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I had the worst wreck of my life this past Monday.(30 posts)

I had the worst wreck of my life this past Monday.Mike
Apr 25, 2003 4:46 AM
This is not really a cycling related post so I will add a cycling/this post question at the end. I am not trying to
share any pain or beg sympathy. I am, rather, suggesting
you consider the implications of having a training plan for
the cycling year without planning for life.

Monday afternoon I was taking a break at work thinking of
possible routes for the afternoon ride. It was sunny, lower 70's, with a bit of a breeze. . . a nice day for a good workout. About then the phone rang; hmmm, ex-wife, she never calls me at work. Turns out my oldest son, Michael, was being admitted to the hospital for some tests. This is not alarming to me at the time because he had been sick for a couple weeks and we were worried he might have mono or something. By the time I find the room at the hospital the Doctor is just heading out the door. He followed me back into the room asking me if I would like to sit down; ex-wife tells me to sit down. The amber "This
can't be good" light started flashing on my internal control panel. I sit, not to say I ever listened to her much a long time ago. So I go from planning where to go for a two hour ride, one hour with the heartrate up around 170, to hearing someone tell me my son has leukemia. WHAT BIKE!

So, my cycling related question: How can I keep riding?
Everyone tells me I have to keep riding; it will help me
through this or something. And I can understand the point,
but how can I ride and have the desire I did on Sunday?

Hug anyone you love and spin the wheels a couple time for this end.

When someone you love is sick, etc., nothing else mattersKeeponTrekkin
Apr 25, 2003 5:29 AM
If you ride more, the same, less or not at all, you and your son will know what's right.

You're in our thoughts and prayers.

My prayers go out to you and your familyvelocity
Apr 25, 2003 5:48 AM
I'm sure the whole RBR community wishes your son a full recovery.

Try though to continue to set aside the time to ride. It will help you remain sane and healthy during this.
Keep Riding, but remember this...Fez
Apr 25, 2003 5:56 AM
Your son's health is #1. Never let your riding compromise you being there for him.

Ride to help keep you fit, physically and mentally. Some of my best thinking time is on the bike. Riding can be therapeutic.

It isn't all or nothing... You don't have to have the enthusiasm of last Sunday. A little riding enthusiasm is better than nothing. Just make sure you ride safe.

Hope everything with your son turns out for the better.
re: I had the worst wreck of my life this past Monday.commuterguy
Apr 25, 2003 6:02 AM
I am very sorry to learn that your son has leukemia. I can't answer your question "how can I keep riding?"--I suspect only you can answer that. Perhaps you might want to subject the ride/no ride question to a benefit/cost test. Biking may very well help you help your son (by helping you clear your head and think things through). But it might not. Also, I guess I would suggest making sure if you do ride you are able to devote enough mental energy to the ride itself--when I am preoccupied, I sometimes do very dumb things on the bike.

The other thing that has helped me when I have been in situations loosely analogous to yours is google. There is an unbelievable amount of high quality medical information on the web. I have found that, if not exactly power, having this knowledge helps in coping, understanding the doctors' actions, and making better decisions when the doctors give options.

I hope this helps. Good luck.
Wow. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayersGregory Taylor
Apr 25, 2003 6:28 AM
As for the answers to your questions, I think that you have your priorities exactly right: "Hug anyone you love and spin the wheels a couple time for this end." The answers to you bike questions will become self-evident if you keep your own wisdom in mind.
re: I had the worst wreck of my life this past Monday.lc21998
Apr 25, 2003 6:42 AM
God bless you, your son, and your whole family. Unfortunately, you're going to have a while to figure out the answer to your question. Don't rush it. You'll know what to do.

It's a long frustrating roadtazdag
Apr 25, 2003 7:07 AM
About 27 years ago when I was fresh out of high school, my sister (21 years old) was diagnosed with leukemia. While she wasn't my daughter but a sibling, I know what you're going through.
Battling leukemia is a long and frustrating fight. The shock will wear off with time, but the frustration of seeing your loved one sick becomes a wall between you and the rest of the world. Expect to cry for no reason at any time, it will happen. You will need an outlet to help work through what you will be feeling. I found that riding my bike removed me from the immediate situation and let my mind float (I still use riding as a form of meditation to this day). Your riding motives will undoubtedly be different now; speed, heartrate, distance will become things that you used to focus on. But do keep riding because it will help you work through it.
Leukemia treatment has progressed a lot since the mid 70s and I pray that your son is able to pull through it.
God bless you and your family.
Being the father of two teenaged daughters, I would....Juanmoretime
Apr 25, 2003 7:17 AM
suspect this to be the second worse news someone could get and have to cope with. I don't think I need to mnetion the first. I hope and pray this is something your son can pull through. He definitely needs you at this time and he must be your number one priority. Your family will need you to be both mentally and physically stong to help them. 12 years ago my father died and I had to become the "Male" of the family, making all the decisions for my mother and siblings. The little time I had to myself became a time to run or bike to relieve the stress I was experiencing. I thought it was better than being depressed or achohol. Sort of like going into a room closing the door and shouting. Be strong, your family needs you with a positive outlook. Life will go on so you need to enjoy whatever it tosses at you for this very short ride on this plant. Ride because deep down inside, it's you.
No explanation.Jon Billheimer
Apr 25, 2003 7:31 AM
There is simply no explanation why bad things happen to good people, especially our children. My heart really goes out to you, your son, and your family.

There of course is no answer to the riding question, as others have noted. You just have to process your shock and your grief and then refocus your resources. Do what feels right. You and your son are in our prayers.
My prayers are with you and your family....Becky
Apr 25, 2003 7:28 AM
...through this hard time.
Remember that all of here at RBR are pulling for you, your son, and the rest of your family, even though we've never met. We're a community and communities look out for each other.
Just DO IT. It will be cathartic. Hang in there. (nm)Bike Fool
Apr 25, 2003 7:37 AM
Be strong and of good couragePsalm 147-10_11
Apr 25, 2003 7:55 AM

If you want to keep riding, consider using the bike as a fundraiser for the Leukemia society. It may be comforting to your son to know that dad is actively involved in helping find a cure.

Best wishes to your son.
So sorry to hear this, every parents nightmare...rwbadley
Apr 25, 2003 8:17 AM
Take your time. The wind has been pulled from your sails for now. You may be adrift for some time.

Sooner or later it will come back, only you can know when the time is right to get back on the bike. Stay healthy and I hope your son makes full recovery soon. Modern medicine can work miracles... look at Lance.

Apr 25, 2003 8:52 AM
I just said a prayer for your son and your family. Keep us updated on how things are going. Been thru some similar things, and I know how in 1 second your thoughts and priorites change. One day at a time my friend. SM
One thought.dmoller
Apr 25, 2003 8:56 AM
I did the Lake Tahoe Century with the Leukemia Society's Team In Training last year, and some may be turned off by the numbers of people doing those events and fundraising, but we had a patient hero for our cycling team and perhaps you nominate him to be one also. I know during our training season, we had about 3 or 4 events where the hero was invited (our hero was a 6 yr. old boy just about at the end of his three year treatment program) and we had a picnic at his house one Sunday afternoon that both he and his mom loved. Our hero didn't have a bike of his own, so a team member donated a very gently used bike and he couldn't have been more excited. The fundraising was not my cup of tea, but with a personal involvement, it may not be as bad. We also had a survivor on our team that didn't do Lake Tahoe, but did and finished one, locally near Atlanta.

Good luck and my thoughts are with you. Keep us posted.
be strong.colker
Apr 25, 2003 9:02 AM
for michael and the others. to give, you must have some. riding could be your moment of strenghtening your body or calming your soul. if they need your time, don't ride.. if you need riding for your soul, go for it. it's good for everybody that you keep yourself strong.
My hopes are with you and yours.Charlie Amerique
Apr 25, 2003 9:03 AM
I can understand your feelings, i had the same myself over my daughter's illness (thankfully not cancer related) some years ago.

I did ride to clear my mind, to help me drop all the other things from my heart and soul before I went in to see my little girl.

For you, there is only the answer you will find within yourself. Do NOT take any "spare baggage" with you, you are responsible only for yourself. If anyone tells you how selfish you are for thinking of yourself "at a time like this", ignore them.

Best of luck to you, Mike
re: I had the worst wreck of my life this past Monday.beamer
Apr 25, 2003 10:50 AM
My wife was diagnosed with lymphoma nearly two years ago. After my world stopped crashing down around my ears, I joined Team in Training. TNT is part of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They use the money raised in fundraising to help people beat these diseases. Fundraising isn't fun, but it gives me a purpose when I'm out training for the TNT rides now.

Only the best to you, your son, and the rest of your family.
Call Leukemia Society..not just for TNTPseuZQ
Apr 25, 2003 11:15 AM
I think calling Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a good idea, and not just for TNT. A BIG part of their mission is to support patients and families of patients with blood-related cancers. This is from their website (

"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The Society's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the Society has provided more than $280 million for research specifically targeting blood-related cancers."

My understanding, form having been involved with TNT, is that the society does a lot to support families in a lot of different ways.

My thoughts are with you and your family.
hang in theretarwheel
Apr 25, 2003 11:41 AM

Six years ago, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a span of 6 weeks, she had a masectomy and started chemotherapy, we had to move into a new house with my wife still recovering from surgery, our new home was bombarded by trees in Hurricane Fran, and then my mother died. Chemo treatment lasted about 6 months, and I pretty much had to do everything around the house during that period because my wife was so weak she could barely walk up the stairs.

We got through it, and my wife apparently has beaten the cancer. It's tough experiencing periods like this, but you'll get through it stronger than ever. Just remember what your priorities are. Your son (and wife) will really need your support. If you haven't read Lance Armstrong's book, It's Not About the Bike, get a copy. You'll gain a lot of insight from it, and your son might as well (if he's old enough). My wife read it, and she could care less about cycling, and she really liked it.
Let others knowms
Apr 25, 2003 12:23 PM
One of my work colleagues has a child with significant health problems. During the first year of the child's life, he didn't share what was going on at home. We thought that his mood changes, etc. had something to do with us. Once we knew what the issue was, it became a lot easier for us to give him the support and space that he needs. Don't be embarassed or reluctant to ask for help or support. You will need it and most people (even including a@@hole work colleagues) are more than willing to give it. And, be explicit about your needs -- the worst thing is for people to want to help you and to be doing exactly what you don't want or need.

Insofar as riding is concerned, if it makes you feel better do it and if it doesn't, don't do it. The important thing at this time in your life is to do whatever you need to keep yourself going.
re: I had the worst wreck of my life this past Monday.koala
Apr 25, 2003 4:21 PM
You must stay on the bike. In the 80s my little brother got me into cycling and was the best friend I have ever had. He got married and we saw each other less but still stayed close. Five oclock one morning I got the call from his wife and he was gone. I stayed away from the bike because of the painful memories for a decade. I got back into it because another person in the family died and I inherited his master light Colnago. I love cycling and wish I never left it. You need to stay healthy mentally and physically for your family now. Cycling is a great way to help both of those ways now.God bless you and yours.
A Bit of Cycling May Provide Some Semblance of ...serbski
Apr 25, 2003 4:43 PM
...normalcy in a world that probably doesn't make a lot of sense right now. Just that 1/2 or one hour on the bike might just be enough to give you some time to "turn off" from the realities of a difficult situation while re-charging you mentally and physically. I continued to run while my mother had cancer when I was quite young and it was the one part of the day (or part of life) that I could "control" to some extent. Like other posters have replied, just do what feels right but, from my experience, don't feel guilty or ashamed to give yourself that small amount of time (on the bike or wherever) that will enable you to cope as well as to help your son. Good luck and my thoughts are with you.
Mike D.
Mike, My heart reaches out ..........Len J
Apr 25, 2003 7:16 PM
to you & your family.

May you find the strength & courage within you to deal with his in a way that will bring you all closer together.

Reading your last words tell me that you have your priorities right.

Be strong & know you are not alone.

be strongsctri
Apr 25, 2003 9:27 PM
Bear with what life has thrown your way, be as stong as you can for your son, your family and yourself.

Ride when you can, if you can, because you can.

re: I had the worst wreck of my life this past Monday.Sintesi
Apr 26, 2003 6:47 AM
After 9/11 (I live in NYC) I couldn't bike because it just seemed so ludicrously frivolous. I also think I didn't want to feel the guilt of enjoying myself when there was so much grief. My wife lost some co-workers that day so she was feeling especially sad. I just couldn't do it. Took a little while.

Don't listen to your friends, listen to your heart. If you don't feel right about it don't do it. While it's definitely okay to ride your bike, I'm sure your son or wife wouldn't object, events like this put everything in proper perspective and cycling just falls from the list of important things.

Keep the faith, this will work out in the end. This leukemia your son has has been beaten before and it will be beaten this time as well, don't you doubt it. My best wishes and prayers to you and your son.
Anyone that has children can attest to the fact thatHigh Gear
Apr 26, 2003 12:47 PM
- they are your new purpose in life. I can see how riding at this point ins't enjoyable. My mom had a cancerous brain tumor back in 96'. Riding helped a little to relieve some of the pressure. Do what you need to do to stay sane. I pray and hope everything will be ok. Please keep up posted.

Thanks for all the positive messages!!! Mike nmMike
Apr 26, 2003 2:53 PM
Research - Ride - Be his best friend - Find the best doctorTurtle Boy
Apr 26, 2003 3:12 PM
So sorry to hear this happened to your son - you - and your family. This stuff comes out of the blue and wiil throw you for a loop. Last year after my routine physical I was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer - same family of disease as leukemia - at age 47. It took many months to work through the emotional issues - fortunatley I had a lot of support. For months I had a voice in my head saying "you've got cancer" like that stupid AOL email voice.

It will take time to get over the shock - but the worst thing you can do is curl up in a ball. Try to maintain part of your schedule and your sanity - riding is a great release. The most important thing you can do is learn everthing you can about the disease and current treatments. Be there for your son - do the things he likes to do. And the most IMPORTANT thing is find a great doctor - this not the time for amatuer hour - or getting stuck with some hard-headed assh0le.

I've been very lucky and am responding to treatment - I wish the same to you and your son.