wow.

So yesterday started out pretty well.

I finished up the chemo at around noon (starving!) and had a few hours to kill before radiation.

I got to the radiation clinic and they whisked me in right on time.  The tech explained that they would just be taking films during that session to make sure they got the programing right.

“no treatment today?”

“nope, just films..  we’ll start tomorrow.”

“ok.  groovy.”

I was finished in just moments.  All was lined up and good..  ready to go.  I walked back home through central park.  When I arrived home 45 minutes later, I found a message on my phone from the clinic.

“um.. yeah.  You need to come back in.  They were supposed to give you treatment as well..”

“yeah.  I sort of thought so..”

I’ll admit, my heart broke a little.  It was just 4:00 and I was going to head out to the shop and try and finish up that fork.  FOILED!

I was back home (glowing a little from the radiation) at around 6:00.  Tired.  Long day.  Today will be MUCH shorter.

I was really looking forward to being unaffected by the chemo.  You know, tough guy! Fat chance.  I’ve woken up this morning feeling pretty lousy.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

My radiation today will immediately follow chemo, and I should be home by around 1:30 with a brand new acetylene bottle waiting for me.  If I’ve got the energy, I’ll try to get a coat of primer on that frame.  NICE!

(I’ve been having coffee and toast while writing this post..  and am already feeling MUCH better than when I woke up.  Ready for round two).

Day 1

I took the train down to 72nd street and walked across the park to Alberto’s office.  He plugged me in and all is going well.  He’s got wireless in his office, and I had the good sense to bring my computer.  I’ll be able to get a little work done during these sessions (maybe it’s time to finally write that manifesto for the FBC site.. )

I’ve got a couple of bikes I need to design.  Some orders I need to put together.

I’m hoping that I feel well enough when I get home this evening to try and squeeze enough acetylene out of that bottle to finish up the Assless frame.  Parts will be arriving over the course of the week..  Very generous donations from Phil Wood, Chris king, and White Industries.  I’m hoping to have it built and ready to ride by the weekend.

Getting started tomorrow!

The last three days have been GREAT.  Long days in the shop, working on the assless bike.  I just about managed to finish.  I ran out of time and acetylene before I managed to get the front disc tab on.

I start six weeks of chemo and radiation tomorrow.  I’m ready.  Ready to get going with this thing.

My doc tells me that it won’t kick my ass too badly.  I think he’s probably right.  I’m hoping that I’m able to keep working through this, but not banking on it exactly.

I’ll keep you all posted.

A perfect day in NYC.

It’s cool and dry in NYC today. Great sleeping weather. I slept in until 7:30.

Hill was up and out at 6:00 to be a streets ambassador for Transportation Alternatives on this first of the park avenue street closings. You can read about it here. I’m sorry to be missing this one, but for next week, I should have the assless bike finished! It’s my plan to go check it out and take pictures! If you’re in NYC this weekend, go see what a car free Manhattan would feel like. And NEXT week, join me for a ride!

Yesterday I managed to get about 7 hours in the shop.. uninterrupted by appointments. What a good day. Today and tomorrow should be just the same.

I have been pretty overwhelmed at the number of people sending me their thoughts and support. Thank you all so very much. It’s pretty dark to think about what this would be like alone. I’m very grateful. Over and over, people in the know (survivors, nurses, docs), tell me that attitude is the single most important thing. You’re all doing more than you know to keep me feeling positive. Thanks.

New Tattoos

I went yesterday afternoon for the radiation prep. Wow. High Tech.

They take a CT scan of the area to identify the parts that they want to blast, and then feed the result into a computer. They give the computer information about what to blast (tumor), and what to avoid (balls, prostate, bladder, and other important organs), and the computer generates a treatment program. To make sure that they’re able to return you to the postition you were in when you were originally scanned, they tattoo (really!) three strategic dots on you and use lasers to line you up. Whoa.

On their first attempt in the radiation machine, they shoot blanks at you, and take pictures to make sure that they’re on target. It’s hard not to be in awe of what’s possible now. My grandfather and his sister both died of colon cancer in their 50s. Pretty sure they weren’t doing this stuff back then.

All the hoops seem to have been jumped through at this point. It’s looking as though treatment really will start on Monday. Except for that first one on Monday, which will take a little longer than the usual ones and happen AFTER chemo, my radiation appointments will all be at 7:30 in the morning, and will only take about 15 mintues (!). On the weeks that I don’t go straight to LOOONG chemo appointments afterwards, I’ll be able to make it home in time to bring Hill her coffee!

Unless they spring something unexpected on me, I’ve got the next three days wide open! No office visits, no tests, no digital exams.. nothing. I’m looking forward to a little time in the shop! Going to do my best to build the assless prototype frame before treatments start. Pictures as it develops!

You heard it here first!

The assless bike is on the way!

From the start of this thing, the notion of not being allowed to ride a bike has been the biggest problem for me. I’d like to stress that it isn’t a pride issue. It’s purely practical. Once you’ve gotten used to getting around the city on a bike, other methods just seem ponderous. I’ll be headed to the upper east side on a nearly daily basis for MONTHS now, and those of you who live in NYC know that the UES is a real you-can’t-get-there-from-here zone.

In that first appointment with Alberto I had already thought of a solution, though I didn’t ask him for permission until our next meeting.

An Assless bike! He doesn’t want want me sitting on a saddle, because the tumor is SO close to the *erm* surface that it’s likely to get pressed on and beaten at and become generally unhappy and more prone to spread. So, just dispense of the saddle! If it’s not even there, I won’t be tempted to sit on it. I’ll just ride BMX style.. pedal pedal pedal coooooaaaaaaast.

I hadn’t really acted yet for a number of reasons. The biggest, I guess, was that I was holding out that one of these docs would tell me that was nonsense, and that I should ride to my heart’s content. Well.. that didn’t happen. It also struck me, though, that dumping a lot of money into a bike that I would almost certainly never ride again once I didn’t need to, was a little foolish (especially at a time when my insurance costs are going up from around $5K a year to what’s more likely to be around $22-25K a year).

In the end, I’ve decided that my mental health needs to be addressed as well, and if I have to walk to too many more appointments, or make too many more trips to the grocery store on foot, I WILL loose my feeble mind.

So it’s ON.

I spoke with the good folks at Phil Wood yesterday, and they are going to donate hubs and a BB to the project! EDIT!! 7:44 pm.. Chris King just got in touch, and they’re going to supply the headset. Sweet. EDIT2!! 6:49 pm on the 8th.. I just got off the phone with Lynette at White Industries, and they’re donating a set of Eno Cranks and a freewheel (The very best made.. period).

I’m going to try to build a prototype frame over the next couple of days.. To do it the way I’d really like to, I’ll need a rather pricey tubing bender, but I’d like to test the geometry first anyway.