It has been a good week.
Morning rides to radiation have been a joy. Each day I get a little more used to that strange bike. Every day on the way home I pass lasker pool in central park and think about just how inviting it looks. Yesterday I stopped and talked with one of the parks people working there.. lap swim every morning from7-8:30. The place is almost entirely empty. It’s free. Just bring a pad lock and a bathing suit. NICE! Next week, I’ll be stopping in for a dip on my way home from treatment each day. What a nice way to get started.
Tomorrow is going to be fun! My brother Zach flies in from B.C. at 5:30 in the morning. I’m going to put some coffee in him, and throw him on a bike. We’ll be aiming to leave my house at around 8:00. We’ll noodle our way down through the park, and down park ave to SOHO. Hill is going to be working a Trans-Alt table at Lafayette and Spring. Those of you who live downtown or in BKLYN or don’t like getting up super early, please meet us at the Trans-Alt tent. We’ll hang out there with Hill for a while and see who we can accumulate for the ride back uptown.
Hook up with us:
-At my house at 8:00 (email me for directions if you don’t know where I am.. and maybe to let me know to wait for you).
-Anywhere along the route 8-9ish (we’ll ride down the central park loop to 72nd and then across to park ave and down).
-At the Trans Alt table at Spring and Lafayette between 9 and 10.
We’ll be easy to spot. I’ll be the guy on the Assless bike.
Maybe we’ll finish up somewhere in Central Park for some frisbee or something.. Or maybe I’ll go home and take a nap.
THEN! Later on. Come to my brother’s show (different brother) at the poisson rouge. It really is going to be an amazing show. They’re finishing with a piece that Nico Muhly wrote for Sam Amidon that they premiered last year at Carnegie Hall. Hill and I were there. It was jaw-dropping. It’ll be pretty amazing in a little venue.
Go here and get tickets. Thomas says that the NYC show WILL sell out.
For you folks in Philly! They’ve got a show tonight! Go check it out.
Ok. I’m out.
to say that I feel great.
Yesterday was a good day. I had lunch with John (aka Knitboy1) and received an awesome hat.. came back and a had a little rest, but then actually got into the shop for a while and did some work. It was just really mundane stuff, and it was SO fun. I love my job!
Today I woke up feeling even better than yesterday. Gorgeous weather in NYC. 60 degrees this morning. Clear and dry. My ride to chemo felt effortless. I’m learning how to ride that beast!
All is well.
On Saturday, there’s lots going on, and I hope some of you will join me for it. It is the third and final of the summer streets Park Avenue closings. Hill will be working at one of the Trans-Alt tables along the route, and it’s my plan to get some people together and do a little ride! Let me know if you’re interested in joining in.
And then! that night, my brother and a few of his friends will be doing a pretty amazing show at the poisson rouge.. You can find details on the tour and a link to the venue here.. Come join us!
That’s all I got. I’m off to the shop for a while.
So yesterday didn’t go exactly as imagined. I really did have the best intentions.. was so excited to get into the shop. It never happened.
I realized at some point in the early afternoon that I had never felt tired before. “Ooooohhhhh.. THIS is what tired feels like.. wow.”
I haven’t been able to get any real satisfactory explanation from anyone about WHY radiation makes you tired. I’ve been hoping that without an explanation, perhaps it just won’t happen. HA!
My ride this morning felt a little better than yesterday’s. I think I was less ambitious about it. Spent a lot more time just coasting. (OH!! yes. there are a bunch of you who’ve been asking if the assless is fixed. Hell NO. THAT would be crazy.) The bike is currently borrowing cranks and freewheel from another bike. I’m waiting for the donated ones to arrive. The final gear ratio will be quite a bit higher, which will really help.
I did go to the grocery store last night. Took a bit of a detour and sat by the river for a while. On a nice evening, it’s one of my favorite things to do.. just sit by the bike path in the sunset and see what people are riding.
I ate dinner last night! Billy and Hill made me some wild rice and steelhead trout. It went down just fine. I woke up feeling better than I have in DAYS. I got on my new bike and rode to radiation at 7:20 or so. This will be my new routine. Up in the morning, cup of coffee, and right on the bike. It’s such a nice time of day in the city. Here’s the route..
I’ve never ridden such a tiring 6 miles. Those of you who ride bikes, try doing your commute entirely out of the saddle today! My brother tried it the other day.. a little way in he said “f- this..” and sat back down. I’m definitely going to need to raise the gear ratio. Spinning out of the saddle isn’t really the way to go. I’ll get it dialed in, though. Sure beats walking! YAY bikes!
It’s a beautiful sunny day here. I plan to get a little work done in the shop. I’ve got a nice long nap with Putney scheduled for early afternoon. In the evening I’ll ride to the supermarket and get some groceries.. cook Hill a nice dinner. I think it’s going to be a good day.
I built it up this morning.. Bad rattle can paint job still a little sticky. I was ready to ride, though.
This thing was made possible (and then some) by generous donations from Chris King, Phil Wood, White Indutries, and YOU!
I took it for a quick spin up to grant’s tomb. Oh my word.. exhausting! It’s very strange to ride. I’m sure I’ll adjust. I’m also sure that part of the exhaustion is just that I’m exhausted to begin with. I’m still not getting any real food down. So frustrating. I’ve lost over 10 pounds since the beginning of this whole thing. No chemo since friday, but the chemo fog is taking longer to clear than I expected. Came home from my test ride, ate a piece of toast, and fell asleep for almost 4 hours.
I think I’ll head to the corner store and get some ginger ail.
Tomorrow treatment continues! I’ll take off on the assless wonder at 7:15 in the morning for a blast of radiation. Happily, I have two weeks off now from the chemo.
Only barely, though. Alberto refers to these weeks of chemo as weeks of passion. He’s not wrong.
I want to start by thanking you all for your generosity. I am humbled. You’ve donated over $2k in just a day. This pays for the assless bike. It pays for a month of medical costs. Think of it how you will. It gives us peace of mind. I am, we are, very grateful.
There’s been a lot of talk about toughness. I’ll be honest, I don’t feel terribly tough. I have a supportive family, an army of friends and strangers at my back, an astonishing girlfriend, a world class doctor, a snuggly dog, a comfortable home etc.. and yet, just one week of treatment has brought me to my knees.
It may be very important to talk about this in fighting terms. Fuck cancer. Kicking its ass etc.. It has certainly helped my level of confidence to hear all this. Naturally the truth of it is more nuanced. At some point it becomes a little satirical to speak of kicking the shit out of cancer.. like the black night.. “you yellow bastards! come back and take what’s coming to you! I’ll bight your legs off!!” (with my face in the toilet).
If it is a fight, it’s more like cool hand luke’s fight. I just re-watched this scene and cried. This feels familiar.
I may be talking about teaching cancer to cry, but it’s teaching me some lessons of its own. I’ve been unable to work these last weeks, except for fleeting moments. I’ve been unable to cook for Hillary. I’ve been disallowed to ride a bike. I’ve been tired, and nauseous, and weak. My mind has become cabbage. I have been forced to accept help, from anyone and everyone. None of this is ME. I’m strong, dammit! And helpful! And capable! And clear headed!
And humbled on my knees.
I can’t help but think of all the people who are diagnosed who don’t have the support. Who don’t happen to have an oncologist around who’s known them their whole life. Who don’t have health insurance! Who don’t have a nice home and a nice dog and nice girlfriend and family. Who don’t have an ARMY at their back. I think of the folks who, despite a great attitude, don’t make it because they don’t have all this. MY thoughts are with them.
Thank you all.