Yes, Ma’am-o-gram

10.29.2010 | 9:02 am

201010290849.jpgA Note from Fatty: Several of you have emailed, asking if there will be a Team Fatty for Movember. The answer is a definite Yes. So guys, get a good shave on Halloween and then plan on growing your mustache beginning on November 1. I’ll have more to say on this Monday.

Another Note from Fatty: Today’s guest post comes from Philly Jen, the Team Fatty Philly Co-Captain.

Yes, Ma’am-o-gram

Earlier this month, just when I began to taper for my first-ever marathon, a routine annual mammogram revealed the presence of a tumor in my right breast.

Lucky me.

Here on Team Fatty, we talk a lot about fighting cancer. Sometimes that fight is inspiring and glorious — but sometimes it’s mundane, unglamorous, even a little annoying.

Let’s be honest, getting regular screening mammograms once you reach a certain age isn’t sexy.

But it also isn’t torture, even if they do make you wipe off any anti-perspirant and perfume that you might be wearing into the exam room. It’s more like having a private yoga tutorial (lift your shoulder, reposition your elbow, rotate your ribcage ever-so-slightly more) with a rigorous, dedicated instructor who has your best interests at heart.

Think of it this way: every time you climb into a mammogram machine, you’re striking a warrior pose in the fight against cancer.

Early detection is one of the most powerful weapons that we have in that fight. But early detection doesn’t fall out of the sky. There’s no Cancer Fairy who leaves a note on your pillow saying, “Now would be a good time to go see your doctor.”

What we do have are tools that permit us to detect potentially deadly changes in our bodies, long before they manifest themselves through physical discomfort and illness.

Take my tumor (please). Initial tests indicate that it is probably an unusual and rare growth known as a phyllodes tumor. While not an adenocarcinoma, and while frequently benign, phyllodes tumors can undergo stunningly rapid growth and malignant ones can also metastasize. The medical literature documents tumors the size of eggs, oranges, grapefruits. As far as I’m concerned, permitting this thing to couch-surf inside me is simply not an option.

Thanks to early detection, I’m glad to report that my tumor is small, almost anticlimactically so. It’s about the size of a soybean, or a peanut.

Given its location and size, it can’t even be palpated, or detected by touch. And I’m in good health, running twenty miles at a time as part of my marathon training and zipping through a recent annual physical with flying colors.

Which means the only way we knew that the tumor even existed this early in the game — the sole reason I got a headstart against the eggs and oranges and the rest of the produce aisle, not to mention the possible mets — was because of a routine mammogram.

Now if that makes me a poster girl, I’ll take it, as long as it’s this gem by Jawbone Radio’s Len Peralta (with soundtrack by Jonathan Coulton):


So please, people, if you’ve been putting off cancer screening — mammograms, Pap smears, colonoscopies, PSA tests, getting skin changes examined, and so on — you can be your own hero. Take advantage of these tools to help spot cancer when it’s most treatable, because that’s also an important part of how Team Fatty carries on the fight.

Do it for all the people who love you, cherish you, and rely on you. Do it to honor those who didn’t have the health opportunities that you do, and who paid far too dearly because of it. Do it because we need you with us.

Remember, we don’t take up the fight because it’s easy. We fight because we can.

This Sunday, after three truly rotten weeks, I’m going to run 26.2 miles in northern Virginia and Washington, DC. After I return home to Philadelphia, I will undergo a lumpectomy. And then I’m looking forward to cake, ice cream, and the rest of my amazing, wonderful life.


The Team Fatty Team Champion / Messenger Awards

10.27.2010 | 8:44 am

Psst. It’s me. Fatty. I’m being held prisoner in a conference room in downtown Chicago. I’ve been told that I can’t leave until I synergize at a  30% more synergistic level.

Oh, and also they’re making me wear Dockers. I honestly don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to survive.

I’ve ducked into a bathroom to quickly write a blog post. Specifically, I wanted to show off the cool video about Team Fatty that was shown at the LiveStrong Challenge / Ride for the Roses in Austin last weekend.

How awesome is that? Very awesome indeed, that’s how awesome.

I’ll post more the next time I can sneak into a bathroom. Or closet. Or under a table.

Greetings From Chicago

10.25.2010 | 10:45 am

Greetings From Chicago

Originally uploaded by Fat Cyclist.

I woke up at 4:45AM in Austin; now I’m In a taxi in a traffic jam in Chicago, on the way to my company’s office. There, I’ll be engaged in what will probably be the most intense 4 days in my career (no, this blog doesn’t pay the bills).

In other words, while I hope to post at least once or twice this week, I don’t know when or how often.

So please, talk amongst yourselves. And if any Team Fatty members have stories and / or photos you’d like to share from the weekend, well, I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who’d love to see them.

Greetings from The Cedar Door in Austin

10.23.2010 | 12:53 pm

Greetings from The Cedar Door in Austin

Originally uploaded by Fat Cyclist.

A bunch of us from Team Fatty are getting ready to eat at the Cedar Door. Wish you were here.

Also, today I spanked the President of LiveStrong on the butt. Yeah, literally.

I’ll explain later.

My Awards Script, Plus a Lot of Names

10.20.2010 | 11:08 am

I really appreciate everyone taking the time yesterday to leave a comment on why you have joined the fight against cancer. I admit, I got choked up a number of times while reading your reasons, and I want to say that you inspire me to stay motivated in this fight. Thank you.

Also, to those of you in Team Fatty Austin: Thank you for sending your photos in. Those will make an appearance in the video, too.

Late last night, I finished writing and recording my script for my video, and sent the whole thing in — my script, my video of me talking, my voiceover, your quotes, photos of Team Fatty Austin, and the list of people who have donated to my LiveStrong Challenge page — to the production company.

I’m sure they’ll make it really great to watch. But meanwhile — since any award anyone from Team Fatty belongs to all of Team Fatty — I wanted to give you a preview of what I’ll be saying.

So here’s the script I wrote, along with a few of the images I sent in.

Team Fatty’s Champion / Messenger Award Video Script

I’m Elden Nelson, the blogger behind But please, feel free to call me Fatty.


The Team Champion award really belongs to the team. And the Messenger award really belongs to the people who donated. So while I tell you a little story about Team Fatty, I’d like to show you photos of some of the team, along with some reasons why they’ve joined the fight against cancer.


And I’m also going to acknowledge all the people who donated to my LiveStrong Challenge. There are 975 names here, so they might go by kinda fast. [A Note from Fatty: Check the bottom of today's post to see that list. It's pretty darned impressive, if I do say so myself.]


I’m a very lazy person by nature. I’m terribly disorganized. I am not detailed-oriented. All I’m good at is riding my bike and telling goofy stories about riding my bike.


The truth is, I’m the very last person you’d expect to be captaining even one LiveStrong Challenge team, much less five teams.


So the fact is, I joined the fight against cancer because I was forced to.

You see, my late wife, Susan, fought breast cancer for nearly five years. She fought with focus, courage, kindness, creativity, and outrageous endurance.


While she fought, I called LiveStrong. We got information. Support. And inspiration.

So as I told Susan’s and my story online, I started thinking: if Susan was going to fight, I had to fight too. Joining up with LiveStrong seemed like a perfect match.


I asked my readers to join me in the fight. And they have. Way beyond my expectations. I mean, 1.3 million dollars over the course of two years? I still can’t even wrap my mind around that.


How did Team Fatty do it? Well, we did it different.


Earlier this year, 500 of us paid $75 for the privilege of participating in the Third Annual Fat Cyclist 100 Miles of Nowhere – a fake event where you ride a hundred miles on the smallest course you can imagine, as close to your own home as possible. It was completely ridiculous – but it was fun too – Team Fatty members, all over the world, riding nowhere for 100 miles. One of them on unicycles, two of them on an aircraft carrier. It was awesome, knowing there were hundreds of other people doing the same ridiculous thing.


And it raised tens of thousands of dollars for the fight against cancer.


That’s Team Fatty in a nutshell.


Or there was the time we got Bob Roll to promise to shave his head if we could raise $5000 during the Tour of California. I loved watching when Johan Bruyneel shaved Bob’s head on TV.


Team Fatty’s had a lot of luck getting companies and people to help us fundraise. Gary Fisher Bicycles. Ibis Bicycles. Intense Bicycles. Sycip Bicycles. Orbea. Clif Bar. DZ Nuts. Twin Six. And most of all, Shimano. As it turns out, there are a lot of good companies who love to join a great cause.

04 Banner.jpg

Maybe the greatest thing about Team Fatty, though, is that we’re a great, huge group of friends who’ve mostly never met each other. When we ride together this weekend, for many of us it will be the first time we’ve ever seen another Team Fatty member.


But that doesn’t mean we’re strangers. We’ve got some incredibly important things in common.


We love to ride. We love to eat. We love to fight cancer with focus. With courage, with kindness, With creativity.


In short, Team Fatty fights like Susan.

PS: A huge thanks to all the people who donated to my LiveStrong Challenge pages this year. Specifically: Rosemary D., Ben S., Marybeth P., Joy C., Taylor T., Stephen B., Brad P., Debra M., Brian B., Daniel N., Mike M., Peter A., Craig R., Jesse N., Graeme D., Ronna D., David C., Todd S., Seth K., Andrew M., Reina S., Sean P., Peter M., Glen G., Henrik J., Glen P., Clark N., Matt R., Peter B., Michael W., Kyle P., Eric H., Michael S., Jennifer S., Thomas H., Paul N., Peter H., Rickey C., Melissa H., Mark L., Kevin M., Philip S., Jim S., Daniel J., Steve D., Ian D., Cheryl S., Aaron Y., Cecile E., Thomas B., Angie G., Catherine C., Patrick L., Matthew S., Bradley S., David H., Michael P., Joshua L., Adam C., Gilbert M., Duane B., Henrik J., Paul N., Andrew F., Nathan E., Ken M., Dylan W., Bekki M., Scott G., Andrew W., Andrew F., Jeffrey T., Matthew K., Bridget Q., Elizabeth M., Nate N., Daniel P., William D., Elizabeth C., Drew R., Jim F., Ted D., Chris B., Scott M., Shelley A., Caren G., Charles B., William F., Mark K., Vance P., William Z., Anthony D., Andy M., Richard E., Jouni R., Michael P., Justin L., Michael R., S. Tyler B., Elizabeth P., Andrew M., Axel T., Robert D., John W., Raul S., Katherine O., Doug R., Rick N., Darren L., Stephanie B., Alice T., Hans S., Todd N., Paul G., Patrick M., Mark L., Michael M., Scott W., Jason K., Robert B., Brian B., Kenneth B., Matthew S., John D., Eric T., Allison D., Patrick S., Brian W., Matthew R., Rick N., Brian M., Seth S., Tracy W., David F., Scott G., Tim S., Joseph R., Jim L., Penina S., Arnoldo M., Angela H., Mike H., Todd S., Tim Z., Jim R., Mike S., Sara Z., Nicholas E., Scott C., Mark K., Austin F., Rich S., Null N., Graeme T., Helen W., Kathy H., Joe D., Robert H., Jonathan H., Rebecca F., Warren H., Charles B., Patrick C., David B., Andrew M., Fred D., Shawn M., Elizabeth K., Donald B., Helen W., Josh H., Aaron R., Andrew B., David L., Steven P., Lisa B., Alexander Y., Janet S., Brett B., Demetrius M., Andrew B., Deborah P., Geoff W., Karen N., James B., Michael O., Johan M., John K., Tom M., Todd R., Dan R., Andrew M., Charlotte L., James T., Jordan M., Justin D., Sean T., Brad P., Catherine B., Kirk S., Erik H., Jason P., Matthew R., Jenny H., Mike M., Craig C., Tom H., Kevin H., Alex M., Brian H., Stuart K., Kent H., Heather H., Timothy R., Kimberly M., Grant C., Charles H., Jeffrey W., Daniel J., Leslie C., Brian V., Tom H., Brian H., Robert L., Sara S., Jennifer S., Bradley D., Brandy K., Patrick L., Michael M., Greg L., Kimberly W., John S., David V., Jason S., David S., Stephen G., Dustin K., Stacey A., Antonio R., Matthew E., Randall M., Stephen B., Mark N., Andrew M., Suzanne W., Clayton R., Coleman C., Gerald H., Flavio L., Matthew V., Barry C., Daniel R., Dale P., Hans J., Daniel W., Moishe L., Katherine E., Kent C., Dale P., Tom M., Heather B., Jimmy S., Jessica W., Dave D., Sam M., William W., Jim F., Megan B., Robert B., Michael O., Anthony S., Kieran H., Eric K., Charlie W., Philip S., John M., Shireen S., Clifford J., John O., Chris C., Eric G., Jordan M., Andrew B., Joshua W., Mike C., Doug R., David M., Dale A., Jeff A., Joshua M., Elizabeth W., Gabriel C., Todd N., Kris N., Joshua K., Rob R., Matt G., Jerry&Tammy G., Lisa G., Brad B., Aaron K., Timothy R., Franz P., Matthew W., Mark H., Robert M., Adam H., Kurt M., Brant A., Susan B., Gabe F., Gregory C., Chinda D., Shawn O., Andrew M., Scott O., Michael R., Todd S., David T., Mark K., David N., Jacob N., Wade C., Larkin G., Wayne M., Brandon E., Dylan S., Wendy F., Kyle M., Robert G., Mary M., Jeremy B., Andrew C., Matt P., Timothy S M., Mark G., Stephen S., John Y., Stephen W., Travis O., Joe L., Brian S., Leonard B., Robert G., Roland R., Colby H., Mark K., Phill C., Brandon G., Mark G., Fran T., Lauren G., Chris L., Marge G., Jeffrey S., Randolph S., Michael K., David A., Joshua B., Chris S., James N., Kevin P., Amy K., Justin M., Arlo M., Tony R., Jeff H., Ricardo C., Jason C., Joe L., Mark G., Andy W., Don M., Chad B., Shirley D., Tim G., Wes M., John L., Sean W., Marc R., Lynne K., Andrew S., Deren B., William S., George G., Jim R., Steven W., Christine G., Keith M., Michael G., Scott E., Kevin K., Marc P J., William H., Cecil P., Peter B., Ray I., Daniel F., Samuel B., Jennifer B., David R., Lee C., Peter M., Stephen W., Mike W., Jim L., Johnnie M., Santiago M., Daniel R., Derek G., Paul S., Casey C., Shannon H., Karen E., Daniel A., Daniel C., Travis C., Janice H., Russ T., Rob C., Todd B., David R., Dan D., Nathan P., Jason S., Bryan K., Michael D., Melvin H., Ray I., Andrew W., Michael G., Shawn M., Mark U., Jeffrey S., Toby J., Chris M., Andrew C., Lynda S., Frances R., Keith D., Nikki B., Axel T., Miles M., Kris K., Katherine O., Kevin R., Cory F., Jessy D., Daniel C., Mark G., Patrick D., Erin G., Jorge C., Joshua M., JR J., Lisa W., Lucas A., Nick H., Peter P., Keith C., John Y., Paul N., Ryan A., David S., Greg L., Tomasz K., Paul G., Rhiannon H., Curtis W., James C., Jana W., Scott F., Sheldon L., James T., Uaisele P., Michael A., Andy M., John M., Mark C., Amy R., Don S., Chris F., Ryan G., Trevor W., Eric B., Paul F., Greg L., Stephanie T., Antoine R., Jason M., Kevin W., Brian A., William T., Jessica M., Rudi B., Peggy H., Benjamin W., Chris W., Spencer L., Heather L., Taylor P., Jason R., Simon O., Jayme B., Josh R., Gaberial S., David P., Chris W., David L., Joseph R., Brian M., David G., Johan M., Melanie P., Devin Y., Kris D., Jacob J., Josh G., Rebecca S., Carl F., Simon J., Mark G., Walter W., Erik F., Chris D., Keith C., Jonathan G., Russell R., Shane G., Brian F., Erik H., Bjarne M., David H., Dan M., David H., Daniel N., Catherine D., Damian D., John M., EUNAN H., Cheryl S., Jessica W., Warren P., Stephen D., Michael R., Darren S., Earl S., Sean P., Chris B., Phillip L., Scott L., Edward S., Kevin H., Jonathan S., Dan H., Keith C., John W., Tony G., David F., Daniel W., Nick O., Mark G., Michael P., T E., Greg F., Daniel N., Kevin R., George C., Conor B., Matthew J., Ethan L., Gerald S., Michael D., Lukas K., Andy L., John E., Lynn L., Matthew C., Andrew C., Alan F., Robert H., Kit W., John W., Brad E., Rayhaan F., David S., Kevin C., Mark M., Chris B., Kevin C., Joan E., Brad L., Ted H., Brian D., Steven D., Dan K., Kelly K., Brendan S., Kyle J., Jason S., Scott L., Leigh Anne D., Kevin C., Jason S., Austin L., Kyle M., James D., Matt G., Steven V., David L., Chuck P., Erin G., Desirae C., Yiling W., William P., Steven C., Leslie H., Donna C., Allen W., Jeff K., Paul I., Lori P., Garrett D., Peter A., Steve C., Andrew H., Edward E., Robert W., Emily P., Dennis B., David K., Todd S., Brendan M., John M., Alan K., Mike A., George D., Jen Y., Mike M., Sean L., Steve L., Robert H., Joseph R., Andrew M., Daniel C., Ed O., Denise H., Darren H., Adam C., Michael J., Matt P., Jaap B., Michael K., David E., Evan H., Pierluc T., Melissa H., Gaberial S., Seth C., Timothy K., Paul G., Lisa G., Mark G., Heidi R., Michael D., Brad T., Jason R., Chris S., Urs L., Heidi R., Pal M., Bryan L., Andrew M., Steven M., Michael M., Joann H., Paul G., Justin D., Antoine R., Jason C., Roxanne L., Alan S., Ken P., Bradley D., Brian S., David P., Paul D., Richard J., Daron D., Garrett B., Santiago M., John C., Kevin E., Gary H., Randie T., R. B., John F., Julie B., Samuel B., Jack B., Kathryn K., Nicholas R., David C., Andrew M., Mal S., Tom V., Charlie W., Doug R., Gina B., Carl H., Nathan R., Eric F., Zebulon L., Jon L., Neil C., Nicole S., Patrria Y., Dan R., Sean S., Hilary H., James K., W H., Lorenzo B., Uaisele P., Marja N., Matthew W., Jeff L., Shannon G., Zach O., Joan E., Richard C., Chris L., Anhkhoa D., Randolph S., Andrew P., Robert R., Josh C., Shane G., Mark O., Steven C., James W., John S., Jennifer P., Chip T., Gary H., Christian E., Callie K., Robert M., Phil P., Robert L., Will E., Michael S., Shane N., Allison M., Paul W., Jenny P., Seak Jun M., Reimund M., Mark B., Lanier B., Brandy K., David K., Marge G., Christine M., Philip H., Charles B., Paul B., Brian S., Travis R., Kimberly W., Kevin R., William P., Todd R., Sean C., David Z., Dan T., Martin H., Janneke K., Robert B., Charles W., Na N., Alyson M., Jennifer H., Joe L., Michael M., Anne C., William T., Sean C., Hillarie F., Jonathan O., Bradley N., Jim F., Axel T., Paula W., David H., Douglas L., Frances R., Gary F., Steven C., Jason S., Timothy L., Jordan B., Ty M., Paolo B., Keith B., George M., Daniel D., Adam C., George G., Alan C., Michelle C., Andy T., Joshua W., Chris B., Nic G., Todd R., Nicole S., Derek C., Shirley D., Steve A., Carrie H., Kathryn K., Michael H., Donald D., Sam R., Michael H., Mike G., Matt S., Eric T., Ted M., Judith G., Gregory S., John G., Michael A., Ronald B., Charise D., Greg O., George S., Nic G., Michael H., Barb W., Marja N., Lexi B., Ryan S., Roxanne L., David H., Jody L., Mark K., Joel S., David H., Tim G., Aaron M., Mark P., Todd S., Patty G., Taylor T., Cynthia B., Brian L., Ted D., Chinda D., Dan D., Julie S., George M., Peter B., Timothy M., Jacob J., Joe L., Annie R., Lucien P., Jerome R., Joshua M., Douglas R., Jodie A., Marc L., Andrew F., Amy D., Jacob C., Steven N., Jeremy B., Amy C., Josh R., Richard K., Michael S., Hans H., William A., Daniel J., Katherine M., Seth S., Brian M., Guy H., Jarom G., Amy L., Bob F., Mark K., Jonathan S., Jacob C., David E., Jeffrey C., Allie H., Gilbert S., Zachariah R., James S., Troy R., Mandy F., EUNAN H., Carlos P., Graeme D., Timothy L., Ryo S., Stephanie T., Jeff R., Brad S., Daniel D., Michael H., Joel P., Gregory H., Darren H., Tonya F., Ron Z., Vance P., Matt S., John S., JP M., Seth G., Paige S., Lana K., Michael S., Jerry Z., Frank P., Jay B., Jordan W., Andrew C., Robert L., Roy S., Patrick L., Bryan K., Randy G., Brendan C., Tom F., Luis S., Michael S., Michael K., Marc R., Kim B., Melanie P., Austin L., Peggy H., Migue C., Lance F., Patrick K., Patrick L., Elizabeth A., Josh E., Adam H., Shelley A., Chris H., Philip W., William P., Austin L., Gregory H., Heather L., Claudia K., John S., Edith M., Ben C., Travis C., Tracy O., Carrie H., Lucas A., Chris O., Craig M., Cecile E., Lorie T., Michael W., and (last but not least) John O.

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