Thank you all! I have completed my treatments and am far into my recovery. As we all know, I am beating the odds just to be here, and this whole thing could go south any day, but I am diligently working to get my life back. Your help during the time when NO assistance was available, when I was tethered to IVs and hospitals with very little hope of a decent outcome, that meant more than I can possibly communicate. And as I said before, my intention is to do more than just be alive. THANK YOU.
Apr 12, 2016
On April 10th, I managed to force myself and my old bike through the short course at the Eroica California vintage bike ride in the hills above Paso Robles. http://www.eroicacalifornia.... It had been three weeks of constant challenge against the odds (check earlier posts), even right to the starting gate. Waiting next in line to get my ride book stamped and take off, I noticed that my old front Panaracer tire had blown out a sidewall. A big aneurysym just cleared the forks on the left side with the broken tire sidewall threads wacking the fork on each revolution. Repairs from last night had yet to be road tested: the problematic axle nuts, the crank cotter pins, the weak seat post, and now this. Nausea, spinning head from my morning drugs -- I felt the least healthiest I have ever been in my life, like a train wreck without even yet leaving the station. Looking back at the photos, I look like a wreck. Photos at www.shaunwillson.com. Check my blog and Facebook link.
So I figured I would get my ride card stamped, ride under the starting banner, maybe make a mile and come back. I had given this gig all the energy and time I had left and I was OK just calling it good. Mentally and physically I was numb as a stone. But after a mile the tire didn't blow. After the first long hill, the crank held. So I figured the worst case scenario, a tire blowing on a long downhill and me hitting the pavement at 30 mph, and I realized that it still wouldn't be as bad as open heart surgery or three rounds of chemotherapy, so I said to hell with it and rode until something disintegrated. And nothing did, other than my legs. The ride itself was beautiful; steeply rolling hills through olive orchards and vineyards, classic pastoral stuff. Glorious and meticulously maintained vintage machines stretched out in lines in front and behind me. The odd rider's group on the roadside every mile making repairs. (I never did!) I cannot imagine trying any harder to get to and through this event, making this dream come true. It was an inspiration to be part of it in any sense, much less finishing a route. Thank you to all family and friends who helped fix, patch, and cajole my bicycle and my body through this thing. If I still didn't feel so sick I would be walking in the clouds right now, so forgive me for this brief post about an incredibly important and epic event from my bucket list. And tomorrow morning it is back to the doctor, and I will never tell him a thing.
Apr 08, 2016
If you want to be swaggeringly hip-retro-vintage on a bicycle, choose a ride with some rare or obscure detail, and better yet, let the idiosyncracy be something potentially catastrophic. Then you...
Apr 01, 2016
In the running community there is a notion that speed is not as important as finishing. When all else is gone, - energy, hope - the idea is to simply keep moving: The mantra is: Relentless...
Mar 28, 2016
I had a choice: Either feel lousy and stay in bed or feel lousy and do something. Doing something doesn't make me feel worse so... now I am walking about four miles per day. As of yesterday I am...
Mar 10, 2016
Back home to our rolling Airstream condo, Tater. Parked in my brother's driveway, a mansion would not be better. The weather is cold, windy, and rainy - a typical Northern California winter. But...
Mar 08, 2016
I am stunned. I leave the hospital tomorrow. This is about ten days ahead of schedule. In two days my white blood cell counts rose to their highest level in a year. The doctors, in their...
Mar 06, 2016
Today is known as the "nadir", the estimated date of when I should feel the worst. Instead it was just another day. Two items of interest though: (1) extraordinary bone pain - which pleased the...
Mar 02, 2016
I'm OK, the medications are tackling the majority of side effects, but the fatigue is extreme. One of my doctors created a simple graph to show where I am in the process. Check it out on my March...
Feb 27, 2016
A much better day. Steroids have me jittery but I managed to shuffle the halls today dragging around the IV pole and also an appetite returned -- somewhat. I am so swollen that there is nowhere...
Feb 26, 2016
Yesterday was miserable. A few hours after the transplant, my immune system went into a reaction: Fever, shakes, and the worst headache I can remember. My 20+ lb. swollen body turned red as a...
Feb 24, 2016
Today is DAY ZERO. That means that I received my stem cell/bone marrow transplant today. It is simple, entertainment-wise, really a non-event. The infusion itself only lasts a couple of hours. An...
Feb 18, 2016
The 11th floor of the UCSF medical center looks like a typical hospital, except for one item: The fabulous view from the solarium room out across San Francisco and the bay. After three days here...