The cycling season ended for me on November 8 with a leisurely 10-mile ride in the morning before I refereed a U16 girls soccer match. Less than 48 hours later I could barely walk 50 feet and then only aided by a nurse. I immediately collapsed to my hospital bed and fell asleep.
My journey in battling prostate cancer is detailed on my Caring Bridge page. Sorry Dickens, it was the best of years and the worst of years.
Keep in mind that I am not a competitive cyclist. I ride because it’s fun and healthy. I believe that my bike crash on Bike to Work Day led to my illness which led to a diagnosis of early cancer which might not have been found until it had spread. Maybe not.
But while very anxious over my prognosis, I re-focused and raced in the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. To train I found peace riding in the Allegheny Mountains near Altoona. I raised more than $3,000 for cancer support and research while riding in the Livestrong-Challenge, a 100-mile ride outside of Philadelphia. And I averaged 20 mph in the Backroads Century on a hilly course in September.
I had a good season on the bike while facing life-changing and life-saving decisions. Wow. It was the ride of my life. I trained for the surgery even more than for the Hillclimb up Mount Washington. And it paid off. My doctors were generally astonished at the good shape I was in and it saved me from a blood transfusion during surgery. It provided definition to find and spare my nerves. And it has helped me in my recovery.
I look forward to getting back on the bike and doing it again in 2010. My goals: Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb; a week in France riding with and following the Tour de France; and the Livestrong Challenge in Austin and a Ride for the Roses with Lance Armstrong. And no cancer next year.