here it is.

 

Hi.

Hill, special Ed and I sat down with the doc yesterday to hear just where we actually stand.

I had steeled myself for the worst, knowing though, that it might end up being a big anti-climax..  (“well..  you know..  it’s really not so bad.  We think that you’re probably going to have to double your daily dose of aspirin..  I know that’s a pain, all that swallowing, but do that and we think you’ll be fine..”   Or perhaps “Mr. Caldwell..   We are SO sorry.  We were looking at someone else’s petscan.  You’re fine.  He’s pretty fucked, but you’re going to be just fine.”  The broken ribs and colostomy are a bit of a giveaway, though.)

This was no anti climax.

He says that with no treatment at all I have 6-8 months so live.

On constant chemotherapy, he gives me around 2 and a half years.  (and he noted that this course is likely what the biggest deal doc at Sloan would recommend)

The most aggressive version of treatment would be 3 months of chemo hoping for a good response from the tumors, then surgery, then more chemo.  Then some voodoo, I think.  If I made it through all that, it would put me in a statistical pool that had a 20% chance of surviving (defined as making it 5 years or more).  The greater likelihood is that I would recur and end up right back where I am now (but with the knowledge that treatment had not worked.. again..)

The tricky thing about that 20% is that it’s just 20% of the people who actually make it through the treatment.  FIRST I’d have to respond well enough to the chemo to qualify for surgery.  THEN I’d have to have a successful surgery. And finally I’d have to endure adjuvant chemo.

The surgery would involve opening me up again.  The surgeon said that it wouldn’t be QUITE as bad as the last one, but in the same ball park.  The tumor in the mesentery is close enough to my stoma, that it could mean removing the stoma to get margins and making a new one.

The chemo itself has a list of side effects as long as your arm, the most common (besides nausea, vomiting, chemo brain, and hair loss..  the things we take for granted.. ) being very bad diarrhea.  It would likely mean a backslide on the quality of life gains I’ve made with irrigation and the relative continence it provides me.

“So, doc. I’m pretty sick, huh?”

“I don’t know..  you don’t look sick to me!                You DO have very serious disease.”

Obviously we have some pretty serious thinking to do.   Obviously we need to get another opinion, or several.

 

For quite a while I’ve had something that I’ve wanted to say, or talk about somehow.  I have touched on it in the past but never really taken it head on.

You would all do me an amazing service if you would entertain the notion that the fight metaphor may not be the most helpful one.  Or maybe it’s not as helpful now as it was in earlier stages.  It’s difficult to change the language around something when it is so engrained.  “Fighting cancer..” “died after a long battle with cancer..”  etc.  But this implies that there are winners and losers.  That if we die we have lost.  But we ALL die.  No one makes it out alive.  That shouldn’t make us all losers.  The most pernicious part of the fight metaphor for me is the notion that if someone dies young from cancer they simply didn’t fight hard enough.  That if someone decides to forgo treatment, they have “thrown in the towel.”

I don’t see any grace in the desperate clinging to life that we call fighting in this metaphor.

Maybe instead I’m having a slow dance with a handsome and charming mad man who has made it quite clear that eventually he’ll have to USE the straight razor that he’s holding to my throat.  I believe him.  He doesn’t seem like a guy who lies.  Why he has to cut my throat isn’t clear.  In the mean time, it’s a warm embrace.  I’m holding him, he’s holding me.  He’s whispering the most beautiful and insane shit to me, all wise, all true.  I’m trying to enjoy the dance as much as I can, trying to learn as much as I can, trying to stay present despite the knife at my throat.   And now he’s starting to cry.  You dig?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a fighter all right.  I have been from the start.  Walking around barefoot with fists cocked.  But this isn’t a fight.

I do want to live.  I’m not nearly done eating up stuff yet.  I’m just starting to get good!

Assuming that second and third opinions paint a similar picture, seeing how I tolerate the chemo seems to us like a reasonable first step as much as I dread it.

Naturally, I will keep you posted.

Thanks.

 

 

 

96 Responses to “here it is.”

  1. Cory

    Ezra, I really wish I had something witty or clever to say right now, but I don’t.
    Be you. Be strong, which you are regardless of any choice you make. Know that you are loved well by many. And tell me what I can do to help.

  2. Stacey

    I so wish it were the anti-climax version…

    Thinking of you and sending lots of love and support to you, Hillary, and your family. The world needs you and your amazing artistry and talent. And we’ll do everything we can do keep you here as long as we can.

  3. Mark Lin

    Thinking of you.

  4. phaty

    I hope you keep on dancing.

  5. Paul P

    Big hugs, with tears in my eyes. Love you, E.

  6. Niko Paul

    Burn a candle for you….

  7. tyler

    Sending you and your family love and peace as you make these decisions. Your photography, bike craftsmanship, and prose radiate beauty. Thank you for sharing so generously through thick and thin.

  8. DeAnne

    so maybe it was a year ago I stumbled across this guy who makes really cool wood fenders for bikes, scratch that, he makes really cool bikes and he’s a dancer and he cooks and he lives and he loves . . .
    (I’m not a stalker) but I have looked through all of the flikr photos and read through all of your blog postings because you might easily be one of the most beautiful human beings that I have ever taken the time to look at, and I’m a people watcher.

    I am crying, maybe because you are so damn wise with your insight, definitely because this so much, but mostly because I like you and your wife and your friends and your dog . . . under no circumstances could I ever see you as a quitter

  9. Charlie

    I stumbled on your flickr stream a little while ago (searching for cool singlespeeds on Pinterest I suspect) – just followed the links to this blog and quickly read your story. That’s quite a journey – and man, today’s news totally sucks. Very best wishes from Down Under and good luck – sounds you like you might need it.

  10. Forth

    I dreaded this, but expected something like it after your last post. We don’t know each other. We’ve exchanged a handful of words about bicycles over the span of half a globe and half a decade. I have watched you chase your dreams, live your life and make and do wonderful things. If everything falls in a pile at this point, despite having been cut far far FAR too short, your life will still have been a thing of far greater grace and beauty than most manage with what they’ve been given. Dance with the madman. Astonish him with your fancy footwork and your own words of beautiful nonsense and whether that razor cuts early or late, the love you leave behind will be both immense and inadequate. You have inspired me in my own journey of change and tears as much as anyone else I can think of so for that and for all the beauty, thank you.

    I still want to buy a bicycle from you one day. Be one of the 20%.

    Hugs,
    Forth.

  11. Jake

    The last section is brilliantly written for its clarity and its reality. My best.

  12. rg

    Lots of thoughts for you.

  13. Juniper Jones

    You’re wrong, Ezra. There would be losers. That would be us.

  14. Mike from Minneapolis

    Any path you choose to take will be the correct one I’m sure. Nothing is going to happen that isn’t supposed to happen. Sending much love to you and your wife and pup.

  15. evan

    i agree ezra. it must be draining to constantly be “ready for a battle.” and it must be terrifying, yet in a way relieving, to just see where it goes as the “dancer” leads you. i think that’s an attitude that will serve you well in the months to come.

    it was an honor to meet you pretty much exactly 2 years ago, and i’m glad you’ve made it this far since then. you made an impression on me at a time when i was pretty fucked up. wish we could do it all over again now, when i’m not so immediately post-crisis. wish i could do for you now what you did for me then — pour you some whiskey, get your mind off things, introduce you to my lady and bikes, grab some pho, go on a ride, and send you back out with best wishes.

    you and hillary, and your awesome wood-everything house and neighbors and everything, are in my thoughts.

    i may never have the chance to buy a fast boy bicycle, but i am proud to say that i rode one with the man himself the only time i’ve ever been to new york. :) thanks for the big meaning put into our small friendship, ezra. you’re great.

  16. Alexander Supertramp

    “I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

    ― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

  17. Jason in Burlington

    I had a pair of OshKosh overalls just like those as a kid… the engineer’s hat too.

    Ezra – know that you have inspired myself (and undoubtedly many others) to try that little bit harder. I may have only been in your company for one afternoon – but that was a great afternoon.

    If you’re “just starting to get good”, I can’t imagine where you’d go from here…

  18. Peter

    Were there only words worth using at a time like this.

    :(

  19. Brian

    We all die…and none of us (including you) know when, or how, that’s going to happen. It’s how you live that matters. Make the choice that allows you to live your remaining days, weeks, months, years, decades in the best way possible for you. And today I’m going to take the same advice I’m giving – thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Eoin

    This is a beautiful piece of writing as ever. So sorry to hear things are not good; fingers crossed as ever. Keep on keepin’ on.

  21. Amilcar Rivera

    Hola Ezra waoo!!toma la mejor desicion tu con tu Familia,y nosotros te aconpanaremos en oraciones,y si en algo podemos ayudarte a qui estamos para servirte my gran amigo CAPITAN abrazos cuidate.

  22. Valancy Jane

    Well you’re also a mighty fine dancer, Ezra.

  23. alan

    we love you, Ezra.

    i also noticed you changed your title bar. fuck cancer! you’re Ezra!

  24. Dan

    Ezra, you know how to live your life, and you do it well. You are an example for those of us with this disease in our lives, which seems to be a lot of us, and for those who just need a reminder to live for what matters. Thank you. I can’t think of a better person than you to decide what you do from here.

  25. Kristan

    Hey Ezra,
    You inspired me to start a shop and build bikes in Australia.
    I’m restoring vintage at the moment but next year I’m going to start brazing.
    I love your work do much.
    X from Oz
    K

  26. brickfoot

    hmmm..
    if i were as eloquent i would have a better way of sayin this…
    lettin go of the fight is the first step to happiness….

    this aint the same ( for those less clear ) as givin up.

  27. Kyle Walton

    Peter and I say so often, “We’ve got to get up to New York to see Ezra and Hill.” We look forward to that. We’re sending much love to you both.

  28. Patrick W.

    Ezra–I’ve always admired you for the fight, but much more for the grace and beauty you bring to every act of life. Dancing has more dignity, and you’re sure to get some glorious steps in while “doing as much as you can.” You have conjured more love and inspiration than I know how to express. We are all on the floor with you, feeling every beat.

  29. SimonH

    Bugger. Totally agree with the fight thing, to say those that lost their fight didn’t fight hard enough is not the rights way of looking at it. Whatever you do will be the right thing for you and those that know you well and love you. Best wishes Ez, Hill and Putney.

  30. will hawkins

    i may not know you Ezra, but my thoughts are with you.

    it is a gift to be witness to your journey here.

    best,
    will

  31. jeanne

    a friend of a friend here. to state the obvious: that is hard news and a lot to take in. wishing you strength and peace in the days to come. here’s to life, and living with whatever time we’ve gov. (ps i like what you said about fighting metaphors, btw)

  32. Claire Thorne

    Every time I come here, I learn about being brave and honest, about loving what I do, about caring for what matters. Your sharing is a profound gift. Thank you so much for giving to all of us, strangers (like myself) and friends alike. I so wish to give something back, and hope that the knowledge that we’re all out here listening accomplishes that on some small scale.

  33. Trevor

    This is how you teach cancer to cry.
    Bravo, Ezra. It’s a very sad, very beautiful dance.

  34. Meg G.

    Oh, Ezra, from a stranger with tears in her eyes: I believe in you.

  35. Nicola

    Hey Ezra, this is Nicola, formerly of the Harlem ‘hood and Morningside Park, human companion of the world’s naughtiest dog, Rupert (who is loving life in Northern California). I just wanted to send you love. Please give Putney a great kiss for me too, if you can stand the germs.

    I know this is tiny, but there are so many ways we disseminate parts of ourselves into others’ lives and have no idea that they remain…. For nearly ten years now, every time I call Rupert ‘pup,’ I hear your voice. Just because that’s what you called Putney, in a particular tone.

    Seeing you and Putney on the street, in the park, on the stoop, always gave me joy. I’m so certain there are a zillion other little, lingering sparks of joy from you out there in more meaningful places, too. But every one is meaningful.

    p.s. I traveled a bit of the cancer journey with my sister-in-law two years ago, and I agree about the “fighting” language. As if fighting or not fighting made the difference. If only.

  36. Bucky

    Well shit balls. And yet as eloquent as ever.
    All my love. *big hugs*

  37. steve

    Thanks. Thanks for showing us how to cook. For showing us what a nice god damn bike looks like. And for showing us true poise and freaking honesty. Looking forward to more.

  38. Ashley

    “Why he has to cut my throat isn’t clear. In the mean time, it’s a warm embrace. I’m holding him, he’s holding me. He’s whispering the most beautiful and insane shit to me, all wise, all true. I’m trying to enjoy the dance as much as I can, trying to learn as much as I can, trying to stay present despite the knife at my throat. And now he’s starting to cry. You dig?”
    Nothing can improve upon that.
    We default to fight language around here because that seems like the only way to keep you here. It’s entirely selfish and we all know it. I can’t tell you how much I admire and appreciate your honesty. THanks for the update. Look forward to more.

  39. Paul

    Ezra: Namaste. As in “I bow to you.” Much love. Paul

  40. Steph

    Anyone who dies or is seriously debilitated by cancer at a young age got fucking shit cards. That is all there is to it. There are very few cancers that “old age” isn’t the number one risk factor. The other unsavory reflex is when (after hearing you have cancer) people try to figure out how you got it. The ten trillion dollar question (or however big the cancer industry is) whose answer is not that you lived any different an existence than them.

    This is a horrifyingly beautiful post, Ezra. Thank you for sharing. I wish you clarity in figuring out what is best for you and your lovely family. And, as much peace as is possible with those decisions.

  41. nesoxochi

    Found your blog through my boyfriend, who fell in love with your bikes and the obvious love you and Hill have for each other. You radiate beauty in your words, work and in every single picture you’ve ever chronicled of yourself throughout your journey. Thank you for your unabashed candidness. Love, light, peace and good wishes from Los Angeles.

  42. Andrew

    Ezra,
    I am damn sad to hear this news. I don’t know you, but I have followed your blog for a long time. I have always enjoyed your words, photos and videos. I have always enjoyed your candor and unique perspective on life. You inspired me to make some of the meals you made. (delicious by the way!)

    Today you continue to inspire. As hard as it is to read the words you post, you still give more than you take. You help put things in perspective. To have a meeting with a doctor like you did and still be able to write as eloquently and wise as you did today is simply mind blowing. Reading your words is both saddening and inspirational at the same time. It makes me feel small. Like when you go to the Grand Canyon.

    You may have more stuff to eat up but I still need to get learned up. So please continue to share.
    Thanks

  43. john

    Hi Ezra,

    I love the slow dance visual. Quite beautiful, actually. If you need another cashmere hat, you know where to find me.

    Xoxo-thinking of all you guys.

  44. hibiki m

    Ezra, I am so sad and shocked about this recent news. Don’t give up. I am relieved you’re getting a second opinion. Crossing fingers and toes.

  45. Molly

    Sending love! So much love and respect for all your decisions. It has been an honor to be let into your journey. We are still here ready for whatever comes next, we are still here.

  46. Tina

    Your strength and eloquence have me completely undone.

  47. Charles Boyd

    As always, your grace and eloquence shine through all the outrageous fortune laid upon you. I wish you the best and I will be thinking of you wherever your journey leads you.

  48. brad

    Continuing to pray for hope, strength, and peace for you and yours.

  49. Dan

    You don’t me and I only know you from your blog but be sure you are in my thoughts and good vibes/prayers/voodoo magic is coming from me and mine on your behalf. You helped inspire me to get back on a bike and ride. I have found joy in riding that had been lost since I was a kid. We have your back.

  50. Laura Clutterbuck

    I love you Ezra – you are a constant source of joy to me – you are my heart’s delight.

    Nkosi Siklel’i…

  51. Meghan Senkel

    Ezra, I have been following you for so many years, long before the cancer, when you were just this really amazing photographer who inspired me to pick up a camera. So, naturally, I feel as if I know you (and we are great friends!). Since I care for my friends, I sit here with tears in my eyes for you and for Hill and for your families and friends and for this impossible decision you must make. All I can say is that I’m so, so, so sorry it has come to this. And thank you. Thank you for being so inspiring in both sickness and health. Thank you for the beautiful photographs of bikes and dogs and Hill. Thank you for being so honest and open with us. Just thank you.

    On a separate note and to your point about fighting cancer, being strong, etc… I would just like to say that I couldn’t agree with you more. A very dear college friend of mine relapsed with brain cancer at age 20, when we were just about to graduate, when life is really supposed to begin. He had a round of treatment and brain surgery and it just wasn’t enough. I never for one second thought that he was not fighting, not winning, when he declined further treatment, lived the rest of his good days to the max, and then began the long and lonely journey before him. It is not always the fighting that shows strength, sometimes it is the quiet resignation to a fate dealt to you and the choice of 200 110% days, instead of *maybe* 2,000 10% days. Whatever you choose, you are brave, you are winning, and you ARE kicking cancer’s ass. Maybe knowing how much time you have is a gift to live the rest of your days to the very best you can. That is winning.

    You have my love, support, and thankfulness. May you have many 110% days ahead of you.

  52. Marian

    Oh god Ez. I don’t know what to say, I just checked this to see what amazing bikes you were working on these days. shit. I love you. I’m sending you all the voodoo I have.
    you dance beautifully

  53. Colette

    Love you Ezra.

    My Papa’s Waltz
    by Theodore Roethke

    The whiskey on your breath
    Could make a small boy dizzy;
    But I hung on like death:
    Such waltzing was not easy.

    We romped until the pans
    Slid from the kitchen shelf;
    My mother’s countenance
    Could not unfrown itself.

    The hand that held my wrist
    Was battered on one knuckle;
    At every step you missed
    My right ear scraped a buckle.

    You beat time on my head
    With a palm caked hard by dirt,
    Then waltzed me off to bed
    Still clinging to your shirt.

  54. Stefanie

    You are probably the bravest man I have ever seen – besides you are th eone building some of the best looking bikes… Keeping my fingers crossed that you wll stay with us as long as you wish

  55. Gene

    This is an article from the New Yorker that made a decision, to waive chemo/surgery for hospice care, a little more comforting for our family member. It’s an emotional read for anyone who’s dealt with this.. so be warned.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande

    Good luck to you, Hill and your friends during this difficult time. I hope this offers some use. If it offends anyone… I sincerely apologize.

  56. Liz

    have been reading and following this journey for quite a while. my heart breaks at this news because although i don’t know you, as someone stated above, I like you, your photos, your bikes, your wife seems absolutely lovely & your putney…well there’s putney. :) you have shown such courage and grace and humor throughout, and i wish you all the best on this next leg of the journey, may you have peace this holiday season and moving forward with your dance…you inspire me and so many others.

  57. Quentin

    Hello from France,
    As a big fan of your bikes,
    I often follow your blog and this post made me think of an amazing reportage I saw on french television about fasting to fight cancer. There is great doctors in Germany and usa who apparently are using it.
    Of course you probably heard of it by now, but… you know, maybe a chance to be useful, I take it.
    here is the french reportage :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epJsYxK-hPU

    Bonne chance et courage !

  58. Alicia

    I’m going to be thinking of you, Hillary and Putney.

    All my love.

    Alicia

  59. Lauren

    Don’t know what to say, Ezra, except that you’re awesome, and I’m certain you’ll make the right choices for you. In the meantime, sending love, light and positivity to you, your wife and your faithful hound. x

  60. Susan

    You are an inspiration. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your jouney. Thank you for sharing your truth. {{{HUGS}}}

  61. Hugo

    You don’t even know me… but yet I love you… I love the fervor for life that you have and the beautiful things you put forth into this world. You are an inspiration and hero.

  62. Matt

    Your honesty, bravery, persistance and rationality are a constant inspiration – not to mention the beautiful photographs and bicycles you create. Thank you and best wishes from Cambridge, England.

  63. Elizabeth

    yes – I dig

  64. Alyssa

    Ezra, I made my way to your blog via numerous Putney blogs (am ’83, I knew your great uncle when I was in school).

    Your writing is inspiring, your courage insurmountable. I’m awed by your strength, your will, Hill, Putney the dog, all of it. I feel like I know you, after reading through from day one.

    Your love of life, of living fully, seems not to have waned through this wretched journey. You make me want to go ride something, cook something, take advantage of what I have yet take for granted. I think, having read all your comments, that you have inspired so many people to live better, rounder, more fulfilling lives.

    Am sending peace and love and hope to you and yours. Get yourself to those other opinions, I’ve no intention of finding a new blog to marvel.

  65. kris

    I read this days ago and haven’t been able to respond yet. My heart breaks for you. This is all so fucking unfair. You have so many people out there who think about you and love you in their (our) own way…even if we’ve never met. Sending you peace and hugs…

  66. Colleen Mason

    You’re going to get a lot of comments, because this is the most wow-inducing blog post I’ve read in quite awhile. I’ve followed you for a long time. Obviously I’m really sorry that this evil disease continues to dog your steps. I think you should (and will, no doubt) choose the course that best allows you to live each moment, in the moment, with as much quality of the moment as possible. It will probably be hard initially to figure it out, but I hope that, with patience and time, it will come to you. Your words are worth remembering by all of us. . .no one gets out alive. You seem to have an uncommon wisdom. And I know that although you seem upbeat here, you also must have the darkest possible moments. So my hope is that the grace and courage and wisdom that you show to the world will continue to dominate and overshadow the dark moments so that you can choose each step, no matter how many more there are, with clarity. (I’m with you, I don’t care for the “cancer is a battle” metaphor – also not crazy about “life is a journey” though I know there’s truth in it.)

  67. Jon B

    Thinking about you Ezra.

  68. teaching cancer to cry » here it is. « turnings :: daniel berlinger

    […] Ezra Cladwell: For quite a while I’ve had something that I’ve wanted to say, or talk about somehow.  I have touched on it in the past but never really taken it head on. […]

  69. troze

    My family and I continue to send loads of love and prayers and healing thoughts for you. You are much younger than I, however your wisdom enriches every minute of my life and I consider you to be one of my great teachers. Thank you for all that you are and for sharing your life. Your attitude is for me a compass for a life being well lived.

    Love always,

    j, r, s & z

  70. Eric Baumann

    while i have never met you, i feel as though i have known you for years. maybe its because you pour so much of yourself into everything you put out into the world: your words, your photos, your bikes and your sense of humor…you are an inspiration to us all ezra, keep on dancing my friend.

  71. GeWilli

    Ezra,

    Way back… sometime in 2006, when flickr had started to expand, or something about the bikes, the dog, the fenders, self portraits… the dance, the black and white shots…

    Something drew me in… I’ve been a fan ever since.

    In my mind, your aesthetic was unique, attractive, emotional, and powerful.

    Admiration from a distance.

    Hero. You. Are.

    Your eloquence and perspective are nothing short of expected, but still… my heart and soul bleeds with empathy and support.

    We share many of the same passions, at least from the view into your life that you have afforded me, a true friend without meeting is possible i think. How many you must have, all much like me right now.

    Hugs my friend, hugs to you and everyone…
    -G

  72. Claire Williamson (nee Hall/Ickle Claire)

    Thinking of you Ezra and sending lots of heart-felt love from the little people in England! xxx

  73. charissa

    Sending lots of love to you & Hill. xoxo

  74. malcolm

    Don’t know you from Adam, but reading your blog I can assure you of one thing you sir are not a loser. That is one huge show of strength only you know the right thing for you and yours. May peace come your way if it hasn’t already.

  75. Troy

    As a new reader through a mutual acquaintance i have found true inspiration through your writing.

    I am sorry for your latest news but know you will make the right decision for you and your family. None of us can make it for you but we can support you in whatever you decide. May you get the most out of whatever you have.

    I can truly understand your feelings about the fight sitch. I too am sick with something much different than cancer but at the same time it feels alot like cancer must feel. Progressive uncurable and debilitating. Many freinds and family feel i have given up on living but couldnt be more wrong. There comes a point when you get sick of beating your head agaiast a wall because all you get from it is more pain. I am at that point. It takes more energy both mental and physical to chase the help that never seems to get you anywhere. Sometimes you take the cards your dealt and you make the best hand you can and just go all in. In the end hoping noone cals your bluff.

    May your dance be beautiful and never ending. I wish you the best in all you do. Strength to you and you family.Peace Troy

  76. rw

    your thoughts are not wasted when you share…people that you have never met, are touched in a meaningful way.

  77. jrobtp

    positive stuff to you and your lady from up here in boston.

  78. Spinnincin

    Statistics say that many of us following your blog will find ourselves in your shoes. Thank you for sharing your self and for giving us a perspective from which to view our own dances. I am so thankful to have met you.

  79. John

    Ezra, we have only met once. I admire you, your bikes, and your inner strength. I can say with certainty that you are not a loser. If you were to choose quality of life over quantity of life, that would not make you a quitter in my book either. I wish you and Hillary much peace in your lives.

  80. Faith

    Barb called me last night to tell me the news. I was sorry to hear about the scan. All I can think of for the past 24 since hearing about your scan is about two therapists who worked at the local kids hospital here where we are frequent flyers. One was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and said screw chemo. She decided to live life to the fullest and enjoy what time she had without suffering the side effects of chemo knowing full well the statistics regarding ovarian cancer. 7 years later another Occupational Therapist in the same dept. was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She chose chemo. She died 3 weeks after she started the chemo. Ironically, on the same day as the first one who lived 7 years. It pisses me off when people in the medical profession give us “6 months” or “6 weeks” or “2 years” because too many people accept this as gospel and live up to the prediction. No one knows for sure. Go with your heart not with your fears or the predictions of others.

  81. Jodi

    We have been following you… and you are always in our hearts.
    Strangers on the Lower Eastside,
    Jodi & Justine

  82. Vanessa A

    Hi Ezra,

    It’s been years now since I first found your flickr page-5, 6, 7 years? I’m not sure. Your documentation of your life through photos has had a profound impact on me. It is more honest and open and vivid than I have ever managed to be as a photographer, although I have tried to be all those things, and I have never grown tired of your images.

    I still remember when a photo I posted on flickr hinted that I was going through a rough time…and you emailed me to make sure I was okay. I didn’t even know you – not really – at least I didn’t think so. But I felt that I knew you after that, and a still feel like somehow we are friends.

    I have read your blog and cared so much and I hope with every atom of my being that things work out in the best way possible for you – whatever the best happens to be, however the best happens to play out. I am expending buckets of peace and strength and calm in your direction in hopes that somehow it will reach you.

    Vanessa (from Vancouver, BC)

  83. Barb Trushaw

    Oh Ezra, I’m so sorry to hear this. I have been following your blogs, and comparing notes, with my own experiences with this disease..Whatever decision you make, it will be right for you…If you choose chemo, remember you can always opt out, or ask for (demand) a reduced dose, if it’s too much…I’m about 30 years older than you, and I think, if my next scan was like yours…I’d take a bunch of money out of the bank, and go see people I haven’t seen for a long time, and just keep going “til I couldn’t anymore….People who have not been through chemo, have no idea how debilitating and depressing it can be. I was very mad at one of my girlfriends who”gave up” after a long bout with lymphoma, but now I totally understand…I stopped my post op chemo after one dose, because it made me so sick,and I hadn’t really recovered from the surgery yet…I personally hope that you are one of the lucky 20%, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Barb

  84. Paula / Hamburg

    Oh no! ok yes! This is pretty hard stuff to deal with. Your intelligence and clearness will help you. Maybe you are lucky to find a way of self healing (Qi Gong, schmanism, voodoo, whatever). I would not dare to recommend you any of these options, because the different healing ways do not work for everybody. My husband, for example, found a way of self healing by himself. He found a way of letting waves of life energy float through his cirrhotic liver, he is talking to his cells, and it seams to work somehow. He is on a transplant list since 2009, but did not need a transplantation so far. But, one day, when he is ready to let go and go to the honeygrounds, I will let him go, crying…
    I wish you and your dear wife all the best.

  85. AJ

    Ezra, I started following you a while back at a friend’s recommendation. She told me that she admired your positive outlook and energy. I read all your archives with gusto, my admiration and respect for you growing with each entry I read. One day, I felt terribly sorry for myself because there were things going on in my life that were holding me down. I took a long walk to a nearby crowded wharf and ended up sitting on a bench near a mother and her small child. I smiled at her cute son and started talking with mom. I eventually asked her what her child’s name was and she proudly told me, Keegan Ezra. My first thought was of you and the way you have held yourself with humor and grace throughout the last many years. I felt like it was a sign that I needed to buck up and stop feeling sorry for myself because really, I am so very lucky. I just wanted you to know that your words have impact and you have taught me something very meaningful with them. I end up actually gaining more than you for this fact but I hope you feel some sense of…..something knowing this. Peace and love and light be with you and your family and friends always.

  86. Ron M H

    Ezra,
    I offer my thoughts and prayers (such as they are) for you and those who love you.

  87. Erik

    “..in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody..” (Jack Kerouac) May lots of love and beauty come your way.

  88. BW

    Ezra,

    A thousand times yes. Now that sounds like a man that is alive to me. Sounds like a dancer and a cook and a man with an appetite. Admiration.

    Cheers,
    BW

  89. Cyclelicious » Fighting Cancer

    […] of cancer, many of you already know that Ezra of Fast Boy Cycles recently received some bad news about his rectal cancer. I love his indomitable spirit, but you can feel the pain and […]

  90. Paula

    Your “dance” metaphor is really beautiful. I’m so inspired by your courage and lively spirit. Thanks for continuing to share your journey. Happy holidays to you and your family, and wishing you peace in the new year.

  91. Shelagh Delves-Broughton

    Ezra, I dont know you but I think you may enjoy this story.

    STELLA

    Here in Toronto, 2 mothers (married) had a young child that developed a tumour that is 100% fatal.
    Rather than subject her to chemo or radiation and possibly give her longer than the 3 months they felt she would have without, they took her out of the hospital that day vowing never to return.
    They chose, instead of death, to give her life.

    They chose to give her the best 3 months of her life. Ironically she lived another 16 or 18 months I think it was but this is by far one of the most beautiful stories I have read.
    When she passed, although this had never taken place before in the companies history, instead of a hearse pulling up to take her body, a black limousine arrived and the female owner got out. The 2 mommies friends had laid down candles all the way from the front door, down the stairs and to the driveway and amongst music, they carried Stella very carefully and the woman picked her up, got into the limo and was driven to the morque cradling her the whole time, stroking her hair.

    Truly one of the most beautiful and inspiring stories I have read and I wonder if both yourself and loved ones might not find some comfort and strength in it?

    There are 3 parts to this story which you can see on the left hand side of this page and once they are done, they have a further read, which I never did pick up but I think it cost $0.99 to read a much longer version of the story.

    Please try and read it. I hope you find some comfort in this story!

    http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/1298283–stella

    I cant offer you advice as I don’t know you but I can only say that you have to do what is best for you. Not what is best for others, but you.

    A strong man is not only a man that keeps fighting, but a man that decides how he is going to live his life, whatever time he has left as he wishes.

    I will never forget you. You are a unique person and you may not see it yet, nor understand why this happened to you, but somewhere, sometime, you are going to help someone tremendously with your story, although in your case I do suspect it will be far more than one person only but I also suspect this help has already started to take place somewhere………….

  92. michelle boule

    hey ezra
    i’m just catching up on all of this, and last night when i heard the news, i couldn’t subscribe to the fighting language either. so it was nice to get on your blog and find your metaphor…complete, truthful, and gently held.
    i’m sending you, hill and your family lots of love for this journey.
    michelle

  93. Tom Biggs

    I stumbled onto your blog by accident a while back. Love your pics by the way! I may be going through something similiar one day in the near future. I have some symptoms but no insurance to find out the cause.
    You put it in perspective when you said, It’s not a fight. If we die we do not lose because we all die. I agree completely. We’re all in the same line from life to death..just some are closer to the end of the line then others.
    I believe in the after life. We do keep living. It’s the reason why, deep down, we all have that certain feeling of “forever”. We are spirits in this machine we call a body. God is real. I’ve experienced this in ways you and many would never believe. Jesus is the savior. It’s not my reality, but it is reality. Please reach out to him. He does love you and wants you to know Him. He said, I would have it, that no one would perish. It may sound strange, but He is the door to heaven. In the Word he say, “Enter in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destuction and there are many who go in by it. Because small is the gate and narrow the path that leads to life and there are few who find it” (Mt. 7:13-14). Pride and disbelief is usually what keeps us from Him. If you ever want to know if He is for real…just ask Him with a serious heart and willingness to hear. You’ll be surprised at His response. I don’t wish to offend you. I hope I haven’t. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  94. Colleen Nicholson

    Ezra, We haven’t emailed in a long while, but I have your lovely print on my wall and I came here tonight just to check in on you. I have such a heavy heart reading these last few entries. I echo Michelle’s comments above: I’m also sending you, Hill, and your family lots of love for this journey. Your grace under fire continues to inspire. And, yes, loud and with feeling: Fuck cancer, you’re Ezra. xo.

  95. Policarpo Aravena

    ezra, haven’t been around your life and work in a while and i must admit … i’m sad to hear the news, but i must tell you that i went through your whole (and new to me FB page) and site, looked at all your gallery photos and read a lot of your posts (till very very late) and i must say you are giving me some priceless lessons about life. and . and the art of living . i can’t say anything more now. but will be thinking very much again about your treatment and fight. all my energy 4 u

  96. leif

    this remains one of the bravest, most insightful pieces i have ever read anywhere

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