Messed Up

07.27.2009 | 9:20 am

Susan’s health is heading downhill pretty quickly now. She sleeps about 22 hours a day, waking mostly to ask for a little water to wet her mouth. The things she says sometimes make sense, but often they don’t. And a lot of the time, even when her eyes are open, she doesn’t respond to or look at me when I talk.

I know she doesn’t have long. I’ve known and expected this for years. But now that we’re getting close, I am afraid and overwhelmed and unprepared. Even for short-term things, there is so much I don’t know how to do.

School starts soon; the timing couldn’t be more awful. How do I make this easier for the kids? I haven’t chosen a mortuary or cemetery; I don’t know how and I don’t want to know how. I’m terrified of making calls and can’t stand the thought of comparison shopping. I hate being taken advantage of, but the thought of trying to be a savvy consumer right now makes me ill.

And my self-control is tenuous. Yesterday I tore into my 13-year-old about how since the cat is theoretically his, how come I — the one person in the family who vocally said he did not want a cat — am having to feed and clean up after the stupid thing? This conversation isn’t new, but I brought some fresh energy into it, and I did it unprovoked — totally blindsided the kid.

And there’s more, which I just spent about 45 minutes writing and then deleted, because I read it and found myself not liking the guy who wrote it.

So here’s the short version.

I am a mess, I am angry, and I am lonely. And I am ashamed that I am, right now, worrying about myself instead of the people who need me.

Basically, right now I’m exactly the kind of person I try to avoid.


  1. Comment by Mariah | 07.27.2009 | 9:24 am

    Fatty, we don’t have the words right now, but know that we are all standing right beside you.

  2. Comment by chtrich | 07.27.2009 | 9:25 am

    Stay Strong!!

  3. Comment by Katie | 07.27.2009 | 9:26 am

    What Mariah said. Everyone knows you love them, the kids and Susan and deep down they know it’s the stress and fear talking, not you.

  4. Comment by spa | 07.27.2009 | 9:26 am

    Unsolicited advice from a stranger who has been there: There is no right way to behave now. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Ask for help.

  5. Comment by Nathan | 07.27.2009 | 9:28 am

    Hang in there, you will get through this even though you don’t want to, and despite your best efforts not to succeed, you will.

    All my prayers and thoughts are with you.

    This too shall pass.

  6. Comment by snapper | 07.27.2009 | 9:31 am

    How could you not be angry. And afraid. And no-one is ever prepared. Lean on hospice and let them help you with arrangements and such – they can be a strong support in so many ways for you and the kids. Accept the love of your friends and keep your faith. Our prayers are with you all continually.

  7. Comment by m00se | 07.27.2009 | 9:31 am

    Elden- You are far stronger than I could ever hope to be. This is a stressful time for you and your family, and you will all work through this.

    I was someone’s son once (and I still am). Once in a while, you have to remind them of their chores. :)

    Keep fighting, and stay strong!


  8. Comment by Alice | 07.27.2009 | 9:33 am

    You’re only human. We don’t have manuals that tell us how we should behave, react, feel, etc. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just do the best you can, that is all that is asked of any of us. My prayers are with you.

  9. Comment by AnnieM | 07.27.2009 | 9:34 am

    I have girlfriend who is slowly dying of ALS (Lou Gehrigs) and words cannot express how heartbreaking and horrible this is for her. But, as the neighborhood rallies around her, the one who I see who also suffers equally in SILENCE (because he has lost his ability to confide his fears to his wife as to not upset her further)is her husband.You are not alone..people love you and understand all too well how you are feeling. It is an impossible burden you are shouldering alone. Most funeral homes have grief counselors on staff that can help you right now with those decisions. Let them help.

  10. Comment by Michelle M | 07.27.2009 | 9:34 am

    I understand Elden – I’ve been in your shoes to a lesser degree and it’s heartbreakingly hard. I’ll pray for you and for your family – ask someone if they can help with the cemetary/mortuary part – my mom and I finally got it discussed and settled – still have to do the paperwork. But it sucks.
    Talk to God – he’ll help you.

  11. Comment by Chris | 07.27.2009 | 9:34 am

    No words, just know your feelings are justified. I would be terrified too. You’re doing a wonderful job, I would have gone crazy by now.

  12. Comment by Deedle | 07.27.2009 | 9:35 am

    More unsolicited advice and I apologize in advance. Slow it down…if the kids miss a bit of school, this is more important. Ask for help and let people help you. Know that the kids love you and know that you are under a lot of stress. Have a brother or sister or a friend make those necessary but painful calls and footwork. I’m sure there are people desperate to help you (and Susan) just like I am. But you don’t know me and I am too far away so I can only send you prayers, thoughts and strength.

  13. Comment by Charise | 07.27.2009 | 9:37 am

    I’m so sorry Elden…I keep trying to type more in but I really don’t know what to say. Just know that we are all out here rallying for you.

  14. Comment by Daddystyle | 07.27.2009 | 9:38 am

    Thinking of you. Love the Stanhopes

  15. Comment by carengio | 07.27.2009 | 9:39 am

    Don’t beat yourself up for what you are feeling and how you are dealing with it. Know that while you feel you have to be the strong one it is okay to lean on others; save your strength for when you, Susan and the kids need it most. Know that your family and friends want to help in any way they can – let them, it will not only help you but it will help them more than you can possibly imagine.

    I think all of Team Fatty wishes we could make things be different and do more than we are, but hopefully our thoughts and prayers will be a source of strength and help you find an inner peace.

  16. Comment by Carla | 07.27.2009 | 9:40 am

    I have been there – I lost my first husband at the age of 25, then my dad and the strong person in my life – my mother. There is no way to act. Ask a good friend to go with you. I think once people read this, you will have the world knocking on your door to help – accept it. Hospice also has help for both you and your children. It is ok to be angry, terrified and everything else balled up.

    My heart breaks for you and your children. Susuan is probably more aware of your voice, maybe she just can’t respond. Tell her you love her, and when you can, tell her it is OK to go even though it really isn’t. CANCER SUCKS!

  17. Comment by Tasha | 07.27.2009 | 9:40 am

    As someone who was diagnosed with cancer last year, I understand all too well those feelings of rage myself – I think anyone who deals with cancer in some way will feel that. Let yourself be angry, understand that it’s normal to be on a VERY short thread, and that sometimes it takes very little to snap. What you’re going through is unimaginably hard – so don’t be hard on yourself for feeling like you’re becoming a bundle of rage. That’s normal.

    You haven’t changed – you’re still the person you want to be, the good person you know you are. And even good people have a breaking point.

  18. Comment by Susan | 07.27.2009 | 9:42 am

    It’s ok. There are a lot of people that will help you take care of the things you’re worried about. Let them. It’s ok to feel rotten and be a mess – it’s all part of grieving. The kids need to know you’re having a tough time, too…the counseling idea is good, when you’re ready, for you and the kids. One thing I’ve seen from your blog is the amazing friends you have and the unbelievable amount of support that surrounds you. It’s still there and it will help you through this, too. Hang in there.

  19. Comment by sincain | 07.27.2009 | 9:42 am

    It’s a situation that’s out of control. You can only do what you can. Emotion takes over and things happen. Everyone either does or will understand.

    It’s hard but you will make it through. Hang in there.

  20. Comment by jen | 07.27.2009 | 9:43 am

    praying for you.

  21. Comment by Leah Weiss Caruso | 07.27.2009 | 9:44 am

    prayers for all – you’re doing everything right. i don’t know you, you don’t know me, but the whole Caruso family is praying for you, Susan and the kids for strength to get through the next days and weeks.

  22. Comment by Russell | 07.27.2009 | 9:44 am

    Elden – you are the one who opened up your life, and the life of your family, to let us know how awful cancer can be. You are the one who has brought together people from across the country, indeed, around the world to raise money and fight this dreaded disease. You have touched us all in ways you can’t imagine. In this respect, you walk among giants. I have never had to face anything close to what you are facing now. If I ever do, I can only hope to be half the man that you are. Our thoughts and tears are with you and your family.

  23. Comment by Bridget | 07.27.2009 | 9:45 am

    Everything you are feeling is normal. You are overwhelmed. You really should ask for some help from friends and relatives I’m sure they would be more than willing to lend you a hand. We are all praying for you and your family.

    Many thoughts and prayers from OHIO,

  24. Comment by Pam | 07.27.2009 | 9:46 am

    Is there someone who could make the initial contacts for you? Get some ideas on paper from the funeral homes then maybe you could just make the final decision. I hope Susan doesn’t suffer long, both for her and for you and the family. I am praying for you and yours.

  25. Comment by CARL | 07.27.2009 | 9:46 am

    The kids understand that you are upset and stressed. Don’t beat yourself up. All they will remember are those good times you’ve told us about.

  26. Comment by Steve | 07.27.2009 | 9:48 am

    Stop feeling bad about yourself! You are going through a massively traumatic time in your life. Expect that you are not going to be able manage the roller coaster feelings that you have.

    My advice – turn to your friends and family – ask people that love you to help. They all will and gladly. If they help you, you help Susan and they feel that they are contributing to her care too.

    Why not ask others to look at the mortuary’s and cemeteries – they know what Susan would like. You and the kids can make the final choice once you have to.

    Also, trust your kids – tell them how you feel. They feel that way too – believe me a hug from a child you trust goes a long way to help. You can’t hide this from them, and you’ll get a lot further walking together than trying to carry everyone by yourself.

    Take every moment to tell Susan how much you love her too – never wonder if you did enough – you have done more and loved more in your marriage than many do in one twice as long.

    NOBODY is thinking badly of you Eldon – you are loved by many, it is time for you to call in your favours on that love, and no one will deny you.

    May God bless you and your family always.

  27. Comment by Bob Patterson | 07.27.2009 | 9:48 am

    There are no words adequate for this. Ever.

    This–whatever “this” is–is happening to Susan, to you, to your children, to your family, and to everyone who cares about those you love.

    You’re handling this as well as anyone possibly could.

    All my best.

  28. Comment by josh | 07.27.2009 | 9:49 am

    I wish I had something to say that could be comforting or in any way helpful.

    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  29. Comment by pam | 07.27.2009 | 9:52 am

    praying for you and your family!

  30. Comment by Kel | 07.27.2009 | 9:52 am

    More unsolicited advice: Hug your kids, rub Susan’s feet (one of the last areas to lose feeling) and ask your friends for help with logistics. While you are hurting, they are feeling useless – please let them help.

    So many many prayers are sent your way…

  31. Comment by Charlie Brown | 07.27.2009 | 9:52 am

    Tried writing advice, but don’t really know what to say. Hospice folks should be able to help you through this just as they help Susan.

    Continue to be the base of support for your kids, but don’t be afraid to grieve (or to let them know you’re grieving).

    Hug your son and get him to feed the cat and don’t worry about the outbreak – he’ll realize parents are human too.

    Just let Susan know she is loved and you’ll be sure the kids will be fine so she doesn’t worry.

  32. Comment by lt | 07.27.2009 | 9:53 am

    You are the person we all hope to be. Stay stong!

  33. Comment by Paul | 07.27.2009 | 9:53 am

    You may be that person now but that is the Cancer.
    You will come out of this a better more focused and much more likeable then ever.

    You,Susan and the children are in my prayers…
    Much love to you all.


  34. Comment by neca | 07.27.2009 | 9:54 am

    Please don’t berate yourself for being human. Sometimes showing your kids that you can make mistakes and apologize is more of a life lesson than behaving “perfectly.”

    You and Susan have done so much for so many. Ask a friend to go with you – or make the calls – whatever you need.

    My thoughts & prayers as always.

  35. Comment by Julian | 07.27.2009 | 9:54 am

    “Basically, right now I’m exactly the kind of person I try to avoid.”

    Erroneous. False. Demonstrably not true. This reaction is exactly the reaction that good people with good hearts trying to do the right thing have. It does not make you a bad person, it does not make you a jerk. It makes you human.

    Lean on your support network as hard as you need to. People want to help — make them do the things you can’t.

  36. Comment by Amy | 07.27.2009 | 9:54 am

    Given the situation – have a friend or family member do the leg work most likely you are building a mountain out of a mole hill – You and Susan are good kind people but you do need to know who to call when the time comes most likely one phonecall will do it. Susan probably has already let you know what she wants – she will always be with you in your children’s smiles and the memories you have built over the years.

  37. Comment by Sarah Goodyear | 07.27.2009 | 9:54 am

    Elden, I want to add my voice to the ones already here. First, prayers for you.

    Second, Forgive yourself.

    Third, Take any help that is offered. I am sure some of your good friends who live nearby (like Dug, maybe?) would be happy to help with the arrangements. Let them take it on. Delegate whatever you can.

    Fourth, Take care of yourself. Accept love when it is offered, if you can.

    You are a fine man and a fine father and a fine husband. The anger is a normal response to this hellish circumstance you have been plunged into.

  38. Comment by Jen | 07.27.2009 | 9:54 am

    I don’t know anyone who could go through what you’re going through right now and not be a mess. Anyone who reads this blog knows about your capacity for kindness and compassion. Please extend some of that energy towards yourself. Forgive yourself, be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

    I am praying for Susan, for you and for your entire family.

  39. Comment by Jim D | 07.27.2009 | 9:54 am

    Finished RAGBRAI this week – and met a lot of Fatty readers who are praying / thinking of you and Susan. You are not alone.

  40. Comment by NW | 07.27.2009 | 9:55 am

    There is no right or wrong way to feel right now. Try not to be too hard on yourself for sometimes making a mistake, whether it be how you talk to the kids or forgetting something important or whatever… You’re human and it’s not your normal behavior to be that way (the type of person you would normally avoid.)

    My heart goes out to your family. You all are incredible and I am so sorry for what you’re all going through right now. Cancer is evil.

  41. Comment by Gordon | 07.27.2009 | 9:55 am

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think you should try and take on any of the administrative burden that comes with the awful situation you’re in. Find someone competent – a family friend, a lawyer, maybe – whom you trust, and ask them to figure out what the best arrangements are. If you want to be involved, get them to give you a shortlist of a couple of choices. You need all your mental strength for yourself and your priorities right now, and trying to make sense of any of those options is more than you should have to do. You’ve been an inspiration to many outwith your own family, and I’m terribly, terribly sorry about what you’re all going through.

  42. Comment by Adam | 07.27.2009 | 9:56 am


    I don’t think I can say anything better than those above me. Just know that no matter what, there are masses of people who stand beside you during the most trying time in ones life. As it has been for quite some time, you, Susan, and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  43. Comment by Jan | 07.27.2009 | 9:56 am

    Oh, there is not right way to act. There is no protocol here. It’s all from the heart. You will go through the motions as needed. You are one man. Ask for help from friends and family…hell, ask for help from complete strangers if you need to! It will make your friends and family feel as if they are doing something useful. You need help now, don’t be afraid to ask for it. It’s ok to be selfish right now. It’s even expected. I’ve been through this….twice in the last few months. It’s heartbreaking and it tears at your soul. Just remember that your kids are going through it too and they need friends and family also. As always, my prayers are with you all.

  44. Comment by Maggie | 07.27.2009 | 9:56 am

    You are doing God’s work in unbearable circumstances. Those who love you will not fault you. Stay strong. Peace.

  45. Comment by Ken | 07.27.2009 | 9:57 am

    Don’t beat yourself up. You have every right to be upset. You have every right to be lost when in an impossible situation. I’m sure your children have realized already that your current frustrations are an indication of how much you love their mother.

    Try to take solace in knowing that everyone who reads your words knows that you are stronger, more loving, person than you realize.

    Hang tough.

  46. Comment by DG | 07.27.2009 | 9:58 am

    Dont stress about giving out to the kids. They’ll soon forget. Just be there for Susan. Do the best you can. And dont be afraid to get help from friends & family.

    Our thoughts are with you all.

  47. Comment by Debbie | 07.27.2009 | 9:58 am

    Ask for help! There is no guidebook on how to handle everything that is being thrown your way–you are writing it as you go. Don’t beat up on yourself and remember to take care of yourself because you are going to have to be there for your family.

  48. Comment by Pam D | 07.27.2009 | 10:00 am

    The fact that this is so hard is simply proof of the depth of your love. If you weren’t “upside down” right now, it would speak poorly for the condition of your marriage. Praying that you truly can feel the hand of God on you as you and your family walk this impossibly difficult path.

  49. Comment by Matt | 07.27.2009 | 10:02 am

    Be sure to ask the people you love and trust for help… they’re looking for ways to safely embrace your family now.

    Continued prayers from Cleveland

    – Matt

  50. Comment by JoDee | 07.27.2009 | 10:04 am

    You have every right to be a mess right now. You are a hero for all you have done and I admire you. Lean on friends and family to do the “comparison shopping” for you. It’s not fair, you should not have to go through all of this, no one should. May Susan’s journey be free of pain and fear. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your children and Susan. God Bless you all.

  51. Comment by Paul H | 07.27.2009 | 10:04 am

    We love you Elden, hang in there, you are one of the finest, one of the very best.

    A warrior.

  52. Comment by JamesInPhoenix | 07.27.2009 | 10:04 am

    The hospice people should have a counselor for you. I strongly feel that you need to meet with them and clear some of this off your chest, if only to vent to a person who won’t take it personally and there won’t be long term wounds between the two of you. I know that when my brother-in-law got close to the end his sweet wife was seeing the counselor twice to three times a week. Perhaps they can help you find someone who can take care of those details that you’d rather not think about, allowing you to focus on what’s important right now which is reassuring your children and helping them through this together as a family. I hope counseling has been recommended for the kids because I believe there are issues they need to work out too.

    Stay strong Elden. Know that we are ALL praying for you and your family, because we love you!

  53. Comment by Matt | 07.27.2009 | 10:05 am

    Love and prayers to you and your whole family.

  54. Comment by Hannah Hawley | 07.27.2009 | 10:05 am

    Healing energy is being sent your way.
    One step at a time, one call at a time, reach out and ask for help, you don’t have to do it alone.

  55. Comment by Eric (aka LowPhat (aka RiderX)) | 07.27.2009 | 10:06 am

    First off, cut yourself some slack. Everybody has a limited capacity to do things, so don’t feel bad if you can’t do everything. I’d be worried if under this level of stress you weren’t the kind of person you try to avoid.

    So, you need some help. Ask for it. You have people around you who wish there was something they could do to help, and you have things that need doing. If you can, try to delegate areas so you don’t have to worry about them any more.

    The whole mortuary/cemetary thing is a very personal choice. My plan is to a) donate my body to medical science and then b) be cremated and scattered someplace nice. I like cremation because it’s simple and cheap, and that’s what my wife and I have both settled on.

    But other people really want to be able to have a specific someplace to visit, in which case a burial may make sense for them.

    You need to make some basic decisions (burial/cremation, simple coffin/ornate one, etc.), but you can delegate out the details.

    Finally, to the kids. It’s going to be tough on them no matter what. I think the best thing you can do is get together with them, talk about what’s going to happen, and pre-apologize for being short-tempered.

  56. Comment by JB | 07.27.2009 | 10:06 am

    Fatty, Jill Homer closed her post with this thought:
    “Physical fitness is fleeting, strength is forever”.
    It made me think of Susan and my friend Jeff and anybody who fights cancer.
    You are a stong man and very inspiring to all of us out here.

  57. Comment by Pete | 07.27.2009 | 10:07 am

    You’ve got very little choice now. Try to stop and take a few deep breaths and feel the love from time to time. Stay strong.

  58. Comment by Sean Runnette | 07.27.2009 | 10:08 am

    You’re doing all the right things, Elden. (And your 13 year old should clean up after his cat.) Delegate, work, be there for Susan. You’re amazing. So is she.

  59. Comment by Beth Nixon | 07.27.2009 | 10:09 am

    (first time commenter)

    If you didn’t feel that way, you wouldn’t be human.

    Thoughts with you all.

  60. Comment by Linda | 07.27.2009 | 10:10 am

    Love, hugs and prayers are all I can offer. Your family seems to occupy my thoughts and prayers a lot these days. We are all here for you.

  61. Comment by Marla | 07.27.2009 | 10:10 am

    I can’t imagine walking the road you are right now. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take care. We are praying for you all.

  62. Comment by Anonymous | 07.27.2009 | 10:11 am


    I’m praying for you and your family, I am sorry that it is all I can do for you.

  63. Comment by hubcityrob | 07.27.2009 | 10:12 am

    I started reading you because you bike – I continue to do so because of the way you love Susan, your kids and life. You are not messed up, cancer is messed up. I cannot imagine how I would react in your situation, but I fully believe I would not handle myself with anywhere near the grace and control and love you have shown. To many of us, you are the person we would like to be, not one to try and avoid.

    My thoughts and prayers go out many times a day to you and your family.

  64. Comment by Lisa | 07.27.2009 | 10:12 am

    Oh Fatty, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I’m so so sorry. (We need a John Coffey right now!) Don’t berate yourself anymore; you’re doing fine, believe it or not. Grief can be a soul sucking thing, and can cause you to strike out like that. Let your kids know that’s just part of grief, and that it’s okay if they blow once in a while, too. Tell them it’s also okay if they still smile and laugh and go about their lives–no guilt over that; it doesn’t mean they love their mother any less.
    Most people don’t know what to say, but boy, quite a few would love to jump in and help out–making phone calls, setting stuff up, making arrangments, getting kids to school. Don’t take it all on yourself, ask and delegate. Find a rock of a person and cry, scream, rant, swear–whatever you can do to ease your pain a bit so you don’t drown.
    Gee, Fatty, I’m so sorry about this, sorry for Susan, you, your kids and family and friends. We’re all here with you, praying for you all. Cancer is a cruel, horrible thing.

  65. Comment by Tessa | 07.27.2009 | 10:12 am

    Felt compelled to write, though we don’t know each other.

    If I, a total stranger, wish I could do something for you – I’m sure there are those around you who would do anything for you. Ask.

    Keeping you in my prayers.

  66. Comment by bikemike | 07.27.2009 | 10:12 am

    my head would have exploded about two years ago. you should be the model for all husbands and fathers.
    your kids will remind you of this one day. be there for them, that’s all that matters.


  67. Comment by Lissee (formerly known as Bitter) | 07.27.2009 | 10:14 am

    Call your Bishop.

    Call your Relief Society President.

    Ask for help.

    Find a Hospice worker. (The insurance people assigned one to us, I think.)

    When my little sister died, a hospice social worker was assigned to our family, to help with all these things. He’ll / She’ll know how to help. Both mentally, and with the things that need to be done.

    We buried my little sister at the cemetery in Orem right next to the old WordPerfect buildings. I don’t know of any cemeteries closer to Alpine, but your Bishop should know, he should have conducted funerals and know which funeral homes are the best, etc.

    Thinking of you and your family. Much love.

  68. Comment by Brian N | 07.27.2009 | 10:15 am

    Just keep the communication open with your kids. They will understand, if not right now, they will. They will understand the pressures, the sadness, the anger, and especially the love for Susan soon. Keep talking. You’re amazing.

  69. Comment by Hank | 07.27.2009 | 10:16 am

    Like people have said, there is no right way to act. None of us could possibly even think of faulting you for your reaction. Your kids love you anyway. Don’t let the guilt get to you.

    If you have family in the area, you might want to consider letting them step in and help with the kids some. I know that feeling of wanting to not burden others, but trust me, it’s not worth it.

    Even more unsolicited advice: Hospice generally will be happy to send a chaplain to help you deal with formalities. If you don’t already have a chaplain assigned, ask your nurse about it; I am sure they’ll refer someone.


  70. Comment by Becky | 07.27.2009 | 10:17 am

    I don’t think you are being the person you try to avoid – simply by the fact that you have recognized and admitted that. All the strength to you and your family.

  71. Comment by jt | 07.27.2009 | 10:17 am

    You are hauling a large load up an impossibly steep hill. Give yourself room to be human, and know that your family loves you. You can’t fix this for your kids or for you or Susan. All you can do is be there and share this awful experience with them. For what it’s worth, you have a large community of support pulling for you all.
    Take care, man.


  72. Comment by UphillBattle | 07.27.2009 | 10:20 am

    Elden, Continued prayers for strength and a peaceful passing for Susan. Echoing the sentiments of others…lean on your friends and family at this time. They are probably wringing their hands wondering how they can help you. You are doing the very best you can for Susan and your family. Your heart is big and it is in the right place. I wish there was something I could do. Prayer. That’s what I will do.

  73. Comment by devin mccune | 07.27.2009 | 10:20 am

    All those people who have made meals for your family over the past few years, all of us who read and comment are here to help. Let people know where you need the help and they will do it, making a caserole is just an outlet because someone dosen’t have direction. Your feelings are expected, you’ve devoted yourself to taking care of Susan and your kid and I’d assume there has been very little Fatty time recently, don’t forget to take care of yourself too.

    My thoughts are with you and if you need help I along with many others will help.

  74. Comment by James | 07.27.2009 | 10:23 am

    Yo Elden- It’s about you, too. If I were in your place, I’d probably be wondering if I’d have to give up biking until the kids left the house. And I’d feel horrible for it. But I probably shouldn’t, and neither should you.

    Be honest with your kids. Apologize when you’re wrong. I think that’s more important than trying to bottle it up and “be strong” for them.

    And for what little it’s worth, I’ll keep reading no matter what.

  75. Comment by kRIS | 07.27.2009 | 10:24 am

    First your doing great…been there so we know. Second delegate…get someone you trust to get three estimates with all the info needed. Then make the best possible choice at the time. That’s all you can do. You will also need some time to heal yourself and your family, it will be hard, but you will do it because you have to…take all the help you can get. We are all with you on this journey, even if you do not know us and can’t see us.
    Be brave…we are right behind you!

  76. Comment by kestrel | 07.27.2009 | 10:25 am

    Express your thoughts – if only to yourself. It helps. But there is no one way or ‘proper’ way to grieve, and that’s the process you’re in right now. No one expects you to be Superman. As to ‘practical’ matters – talk to the hospice/school about your concerns. They can be an enormous help. Cancer steals from everyone. Those of us who’ve had it, and those who love us, but within that is the truth that you are *never* alone. Use those around you who’ve been there helping all along. They’re not going to abandon you now. They need to help you – you need to let them. It’s ok. You’ve done a beautiful job, Elden. You’ve been a light, and grace in Susan’s life and the lives of your children, and it’s ok to be in the space you are now. We’ve all come to know something about you – we’ve all learned how much strength, caring and compassion are in you, and those things won’t fail. They *will* sustain you, and they are imperishable. We’re holding on with you, Elden.

  77. Comment by Laura | 07.27.2009 | 10:26 am

    I wish I could be there to sit beside you and tell you not to be lonely even though we have never official met. Your blog help my husband and I during my recent cancer treatments. My dear husband finds it hard to be vocal about his feelings, especially when he is scared. By reading your blog we could share things with each other by relating them to your posts. It helped us more then you can know. Fortunately I am cancer-free and not much worse for the wear. I’ll continue to pray for your family.

  78. Comment by Katherine | 07.27.2009 | 10:26 am

    {{hugs}}}…and you’re exactly the kind of person I aspire to be…funny, loving, compassionate, thoughtful, aware, talented. The gnarly bits are part of the package, unseeable because they are dwarfed by all the good bits.

  79. Comment by Lancer | 07.27.2009 | 10:27 am

    My heart breaks for you – thank you for taking the time to put these words together and share with us. Not sure I can offer much better than what’s already been said. You’ve set an amazing example for the rest of us with all the phenomenal work you’ve done so far to fight cancer. Now might be the time to breathe and just be – don’t let these precious few moments slip by in a blur of busy-ness. Take the time – you need it, Susan needs it, and the kids need it.

  80. Comment by VT Rob | 07.27.2009 | 10:27 am

    Thinking of you often. Stay strong.

  81. Comment by Trudy | 07.27.2009 | 10:28 am

    Hang in there Fatty. I know it’s easier said than done. You have and are exactly what everyone in your family needs. We don’t understand how the Lord works but just have to trust that he’s handling it. Spend the time you need with Susan now. Philippians 4:13

  82. Comment by BikecopVT | 07.27.2009 | 10:29 am


    Help has a way of finding those who need it. Don’t be afraid to ask. Remember no matter what Susan will live on in the hearts and minds of you and your children. Not to mention all your readers.


  83. Comment by mo | 07.27.2009 | 10:29 am


  84. Comment by FatMass | 07.27.2009 | 10:32 am


    Let your feelings guide you. You are a great man and they won’t let you down. Sometimes your feelings will be rage. Feel them. If you don’t, they will eat you up. It’s ok if you snap from time to time, it’s a release valve. Be with Susan, wet her mouth, you are her comfort. Hug your kids as much as possible and it’s ok if they see you cry. You are Dad, Husband and human. My heart goes out to you in so many ways. It’s been a year since I was in your shoes. God bless you.

  85. Comment by JB | 07.27.2009 | 10:32 am


    Long-time lurker & admirer. You are handling a difficult situation with care and grace not often found. Take a deep breath; you’re doing as well as could be humanly expected.

    I know it’s next to impossible right now, but try to focus on what’s important–it’s not a hungry cat. He’ll be just fine (that’s part of the beauty of cats); remember: your kids are having a tough go too.

    If you need a stranger to talk to about the death care business, I have some experience here and am more than willing to do what I can to help.


  86. Comment by PeterAK | 07.27.2009 | 10:32 am

    Hi Fatty. I can relate. When I lost my dad to cancer I, too, learned what it was like to talk to a loved one only to realize you weren’t really having a conversation. To know that choices have to be made when you don’t feel you have the ability to make them.

    Lean on your friends and family. They are there for you. Ask for help. Take it when offered.

    Ask a friend to take the cat out of your house. Seriously.

    Find a way to laugh. It is a great coping mechanism if you can engage it.

    Love coming your way.

  87. Comment by Chris | 07.27.2009 | 10:34 am

    You can be “messed up”. You, Susan and the kids are all in a messed up, unfair situation. Take a breath. Move through the next moment. Take another breath. You’re all right. You really are. Damn cat.

    Prayers continue,
    Chris [for the other Chris too]

  88. Comment by Wes | 07.27.2009 | 10:34 am

    Fatty, its OK! Lean on your support network for everything you need. We get it…

  89. Comment by Paul Whitehurst | 07.27.2009 | 10:35 am

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  90. Comment by B. in Denver | 07.27.2009 | 10:36 am

    Hey Fatty, You don’t have to be strong. It’s okay to be messed up, it’s okay to not have the answers. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to cry in the middle of breakfast. You can lose your lid and it’s okay to not want to plan. There isn’t a “right” way for any of this, and there isn’t anything wrong with what you’re doing. You’re feeling. There isn’t anything you “should” feel besides what you do right now.

    I am thinking of you, your kids, and Susan.

  91. Comment by Fuzzy | 07.27.2009 | 10:36 am


    I am going to be blunt here- for the following reasons-
    a) I could cry because of the situation you are in
    b) I haven’t met you or your family but, I care for a few folk I have never met. Included in this group are you the Fat Cyclist, Mrs Susan Fat Cyclist and all Clan Fat Cyclist.

    Time to be blunt.

    Take yourself out to the back yard right now and give yourself a good hard kick up the backside. I want you to do this to remind you that all around you are what seem to me, from your writings, the best group of friends a family could ever want for. Lean on these folk Fatty because you need their help and support and, to be honest, they probably feel the need to help but don’t want to intrude. Use them Fatty. Please. You are not alone.

    I hope the tone of this isn’t pushing it but sometimes a hard word is needed.

    Hard Luv ‘n Stuff
    Fuzzy from the UK

  92. Comment by Kim | 07.27.2009 | 10:37 am

    Just another reader standing beside you (in Austin, TX) as you fight this battle.

  93. Comment by Mir | 07.27.2009 | 10:38 am

    You are an amazing person, and even if you don’t like your feelings, they’re normal. It sounds like you have a great support system there, and we’re keeping all of you and them in our prayers.

  94. Comment by svandiver | 07.27.2009 | 10:41 am

    Man, have I been there. It does feel overwhelming. All of the pieces will fall into place. As many have said lean on the hospice personnel and they will direct you.
    My main comment about the kids, is that they need to be told that the end is near. I just assumed my sister’s kids knew because it was so obvious from her illness and appearance but when it finally happened and we told her oldest, granted he was only five at the time, he was blown away. He had no idea she was that sick. I later, about three months later when he started to have problems in school, that I was sorry about how we handled it and I thought he might be pretty angry about it. He said he didn’t know she was so sick. He is grown and very well adjusted now but it still breaks my heart when I think about it.

    Prayers to all of you and just know that you will get through this and we are here to vent to and we will love you know matter what the message is in the blog. We all understand.

  95. Comment by Frank | 07.27.2009 | 10:41 am

    I’ve read about you, Susan and your family for what seems like forever, but never posted. I am so sorry. My heart is broken for you, your kids, and Susan. I cannot conceive of what you are going through. I’ll be praying that you have strength to face what you cannot, that Susan has peace, and that your family will be uplifted through this terrible, terrible process. If there is anything else I can do, contact me.

  96. Comment by lyndap | 07.27.2009 | 10:41 am

    Hang in there Fatty. This is one of the hardest things you will go through. Of course you are feeling overwhelmed. Make yourself a list of things that you need/want to do (the little things…take a kid to get a haircut, pick-up some extra school supplies, etc) that way when someone asks “If there’s anything you need…”, you’ve got your list and can simply say “If you could do one of these things…that would help a ton.” They’ll feel like they are actually helping and you’ll get some of that added support that you desperately need. I wish my mom would have done that when my dad died.

  97. Comment by gail | 07.27.2009 | 10:42 am

    In other words you are human, which is what you want your children to be, too. By showing your emotion, you make it possible for them to show theirs. By explaining your displaced anger, you help them understand when they also feel that way. Do ask for help — besides friends, your hospice worker can also help with ideas for what to do next. I wish you all strength and the quick return of happy memories.

  98. Comment by Kari | 07.27.2009 | 10:43 am

    You are being normal. This is when you ask for help. I had an extended hospital stay during that critical “back to school shopping time” and I accepted the offers of help and honestly, the kids didn’t mind going shopping with someone else.

    Let someone else in your family make those initial calls and at least get locations narrowed down to a couple.

    And ask you son for forgiveness. The hug you will share will be very healing.

  99. Comment by vertigo | 07.27.2009 | 10:43 am

    So sorry Elden.
    Too many in the funeral industry are salesmen…be careful.

    Prayers for you and yours.

  100. Comment by part breaker | 07.27.2009 | 10:43 am

    Fatty, know that all our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  101. Comment by Richie | 07.27.2009 | 10:44 am

    You’re a true warrior. Prayers and thoughts with you and your family

  102. Comment by Dan J | 07.27.2009 | 10:45 am

    As some others said above- ask for help. Talk to family, friends and your kids. This is what family and friends are for. Have a family meeting and reaffirm that you all have to work together. And ask your sibling/parents/cousins and friends to help in areas you feel are beyond your attention right now.

    I know they all are ready and willing.

  103. Comment by Hospice RN too | 07.27.2009 | 10:45 am

    Just appologize to the kids and continue to let them know they are loved, none of this is their fault, and they will be taken care of no matter which journey Susan has to take in the next week or two-kids no matter what age have a big fear of what will happen to them afterwords.

    Secondly, use the hospice staff—I am a hospice nurse—nurses, social workers, bereavement staff—we are all very experienced in this area—ask for help from them, the “summary of changes” as to what to expect, funeral home assistance, counseling, etc. You are NOT alone and you are NOT doing anything any different than others who have lost a loved one—-you definitely love Susan!

    Use family/friends to help make funeral home decisions, clean house, etc. They want to help more than you know.

    Also, you and the kids, no matter how hard it may be and how much you don’t want to do it—-you all need to tell Susan your “goodbyes”. This will not make her go to heaven quicker or slower, but will let her know when it was her time, she could go peacefully without fighting. I cannot tell you what to say, but people like to do life-review….let her know how much you love her, how great of a mom she is, the memories from this/that trip…and that you will take care of the kids. If someone who she might need to hear the goodbyes from (ex. mom or dad) cannot make it for her passing, get them on the phone–hearing is the last thing to go and she can still hear you eventhough she cannot respond. Her breathing pattern will change, her pulse/BP will change, she will move less in the bed, etc. You can do SO much for someone at this time to help her and yourself/kids.

    Finally, take care of yourself—you need to eat/sleep as hard as it is—if you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of her.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers during this journey and after Susan’s next approaching journey.

  104. Comment by Sunny | 07.27.2009 | 10:45 am

    Thoughts and prayers to you and Susan, and your family.

  105. Comment by Ken | 07.27.2009 | 10:46 am


    Throughout this whole thing, you’ve never been THAT guy and frankly, that’s the been the thing that has most amazed me. Even though you think you are, the self-awareness in your post tells me that you aren’t even close to being selfish. Hang in there.

  106. Comment by Hospice RN too | 07.27.2009 | 10:47 am

    One more thing—-either you or a friend or the hospice social worker should call the schools and let them know what the kids are facing–that way if they are late getting into school or have difficulty this year, help will be widely available and understood!

  107. Comment by Kari | 07.27.2009 | 10:47 am

    Practical advice Elden–as other posters have said–delegate, delegate, delegate. Plenty of people want to help you. Put someone in charge of all the logistical crap that comes along with the business of dying. If you can have someone essentially be your “personal assistant” he/she can research the right places, get recommendations and referrals from your web of support, and then sit down with you when the time is right to make the required decisions. My best friend even took over my phone (which was ringing off the hook) for me in the final few days of my mother’s life. Letting others take over logistics and many decisions will allow you to spend precious time with your family. I hope you can have comfort in your final precious moments with Susan.
    PS…I’m sure a friend will happily take over the cat poop situation until you have a clearer head to address the more global “responsibility” issue :)

  108. Comment by 2VT | 07.27.2009 | 10:48 am

    Just went through this. It is both the most real and the most surreal experience of my life.

    LET PEOPLE HELP. Keep the kids totally posted. Go through this as a family. Conjure up the good, laughing memories, start now to develop the habit.

    Kids are resilient. Let them cry. Let them play like nothing’s going on. It’s ok to let them see you lose it, because then THEY feel normal when they have those feelings themselves. Love the idea above of pre-apologizing. School will start soon, let it be a place where they can find a normal rhythm to life. Grades are not what it’s about right now.

    Know you will feel absolutely bereft and absolutely fine at the same time.

    It’s hard to be the keystone, the infrastructure. This is the hardest ride of all, but you will get through it. Welcome to a club to which no one should belong.

    Cancer sucks, but your family is still wonderful.


  109. Comment by Amy from Texas | 07.27.2009 | 10:51 am


  110. Comment by Madelyn | 07.27.2009 | 10:52 am

    Just know that “we” are all with you in this that is happening to you and your family right now. ASK folks to help you! Sometimes they are just afraid to ask -
    Folks physically near Fatty – ask him if you can help with something specific – he needs you to be the decision-makers and initiators right now!

    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

  111. Comment by Ginger | 07.27.2009 | 10:53 am

    You know that there is an enormous amount of support out there for you… and every single person willing to help will understand when you’re not the Man you want to be.

    A year ago I read your blog and thought to myself that you were the strongest person that could have ever fallen into such unfortunate circumstances – and for the entire following year you’ve continued to far exceed any reasonable expectations of you. You have dealt with life admirably, so give yourself a break for your humanity.

    Who knows what you can ask of your readers… but if you think of *anything*, please don’t hesitate to call on us.

    And don’t forget to try and make time for a ride now and then. It’s not selfish: you need to clear the haze out of your head so that you can come back and refocus.

    I don’t know if you’re a God fearing kind of man, or if I am, but you and yours will certainly be in my prayers.

  112. Comment by AllyCat | 07.27.2009 | 10:53 am


    You, your kids, and especially Susan are in my thoughts and prayers.

    It’s okay to lose your sh!t sometimes. Cats can do that to a person. :)


  113. Comment by Angie G | 07.27.2009 | 10:54 am

    I was so taken by your comments that I didn’t take the time to read the other posts first, so if this is duplication I’m sorry.

    This is all part of the grieving process. You need to accept it and let it all out. Whether its on the bike, to your friends and family or both.

    I would sit down with the kids and tell them straight up how you are feeling. Share your anger, your frustrations, your grief and your loss. They are likely feeling the same way. Keeping it from them at this point will leave them feeling excluded. These are the people you need, and they need you too. Let them know that these feelings may lead to you over reacting to things. Agree to signal for this and take a break. Your kids come from very smart genes, they will totally understand.
    As far as the arrangements, I would suggest asking someone very close, one of your sisters or Susan’s family to help take that over.
    Its time to delegate!!! You can not do it all and an inability to do it all is NOT reflective of you as a person or your love for Susan. It’s just plain logistics.
    When my father in law died of Pancreatic Cancer, hospice was amazing, helping with all the logistics and with the overall grieving process.
    You know how we all feel about you, Susan and your family. We have never met you, yet we feel like we have known you forever. Lean on us as you have been to help shore up your strength. Be honest with your kids and grieve. Don’t hold it back.
    Thoughts and Prayers from California

  114. Comment by jenjen | 07.27.2009 | 10:54 am

    I have been thinking about you all weekend, wondering how you were doing. I am so sorry. Can I come up and help in any way? I could come clean, stay with Susan while you get out for a while, take the kids to a movie or the park, or anything else.

    Praying for you and Susan every day.


  115. Comment by Joyce | 07.27.2009 | 10:54 am

    There is now no such thing as “messed up”, no good/bad behavior, no right/wrong. Your challenge will be to not flagellate yourself for imagined shortcomings. You are now in a place where there is no control – your superb instincts and intuition will guide you. Give yourself permission to start the mourning process – this is a good thing. Susan and your family begin a new journey……… and you are surrounded by all the love and support needed for that journey.

  116. Comment by bo | 07.27.2009 | 10:57 am

    Although you feel lonely, you are not alone. In time, you will look back on this and notice that you are far beyond the man you think you are. Your readers have already made this realization, it seems.

  117. Comment by Jennifer | 07.27.2009 | 10:57 am

    I have spent the weekend reading through your blog. I have been touch beyond words. My heart is breaking for you family. I am sorry that this is your story. You are strong. You can do this. Your right… it sucks. You and your family are in my prayers. I will pray for comfort, wisdom, and strength. Thank you for sharing your life with us. What a legacy you are leaving your children through your honest words.

  118. Comment by Bobby | 07.27.2009 | 10:58 am

    Stay strong. Its tough and its painful, but you will make it through this.

    God Bless

  119. Comment by Melody | 07.27.2009 | 10:58 am

    Elden – Ease up on yourself man. I know I’m not saying anything new but you need to realize you’re a so much stronger man than you know. Lean on the hospice folks. I’m a hospice nurse too and they have the staff trained and willing to help. Apologize to the kids – hell sit them down and explain to them a bit of how you’re feeling. Maybe see if there’s something they need to say. This is all going to be part of who y’all are after this.

  120. Comment by rogarr | 07.27.2009 | 10:59 am

    Sorry Fatty,
    We are all thinking of and praying for you and your kids. Its an impossible situation and if you didnt feel like you are, we would all me even more worried.

    And as far as arrangements, talk to a couple of folks who’ve had to deal with such things recently, get their opinons, go with it and dont look back. Its not worth adding extra stress on top of an extremely tough situation.

  121. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 07.27.2009 | 11:03 am

    It doesn’t matter if you have months or years, you’re never ready for what is happening right now. Hopefully you have a friend that knows someone who knows someone who can help you with the mortuary/cemetery decisions. I’ve been through it twice and did not feel ripped off or that we didn’t bury our loved one in a nice enough casket/plot.

    The kind of man you are right now is one under the worst kind of stress in the world. It’s the little things that will drive you crazy at this time and your kids will forgive you. They are scared and uncertain, too. A heads up to the school/teachers might be a big help so that everyone is understanding when the kiddos are distracted or need to miss class.

    Still praying for you all.

  122. Comment by Bridey | 07.27.2009 | 11:03 am

    “I am a mess, I am angry, and I am lonely. And I am ashamed that I am, right now, worrying about myself instead of the people who need me.”

    In other words, you are normal. Under terrible, abnormal circumstances.

    Blessings and prayers from CA.

  123. Comment by Big Boned | 07.27.2009 | 11:03 am

    You have our prayers.
    If you’ve never read it “The Shack” may provide some comfort.

  124. Comment by Woody | 07.27.2009 | 11:06 am

    I find myself wanting to offer advice. But then I remember all the advice that I received when dealing with my mom’s cancer. There was so much going on in my head that I didn’t hear any of it.

    So I offer prayers instead.

  125. Comment by Hamish A | 07.27.2009 | 11:08 am

    There are no rules that tell you how to behave or feel right now Elden. There isn’t a single person who knows you or reads this who would judge you badly for feeling angry/sad/lost/frustrated or any combination of these from one second to the next.

    We may never have met you but you’ve got a global ‘Family’ of people who love you and care so very deeply for you all.

    This is a terrible moment but you need to allow your Friends and Family to help. Don’t think for a moment that anyone would think less of you because you need them. You’ve demonstrated to us all time after time that you are the kind of Man, Husband, Father & Friend that we should all aspire to be.

    Keep telling Susan and the Kids that you love them. Let Susan know it’s OK to leave when She’s ready. Just typing that broke my heart so I can’t imagine what it is like for you but it’s important that She knows you’ll all be OK together. Even though OK seems like the last thing you could ever be.

    Please, thank Susan for inspiring and uniting so many people around the World in the fight against this hideous disease. We’re closer to kicking it’s ass because of the insight Susan and you have allowed us into your lives & fight.

    We love you all.

  126. Comment by erine | 07.27.2009 | 11:09 am

    Fatty, Susan and children, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Sometimes it is hard to know what to pray for, so I pray for grace for you all. Grace to get through the changes in your life without losing heart or faith. Be strong and keep the faith.

  127. Comment by Alex C | 07.27.2009 | 11:10 am

    Fatty: Never commented before, but felt that I should.

    Let it all out man, even on here. You spent 45 minutes writing it. If it made you feel even a little bit better, let it all out. We’ve all been reading you for a long time, and we know the ecstatic you, the jubilant you, from the downtrodden you, the one who wants to lash out. Maybe some of know what you’re going through, and maybe some of us don’t. But we’re all thinking of you and keeping you and Susan in our thoughts.

    And as Melody above said, latch onto the Hospice worker. My mother’s a hospice nurse, and she deals with all the funeral home things. Melody’s right- hospice workers are great at doing things like that. And they’re also good listeners, so don’t be afraid to use their shoulder to let out some grief.

    Lastly, take someone up on their offer to come over. Just for a few hours, go out to a trail, your favorite trail, or one of them, and absolutely pound the hell out of it. Wear yourself out. Walk the last 100 yards to your house. Be that worn out. Use your grief to power you. You won’t be any less grief-stricken, but you’ll have released the burden for a few hours.

    Love and thoughts from Virginia

  128. Comment by Sue W | 07.27.2009 | 11:11 am

    You have handled Susan’s illness and all that it has entailed with such grace and patience, even if it doesn’t seem that way right now. Most parents would snap at their kids for not doing what they are supposed to do, regardless of what else is happening. As to the other arrangements, ask a friend or family member to start the process for you. They can get some information together and you can make a decision without having to make the contacts yourself.
    YOU ARE AN AMAZING AND SPECIAL PERSON. Never forget that. Susan knows it, and your kids do too, even if they can’t process that right now. Just take it minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. I wish there was more to say to ease your pain. Breathe in, breathe out. You will get through this.

  129. Comment by NEG | 07.27.2009 | 11:13 am

    You are allowed. You are losing your best friend. I am praying your continued strenth.

  130. Comment by arrnonny | 07.27.2009 | 11:15 am

    About the panic and the loneliness and feeling it’s shameful to worry about yourself instead of “the people who need me”, take all of our word for it: it’s not possible for you to see it altogether clearly. You’ve got to worry about yourself in these ways, it’s not selfish, it’s not misplaced, it’s simply necessary. Maybe it’s your cellular/emotional imperative to make sure everybody in the family is covered. You are overwhelmed because there are an overwhelming number of tasks for YOU to stay on top of, including keeping the children safe and loved and protected and cared for. And you still must care for your Susan. As her requirements have changed so dramatically, her care isn’t keeping you so very occupied, only preoccupied most all the time. Your children totally “get” that you’re unhinged – and it’s yet one more gift you’re giving them, letting them see your great distress. They get it, and they also get some relief from their own panic seeing Daddy’s got it too.
    Everything you’re feeling is exactly right, and none of it calls for any shame of any kind. Peace to you. Peace to Susan. Sending light and strength your way.

  131. Comment by Larry | 07.27.2009 | 11:15 am

    Elden, I want to echo what many have already said; the Hospice workers are your best and most knowledgable support right now. Use them as a most valuble resource. These people truely are angels here on earth.

    I also lost my wife to cancer at an early age and had two small girls to take care of through the whole ordeal. People will help you in amazing ways without you even having to ask. One more recommendation I would make to you is to contact the Cancer Wellness House in Salt Lake City.

    They are a very knowledgable resource that also offer parent-child conseling services to families that have lost a parent. They were a great help to me.

    May peace be with you and your family.

  132. Comment by darrell | 07.27.2009 | 11:15 am


    Hang in there. Your 13 year lod knows you are not really upset with them but the stress you are under is leaking out. By sharing your pain and suffering with the group here you are actually releaving some of the stress and your burden will lighten. You may not feel that way now but it did. Lean on your faith at this time. Remember the story of footprints in the sand and your faith carry you through these tough times. You and your family are in my prayers.

  133. Comment by paige | 07.27.2009 | 11:18 am

    Can’t add anything more to the above comments, advice-wise.

    I’m praying for you and for your family.

    I hate cancer.

  134. Comment by rexinsea | 07.27.2009 | 11:18 am

    Been out for a couple of weeks and just catching up.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Best wishes

  135. Comment by Julie | 07.27.2009 | 11:18 am

    There are no words, but you have my tears and presence and attention traveling through the internet. May you have some comfort in knowing that many of us are touched by the journey that you and Susan continue to take.

  136. Comment by Accident Prone | 07.27.2009 | 11:19 am

    Thank you.

    For having the courage to share your pain with all of us. Although I can’t do anything but offer prayers of support to you and your family. Knowing a little bit more about your personal struggles with cancer puts me in a better position to help someone else close to me should they ever have to endure the same battle.

    We’ve all been people we’d rather not be at times. Most of us don’t have as valid a reason as you do for it being that way.

    I’m so sorry for what you and your family are enduring.

  137. Comment by Big Shorty | 07.27.2009 | 11:21 am


    I’ve seen it and been a part of it. Everyone here is pulling for your family. USE YOUR LOCAL SUPPORT!! Family, friends, anyone. They don’t teach classes about your current situation. Stop, handle the situation right in front of you, get some coverage and have a meltdown alone if needed.

    Please take care of your family, show us something shiny and we’ll amuse ourselves.

  138. Comment by Rachael | 07.27.2009 | 11:25 am

    Am in awe of your strength and composure in the face of life’s sad turns.

    As Dylan Thomas wrote, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”.

  139. Comment by Annie | 07.27.2009 | 11:26 am


    About your interaction with your thirteen-year-old: one of my most distinct memories of my dad when I was growing up was when he came to me and apologized for having blown up at me because he was upset about something else. I’ve never forgotten that apology. I don’t remember the blow-up. Your thirteen-year-old will forgive you.

    I think we’ve all been hoping and praying for a miracle for Susan. I’m so sorry that it looks like you’re approaching the end. My family is praying for yours.


  140. Comment by Lizzylou | 07.27.2009 | 11:27 am

    I wish I had some more helpful advice to give, but make sure you contact the guidance office at the school. I have seen many of my own students go through this, and the guidance staff is there for just this reason.

  141. Comment by Varinka | 07.27.2009 | 11:28 am

    I Prayed for you
    It will pass…there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I know.
    This Too Shall Pass

    If I can endure for this minute
    Whatever is happening to me,
    No matter how heavy my heart is
    Or how dark the moment may be-

    If I can remain calm and quiet
    With all the world crashing about me,
    Secure in the knowledge God loves me
    When everyone else seems to doubt me-

    If I can but keep on believing
    What I know in my heart to be true,
    That darkness will fade with the morning
    And that this will pass away, too-

    Then nothing in life can defeat me
    For as long as this knowledge remains
    I can suffer whatever is happening
    For I know God will break all of the chains

    That are binding me tight in the darkness
    And trying to fill me with fear-
    For there is no night without dawning
    And I know that my morning is near.

    …Helen Steiner Rice

  142. Comment by Erin | 07.27.2009 | 11:29 am

    Sending gentle thoughts.

  143. Comment by VT Telegirl | 07.27.2009 | 11:29 am

    It sucks to be human at times like this, feeling inadequate and unable to fix things. As bad and dark as it is right now, there is light to be found. As messed up as you are right now, it will work out. As hopeless and helpless as you are right now, hope and help will find its way to you. Wishing you and your family the strength to work your way through this. Lonely, you are. But alone, you are not.

  144. Comment by TimRides | 07.27.2009 | 11:31 am

    Elden -

    Others have said much the same, but…

    1) The biggest lesson I learned from “Tuesdays With Morrie” was to be willing to ask for help. People WANT to help. Heck, if there’s anything I can do from Texas, ask!!

    2) The kids need to know. My mother died when I was almost 8. She had been sick a long while, but I had no idea that death was coming. Give them a chance to say goodbye.

    3) You are so NOT alone.

    4) Yes, worry about yourself. To be blunt, this can’t kill both of you.

    5) Few of us have met you but we love you and Susan and the kids. Use us. What can we do?

    Take care.

  145. Comment by Bill | 07.27.2009 | 11:32 am

    My words are useless so I will let God’s love comfort you instead. Sending prayers now.

    Stay strong!

  146. Comment by Raleigh 2 50 | 07.27.2009 | 11:36 am

    Lots of people here have given you great words of support and advice. I’ll reiterate — lean on others! What are we all here for, in this world, if not to love one another? From what I’ve read in your blog and in the comments, you have a support network that is ready and eager to do whatever you need so that your focus can be on Susan and your kids.

    As for school, let the guidance counselor and the principal at the school know what is going on. They, too, can be a great resource and support right now, and in the future months.

    Sending always love and prayers.

  147. Comment by rz | 07.27.2009 | 11:37 am

    Fatty -

    Ease up on yourself, Eldon. No one is perfect.

    You know what you need to do with the boy, so go ahead and apologize.

    And I wish we could all give you strength to help with your partner.

    My heart aches for you and your family

  148. Comment by Trail Dog Craigers | 07.27.2009 | 11:39 am


    My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Your openness of this situation with the world, has endeared you to everyone that reads this blog, and I’m sure we all wish we could help out in someway. Peace to you

  149. Comment by db | 07.27.2009 | 11:39 am

    Hang in there, Elden. Nothing that you’re thinking or feeling is unreasonable.

  150. Comment by Jade | 07.27.2009 | 11:45 am

    As others have said, there’s no way to be prepared, this can only be gotten through. Accept help. We’re thinking of you and your family.

  151. Comment by bob | 07.27.2009 | 11:50 am

    Win Elden! Win Susan!

  152. Comment by Emy | 07.27.2009 | 11:51 am

    Elden, your post brought tears to my eyes. I’ve typed and deleted, typed and deleted, trying to come up with the right things to say. Anything I could say would just be so completely inadequate. I am praying for you and your family.

  153. Comment by Steve | 07.27.2009 | 11:53 am

    My wife and I are praying for you guys, Fatty. So sorry.

  154. Comment by Hilslug | 07.27.2009 | 11:56 am


    1. You are strong.

    2. Praying for you and your family.

  155. Comment by Matt | 07.27.2009 | 11:56 am

    I’m praying for you, Elden, and your family. It’s okay to be an angry, lonely mess right now. This isn’t the way life should be.

    If there’s anything I (or any of these other strangers on the Internet) can do to help in any way right now, just say so.

  156. Comment by Leslie | 07.27.2009 | 12:00 pm

    Echoing all these heartfelt good wishes and thoughtful advice: there is no easy, simple way through something like this.

  157. Comment by Mark S | 07.27.2009 | 12:01 pm

    Every time RSS shows me you’ve updated I send up another prayer for you and your family, Elden. I’m amazed that you keep sharing your life with us at all during this. Thank you for showing your love so publicly, and for letting us try to help.

  158. Comment by Lofgrans | 07.27.2009 | 12:05 pm

    Even though I know I’ll get to see my dad and brother again, it still doesn’t make it any easier to let them go. Love your wife, and love your family. Kiss and hug them often.

    I don’t know if anyone has posted this, and I know you said you didn’t want to know, but eventually you will want to know. Just get a referral from friends or family or neighbors for all your arrangements. It is the best and easiest way to go. Pick one person you trust, and have them guide you through. My father died while away on business, and my oldest brother’s friend happened to be living in that same town, and he walked our family through everything. He was such a relief to have around. We told him what we wanted, and he got it done or found someone to do it.

  159. Comment by Mary Nelson | 07.27.2009 | 12:05 pm

    your family is here to help you..use the Hospice nurse and counselors as they are the ones that helped me through it with your Uncle Jim in the last few days. I still remember the day your Dad felt compelled to stop by the house and see his brother and they had such a good visit. I am here and will help in any way that you want me to help – just have someone contact me right away.
    You have done everything right and will continue to do so and we all know how you are hurting and it is okay to have the feelings you have….Elden, we love you and Susan and your family and I only wish I could take the pain away. Our prayers are with you and remember “Thy will be done”
    Love and hugs
    Aunt Mary Nelson

  160. Comment by srobb54 | 07.27.2009 | 12:06 pm

    You and your family are in my prayers. Ask those around you for help. You have faced this awful task with so much strength and determination.

  161. Comment by Suze | 07.27.2009 | 12:07 pm

    No you’re not Elden. You’re just human. Prayers going out to you.

  162. Comment by Sandy | 07.27.2009 | 12:07 pm

    Elden, please let the hospice people help you, and take advantage of the grief programs that they have. I know the ones here have them, and that they are wonderful. The hospice workers can also help with arrangements.

    There is no script for this part of the journey.

    I am so sorry that your family is going through this. May Susan’s final journey be pain and fear free for her, and may your children live on to be shining examples of what their mother once was.

  163. Comment by Maria | 07.27.2009 | 12:07 pm


    I lost a loved one earlier this year and can say from experience, you have absolutely no idea what you say or do at any given time. You will feel like you’re just moving through time without consciousness. So for my unsolicited advice, ask for help because there are people always waiting in the wings.

    As for Susan, hold her. Hold her for as long as it takes ’til the feeling becomes etched in your skin. Sometimes when people are bedridden, we (the caregivers) are so focused on other things, like giving medicine, that we forget how long it’s been since they (the patient) have actually been hugged. It’s something so simple and yet so comforting…to the both of you.

    As always, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    Love and strength, my friend.

  164. Comment by Ellen | 07.27.2009 | 12:08 pm

    You have a right to be angry and sad and frustrated. There is no good way to deal with this. Know that you are loved and thought about and people are praying for you and your family.


  165. Comment by courtney | 07.27.2009 | 12:09 pm

    I don’t know you but I’m so sorry. There is simply nothing else to say. I have had a feeling of dread reading your posts from the last few days because they are so similar to what happened to my dad.

    If you have a church pastor, he/she may be able to recommend a funeral director from experience. Ours was very helpful with this.

    Don’t be afraid to make a list and ask for specific kinds of help. People want to help and it’s better to ask for what you need rather than let them come up with something on their own. Otherwise you will still get help but it may not be the most helpful thing for you (if that makes sense).

    My sincerest thoughts to you and your family.

  166. Comment by ghd3 | 07.27.2009 | 12:12 pm

    You don’t know us, but you’re in our thoughts. It is a mean and unfair disease, and your courage and valiance are powerful examples to many. I hope peace and some sense of reassurance may accompany you and your family as this difficult journey continues.

  167. Comment by Isaac Ben-Moshe | 07.27.2009 | 12:13 pm

    You may be feeling lonely, but you’re not alone. One of the things that hospice does, or should do, is help with funeral arrangements. They also have mental health and spiritual counselors, not only for the patient but also, and just as importantly, for the patient’s family. Avail yourself of the hospice’s social workers and chaplains, for yourself and for the kids. You’re doing all you can for Susan-take care of yourself. I’ve offered before, and I’ll do so again-you can call me at 512-897-7646. I used to be a hospice chaplain. But please, please use all of the resources of the hospice where you are. Prayers with you and the family.

  168. Comment by Tez | 07.27.2009 | 12:13 pm

    You are only human having human emotions.

    I know you think about how much you have leaned on your friends to help but, believe me, they want to help so let them help you with some of the stress and take time with Susan and the kids. Now is the time you need to be with them.

    Prayers to you and your family! WIN SUSAN!

  169. Comment by Linda | 07.27.2009 | 12:13 pm

    I don’t know what else to add to the good thoughts others have expressed. We’re all thinking of you, Susan and your family.

  170. Comment by Art | 07.27.2009 | 12:14 pm

    You have mentioned hospice in your blog earlier, those folks can help with the issues that you are being saddled with, let them help. They have the local connections and the experience.

    Don’t be tough on yourself, continue as you might, prayers are with you, Susan and Family.

  171. Comment by RoverDave | 07.27.2009 | 12:14 pm


    The outpouring of love here is amazing and deeply touching. You, Susan, and the kids are loved and def. in my prayers and thoughts. I can’t add much more to what has already been said, stay strong and know we are with you!

    Raleigh, NC

  172. Comment by Rose | 07.27.2009 | 12:15 pm

    Fat cyclist – you are human (with super human quads). Please ease up on yourself and know that you are an amazing man that has endured far too much pain already in your lifetime. Hang in there – reach out to your buddies, hospice, etc. so that you can get some emotional relief. My heart is breaking for you and your family.

  173. Comment by gargoyle030 | 07.27.2009 | 12:15 pm

    Elden – It’s ok to be a mess, to be angry, and if you weren’t feeling lonely, there would be something wrong with you. There ain’t much in this world more personal than death, and watching a loved one lose that battle against something as grim, determined, and effective as cancer is a private hell I wouldn’t wish on my enemies, let alone my friends.

    Lean on your friends, and, as much as you can, the strangers (or strange-o’s in my case) on the ‘net. Forgive yourself for flipping out now and then. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

  174. Comment by Tiffany | 07.27.2009 | 12:17 pm

    Elden, I wish there were words that I could say to help ease your pain and that of your entire family; but there are none. All I can do is read from afar and let you know that my heart is with you. I will keep you, Susan, and your family in my thoughts. We are here for you.


  175. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 07.27.2009 | 12:19 pm

    Said a prayer for you today.

  176. Comment by Jenn | 07.27.2009 | 12:24 pm


    If there was anything, anything that I could do aside from donating more money to fight cancer, I would.

  177. Comment by Rie | 07.27.2009 | 12:27 pm

    I’m so sorry, Elden. We continue to pray for you and your family, that He may shower you with the comfort, peace, support, and love you need in these excruciatingly difficult times. In the mean time, please don’t beat yourself up. We’re with you!

  178. Comment by jilrubia | 07.27.2009 | 12:27 pm

    For a long time it has been “Win” and “Fight”, but surrendering to what is happening is not the opposite of those things. You are human and loving, not hateful and jerky. (In case you haven’t picked that up yet.) Wishing you all peach.

  179. Comment by jilrubia | 07.27.2009 | 12:28 pm

    OH Man…not PEACH, though they ARE tasty. Peace. Wishing you PEACE.

  180. Comment by Lisa | 07.27.2009 | 12:28 pm

    Heaven will be so much sweeter for Susan!!!! May God give your family peace.

  181. Comment by Kris | 07.27.2009 | 12:28 pm

    I was a kid in your kids’ situation once. It was a long time ago, but I remember so much of it so clearly. Kids handle things differently, just as adults do, but some connection to normal seems essential to me. Their lives are being turned upside down, and everyone is grieving. They’re probably wondering where they fit in, how life will go on. Making sure the cat box is emptied is one way you show them that. Sending them to school is another, unless they tell you otherwise. Ask for help to get them there with the new shoes or whatever makes them normal.
    For me at the time, the worst thing about losing my mom was that it made me different at a time in my life when fitting in was important. I was uncomfortable with the attention. I just wanted to get back to normal, or as close as we could get. When I learned about the stages of grief years later, I realized that I had been in denial for a long time. (That’s why counseling is important, I think.)
    Your kids may be different. Watch them for the clues. But it’s possible that the reminder that the cat box won’t clean itself might have been just what he needed. Apologize for the shouting, and, as others have said, he will forgive you. I had to forgive my dad a lot. It wasn’t hard.

    Again, I’m so sorry. If anyone can figure out how we can help from this distance, count me in.

    My brother’s 5th birthday was very soon after my mother died. A mom in the neighborhood, who had only a passing acquaintance with our family, set up a party for him. Cake, kids, games, the whole nine yards. She said that no matter what, a kid needs his 5th birthday celebrated, and she knew my dad was in no condition to do it. My dad had not even thought to ask someone to do that, but she figured it out. People want to help. Ask them to help with whatever will assure your kids that life will be ok. Don’t even think about trying to “give the birthday party” yourself.
    I haven’t been here long enough to know about your religious convictions, but if you have an association with a church or temple, this is the time to use it. Ask for help. If you don’t have religious convictions, call the Unitarians.
    I think the funeral arrangements can wait. Cross that bridge when you come to it. (People die suddenly and the funerals come off all right.) Those church people know about funerals too. Ask them for help.

  182. Comment by jeff | 07.27.2009 | 12:32 pm

    I’m sorry.

  183. Comment by mtnbkr | 07.27.2009 | 12:34 pm


    You are a fixer. (as am I) You have single handedly accomplished so much in your fight against cancer. More than anyone else could even fathom. If cancer could be defeated by effort – Susan would have been cured years ago. Your attempts to control, or fix your situation has resulted in unprecedented, world record breaking efforts. You sir, have put in a monumental effort.

    Unfortunately for the fixers out there, none of this matters in your current situation, as what you wanted to fix the most, could not be fixed by you. It truly is life shattering when this becomes reality.

    Take it easy on yourself – you are the guy we all wish we could be, when confronted with your situation.

  184. Comment by Brad in Ky | 07.27.2009 | 12:37 pm

    Words cannot express the sympathy we (your audience and, in reality, your friends) feel. You, Susan, and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. Keep reaching out… we weren’t meant to go through this alone.

  185. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 07.27.2009 | 12:37 pm

    I may not comment often, but I’m here. Just a small part of the rest of the world here for you. You will make it through. You have to for your kids. I only hope someone is helping to support YOU.
    Praying for you, Susan, and your family every day.

  186. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.27.2009 | 12:37 pm


    You have some excellent advice here in these comments.

    I am praying for you, Susan, and your family. I pray for peace that is beyond understanding in diffuculties that are unreal.


  187. Comment by bikerchick | 07.27.2009 | 12:38 pm

    Elden, my heart just breaks for you now. Please keep venting here in this safe space and know we love you still. This isn’t coming out right, but please just know that we are your web of support. Please please please be kind to yourselves. Wishing you much peace.

  188. Comment by Gus | 07.27.2009 | 12:40 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while right now and so have many of your closest friends that drop by each day. Although sometimes I come for some comic relief, I truly appreciate what you’re doing, both personally and while rallying the troops to get funds for cancer research. And although you might feel like the kind of person you’d try to avoid, all 175+ who are commenting here (plus the ones who read you daily) won’t avoid you.

    You’ve turned a one man show into a cause. While fighting cancer. While being humorous. While doing raffles. And all of this while taking care of your wife and kids.

    For anyone that would be a pretty big deal, but you’re kicking yourself for not worrying of the people who need you. That pretty much sums up what kind of person you are. And Susan knows it too.

  189. Comment by Big Mel | 07.27.2009 | 12:47 pm

    Peace be with your family. You are never alone.

  190. Comment by Harald | 07.27.2009 | 12:48 pm

    Keep fighting Fatty. You and your family are an inspiration to all of us and are in our thoughts and prayers.

  191. Comment by anji | 07.27.2009 | 12:49 pm

    Find a trusted friend to deal with “funeral” details… it’s horrible to think about, a stress you don’t need. And, I know you have great friends… and they won’t mind.

    Everyone in your home is under a lot of pressure… just give them a hug… and be kind to yourself.

    I wish I could help. Take care…

  192. Comment by ChefJT | 07.27.2009 | 12:55 pm

    Hug the kids and let them know you love them. They’ll forgive you acting out, so go ahead and forgive yourself. My wife and I lost her dad just about a year ago (her parents lived with us and her mom still does) and I can’t begin to tell you how helpful hospice was. Tell them what you need and they will help. Don’t be too proud, at this time when you most need it, to lean on those around you.

    Prayers for you and your family.

    Joe S.

  193. Comment by Anonymous | 07.27.2009 | 12:56 pm

    Children understand that adults hurt too. When my family was going through “stuff” and my mother lost her temper with me – she apologized to me and explained why she was upset. I understood and forgave immediately. Even at the tough age of 13. Your children know you love them – and that will carry your whole family through.

    Don’t be ashamed to let others help you, and don’t be ashamed to feel everything that is rolling through you. There is no handbook for these situations and you have done an incredible job taking the best possible care of Susan and your children. Let your friends and family help. They WANT to help. Heck, I want to help, but I’m not even remotely close to your location.

    Prayers headed your way.

  194. Comment by Susie | 07.27.2009 | 12:57 pm

    Echoing all of the thoughts expressed here. Continue to honestly express yourself if it is even a little helpful. And know we are all here listening…

  195. Comment by sandy | 07.27.2009 | 1:00 pm

    Win Fatty!

  196. Comment by T-odd | 07.27.2009 | 1:00 pm

    I happened to scroll right the comment by Spa and concur completely. No one should “know” how to do this and no one should think someone does. I too have been there with my father when he was dying of cancer. Go very easy on yourself – apologize often (those who love you will understand.) As others have said, find a trusted person to look into the funeral arrangements – spend as much time as you can with your kids and Susan. I keep thinking about you guys and I have never met you. You are doing a great thing for Susan by sharing this with the world – it is a very brave thing to do to open your life like this. Hang in there.

  197. Comment by BuzzLiteBoy | 07.27.2009 | 1:00 pm

    Elden, you have shared so much, and we have all laughed and cried. I think we are all now sharing in this journey with you in a terribly unique way, a first-hand look at the way cancer permeates our lives.

    You, Susan and the kids are constantly in my thought and prayers. Peace to you.

  198. Comment by Miles Archer | 07.27.2009 | 1:01 pm

    Your family will forgive you.

    Go out for ride for an hour as hard as you can. You’ll feel a little better.

  199. Comment by kara | 07.27.2009 | 1:05 pm

    I have been an avid reader but never have commented before. Just wanted to say your family is in my prayers. You are a hero to Susan, your children, and to millions affected by cancer.

  200. Comment by Tina | 07.27.2009 | 1:09 pm

    Crying with you, and holding up your arms in prayer.

  201. Comment by Pete | 07.27.2009 | 1:11 pm

    Elden – I have been coming to your web site since 2005 based on your RAMROD ride. You have been an inspiration to all of us in watching how you have handled yourself and family. Just know that you have a large community with you during this time. Please take the advise of others here in allowing those friends close to you in helping with some of the details. Our prayers are with you and your family. The lord looks after all of this people.

  202. Comment by Charisa | 07.27.2009 | 1:11 pm

    I think you are 100% normal. And I also think everyone understands. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Most people want to help but don’t know how.

  203. Comment by Jessica | 07.27.2009 | 1:11 pm

    You are allowed to feel whatever it is you are feeling, allow yourself to be who you are.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  204. Comment by Kyle | 07.27.2009 | 1:13 pm

    Be angry, be a mess. be lonely. But know you are not alone.

  205. Comment by Allie | 07.27.2009 | 1:16 pm

    just don’t even try to fight any of it…so much to get thru, so many emotions are going to be with you. A whole network of worldly love and hugs is here for you and with you, Elden, and your family too. ((((Elden & Family))))

  206. Comment by annainaspen | 07.27.2009 | 1:17 pm

    As others have said there is not a right way to act. Everyone grieves differently. You may want to sit down with your kids and explain that when you have an outburst that it really isn’t them your mad at it’s the cancer. They are children and they have their own grief they are dealing with. You all need each other now more than ever. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I’m so sorry, so very sorry.

  207. Comment by km | 07.27.2009 | 1:17 pm

    Brother, I’ve been there x2. I stand with you.

  208. Comment by Meaghan | 07.27.2009 | 1:19 pm


    We love you.

  209. Comment by Fred | 07.27.2009 | 1:20 pm


    There is nothing wrong with you. You love Susan. You love your children. You feel helpless given the circumstances. You are human!!

    You will get through this. It will be hard. It will take time. It will change you forever. You will persevere.

    Don’t be afraid to go to your friends for help when you don’t know what to do. Trust them. Lean on them. Love them. Let them love you. They want to help but often don’t know what you need.

    We are all with you in mind and spirit. Hang in there!!


  210. Comment by jill | 07.27.2009 | 1:20 pm

    Elden, this is your battle, too. And you have thousands of people behind you. Despair is impossible to avoid, but you are strong.

  211. Comment by FliesOnly | 07.27.2009 | 1:21 pm


    No one here, at this site, is going to be judgemental or think any less of you because you have a terrible day. We know that you’re not really the guy you fear you’re currently becoming…so you can be assured that your family and actual friends (as in the people you physically spend time with…not just your blog fan-base) know this as well. You have been a pillar throughout this terrible ordeal. We all understand that even you are going to have to occasional terrible day. If anything, we’re all totally in awe that it took this long.

  212. Comment by lrh | 07.27.2009 | 1:24 pm

    Give your family a great big hug and cherish each one . . .

  213. Comment by missy | 07.27.2009 | 1:25 pm

    I am praying that peace will fill your hearts at this difficult time. Know that Susan’s spirit fills the room even if her body can longer let you know that.
    Acknowledge it, embrace it…as she transitions know that she will always be there with you in your hearts. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  214. Comment by VA Biker | 07.27.2009 | 1:27 pm

    As a longtime reader, I’ve been awaiting this time with fear for you and your family; I can hardly read your words. As I wrote before and others have, there is no script here. Elden, I think the main thing is that you continue to do right by your family in the moment. May you find peace.

  215. Comment by Julian | 07.27.2009 | 1:27 pm

    Fatty/Elden, there’s nothing abnormal or wrong with how you are feeling and behaving man. There are no words we in the cycling community can say to effect peace in your heart right now. Just be how you need to be, do what you need to do, and remember you have friends here if you need any help.
    Whatever you do ask for help from your close SLC area friends; even if you think you won’t/don’t need it, ask. Get people to help with memorial-planning tasks, you won’t have to deal with those things closely if you don’t want to.
    There is peace in this eventually, hang in there chief. Prayers comin’ your way…

  216. Comment by emac0 | 07.27.2009 | 1:29 pm

    (Wishing you)Couráge, Fatty

  217. Comment by Gena | 07.27.2009 | 1:30 pm

    God Bless and know all of us out here are praying for you and your family. Know that God is with you.

  218. Comment by Dawn- H Texas | 07.27.2009 | 1:30 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented. But today…I need to. I don’t know what its like. I don’t have the answers. What I know is this….whatever you feel, is ok. There are no right and wrong feelings. If you had it all figured out, then that would be weird. Make one decision a day. You can’t do it all. You can’t be everything Susan is. But, a little headway each day, will help. Ask for help. Scream for help. Scream at people. Cry, do whatever you want. You will get through this. It may not be pretty, but from everything I’ve read about you…you are a survivor and you WILL get through this. Much love and hugs to you and yours. God bless Susan, and keep her in the palm of Your hand.


  219. Comment by Jason Taylor | 07.27.2009 | 1:30 pm

    I’m new to this blog. I know this may sound like an inadequate cliche, but I will be praying specifically for the things you mentioned. My sympathy goes out to you and your family.

  220. Comment by Robert | 07.27.2009 | 1:31 pm

    Elden, I have no words. :(

    I will be sure to say a few extra prayers for you and your family!

  221. Comment by Jerry Somdahl | 07.27.2009 | 1:32 pm

    My friend,
    Life doesn’t get any harder than this. Use your friends and family for help. Seek advice from those you trust. I feel so bad for you and your family. Life will get better but it will take a lot longer than you expect. I am so sorry you or anyone else has to go through this.

  222. Comment by BryanS | 07.27.2009 | 1:37 pm

    “Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” ~Lama Yeshe

    We’re all thinking of you and your family.

  223. Comment by the inadvertent farmer | 07.27.2009 | 1:39 pm

    You are being human…in all its frailties and faults. Of course you are lonely and angry and scared. Take a deep breath, hug your kids…and most of all cut yourself some slack.

    I am so very sorry for the heartache this horrid disease is inflicting on your family…cancer SUCKS

  224. Comment by BIA | 07.27.2009 | 1:39 pm

    Please, don’t be too hard on yourself.
    What you are doing right now is beyond difficult and heartbreaking. Be good to yourself, too.

  225. Comment by TomE | 07.27.2009 | 1:39 pm

    We are thinking about you here in Colorado. This “person” you are trying to avoid is the same person that made it SUPER COOL for a guy to wear a pink jersey!! I can’t tell you how many people yell out “FATTY” or “WIN SUSAN” when I pass by them. There were no less than 5 jerseys at the Breckenridge Firecracker 50 over July 4th. The MAN that created that is one of the most thoughtful MEN on earth!

    Cancer sucks! WIN SUSAN! GO FATTY!

  226. Comment by gregc | 07.27.2009 | 1:40 pm

    words cant convey what you and your family are going through. Lean heavily on friends and family and whever you can find strength. You cant and dont have to do it all by yourself.
    Win Susan,
    endure Nelson family


  227. Comment by Jamie | 07.27.2009 | 1:47 pm

    I was going to write something, but I really have no deep insight in to your situation apart to say i’m terribly sorry that you and you’re family are having to deal with this situation.

  228. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 07.27.2009 | 1:50 pm

    Fatty, stay strong and listen to all these words of advice and encouragement.

    As many have pointed out already, there’s no blueprint for how you should feel.

    If at all possible, let others help you with “stuff” and take care of yourself.

    You and your family are in my thoughts.

  229. Comment by ~Kristi | 07.27.2009 | 1:53 pm

    You’ve been on my mind everyday lately. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Gather your kids and let them know how much you love them and let Susan know how much you all love her also.
    May her final days be peaceful…

  230. Comment by Laura Lou | 07.27.2009 | 1:53 pm

    I am soooo sorry. I know that doesn’t help you one iota right now, but I am. As, I imagine, you are too. Just try to keep going, one minute at a time, if needed.

  231. Comment by Vicky | 07.27.2009 | 1:54 pm

    It’s OK to feel the way you feel. You are human. There is no good way to get through this. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other – it’s all you can do.

    I agree with all the others: lean on hospice, lean on your friends and family, tell Susan how much you love her and ultimately that it’s OK to go, involve your kids.

    I am praying for you and your family.

    Dear God, please hold this family in the palm of your hand. Comfort them in the way only you, our Heavenly Father, can comfort them. I pray this in the name of your glorious Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

  232. Comment by sharon | 07.27.2009 | 1:56 pm

    Give yourself a break. You are a good husband, a good father, and a good man. You are entitled to be scared and angry. I am sure you are communicating your fear and anger to your kids, and if they don’t know now, they WILL know in the future all that you have done for your family and all that you have been through for and with them.

    In order to be strong for them, you need to allow yourself to feel what you feel.

    I am praying for you and your family.

  233. Comment by Janneke | 07.27.2009 | 1:58 pm

    Don’t be ashamed of what you feel. It’s only natural to be afraid and angry. Tell your boys and girls that too. They’ll forgive you. Accept all the help that’s offered. Ask the hospice people about mortuaries and stuff like that. They surely know the ‘best’ places to go to.
    In the mean time. Hugs and prayers. Janneke

  234. Comment by Todd | 07.27.2009 | 1:58 pm

    We’re all here for you Fatty!

  235. Comment by Clay | 07.27.2009 | 1:59 pm


    Just got back from Colorado, where I did some biking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains … I must say you and Susan crossed my mind several times as I rode/hiked. I didn’t have internet access out there, and I’m so sad to just now read this latest update … Please know your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers.


  236. Comment by Bryn | 07.27.2009 | 2:01 pm

    For five years i’ve read this blog and i can honestly say you are the most awe inspiring human being!

    I would be proud to be your son even with the unprovoked attacks regarding cats, and i can only hope your kids know exactly what you’re going through.

    You and your family deserve the world!

  237. Comment by stefano | 07.27.2009 | 2:01 pm


    Apologize to your son, he knows what’s going on. I have a 15-year old daughter and we are constantly amazed and gratified to hear the mature and insightful things coming out of her mind through her mouth. When my wife was fighting her cancer she continually told me the disease was hardest on the family and loved ones. It’s taken me at least a handful of years to understand how right she was. It’s okay to grieve openly and to let trusted others help you with the decisions you need to make. Susan and your family are in my daily prayers.

  238. Comment by GUS | 07.27.2009 | 2:02 pm

    Don’t be strong, go by your self and let it out, whatever that takes. Then go back to being the strong one. Just remember, as much as Susan needs you now, the little ones will need you even more!! Stay focused, let it out, and my whatever powers there may be help you.

  239. Comment by Mike Hales | 07.27.2009 | 2:05 pm

    Elden, I admire your strength and am heartbroken by your situation. My prayers go out to you and your family.

  240. Comment by megan | 07.27.2009 | 2:06 pm

    I know how horrible this must be… let someone else do the comparison shopping for you. There are plenty of people who would love to help but don’t know how. Hope there is help and peace coming to you quickly!

  241. Comment by Heidi | 07.27.2009 | 2:08 pm

    You don’t have to do it all; consider allowing yourself to lean on those close to you. And give that sweet kitty a scratch. Sending love and light.

  242. Comment by Melody | 07.27.2009 | 2:08 pm

    I know I posted earlier but I feel so wrapped up in this, so incredibly badly for you today, I had to come back to read again. One other thought I wanted to pass along – don’t feel badly if someone is at Susan’s bedside for 24/7 and the moment that person has to go to the bathroom or for a drink and she’s alone, Susan passes. Many times people just don’t seem to be able to let go in front of those they love. Who knows why but it happens so often.


  243. Comment by Fee | 07.27.2009 | 2:11 pm

    Dear Susan
    Thank you for inspiring so many of us with your strength and grace in the face of your disease. Through you, we have learned to appreciate our health and our loved ones. We have seen a family unite and we have seen people all over the world moved to tears. Your life may be shorter than any would wish but your reach into so many hearts has been more than most of us could do in many such lifetimes. Your husband has become more than he could ever have believed and stronger than anyone could imagine. He has connected thousands and thousands of people all over the world and you are the reason.
    Whatever your journey now, I wish you joy.

  244. Comment by Kathy | 07.27.2009 | 2:25 pm

    You’re allowed. God bless you. Many many people are praying for you and your family. I hope it helps to know you are being thought about and loved by many who don’t even know you face to face. (PS…thanks to Pioneer Woman, I know of your blog. :)

  245. Comment by sk8ermom3 | 07.27.2009 | 2:25 pm

    Elden if we could, we would all shoulder a bit of this burden for you. My heart breaks for you and your family. Perhaps there is a family member that could assist you with the plans. Susan will win in the end, you have assured that.

    Peace be with you.

  246. Comment by Anne Marie | 07.27.2009 | 2:26 pm

    Fatty, words are so inadequate, but I just felt like I had to say that you are doing everything perfectly because you love Susan and you love your children, and they know it. For now, wrap your arms around your children and sit with Susan. Ask for help and lean on your hospice friends (they are miracle workers in my book!) and know that all across the world people are praying for Susan and you and your whole family. Don’t worry about what you haven’t done at this point–there will be time for all that later. As a priest, I so often see families in just your situation, and not a one of them wishes they had spent more time making funeral/burial plans. The world tells you, “don’t just sit there, do something,” but for now the best thing you can do is flip that–don’t just do something, sit there. Peace & Love to you.

  247. Comment by Nancy | 07.27.2009 | 2:26 pm

    It’s a wonder you’ve held up so well for so long- no, I take that back. It’s a credit to your network of friends and family and neighbors that you’ve managed to make a terrible situation into an incredible example of grace, strength, perseverance, persistence, and hope, even when hope doesn’t seem to be present at the moment. I hope you’re able to take the time to process all the advice and wishes today. Unloading is good for helping you back on your feet, and I can’t imagine that there isn’t an army outside your door right now waiting to be told what they can do to help. I’m glad you have such an army of real people and real angels lurking both physically and via your blog. Grace and peace to you in abundance over and over again.

  248. Comment by XCTiger | 07.27.2009 | 2:29 pm


    You are in an impossible and foreign situation. Someday you will understand how much stress you have been under for the past few years, and how much that stress has increased over the past few weeks. Right now, remember to take your 13 yr old and give him a big hug and a kiss. Have a man-to-man and tell him how badly you feel about jumping him like you did. Given who his parents are, I think he might surprise you with his level of understanding and wisdom.

    Spend your energy helping your kids, yourself, and Susan. Don’t waste what physical and emotional strength you have beating yourself up with self doubt and regret. You are a Loving Father and Husband faced with a challenge no one should ever have to deal with. Ask for help from Hospice, Family, and the Core group. I’m sure they will all be willing to help.

    From experience, you cannot physically or emotionally do it all. Others can handle the administrative stuff as well as you can, but no one can take care of your family better than you. They need you more than ever, and you need them just as much.

    Remember, take it one day at a time and when things get tough take one-hour, one-minute, or one-second chunks.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Praying for Love, Peace, Strength…..

  249. Comment by dinglearm | 07.27.2009 | 2:36 pm

    I think everyone has said it, just ask for help. That is what hospice is about and your friends are just waiting for the word.

    We all love you, Susan and the kids and we are there for you…use us.

  250. Comment by Andy | 07.27.2009 | 2:39 pm

    Angry? I would be so PISSED OFF I would be seeing red. This is just a normal reaction. What you have done to this point is AMAZING and I am sure more then most people could have.
    Praying for you and your family…..

  251. Comment by Krissi | 07.27.2009 | 2:41 pm

    I have been reading your updates over the last couple of weeks and thinking, “I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through something like this.” I get sadder each time I read and today is just the saddest though not the saddest to come. You have every right to be angry can I be angry for you I will kick something for you. I just want to say I’m sorry and it sucks and no one should have to go through this. Stay strong!

  252. Comment by Jan R. | 07.27.2009 | 2:41 pm

    I have been drawn to your site after I heard about Susan from Ree.

    I am a Jew and one of the prayers we say in Temple is called the Mi Sherbierach. This offers blessing and healing to anyone that needs it. I have been saying the Mi Sherbierach for Susan since I heard about her. It’s really an amazing prayer and I will continue to say this prayer for Susan and for your whole family as you learn to walk this road ahead of you with your beautiful children by your side.

    Please accept my pryaers and my love as you get through the days and weeks ahead. May Susan’s life be a blessing to you and to your children.

    With much love and many blessings,
    Jan R.
    Oak Park, CA

    Mi shebeirach avoteinu
    M’kor habracha l’imoteinu

    May the source of strength who blessed the ones before us,
    Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing
    And let us say: Amen.

    Mi shebeirach imoteinu
    M’kor habracha l’avoteinu

    Bless those in need of healing with refuah sh’leimah
    The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit
    And let us say: Amen.

  253. Comment by NoTrail | 07.27.2009 | 2:42 pm

    My prayers and my thoughts and all my positive energy is being directed toward Susan, toward your family, and to you. There are lots of people who care about you … don’t feel bad if you need to lean on us right now!

  254. Comment by justrun | 07.27.2009 | 2:43 pm

    There is no right way to behave right now, and I only know this having been in a much more removed but similar situation. I am praying for you, your family, and those people that will undoubtedly be there for you all to ensure that you will not be taken advantage of.

  255. Comment by c3 | 07.27.2009 | 2:45 pm

    You’re human. You’re hurting. And life sucks right now. Your kids will get through this with you. They’ll learn from you that sometimes you let people be crappy when they hurt — and they’ll learn how to handle it when they’re the ones that are crappy by how you come back later.

    Don’t forget to use the resources around you. They can be exactly what you need right now.

  256. Comment by Jan R. | 07.27.2009 | 2:45 pm

    One more thing…
    Please call on the help of Hospice.
    My sister is a Hospice nurse and will help you at a moment’s notice…
    even if it’s over the phone…
    If you need the help or would like advice –
    please email me and I will connect both of you.

    With love.
    Jan R.
    Oak Park, CA

  257. Comment by Dave | 07.27.2009 | 2:58 pm

    You’re human. If anyone has it in them to blame you for that, they’re not. We’ve never met, and likely never will, but I know how this will go, and I’m really pulling for you and your children. If all you can do is ease her comfort from now on, at least you can do that.

  258. Comment by Wild Dingo | 07.27.2009 | 3:02 pm

    Elden, you are exactly where you need to be. whether a mess or held together with glue. whether thinking of those who need you or only of yourself. whether angry at the world or finding patience with the things that would make a mere mortal blow up. Have faith that you are exactly where you need to be. Let go of the things that are not serving you, such as shame and guilt and give yourself the freedom to feel angry, lonely, confused or anything else that comes your way, just without shame or guilt for those feelings. Nobody in the world can be you or walk in your shoes, even if they’ve had a similar experience to yours. Take whatever support is given to you in any form right now and do not worry about thanks or payment for them. No child should ever have to go through this, let alone 4.
    Deepest peace and warmth,

  259. Comment by DD | 07.27.2009 | 3:03 pm

    Elden you are a saint.

  260. Comment by Bob E | 07.27.2009 | 3:04 pm


    Stay Strong. Know that there are thousands praying for your family. My wife lost her dad at 10 and didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Before cancer took her mother last month, she climbed into the hospice bed for a good cry and a long hug. It was a tender mercy to do so.

  261. Comment by kawika | 07.27.2009 | 3:11 pm

    i would echo what everyone else has written. you are only human, and it is human to feel the full range of emotions at at time like this. realize that you are definitely not alone, and take comfort in your family. peace.

  262. Comment by Jennebelle | 07.27.2009 | 3:14 pm

    I am so sorry that you and your kids have to go through this. It’s terrible and it sucks and there is really nothing anyone can do or say to make it not suck. Only time and loving with your kids will help. Eventually you will feel less like garbage. Hopefully sooner rather then later! :o)

    Love to you all!

  263. Comment by Katee W | 07.27.2009 | 3:24 pm

    I don’t know what to say. Nothing I can say will make any of this easier or better. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    To your son: it’s my job to take care of our two cats and I know how lacking in fun that job is. I try to avoid it, too. However, if the litter box doesn’t get cleaned often enough, my husband’s cat will pee just outside the box in protest of the untidiness. Bad kitty! Keep on scoopin’ friend!

  264. Comment by Elizabeth | 07.27.2009 | 3:25 pm

    Everyone’s already said it: ask for help. But you should ask for help for yourself.

    You’ve reached out to the blog community as a way to share your feelings. Reach out to those around you. Susan needs help, the kids need help, but YOU need help. If you get some support for your own feelings you will be a better help to Susan and the kids.

    You are being everything you want to be and everything you can be, to everyone except yourself. There are already wonderful suggestions here. Follow some of them.

    Love, thoughts, prayers, everything to you all.

  265. Comment by Kate Slevin | 07.27.2009 | 3:26 pm

    You are a kind and honorable man to express your true feelings at this time. I think you and Susan have helped many people who have discovered your website- your honesty is human and sincere. Thank you. Hold your kids hands and give them a hug. Read the LAF manifesto.
    May God Bless you all

  266. Comment by Heather | 07.27.2009 | 3:28 pm


    Anyone who articulates their feelings as courageously as you have, is going to get through this impossible situation. But, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Do you talk to your kids as openly as you communicate with your blog followers?

    Regarding the kids, after a frank talk with same, assign one family/friend to each kid, someone who can help them with day to day issues; school supplies, class registration, etc. You will still be there for the kids but they will each have somebody else giving them love and attention. Like you, the kids probably feel lonely and out of place.

    And YOU, go out for a bike ride everyday!

    Lovingly, Heather, a longtime lurker

  267. Comment by Penny | 07.27.2009 | 3:32 pm

    No words. Just prayers.

  268. Comment by Rebecca | 07.27.2009 | 3:33 pm

    As caregivers often our suffering is in silence. We are not allowed to breakdown, to lose control, to go mad. Nope, we must hold it all together and look damn good at the same time.
    Know what? It can’t be done.
    There is no right or wrong here, there is just getting through it. Do the best you can.
    When you snap at your son, go back and tell him why, let him know that you are not perfect but by God you are man enough to apologize (and son, can you really get on the ball with the cat.) You would be surprised at the level of respect that apology gets.
    You don’t have to worry about the details now if you don’t want to, do it when you have to. Honestly, you won’t know if you were taken advantage of or not because you will never talk about the details to anyone nor they to you.
    It’s not fair to our loved ones or to us that we go through this – it’s an ugly, ugly part of reality. You just hang on to your wife for as long as you can and know that when it is all said and done you will have done the best you can and the pieces of anything that broke along the way will still be there to pick up.
    Our family joins all the others praying for you and yours, may you find some peace and know that you are loved.

  269. Comment by bobbieh | 07.27.2009 | 3:36 pm

    I’m crying buckets, and about ready to jump on the next plane, if only just to give you hugs.
    I haven’t read all the comments above, so if I repeat something that has already been said, mea culpa.
    All you are feeling and going thru is VERY normal.
    Please talk to Susan’s hospice nurses… they should have counselors for you to talk about this with (you AND the kids).
    This is when you need to call on other family and friends to help you through the nuts & bolts of what must be done.
    And this is when you need to use US ~ your legion of cyber-friends, who love and admire you, and would give their left arms to help you in any way, shape or form they can ~ Rail at us. Yell, pound out your frustration on your keyboard ~ let us soak it up from you, so you can be there for Susan and the kids. I don’t think there is any one of us who wouldn’t do this for you. Don’t worry about hurting feelings ~ no one who has been following your story will object.

    You all are in my heart & thoughts ~ I’m holding you in light, and love; sending you strength and courage as you walk the this last bit with Susan.

    XXX ~ bobbie

  270. Comment by Brendan | 07.27.2009 | 3:38 pm

    I spent a year watching my mother slowly descend towards her own death. And the thoughts I had and the selfish ways i acted during that time were things I wanted to push out of my mind after her death.
    But through the help of a therapist I realized those things were natural, and I needed to forgive myself for them. I was coping and reacting the best I could in a trying situation.
    You are a human being, don’t punish yourself for acting like one.

  271. Comment by trish | 07.27.2009 | 3:41 pm

    Yesterday during the sermon, our Reverend said that one of the most valuable gifts you can give of yourself is to love and hold up someone as they died. My thoughts went to you and your family. As many before me have said, there is no right way of doing this. While you are feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, there are hundreds of us marveling at how amazingly strong you have been. There have been many suggestions offered to help you cope. Whichever you choose, none will be enough, because cancer just sucks. But even as you doubt yourself, your strength in the face of this has made an indelible mark on hundreds of internet strangers. Wishing you peace and even greater strength.

  272. Comment by Cliff | 07.27.2009 | 3:50 pm

    There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already. Definitely reach out to your other family and friends and let them help you get through this. You will all need each other. Stay strong, my friend. You have a huge online network of people here who are pouring out their hearts and love to you & your family.

  273. Comment by Jack | 07.27.2009 | 3:57 pm

    C O U R A G E

  274. Comment by bryantp | 07.27.2009 | 4:02 pm

    We love you. Those who love you will forgive the outbursts, especially if followed by apologies. Make lists, follow them, check them off. It’s the only way to stay sane. We’re all praying, chanting, meditating, etc for you.

  275. Comment by Mark W | 07.27.2009 | 4:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I know you can do it!!!

  276. Comment by John | 07.27.2009 | 4:12 pm

    It’s hard to explain but I learned, when my father was dying of cancer, that outcomes can be terrible but things can still turn out okay. It’s probably hard to believe but, given some time, you and your kids will be happy again and the world will again feel okay.

  277. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 07.27.2009 | 4:12 pm

    Fatty, I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and have always been amazed at how you’ve handled everything that’s been thrown at you by cancer. I think you’ve done so much better than many men would, including me. You will get through this with God’s help. God often works through others and you’ve got plenty of people offering help. Take those offers and be blessed by them so they may also be blessed by helping someone in need.

    Praying in Jesus name for you, Susan, and your kids.

  278. Comment by Chrissy | 07.27.2009 | 4:19 pm

    You are human and your feelings are normal, expected, and justified. You are doing the best you can do and so much better then most people would. Please know that there are so many strangers that are praying for you and your family.

  279. Comment by Orbea Girl | 07.27.2009 | 4:20 pm

    You don’t need our advice, you know what to do.

  280. Comment by Kt | 07.27.2009 | 4:26 pm

    I can’t add anything more to what everyone else has already said.

    You may feel lonely, but you aren’t alone.
    You may feel like you’re a mess, but you aren’t– and no one would blame you if you were.
    You may feel angry, and you have every right to be.

    You may feel ashamed, but ashamed at what? Acting like 99% of the rest of us would act, all the time, given the same situation? You are an amazing person, you know? Never forget that.

    +1 on asking hospice or friends or relatives to help you out in making those final decisions. You don’t want to do that research because it would be acknowledging a terrible truth, which only makes it more real and inevitable.

    +1 on being honest with your kids. Let the schools know what’s going on, they need to know, and they’ll help you too.

    +1 on talking things out with an impartial outside person. Don’t feel like you have to keep us informed on every little detail, we’re not voyeurs and we want to be involved only as much as you want us to be.

    +1 on not beating yourself up for yelling about the cat. The cat is not the issue here, and your 13-year old is smart enough to know it.

    +1 on sending you strength. We’re all here with you.

  281. Comment by RachelGio | 07.27.2009 | 4:27 pm

    there is no template for what you’re going through and dealing with. just get through each day and love susan while she’s here. just be

  282. Comment by Flying Ute | 07.27.2009 | 4:27 pm

    That is messed up. Hang in there bro.

  283. Comment by Sean | 07.27.2009 | 4:27 pm

    Hang in there Fatty

    You have done a tremendous job so far. Things will work out and you will find the help you need when it is time.

  284. Comment by Julie | 07.27.2009 | 4:33 pm

    Prayers for you, Susan and the kids. Please don’t try to do it all yourself, there’s no reason to when so many people love and care about you.

  285. Comment by Jaap | 07.27.2009 | 4:39 pm

    Hang in there Fatty!

    Thinking of you. Thanks for sharing this. Stay strong!

  286. Comment by Erin | 07.27.2009 | 4:41 pm


    Delegate. You seem to have a very robust social/family circle. I’m sure Dug or Kenny or your sisters or any of the wonderful people who populate your blog can make those calls for you. You don’t have to do it.

    I can’t stop thinking about you two. There’s so many of us out here wishing you the best. Peace be with you, my friend.

  287. Comment by talzof | 07.27.2009 | 4:47 pm

    Apologize to your son. He’ll understand what your going through – he’s going through it too.

    Don’t know too much about mortuaries and etc… but cremation is a lot cheaper than burial (depending on your religious beliefs and all). It also means you can deal with the cremains at a little later date when it isn’t so fresh and new and awful. In terms of burials and etc… remember these are for the living. Do what feels right for you and the kids.

    Hang in there. Its a terrible ride right now so just try and relax and do one or two little things to make things a little bit more comfortable and let the rest go. This too shall pass.

  288. Comment by Tony Melendez | 07.27.2009 | 4:49 pm

    There is a line in the movie Patch Adams that brings me lots of comfort when I think about the last moments of my mother’s life; “treat the spirit and you’ll always win”! A disease may be taking Susan’s body; but don’t let it take your spirit!

    Its ok to be messed up; if you weren’t you wouldnt be human!

    Find someone you trust to delegate those responsabilities that are stressing you out, and that you FEEL as if you have to personally take care of them. You do not have to make those decisions; not now. Ask someone to help you; they will be happy to, and it will aid in their sense of helplessness.

    And finally, you know when you find that rhytm on the bike, even though you are tired, thirsty, and you know there is still all this hard road to go through? Find that same peace to guide you through whats going on and more!

    God Bless!

  289. Comment by Maria | 07.27.2009 | 4:54 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.

  290. Comment by Hoggy | 07.27.2009 | 5:05 pm

    Fatty, considering the tower of strength you have been over the last few years no one will begrudge a moment or two of frustration. everyone knows the frustration is anger aimed at cancer and not the ones you love.

    stay strong

  291. Comment by Jenn | 07.27.2009 | 5:07 pm

    I am thinking of you & your family. Your dedication and love to them is always visible in the way you write, even when you think it’s hard to see.

    Please be as kind and gentle to yourself as you can right now, and know that we are pulling for you and the kids. And especially Susan.

  292. Comment by Jeannine | 07.27.2009 | 5:09 pm

    Dear Fatty. No words, just prayers and internet hugs.

  293. Comment by aussie kev | 07.27.2009 | 5:12 pm

    love to your whole family fatty

    allez elden

  294. Comment by Jen B | 07.27.2009 | 5:12 pm

    We are not wired to understand suffering…we weren’t created to deal with it. You aren’t alone and you are not “doing this” wrong. There is no right way. Lots of hugs and support for you all.

    If it is any help, please know I’ve blown up at my kids and have absolutely no reason for doing so :)

  295. Comment by tma | 07.27.2009 | 5:15 pm

    All I can say is that my thoughts are with you. That’s all I can say. Everything else is just… everything else.

    I’ve never said this: You are all in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

    I’ve never said that. Ever.

  296. Comment by Amber | 07.27.2009 | 5:16 pm

    I am a case manager with terminally ill people. I highly recommend using People’s Memorial Association. It is a funeral co-op, non-profit, that exists to protect people from getting scammed by funeral homes. You can set everything up ahead of time, their costs are way cheaper than the average funeral home, and they are very kind and understanding. They are based out of Seattle.

  297. Comment by Patrick | 07.27.2009 | 5:24 pm


    You’re an inspiration to so many here. Stay strong but don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

  298. Comment by Miss Lola | 07.27.2009 | 5:25 pm

    Its hard because our job is to fix things, and this you can’t fix. I get your anger, I would be screaming mad having to go through this and having to watch the person I love most suffer.
    Ask people for more help, keep saying I’m sorry when you think you have missed the mark, and remember, remember, everyone around you loves Susan, loves your kids and loves you.
    Stop beating yourself up.
    Prayers, prayers, prayers for Susan, for you children and for you.
    Miss Lola

  299. Comment by Mike Roadie | 07.27.2009 | 5:25 pm

    We love you, Elden, and your family. You are allowed to have your moments, and be human. On the good side, I met several people at RAGBRAI this past week who came to talk to me about your family when they saw my FC jersey, Team Fatty jersey and Tshirts. You are never alone.
    Weep when you need to; be angry if that’s what you feel.
    You are loved. Susan is loved.

  300. Comment by Bragger | 07.27.2009 | 5:33 pm

    Allow yourself the luxury of human feelings. It’s not just happening to Susan. We are praying for all of you.

  301. Comment by Mary | 07.27.2009 | 5:36 pm

    There is really nothing I can say to help. I just wanted to be added to the list of the many, many people who care about you, Susan and your family.

    Thoughts and prayers.

  302. Comment by deb | 07.27.2009 | 5:37 pm

    Elden, please forgive yourself for being human. There aren’t any “how to” books for what you are going through. Your children know that you love them.

    Praying for peace for all of you…

  303. Comment by Robin | 07.27.2009 | 5:40 pm

    When you are losing the true love of your life why wouldn’t you be angry? I would be worried about you if you weren’t! Your kids are resilient and they will be fine. They know you and Susan both love them. Do NOT be hard on yourself as we all know that you are doing the best you can! May God wrap his loving arms around you during this difficult time. I am so sorry that you are going through this but know that Susan will not die in vain. She has been so strong and you have allowed your readers into your life and brought a lot of attention to cancer as a whole. Cancer sucks but thanks to you and your site there is a better chance to find a cure.

  304. Comment by Nick | 07.27.2009 | 5:43 pm

    Don’t beat yourself up Fatty. These things aren’t supposed to be easy. Frustration and anger aren’t unusual. There’s nothing wrong with apologizing when it’s necessary and reminding your kids how much you love them. At 13, I’m sure your son can understand the stress you’re all under. I was 14 when I lost my grandfather to lung cancer, and I knew that my parents weren’t always thinking straight.

  305. Comment by Bryan | 07.27.2009 | 5:49 pm

    Elden, I just wanted to tell you we are praying for you and Susan. Thoughts and prayers amigo.

    Bryan and Sara

  306. Comment by Jan | 07.27.2009 | 5:50 pm

    Elden, I’m so, so sorry. I am praying for strength and peace for you and your family.

    Isaiah 41:10 – God is with you.

  307. Comment by Maile in Florida | 07.27.2009 | 6:05 pm

    You are a rock. But I have to add +250 to the comments that say, let some of the people there who want to help you, help you–especially with administrative arrangements and plans that are emotionally too much for you to deal with right now.

    Flying off the handle is okay, and so is apologizing for it.

    Now that I’ve repeated everyone’s (good) advice, I’ll just say our hopes and thoughts are with Susan, you and your family.

    Aloha nui loa,

  308. Comment by Michael | 07.27.2009 | 6:16 pm

    I’m so sorry to read this. Cut yourself some serious slack. In times of trial I find myself (and peace) in serving others. Stay close to your kids. Lean hard on family & a couple of good friends. Ask for their help with any details you don’t think you can handle. May God grant you insight and peace!

    Love, Michael in Richmond

  309. Comment by Erik B. | 07.27.2009 | 6:25 pm


    There really aren’t a whole lot of words. You’re human, what’s happening is devastating. All of the emotions you don’t want to feel will come, but they will go.

    Time, Fatty. That’s all there is. You’ve done so much, Susan knows. She knows.

    We’re all thinking of Susan, of you, of the kids.

  310. Comment by Julie | 07.27.2009 | 6:30 pm

    As a faithful reader but a never-before commenter, I wanted to add my voice to the hundreds here who are thinking of you and praying for peace for all of you.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I read each post with increasing admiration of you as a husband, a father, and a man. May peace be with you in this terrible, terrible time, and may you know one day (if not today) that you have been exactly who your dear Susan and your adorable children have needed at this moment — your brave, honest and loving self.

    Love, Julie in Nashville

  311. Comment by mamajenny | 07.27.2009 | 6:31 pm

    Go ahead and acknowlege your feelings. You could even tell the older kids how you feel, and why you aren’t being the kind of person you want to be. It’s okay for older kids to know that you aren’t perfect.

    You have been so strong. It’s okay to feel what you are feeling. This sucks. It really does.

    I’m praying for you. Right now.

  312. Comment by WheelDancer | 07.27.2009 | 6:32 pm

    As others have said, there is no right way to be just now. You are going through Susan’s hell right along with her and I’d say you are holding up astonishingly well.



  313. Comment by Joy | 07.27.2009 | 6:48 pm

    All you can do is your best. You’ve loved your wife the best you could. Now don’t forget to love yourself. Your kids need you to do that first now so that you’ll be able to take care of them. My prayers are with you and your family!!!

  314. Comment by Karen | 07.27.2009 | 6:51 pm

    I’m so sorry. You don’t need to try to be strong. Ask for help. Those who love you and Susan will step up.

    Love and peace to you and your family.

  315. Comment by donbiker | 07.27.2009 | 6:54 pm

    When you let people help you, you do good both for yourself and them. People want to help because they feel for you and anything they can do makes them feel better. They will understand your anger and agony.

  316. Comment by Darren | 07.27.2009 | 6:59 pm

    Praying for you, my friend…

  317. Comment by chrissy | 07.27.2009 | 7:00 pm

    Still here, still praying

    Love you all.

    Keep feeling. Anger, love, all of it. It’s when you don’t feel that is wrong.

    You are doing it right. Keep fighting. Win for Susan!

  318. Comment by Jennifer | 07.27.2009 | 7:02 pm

    It’s ok, everything you are feeling (even the rage!) is normal and ok.

    Please get a hold of someone from your church’s pastoral care group (or whatever name your church uses for the folks who help church members) and ask them to do the “comparison shopping” for you. That is why these groups exist in our churches, to help us in these moments of our lives.

    If your church is unavailable, ask someone from Hospice for help. They have the resources and can help take the burden.

    Don’t be shy. Don’t be angry with yourself. Hug the 13 year old and pet the cat. It is all ok. I know it sounds trite, but really you are doing everything right and ok.

  319. Comment by Darren | 07.27.2009 | 7:02 pm

    P.S. “I haven’t chosen a mortuary or cemetery; I don’t know how and I don’t want to know how. I’m terrified of making calls and can’t stand the thought of comparison shopping. I hate being taken advantage of, but the thought of trying to be a savvy consumer right now makes me ill.”

    If you want help, I can make phone calls. It’s something I’m all too familiar with. Darren

  320. Comment by Leah | 07.27.2009 | 7:02 pm

    You’re allowed to feel anything right now: pissed, selfish, sad, confused. The jumble of emotions is probably mind-boggling. But better to feel something than to be numb. You just have to muddle through. Sending you many good thoughts.

  321. Comment by Jessica | 07.27.2009 | 7:06 pm

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I was that person after my mom died. I had the ability to coast through her sickness and death totally unaware (or rather letting myself be unaware). After she died I was the person full of hate… looking for ways to lash out at people… just miserable. I am so sorry you have to go through this… I cry just thinking of one more person having to life this life. Just hold on and keep going. Your kids will understand and you will get past the anger.

  322. Comment by Linda | 07.27.2009 | 7:08 pm

    Just ran across you via twitter… you and your family are in my prayers. The feelings you are having is the natural progression and I can understand how they are making you feel. Do appologize to your son though. Perhaps a talk will help. Hang in there and be strong. Hold tight to the kids and spend the time you can with Susan. I will be thinking of you and following you.

    Cancer Survivor and someone who has suffered great loss of a loved one through Cancer

  323. Comment by Ann | 07.27.2009 | 7:09 pm

    Wow, I you strength and support. Please go easy on yourself, it’s not fair and it would make most people angry and snappy. Your 13 year old will get over it and the cat may end up being a comfort to you all. You are in my thoughts.

  324. Comment by Michelle Curran | 07.27.2009 | 7:10 pm

    Please know that right now, so many – the unseen and unheard multitude of people in our world – we all pray for you from across the miles, across the state, and across the street. I’ve always wanted to reach out and do something to help and to make a difference, I just didn’t know how. With the help of LIVESTRONG’s grass roots program, I’ve kicked off my first real attempt at kicking cancer to the curb! I really don’t have a story to connect me to cancer, but I know that I am connected to you, and to all of humankind – so I fight for you!
    I can only offer you sincere encouragement and assure you that you are in my prayers – sending you hugs from across the universe!

  325. Comment by Scott Joy | 07.27.2009 | 7:11 pm

    While you might feel like the kind of person you try to avoid right now, you’re exactly the kind of person I respect most. I add mine to the many, many thoughts and prayers surrounding you and your family.

  326. Comment by Don | 07.27.2009 | 7:11 pm


    I lost my dad to cancer a couple of years ago. I know it’s not the same, but I understand your feelings of helplessness and anger.

    You can’t avoid those feelings. All you can do is survive them for those around you. Take time out, and allow your kids to take time out, as needed.

    Best wishes and keep moving as much as possible.

  327. Comment by AndyCarp | 07.27.2009 | 7:12 pm

    I lost my father 5 years ago to an embolism after surgery. I live with the guilt every day that I didn’t do more when needed about the ache that he complained about that took him from me. He was along in years, but my best friend and the smartest, kindest, most generous and vibrant man I’ve ever know. I miss him daily.

    You will miss Susan terribly when she does leave us but know that you DID do the best you could, more than most people would even attempt to do. You’ve given so much of yourself to the world and the fight against cancer. Susan will love you forever and that whatever you do she would approve of your choices. Stay strong for your children and know what kind of a father you truly are. They have their mother’s and father’s values and will stand by you forever as will your friends and family. Know that everyone in the great wide-world that knows your story is thinking of you all, praying in their own way and will keep you in our hearts and minds.

  328. Comment by CeeCee | 07.27.2009 | 7:12 pm

    Hugs for your whole family.
    I went through this with my mom 18 months ago. Hospice was my saving grace.
    Peace and comfort is my prayer for all of you.

  329. Comment by Isela | 07.27.2009 | 7:13 pm

    I know that it probably won’t help much but I am sending my love and the love of my family. Sending prayers and comfort to you and your family.

  330. Comment by K | 07.27.2009 | 7:17 pm

    Learned about you through the Boulder Report over the weekend, and have spent many hours since then reading (been moved to tears repeatedly). I am incredibly touched by your strength and humor dealing with it all. You have every right to feel angry and messed up, but I suspect you are ultimately handling it with the same grace and fortitude that shines through in your writing.

    Peace to you and your family.

  331. Comment by Mel | 07.27.2009 | 7:18 pm

    My heart goes out to you Fatty. I wish I could do more :( you and your family are in my thoughts often.

  332. Comment by sherry | 07.27.2009 | 7:18 pm

    The one thing I can tell you for sure is to act any way you damn well want to. We all deal with it in our own way.
    Blessings for your family.

  333. Comment by Matthew | 07.27.2009 | 7:18 pm

    Hi Fatty. My thoughts are with you. No one can know their own limits. You continue to write about how tough and brave Susan is. She is. But don’t forget how brave you and your kids are as well. YOU and your family are a huge inspiration to many all around the world who follow you. I wish everyone could win.
    Strength to you.

  334. Comment by Marty | 07.27.2009 | 7:21 pm

    “Basically, right now I’m exactly the kind of person I try to avoid”

    Fatty, for what it is worth, you are exactly the kind of person I would like to be if I was in the same situation as you.

    There are plenty of us worrying about your family, it’s ok for you to take some time to worry about yourself a bit.

  335. Comment by Joan (Brent's mom - Twin Six) | 07.27.2009 | 7:22 pm

    I’ve heard so much about you and what you and your wife have been facing the last few years. I admire the courage you’ve shown as a loving husband and father and pray that you’ll find the extra strength that you’ll need in the near future. Feel the love of your friends who surround you.

  336. Comment by ann | 07.27.2009 | 7:23 pm

    Clearly though, there are lots of people here for whom you ARE NOT the person to avoid. You are raising resilient children. It’s a character trait that will serve them well. Praying.

  337. Comment by Ronnie | 07.27.2009 | 7:24 pm

    I saw the link on twitter from Livestrong. Praying for you and your family. Wish I could do more, but promise to keep praying. May you have all the strength, comfort and peace God can give a man.

  338. Comment by Janet Lyn | 07.27.2009 | 7:25 pm

    A good friend once told me, “It’s ok to ask for help.” Please let your friends help w/what they can. It will help you and your kids and it will help your friends, too. Everyone feels so helpless @ a time like this.
    My mom died when I was a kid, so my heart goes out to you and your family. Your kids are scared, too…just love them the best you can & let them talk when they need to. Hold onto each other.
    Praying for God’s unconditional love to comfort you & your whole family & His grace to help you survive.

  339. Comment by Sherry Hill | 07.27.2009 | 7:26 pm

    There’s a reason why flight attendants on an airplane say to put the oxygen mask over your own mouth and nose first and then help those around you. You’ve been helping those around you for SO long, you’ve just run out of air. Give yourself permission to take a breath for yourself and then regroup. You will never know how much you have inspired those of us who follow your blog to step up with courage to the hard things in our lives (which pale in comparison to what you & Susan are going through). You and Susan have each in your own way modeled courage and true love to all of us. Thank you.

  340. Comment by -George | 07.27.2009 | 7:29 pm

    I wish you strength.

  341. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 07.27.2009 | 7:31 pm

    I’m so sorry, Elden. I’m scared silly that my wife isn’t far behind yours.

  342. Comment by Brooke from LIVESTRONG | 07.27.2009 | 7:32 pm

    Feel your emotions, Eldon. Don’t apologize for them. They are valid. Call us if you can. We really want to offer support. 1-866-673-7205. Ask for Sarah V. She can set you up with someone to talk to. A professional that deals with grief and cancer. Much love from your LAF family.

  343. Comment by Libby | 07.27.2009 | 7:32 pm

    It is soooo hard to be a caregiver. To feel guilty for thinking of yourself at all. You have given so much and done so well, and if there was any ounce of pain I could take off your shoulders, I would. Peace to you during this god awful time. I hope your internet friends can help lift you even a little. Take care.

  344. Comment by midwestmom | 07.27.2009 | 7:34 pm

    I’ve been thinking about you and your family all weekend. I hope that your families are there with you. I don’t know what else to write. I’m so sorry.

  345. Comment by sansauto | 07.27.2009 | 7:36 pm

    How do you write like that? So pure and authentic. You didn’t hold anything back, even though you told us you deleted stuff. I know how you feel better than I know how I feel. Thanks for sharing.

    You’re in our prayers.

  346. Comment by Elizabeth | 07.27.2009 | 7:38 pm

    Do your best to NOT feel guilt for being worried about yourself and the future, right now you are the MOST IMPORTANT person in your family.

  347. Comment by Nicole | 07.27.2009 | 7:38 pm

    I cannot imagine what you are going through, but I know just by reading this–and all other support through twitter–that their are many people to lean on and guide you through this. I hope that you find the strength you need to get through this and as you take things a day at a time, you will remember you are in many prayers and people–especially your family–care about you.

  348. Comment by Kellygirl | 07.27.2009 | 7:38 pm

    Just breathe….big deep breaths….Praying that you have exactly the strength you need for each moment as it comes. Focus on each moment, the rest will take care of itself.

  349. Comment by Shelley | 07.27.2009 | 7:39 pm

    You are allowed to be messed up right now. Your broad shoulders are carrying the weight of your family’s world . . .

  350. Comment by Marlene | 07.27.2009 | 7:42 pm

    You can be any way you are. We, us virtual total strangers on the web, still love you and care for you and for Susan. No apologies needed – be any way you need to be.

  351. Comment by Michelle | 07.27.2009 | 7:44 pm

    Dearest Fatty-
    I wish I could just give you a big old hug.
    3 years ago right now I was going through exactly
    the same thing as my beloved Aunt Julia was dying of
    breast cancer during the summer of 2006. She was my
    whole family and it watching her slip away was pure hell.

    Reading your blog brings it all back so clearly.
    I think there should be some type of mobile support group made up of those who have gone through this experience that only we can understand. They would “fly” or better yet “cycle” in, swoop down and be the guardian angel to the person who is with their loved one as they are dying of cancer.

    Please reach out to hospice, to the social worker if you can. My social worker, Beth saved my life, really.
    They also helped me with all the horrible details such as the cremation and mortuary.

    We are standing with you and by you.

    Big, big hugs.


  352. Comment by Darren Weisz | 07.27.2009 | 7:44 pm

    My dad never showed emotions while my mom was battling cancer. Not even during her last breath. It really screws with a kid. Show your emotions, explain why you are feeling the way you are. It is love. Show your kids how to feel.

  353. Comment by Patty | 07.27.2009 | 7:46 pm

    Wow, that’s all I can say. The TDF commercial where they kept saying “wow” runs through my head. I think they were selling Trek bikes or something. I can only think wow when I read your story. Hang in there. I admire you greatly, as well as all cancer survivors, though not your dear Susan, know you will survive and you will be a cancer survivor. Life is precious. Thanks for sharing.

  354. Comment by Erik Pearson | 07.27.2009 | 7:46 pm

    I lost my dad June 24 to Lung cancer. I am praying for you and your family.

  355. Comment by belinda | 07.27.2009 | 7:47 pm

    Livestrong Fatty. Livestrong.
    No apologies needed.
    I hate cancer. I hate it.
    You and yours are in my prayers.

  356. Comment by Susan Tomlinson | 07.27.2009 | 7:48 pm

    Love and peace for you and your family.

  357. Comment by Mike D | 07.27.2009 | 7:51 pm

    Eldon, I don’t have the words to express how I sorry I feel for you and your family. Just know that I care….


  358. Comment by Hughes | 07.27.2009 | 7:52 pm

    Right now, we the virtual readers are the last thing form your mind, but rest assured that all of us support you and think of you right now. You have been giving so much, have done so much lately that we will always support you and help you in any way we can, be it that we are close physically or via the web.

    You have friends in all of us, just ask and whatever we can do, we will.

    As someone said earlier, Win Fatty.

  359. Comment by Kimberly | 07.27.2009 | 7:55 pm

    Just know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Don’t feel are going through so much. Its ok to be scared. Just take things one step at a time and depend on family and friends when they offer to help..sometimes it helps to be able to lean on someone a little bit.

  360. Comment by Jim | 07.27.2009 | 7:56 pm

    You family is in all our hearts. Stay strong and don’t beat yourself up for small mistakes. You are doing the best you can! Forgive yourself and reach out.

  361. Comment by Jeff Meyer | 07.27.2009 | 7:59 pm

    Like many others commenting, I really don’t have any magic words to say to you. All I can say is that there are people out there to help you. I learned of your story via Twitter from the Lance Armstrong Foundation and I know they can help. It takes a lot of courage to tell your story and just as much to ask for help but it is out there.
    As for me, you and Susan are now two more people that I will be riding for in September. Stay strong and LIVESTRONG.

  362. Comment by Alli | 07.27.2009 | 8:00 pm

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. You and your family are in my prayers.

  363. Comment by Shaun | 07.27.2009 | 8:01 pm

    You have already done so much. Touching so many around the world. You amaze everyone. Now do what you can. We know you will.

  364. Comment by Jamieson | 07.27.2009 | 8:03 pm

    So much has been suggested, and all of it good.

    Find peace, and show your emotion and allow yourself to feel.

  365. Comment by Glenna | 07.27.2009 | 8:04 pm

    Now might be the time to have a savvy sister (Kellene) help with some of the details. She could do the leg work and get your approval before anything is agreed upon where the cemetary, funeral homes, etc. details are concerned.
    Your feelings are very normal – if there is such. Your wife is dying. That is HUGE! You have done so very much to carry her this far and maybe with the subconcious thought that ‘it may just not happen’. In the face of that real probablity at this point there is bound to be numerous emotions running around in your head and heart…anger,(you don’t want it to happen), helplessness (you can’t change it), sorrow (you love her and want her to be with you and your children), discouragement (you’ve done so much to ’stave it off’ and for so long!), lonely (you want your companion, even if her health has limited her for so long), fatigue (it has been a rigorous process,)etc.
    Our hearts go out to you and our love, too! God is your only comfort now; know He loves you and will comfort you and guide you if you reach out to Him. He is the only one who can reach the deep crevices of your mind and soul. Our love to you. Our prayers are with you.

  366. Comment by Pam | 07.27.2009 | 8:05 pm

    Go hug your son. It will do you both good. Holding you and your family in prayer.

  367. Comment by Chris Cowan | 07.27.2009 | 8:05 pm

    WE are all here for you. I’m sure one of your close relatives or friends will read this and pitch in to help with whatever you need. Hug and kiss your children, they will totally understand why… during this time there is no need to make excuses or ask for forgiveness.

  368. Comment by Glenna | 07.27.2009 | 8:06 pm

    P.S. You are winners! ALL of you!

  369. Comment by mar | 07.27.2009 | 8:12 pm

    Been there, done that – it sucks. So many people have said it, but I’ll say it again …. Be kind to yourself. It would take a super hero to be perfect all the time with everyone. No one should ever have to deal with all of this. Take deep breaths, keep telling your wife and your kids that you love them, and you will muddle through.

    Many thoughts and prayers are with you.

  370. Comment by Sonoma | 07.27.2009 | 8:12 pm

    Cry, scream, pound your fists, kick doors, curl up in a corner — do whatever you need to do to make it through day to day. If a man’s love is measured by his angst and agony, take comfort that Susan is well loved. As is her husband.


  371. Comment by Mike | 07.27.2009 | 8:12 pm

    Peace to you and your family.


  372. Comment by Nick M | 07.27.2009 | 8:17 pm

    One word H O S P I C E. These people are INCREDIBLE and listen to you, work for you, with you and in place of you. You’re doing your best, somewhere Susan knows that, somewhere the kids know that and somewhere you know that. Do your best, get dressed, show up and keep moving. You are capable of getting and allowing the help you need.
    Again, once a day, even if it’s for 20 minutes, get on the bike, stand on the pedals and make your legs bleed inside, it works.
    love and light,

  373. Comment by Linda | 07.27.2009 | 8:19 pm

    praying for you, Susan and the kids…may God help you all find peace

  374. Comment by DeanC | 07.27.2009 | 8:22 pm

    No words of much weight from me.
    Your family knows your love and your struggle. They love and struggle too, yes?

  375. Comment by Liesel | 07.27.2009 | 8:25 pm

    I did not read the comments but I am sure that you have enough advice. Ask for help. That’s all.

    Thoughts are with you.

  376. Comment by johnhanrahan99 | 07.27.2009 | 8:28 pm


    You have created one of the most amazing communities on the net-a sign of a truly amazing man-please don’t be hard on yourself. We may not be able lessen any pain you are going through but we are ALL here for you. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  377. Comment by Jeff | 07.27.2009 | 8:31 pm

    Fatty – I cannot imagine having the strength to go through what you and your family are going through. I only hope I could be half the person you seem to have been throughout the ordeal. You and your family are an inspiration and you almost never cease to bring tears — of sorrow and admiration — to my eyes everytime I read your blog. I am confident Susan and your family appreciate all you are doing and all the stress you are under. Please know that many, many strangers are sending good thoughts to you and your family. Please receive them and try to feel just a little bit better.

  378. Comment by Asthmagirl | 07.27.2009 | 8:31 pm

    Who wouldn’t be a mess, angry, scared and feeling alone right now. You’re going through one of the most difficult situation a person could go through. At this point, remember that its okay to ask for help, to accept help and to know that you don’t have all the answers.
    Wishing you the strength and tenderness to do the things you’ll need to do.
    My thoughts are with you and your family…

  379. Comment by Joel | 07.27.2009 | 8:36 pm

    Just one more of the hundreds. You’ve been so strong and touched so many with your struggles, know that all of us are here.

  380. Comment by Paula | 07.27.2009 | 8:36 pm

    Love and peace and courage to you and your family.

  381. Comment by Philly Jen | 07.27.2009 | 8:39 pm

    It hurts so profoundly because you all love each other so much — and because what Susan is going through is so colossally unfair to your entire family.

    Freakin’ dumb cancer.

    Thank you for having the heart to share your experiences with us, whether good, bad, or ugly. That’s not messed up. That’s courage (and grace) in a nutshell.


    B: You can train cats to do a lot of stuff. Unfortunately, not pooping is not one of the options. (I know, it bums me out, too.)

    Hang in there, my friend. You’re allowed to have your share of bad days and terrible feelings. Just try your best, as Katee said, to keep scoopin’. People are prouder of you than you know.

  382. Comment by PeteR | 07.27.2009 | 8:39 pm

    I’m not a praying man, Eldon, but my thoughts are most definitely with you, Susan, and the kids.

  383. Comment by bmarie99 | 07.27.2009 | 8:40 pm

    I have never had to lose a spouse.I have buried a child, our infant son nearly 2 yrs ago and I was unrecognizable to many close friends and family until very recently. Find someone who truly knows you to help make those decisions you are unsure of and then all you need to do is
    Love your children, Love yourself and breathe in and out, thats all anyone including yourself can ask of you.

  384. Comment by ncjack | 07.27.2009 | 8:42 pm

    I just recently found your story/blog through twitter and just wanted to say that while I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through, or how to make any of it better, please know that virtual hugs, prayers, and good thoughts are being sent to you and your family from me and others all over the world.

  385. Comment by sarahinMarinadelRey,CA | 07.27.2009 | 8:50 pm

    Livestrong Twitter sent me to your blog. Please accept love from a friend you don’t know. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  386. Comment by Terri | 07.27.2009 | 9:03 pm

    Fatty my heart is breaking for you. You are such a good person and you have been so strong throughout Susan’s illness. It is understandable that you are overwhelmed and afraid, angry, etc. But I know that you’re a good Dad and your kids know it too and you will find the strength to help the kids because Susan will be in your heart helping you along the way. I am praying for your family everyday and hope that God gives you all strength and peace.

  387. Comment by rob | 07.27.2009 | 9:03 pm

    Elden, remember that we are each our own worse critics. You’re handling all this with a grace and strength that is inspiring.

  388. Comment by CA | 07.27.2009 | 9:04 pm


    Please know that there are lots of us in cyberspace who have followed along with you and cried with you. You are NOT alone. Let your friends call for you. They can at least get the information for you. Be kind to yourself. You have truly done and continue to do everything possible for Susan. Be easy on yourself and your kids. Virtual hugs.

    Cancer sucks.

  389. Comment by Bonnie | 07.27.2009 | 9:07 pm

    As my husband said when I just read your entry to him, “that sucks.” And it does. Cancer is just an ugly, impolite, unwelcome and vicious guest to have around. Damn that disease!

    I’m sending you good thoughts from Austin that you and the kids find strength together and show Susan all the love you have for her as she faces each day.

  390. Comment by Jennifer | 07.27.2009 | 9:11 pm

    You are incredibly strong, and you will help your family through these tragic circumstances with courage and love. Know that there are many, many people standing behind you and supporting you during this difficult time.

  391. Comment by Scott in MN | 07.27.2009 | 9:13 pm

    You and your family remain in my family’s thoughts and prayers. I hate cancer….

  392. Comment by Mary | 07.27.2009 | 9:13 pm

    I can’t even begin to articulate the feelings in my heart; I see all these comments and marvel at all the love being shown for Susan, you, and the kids. Please try not to beat yourself up. You are doing and being exactly what you should. Our family loves your family oh so much; you’re in our thoughts and prayers always. -Buckner’s

  393. Comment by Kevin | 07.27.2009 | 9:14 pm

    Fatty, I’m very sorry for you and your family. This is exactly the way it went down for me with my Mom at the end. I felt powerless, angry, and afraid. It is really all part of a web of life that is many times not fair. You are doing very well. Keep it up!


  394. Comment by Tom | 07.27.2009 | 9:17 pm

    A person’s strength of character is not defined by how they handle the good times. It is defined by how they handle the bad times. You are a great man and going through situations that no one should be put through so remember to breath. After that it’s all in the hands of God. I am praying for you and Susan and the kids. God Bless you.

  395. Comment by Adam Bridge | 07.27.2009 | 9:21 pm

    Talk to the hospice people. They can tell you that you’re not alone and that what you are experiencing isn’t some revelation of a horrid personality but is what happens to a human adult dealing with grief, responsibility, and all the awful feelings that go with watching someone you deeply love die.

    If you have a friend you trust: ask them to comparison shop for you. They’ll be lining up to help you.

    Your feelings are being overwhelmed now. Completely. Later on you can find someone to help you sort all of this out — I deeply recommend that.

  396. Comment by Jaime O. | 07.27.2009 | 9:22 pm

    Grace, wisdom and strength to you and the rest of the Nelsons, Fatty. I hope us standing with you brings some measure of something to you.

  397. Comment by Ryan | 07.27.2009 | 9:25 pm

    I’m so sorry. Words just don’t suffice. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you find peace in this terrible time. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  398. Comment by Phil | 07.27.2009 | 9:26 pm

    There’s no good way to handle this. You can do it!

  399. Comment by SMeno | 07.27.2009 | 9:34 pm

    I’m a molecular biologist/microbiologist and reading about Susan has reminded of one of the reasons that I’m in the field that I am. During graduate school I accidentally stumbled (the best science is always accidental) into a bit of cancer research while studying how arsenic effects selenium metabolism. It turned out a gold compound that I was using in some of my experiments to inhibit an enzyme, was under the consideration by the FDA to begin clinical trials as a chemotherapeutic (it’s already an FDA approved drug for rheumatoid arthritis). To make a long story short I published a paper in a good journal about how this gold compound could be a better choice to treat a certain type of leukemia. My mentor and I were so excited that our research could possibly help people beat a type of cancer.

    The point is that we scientists are out there working everyday to better understand and treat and prevent this terrible disease. Sometimes we don’t even know where our research will lead us. Reading about Susan and your family makes me want to work more on cancer biology. I don’t know if that’s a comfort to you and your family, but my thoughts are with you.

  400. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 07.27.2009 | 9:34 pm

    Ditto on the love, encouragement and support that your virtual family are offering above – and below – this comment. Big hug.

  401. Comment by Mary | 07.27.2009 | 9:35 pm

    Sending so much love to you and your family. However you feel right now is ok, and your kids are blessed to have your incredible strength and love. Your composure and bravery throughout this is incredible.

  402. Comment by Chris_N | 07.27.2009 | 9:37 pm

    It will be over soon. No, it will just be beginning. You will not know what to do for your kids, just like my dad did not know what to do for us. Just like I didn’t know what to do for my sister-in-law when it happened to Matt (my little brother). You are a VERY STRONG person, Fatty. You and your children will survive. In time, you will thrive & continue to succeed in your lives. You will because that is what your wife wants for you.

    This is a true story: Two days before my brother died, when he was at home, in his bed, with his family around, my Dad received a letter addressed to my mother, who had died 20 years before. Sent to an address where she never lived..a different city even. The letter had a return address from “Long Term Care Insurance.” To us, that means only one thing…they are out there and they will take care of us…while we’re here and when we go.

    Peace to you all…..

  403. Comment by Linda | 07.27.2009 | 9:41 pm

    My advice: You cannot tell Susan you love her enough times….the hearing is the last to leave….keep on speaking the positive. I love you is what she wants to hear from all of you. I wish you the best!

  404. Comment by Kelt | 07.27.2009 | 9:44 pm

    Keep telling her you love her. Lighting candles for you both.

  405. Comment by Phedre | 07.27.2009 | 9:50 pm

    I recently found your blog through the Livestrong twitter page. I am so deeply moved by your courage, your strength, and the depth of your love for your family, especially Susan. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  406. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 07.27.2009 | 9:53 pm

    I let into my kid the other day for something far less stressful than what you’re dealing with.

    Forgive yourself.

    And let us help. I will do absolutely anything I can for you and your family.

    I’m sitting down to my daily meditation and I will hold your suffering in my heart remembering we’re all in this together friend.

    Love love love love love

  407. Comment by aquaignis | 07.27.2009 | 9:53 pm

    I just found your website earlier today and have spent the rest of the day reading your archive pages…getting to know you and your family through your ever-creative writing.

    You have shown great strength and love to your wife and kids. You will continue to do so because that’s the kind man you are! Allow those who can help…to help…they do it because they want to… not because have to! Also know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Sending Peace and Love to all!

  408. Comment by John | 07.27.2009 | 9:53 pm


    My wife passed away from a rare form of cancer 5 years ago. I have felt the same sense of helpless and anger as I saw my wife’s condition deteriorate at the hospital. The thought of losing your soul mate is a terrible feeling and you feel so alone in the world. Believe me I know. It is OK to “go off the handle”, you are only human and we all can’t be the quiet hero who bears load of the world on our shoulders. But in the end, please be kind to yourself and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with Susan, you and your family.


  409. Comment by Matt J | 07.27.2009 | 9:54 pm

    I just found your site and after about 5 minutes of reading had tears running down my cheeks; Kids are strong little buggers and understand more than we give’m credit for; You’re an inspiration; Keep talking, keep asking for help, keep cycling, keep feeling and keep believing; Really crappy things happen to really good people and it doesn’t make any sense – it just sucks; Best wishes for peace, clarity and tranqulity.

  410. Comment by Vito | 07.27.2009 | 9:57 pm


    Don’t be hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can in very difficult circumstances. I’m praying for Susan, you, and the girls. Remember that you have many people, who whether they know you and Susan or not are pulling for you and wishing you all the best. I will keep Susan in my prayers along with you and the girls. Hang in there Elden.

    Wishing you my best…

  411. Comment by Carol | 07.27.2009 | 10:05 pm


    Words fail me. My heart aches for you, Susan and the kids. You are all in my prayers.

  412. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 07.27.2009 | 10:12 pm

    Fatty time to call on the Inner Circle. Them helping you helps us to help you. Be strong. A lot of people have said it but I need to say it too. The family love you, we love you, you are strong but make use of all the suopport you can. We all want to help some are better positioned to do so than others.

    Livestrong – Win Susan

  413. Comment by Susan Dodd | 07.27.2009 | 10:13 pm

    Each and every one of your posts moves me to tears. I wish you peace and hope that the amazing love you and Susan have for eachother bring you the strength to carry on. My thoughts are with all of you.

  414. Comment by Susan | 07.27.2009 | 10:16 pm

    This may get lost in all the information you’re getting and it may be too soon for you to use, but I was thinking about the question you asked about the kids. Our cousin died of cancer a few years ago, very young – and died much sooner than expected although she had terminal cancer – leaving 3 teenage girls. Just from being an outside observer, I would say it’s important to keep things fairly normal – understanding normal will change and vary from what you know – but going back to school, being with friends, doing the things you like to do together are very important. It’s those little things that keep routine and comfort in your life. You will all need that in the weeks and months ahead.

  415. Comment by Carl | 07.27.2009 | 10:19 pm


    I dont know what to say. You are an amazing guy with a wonderful family. You always do the right thing. I dont know how you do what you do. Know that we are all here for you and Susan and your family is in our prayers. Stay strong.

  416. Comment by Chris | 07.27.2009 | 10:19 pm

    One more reader typing to say that you’re an inspiration and a damn good person. There is little else to say, but also little else that I am as absolutely certain of.

  417. Comment by christy478 | 07.27.2009 | 10:22 pm

    Sending you love and hugs along with the rest of the Fatty Nation. LIVESTRONG!
    We love you!

  418. Comment by Carl | 07.27.2009 | 10:23 pm


    I dont even know what to say. You are an incredible guy with a wonderful family. I dont know how you do all that you do. You always do the right thing. Know that we are all thinking of you and Susan and your family is in our prayers. Stay strong.

  419. Comment by Jinnie | 07.27.2009 | 10:23 pm

    Blessings to you and yours and those that love you know you are messed up. I wish peace to all you love.

  420. Comment by @PeckishCyclist | 07.27.2009 | 10:25 pm

    Good thoughts and prayers for you, Susan, and the kids. There’s no “right way” to do this–and kids are more understanding of parental miss-steps than they let on!

  421. Comment by lisa | 07.27.2009 | 10:29 pm

    i’m just a reader who found you some time ago through the pioneer woman and has been following your story since then. i don’t know that words from a stranger help and i know this is such a horrible time for you but i am so sad for you and your family. i have been touched by the way you have handled this journey with such strength and humor and believe that you will find a way to continue to do so…i am not a pray-er but i am sending good thoughts into the universe for you, susan and your kiddos

  422. Comment by JANE | 07.27.2009 | 10:43 pm

    be as kind to yourself as your wife would be if she could

    sending you love as you climb his hill

  423. Comment by KatieA978 | 07.27.2009 | 10:49 pm

    Words can’t express what I feel for you and Susan and the family.

    And you can’t be hard on yourself for what you’re going through – it effects everyone, and you have to make it through the best way you can, people understand.

    Lots and lots of love, good karma and best wishes.

  424. Comment by velogirl | 07.27.2009 | 10:50 pm

    there is no right or wrong way for you to behave now. be loving and generous with yourself. your family and friends will understand and love you just the same.


  425. Comment by stewOZ & miss | 07.27.2009 | 11:00 pm

    Just do what you need to do and what feels right. Keep the family and children close. We’re thinking of you. Elaine & Stewart.

  426. Comment by Jeff T | 07.27.2009 | 11:06 pm

    You are better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can. Dig Deep!

    The spirit that keeps you pedaling across that line will help you here. Never give up and always finish strong! Your crew is cheering for you. Don’t let them down.

  427. Comment by hmgf | 07.27.2009 | 11:09 pm

    “Basically, right now I’m exactly the kind of person I try to avoid” ~ Nah, I don’t believe that. I don’t know you, but I read your blog almost daily, and I am certain that this is about as far from the truth as one can get. I am pretty certain that even on your worst days you are the sort of person that most of us aspire to be.

  428. Comment by Jenny | 07.27.2009 | 11:13 pm

    Do not be ashamed. As I read your words tears fell down my face, and they continue now as I type. You are not alone in your feelings or actions. Just 2 months ago I was in a very similar situation. My grandmother, who raised me, was in the same exact condition two weeks after she came home on hospice care. She survived breast cancer & then a stroke 5 years ago, however it was COPD that finally took her life. After the stroke it was as if she was trapped within her own body because it effected the part of the brain which controlled speech. She could understand you, but had terrible difficulty expressing herself or would say the opposite of what she meant. During the end stage of the COPD she slept a lot and when she was awake she wasn’t very lucid. I was by her bed 20 hours a day or more. I would talk to her about anything and everything espeacially how much I loved her. I know I did that out of the very selfish motive of wanting her to acknowledge that she knew, or that she might say I love you one last time.

    I was angry, hurt, sad, bitter, impatient. I was all the awful things that I hate about myself and then some. What I realized though, is that through all of it there is no right or wrong.

    You need to take care of yourself to take care of your children, and that may mean you need to be a little selfish. Perhaps a neighbor or family member could take the cat for a little while. Say “I’m sorry, I overracted.” to your son. Spend time as a family with Susan, and also take time as a family to express anger together (write it on eggs & stomp on them, take turns screaming, rip up magazines, whatever works). Let your children know it is ok to be angry, hurt, and sad. Hospice usually has couselors for families. Perhaps there are family members or close friends who can get the basic info from local mortuaries & cemeteries for you, but ultimately you will have to make deciscions you don’t want to or know how to make. You can ask others who have lost loved ones how they made those decisions, however what they did may not be right for you. Ask for as much help as you can, it is not a time to be proud. There is no way to make it easy.

    Be gentle with yourself. You are human and we all make mistakes. Do whatever you need to do to keep going. You, Susan, your children, and the rest of your family will be in my prayers.

  429. Comment by J. Karlik | 07.27.2009 | 11:19 pm

    First my prayers go out to you. At a time like this words mean very little. Time is the most precious thing you have.

    My wife twice has had cancer and both times the doctors gave her no chance…yet 6 years after the last test she is still cancer free.

    I can definitely relate to how you feel. You say you are not the person you want to be right now, but just who are you supposed to be? There is no manual or book or instructions for the spouses of cancer victims. You are who you are.

    Thanks for the updates and for sharing the love you have for your wife and kids. It truly is an inspiration.

  430. Comment by Erik | 07.27.2009 | 11:32 pm

    The wonderful thing about you and the thing that brings so many of us back to your blog is your humanity. That same humanity is what is what is making it so hard to deal with this hellish situation. And that same humanity is what will pull you and your family through.

    There’s lots of good advice above, all warranted. I’d just add to believe in yourself – you’re a wonderful person and are doing a great job being a dad to your kids in incredibly tough circumstances. They’ll never remember getting yelled at about a cat. Instead, they’ll remember the love that you and Susan give them and each other. You’ll all be just fine. And through the moments of just terrible along the way, remember that the fact that you can feel them as you do is the strength that will bring you through. Maybe it’s like training on the bike in that the suffering now is what will give you strength later.

  431. Comment by Pinkbike | 07.27.2009 | 11:36 pm

    Wish we weren’t all the way in So Cal, Fatty. We’d be there in a second.

    We are sending you love and prayers, straight from our hearts. Be easy on yourself. You are an angel on earth.

    Sue and Tom

  432. Comment by Jessica | 07.27.2009 | 11:39 pm

    I can not imagine what you are going through. I will be thinking of your family. I wish I lived near you to help. Everyone knows you are doing the best you can.

  433. Comment by Tyler | 07.27.2009 | 11:41 pm

    Feel better, Elden.

    I’m so, so sorry.

  434. Comment by Mariana | 07.27.2009 | 11:43 pm

    I have never commented. I have no advice to add, I am so sorry for you and your family. My heart goes to you.

  435. Comment by Linda Santos | 07.27.2009 | 11:49 pm

    Dearest Fat Cylist,
    This is the scariest of times. No matter what, we are not ever ready. The night before my beloved sister, Sue passed away, we had no idea what to do-no plan, no previous conversations about what to do, where to go, who to call. Then I remembered the day I took Sue to visit our parents at the cemetery a few months earlier-as we pulled up she simply stated “this area they’re making under these trees is so pretty”.
    That helped make our most unthinkable decisions a little less traumatic (if possible) because each decision made was based simply on Sue-likes, fears, preferences. It sounds so simple, but it helped. So just try to think about Susan and you’ll find the answers to these decisions.
    I was at the SJ LIVESTRONG Challenge dinner and saw the video you and Susan made. I feel like I know you. You’ve touched us all. People want to help you but may not know what to do, also we used Hospice with my Mom-they are angels on earth.
    I send you and your family hugs and prayers for peace and calm over you. Thank you, love to you, Susan and your little kiddos.

  436. Comment by dennishay | 07.28.2009 | 12:01 am

    Ok, I will make this short and sweet, suck it up buttercup… your kids need you, your wife needs you… there will be time to reflect .. that isn’t now… now your family needs you… be strong and pull through for them!!!

  437. Comment by Melody | 07.28.2009 | 12:03 am

    I am so so sorry. I’m sorry that you’re having to go through this, I’m definitely sorry that Susan is going through this, and I am sorry there is even stupid cancer at all. I am praying for you all and I wish there were something I could do for you. ((hugs))

  438. Comment by Debbie in Memphis | 07.28.2009 | 12:04 am

    Sending prayers and love to Susan, you and your family.

  439. Comment by TJ | 07.28.2009 | 12:04 am

    I have no words, really, and I used to volunteer for hospice. All of your readers, and your son especially, know you are not “that guy.” It is a hard journey that is wished upon no one. Yet, as humans, we will all experience it at some point. This is your journey. We can’t travel for you, but we will travel with you. Please continue to write about it, reach out, feel and experience it as fully as you can. Focus on the here and now, the rest will take care of itself.

    Praying on your behalf for peace and fortitude, grace and clarity.

  440. Comment by Scott Morrison | 07.28.2009 | 12:06 am

    Love and Prayers for you and your family.

  441. Comment by dennishay | 07.28.2009 | 12:10 am

    Your kids especially need you to be strong and by strong I mean supportive… your wife is their mom too… you need to talk to them about what is happening and you need outside help from family/friends …

    My last post sounded harsh.. it wasn’t meant in a bad way at all.. more, I feel you can do it, but more importantly you must do it. You are an adult and with years of experience to deal with your feelings, your children are not.. they are young and this is going to effect them the rest of their lives… if you are there and don’t faulter they will be stronger because you will show them how.

    My apologies.. take care.

  442. Comment by sue | 07.28.2009 | 12:18 am

    Fatty if there is anything that all of us “out here” know for sure it is that you are a good man, a great Dad and the most amazing supportive husband. Give yourself some allowance to not be perfect- you are doing the best you can and that is enough. Please know how many of us are thinking of you, praying for you and holding your family in our hearts.

    Stay strong

  443. Comment by Chrissy | 07.28.2009 | 12:31 am

    Your story reminds me so much of my gramma’s battle..seeing her in that state was unbearable. In a moment of total lucidity, her last words to me were “I love you, never forget that.” I pray you and Susan have moments like this. Be strong and God bless.

  444. Comment by Randy | 07.28.2009 | 1:02 am

    Sadly, there is nothing any of us can say or do to deny this cancer the confusion, panic, outrage, and utter sadness it continues to exact from you and your family during these bleak and bitter days. But understand, Fatty, that you’re supposed to feel as you do. It’s simply part of the human condition. And you, my friend, are more human than most.

    We’re all fans and friends, and you’re a good man. Susan has been nothing but strong for you; continue being strong for both her and your family. I suspect she would demand nothing less.

  445. Comment by Stomper | 07.28.2009 | 1:06 am

    Eldon, you have every right to be angry – we all know you for the man than you are. Take care our thoughts are with you and your family.

  446. Comment by Little1 | 07.28.2009 | 1:13 am

    be angry, be furious, be frustrated, be hurting, be irrational. If you aren’t we’d be worried. Eldon you are all in our thoughts.

  447. Comment by chrisb46 | 07.28.2009 | 1:23 am

    Elden, if I ever (got forbid) have to deal with something like cancer in a loved one, I hope I can do so with half as much grace, good humour, wit and selfless dedication as you have shown. You’re an inspiration to every man who wants to be a good husband and father.

    Nobody will blame you for the way you are right now – you can’t be a hero all the time.

  448. Comment by heartconditon | 07.28.2009 | 1:33 am

    Fatty, I’ve never commented before but my wife and I have been following your blog for years. Our hearts go out to you and your family. I wish there was more we could for you.

  449. Comment by eandjmum | 07.28.2009 | 2:14 am

    Fatty – you can be angry – you are allowed to be angry – you are brave to share yours and Susan’s story. Cancer totally sucks.

  450. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 07.28.2009 | 2:16 am

    You are doing magnificently Fatty. A few words with your children and they will understand, if they dont already, why the frustration and anger at cancer gets directed their way now and again. I think your kids are great also and will gladly do what they can.
    tough, tough times. I am so sorry.
    Sending all the best wishes you can have.

  451. Comment by ekimq | 07.28.2009 | 2:34 am

    Hey Elden, I know this will be lost in the noise..

    You are human just like the rest of us. You are being asked to do superhuman things at the moment and that is scary. I know you’ve already taken time to apologise to your son and to tell all your kids how much you love them. They will understand and want to help, so give them some small way in which they can contribute.

    Dman, it’s difficult to type with tears in your eyes :-)

    You, Susan and the family are in our prayers.

  452. Comment by Fish | 07.28.2009 | 2:47 am

    Elden – Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family more than ever.


  453. Comment by william | 07.28.2009 | 2:55 am

    You are way stronger than you can possibly imagine, dig deep and you will keep it all rolling for your family.
    You will get there and I am sure your kids understand what you are going through too.
    My thoughts are with you all

  454. Comment by Ian P | 07.28.2009 | 3:17 am

    You have done more than any of us could possibly hope to do. Don’t criticise yourself for a moment. Be with your children, they will understand. And know how many people around the world are thinking of you and praying for you.

  455. Comment by flossy | 07.28.2009 | 3:24 am

    Hang in there and stay strong Elden, use that network and always remember that our thoughts are with you even when we can’t be there

  456. Comment by Terri | 07.28.2009 | 4:13 am

    The grief, the anger, the fear…it’s the weight of the world on your shoulders. Let your friends help you. They will be there for you, your kids and Susan as they have been all along. No one should have to “get through it”…but we do. It just hurts so bad.

  457. Comment by chris | 07.28.2009 | 4:16 am

    i am caring for a relative who is about to die. your blog is inspiring.

  458. Comment by Stu in the UK | 07.28.2009 | 4:35 am

    You are allowed to be angry and hurt and confused it’s a natural coping strategy.

    As for the things you think you need to do but don’t want to – call in your friends and family to do these things for you, you need to spend your time with Susan and your children.

    My hopes and prayers and those of my wife and son are with you.

  459. Comment by Penina | 07.28.2009 | 5:08 am


  460. Comment by Phil | 07.28.2009 | 5:33 am

    “Fatty, we don’t have the words right now, but know that we are all standing right beside you.”

    I have no better words than this, stay strong. You’ve got several thousands of shoulders to lean on.

  461. Comment by TimMom | 07.28.2009 | 5:37 am

    I’m with Spa. It is about you. It’s about Susan. It’s about each of the kids. Of course you are angry, sad, overwhelmed, lonely in a sea of friends. This hurts more than words. AND in all that, for what it’s worth, you are all very loved.

  462. Comment by lady clay | 07.28.2009 | 5:41 am

    Thinking of you in Atlanta. And I second what’s been said many times here – how could it not hurt like the world is ending, and how could you be a saint in the face of it? In the long term, your son will remember that you hurt – the way he hurt – and not that you yelled at him.

  463. Comment by Danny | 07.28.2009 | 5:43 am

    Hey fatty,

    I was the kid. Don’t worry they will understand, i did! They will respect you for what you are doing right now. There is not a person in this world I respect more than my father for going through wat you are going trough right now.

  464. Comment by Kristy | 07.28.2009 | 5:44 am

    You inspire us, you make us want to be better than we are, you make us laugh, you make us cry and help us to remember the important things in life.
    You have shared your life with us in the most difficult of times, and know that in return we offer our love, our prayers and our support. I wish we could do so much more.
    God bless

  465. Comment by hombre | 07.28.2009 | 5:55 am

    Peace to you and your family.
    The peace that passes all understanding.

  466. Comment by ellen | 07.28.2009 | 5:56 am

    Fatty – Thank you so much for your honesty and courage. You have many friends who love you. Let them help you, make the calls, pick up the slack. They will be so happy to help.

  467. Comment by Al | 07.28.2009 | 5:56 am

    Hey Elden

    I’ve just discovered you. My wife is severely depressed and has moved out of our home for now. I could have deleted 45 minutes worth on my response to that and my way with the kids too. I don’t know you well yet, but I like you and I, like others here, are enriched by knowing you and by your courage. My thoughts are with you.

  468. Comment by simon b | 07.28.2009 | 5:59 am

    Came via Twitter, prayers and thoughts for an amazing family, and touched by your experiences

  469. Comment by Karlijn | 07.28.2009 | 6:00 am

    Keep strong and enjoy every minute together.
    My thoughts are with you.

    Utrecht, The Netherlands

  470. Comment by Alain | 07.28.2009 | 6:00 am

    I have been through this before, and my advice would be to seek help, to hold on to your kids, they are stronger you might think. Be united and be one. They are no right ways to go through this, no manuals, just having to endure what is coming and that is the hardest cause you have no control over it but again family cell is the most important. All my thoughts are with you and your family.

  471. Comment by teemflmng | 07.28.2009 | 6:02 am

    Hang in there. You just described my parent’s house 11 years ago. I watched my Dad do what you are doing now and was amazed at both his love and his strength. He inspired me in ways he’ll never know, just as you are to your own kids.

    cancer sucks.

  472. Comment by bibliogrrl | 07.28.2009 | 6:02 am

    Fatty – I’ve been reading you forever, and you and your family have been in my thoughts. Cancer sucks.

    I’m writing this from the floor of a hospital room as my mom waits to have a double mastectomy.

    I’ve been think about you all a lot. Stay strong. Win Susan.

  473. Comment by Jim | 07.28.2009 | 6:04 am

    Fatty, my sincere thoughts to you and your family. I understand the pain having recently went through a long battle with kidney dialysis with my Father. One morning when I was helping him he distrusted me and did not even recognize me. I understand the undescribable feeling, however being a person of faith the Lord told me I am there to serve my Dad and the Lords will. Later that day when I told the doctor what happened he explained to me that it was my Dad’s liver shutting down, which creates the hallucinations. Painfully I lost my Father that day, however I am thankful God gave me the opportunity to serve him when he needed me most. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers along with the many who wish and pray the best for you and family. I am confident you are serving Jesus’s will by serving others. God Bless. Jim

  474. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 07.28.2009 | 6:04 am

    In the upcoming days/weeks/months and years, your son will yell back at you for seemingly no reason and you will hug him and know what he’s feeling. And you will not be angry at him.

    You’ve just shown him it’s an ok reaction.

    So much love coming your way.

  475. Comment by bigjeff | 07.28.2009 | 6:07 am

    Hey Fatty, i got here thanks to Lance giving out your website addy,,,Reading all your blogs , its hard to find words to say,,SORRY MATE.

  476. Comment by Michelle | 07.28.2009 | 6:08 am

    My heart breaks for ypu and your family. You will be strong, you will get through. My thoughts are with you all.

  477. Comment by Karen | 07.28.2009 | 6:08 am

    I read your page through a Lance Armstrong tweet. Your pain brought me to tears. Just to echo what so many others have said, let your family and friends help and know that so many are praying for you and your family–people like me, you don’t even know, but who hope your pain and struggles will be lightened. PAX.

  478. Comment by Jennifer | 07.28.2009 | 6:11 am


    Quit should-ing on yourself. (say it out loud) Really. I watched my dad die of cancer, and my sister in law. Both were relatively easy deaths, relative to what Susan’s going through and what you’re going through watching her. It’s never easy, watching someone you love die, and it’s especially horrible when they are in so much pain and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    So quit beating yourself up.

    What you’ve done is admirable. Think of all the good that has come out of Susan’s suffering.

    Also, this is the time to delegate. Have someone else make the phone calls and do the comparison shopping. You don’t have to do it all, you know.

    Give yourself a break.

    Will ride today with my pink jersey on.

    Jennifer in Tampa

  479. Comment by Dutch Girlie On a Bike | 07.28.2009 | 6:13 am

    You are not alone, we are all with you. We all wish that there were magic words to make this go away. Be as strong as you can be but don’t be afraid to lean on anyone and everyone in the coming times.

  480. Comment by Jenni | 07.28.2009 | 6:14 am

    Like so many others have said, let others help you. Someone else can do the cemetery and mortuary research for you. It makes others feel good to help out. You don’t have to do it all yourself.

    Wore one of my fat cyclist jerseys on my ride this morning and thought of you guys the whole time. Will continue to pray for you.

    Oh, and what you said to your son? Well, that’s something I would say on a normal day.

  481. Comment by Dave | 07.28.2009 | 6:16 am

    Thinking of you, Fatty, and all of the Fatty family at what must be an unimaginably tough time.

  482. Comment by VioletRunner | 07.28.2009 | 6:18 am

    WOW – you are in a really hard spot trying to make the last days the best while in such pain yourself! So much courage! Just know that you are strong but don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you. Let someone else do the things that are less important i.e. research the costs and services. There must be someone who would do anything for you to have an easier time during this very hard time. Surely someone will be there to help you through.. just tell them what you need most! Thinking of you and your family!

  483. Comment by Mark Champion | 07.28.2009 | 6:18 am

    Hey Elden

    I don’t know much about you but I think you might just be a bloody hero.

    Your kids know what’s going on… they love you and they know you love them…. that’s your best certainty.

    Do one thing at a time and only when you’re ready… and ask for help – the people who are close to you are waiting for you to do that…

  484. Comment by Jennifer | 07.28.2009 | 6:25 am

    No advice from me. Just another person sending you strength and peace through the universe.

  485. Comment by Sandra | 07.28.2009 | 6:30 am

    No that words don’t change a bit, but feeling strongly about you.. actually in the same situation at this moment, and believe me not feeling the lovable person i would like to be.. don’t understand why people a bothering me with **** stories.. hating myself for being sorry for myself of being the one to be left alone… Hang in there!!

    Deepest respect from Holland

    PS i’m trying to hold on to: I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to try to reach my destination.

  486. Comment by Another Fat Cyclist | 07.28.2009 | 6:32 am

    Stay strong and lean on others for the details. Prayers for Susan and for you and your family.

  487. Comment by Susan | 07.28.2009 | 6:33 am

    My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I will not assume I can type anything that will help you to feel better. Just want you to know our thoughts our with you.

  488. Comment by Mike Borda | 07.28.2009 | 6:35 am

    Saw a tweet form LiveStrong about you and a link to your Site… As a former fat cyclist (60 lbs lost and maintained for 5 years now) and a cancer hater (mom has faught several battles with multiple malignant melanomas)my heart goes out to you. Stay strong and keep peddling… it helps to leave things on the road!
    Much Love,

  489. Comment by Mary | 07.28.2009 | 6:36 am

    Be kind to yourself. You are not alone. And as others have said, ask for help, so many people are there for you. Reach out and involve them.
    Hugs, thoughts and prayers are coming your way.

  490. Comment by Eric | 07.28.2009 | 6:37 am

    Love you Fatty.

  491. Comment by Mark R | 07.28.2009 | 6:42 am


    Prayers and love for you and your family. I think I speak for many that in same situation, I hope I could be half the man, father and husband you have been though out this awful time. You have been blessed to have Susan as your soul mate and best friend and so has she. May God bless you, the kids and especially Susan.

    Mark from Boston

  492. Comment by Jason Bock | 07.28.2009 | 6:44 am

    There is no way to handle this correctly. You’re losing someone you love dearly, which throws your entire emotional state into chaos. I lost my dad to cancer in 2001 – seeing him at the end was devastating. He was truly a shell of what he once was. Keep family and friends close, as much as you can.

  493. Comment by Jacqui | 07.28.2009 | 6:45 am

    Hi Elden,

    Just keep telling Susan you love her. Keep telling the kids you love them. Be together and keep strong. You are all in my prayers. God will not give you anything you cannot handle and right now it will be the hardest thing in the world but through this blog you have helped (and are helping) so many people. I was driving with my 10yr old son and he suddenly said, “Mum…….oh, don’t worry”. I said, “you cannot stop what you were going to say now, you have my attention….keep going”. He was not going to, but when I repeated it a third time, he said, “I love you mum”. I said, “Thanks darling, it is nice to hear that”, and what he said next really got me. He said,” Well, you never know when you might not have a chance to say it. But it is a little embarrassing…..” I agreed and I encouraged him to say it to his dad and grandparents, and I thought of you. Be there for each other, get angry together, be sad together, love each other ALOT…… All thoughts to you guys…. I hope I have said this well, I tried to comment the last few days but could not find the words…..Be Strong!

  494. Comment by Donna Tocci | 07.28.2009 | 6:47 am

    Prayers and positive thoughts headed your way from Boston…

  495. Comment by Ingrid | 07.28.2009 | 6:49 am


    Don’t be too hard on yourself. You know what to do.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Ingrid from The Netherlands.

  496. Comment by Christian Eckert | 07.28.2009 | 6:50 am

    we wish you and your family a lot of strength.

  497. Comment by EyeCandy (Paul) | 07.28.2009 | 6:50 am

    Your friends are there call on them!!!!!



  498. Comment by Minx | 07.28.2009 | 6:50 am

    I am a long time reader, but like many don’t comment often. There is much good advice here, so no need to add to that – just one more voice speaking out to let you know that you are not alone.

  499. Comment by Michael | 07.28.2009 | 6:51 am

    Been through the same damn thing with my mother just a few years ago. I could have written many of these posts. The hardest part was the brain cancer playing tricks on her. Lean on your kids and any friends and family you have. And please don’t beat yourself up over a bad day. You’re human, they’ll happen. Be strong…

  500. Comment by Justin | 07.28.2009 | 6:53 am

    I know it’s hard. You’ll be okay. Livestrong brother.

  501. Comment by Mike | 07.28.2009 | 6:53 am

    I have the same ironic pet responsibility (I didn’t want this dog/goldfish/hamster, why am I cleaning up after it??!!) and I sometimes lose it around my much younger kid and under much less stress. Give yourself a break and know that the kids know that you love them. Give them an extra hug when things are quiet.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you,

  502. Comment by Dr J | 07.28.2009 | 6:53 am

    Hi, you don’t know me, will never meet me, and probably hear these things from so many people that you can’t remember them all. I wanted to tell you that you are, at your core, a really good person. Being frustrated, angry, confused, and all the rest are emotions that happen in these situations. No one can tell you what the right or best thing to do is…you can only decide that with your partner. I have seen my family torn apart from cancer and trying to do things they thought were the right thing but just were not their thing. Just know that all those people who have enjoyed your writing and humour over the years are sending you positive thoughts and energy. Take care, keep riding and all the best.

  503. Comment by Ian Tomkins | 07.28.2009 | 6:54 am

    I am told, and I atually believe, that we are all put on this earth with a mission, and that mission is explained to us before we arrive and we accept that mission and then forget it when we are born. So, it may sound like rubbish, but you are both doing exactly what you agreed to do, and in doing so you are teaching and healing others. As the 400+ comments show you are giving strength to others all over the world, so please take strength from us all that we are thinking of you both. You are strong and very worthly or you would not be living this very difficult mission. Bless you all.

  504. Comment by ian Tomkins | 07.28.2009 | 6:54 am

    I am told, and I atually believe, that we are all put on this earth with a mission, and that mission is explained to us before we arrive and we accept that mission and then forget it when we are born. So, it may sound like rubbish, but you are both doing exactly what you agreed to do, and in doing so you are teaching and healing others. As the 400+ comments show you are giving strength to others all over the world, so please take strength from us all that we are thinking of you both. You are strong and very worthly or you would not be living this very difficult mission. Bless you all.

  505. Comment by kc | 07.28.2009 | 6:57 am

    peace be with you. prayers for you and your family.

  506. Comment by Paula | 07.28.2009 | 6:57 am

    You are doing the best you can right now. The kids are feeling those emotions too, and they understand. Please try not to ’shoulda, woulda, coulda’. Its not taking you to a place of peace. Hang in there. Let others help in the distasteful stuff, there is no rule saying you ‘have’ to do it yourself or that you are a bad person if you let others comparison shop. Believe me they want to help. Right now there are no rules. You’re doing good, keep following what feels right. Prayers of peace are with you and your loved ones.

  507. Comment by Tom Applegate | 07.28.2009 | 6:57 am

    I know it’s tough man, but hang in there. Lean on your friends…that’s what they are for.

  508. Comment by Neeltje | 07.28.2009 | 6:58 am

    Don’t know you but I just want to say you are stronger than you know. I have to say goodby to my unclu tomorow he died of cancer last saturday. I don’t know how to make it tomorow, but like I said we are strong. I will be thinking of you!
    Neeltje from Holland

  509. Comment by Leslie | 07.28.2009 | 6:59 am

    You are too hard on yourself. Take a second. Breathe. take another deep breathe. This is an excruciatingly difficult thing you are going through. The worst thing a person can go through. We are holding you and Susan and your family in our hearts. If you feel you are not strong enough, we will be strong for you. Let us be there for you. What you feel is normal, human and honest so don’t judge yourself for it. You have moved mountains to come this far with her, you can make it the rest of the way with her. Just let us be there with you and we will hold you up.

  510. Comment by RG Tull | 07.28.2009 | 7:00 am

    Read about you from @GirlGeekCamp on Twitter. I’m a fellow cancer-hater and (former) kid of a parent who had cancer. I remember the “blindsided” anger moments. Kids can be enormously resilient and really rally and provide love and support even through their own grieving process. Give hugs and reassurances and show love when you can, and when you can’t, they’ll understand.

    May God bless you and give you strength!

    (From Maryland)

  511. Comment by Kati | 07.28.2009 | 7:00 am

    Thoughts and prayers for you and your family. Just do the best you can, that will be enough.

  512. Comment by Ka_Jun | 07.28.2009 | 7:01 am

    Don’t keep it inside, your friends and family are there to support you. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  513. Comment by Jim | 07.28.2009 | 7:04 am

    I’m sorry life is throwing it all at you right now. I’ve been through it with my Mom many many years ago. It sounds weird now but you will come out the other side of this. Even though you might lose Susan physically, she will be with you always. You’ll see her in the eyes of your children, the way they act and the life values they have because of her. You’ll get to a point where you’ll be thankful she left those reminders behind. My prayers are with you and your family.

  514. Comment by Nedko Hristov | 07.28.2009 | 7:06 am

    Try to be strong and have faith. I know it’s one of those very difficult moments but that’s when you need to believe the most. My prayers are with you and your family.


  515. Comment by Brandon | 07.28.2009 | 7:06 am

    Not much I can say that hasn’t been said. Stay strong for yourself and for your kids. As a husband and father, I hope it’s something I never have to go through. I wish there was something I could do.

  516. Comment by Michelle | 07.28.2009 | 7:06 am

    What you are going through is not easy…none of it has been easy. Hold onto your kids tight. Remind them how much you love them as you all go through this together.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  517. Comment by jdevarennes | 07.28.2009 | 7:07 am

    Thoughts and prayers for you and your family. Seek help, you have a large community that will help in any way possible. Your, family, friends, and followers, will rally behind no matter what. Also try not to be so hard on yourself, you are a wonderful individual, who is an inspiration to all.

  518. Comment by Kelly B. | 07.28.2009 | 7:07 am

    Nobody knows how to handle these things, and what you are going through is natural. I’m so sorry you have to go through it in the first place, and I hate cancer now more than I ever have. You are in my thoughts, and I have been wearing my Team Fatty tshirts and bike gear every day for Susan.

  519. Comment by Brad | 07.28.2009 | 7:07 am

    Bless you and your family.

    I know it was hard for us when my was going through the same thing. Somehow, you manage to find the strength to pedal through it and you find strength you never knew you had.

    We are all pulling for you and your loved ones.

  520. Comment by Donna Dorsett | 07.28.2009 | 7:07 am

    There is no cure for the lonely you feel and there is no getting around it I think. You go through it to your children and friends. Do not go shopping for cemetery, plot etc. Call some friends and family in area. Did Susan ever mention what she wanted in regard to this? Go simple and do not be emotionally talked into more than just enough for her. If she is like most of us, she doesn’t want you to spend huge amounts of money on that kind of thing. She will want a nice place or memorial for her children, you, friends to visit and “talk” with her after she is gone. I took care of all the arrangements and was the only one at my dad’s bedside when he passed away from Renal Cancer in 2003. The only way you can be there for her is to be there for yourself by continuing to ride and live life to fullest. Give the cat a break. Give yourself a break. You are doing everything you can to make the days you have left together good ones. Think of anything you think she would like to see or smell or be around and bring it to her. It is not easy. Just love her and let her know it. You are doing the best you can. Stay in the present and do something every day to take care of what may come soon. You are in my thoughts and I hope she is at peace knowing she is loved.

  521. Comment by Kristi (from Texas) | 07.28.2009 | 7:08 am

    Praying, Elden.
    Ask for help. Don’t try to handle it all on your own.

  522. Comment by fatpedro | 07.28.2009 | 7:10 am

    Drop it in low gear and pedal fast (ala your buddy Lance). Or put it in the big ring and grind. Or slalom. Or get off and walk. Either way, you’re getting to the top of this damn hill, and all your friends and family are pushing you.

    Our thoughts are with you and your family … some time from now you will feel the wind in your hair (well, for you, on your scalp) heading down the other side of the hill. It will still hurt, and you will remember the pain forever, but at least you will have got over it.

  523. Comment by Jeremy Morgan | 07.28.2009 | 7:12 am

    Stay Strong and we are thinking about you and your family.

  524. Comment by BenMac | 07.28.2009 | 7:12 am

    I don’t have any words to help you shoulder this impossible burden. I wish to god I did.

    Pray. Ask for help. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Stay strong.

  525. Comment by Joe | 07.28.2009 | 7:12 am

    Don’t beat yourself up, Fatty. You’re doing the best you can. Like everyone else, I wish I could help and offer more support than mere words.

  526. Comment by Robin | 07.28.2009 | 7:13 am

    As a woman in her mid 50s who lost her mother to cancer at a young age — know that my memories of my dad at this time in his life are all good. I am the oldest of 4 kids and know it must have been tough for him but all my memories and those of my brother and sisters are all good. Be strong for your kids but know that they know your love and strength. That will see all of you through this difficult time.

  527. Comment by Ann Saetnan | 07.28.2009 | 7:13 am

    ((((Fatty)))) and very gently ((((Susan))))

    Yes, you have every right to be messed up just now, and since you and Susan have obviously been raising those kids right all along, I’m sure the kids understand. I remember an episode a couple of months before my father died. The hospice nurse had taken his catheter out and couldn’t get the new one in. We had to pile in the car and rush to the hospital ER to get it done. Mom was furious, and Dad said, to console her, “there won’t be a next time.” Which of course triggered a lot of guilt feelings on Mom’s part, because it wasn’t as if she wished him gone, but knowing that’s where this was headed was clearly part of what had her at fury’s edge where any mishap could tip her over it. Uhmmm … I’m spinning off point here. My point being that feelings are complex and given what you’re going through, even anger is nothing to be ashamed of. Just give the kids a hug. Cat too.

  528. Comment by Niall Castle | 07.28.2009 | 7:14 am

    Hi Fatty. When I started typing this there were 497 people who cared enough to send you a message of support (498 with me). I have been away from my laptop for a week and not reading your blog (go on…hit me for being slack). However I have been reading Twitter and saw a message from Lance encouraging followers to show their support. Here I am. I don’t need a second invitation. I have been close to where you going with loss (but not in your exact circumstances) and know that your reassurances of love and support for Susan in her fight and your declaration of support for your family will go a long way to easing her pain at this time. I wish your pain would be eased but the truth is that it will only ease with the passage of time and the love and support of family and friends (and strangers like me who would lend you their shoulders for support). You have so many friends here who have given good advice. Don’t persecute yourself for being human (wish I could follow my own advice at times). Mate, if you ever want to chat/sound-off/vent then email me or twitter [dogberry64] a number and I will call you ASAP after. WIN Susan. LIVESTRONG. My thoughts are with you…Niall [Brisbane, Australia]

  529. Comment by sr | 07.28.2009 | 7:14 am

    best of luck. you are touching alot of folks. livestrong

  530. Comment by Riley | 07.28.2009 | 7:14 am

    Thinking of you and your family in this difficult time. Know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember to breathe.

  531. Comment by Di | 07.28.2009 | 7:14 am

    You are not alone.

  532. Comment by Hospice RN | 07.28.2009 | 7:15 am

    If Susan wants to continue to help others—Genesis is a body donation program a lot of our patients use here where I am from (there are other body donation programs as well)—-they will do all kinds of studies, etc to help with her cancer—your hospice nurse/social worker can help you—you will get her cremated ashes back once the “learning” is completed along with a beautiful note letting you know how she was able to help others/what research and tests were done, they will pay you, and everything is free. You can still have a memorial service now also for her—–

    you are in our thoughts and prayers. I keep checking for another susan update and I have never met you…but I do understand where you are coming from and what you are going thru.

  533. Comment by Jane | 07.28.2009 | 7:16 am

    I know. The one you would tell these things too can’t be told them. They just stay bottled up inside unless you continue to write them. Spill them out and get rid of them. There’s no proper manners or etiquette to handle this situation. You just gotta get through it by clawing and fighting. Keep the kids close to you. They need you. You need them. Explain to them why you’re lashing out. They will understand. If not at this moment, then sometime in the future. Prayers and thoughts are with you. Be strong for your family.

  534. Comment by Marc (from Belgium) | 07.28.2009 | 7:16 am

    Elden, U have the right to be angry. In fact you’re angry against the whole world because you want to help and take it all away but you know it’s not possible. Try to be strong, even it’s very easy to say,for the kids. Because they gone need you in the future. Susan knows that you love her and that you’ll take good care about the kids. Remember the beautiful times you’ve had with eachother.

  535. Comment by Sherry Hill | 07.28.2009 | 7:19 am

    Hello again Elden,
    With now approaching 500 responses to your latest posting, I wanted to point out to you that all those comments are there for a reason. They aren’t there just because your readers have been following Susan’s journey with cancer. They are there because we have come to love the man you are, especially because you’ve have the courage to share the good, bad and ugly of life with this terrible disease. There may be moments where you consider your behavior or words to be less than what you would want… however, you’re missing all the times your behavior and words have been EXACTLY what Susan and your kids have needed to experience or hear at that moment. Those far outweigh the “ugly” moments.

  536. Comment by Kate | 07.28.2009 | 7:20 am

    You are allowed to be scared, angry and sad. Your kids probably are too. There isn’t a way to be ready for this–there never is.

    All you can do is try to live in the moment and let others try their best to comfort you and your family.

    I’m praying for you, Susan, and your children.

  537. Comment by Janet | 07.28.2009 | 7:20 am

    One of the things I didn’t know enough to do when I went through the cancer deaths of both my parents 4 months apart was that I needed to get help. I went into a very serious depression afterwards, wasn’t much of a mom, spent alot of time crying. It’s important that you get some help right now because you need to be there for your kids. I couldn’t help my kids with the deaths of their beloved grandparents. I was smart enough to put my youngest into hospice grief therapy, but the older two just coped. Now, 13 years later, I’ve talked to them about that time period and they have forgiven me. Don’t lose your kids too…. take care of you!

  538. Comment by Stu | 07.28.2009 | 7:20 am

    Also got the tweet from Lance Armstrong. Hang in there man. Wishing you strength.
    [Joburg, South Africa]

  539. Comment by Jennifer | 07.28.2009 | 7:21 am

    Sending you many prayers and positive thoughts!

    I cared for my father as he lost his battle to cancer–I can’t imagine what this pain is for you but I am glad that you taking time to get out and ride your bike–being a caretake is a difficult job and you have to keep yourself healthy to be there for everyone else!!

    Many blessings to you!!

  540. Comment by Brandon | 07.28.2009 | 7:23 am

    Anyone can understand the emotions you’re feeling, good and bad, without truly having a clue what you are going through. Remember the beautiful times you’ve had with Susan, and how much you love each other, and how much your family loves each other. I’m sure you guys are strong and will get through everything TOGETHER. Also know that you’ve got a huge community out here with you and Susan and your family in their thoughts and prayers!

  541. Comment by Gino | 07.28.2009 | 7:23 am

    Hey Fatty,

    Praying for you and the family. Talk to someone, talk to us, we are all here for you.


  542. Comment by Dean | 07.28.2009 | 7:24 am

    Hey Fatty,

    Hang in there. I lost my Mom to cancer. I remember how horrible it felt staying by her side everyday to help care for her. I hated the entire time. I felt every emotion you’ve shared. I hate the world. I hated God. Why would He take such a beautiful soul from me and this world? I never found the answers I wanted. But, I had to continue to survive. In some strange way, I also remember some extremely profound and touching moments. At the time, my pain made it hard for me to recall. With some distance since then, I can remember them better. I connected closer to my Mom than I ever had in all my life. I actually felt her spirit within me. She gave up her fight for life but she gave me the strength I needed. I guess I really don’t have anything of true encouragement to say. Each of us has to deal with the inevitable passing of a loved on in our own way. I carry with me a lot of anger and sadness from my experiences. My Mom never truly got to know my youngest son. In all of the commotion and distraction of her illness we missed some major development milestones. As a result, my son’s autism was not caught as early as it could have been. Her illness and passing is still with me today. I have sadness that my son has autism and I could have had a better chance and healing him early on. Now, I deal with it all. I stopped hating the world and hating God. I have what I have and I deal with what I got. In some strange way, my son’s autism is an extension of my Mom’s cancer. It just seems like a lifetime affliction. In the end, my Mom couldn’t talk. She couldn’t make a coherent sentence. My son cannot speak coherently. My Mom didn’t respond appropriately to direct questions. My son cannot focus or respond as well. I suppose I should be angry at my Mom for having taken so much from me in her last days. The results of that still live with me now. However, I am not angry anymore. I know my Mom lives on in my son and in me. Her spirit drives us. In her weakest moments, she actually provided me more strength for a lifetime of challenges than I could have ever expected. My son and my Mom are connected in many ways. They share the same birthday. As my Mom gave a lifetime of love and understanding and patience to me, so to must I provide the same to my son. Then and now, I do not know what the future challenges will be. I suppose I could say I am still messed up from it all at some level. Yet, on a different higher plane, I am much stronger and compassionate than before. I’ve learned to let go of things and understand that I cannot control the outcome of all things. I can’t always make it better. God taught me a valuable lesson by her example. It was a dark time. But, the future is much brighter. I know that we will all be together one day. Her strength, her will, her spirit, her compassion were the greatest gifts she gave me. It took a long time following her passing to realize how much beauty there was in her. You will survive as I did. It’s what we owe to our loved ones. To pass on their spirit and live for their sakes. Good luck. God Bless You. Be strong.

  543. Comment by Susan (another one) | 07.28.2009 | 7:26 am

    Like everyone else, thinking of you and your family.

  544. Comment by mel | 07.28.2009 | 7:28 am

    My heart is breaking for you on the other side of the country. Please know that we are thinking of you, and hoping that solace will find you in the coming days. Sending virtual hugs…

  545. Comment by Shea | 07.28.2009 | 7:29 am

    Keep your head up. We are thinking about you and you are an inspiration.

  546. Comment by Julie | 07.28.2009 | 7:31 am

    I hate it in movies when cancer deaths are noble and softly-lit. It’s not noble – it’s messy and ugly and wrong. And there’s no right way to go about it – you do the best you can do and can’t ask anything more of yourself, let that go.

    Scream into a pillow and then beat it to a pulp. Let the kids join in, they’re angry too. You will make it through, Fatty, it’s hard to imagine right now, but you will, and you will not be alone. Love and hugs.

  547. Comment by Nancy | 07.28.2009 | 7:34 am

    OMG is all I can say. We all exist in grace.
    Think every moment how can you best represent all that Susan and her wonderful life has taught you.
    Delegate your support team to ’shop’ for the details of end of life, you have to let go of things you cannot do for yourself.
    Remember kids at any age deal with this completely different than adults-and take cues from them as to what to do—open the channels of communication–the Hospice can send in an art therapist for you all–and you will be surprised how it opens you all up to healing.
    My heart and prayers are w/you & your family-
    Nancy and Ray Ray (Raven-my little black dog that keeps me sane amidst my survivor issues!)

  548. Comment by ribverb | 07.28.2009 | 7:34 am


    For what it’s worth, try to find a way to love, love, love and keep loving. You are much loved, man.

  549. Comment by Alli | 07.28.2009 | 7:35 am

    Elden: Anyone in your position would be angry and frightened and acting out of character. Know that you are surrounded by the thoughts and prayers of so many — and lean on those closest to you for help.

  550. Comment by Jamie | 07.28.2009 | 7:35 am

    Above here, Jenni said: “In the upcoming days/weeks/months and years, your son will yell back at you for seemingly no reason and you will hug him and know what he’s feeling. And you will not be angry at him.”

    +1 to that. Because that’s the kind of person we know you are.

  551. Comment by Andrea | 07.28.2009 | 7:36 am

    You got a little message from Lance this morning on Twitter.

    I think about Susan, you, and your children all the time. My heart is with you.

  552. Comment by Chris | 07.28.2009 | 7:41 am

    Lifting you up brother.

  553. Comment by Chris | 07.28.2009 | 7:42 am

    First time reader here.

    Your courage is immense. My prayers are with you.

  554. Comment by Lana | 07.28.2009 | 7:43 am

    There is nothing you can do wrong in the situation you are in. You are very strong as are your kids. Emotions run high then low then hopeless. You are not alone. Thousands of people out here support you and your kids. Keep doing what you are doing. Never doubt yourself. You are there for her and that is what is important. And I am sure she is aware of it, although it doesn’t seem that way to you. Our prayers are with you throughout the day and night. Remember to smile once in a while, as hard as it seems, remember something you did together. That will always bring a smile. Sit down with your kids and remember things, they will smile too through the tears. Hang tough and remember we are with you in thought and prayer. God bless you and your kids.

  555. Comment by PatMG | 07.28.2009 | 7:45 am

    My heart goes out to you. I’ve been through this with three family members, and believe me, the anger is understandable. May God hold you and Susan in the palm of his hands.

  556. Comment by Claudia | 07.28.2009 | 7:45 am

    Thinking about you and your wife and family, and saying a prayer for you all. Lean on anyone you can. There are many people there for you.

  557. Comment by Megan | 07.28.2009 | 7:47 am

    “When we reach out and share our sympathies with another human being in pain, we are offering a great kindness to the individual in pain. He knows that he is fundamentally alone but at least he knows that others care and are trying to understand.” – don’t be to hard on yourself- *life* is hard enough.

  558. Comment by Doug | 07.28.2009 | 7:50 am

    In hard times like these I like to think about the insignificance of the body. The body is just a machine. We use our bodies, and then we leave them. The soul is the actual living entity. The soul is immortal. If one believes in reincarnation, then one knows that the soul will return to another body to begin the process anew. The cycle is repeated until one gets it right or perfect.

    Hang tough for your family; as they will one day hand tough for you.

  559. Comment by Amy | 07.28.2009 | 7:51 am

    Wanted to say something to be supportive and cannot find words. Susan, you and your family are in my prayers. Found you through Lance’s twitter this AM. My heart i with you.

  560. Comment by Jeanette | 07.28.2009 | 7:51 am

    It’s okay to not be prepared… to not know…to be fragile.

    and your 13 year old, if he doesn’t know now, will understand the anger that was coming from you, that it wasn’t personal. He’ll understand.

    Be easy on yourself… and if you need it, get some help. I didn’t want hospice when my mother was sick, but God Bless them, it turned out to be the best decision for her, for my dad, for us her children.

  561. Comment by Doug | 07.28.2009 | 7:52 am

    In hard times like these I like to think about the insignificance of the body. The body is just a machine. We use our bodies, and then we leave them. The soul is the actual living entity. The soul is immortal. If one believes in reincarnation, then one knows that the soul will return to another body to begin the process anew. The cycle is repeated until one gets it right or perfect.

    Hang tough for your family; as they will one day hang tough for you.

  562. Comment by ErinW | 07.28.2009 | 7:52 am

    Reading Lance’s twitter from TDF and saw your web address. I join the legions of people that support you near and far. i’m writing from Oakville, Canada and have had cancer touch my life but not to the extent you are dealing with it. Please forgive yourself for your moments of anger and frustration and exhaustion. And get your kids together, give them a hug, talk to them, let them understand. Kids have a huge capacity to support you when you’re down. Being the ultimate pillar of strength for them won’t make it better. They want/need to help you, to stay connected, to feel loved, to be strong themselves. Join forces with them instead of trying to protect them. Cancer hurts everyone involved so don’t try to protect them, let them join the team so they are strong throughout with you and Susan. I’m sending love to all of your family.

  563. Comment by Dale | 07.28.2009 | 7:53 am

    Sorry i didnt meet you yet. A good friend always tells me “it too shall pass” in reality everyone and everything passes, just make the most of time before it does and eventually you and I do too. Thats sort of what i get out of the livestrong message, So please live strong, you know you can, all things pass just dont carry regrets. Great respect to you and your challenge at the moment.

  564. Comment by Sal | 07.28.2009 | 7:53 am


    Please hang in there. We just lost my wife’s sister in the same situation and see the difficulty left in the wake. Do what you can, ask for help and don’t be afraid to lean on those around you. Also know that there a so many of us out here that are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. If there is ANYTHING that we can do, we will. We are all one family.

  565. Comment by Maria | 07.28.2009 | 7:54 am

    I wouldn’t presume and tell you I know how you feel. Your words moved me and I can only hope that writing let’s you vent a little of the frustration, anger and sadness. I am truly sorry for what you are going through.
    San Juan
    Puerto Rico

  566. Comment by Jean | 07.28.2009 | 7:55 am

    Hugs. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your friends and family is to *let them help*. Let them help.

  567. Comment by Marie-Claude | 07.28.2009 | 8:00 am

    I too read Lance’s tweet and offering a hand to lift you up. Be strong, but don’t be too hard on yourself. My thoughts are with you.

  568. Comment by Bob | 07.28.2009 | 8:02 am


    Be strong – my family is with you in spirit. We have lost four to cancer in my nuclear family and had two more diagnosis last week. My father and a 19 year old cousin who found out he had testicular cancer while working as a US Marine in Iraq.

    One poster said to talk to hospice which I think may help you. We gained a lot from hospice which you may find helpful too. I had not planned a single funeral in my life; in 18 months I planned four and attended 15 of family.

    If you need to talk on IM or email, do not hesitate to reach out to me via email or blog.

    Prayers are with you.

    Chicago, IL

  569. Comment by Boomer | 07.28.2009 | 8:04 am

    thoughts and prayers and strength to you

  570. Comment by Ame | 07.28.2009 | 8:06 am

    Just another note so that you know you have support out here. I’m sorry anyone has to go through this type of suffering.

    When my dad passed, my aunt offered to help. She dealt with the things I could bear to deal with myself. It was a wonderful help. It sounds like you have a good support system with friends and family around. And, you can always reach out here for support. My best to you and your family.

  571. Comment by Charles | 07.28.2009 | 8:06 am

    I’m in awe of your strength at being able to write about and share this with others. And I know that your words are giving strength to others who are fighting the same fight. People have given you better and more useful advice than I ever could, so I’ll simply say that you and your family are in the hearts, thoughts and prayers of thousands.

  572. Comment by Bronsont | 07.28.2009 | 8:13 am

    Peace and Prayers for all of you.

  573. Comment by Tom, England | 07.28.2009 | 8:15 am

    take strength from the hundreds of people thinking of you around the world… take that strength with you for your kids and wife… You can do it, you know you can.

  574. Comment by Lysa | 07.28.2009 | 8:17 am

    I can’t even imagine what your going through but know this,we love you&Susan and I will pray every second,min,hour I can.My Aunt Carol went through the same thing and my Mama was by her side,never leaving her until she was called to heaven 3 yrs ago.I am a survivor myself and my family&friends(some I will never know)got me through it and we are here for you.God Bless:-)

  575. Comment by Steve Courtright | 07.28.2009 | 8:18 am

    You are in our hearts and thoughts. Love you, big guy.

  576. Comment by Dan | 07.28.2009 | 8:20 am

    Fatty – you are not that person. From your blog its clear. All you’ve done and the GRACE and GOOD that you’ve handled it with are amazing. You are a good Father and Husband. You are a human being. Hang in there which is a lame thing to same but that’s all I got – we’re battling breast cancer with my wife too. We’re in a completely different situation than your family’s – I can only imagine the stress as I stayed up most of last night in stress back pain. It’s not fair. It’s not right. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  577. Comment by Lara | 07.28.2009 | 8:22 am

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  578. Comment by Michelle | 07.28.2009 | 8:24 am

    Words can’t express. I read your posts and feel for you from across the country. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  579. Comment by Flatman | 07.28.2009 | 8:24 am

    I don’t have any words for you except that you and your family will be in my prayers…

  580. Comment by Mark | 07.28.2009 | 8:25 am

    Believe in yourself. You have done and are doing more than anyone has a right to expect. Hang in there and just take it one step at a time. You are a good person!

  581. Comment by Pedro | 07.28.2009 | 8:30 am


    Just enter your blog for the first time after saw-it in lance twitter. Not much words to tell after reading what you and your family have been suffering in the past months. You are a brave man a great parent and husband.
    Be strong.


  582. Comment by brokeMBA | 07.28.2009 | 8:30 am

    Fatty and Family,

    You may not like the emotions you feel, but you and your family ARE the kind of people that we ALL want to be around. Hence all the love and support from all the people you have probably never met. Be strong and know that you have done the right things for your wife and family, and also know that you have helped others WIN with the efforts of Team Fatty.

    I just wish there was something more I could do than donate to Livestrong. I’m going to go dry my eyes so people don’t see me teared up at the office…

  583. Comment by Jack319 | 07.28.2009 | 8:31 am

    Win Susan! Winning takes many forms.

  584. Comment by kiwi | 07.28.2009 | 8:32 am

    Just do what you need to do…Ask for help!
    All you have is today your wife and kids.
    Thinking of you right now!

  585. Comment by Shane | 07.28.2009 | 8:33 am

    Thinking and praying for you and your family during this most unimagineably painful time. I lost my little brother last year, and have some notion of how you are suffering. Though you may not see it now, you will pull through because of the love you have for your wife and your beautiful children.

  586. Comment by steve | 07.28.2009 | 8:34 am

    Stay strong, god bless you and your family. Ask for God’s help in getting through this, with God all things are possible

  587. Comment by Justin | 07.28.2009 | 8:36 am

    You are a good man. You are allowed to feel. Anger, sadness, despair … Stay strong.

  588. Comment by Cindy | 07.28.2009 | 8:36 am

    Elden – I found your wonderful blog through Lance Armstrong on Twitter. There are millions of us out here thinking of you and surrounding you with love from around the world.

    The burden you carry is very heavy and people can try to help, but even though the path looks the same, it is unique to every one of us.

    Know that there are some incredible people out there to guide you along the path you now walk, so when you’re ready, reach out. Someone mentioned hospice can assist (which is a great idea) and perhaps Lance’s Foundation might be able to help.

    My heart breaks for what your family is going through. Sending you peace and love.

  589. Comment by sllym | 07.28.2009 | 8:36 am

    If anyone has the right to be angry, it’s you. What your family has gone through is terrible. Your entire family has dealt with Susan’s cancer with strength and grace. Many, many people are willing to help. Let them.

  590. Comment by MVSC | 07.28.2009 | 8:37 am

    FC – My thoughts are with you in this most challenging time.You may not like yourself at this moment, but you are an inspiration to many people. There’s no playbook for this.

  591. Comment by Scott | 07.28.2009 | 8:39 am

    It’s been five years for us…and we still have “cat” blowups. It’s like, “where did THAT come from?”

    I found I have to ask for forgiveness a lot. It’s a good healing thing to do. But I never apologize for the tears.

    Oh, several have said this above. Making arrangements was the last thing I wanted to do. The strength of the man who came with me is something I will never ever forget. He was my pastor, but better yet, he was my friend. Take a friend.

  592. Comment by Liberty on Bikes!/bob | 07.28.2009 | 8:39 am

    The number of comments shows just how many people identify with you. Heather and Sherry Hill had a couple of great points of turning to those around you,
    a personal assistant for each kid, a personal assistant for each task YOU need to do. Let those people in, they’re waiting to be asked. Dealing with the ugly side of life does not make you an ugly person. Again why you have so many followers here,
    you are a friend, a neighbor, a great person going through an incrediably diffcult time, one that all of us fear and dread. Know what you want and don’t want in the arrangements and ask close friends to handle it so you and the kids can spend time with Susan.
    Lip up fatty!

  593. Comment by Ned | 07.28.2009 | 8:41 am

    Hang in there – your support network is ready and willing to help however you need -

  594. Comment by Tracy | 07.28.2009 | 8:42 am

    TALK! Talk to friends, talk to caregivers, but mostly talk to your kids…they need to hear and understand and feel like they can help YOU!

    and guilt, it is a waste of your precious time.

    we are all on your side!

  595. Comment by Random Stranger | 07.28.2009 | 8:42 am

    I am sorry. Please be gentle with yourself during this heartbreaking time.

  596. Comment by Bob | 07.28.2009 | 8:43 am

    I’m so sorry — hang in there you are in my thoughts.

  597. Comment by Kendell | 07.28.2009 | 8:43 am

    Fatty, hang in there. Like others have already said, there is no right way to act. Don’t let the guilt get to you. You are only one man and the emotions you have right now are perfectly justified. All of those who care and love for you understand that, including your children.

    I just lost my grandmother to cancer a few weeks ago and I understand how hard this process is. Don’t be afraid to lean on those around you, especially hospice. They will help take care of arrangements and they know how difficult this is. You don’t have to do this alone.

    Know that there a so many of us out here that are keeping you all in our thoughts. The strength you have to even share your story is incredible. Again, hang in there…

  598. Comment by Dan O | 07.28.2009 | 8:45 am

    We’re all in for you, and we’re all fighting for Susan

  599. Comment by James | 07.28.2009 | 8:46 am

    I wish I knew what to say, but like many other people following your blog I can’t really give advice from experience. All I can say is that I am thinking about you and your family and keeping you in my prayers. Just realize that it is OK to be angry and a mess. You should definitely NOT feel ashamed for feeling that way.

  600. Comment by cc | 07.28.2009 | 8:46 am

    I’m a praying person, so I’ll pray for you. If you believe in prayer, pray for yourself–I’ve found it helped me.

    I have a hard time following your blog because it stokes deep, deep fears related to a situation I had with my spouse. We did not end up with the same results you’ve had, but we could have.

    Apologize to your 13 year old, and let him have his own eruption if necessary. Hug everybody.

  601. Comment by Noah | 07.28.2009 | 8:47 am

    The last thing you want to do is the last thing you “have” to do. Getting angry at your son or hating the beloved family pet only diverts your attention away from the one person your focus should be on every day. Don’t waste precious moments on what will obviously be trival later. Now go and stare into the eyes of that person you love so much and drink her in.

  602. Comment by Chris from NJ | 07.28.2009 | 8:47 am

    Hang in there brother, that’s all I can come up with. I lost my brother back in January & am still trying to deal with it. Your courage & strength are an inspiration to me & will be an inspiration to your children. If you can’t keep it together for yourself, keep it together for them, for now… You will get through this, even though you may not believe that right now…

  603. Comment by Dirk Claessen | 07.28.2009 | 8:47 am

    Don’t be hard on yourself. Compassion with the world around you AND yourself is the way to go.
    Give it a try to live in this moment, there is nothing else but this moment.
    You’re in my thoughts.

  604. Comment by Heavy J | 07.28.2009 | 8:47 am

    Fatty, we are thinking of you and your family. I’ve never written before but I too am a fatty. 280 lbs at 5′8″ but I’m out there almost every day biking and am down from 325lbs. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION. My wife is also walking the 60 mile breast cancer walk and has raised more than $2500 Be Strong, LiveStrong

    Heavy J

  605. Comment by Sally | 07.28.2009 | 8:48 am

    Found you through Lance’s tweet too, like many others.

    Rest assured that the people who care for you will understand and they will want to help. I’ve been the carer of the carer and we love to do what we can because in general it’s so little.

    The fact that you worry about these things shows that you’re a great guy and you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

    I’m so sorry your family is going through this too.

  606. Comment by Shaun Wj | 07.28.2009 | 8:49 am

    Your strength is amazing. You must be terrified, but you must also realise you are not alone. I will pray for strength for you.

  607. Comment by vanessa | 07.28.2009 | 8:49 am

    It is normal that you are worrying about yourself; otherwise you would not be able to worry about others or take care of others… is like the oxygen mask thing on airplanes.

    However, right now is not the moment to become hard on yourself and add up to everything you are going through… there is no perfect behavior in this kind of situation just feel, embrace the situation and do as best as you can do. And remember many people support you and love you!

  608. Comment by Liza | 07.28.2009 | 8:51 am

    Its gonna be okay

    Love the cat, love the kid, love yourself

    One day you’ll look back and see you made it through

  609. Comment by Jennifer | 07.28.2009 | 8:52 am

    I just heard about your family’s story and read through the first page. You have my sincerest condolences. I hope you, Susan, and your children find some peace amongst all of this.

  610. Comment by Todd | 07.28.2009 | 8:52 am

    When my dad died from lung cancer in 2005, I was overwhelmed and frankly, more than a little offended by the number of people who came up to me and said, “I know how you feel”, regardless of the good intentions they meant to convey. The hell you say…he was my Dad, and you have no idea how I feel.

    The most supportive, understanding phrase I heard was from a good friend of mine whose mother had died years ago from breast cancer, and it was told to him from another friend who’d lost a loved one from cancer.

    He came up to me, put his arm around me, and said, “You know…there’s no way to put a good spin on this. Sometimes, life just f**king sucks. And I’m sorry…”. And I thought, finally, somebody gets it.

    Man, I’m sorry…this just sucks. Know that we’re all thinking about you.

  611. Comment by Lou McAlister | 07.28.2009 | 8:52 am

    My heart aches for you. And for Susan. And for the kids. It may feel and seem though you are alone, but we are holding onto to you in every way that we can. I hope it helps. I hope that it is enough.

  612. Comment by Tom LUV2MTB Lining | 07.28.2009 | 8:53 am

    I went through this myself 2 years ago, those couple of weeks are all still a blur, hang in there be strong!

  613. Comment by doward | 07.28.2009 | 8:54 am

    Your love for Susan and your family’s battle with her cancer have always been an inspiration, and here, more than ever, your strength is amazing and your humanity beautiful.
    Don’t forget that to be good to Susan and your kids, sometimes you have to be good to yourself. If you’re having thoughts and emotions that you can’t share with family and friends, don’t be afraid to look to professional help – a psychiatrist, a social worker, etc.
    You are an amazing father and husband, and I know you will continue to be, but don’t forget that you deserve care too. No-one should have to do what you are doing.
    Screw Cancer!
    WIN Susan!
    WIN Elden!

  614. Comment by Auri | 07.28.2009 | 8:54 am

    Believe me, I know what it’s like. For such a long time, you know what will happen eventually, and then suddenly it comes so close, and then you feel like you need to hurry, but you don’t know what to say, or which things need hurrying first. You thought you’ld be ready, but now you are not even close to ready. You don’t have to be ashamed about the anger. It is all unfair, and you have kept the spirits up for way too long. Cry under the shower, scream at the clouds, take a deep breath, and try to realise that this time is also special. You might not understand it all now, but the more you open up for the current time, the people around you (and letting them in your heart) the more control you feel over yourself now, and later on. I am so so sad for you, and I feel again the breathtaking fear of tomorrow. You are in my thoughts. If you ever need an overseas friend, let me know..

  615. Comment by SMG | 07.28.2009 | 8:54 am

    Hang in there Fatty. Be strong during these difficult times and don’t be so hard on yourself. Your family needs you. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  616. Comment by Patrick | 07.28.2009 | 8:54 am

    My thoughts and prayers to you, your children, and Susan. While there are no words that pacify the pain you are experiencing, know that your words and Susan’s courage have inspired thousands.

  617. Comment by Bill | 07.28.2009 | 8:54 am

    Nineteen years ago I lost my own mother after a 22-month stay in a hospital, comatose because of complications from Diabetes.
    Two years ago,my dad passed away unexpectedly and quickly from a massive heart attack.
    It goes without saying that I’ve inherited the wonderful habits and genetics that makes me the fatcyclist that I am.
    And your story goes through my head over and over again as I ride my bike, trying to put my legacy further and further behind me.
    Sickness and death are not what we are designed for. Fast or slow, they are always fiercely alien to us: you have no code of behavior you have to follow.If you were acting perfectly right, then you’d have cause to worry.
    Stop thinking about the technicalities of “savvy” shopping for the things that will -sooner or later- fall into place with the help of friends, family, and professionals. Save that time and energy for your loved ones and yourself.
    You can get through this valley. It’s not forever.
    You’re an inspiration, so don’t worry about it when you don’t like yourself at times; everybody else likes you, so you’re outnumbered.
    Spend time on you loved ones, your relationships, and living your life; everything else is fuel for regret.
    –Bill (“mtnbikerdad”)

  618. Comment by CK | 07.28.2009 | 8:55 am

    Being strong doesn’t mean doing it all yourself. Being strong can also mean asking for help. It’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to need others. It’s also okay to be angry.

    You have a lot of people who care thinking about you and your family.

  619. Comment by Dave | 07.28.2009 | 8:55 am

    Thanks for sharing your journey. Wishing you all the best Stay strong.

  620. Comment by JB | 07.28.2009 | 8:56 am

    Just hang in there…as much as possible.

  621. Comment by Rant | 07.28.2009 | 8:57 am


    I’m so sorry to hear about how things are going for you and Susan. I know it’s tough right now, I’ve lost a few relatives to cancer. Stay strong, you’ve got the internal fortitude to get through this. And it’s totally normal to be a wreck right now.

    Hang in there, friend.

    Dan Rosen
    a/k/a Rant

  622. Comment by Vanessa Buccella | 07.28.2009 | 8:58 am

    You have every right to be a big big mess. I just started reading your blog b/c a guy on my cycling team had fatcyclist bibs on. I am sorry to hear your about what is happening, but you are so strong to share your story with the world. Thanks for giving me a BIG BIG dose of perspective. I hope you and your children can find peace and happiness again.

  623. Comment by Tiger | 07.28.2009 | 8:59 am

    You’re so strong. You know that you can only shake a pop bottle so many times before it explodes. Hang in there and ask for whatever you need.

    So many people love you guys…Was just at Ironman and saw atleast 15 fat cyclist jerseys, t-shirts and arm warmers.

    You’re in my prayers.

  624. Comment by Chris | 07.28.2009 | 9:01 am

    Hang in there, Elden. You’re doing an amazing, admirable job of keep everything/everyone together.

    The blog family are here to help any way we can.

  625. Comment by Colleen | 07.28.2009 | 9:02 am

    Dear Fatty, Two years ago I stood in your shoes. Fred declined very rapidly after a six year fight. Lean on those around you who will help. I knew Fred would haunt me if I blew a lot on a funeral so we had a cremation and memorial service. The funeral home provided us with a couple of llittle urns that hold a tiny amount of ashes to keep and the rest can be spread. It’s so hard to watch your life partner slip away and even though you don’t want to see them hurt the way they do it is very hard to watch the person you have spent a huge part of your life with slip away. Please just make sure you talk to the kids and keep the memories of their mom alive. Tell the funny stories and make sure the pictures are out. Encourage family and friends to talk about her too. Let them lead the conversations. There are no magic words to make this easy just know we are all here and ready to listen.

  626. Comment by Donna Frey | 07.28.2009 | 9:02 am

    Sorry, sir, for what you are going through. My sweet brother went through something similar to your wife’s experience. I will be thinking of you and your children, and wishing every kindness and goodness will come your way.
    And you are right about Contador. Maybe, in the 2010 Tour, someone, not mentioning who, will kick his butt.

  627. Comment by Joanie | 07.28.2009 | 9:04 am

    Fatty, I can not imagine what you are going through. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be. Thank you for writing this blog and reaching out to others because now you know you are not alone, we all feel for you and hurt for you. I do know you are strong and you will get through this, let go and let God.

  628. Comment by Lee C. | 07.28.2009 | 9:05 am


    PLEASE call hospice – helping the family cope when they are going through what you are going through is what they do, the very best help you can get. Will keep your family in my prayers.

  629. Comment by Nancy | 07.28.2009 | 9:06 am

    You are a hero, not only to Susan but to me as well. Unconditional love knows no boudries and you prove that every minute of what must be endless days of trying to stay strong.

  630. Comment by Miriam | 07.28.2009 | 9:07 am

    Life, Light and Love to you. Thank you for sharing your journey in all it’s complexity.

  631. Comment by Chuck | 07.28.2009 | 9:07 am

    I can’t imagine the tortured pain you’re putting yourself through when the darkest, scariest thoughts take over your mind. But there’s no time like right now when you need to take care of you first and foremost – so you can be the Dad you need to be and the husband you intended to be – for better or worse. Thoughts and prayers to you.

  632. Comment by Ben | 07.28.2009 | 9:09 am


    My heart goes out to you and your family during this time, and I cannot image how difficult it must be. Stay strong big dude, there’s a whole lot of us sending some good energy, thoughts, and prayers your way.

    I didn’t want the cat either, and yet I too have become the designated chef.


  633. Comment by John Griffiths | 07.28.2009 | 9:09 am

    I’m one of the fortunate’s. I’ve had cancer twice in my early twenties and am lucky enough to still be here to tell the tale. The one thing I always tell people is I believe my illness was harder on those around me than it was on me.

    For me I was able to up when I wanted and down when I needed to be. For my family and friends it was hell on earth I’m sure. Everyone was putting me first and themselves second and they aren’t getting the support I was.

    What I’m trying to say is dude; you have every right to feel how you do.

    But with my father of 3 hat on, I know you know what you have to do. Sorry man, but you have to be there for them even more in the coming week/months and years. I wish I could help (as do millions of others now thanks to Lance) and I believe many people will help you, but in the end you know it has to be you.

    Sorry if it sounds like I don’t care, I do, (real tears in my eyes writing this)

    Having read your website I know you’ll step up and do what you have been and will continue to do for them. If you are searching the site ever looking for someone to talk to, give me a shout.

  634. Comment by Tripp | 07.28.2009 | 9:13 am

    Saw Lance’s tweet, so I came over to your site.

    Hang in there. There is no text book on how to handle tramatic times in our lives.

    As far as logistics, pass them on to someone who cares and you trust. Ask a close friend whom you know is an organizer. Who gets the rides together? If you can’t do that, then tell me and I will help you with it. Putting off the decisions will not allow them to go away but rather increase the pain at the most in opportune moment.

    As a financial advisor, I deal with estate issues all the time. Seek advice, admit your fears. You have loved ones all around you that love both of you and want to help but don’t know what you need. Let them know how they can help and ease your burden.

    Livestrong, it’s not just a word.


  635. Comment by Rev Big Ring | 07.28.2009 | 9:13 am

    Fatty, I am so sorry your family is suffering through this. I just lost a friend to pancreatic cancer 5 weeks after her diagnosis. This has to end. Thank you for all you do in the fight against cancer. Much love and respect being sent your way.

  636. Comment by Hospice RN too | 07.28.2009 | 9:17 am

    I have never met you, but I catch myself constantly looking for an update on Susan’s condition. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are not alone, but I do understand exactly what you are going thru in personal family/friends passing, as well as see it on a daily basis with my job. This is not easy and noone can possibly say they understand or “it’s for the best” etc. I know you are hurting and feel helpless watching Susan suffer. May your hospice staff find the right combination of medications to help make this as much of a pleasurable process as possible so everyone can enjoy this last time with your loved one with good memories.

    PS If Susan would have wanted to continue to help people even after her nearing next journey of going to heaven, body donation is another option for you and your family. You can still have a memorial service/celebration of life service now. Genesis is the company we use where I am from—-they are WONDERFUL people and families, including my brother-in-law’s, have given myself and hospice here positive feedback. They use the body for research on all kinds of situations, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart disease, etc just to name a few. Chemo, radiation, surgery, medications don’t matter, although they do ask what types of those things have been done in the past. They do pay you for doing this to assist others (approx $500), will cremate the body for free, and send you the ashes approximately 6-12 months after the research/learning is completed with a very special letter to the family thanking you for this “gift” your loved one gave, as well as let you know what the loved one’s body was used for. They periodically call you as well to let you know what is going on, how the person is helping others, what tests are being completed, and a timeframe of where things are. Your hospice nurse/social worker can help you, but if they are not familiar for whatever reason, I would be more than happy to assist! One small piece of paperwork to fill out with name, SS#, diagnosis, health history, but it if VERY easy to complete—and then at time of passing, the hospice staff calls the company when you are ready which will find a “holding” spot at a funeral home while they are driving to come get the person.

  637. Comment by Michelle | 07.28.2009 | 9:17 am

    My thoughts, hopes and prayers are with you and your family. I think I’m comment #600 or so, which means you are not alone.

  638. Comment by chad | 07.28.2009 | 9:18 am

    hang in there. it’s tough, your kids need you. can’t imagine your pain.

  639. Comment by Tammy | 07.28.2009 | 9:18 am

    One minute at a time. One step at a time. One day at a time. You will get through this.
    Life doesn’t stop for us. Cats still need to be taken care of. Smart financial decisions still need to be made. Don’t worry too much about those little things, they will work themselves out.
    Your children will be okay. Kids are amazingly resilient. As long as they know they are loved, all will be okay. They will understand.
    It is okay to accept help. That is a lesson that has only come to me recently and it is still a tough one to swallow. We can’t always do it all on our own so reach out to friends and family. You may even be surprised out how much people can come through for you.
    Take care of yourself and keep in mind you have so many people supporting you. Even if all we can do is send a kind word and a virtual hug.

  640. Comment by Darlene | 07.28.2009 | 9:19 am

    Words can’t express the heartache I feel for you and your family! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  641. Comment by Scott | 07.28.2009 | 9:20 am

    When everything seems out of control, it’s so hard to ask for the help you need. It’s a rotten situation, and I can’t even imagine how difficult it is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


  642. Comment by Scott | 07.28.2009 | 9:20 am

    More unsolicited advise from a complete stranger:

    Ask for help. People WANT to help you, even people you don’t know. Let them help you.

  643. Comment by Maribeth | 07.28.2009 | 9:22 am

    There are some things we shouldn’t have to endure in our lives but unfortunately they fall upon us and there is little else we can do. You have been a wonderful support to Susan, your family, and the cancer community. Thank you for your honesty. You wouldn’t be an inspiration to others if you tried to sugar-coat things. Being an inspiration is not your ambition, I know, but that too has fallen upon you. By allowing us into your lives, we have become extended members of your family and we feel your sadness and pain. Hold fast to the moments you have, make each moment a memory for later.
    Let the hospice staff help you with some of the difficult practical things. They are the professionals here. Allow them to assist you.
    Much love to you, Susan, your family and circle of friends.
    Maribeth in Mississippi

  644. Comment by matthewk | 07.28.2009 | 9:23 am

    Fatty, I hope you take the time and read all of these comments so that they may nourish you. Until a person is in the position you are in there is no possible way to know exactly how you feel. Being one has unfortunately has, I feel your pain and empathize greatly. Please take solace in knowing that the feelings you have are normal and are what a great many people feel. As to your blow up, the fact that you felt horrible about it afterwords is what will make you strive to not react that way in the future and proof that you are still the caring human you know yourself to be.
    You are in my families thoughts and prayers.

  645. Comment by Colleen | 07.28.2009 | 9:24 am

    There is strength in naming your weaknesses and putting them out there for others to reach out and support you. How much stronger are you for making yourself visible and available for support than another who won’t reach out and is completely isolated.
    You are doing so many things right during an excruciatingly difficult time. Use hospice, let them carry some of the weight for you.
    Your honesty is an inspiration.

  646. Comment by RobB | 07.28.2009 | 9:24 am

    Just one more note to say:

    1) You are not alone. The core team is always on call and many more around the world are with you in spirit.

    2) You can never ever really be that kind of person. Your writing since the beginning of the site, and the obvious love and devotion it shows to your entire family, is proof enough of that. If that is not enough, consider (as Levi did) that you have inspired over 500 people to take on the fight while going through the challenge of a life time.

    3) Don’t beat yourself up. Every parent has the “cat” moment (well, mine is the dog moment) even when life is normal. The kids do understand when you apologize.

    4) So many people are waiting to step up and help. Just tell them what you need.

    5) Know that there are literally thousands or millions of people praying for your entire family.

    Stay strong and WIN


  647. Comment by MaryHughes | 07.28.2009 | 9:24 am

    I will pray that the right help will come to you, just as you need it. Do what you need to do to get yourself through this. That old ‘put the oxygen mask on yourself’ idea. We are all ‘with’ you. God’s peace…

  648. Comment by Mark | 07.28.2009 | 9:25 am

    Went through this with a dear friend last summer. Wish I could offer some sage advice. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  649. Comment by Maria Reymann | 07.28.2009 | 9:27 am

    Other’s have said it, rely on your friends and family for strength and support. Also ask for help for you and your kids, as a kid who grew up knowing that her brother died, and never addressing it directly they will be resilient but they will have pain.

    Realize it is a loss, and nothing will make it go away or get any better but don’t let it paralyze you – & keep biking. I find that exercise helps deal with amazing stress, and the beauty of it brings hope.

    God bless you and your kids.

  650. Comment by Linda | 07.28.2009 | 9:27 am

    Your story is gut-wrenching. I can’t even begin to understand the pain your family is experiencing. I pray for you to have the strength to get through this. Please lean on those around you for support. Please use the Hospice resources. They were a Godsend to my family during a difficult time.

  651. Comment by Jon | 07.28.2009 | 9:28 am

    Can’t imagine the pain of this moment. Please don’t be to hard on yourself and from one cyclist to another my thoughts and prayers are with your family right now.

    be strong and if you are having trouble but out a bulletin on how we can be strong for you. We are ready and here.


  652. Comment by Micheal Green | 07.28.2009 | 9:31 am

    I’ve never had to deal with what you are dealing with. Frankly I hope I never do. My heart aches for you and your kids. Wish I could do more for you then just write a comment on a blog. Sending strength, courage, and prayers your way.

    Stay strong fatty.

  653. Comment by Mike | 07.28.2009 | 9:31 am

    There are no words that I can give you that can provide you with the support and comfort you need. Please make sure to lean on friends and family for support and I know you will find the strength within you that will will get you through this the best you can.

  654. Comment by PennyPue | 07.28.2009 | 9:32 am

    I may be totally talking out my ass, but I have a checklist for you.

    1. School, the kids will be fine. They are incredibly resilient. See more below.
    2. Funeral arrangements, very difficult and not fun to try to do. My suggestion, pick a trusted female friend of Susan’s, best friend would be great if she has the personality for the task. Have HER go do the shopping for arrangements. Just like a realtor can preview a house, have the friend filter through the options. Give her an idea of the total cost range. Seriously, this could make your burden so much easier. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
    3. Self-control, nope, I fully expect that you should lose it from time to time. You need an outlet for all the anger. I seem to recall that you bike ride. You might also want to include karaoke (humorous to say the least) and calisthenics. Both would allow you to stay home, but should hopefully exhaust you. Just do something that will make you breathe hard!
    4. Kids. They know, but they don’t. They’re too young. Talking and explaining that you are overwhelmed and sometimes snap. Let them know you’re human.
    5. You’re the closes thing to a real SuperMan that I’ve ever heard. But you aren’t. You’re gonna have to talk about it.

    God bless you, Susan, your kids and all of us Fatty readers too. I discovered I make squeaking sounds when I sob. Wish I were there to make a difference.

    A lot of advice from a woman you don’t even know. If you get one tiny bit of useful info from it then all is good. And if not, well then, I hope you at least got to chuckle at my lameness.

  655. Comment by Andrew P | 07.28.2009 | 9:34 am

    As the father of a 4 yr old survivor and the grandson of a wonderful lady who cancer took, I can only offer advice from my limited point of view (not that it helps but one can hope)…

    The thing I learned while my daughter was going through chemo is enjoy the good times and grit your teeth like heck through the bad. Others will understand if you’re angry. Just as important; don’t forget to hug your kids, let them know you’re having a hard time of it and let them know you love them. They are probably going through the same thing and will appreciate a hug from Dad.

    Take care. My daughter and I will be praying for you and your family.


  656. Comment by Gillian | 07.28.2009 | 9:34 am

    You and your wife have handled this struggle with grace, love, and patience. There is no reason to believe that your kids can’t follow that example. In short, I think your son understands. You all feel rotten. Things that are said or done out of pain right now will be processed later, forgiven later, forgotten later.

    Later, for all of that. For now, exist, and know we are all lifting you and your family up with our love and prayers.

  657. Comment by BR | 07.28.2009 | 9:38 am

    First timer here, wow words cant really say anything to make the situation better, for that i am sorry. I will say that you are not selfish just dealing with a really brutal time, head up and go for a rip on the bike, the details will work themselves out.

  658. Comment by Cheryl Weeks | 07.28.2009 | 9:40 am

    Everything you are feeling is normal. My husband died of cancer and all the emotions you are feeling, as well as the one’s where you strike out at your nearest and dearest as the same as those I went through. The only thing I would say is tell the children that mummy is going to die. I debated long and hard about this and eventually made the decision to tell my 11 year old son that daddy was going to die. He cried in my arms for a couple of minutes then dried his eyes and thanked me for telling him! I said ‘how can you thank me for giving you such awful news?’ and he said it was because he knew I was being honest with him and he knew that he need not worry about me suddenly dying too as I would tell him straight away if there was anything he needed to worry about. He changed from the moment into a calmer and more happy, yes happy individual because he was in control of all the facts and knew what was going on. That was nearly 9 years ago. I have two happy and balanced children who everyone says are a credit to me and their dad. We maintain the total honesty thing and do not shield each other from the unpleasant things in life but likewise we share every happy moment too and are a very close family unit. There are no rights and wrongs; I too went throught the rage against my husband for leaving me, even though of course it was not his fault! But by going through it all it gets it out and you are calmer and stronger for it. No need to arrange the funeral in advance; these things are easily and quickly sorted and require no advance planning. Enjoy your scant two hours a day with Susan but remember to give yourself time alone too, you are not a machine and you are most definitely suffering more than she is at the moment. Cheryl

  659. Comment by Francesca | 07.28.2009 | 9:41 am

    Longtime lurker whose thoughts are with you and your family.

    Please do not be too hard on yourself. From the posts I have read on this site, you are and have been amazing.

    Be as strong as you have been to now. We will be here for you.

  660. Comment by Susan | 07.28.2009 | 9:41 am

    Those who are unloveable are the ones who most need love. Being a caregiver is extraordinarily stressful and it is important to take care of yourself. This isn’t selfish – it’s self preservation. If you lash out – ask forgiveness. Talk about your feelings even if you think your child is too young to comprehend. Better they know you’re angry at the situation and not them. Talk with someone you trust-don’t be afraid to spill your guts to someone who is non-judgemental. For me, that, yoga and outdoor exercise were the best catharsis. Take care.

  661. Comment by John | 07.28.2009 | 9:43 am

    You have so much strength, you are truly an amazing husband and Dad. I can’t fathom what you’re going through, but know that you have thousands of people praying and thinking good thoughts for you.

  662. Comment by Liz | 07.28.2009 | 9:44 am

    Your anger and fear and perfectly normal responses to the situation in which you find yourself. Susan would understand and your son will understand eventually, if he doesn’t already (parenting a thirteen-year-old is tough in normal situations – as is being thirteen). Try not to be too hard on yourself as you go through this very difficult time.

    Do what you can when you can. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help…I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to do something at a time when you’re all feeling so helpless.

    Most of all, remember that you are not alone. Many people are thinking about, and praying for, your family.

  663. Comment by debomommy | 07.28.2009 | 9:45 am

    …if I could only offer more than prayers for strength and positive healing thoughts….I firmly believe that our hearts break to let the light shine in. I hope it begins to warm your soul.

    Kate (fellow twin (solo) parent and cancer survivor)

  664. Comment by Tiffany | 07.28.2009 | 9:45 am

    Hang in there. You are in an inspiration to everyone; what you have endured is almost harder than what Susan is going through. My prayers are with you, Susan and your family.

  665. Comment by D.R. | 07.28.2009 | 9:45 am

    I have no words that could help you through this, just bless you and your family.

  666. Comment by Scimber | 07.28.2009 | 9:46 am

    From one stranger to another – I am sorry you and your family have to go through this, hang in there.

  667. Comment by JorgeGortexq | 07.28.2009 | 9:48 am

    Even the best of men are tested in times of trouble. You can only do what you can do… you are human. Don’t beat yourself up over those moments when you slip… it happens and is expected when you are faced with these sorts of trials. The thing to remember is you are not alone even when you feel like you are. You have your kids and other family members to lean on. You have this great community of people out here who are sending you positive energy.

    Hang in there and Live Strong. Peace.

  668. Comment by Jeff | 07.28.2009 | 9:49 am

    What a sad situation. My thoughts are with you and your kids. Stay strong.

  669. Comment by Bob | 07.28.2009 | 9:49 am

    Hang in there Elden! You’re supposed to be messed up right now – if you were calm, cool, and rational THAT would be very scary.

    As to the arrangements – it is psychologically impossible to prepare for something you do not want to happen. Find a trusted friend/family member to do the checking around and let them just make the recommendations to you.

    Take care of yourself as best you can.


  670. Comment by Dorothy | 07.28.2009 | 9:49 am

    I am sorry to hear about all of this. I just started looking at your blog 3 wks ago. I lost my mom a year ago in Aug and what you are saying,feeling and dealing with
    as far as your wife’s odd moments are all too familiar. I can only say is do what all of the previous posts say about getting friends and family to help,the counselor for you and your children(now and for the future months ahead)and many prayers for all of you. Remember you are doing the best you can and that is okay. I am a teacher and the kids will be fine as long as the school has a heads up.We deal with this all of the time and compassion is important for all. Good luck and better wishes for peace.

  671. Comment by Greg | 07.28.2009 | 9:53 am

    You are a good man for all that you have done. Best of luck to you, your wife, and kids in these difficult times.

  672. Comment by Pancreatic Cancer Warrior | 07.28.2009 | 9:54 am


    Susan needs you right now. She is between two worlds and she needs to feel your touch and hear your voice. She needs to know that it’s okay to go. That everything will be all right. One day I pray we will all be so lucky to have someone do this for us as we are taking our final breaths.

    As far as the details go, if it’s all too overwhelming go with cremation and a memorial service later. The ashes can be scattered at a later time, or kept in the family. Times have changed from 100 years ago or even 50 years ago. I don’t know that most families are laid to rest in a collection of plots like they used to be. People are much more transient these days. It’s all right to not want to comparison shop at a time like this. Your time is far better spent with Susan and your family.

    And please don’t be too hard on yourself. Your Susan sounds like a wonderful person and you are doing the best you can. For what it’s worth I hate cancer with every ounce of my being. I fight it medically and politically for my loved one.

    God bless you and your children. Susan is in my prayers.

    Pancreatic Cancer Warrior~

  673. Comment by stirling | 07.28.2009 | 9:57 am

    I’ve never read your blog before…but I gaze out my window at American Fork Canyon, I know how beautiful tibble fork is, and I know how breast cancer is too. I’ve never felt so close to someone in proximity and felt so helpless that I can’t help except to say….your human, this is hard, hug your kids, you need their hugs and so do they. I’m so sorry….your family is now deeply in my thoughts and prayers.

  674. Comment by Pat1236 | 07.28.2009 | 9:58 am

    Stay strong and know that Susan will be going to a better place where there is no suffering. I lost my daughter 3 years ago to breast cancer. You never forget but it does get easier. Her boys were 13, 15 and 21. Not an easy thing to explaine it to them. Sounds like you have a good support group, don’t be afraid to use them. You will see the benefit from it.
    I am so sorry that you and your kids have to experience this awful thing.

  675. Comment by Celo | 07.28.2009 | 10:00 am

    Your wife is surrounded by love. Your family will always feel that.

  676. Comment by Dan | 07.28.2009 | 10:02 am


    As a longtime lurker on your blog, I am finally compelled to post. I do not have answers for you. I can only offer the support of my prayers for you and your family. I frequently see fatcyclist jerseys on my local rides and we frequently strike up conversations about you and Susan as a result. You have created an incredible support network.
    You and Susan are an inspiration to us all. Stay strong and hang in there.


  677. Comment by Charlotte | 07.28.2009 | 10:05 am

    I came to your blog after reading Lance’s twitter and it took my breath away, so closely resembling the days before my mum died way too young of cancer in april. I was alone with her when she died and it wasn’t pretty but I think you find those last awful days recede like a nightmare afterwards and more pleasant memories eventually start to come to the front. People are different but don’t worry about the funeral – it can be suprisingly easy to deal with practical details in the first few days afterwards, maybe it’s the shock, but it’s when everything dies down that you will need to remember that you can still lean on your friends and you don’t have to pretend to be ok.
    And I agree with what Todd posted and it was the truest thing said to me – there is no upside, it does truly suck and always will but you’ll survive although scarred.
    Thinking of you and go easy on yourself.

  678. Comment by Jeff Rasch | 07.28.2009 | 10:06 am

    Dude, you are an amazing individual, your clarity and honesty in your wrting brings tears to my eyes. I have been following your strruggles from afar for a while. I’m so sorry to hear that Susans time is near. Don’t think for a minute you are the kind of person I would avoid, in fact I wish I had gotten to know you when I lived in SLC. Apologize to your son and explain, he will understand, after all your family has been through he is likely wise beyond his years in many regards. Good luck to you, your family and Susan too…

  679. Comment by whitp | 07.28.2009 | 10:08 am

    Elden, I only wish I had the words to help ease your pain. You are in our thoughts and prayers always.

  680. Comment by Argentius | 07.28.2009 | 10:09 am


    I’d be inclined to say that it’s normal to feel like you do, to hang in there, and other fairly predictable things, but especially in light of 676 other comments, it all seems to fade away into genericness.

    I’ve got nothing but sympathy.

  681. Comment by Lowrydr | 07.28.2009 | 10:09 am

    I’ve been gone for a while and catching up on the web the last couple of days. Your blog was one that I had to approach with great care.

    I’ve lost this battle with several members of my family and my wife’s too. It is hard to recall those memories even 30 years later let alone the one year anniversary of the loss of our grandaughter.

    I only hope that you can reach out to those that are near you for the support that they are willing to give with no strings attached.

    Please reach out, shout out, punch out, they will understand. To cry on a friends shoulder and relieve some of the anger and pain will not remove the feelings, but will ease them so you can function a little better.

    Stand on the mountain top and scream till you feel release. It helped me focus on the more important things I needed to do at such a time.

    One day soon I will have to come back and read all the other responses. I just can’t right now as they still drag out my old painful memories too.

    Peace, Hope and Prayers for you and yours.

  682. Comment by Greg | 07.28.2009 | 10:09 am

    Thank you for sharing, it helps all of us, but probably you the most.

    Remember, you’re supposed to be scared and confused, so don’t feel like you aren’t processing this correctly.

    One day at a time.

  683. Comment by ann | 07.28.2009 | 10:11 am

    I’m so sorry, may you find your way through the pain and suffering right now and come out on the other side.

  684. Comment by Andy | 07.28.2009 | 10:15 am

    It is an honor to read your blog. You are a courageous man. Have faith and peace knowing you are not alone.

  685. Comment by Llew | 07.28.2009 | 10:20 am

    There is NO playbook for what you are going thru. All you can do is your best You are an inspiration to me and I hope to be like you should ,God forbid, similar circumstances arise. We are praying for you and your wonderful wife, Susan.
    Remeber to love on your kid(s), they are going thru the same thing.
    May God bless and have mercy on you and your wife, and family..

  686. Comment by Lou | 07.28.2009 | 10:21 am

    Family in large doses. Ask a friend to help you with the details. Know that there is a lot of love coming your way.

  687. Comment by PJ | 07.28.2009 | 10:24 am

    Fatty – everyone struggles, every day, every minute to do the right thing. When stuggles ensue and get the best of us, all we can do is make sure we right the bike back on course as best we can and keep driving up the hill. I know your family and wife belive in you and what you are doing and trying to do for them – put the bad behind you and refocus – we knoe you can do it!

  688. Comment by Matt | 07.28.2009 | 10:24 am


    I found your blog through Lance Armstrong’s twitter pages. All I can give you are my thoughts which are with you and your family…. you are all in my thoughts…….

  689. Comment by steven | 07.28.2009 | 10:34 am

    cancer sucks – not only for you but for the kids…. a very cool group is camp kesem… an organization for kids whose parents have/had cancer…

    peace and good thoughts

  690. Comment by Gay | 07.28.2009 | 10:34 am

    Found you through Lance’s twitter.

    Tears are flowing down my face. You expressed such honesty about your own turmoil.

    Welcome to the human race. We all feel those feelings, but we just don’t write them as eloquently or as honestly as you did.

    Life is hard. It is also sweet and magical and wonderful.

    And it can be cruel.

    The only advice? Love. Love your wife, your kids, and finally, yourself.

    It’s okay to hate yourself, to realize you don’t like what you’re recognizing deep within yourself. That’s okay. That you’re recognizing these things speaks reams about your own self-awareness.

    So, here’s a big virtual hug. Know that your blog is touching many, many people, and that we in turn are reaching out to you and sending you love.

    That’s about it.

    Oh, and the bike video was wonderful. Loved it. I understand that pure joy. It’s very real.



  691. Comment by Joe | 07.28.2009 | 10:36 am

    Fatty, please remember to allow yourself the right to be human. This means you have the right to act out in ways you may think are aweful. Its perfectly natural. Keep up your spirit! God bless.

  692. Comment by Claire | 07.28.2009 | 10:52 am

    It’s ok not to be a machine, you are human too and it is ok to break a little sometimes. You are doing just fine, better than fine.

    A good friend of mine lost her baby as an infant, she had a lot of pent up anger at the universe too and at some point she and her husband set up this huge inflatable toy boxing thing in the garage. When the anger struck they went out to the garage and went ten rounds with this inflatable boxing toy. She said the absurdity of it was almost as theraputic as actually punching the thing.

    We are all thinking of you.

    Ps. Have someone else do the leg work on being a thoughtful consumer for the Mortuary, I bet there are tons of people asking you what they can do. Pick someone you trust and ask them to research this and bring you options.

  693. Comment by Jason | 07.28.2009 | 10:58 am

    I’ve been checking in for little over a year. Ever since I started cycling every day to work, I was fat, and I thought I’d found a place for people like me. I wasn’t prepared for what I found, but I keep coming back.

    I keep coming back to help, to listen, and to feel, to share. I keep coming back because I have a wife, and a mother, and loved ones. I keep coming back because when one suffers, we all suffer, and I can’t ignore that. I keep coming back because I hope that by reading and listening I’m helping to share the load. I keep coming back because I hope in the end we’re not alone.

    My name is Jason, and I’m here to help in the best way I can; I’ll read, and I’ll remember, and I’ll cry. By doing so I hope to offer support in some small way.

  694. Comment by hobgoblin | 07.28.2009 | 11:12 am

    Fatty, I’ve been reading you for a couple of years now, and I have seen a guy who deserves instant canonization for the patience, strength, love, and pure common decency you’ve shown. I think those little nagging feelings of inadequacy or critical self-evaluation are wrong, though understandable. If anyone has a right to feel even slightly peevish, it’s you. That you have so far managed to maintain such a high standard of compassion is further evidence of your impending sainthood.

  695. Comment by Cath | 07.28.2009 | 11:18 am

    So much good advice from people, but the most wise is that you will get through it even if you don’t want to. Your children will grieve with you and then lift you because through them your wife (and you) live on. Sending thoughts out into the universe for peaceful passage and healing love for you all.

  696. Comment by Karen Sandberg | 07.28.2009 | 11:22 am

    My husband died in home hospice a little over a year ago and your list of emotions and feelings sound very familiar. The only way I could deal with all my negative feelings was through a grief counselor. It’s worth the hour of time spent. Hopefully you can find one through your home care set-up. My heart goes out to you and your family….

  697. Comment by P. Hinton | 07.28.2009 | 11:25 am

    I read the blog based on a tweet by Lance. At this point I do not know who or where you are, but as with all others, you and Susan will be in our prayers. Your (her) story brought me to tears. Life is never easy, either coming or going.

    My “sister” (who is actually my cousin) lost her mother die of cancer (brain tumor) when she was 4 and her father (lymphatic cancer) when she was 6. My family then adopted her. She is now 50 and very successful both in business and life. I suppose that the lesson I have taken from that is we are all subject to the randomness of God’s will. All we can do is be our best.

    Stay strong. The circumstances which have befallen your family are part of the richness of life, While it is not always pleasant, these are the things that forge our character. Your children will learn lessons that, while they should never have to learn them, will ultimately serve them well.

    Love your wife while you can, which is true whether she is sick or not. It is good for her, good for your kids and good for you. Although I suspect we am far away, we will do whatever we can to help you through. If needed, look us up through my e-mail tag. Again, be strong.

  698. Comment by mrbalky | 07.28.2009 | 11:29 am

    I wish there was something I could say that didn’t sound trite. I know you don’t have any idea who I might be, but I feel like I know you at least a little bit (and it’s much like what Hobgoblin said a couple comments up). Your blog has touched me in many ways, and I would like you to know that you and your family are often in my thoughts.

  699. Comment by mhb | 07.28.2009 | 11:29 am

    It’s been a whole day, you’ve gotten nearly 700 comments, and I still can’t come up with a dang thing to write – especially in light of all the good comments above.

    So I’ll just keep praying, as I have been, for you and Susan and your family.

  700. Comment by Laura | 07.28.2009 | 11:41 am

    I have accompanied two dying family members on their final journeys. It is the most difficult thing I ever experienced and also the most beautiful. All you can do is be present with Susan and yourself and your children as you each experience this in your own way. Let your friends know that they could help you by calling the cemeteries and funeral homes. They will rush to ease your path in this small way. Be gentle with yourself. Your loss will be huge, but life will go on and carry you with it. It’s amazing what we can handle when we have no choice.

  701. Comment by Peg | 07.28.2009 | 11:42 am

    Hang in there…prayers are with you,your family, and your friends.

  702. Comment by Shortbus | 07.28.2009 | 11:43 am

    Been following the blog for a year or so and don’t comment much but having been through the process you are going through recently with my grandmother I felt compelled to write to tell you we’re thinking & praying for you here. I would also offer the advice to not feel guilty for thinking of yourself right now. If you neglect yourself and your feelings you can’t fully be there for the other people who need you.

  703. Comment by Bravo Delta | 07.28.2009 | 11:45 am

    I have been staying away from the blog, because I knew that you were at the apex of a very cruel and painful process. I saw LA’s tweet and I knew that was no bueno.. I am sorry Elden. We are here with you in spirit.

  704. Comment by dieselmike | 07.28.2009 | 11:45 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  705. Comment by ekopski | 07.28.2009 | 11:56 am

    I’m supporting Susan with you in prayer and thought as is everyone else.

  706. Comment by DeborahB | 07.28.2009 | 12:00 pm

    I wish I could help. I think we all do. Your family is ready to step in and help in any way they can. Use them. Prayers for you for continued strength.

  707. Comment by KateG | 07.28.2009 | 12:02 pm

    God Bless you and your family.

  708. Comment by Bobbyj077 | 07.28.2009 | 12:07 pm

    All you can do is keep taking one day at a time and doing the best you can. I bet if you ask those around you, you will find that you are not giving yourself enough credit and are actually handling things far better than you think. Yes there are people that need you but don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself.

  709. Comment by Paul | 07.28.2009 | 12:12 pm

    don’t beat yourself up, Eldon. *hugs*

  710. Comment by Francis | 07.28.2009 | 12:23 pm

    Lance directed me here via Twitter. Told me wife to read your entry by my side. Her first comment was “What an amazing and strong man” The world surely lacks people like you. Our prayers and support all the way from Stockholm, Sweden.

  711. Comment by Julie | 07.28.2009 | 12:34 pm

    Prayers and positve energy to you, FC. Live Strong.

  712. Comment by Mike | 07.28.2009 | 12:35 pm

    Hang in there. You are a great man!

  713. Comment by GameonCancer | 07.28.2009 | 12:50 pm

    Dear Fat Cyclist:

    I completely understand how you feel. My father just passed away in March, and during that time, I have felt angry at the doctors, angry at the healthcare system, isolated, and guilty that I wasn’t capable of doing more. But what I have realized is that I’m not alone, look at this cancer community and the support that exists. Take each day as it comes and remember to rely on those that are around you. If there is anything I can do please let me know!

  714. Comment by E | 07.28.2009 | 12:52 pm

    Hi there, just found your blog from LA’s twitter feed. You don’t know me from Adam, but please know that I’m thinking of both you and Susan. You are being incredibly brave, and loyal, and I don’t know what-all, and I can’t imagine being in your position. Scares me out of my wits! I hope that things go easily, and I’ll keep thinking of you both.

  715. Comment by MiSzA | 07.28.2009 | 12:53 pm

    We – who can relate – are proud of you.

  716. Comment by Tamara | 07.28.2009 | 1:06 pm

    ditto: we, who can relate, are proud of you. you go have gone beyond because of your awareness and your ability to share your thoughts, feelings and insights. it is a great gift. you will find more unexpected gifts throughout this difficult experience. know, always, that you are loved.

  717. Comment by Praveen | 07.28.2009 | 1:18 pm

    Praying for you and your family. Stay strong.

  718. Comment by Don | 07.28.2009 | 1:37 pm

    Ugh… miss a day. I can’t begin to think I could ever start to relate to what you are feeling. So much going on right now, and seemingly not a bit of it good.

    “I am a mess, I am angry, and I am lonely. And I am ashamed that I am, right now, worrying about myself instead of the people who need me.
    Basically, right now I’m exactly the kind of person I try to avoid.”

    In my humblest opinion, I think you are being hard on yourself. I think you are scared, and that’s OK. I think anyone who has lost someone this close to such an atrocity should be scared, or they’re not human.

    To add to this… You are Blessed, Loved, Prayed for, and in the thoughts of many thousands of people. It may not seem like a whole lot of comfort right now, but it’s there.

    I was told something after a lot of really bad experiences upon losing my father to cancer all those years ago, “God will never give you anything that, with his help, you cannot overcome.” It seemed silly at the time, but it’s resonated in my head ever since that day. You know what? The person who said it was right.

    I’m sure I speak for all of the readers when I say I wish there was a magic wand, and that we could make it all better. For now, I’ll continue to do what I can. Kepp you and your families in my thoughts and Prayers. God Bless you guys! Keep the faith, and stay strong.

  719. Comment by tara | 07.28.2009 | 1:42 pm

    Stay strong. You can do this. Helping someone through the end of life process is probably the biggest challenge you’ll face in life – YOU CAN DO THIS. Be proud of all you offer and what a great husband, father and friend you are. YOU CAN DO THIS. One moment at a time. Forgive yourself as you would forgive others. YOU CAN DO THIS.

  720. Comment by William | 07.28.2009 | 1:53 pm

    You will feel like you can do nothing, that it is all futile. That is wrong. You can be present, be authentic, be you.

    Do not forget that you are not alone. Everyone who has lost supports you in this, just as you will one day support others.

    As Tara says, you can do this. And you will.

  721. Comment by GB | 07.28.2009 | 1:54 pm

    There is no perfect way to do ANY of this. you have to give yourself a break-you are doing a very good job w/all of this. sit your kids down. talk to them. be honest with them. believe me, it will be a relief to them.

    Surely there is a friend or relative who can help you with the horrible stuff: mortuary, cemetary, etc.. Please let someone help you with this TODAY. People like to feel they are helping. In these situations there is so little one can do to ease suffering-this is a true help. Please let people do this for you.don’t worry about school. the only prep really necessary is to send the kids when it starts. don’t worry about the rest.

    know that you have the love & support of so many people. you are not alone.

  722. Comment by Alex Smith | 07.28.2009 | 1:59 pm

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. I know from experience how hard it is being helpless when your loved one is suffering. hang in there friend.

  723. Comment by Wampuscat | 07.28.2009 | 2:13 pm

    Mmmm I stumbled across this and it must be for a reason. Remember to breath deep. Look your kids in the eyes and tell them what they already know. You love them and are there for them. Remember to breath deep.

  724. Comment by Ana-Marie | 07.28.2009 | 2:14 pm

    Thank you for your last entry.
    I have experienced the same emotions and had to deal with all you are going through. For years, since my mom’s death, I have chastised myself for being harsh with my kids and even Mom at times, my daughters were young and trying to help, and my Mom was needy and I knew I was loosing her.
    In the end all you can do is love them and give yourself to what ever it is that makes life easier for everyone. Reach out, there are many people that will help. Your family, yourself are the most important things right now.
    Stay tough, rage against this disease, and give her all your love.
    We are all with you!

  725. Comment by Tim | 07.28.2009 | 2:19 pm

    Sorry to hear your news. I went through this with my dad recently. There is no right or wrong way to behave. Just love your kids, love yourself and keep riding if it makes you happy. Susan would want that.

  726. Comment by Rasmus Juhl | 07.28.2009 | 2:24 pm

    Hang tough! It’s a unbeliveable hard time you are going through. We all have limited resources – we are humans after all.
    I can recognize much of the things you describe from my own personal experiences (my wife suffers from breast cancer).

    Just one bit of advice – ask for help from friends and family – that has been the most valuable for me at least.

  727. Comment by Frank | 07.28.2009 | 2:30 pm

    It’s a painfull road for the whole family, you deal with it in stages and 1 of them is thinking about yourself and whats to become of you after her death.
    this does not make you a bad person, its just part of the hell you are passing tru
    but no 1 thing you are just passing tru hell
    She goes to heaven up there and you ?? you’ll have to make heaven on earth for the kids and yourself so that she knows you will take care of the little angels

    hang in there dude
    just like that ride you took op that mountain
    climb is hot as hell and then JOY

    with you in my mind

  728. Comment by Derek | 07.28.2009 | 2:41 pm


    I’m not much of a praying man but I will pray for you and your family. Hang in there.

  729. Comment by Henry | 07.28.2009 | 2:42 pm

    Fatty, you’ve got people all over the world right beside you. You will always have our support.

  730. Comment by lea | 07.28.2009 | 2:51 pm

    {hugs + prayers}

    Right now there is little you can do but to be there for your wife and your kids. For Susan, I pray that she is prepared for her eternal life thru the saving blood of Jesus Christ. For your kids, losing their mother will be unimaginable. Help the remember her. Show them her love in your hugs and tears of sorrow. BE there for them.

  731. Comment by Christopher | 07.28.2009 | 2:53 pm

    Elden, I imagine you feel incredibly weak in light of all of this, but you hold great power–only you could soften the Bike Snob into a gushy pile of knuckle-tattoo contests.

    You’re doing amazing things, we can all see the love you have for Susan and your family, even in those times when you might think you’re failing them.

    Keep it fat, Fatty.

  732. Comment by Ivar | 07.28.2009 | 2:59 pm

    Having just clicked in on your blog, reading two posts touched me in a way I never thought was possible.

    Not knowing you, not being remotely possible to put imagine how it must feel, stay strong!

  733. Comment by John | 07.28.2009 | 3:28 pm

    Fatty, I’m also a cyclist, but more importantly, I lost my mother to breast cancer two years ago, and helped my dad through it. Every feeling you describe we went through – feeling lonely, overwhelmed, dealing with seemingly inappropriate details. The only advice I can give you is 1) lean on others as much as possible. Let others handle the details. You should just focus on your wife and kids. 2) Know that eventually the pain will ease but never go away, it just becomes part of who you are. God bless your wife, kids, and you. Peace.

  734. Comment by Kim | 07.28.2009 | 3:48 pm

    Mate – another bikesnob turned fatty fan. There’s a time to put the snide jokes aside.
    I’m with BSNY in trying to send you good will from a stranger across the world.

  735. Comment by Slowly Upwards | 07.28.2009 | 3:57 pm

    Keeo going man. no-one expects you to be perfect and in these circumstances we can expect to fall apart abit. Stay strong and keep going. Nothing will ever break the bonds you have with you family and they will look to you now

  736. Comment by Bill S | 07.28.2009 | 3:59 pm

    Sending positive thoughts and energy your way. Hang in there, man.

  737. Comment by Beth | 07.28.2009 | 4:01 pm


    I am so sorry to hear that you are at this point; it’s beyond tough to say the least.

    I worked in the funeral/cemetery business and would be more than happy to offer any advise or helpful hints if you’d like to give me a call or drop me a line.
    Stay strong ~

    Beth – you have the email ;)

  738. Comment by Marianne | 07.28.2009 | 4:13 pm

    Fatty, we are keeping you and your family in our hearts.

  739. Comment by Drew | 07.28.2009 | 5:06 pm

    The truth is your more special than words can describe and you’re feeling a lot of difficult emotions right now. It is important to realize how thankful we all are for the life we have, and the happiness we have the capacity to share with our family and friends.

  740. Comment by Megan | 07.28.2009 | 5:28 pm

    Like so many others, I am sending you nothing but positive thoughts, prayers and hoping you have supernatural energy to get you through this season of life!
    My dad lost his battle with cancer when I was 16. As you talk about the cat incident with your son yesterday I tried to remember the days leading to my dad passing and cannot remember specific conversations, although I know the days were an emotional roller coaster. I remember the importance of being together with my family. The time that you spend bedside as a unit will be etched into your minds as a mental picture frame.

    This is when our world will hopefully do right for you and your family which may feel tired and confused… you are truly never alone, but are always surrounded by the human family with outstreched arms ready to lift you up and cheer you on!

  741. Comment by Jill | 07.28.2009 | 5:54 pm

    Referred to in our house as a “mommy meltdown”. It is nice to know Daddy’s have them too. You inspire all on so many different levels. Wishing you are ray of sunshine.

  742. Comment by Dirk | 07.28.2009 | 6:49 pm

    Lance Armstrong wrote on Twitter: “If you feel moved, write a note of support”
    I was curious, I thought: “What do you mean?”, but when I read about your situation I felt really moved indeed.

    I feel inclined to say: ‘Stay strong’, for the sake of saying it, because saying it is, if repeated by friends, a support.

    We are all friends. From Taiwan (I’m a Dutch guy living, working and riding my bike on the island) I read a lot about cycling, especially about Armstrong, because of his positive message.

    In my opinion, Armstrong focuses on togetherness.

    So, Fat Cyclist, know bloody well: you are not alone.

    It’s hard, but you do understand, if you read all these reactions, again:

    you are not alone.

  743. Comment by Keith G. | 07.28.2009 | 6:50 pm

    I was just telling my wife the other day about what you’re going through, and it nearly brought me to tears just recounting a little bit of it. I would have no idea how I would stand up in your situation. Please know that, as evidenced by the wonderfully long list of comments here, you have many, many people that are keeping you in their thoughts and prayers. We’re so sorry you’re going through this valley, but thanks for letting us share it with you in a small way.

  744. Comment by Stacy | 07.28.2009 | 7:09 pm

    My heart goes out to you, Susan and your boys now. I was at my father’s bedside as cancer continued to rob him of life just a few short months ago. I know the tightrope you are walking right now and the pain and confusion that is embedding itself deep inside of you now, the self-doubt, the guilt…and the anger. Don’t let the cancer trick you into thinking you are someone else. You are just…you…doing the very best you can out of love. There is no real playbook when you are going through this. There is no perfectly right way to help ease the pain of life slipping away. There is just your love for Susan now. And there is her love for you and the boys. That is all. I wish I could help more. Just know you are not alone. Susan is not alone. Your boys are not alone. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself in terms of planning. Revel in the simple moments that are left. You will remember and cherish them always and forever. I know you are not prepared for this. I know you are not ready for goodbyes. I wasn’t either. Just be for now. The rest will come later. Just be. My family’s prayers are with you all now. With love, peace and grace, Stacy

  745. Comment by Sean | 07.28.2009 | 7:22 pm

    Your courage is admirable. It takes so much strength to put down your story in words for all to see. It takes even more courage to explain the unfortunate side of your situation. I envy you for your strength.

    I have a friend who I used to work with. He has ALS and it has progressed quite a bit. I have struggled with visiting him because the condition he is in tears me up. My father died of non hodgkins lymphoma when I was young and I only remember him when he was sick. When I look at my friend I struggle to find the strength.

    Your post has shown me that I need to suck it up and go and show my friend that I care about him.

    I thank you for that.

  746. Comment by Ben Ford | 07.28.2009 | 7:26 pm

    I’m sorry. I truly feel for you and your family.
    Best wishes

  747. Comment by Pink | 07.28.2009 | 7:37 pm

    One of the favorite memories I have of my dad is that he was known as the strongest man in Oklahoma. He also weighed 400 pounds —- gave new meaning to the title. To be frank, he was a REAL CLYSTDALE.

    When HIS dad died in this small town we live in, daddy had an absolute fit about the condition of the cemetary roads. He was a blue collar icon and just tore the place up. (figuratively)

    Be with your kids. They will understand and so will everyone else. Lean on them and love Susan. I cry now every single damn time I read your posts.

    Just lost a friend to brain cancer. He and I started the first grade together. I am now 64.

    Do Ode to Joy all the time and your quads are enormous.

  748. Comment by Spruce Hill | 07.28.2009 | 7:38 pm

    I am so sorry that Susan is doing so poorly. Praying for you and your family.

  749. Comment by Lolly | 07.28.2009 | 7:53 pm

    You share a great deal of love in your amazing and extended family, apparent to strangers like me who feel for you, your children and Susan, the love of your lives. I imagine that Susan’s active sense of humor will have you looking at cats in an oddly a lighter way in the days to come.
    In due time, may you let the sadness rise. Love never dies.

  750. Comment by Cris | 07.28.2009 | 7:57 pm

    You guys are in my thoughts.


  751. Comment by jean ray | 07.28.2009 | 8:02 pm

    I just found your blog today through Lance’s twitter feed, and after reading today’s and yesterday’s entries, I went back and read quite a few others. Words cannot express how sorry I am for what you and Susan are going through. I’m glad that you have so much support and are able to get some blessed moments of joy on your bike. Keep taking care of yourself and don’t feel guilty about it; you can’t take care of Susan and your kids if you don’t take care of you. Don’t beat yourself up for having some very human feelings. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Susan and your children.

  752. Comment by Susie | 07.28.2009 | 8:03 pm

    Everything you are feeling is normal. You are not a bad person. You are totally human. Of course you get upset and stressed. Trust me, your kids get it. They will never hold it against you.
    I am in awe of your strength. Hang in there!
    You are in my thoughts.

  753. Comment by George | 07.28.2009 | 8:25 pm

    Dear Elden and Susan,

    As blogging exploded, I got overloaded and started riding more than reading. Your Fat Cyclist blog always struck me with its great insights and consistently made me laugh. It’s been years since I followed Fatty … until now. I am sincerely sorry for the fierce trials you are facing as a family.

    May God be merciful to us all and allow the efforts of those like LA, yourselves, and many many others to one day defeat cancer. And why wouldn’t He? For He has already done so much more … namely conquered sin and death through the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1Cor15:50-58)

    Thanks for the “6 minutes of Joy”! What a thrill — makes we want to get off the road and onto some trails! And the music … Ode to Joy, wow. Made me think too of the hymn based on it, and then the joy that comes from Him, even in the face of trials.

    Praying for God’s saving grace, comfort and peace to sustain you.


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  755. Comment by Steve | 07.28.2009 | 9:02 pm

    My friend,

    I use that greeting because the honesty you put forth in your blog posts is akin to what I cherish in my friends. I can’t know your pain, in my house I’m the one with cancer. Your feelings are are what they are. Your love for your family and your dear Susan shines through your darkest moments. Its easy for us to see, and I expect your loved ones see it too.

    Thank you

  756. Comment by Anonymous | 07.28.2009 | 9:13 pm

    Whatever you do, don’t try to do it alone. There are a lot people who have experienced and are experiencing the same confusion, anger, and loneliness. Reach out to them and seek peace. Don’t try to do everything on your own, lean on friends and family, let them help. My husband lost his father to cancer 8 years ago and I remember the pain and anger like it was yesterday. One thing we realized through the experience is that He never left our side, even when we blamed Him for what had happened. We also realized that when we were willing to listen, there were a lot of friends and family willing to help.

    Don’t be hard on yourself. You will be your worst critic and you don’t deserve it. No one can blame you for what you’re feeling, so don’t blame yourself.

    I admire yours and Susan’s strength. Hold your kids, talk to Susan (she hears you), live in the moment.

  757. Comment by Charles | 07.28.2009 | 9:30 pm

    hold the kids tight and know so many are pulling for all of you from all the corners of the globe.

  758. Comment by Joey | 07.28.2009 | 9:42 pm

    You are in the thoughts and prayers of many people. I hope you find strength and courage knowing many people support you and your family right now- this is the time to let them help you.

  759. Comment by Randy | 07.28.2009 | 10:44 pm

    Sorry man. It will take time but it will get better. Things will sometimes seem too tough, but know that is when your mind will kick in to get you through. Shutting it down. Reframing it. Redirecting.

    Some time back you had a great video of you and your daughter riding with your trailer bike. Got me off my lazy butt to use the trailer bike with my girls. That video is why you will get through.

    I wish I could say more to help — I’ve been there too many times and have been in the same place as your children. If I could, I would package it up to try and give an assist. But it is your journey. And all they need is you. Not perfection. Or all the answers. Or someone without faults. And I suspect the character you have shown in this blog will be more than enough.

    Strength, Healing, and Peace

  760. Comment by Tink | 07.28.2009 | 11:09 pm

    Totally thinking of you and praying for you and your family right now.

  761. Comment by Chris Brogden | 07.28.2009 | 11:10 pm

    Reading this episode touched me deeply. Lost my mum just over 2 years ago and this brought back painful memories. The constant anxiety and fear that pervades each waking moment is indeed horrible. But you will pass through. Stay strong for sure, but words like that don’t take away the torment. Try not to beat yourself up over arrangements not made, things not done and comunications that come out angry.

    I wish I could type something that would be truly helpful. But not even my “All things must pass” mantra gave me much comfort.

    Know that you, Susan and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you alll the strength and God’s speed at this time.

    With Love Chris.

  762. Comment by dr_robert | 07.28.2009 | 11:18 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through right now, but I can confidently say that you’re getting through this with more grace and dignity than I would.

    Hang in there Eldon, we’re with you.


  763. Comment by Paulscarlett | 07.28.2009 | 11:24 pm

    As a mucho Aussie bloke, I sit here with tears in my eyes. Be human, be frail, lean on friends, family and suport groups. Draw strength from the hundreds and thousands of people who love your blog work and connect with you. Hug your kids and walk through this together, human, hurt, afraid… but together

  764. Comment by David | 07.28.2009 | 11:34 pm

    Inner peace is so elusive, you are so strong that I know you will find it

  765. Comment by Beth | 07.28.2009 | 11:46 pm

    I am so sorry for what you are going through, it is tough to watch someone you love die…but Grieve later, right now you need to get stuff done, ask for help. I am sure right now there are many waiting for you to ask…Take care of the now and so that later when you need to fall to pieces you can.

  766. Comment by James | 07.28.2009 | 11:59 pm

    Your openness and honesty is an inspiration and a great example to us all. It appears to me that you’re doing your very best – and that’s enough, that’s perfect.

    Love to you and your dears ones.


  767. Comment by Shannon | 07.29.2009 | 12:08 am

    Dear Eldon, Susan,& kids

    I am so sorry about this bastard disease cancer running amok through the beautiful lives of another family.

    Breathe, be present, and love. Let the details wait for others who will rise to the occassion.

    Love, hugs, and prayers to all of you for peace.


  768. Comment by Lauren | 07.29.2009 | 12:25 am

    Fatty – I have long adored your site. I feel somewhat of a connection with you – as my dealing with a sick, dying father who eventually passed away is part of what pushed me into biking 4 years ago. I understand the anger, the terror of wondering when, the sickening feelings of dreading. I understand the need to just get away.

    I also know that healing will come. Cherish your time together and remember Whom you must turn to. My prayers are with you!

  769. Comment by Monica | 07.29.2009 | 1:43 am

    I wish your family peace. It’s hard letting go of the ones we love. You’re an extraordinary man, your wife and children are blessed to have you!

  770. Comment by Shiny Flu | 07.29.2009 | 2:16 am

    Thinking of all of you- stay strong.

  771. Comment by Grae T | 07.29.2009 | 2:25 am

    Fatty, as we all know,sometimes life well & truly sucks. You are the person we all hope we will be in a situation like this. Your unwavering strength & dedication to Susan(and the kids)are an inspiration to us all.

    Wishing you laughter, love & peace – You sure as hell deserve it.

  772. Comment by Bruce | 07.29.2009 | 3:40 am

    I’ve been there too brother.

    It’s not wrong to think of yourself. Hang in there – it will get better.

  773. Comment by Walter | 07.29.2009 | 7:09 am

    Not sure what else to say, other than (1) I think most of your loyal audience could only hope to handle the situation with as much grace, humor and goodness as you have, and (2) somehow or other, you’ll all get through this, and all anyone (including you) can ask of you is the best you can do — and certainly, you can look yourself in the mirror and proudly say that you’ve done just that.

    Thinking of all of you —

  774. Comment by tbanks | 07.29.2009 | 7:50 am

    There is no right way to behave now as someone said above and that is so true. As someone who sees death on a regular basis and watching the way family deals with it that statement is point on. I am sure you know everyone is different in how they deal with things. Know that you WILL get through this and you will help your children as well. You all will help each other. One thing…ask for help because you are not alone. Be patient. Love. And always take care of yourself too you know Susan would want that.


  775. Comment by Jan P | 07.29.2009 | 7:55 am

    A while back at the age of 42, I survived a stroke.

    At the time my kids were in 4th and 5th grade. I know my husband was wrapped up with worry and the job of overseeing that I was receiving the care for recovery I needed. He (I’m sure because of their ages) left our kids kinda in the dark often, about the details of me. They had my parents and my husbands sister caring for them, while he was with me 24/7 for weeks.

    It was 3 weeks before they saw me. I’m sure it was scary for them to see mom take you to school and then not see her for weeks.

    Now that the kids are older, they do recall feeling kinda lost and left out of the loop when they recall that time.

    Do not be afraid to share a bit of your difficulty with them and to let them be of help.

    I think kids learn how to handle the tough parts in life, if their parents, make them feel integral in this. I’m not saying you have to break down in front of them but I think they should know its okay to recognize this is tough.

    I wished, during my difficult time, that my husband had been a bit more hands on with them and worried over me a bit less. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking that you can’t lean on each other and that its only appropriate to suffer in silence. Caregivers need to be cared for too. Let them feel needed in this, it will help them thru it.

    All of you will be in my thoughts,

  776. Comment by Sarah B | 07.29.2009 | 8:32 am

    My husband is a BIG biker and shared your story with me. You’ve received some great advice, I hope you’ve found comfort in this online community you have created.

    Camp Kesem can provide a community of support for your children, it is a free overnight camp for children with parents who have or had cancer. It gives them a chance to enjoy carefree days of summer camp and a chance to make friends with peers who face similar circumstances – something we all need, friends who understand what we’re going through.

    If I can help you get connected with Camp Kesem, even for next summer, please let me know.

    Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    Camp Kesem

  777. Comment by John S | 07.29.2009 | 8:34 am

    What you are feeling isn’t wrong. You and your family are going through a traumatic time. Lean on your friends and loved ones, they will be happy to help you. You and your family are in my prayers. Stay strong.

  778. Comment by Ivete | 07.29.2009 | 9:01 am

    My toughts are with you and your family.

  779. Comment by TimothyDay | 07.29.2009 | 9:11 am

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  780. Comment by sarah | 07.29.2009 | 9:30 am

    I cannot imagine your pain… stay strong. My thoughts are with you.

  781. Comment by Steve Davis | 07.29.2009 | 9:47 am

    Here’s one more note of support to add to the hundreds of others who are offering you encouragement. Thanks for opening up the way you do. Your writing here is important. It shows us all how dreadful this disease really is.

    Stay strong and courageous.

  782. Comment by Kala | 07.29.2009 | 9:52 am

    Fatty, Having just lost an aunt last November to cancer, I know to such a small degree of what you are feeling. I can’t imagine having to go through all of this with a spouse. You know that Susan loves you, and will always love you even if her physical body can’t keep up.

    Treasure your time, don’t feel guilty for being angry, lonely, or anything else you feel. It’s perfcetly normal.

    And remember, your family is always in my thoughts and prayers in PA.

  783. Comment by GLJ | 07.29.2009 | 10:32 am

    There is no appropriate way to behave in this situation. My mother-in-law passed away of metastic breast cancer on June 6, 2007, less than one month after my husband and I got engaged. His emotions and behavior have been all over the map since then. However, I love him and always will. I know his behavior came from a place of anger and hurt. Your family and friends know the same about you and will love you know matter what. I am so sorry that you and your family have been touched by this horrible beast known as cancer that knows no age, no gender, no race and shows no mercy. You and yours are in my prayers.

  784. Comment by Lori | 07.29.2009 | 10:46 am

    You and your entire family are being thought of and prayed for by HUNDREDS (probably thousands) of people all over the world. Consider our support as your “gel packs” to get through your climb (the GOOD kind of gel packs too–not those nasty tasting ones that leave you feeling bloated).

  785. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 07.29.2009 | 10:48 am

    Fatty – you said it best – You’re afraid, lonely, overwhelmed, overworked, angry and a mess – AND you’re entirely HUMAN. Your son knows that too.

    Hang tough brother.

  786. Comment by Uncle Ned | 07.29.2009 | 11:11 am

    I cannot comprehend either your struggle or your tremndous strength. Please do not take your anger out on yourself. You have proven over and over that you deserve better than that.

    Thinking good thoughts for you and Susan.

  787. Comment by Pedal Geek | 07.29.2009 | 11:39 am


    I can’t profess to understand what you are currently going through or your disconcerting love of climbing. Since discovering you blog 3-ish years ago you have proven yourself to be anything but the picture you paint of yourself and any feelings you may have otherwise are simply a reflection of extraordinary situation in which you and your family have been placed.
    You have given so much to the cycling community and I hope that these posts show you how much support we want to give back to you and your family.
    To draw a parallel – In time when the pain fades you will remember this epic ‘ride’ with Susan as ‘the awesomeest ever’ and forget about the endo that left you with the scars you carry forward.
    All my best Mon Ami.

  788. Comment by Nelson | 07.29.2009 | 12:29 pm

    785 Comments !!! We are all with you. Stay strong, we are worry about you. Keep your energy up and you are not alone we also cry with you and we also pray for you!!

    I recommended this book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron.

    Take care

  789. Comment by Christine | 07.29.2009 | 1:21 pm

    I along with everyone else here is pulling for you, crying with you and praying that you and your family can find peace during this unspeakably horrible time.

    You’re in my prayers.

  790. Comment by Esther | 07.29.2009 | 2:18 pm

    My prayers are with you and your family.

  791. Comment by Ruth | 07.29.2009 | 2:37 pm

    Peace…to you.
    Peace…to the kids.
    Peace…to Susan.

  792. Comment by Angela | 07.29.2009 | 3:53 pm

    You don’t know me. I live in VA and found your blog through the Pioneer Woman.

    You have inspired so many of us with the thoughtful entries about Susan on your blog.

    My thoughts are with you and your family during this tough time.


  793. Comment by Christine | 07.29.2009 | 4:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing your life journey with total strangers on this blog.
    Everything you write here is amazing and has helped to change my life and thoughts as well as so many others (over 700 at last count).

    My heart goes out to you and your family.
    Peace, hugs and prayers from my heart to yours.

  794. Comment by SDM | 07.29.2009 | 5:29 pm

    Nelson Family,

    Our thoughts and prayers for strength are with you…

  795. Comment by The Cosh | 07.29.2009 | 6:24 pm

    You wouldn’t be human if you were able to keep everything under control. That you are still able to look back and comment on it like you do is testament to what a strong husband and father you really are.

    Love to you all.

  796. Comment by Beta | 07.30.2009 | 5:47 am

    I’m so sorry your family is going through this. I’m a complete stranger, and yet I’m so angry at how life can be so unfair…

    You’re doing what you can, in really hard circumstances. I’m sending good thoughts your way.

  797. Comment by Todd | 07.30.2009 | 1:40 pm

    Longtime lurker and occasional poster. Sorry to hear things are so hard right now.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    It sounds like there are more than a few who will help you in the days ahead.

    Take care.

  798. Comment by VegasSwimMom | 07.30.2009 | 2:50 pm

    Fatty. . . I caught Lance’s twit on my BB while traveling to a swim meet. It has taken me 3 days to be able to write something because what can words say or do?!?!? You are an amazing man, husband, father, and leader in this fight against cancer. I read PW and donated through her site to LS for Susan. Express yourself freely. . . there are no haters here. . . except those who HATE cancer !!! Letting it out to strangers may feel selfish to you, but if it gets you through the day. . . post away !!! God bless you, god bless you family and supporters. I know Susan will find peace soon, may I hope you find the same.

  799. Comment by Bree | 07.30.2009 | 9:40 pm

    Thoughts are with you and your family

  800. Comment by Anonymous | 07.30.2009 | 10:25 pm

    I cannot imagine how hard this is for you and your family. My heart goes out to all of you.

  801. Comment by Alison Behan | 07.31.2009 | 3:42 am

    I can’t pretend to know the heartbreaking time that you are going through right now. I just wanted to add that I think you are a truly amazing person. From what I have read you are a super Dad, wonderful husband and good person. Don’t let a few weak moments of anger and resentment think that you are anything less. You are human. You love your wife and are faced with the thought of losing her. Anybody would struggle to cope with that idea.

    Allow yourself a break. Make these moments count. Be present. Allow others to help you. Talk to the hospice people. Tell them how you are feeling and that you are not up to the task of preparing and organising. They will take you gently by the hand and guide you. Step by step.

    Praying for your family in Ireland.


    Alison B

  802. Comment by dc dirtbag | 07.31.2009 | 6:08 am

    Stay Strong!
    I can’t imagine how hard this is, I won’t pretend to. I’ll just say that I think you are doing the best you can and you’re human. You can’t always bite your tongue, put on a smile, or be patient. You’re dealing with a great deal of grief. Just know that you’re not alone.
    Stay Strong!

  803. Comment by Black Cat jason | 07.31.2009 | 6:36 am

    I started reading your blog because it was funny. Now I read it because it is funny and a great example of how beautiful people can be.

    You are in the middle of the whirlwind right now, but you are not alone and you will never be without love from everyone you know (and quite a few you dont know).

    Stay strong and keep being you.

  804. Comment by Jim Board | 07.31.2009 | 8:53 am

    I can’t imagine how you ended up not liking the guy who wrote this, this is the first post on your blog that I have read and I like you already!

    Please, take whatever opportunities you can to ease up on yourself and to surround yourself with people like the poster’s on this blog – it won’t take away the anger and pain but you will, at least, have someone to hold you up when it all becomes too much.

  805. Comment by Bryan meyer | 08.1.2009 | 1:56 pm

    Long time reader and fan. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    God Bless

  806. Comment by Apebike | 08.1.2009 | 6:32 pm

    Sorry I’m late to the show, but I just had to speak up. Fatty, you are a straight rock star! The way you stand tall for your family, and have the humility to share your story with the whole world, weaknesses and all, is simply amazing. I watched my mother in law do the slow motion cancer gig, and I saw what her struggle did to my wife and her Dad. Your strength is inspiring, and while none of us can ever take that burden from you, know that there is a world of people out there that are thinking about you daily. Perhaps one day I’ll ride in your neck of the woods, and our paths will cross. If so, I’d just like the chance to shake your hand.

  807. Comment by Brady | 08.3.2009 | 10:07 am

    I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you, your family, and Susan. When I was a teenager I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. i remember the flood of emotions that ran through me and those I loved. You don’t have to apologize. There is no way to get a grasp on such circumstances. All I can say is that my faith saw me through the worst of times. May you and your family be encouraged by the many who stand by your side.

  808. Comment by brian | 08.5.2009 | 3:26 pm

    This is the toughest climb of your life – sometimes there’s nothing to do but grind away and let the pain wash through you.

    What a blessing that you and your wife can be in your home instead of a hospital for this.

    Don’t worry about your kids. They have a great mom. She’s done more good than their dumb dad can undo.

    You may think you need to be strong for your kids. More likely you need to be weak for them (meaning show them your weakness so they can deal with theirs.)

    In cycling sometimes you pull and sometimes you are pulled. Trying to pull when you should be pulled slows the whole group.

  809. Comment by JoeBruin88 | 08.5.2009 | 11:56 pm

    Elden, That was one of the most honest, gut-wrenching note I have ever read. I just stumbled across your blog, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I could ride for Team Fatty this fall, but I have my own team, Team Tuma. One of my best friend’s wife has Stage IV Lymphoma, so I’m riding in the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin for them. I did donate some $$ for Team Fatty.

    Again, so sorry and please know that even though I don’t know you, I lifted you and your kids up in prayer tonight for comfort.

    Best regards and blessings,

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