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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 07-21-11, 06:49 PM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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Five . . .

. . . years ago this week I had the last session of my final round of chemo for stage 4 colon cancer. That means I've now officially beaten the 30% five-year survival rate for folks with my brand of cancer. I guess now I'll have to come up with a different excuse.

About four years ago I made my first post on BF 50+, encouraging all us old folks to get a colonoscopy. There have been a few colonscopy threads since then, all with the same message - preventing colon cancer beats several tons of cure. I know all of us know enough to get our test; take this as a reminder to tell your friends and colleagues that they need the test, too.

When I was diagnosed, I was a sedentary, overweight, over-stressed lawyer and father who figured serious illness was for other people. I know differently now. While doing chemo the first time around, I read a study that showed a strong negative correlation between exercise and the recurrence of colon cancer. So I decided it was time to start getting serious about exercise. In 2004 I started swimming - three hurricanes wrecked my house that summer, so I took up cycling while we were in a rental. When the cancer came back in my liver, I was in much better physical shape and tolerated the surgery and chemo much better than the first time around. July 19, 2006, was the last chemo.

You folks have played a big role in helping me beat cancer. I've learned a lot, and I've had great cycling experiences as a result of the folks I've met here. I credit good doctors, good medicine, and good luck with making it, and you guys helped. For that I thank you. And get your colonscopy.
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Old 07-21-11, 06:56 PM   #2
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I got mine last year!

Great story of triumph and beating the odds.

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 07-21-11, 07:00 PM   #3
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Way to go, K! Congrats on making it through a hellacious regimen. Thanks to your previous post(s) I went for the colonoscopy, which I had neglected for several years. The result was satisfactory and I'm good for 5 more years. Although, at age 71, something else may very well take precedence in that time span.

My son and I rode with the Space Coast Freewheelers a few weeks ago and had a great time. Are you connected with that group?

Regards,
Bob P.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:06 PM   #4
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I had the exam last yearand I'd like to tell those of you who might be putting it off that it's a walk in the park. No reason to dread this at all. You drink the stuff they give you, do the bathroom trip in the morning, go in for the exam, they hit you with a little bit of feel-good medication, and chat with you right through the exam, which isn't even uncomfortable, just odd.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:08 PM   #5
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It's an understanding of what we live for, how we go about dealing with what life presents and discovering the joys of every day. K, congratulations on all that you have overcome and accomplished. Many of us have had "events" that changed our lives. So many here have changed for the better. Good to hang with all of you.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:09 PM   #6
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Congratulations on your beating colon cancer. Having Chronic Leukemia and just finishing my therapy for prostate cancer in April, my doctors are very persistent about me getting a colonoscopy with and endoscopy on a scheduled basis. I had one three years ago when diagnosed with the prostate cancer and they found three polyps in the colon and one in the stomach, all benign. I had one done this year and got the all clear, no polyps anywhere. Due for another one in 5 years. Too many people don't worry about things like this until they get cancer and then it's too late. A simple test will detect it and save you a lot of grief.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:23 PM   #7
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Congratulations on hitting the 5 year mark
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Old 07-21-11, 07:42 PM   #8
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Happy anniversary Kurt! Coming to Ohio this summer?
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Old 07-21-11, 07:53 PM   #9
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My son and I rode with the Space Coast Freewheelers a few weeks ago and had a great time. Are you connected with that group?
I'm not, but I've done the Intracoastal Century twice. Let's plan on doing it this November. Also, you need to plan to do our ride across the state later in November.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:53 PM   #10
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Sincerest congratulations on beating both liver cancer and colon cancer - each one a potential killer, and together - well WOW!!

I remember your first post, and am so glad that you decided to stick around this nutty bunch of contrarians. Keep up the good work. I bet you are a GREAT judge, also.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:59 PM   #11
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Happy anniversary Kurt! Coming to Ohio this summer?
Yes, around Labor Day, but with no bike. Riding with you and Louis, Bill, was a highlight for me. It's rides like that that really make this forum a gem.
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Old 07-21-11, 08:02 PM   #12
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Appropriate timing for me, got my first colonscopy today. *age 65*

Wasn't as bad as I thought, good report.
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Old 07-21-11, 08:02 PM   #13
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I had my first 'pooper-view' at 50 and they found 2 small polyps, which were removed. Just had my second one yesterday. Clean bill of health this time! I sure wish the test was less involved, though; the hospital part is a cinch, but hoo boy the prep!
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Old 07-21-11, 08:07 PM   #14
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Man I hope you have plenty of good years ahead of you.
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Old 07-21-11, 08:13 PM   #15
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5!
Woo-hoo! Keep up the good work wearing out bike tires.......................
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Old 07-21-11, 08:15 PM   #16
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This is great news. Thanks for sharing. No one likes a colonoscopy but it has proven time and again the best means to catch colon cancer early. Stay healthy!
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Old 07-21-11, 08:23 PM   #17
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Congrats and wishing you well for many, many more healthy years to come.
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Old 07-21-11, 08:28 PM   #18
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Absolutely Great news!!! Congratulations!
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Old 07-21-11, 08:48 PM   #19
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Congratulations on making the five years! I had a resection in march 09 followed by 6 months of chemo. The pathology report classified me as stage 3 but I've been ok to date.

I previously had cancers of the larynx and bladder and started to ride in 95'. I believe that cycling saved my life as I was able to get back on the bike 6 weeks after my surgery and I was able to ride most days in the chemo cycles. The bike kept my head in a different space.
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Old 07-21-11, 08:57 PM   #20
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Congratulations on passing the 5 year mark. I'm halfway there.
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Old 07-21-11, 09:14 PM   #21
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Yes, around Labor Day, but with no bike. Riding with you and Louis, Bill, was a highlight for me. It's rides like that that really make this forum a gem.
You have seen the bikes hanging around in my garage. I'm sure one could fit you in 10 minutes. Keep that in mind when you come in.
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Old 07-21-11, 09:23 PM   #22
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Congratulations on passing the 5 year mark. I'm halfway there.
I've wondered about that, B-Dawg. You and Bud Bent are great inspirations to me.
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Old 07-21-11, 09:27 PM   #23
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I bet you are a GREAT judge, also.
I was just reading a motion today filed by a lawyer who, well . . ., disagreed, with something I did a few weeks ago. There are some who take that bet.
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Old 07-21-11, 09:36 PM   #24
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Good job, tough guy. Where's Bud Bent been lately?
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Old 07-22-11, 06:30 AM   #25
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That five year mark is a great one to celebrate. Thanks for posting.
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