that I admire about Contador, its learning “HOW TO TALK” in front of the media about issues he’s having. Excellent professionalism, even though he’s in his mid 20’s.

    Go listen to Contador’s press conference after that stage and also check into Podium Cafe. There are some good insights behind the attack. This is the Tour Champion and he has to protect his position. Waiting for water bottle carriers when there are two likely attackers with you from Saxo bank is not the ideal situation. Sorry it hurt you that he didn’t wait for Kloden. It is obvious you are biased..and you don’t care for any of the so-called “teammates” on Astana, but only Lance Armstrong. Its okay if you say it.

    I’m happy that Contador put Armstrong in his place. This is the David vs Goliath battle that I wanted to see. A guy with little fame, little books written on him, little Discovery Channel documentaries made on him taking on the larger than life, corporate, egoistic, brash, talkative Armstrong with million dollar endorsement deals trailing his footsteps wherever he goes.

    Btw, WIN Susan. Hope she gets well and you attain srength.

  111. Comment by Bill | 07.23.2009 | 5:18 pm

    Ouch. Looks like Contador schooled Armstrong not only in how to climb hills but also how to time trial.

    Sorry Fatty, I agree with some one here…complete no-no for criticizing Contador. Its not a healthy attitude, even as a Lance supporter.

    I think we’re all ill-informed about Contador. We have no idea about his background. What is his story? From press interviews and reading articles about him in Spanish newspapers, he comes out as a tremendously nice guy with a princely smile. Why is everyone on this blog suddenly “NOT liking him” ?? Because of his victory salute? Because he didn’t assert himself in a race?? This is just an ill-informed prejudice from us Americans. Let’s face it. Like him or not, Lance Armstrong is a legend but he has to come to grips with the fact that his era is over. Let’s all welcome the new Tour champions and support the growth of this sport, rather than starting bitter battles over one man or the other. Very unhealthy. I guess you’re the last person I want to see that from.

  112. Comment by Susie | 07.23.2009 | 5:49 pm

    Ah, Elden, on the one hand my heart is breaking for you, but on the other it is very heartening that you are still taking those ‘two good hours’ to refocus just a bit. You and yours are precious and in my prayers.

  113. Comment by Joshua Duggan | 07.23.2009 | 6:12 pm

    You and your family are in my thoughts just about everyday.

    Also, I kind of like Contador. He’s obviously super talented. He’s got a bit of arrogance, but I think it probably takes a bit of that to reach the pinnacle of any major sport. I thought his move on Kloden was a quite stupid and unnecessary, but without knowing more about what his real motivations were, I don’t feel I can make a good judgment.

    He certainly has a great smile and personality (I’d probably be happy, too, if I had all but locked up victory in the most competitive race in my sport) and the whole “pistol” thing doesn’t really bother me at all.

  114. Comment by Mark V. | 07.23.2009 | 6:15 pm

    I agree with Bill @ 5:18pm. Let’s not lose our characters and start placing Contador in bad moral light. For all our good information, even this young man nearly approached death as he struggled with a health problem after a crash. Having come out of that bigger struggle, has the will to fight for a Tour win and be the best stage racer in the world. I see more parallels between him and Armstrong than any other racer in the peloton. Let’s not forget.

  115. Comment by Anon | 07.23.2009 | 6:26 pm

    I think Armstrong should take Contador under his wing, support him and put him on the new Radioshack team. It is absolutely certain Lance cannot battle him in a Grand Tour. This guy is made of a completely different fiber. I think Lance has met his match.

  116. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.23.2009 | 6:32 pm

    For the record I think being locked in Ikea IS a very scary thought.

    I continue to pray for you guys.

  117. Comment by Cat | 07.23.2009 | 6:53 pm

    Never never doubt that you are doing the best you can for Susan.

    Would that we are all given two hours of grace when they are needed most.

  118. Comment by justrun | 07.23.2009 | 7:13 pm

    I admire Susan, you, and your family so very much. If people want to know what real love and devotion really is, I send them here. Your ability to take it day by day and your gratitude is teaching me so much. Sending strength, thoughts, and prayers every day.

  119. Comment by Freedom | 07.23.2009 | 7:17 pm

    I am so happy you and your family got those two hours and I pray for more.

  120. Comment by Pam | 07.23.2009 | 7:29 pm

    Ok, I know it’s going to sound stupid, but THAT is what’s called Quality Time. ((HUGS))

  121. Comment by Vivienne | 07.23.2009 | 7:30 pm

    MamaFace sent me over. I read back over the last few days’ of posts. I will be going back and reading more.

    I have dear friends who went through the same ordeal. I am so grateful for you to have gotten in those good couple of hours, and that you remind us all to cherish the time we have with our loved ones.

    I am praying for you and your family.

  122. Comment by Jennifer | 07.23.2009 | 8:35 pm

    What a blessing that Susan was able to be present for those two hours, and tell you that you are making all the right choices for her when she is unable to! And so wonderful that she was able to be with the boys, such a gift.

    Please don’t let the non-lucid moments frighten you, and don’t feel bad that you had to “basically knock her out.”

    The metaphor we used when we were going through something like this was a boat and a dock. Those lucid moments are when the boat is in the dock. During the non-lucid ones the ropes have been let out and lengthened and the boat is farther from the dock; because the seas have gotten so rough the boat was being battered against the dock. It’s hard for us on the dock to communicate with the one on the boat during those times. Sometimes the best we can do is just be there on the dock, calm and steady, a lantern in the storm.

    Much love to all of you, with great empathy from a Seattle family.

  123. Comment by gregc | 07.23.2009 | 8:42 pm

    I have a hard time thinking about a bike race after absorbing your gift and allowing your extended family (which I count myself as a member) to share in you and your families struggle in dealing with life and caring. Thank you for reminding us to keep the important things in life in perspective.
    Win Susan
    Be strong Eldon

  124. Comment by Leigh | 07.23.2009 | 8:42 pm

    That is so awesome! I know you’ll cherish those moments for a lifetime…

  125. Comment by Doug Gage | 07.23.2009 | 8:53 pm

    Hi Elden
    My Dad just passed away from Leukemia and his last few days were spent in a hospice in Burlington, Ontario. The people there were fantastic! They made his life very comfortable while he was there and we all got to be with him. We were lucky in some way because He was never in any pain and was talking normally to us right up until last day. He passed away after only two months after finding out he had it. I don’t know if you have the option of a resident hospice where you are but I would urge you to make use of it. In our case it made it easier for us to look after our father and there was professionals there to help out also.
    We had some good days with Dad when He was in there and the volunteers that help out there treated us as family.
    Doug Gage

  126. Comment by Rose | 07.23.2009 | 9:02 pm

    I don’t know you and know only a little of your and Susan’s story. I just want to say that my heart goes out to you, Susan, your family and friends during this really difficult time. You are making your decisions with your head and your heart which is the best possible combination. Hang in there Fatty.

  127. Comment by Michelle | 07.23.2009 | 9:37 pm

    May God bless you both.

  128. Comment by ChefJT | 07.23.2009 | 10:01 pm

    She knows what you do for her, and for the children, and she truly loves you for it. You are her angel and an example for us all. I pray for you all daily.

  129. Comment by Joel | 07.23.2009 | 10:15 pm

    Glad you’re having some up times in what sounds like a long down. I can’t imagine how much those two hours mean. Strength.

  130. Comment by Scott in MN | 07.23.2009 | 10:28 pm


    I am so sorry you and your family have to go through this. As a therapist, I have not known anyone put into words the hate you feel for cancer and the anguish you feel it has done to you, your marriage and your family. I thank you for sharing with all of us, but my heart also aches for what you are going through. You, Susan and your family continue to be in my family’s thoughts and prayers.

    God Bless You.


  131. Comment by Jill | 07.23.2009 | 10:41 pm


  132. Comment by Karen | 07.24.2009 | 12:45 am

    Hi – Just heard about your blog and read of terrible struggle – I am so sorry about what you family is going through. I am amazed that you can write so clearly and forcefully after days of enduring what you have. Your wife is so lucky to have such a wonderful husband. Sending good thoughts your way.

  133. Comment by Mat | 07.24.2009 | 12:53 am

    Elden, bless you for being such a good man. You and your families sacrifices through this time inspire me and countless others to reach out and become better people.


  134. Comment by Kristen | 07.24.2009 | 7:36 am


  135. Comment by Philly Jen | 07.24.2009 | 7:39 am

    I’m thrilled to hear about the good hours — the riding, and your time with Susan.

    Every minute counts.

    Speaking of which, did you know that like Armstrong, Contador also has huge surgical scars across his scalp? I’m also not particularly down on Alberto, I think he’s been relatively understated in a rather delicate situation.

    However, I do think someone should point out to him that the “pistola” salute looks a little too much like a syringe for anyone’s comfort.

  136. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 07.24.2009 | 7:48 am

    FWIW: it’s pretty easy to get lost/trapped in an IKEA – it takes a while to get the “lay of the land” in that Swedish store.

    I’m glad that you and your family got a few good hours in and reading about your struggles brings the memories of my father’s struggle with brain cancer a couple years ago flooding back.

    He donated his body to the local university so they can study and find a cure for the scourge that is cancer.

    Thanks for getting me involved with Team Fatty, thanks for your inspiration.

    Peace to you and your family.

  137. Comment by Jessica | 07.24.2009 | 8:08 am

    2 hours and peace of mind that you’re doing the right things: priceless.

    I’m sad and happy for you at the same time.

  138. Comment by Beth | 07.24.2009 | 9:33 am

    I learned of your blog from PW and I was so glad that I could participate in your fundraiser. Your family will continue to be in my prayers and thoughts.

  139. Comment by Anonymous | 07.24.2009 | 9:48 am

    I’ve tried to say something several times and the words have always seemed inadequate, they still do, but I want to say them anyway. I lost my mum when I was 12, to cancer. I’d found out she had cancer 6 months before she died. Ever since I round this blog, I’ve been willing you onwards, thinking of you. Wishing I could fight more now, cos I couldn’t then. I remember how every moment mattered. They’re all etched in my mind, 14 years later. I hope you get many more good moments.

    I wish you and your family peace. And I thank you for everything you’ve done, for writing about this, for caring so much, for working so hard, for all the good you’ve done – the fight against cancer goes on. You are all in my thoughts, sending you every good wish.

  140. Comment by Kellie | 07.24.2009 | 10:19 am

    It was not an accident that Susan “came to you” and the boys for those two hours. It was a gift in its purest form, and I’m so thankful that you and she had that time to talk. You are doing a great job and you are serving as her angel on earth. You also have a wonderful doctor who makes me have a renewed faith in the medical system. Other doctors could learn from him. I’m glad you took that time out for a ride – you have to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. There is no glory in running yourself down into the ground and not having the stamina or patience for your kids. Continue to ask for help – people are probably just waiting to be asked to do something. It’s hard being on the outside and not knowing what to do for a family in need. So ask and let your friends and family help you through this. God Bless.

  141. Comment by Andy | 07.24.2009 | 11:35 am

    Wishing continued strength and grace to you, your wife, and your children. You are doing a great job.

  142. Comment by Angie G | 07.24.2009 | 12:09 pm

    So glad you and Susan were given the gift of time. There is nothing in this world more precious than time.
    I agree with MattC, I too find cycling such a stress reliever. Having those escapes are so important for our overall mental health and ability to deal with lifes challenges. I am glad you have that opportunity.

    God bless Dug and the boys! What a truly unselfish group of amazing people.

    As for the Contador Lance thing. I agree with several posters, the only way to neutralize potential battles between strong teammates is through leadership. Maybe JB was using his vocal Lance support to help focus Conatador. Who knows. I think Lance has done a great job supporting Contador when the opportunity has been there. There have been times in several stages where he had Contador’s back and rather than push to the front, hung back and drove the overall Astana strategy in the chase groups.
    I think the deal with RadioShack is more about continuing with speading the LIVESTRONG message than about rubbing anything in Contador’s face.
    I think given the opportunity if any of us had the talent that Lance has and could use that talent to make an impact on something we felt strongly about, none of us were turn our backs on that chance.
    This is exemplified quite well by Fatty and this blog.
    Fight Like Susan!!!

  143. Comment by jonni | 07.24.2009 | 12:31 pm

    Oh how Susan is fighting. You go girl. Glad you received a few more hours. Tell Susan that Ikea would be a fear for me as well.

  144. Comment by Jenn | 07.24.2009 | 3:46 pm

    This: “Susan was able to tell me that I was doing the right things” made my heart soar for you. We all knew that you were doing the right things, but to hear it and to have those few extra hours….what a gift. Thanks you, as always, for sharing with us. It does make me a better person to learn from you and your relationship. It does. Be well, Eldon. Fight on, Susan.

  145. Comment by Eloise | 07.24.2009 | 5:17 pm

    Your posts break my heart. The one bright spot in this is that Susan knows how much she is loved. Likely most people never experience the devotion and pure love that you have shown Susan.

  146. Comment by kate | 07.24.2009 | 6:39 pm

    love from a stranger

  147. Comment by Esther in NC | 07.25.2009 | 2:56 pm

    Trust that you are doing the right things for Susan. I’m glad that you and the boys had those 2 hours of quality time.

    On the pro cycling side, I am hoping that you’ll be able to write something hilarious about Team Radio Shack. I think Lucas Euser HAS to move from Garmin to TRS, because he looks like a Shack employee, except he needs tape on his glasses.

  148. Comment by Christine | 07.26.2009 | 10:55 am

    You, Susan and family are in my prayers. You remind all of us to live in the ‘now’ and to be thankful for ordinary moments.

  149. Comment by Chris | 07.27.2009 | 2:39 am

    After your previous two posts that brought tears to my eyes it was wonderful to read a post that brought a smile to my face.

    I’m so glad you and your children got to spend those two good hours with Susan.

    Keep on writing, cycling and enjoying life, this blog has so many wonderful memories within it.

  150. Comment by VeloSD | 07.28.2009 | 6:37 am

    Wow, this mountain bike guy really understands race tactics so well to know that Contador pulled an “amateur” move? That “amateur” move won him the TdF Mr. Wannabe Director Sportiff. What was that you say? He screwed his team? Life isn’t fair, you haven’t figured that out by now? You should spend less time criticizing stuff you don’t know that much about or do you just love kissing Lance’s ass that much?

  151. Comment by Glenn | 07.28.2009 | 2:56 pm

    I just linked to your blog from bsnyc and I felt compelled to comment.

    First on the incredible strength you and your family are demonstrating.

    Secondly on what an incredible douche bag VeloSD is. Really SD… you bring douchiness to a level I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered before. You must be from Spain….

  152. Comment by Kathy | 07.28.2009 | 4:03 pm

    I’m certain those two hours were wonderful and will remain with you forever! I remember the one time my father became lucid during his last days and everything he had to say to each of us. When slipped back asleep is the only time I fell apart. Such sadness and such joy mixed together.
    If you need to cry or gripe and complain, do it! It just might make you feel better. And most of us reading will fully understand. Take your anger and frustration out here. We will listen and understand and pray for you even more.
    I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.

  153. Comment by Macey | 07.28.2009 | 9:38 pm

    much love and prayers from another stranger.

  154. Comment by Heather H.H. | 07.28.2009 | 10:39 pm

    There is nothing to say to make things better there is nothing to do to make things better. Your situation is what it is. What will make all these good bad and ugly times worth it in the end is knowing you never left you never faultered even if you did question your sanity! It’s always darkest before the light…. Your light is coming and you can then hope the worst is over and work on better days.
    Even though my home is not in the same kind of termoil as yours these are the things I repeat to myself and then I go ride! These are the stregths I wish to pass on to my boys. What are yours?

  155. Comment by lori | 07.30.2009 | 7:26 am

    You are a gift to your wife and family. We should all have someone like you.
    May you find peace during this difficult time.

  156. Comment by Dawn Derbyshire | 07.31.2009 | 12:41 am

    Well done you.I know it’s hard and very scary but you are doing great.Perhaps it would be good if there was someone who could be there with you? This is very hard to do alone. Thoughts are with you.x


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