First and foremost I have to thank Larry Peterson for his help and companionship throughout the day today. Larry is an amazing friend who also happens to be an incredible cyclist. Freak of nature would be more appropriate. Larry stayed by my side on most all the climbs today, of which there were many.
Secondarily, I have to thank Jason Bleak for his help as well. Jason is the toughest man I know, a tremendous cyclist, and an amazing human being. Jason can pull our group for mile after mile and today, made sure I was protected from the ever changing wind. And I mean ever changing. The wind would change direction minute-by-minute. I’ve never experienced anything like today’s wind.
I felt really good when the day started and had a protein shake for breakfast. Somehow I forgot to eat again until we pulled into McDonald’s in Ely, about 75-miles later (truly a rookie mistake!). I bonked so hard I felt as though I could barely turn the cranks. I thought I’d get over bonking once I got some food into me but I was totally disappointed . . . I never recovered today. If not for Larry, Jason, and the rest of our amazing group I never would have made it to the end of today’s ride.
I have to admit that today I experienced a flood of emotions, which probably contributed to my lack of nutritional focus. I thought today about Dr. Gordon Watson. Gordon is my Radiation Oncologist, a brilliant man, and also a great friend. While Jeff Haller did my 2 surgeries, Gordon directed my care. There were 4 of us who were treated by Gordon (we all got acquainted during our radiation therapy). Out of the 4, 1 is dead, 2 have had multiple strokes, and then there’s me. While I’m eternally grateful for my great health and abundant blessings, I have to ask and wonder, “why me?” I can only imagine the toll something like this takes on Gordon. He did everything right, treated each of us exactly as he should have, and I’m the ‘one’ who had the outcome everyone worked and hoped for. Why?
I remember laying in my hospital room following one of my surgeries and smiling and waving at a lady who was being wheeled to surgery for the same type of cancer I had. She didn’t make it. I did. Why?
Tonight I checked my e-mail and had a note from a friend detailing a conversation he had with a friend of his. His friends wife is ‘full of cancer’. I also had a note from one of my sisters who asked me to add a friend of hers to the list I carry with me . . . this friend has a ‘loaf of bread sized tumor in her abdomen’. This despicable, insidious, damnable disease known as cancer has to be stopped.
That’s the reason we’re all out here. That’s why we’re willingly suffering each day. Because Jason, Todd, Rich, Scotty, Larry, Joe, Jon, Dan, Darcie, and Brian are committed to doing our part to raise funds for Huntsman Cancer Institute where they’re working to find better tolerated and less toxic treatments for cancer and, ultimately, cures for the >200 types of this disease. And it’s also why those who are supporting us each day are here.
We’re committed to do our part. Will you do likewise, please? Go to www.h140.kintera.org/jeffwarren to donate to our cause, and your cause, today.
Tomorrow it’s on to Delta, Utah! Stay tuned!
P.S. Sorry about the length of this post. I’m sure I’ll hear about it in the morning from my riding companions! :>)