** Don't miss the medical update at the bottom **
Start of the ride - 1,000 cyclists
Greetings friends and family. Well, Renee and I (and Rachel) had a stupendous weekend in the mountains of western NC. After 5 months of training, I completed the 100 mile Fletcher Flyer bike ride!! I went 17 miles further than I had gone in any previous training ride, and finished strong and sore. I raised $5,000 for LLS in the process, good enough for 2nd place among the 50+ TNT riders - and my thanks go out again to all those who donated to the cause!
|On the Course with the Triad Team|
After driving out to Asheville on Saturday, we checked in to our hotel and got ready for the inspiration dinner, a gathering of all the Team in Training (TNT) participants and their families. I was asked by the TNT staff to give the survivor's perspective and I will have the video up soon if you want to check it out. It's about 22 minutes in length.
The ride itself traces out a labyrinth of roads that generally criss-cross through beautiful river bottomland and the towns of Brevard, Mills River, Etowah, Horsehoe, and, of course, Fletcher. The course had a total elevation gain of something like 4,300 feet, but over 100 miles, that's not too heinous. 4 other riders came out from the Raleigh team with me, and on the ride I met a bunch of great TNT folks from Greensboro, Winston Salem, Georgia, and Northern Ohio. The team spirit and camaraderie were outstanding. There were 6 rest stops along the way, each equipped with porta-johns, fresh and packaged foods, water and gatorade, a first aid station, and a bike mechanic tent. Since we were not 'racing', we made good use of the rest areas!
|Finishing Strong with David, Wendy, Liz, Beth, Rob, and Singh from the Triad Team|
At mile 49, the course passed the gravel road that goes to my sister-in-law Karen's house. Renee, Rachel, and Karen were out there to cheer us on (link to clip ---> HERE )
After the ride, Renee and I spent Sunday evening with Karen and Scott (Rachel had to motor back to Raleigh to be ready for her first day of work on Monday) at their cozy mountain cabin in Mills River. Then Monday morning we drove up the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to Blowing Rock, NC to spend another lovely evening with Bill and Michelle Joyce at their mountain retreat. Wonderful views, wonderful friends, fabulous food, and great wine. A blessed time. Back to Raleigh on Tuesday to face new challenges.
On the Thursday before Memorial Day, I had my 6-month CT scan. On the tuesday following, Dr. Kritz called - which is never a good omen, because when the tests are negative he has a staff nurse make the calls - and let me know that the CT showed an anomaly in my right lung. Since I am not showing any signs of pneumonia, that can be ruled out as an explanation, but there are innumerable viruses and bacteria that can cause infections of different types, some which carry little or no symptoms. So, it's likely either a lymphoma relapse or an odd infection. We are going with a surgical biopsy so that there are no mistakes or indeterminate results this time. We will have a consultation with Dr. Albert Chang tomorrow (June 5) and schedule the biopsy from there. Dr. Chang is the same doc who performed the operation in September 2011 that ultimately determined that I had lymphoma, not lung cancer. ----> Update today, June 9: after a PET scan this morning, we consulted again with Dr. Chang and will proceed with the biopsy, tentatively schedule for tomorrow, June 10th, pending insurance approval.
As we face another time of uncertainty and stress, we are "battle ready" - we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is with us, He is for us, and He has everything under control. He wants us to trust Him completely with this life and the next, and we do. Until my next update, we are wishing you God's best….Dan