Sunday, July 11, 2010

Life in July

This is a weird month. In 2 weeks I'll have probably one of the biggest and most important doctors visits of my life. The basic story with my cancer situation, which I'm intentionally trying really hard not to think about and therefore not write about, is this: In January, I got my 5th radiation treatment in 5 years and there are 3 big important things for you the reader to know about that treatment:
1. Due to the fact that I've had 5 of these treatments, I'm approaching a generally accepted 'limit' for the amount of radiation I can safely receive. It was already a bit of a miracle that I was even still able to express me gametes (yes I meant to write 'me'...just seemed funny), but with 5 treatments there's risk of leukemias and other bad things. Plus, depending on what happens with item #3, I probably won't ever get another treatment.

2. The scan post-treatment, which showed where there is still thyroid cancer in my body revealed a new metastasis in my 5th thoracic vertebrae in addition to previously known metastases in both lungs and a few areas of my neck.

3. It takes 6-12 months for treatment I had in January to have any effect. So, even though we knew about the vertebrae and all that, we had to wait and live life as normally as possible in the intervening 6 months. If there's significant improvement, then I may have another radiation treatment. If there isn't, then I won't. The latter is associated with a great deal of ambiguity and one really knows what the hell to do.

Ok, enough about that...on to bikes. I'm proud to announce to the world that my 21month-old daughter consistently knows the difference between a wheel and a tire. Hells yeah.

-Thursday was dirt crit #2, I was all stoked cus I got second the first race and felt physically much better thursday. But, 3 pedal strokes after the official yelled 'Go', my chain fell off. I had pulled my wheel forward in my horizontal drops and therefore no longer had chain tension. Of course I wasn't carrying a multi-tool for a 40 minute race, so I had to run around to find a wrench before I could fix it. Damn. There went any chance of doing well in the series.

-Today (Sunday) was the MWFTS race in Springfield. I really will try hard to not say anything negative about the course, but generally I was not stoked and certainly won't ever race there again on a rigid single speed. I had never ridden there before but was told that a bunch of new trails had been built and all those rocks and roots sticking up out of the ground seriously kicked my butt. I just couldn't seem to carry any momentum or flow during any of the course. Oh well, certainly no one's fault but mine...but if you ever go ride Sac river, bring a bike with suspension if you want to go fast. The race was well-run and there were definitely a lot of strong guys there, but it was a serious suffer fest for my upper body and back...both of which have never really been issues in many bike races for me. I quit after completing 2 of my 3 laps in around 4th or 5th place.


Lawrence said...

So here's your first Japanese lesson:
The word "gambare" (GUM-bah-ray) is a Japanese cheer. There's not quite a single-word equivalent of it in English, but it means do your best/fight hard/good luck/etc.

So, Ganbare, Dan! In all things. I'm sending you good vibes from all the way over here! And I'll see you soon!


Ralph Pfremmer said...

Dan, always inspired by your optimism and your willingness to provide us with how you cope. It is a great gift to the community and a reminder of the important things, captured in the way that you write and the way you face challenges.

TK said...

i'm hoping that things are going to turn out for the better. i'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

didn't like the course today either. it has been one of my favorites over the years, but the additions to the 6 mile course did nothing to improve it and only prolonged the hell.

see you soon, i'm sure!


Mark Gullett said...

I figured you'd do really well today. I guess when you ride something as often as I ride sac river you learn all the lines to get through the rough stuff and kind of take that for granted. And I ride a full sus.

Good luck on the medical tests.

Lucas Miller said...

Looking forward to seeing you next week, Dan. Let me know the details so we can spend as much time together as possible.

Sure hope you get some good news from MD Anderson but, whatever they say, we're here for you and love you and your family so much.