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  1. #1
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    One step at a time - for both of us.

    Many people in the Road and the SoCal forums know my story, but here's the top line - for the past year I've been battling cancer. I was just getting back into cycling after many years when I was diagnosed last March. It turned out I had a Ewing's Sarcoma in my right hamstring. Ewing's is a rare pediatric cancer that normally manifests itself in the lungs or bones. So, this was really rare...and very serious. Doc's weren't too sure about my prognosis but did say that it was really good that I caught it early. (My soapbox: If you know it ain't right - GO TO THE DOCTOR! It's just a co-pay. I went in on the 4th day after finding a bump, and that is what saved my life!)

    I think my final count was 67 days in the hospital over the past year, 14 cycles of VERY nasty chemo, another 40 days or so laying on the sofa trying to recover, and they removed my right bicep femoris (rear hamstring muscle). I spent the time in the hospital researching what bike I wanted to buy and living vicariously through Beanz' videos! (Thanks again!) The good news, I'm done with chemo and at the moment am cancer-free. My first scan shows "all-clear"!!!! And I plan on "all-clear" reports for the next 5 years, too!

    On January 1, while still a long way from being done with chemo, I got about 8 miles in on the bike. I needed to start the year off on a good start. I'm 6'2" and am up to 238 lbs. Doc said during treatment was NOT the time to be losing weight. That wasn't an issue. I begged anyone coming to see me to save me from hospital food and bring me something. They obliged....and it seems my wife told them all that chocolate was my favorite milkshake. Anyway, January 1 I got out on a ride. Only 8 miles, but I needed the sanity check. It felt SOOO GOOD....until I almost passed out. Rested on a bench for about 1/2 hour and finished off two bottles of water. Chemo is EXTREMELY dehydrating, so I'm glad I had brought extra bottles. I think that day I had 4 big bottles with me. Jan 2 I got 12 miles in...with my daughter(in case I had problems). Great ride and I felt pretty good. Chemo is cumulative, so the last treatments kicked my butt. After those two January rides, I could not do any more. It's ok, at least I got my fix.

    Like I said, I'm done with chemo now(I just love the way that sounds!), and to reward myself, I have ordered a road bike. I'm done doing the miles on my old MTB. Don't get me wrong, tbe wheels are round and it works, but it's been a very long, hard year, and I REALLY WANT a new bike.

    So, I finished up chemo March 17th and have seen my strength rebounding.....though slowly. Doc says there is nothing that will help it other than time, and it will be about 6 months until I see very much improvement. So, if I'm going to be exhausted whether I exercise or sit on the sofa, I'm going to ride.

    What surprised me was when my wife (300 lbs+) asked if she could come along! WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? I thought she had no interest in riding anymore. ABSOLUTELY!!!! She absolutely KILLS my speed. She cuts the distances I want to ride in about 1/2. AND I WOULD NOT TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD! We are committed to getting back in shape - and we're going to do it together! I came too close to leaving my kids without a dad. We're going to do what it takes to not have that happen! My wife needs encouragement to get out there and push herself and I'm glad to be the one encouraging her.

    So in the past week, we've done three rides. Yesterday was 17.5 miles in 2 hours even. She was exhausted....and exhilarated! I felt better than I have felt in over a year. The morning was BEAUTIFUL and so was my wife. Her face was beet-red, she was drenched with sweat, barely able to breath, almost didn't have the strength to get off the bike but was so excited that we had exceeded our planned 15 miles my 2.5 miles. And it's only going to get better from here!

    I do have a goal of riding in a few centuries, most importantly for me is the ALS ride in Napa, CA., so I'll be doing some riding on my own to get the miles up. Then again, she's surprised me once...maybe she'll want to do the century with me. How awesome would that be?
    Last edited by PhotoJoe; 04-23-12 at 03:44 PM.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  2. #2
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    congrats my friend and another congrats to you and your wife!

    my wife just bought her first bike. Should be here this week and I look forward to riding with her.

  3. #3
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Congrats! Get a tandem!
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  4. #4
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    Congrats! Get a tandem!
    I'm working on it. She is not sold on the idea yet. She doesn't have her cycling confidence back yet, and she's afraid she'll make me crash. Time will tell!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  5. #5
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    What a year! Enjoy the journey of getting your strength back. And you wife sounds like a great influence on you, and you a great influence on her!

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    Her face was beet-red, she was drenched with sweat, barely able to breath, almost didn't have the strength to get off the bike
    Sorry Dude, but that is HOT! Let me catch my breath.

    OK.........WOW! What a great reason to reward yourself, a new bike for surviving a deadly animal! 17 miles? That is great. Last I heard you were about 8 miles. Nice to see you coming around so well. If you ever want to go for a ride, even a short one, maybe a video, let me know. I can make special arrangements and I have no problem with a 15 miler. Heck, I take my MTB with knobbies on the road for special occasions.

    Riding with the wife? You are correct, wouldn't trade it for the world. Back in the day I was training kicking arse on forum members and friends that challenged me but once Gina started riding, none of that seemed to matter. Riding with the wife is a bigger experience in life than I ever expected, I love it! I think it has kept me cycling involved over the years, maybe even alive.

    I'm just so happy that you have made it this far and able to get back on the bike after fighting the nasty beast. My buddy Boyd was not so lucky and to think he will never ride again, or that we will never see him on the bike again is just so sad. I am so happy you have been given this gracious opportunity.

    OK, now back to those sweaty wife images. Keep her riding cause not one of my buddies' riding images have left an everlasting impression in my mind like Gina's sweaty pictures.

    OK, now I'm back to my lost in riding with the "shweatty" wife happy thoughts!

    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 04-23-12 at 05:34 PM.

  7. #7
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Did you get your bike yet? I thought you said mid June?

    Did you get your wife a bike yet? She's obviously riding something.

    I'll be up there Wednesday if you want to ride in the rain.

  8. #8
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    OK.........WOW! What a great reason to reward yourself, a new bike for surviving a deadly animal! 17 miles? That is great. Last I heard you were about 8 miles. Nice to see you coming around so well. If you ever want to go for a ride, even a short one, maybe a video, let me know. I can make special arrangements and I have no problem with a 15 miler. Heck, I take my MTB with knobbies on the road for special occasions.
    Thanks. And yes, I'll be coming down at some point soon. I'd enjoy doing a ride with you. I would really rather wait until I get the new bike and maybe a touch more endurance. I think we'll all enjoy the ride more. But yes, that's at the top of my list! I also want to do GMR one of these days, but need to work up to that.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  9. #9
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Did you get your bike yet? I thought you said mid June?

    Did you get your wife a bike yet? She's obviously riding something.

    I'll be up there Wednesday if you want to ride in the rain.
    Nope. I think the ETA on my bike is June 11th. I CAN NOT WAIT! Right now, I'm still riding my old RockHopper. Like I said, the wheels are round and the gears still work, so I can't complain. BUT BRING ON JUNE!!!!

    She is riding something like this, though I don't think it's the exact model.



    Wednesday is our "walking" day. One of my daughters has volleyball practice for two hours on Mon and Wed. We go and walk . This Wed we'll be doing 3.63 miles. Kind of like hill repeats. Well, this is the plan. If it's raining, I may need to do more "encouraging". Wish I had Wednesdays off. I think I remember you're up there in the morning, and that would be great riding time.
    Last edited by PhotoJoe; 04-23-12 at 05:52 PM.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  10. #10
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    One of our engineers here at work just scoffed at me when I said I was going to ride to work at least one Friday this summer. May try to do it every Friday. It's 25 miles from Santa Clarita to Burbank, with one small mountain in the way. He says there is no way I'm going to do that. I MUST PROVE HIM WRONG!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  11. #11
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    It's 62 miles one way for me from Whittier to Valencia so there's no way I'm bike commuting to work. I drive in to the office once a week, which has been Wednesday's lately. I'm always ready to leave early and go for a ride though. They've been dropping bike paths all over the place up there!

    June 11? How can you stand it?

    By the way, for those of you obsessed with tracking UPS (or other) packages, I found this gem of a website: usetrackthis.com

    I sign in with my google account for identification, and then I get little emails every time the status changes. You should have seen me the day my frame was supposed to be delivered in mid-Feb - I was out by the mailbox for most of the day.

  12. #12
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Yah, I think I'll be "ill" starting around noon on the 11th...or whenever it's scheduled to show up. I MUST be there to take delivery or I'm afraid my daughters and/or wife will hide it, just to be cute!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  13. #13
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    Thanks. And yes, I'll be coming down at some point soon. I'd enjoy doing a ride with you. I would really rather wait until I get the new bike and maybe a touch more endurance. I think we'll all enjoy the ride more. But yes, that's at the top of my list! I also want to do GMR one of these days, but need to work up to that.
    GMR? Something tells me you will be up there way before Trojanhorse. ....

  14. #14
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    GMR? Something tells me you will be up there way before Trojanhorse. ....
    Probably!

  15. #15
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    I'm new to the dynamic of this forum. I'm sure there's a good story there.....however.......

    TrojanHorse - when you gonna be ready to make the journey. It's going to take me a while but maybe we can both head out and make the ride up with Beanz! I still gotta teach the other muscles in the leg that they have a new role. They're whining about it, but starting to conform!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  16. #16
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    *sigh*

    I stink at climbing but I give it a good go. I have a standard crank (53/39) and my cassette is 12-26, so I'm a skosh limited on the granny end. Beanz will tell you he climbs GMR in his 53/11 but I'm pretty sure he's lying like a cheap rug on fire.

    I've been keeping an eye peeled for a SRAM force or red compact crank for a GXP BB (how many freaking kinds of BBs do we need anyway? Crikey!) and if I can latch on to one, I'll go up GMR ASAP. If not, I"ll go up less ASAP with a fair dose of cussing on the way but I'll do it.

    I'm free Sunday. It's either that or do SART from yorba park to the beach so I have a decent baseline from which to needle Mr. Beanz.

  17. #17
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Stupid question...what is GMR?
    http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR/Events/AIDSLifeCycleCenter?px=2914622&pg=personal&fr_id=1770

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
    Stupid question...what is GMR?
    Not a stupid question. I/we at times take it for granted that everybody knows our lingo.

    I posted some pics and a video in your thread to avoid the hijack.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 04-24-12 at 12:24 AM.

  19. #19
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Yah, thanks for not hijacking. I'd appreciate it if we stayed on topic. Look a butterfly! Oh, and I don't want to go to work tomorrow.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  20. #20
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I don't want to go to work tomorrow either. Valencia is far! And it's supposed to rain!

    Do you have a count down ticker for your bike yet?

  21. #21
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    I don't want to go to work tomorrow either. Valencia is far! And it's supposed to rain!
    Valencia is NOT far. It's just over that bridge! Oh, it's far for YOU!!! My bad!

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Do you have a count down ticker for your bike yet?
    Would you like that broken down by days, hours or minutes?
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

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