Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Since getting out of the big house life has been a bit more difficult than usual. I have been experiencing a lot of nausea. I am not sure what it is coming from. I am on so many drugs that the side effects all collide or cancel each other out or add up to more than they should. It is pretty crazy. At times the nausea has been so bad that all I can do is sit there and try to keep it together. Blogging has been pretty far from my mind.

Yesterday Robin and Barbara went down to the Folsom pharmacy and picked up a prescription of prilosec an anti-nausea drug. Since I've got that on board I am feeling lots better and am able to eat again. the Chickenhawk and I just came home from breakfast at the Coloma Club. For anyone that knows the Coloma Club, they are rolling their eyes right now or possibly pointing their finger down their throat. But I am here to tell you it was great to have food brought to us, what we asked for when we wanted it and to just sit and talk. The Coloma Club is a yucky place but sometimes it just hits the spot.

Spring has sprung in the Coloma Lotus valley. It is my favorite time of year to be here. Coloma is an incredibly beautiful place. We are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The elevation at the floor of the valley is only 750 feet but the mountains that create the canyon rise 2000 feet above the valley. Out the window of my family room is a view of Mount Murphy the biggest most prominent hill in the valley. It burned last summer and has been black ever since. Now it has turned green and the south facing flank of it has got California poppies blanketing it. All of the hills have turned the green of fresh new grass. In a few months that grass will dry out and the hills will be a dusky blond but for now it is shimmering emerald green. The buckeyes are all leafing out in a brilliant green and there are lots of trees blossoming in white flowers all over.

The C/H was running on the Monroe ridge trail yesterday the opposite side of the valley from Mt. Murphy. She said the ridge was blanketed with shooting stars.

The day time temperatures are running in the high 60's or low 70's and it has been sunny to partly cloudy. It is absolutely perfect bike riding weather. If you are not doing anything, I suggest you get in your car, drive here and ride your face off. You will not regret it.

My in laws, Charlie and Nancy stopped by yesterday on their way back home to Bend OR. They had taken a short break after being here for the better part of February. They stayed in a local campground in their palatial RV. They did were really great at stepping in and helping to run our house as the Share the Care group was getting on its feet. They figured out the routine beautifully and wrangled the kids really well. They did most of the grocery shopping and tons of house repairs that we couldn't get to. Their help was so incredibly key I really am grateful for that.

My Mom and her hubby Chuck are here now and are getting into the swing of things. My Mom, we call her Granny was a nurse for her whole working life. She just recently retired. She has been really great at taking care of me while I am down and in need. That takes a load off the C/H who has been working so hard and is constantly struggling with burn out.

Speaking of that, I am really struggling to figure out how I can help the C/H with burn out. She is the hardest worker I know. She will keep going and going until she pops. She is a sprinter not a marathoner. She does not have an easy time asking for help or accepting help or even realizing that she needs it. She just gets angry. At everything. I feel so bad about that. I am usually the one who talks her down, tells her that everything is going to be all right but I am not doing a very good job at that right now. I mean when you look at me and here me telling you everything is going to be all right it has got to be kind of a joke really. There is another example of the insults of cancer, another thing that I have to come to terms with. I cant take care of my spouse the way I used to. It is so fucked.

We are in the second week of Share the Care and it is really working well. At the initial meeting that we had, I mentioned that there were about 100 people that had expressed interest in helping out in various ways. Our coordinator Adrienne has scheduled weekly captains for the next several months. The job of the captains is to schedule the weeks' events; meals, rides to the doctor, kids to and from school etc. As a result there are still about 90 volunteers that have yet to be called on. If you are one of those folks, rest assured, we want your help it is just a matter of getting to calling on people to get them scheduled. We really truly appreciate all the help and offers of help. Please be patient with our process.

I understand that there will be a work party weekend coming up on the 28th or 29th. Stay tuned for more info about that.

So, all in all, I am feeling better than I have for the last few days which I can say were the worst so far. I am catching up with phone calls and stuff that I need to do like taxes and selling my truck. I feel like I have fallen out of touch with a lot of folks that are very important to me but I know you all understand that I am doing what I can while taking care of myself first. I have been dreaming lots about what I am going to do and where I am going to go when I am done with this. I really want to go sailing, somewhere tropical, with the kids. I want to go to Disney land with the girls. I want to form a community assitance group called Loco Care to take care of people in the community that need help. I am dreaming of doing something big on the bike, not sure yet but possibly RAAM with a Velo Loco team possibly 2010.


Annie B. said...

It is so nice to be able to read your writings. I would love to see mt. murphy right now. I reckon the Rose Campion will be blooming soon too. I think of the 4 of you everyday now. When it gets too hot there, come to the coast, stay for free. You will get through this. You are so very inspiring.
Love, Annie B.

KAYAKRAY said...

Hey Spence,

It's good to hear from you. Hope things continue to improve.

I'm missed seeing you last week. We are coming up next weekend, I'll check the blinds, if there is a green light I'll stop by.

Went for a MTB ride last Friday, from the house, through Greenwood, to Satan's and back. On the way back on 49 a big white truck pulled over in front of me. I was prepared for a confrontation, turned out to be Curtis Hincappe, what a relief.

He showed me his partially completed CX bike. If he would have been grinning any bigger he would have swallowed his ears. Love that guy.

Please count me in for the Velo Loco epic when your ready.

Love you big guy. My best to you and the family.


Matt said...


i think i rode part of the 07 death ride with you, i rode the last 50 with someone in a velo loco jersey. i have been reading for a few months, but have just recently put 2 and 2 together.

from what i have heard coloma/lotus is one great place to live.

im too far away, and your care team seems huge (im involved with one that has just six people) but i wish you well. youre blog is inspiring an humanizing

Lilka said...

Hey Spencer

We never call and we never write, but we’re always here... ;-)

Thanks for the wine (it was at our doorstep last night when I came home). I’m glad we could help.

I also share your thoughts about the Coloma Club, especially (or only?) for breakfast, but maybe one of these days, if you feel up to it, you guys can come and have breakfast with us? Dave makes the best eggs you’re ever going to try, but I can’t guarantee that you’ll get what you ask for! Just let us know.

Dave & Lilka.

Anonymous said...


Whatever RAAM is, I'll be there. Count on me as head cheerleader (oh what a sight that would be).

Sarah is amazing. I have watched her handle this all with grace and perserverance that I have never seen before. We will help you take care of her. I keep my eye on her (as I do many more do too). Please let us know how we can help you with this one.

I must also say that your girls are amazing too. They are honest with their feelings and they are brave little girls. I enjoy spending time with them and listening to their hopeful stories.

Keep on keeping on Spencer. You are a soldier and you are going to win this battle. I am absolutely sure of it. So much so that I am going to start a new fitness regime to fit into a cheerleading uniform (yikes!).

Cheers Spencer. We love you!

Judi said...

Hey guy - you are so lucky, 100 people at your beck and call? Awesome community you have there. For real.

Stay strong and keep kicking ass.

Anonymous said...

Hey big guy
Just figured out that I don't have to join some weird system in order to talk to you...
We saw the Golden soaring over First Threat last weekend and I was wishing that you were there to see him with us. To me he represents your spirit and your incredible unique strength. You and your family are such an important part of this community. I absolutely love your blog; it represents who you are and represents what you mean to others so well. Much love and healing thoughts your way.

bikesgonewild said...

...sorelegs...spencer, i've been so subdued since the horrific cycling accident down here in the bay area over the's been hard to understand my own thoughts...

...i usually try & throw something amusing yer way, despite the fact that i'm always moved by yer posts...
...but this time i just wanna say how frickin' positive yer message is...
...despite the problems all round & i know along w/ everything else, you're obviously hurt by the incredible energy the c/hawk has to expend keeping things together, you've still got the where w/ all to not only describe & share the beauty that is still around you, but you're also sharing plans of the good things you wanna do for others when yer back up & rolling... tonight i'm typing w/ tears in my eyes, not cuz i'm sad or feeling sorry for ya but simply cuz i see a beauty in the two of you (& the girls) that shines through all the problems the family has been dealt...

...chickenhawk, you continue standing proud & tall (ya, i know) keeping both that man & that family of yours going...
...yer anger is's gotta be hard but don't let it take too much outta you...
...i have such great admiration for the two of you...stay strong, stay focused...i extend my heart...

Folsom Matt said...

Spence, just say the word and I'll be your swabbie on that tropical sailing trip. My girls and I will drop it all and go. We can't think of a better dream to look forward to over the next couple of months.

Sorelegs said...

Thanks Y'all for the comments. It is really great to have a bunch of cheerleaders in my corner. Really! Matt, I dont think that was me at Death Ride. I did the last 50 with Terry see the post titled Death Ride memories from some time in February. Maybe one of the other Velo Locoboys will chime in if it sounds familiar.

Matt in Folsom. I can hardly wait.

BGW... I hope everyone is allright, you've got me a little worried.

Noey, RAAM is Race Across America. I can hardly wait to see you in the cheerleader garb. That will be worth the price of admission right there.

Aunt Judy said...

Hey Spence - I'm so proud of you for being the man you are, the poet you are and the dreamer, most of all. Pete and I are loyal readers and your writing helps brings me closer to you, in all this. FYI - I went to see the Capitol Steps and bought you the CD, I'll send it anon.

Send my love to Sarah. Let her know she can leave pissed off messages on my machine anytime she feels like it, I'd be angry too.
Remember, It's the "little girl" hurt underneath that has to get out, too. I'm always here for that as well.
Sending you love,
Aunt Judy

bikesgonewild said...

...spence...i assumed you'd probably heard & if not i won't get into all the details but briefly, there we three major cyclist/ vehicular accidents in the bay area over the weekend... two of them, all three cyclists ended up in the hospital w/ serious injuries...
...the third was a fatality accident involving the death of two quality athletes w/ a third who suffered major broken bones...
...a deputy sheriff fell asleep at the wheel & inadvertently created an obviously horrific situation...
...i'm torn maybe more than usual only because in the bay area there's probably no more than two degrees of separation amongst enthusiastic cyclists...
...i'm fine, i let myself get down a bit but i guarantee you i'll have something funny, dumb or amusing to share w/ you next time, so watch out... two stay strong...

Anonymous said...

Hi Spence, C/H is doing an amazing job. So are the girls, wild as they get. I love their spirit. I can't wait to take them to the snow!!
love kt

don said...

hi spencer,
i sent you an email to your bentley mortgage address. hope you read it. i don't have another email address for you, and didn't think to comment here.

so, i say forget about ramm! let's just do our own ride across america. that will be big enough, and we'll have more time to drink beer!


Heather Brooks Freer said...

Hey from Mexico! We've been thinking of the Rub-Can clan all week, sending our love! We're back late tomorrow night and looking forward to seeing you all. Ready for all the massage you want, playdates galore,a nd hoping for some good spin sessions (and Cougarfest) with Sarah.

Love you all,


Matt said...


sorry, my comment was worded weirdly/incorrectly. i had the pleasure of riding the last 50 with a velo locogirl named tessa. the death ride was a long day, but a great day.

i didnt get a registration this year, but i still hope to be there. im pounding the craigslists and some forums.

Tourmaline OTC said...

Kid wrangling. Nice verbage. I feel like that every day. Hey, I think it's super awesome that you want to take care of the chicken hawk but here's my feminist response: Dude, she can take care of herself. Remember that she chooses to be the ubermom, the superwife, the bestest friend a non-cooking community mother could ever ask for...Let's face it, she's a total stud. So give her the opportunity to be the superhero that she is. If the pieces fall, we're there to pick them up but the pieces won't fall cuz the C/H can do all that and juggle kayak paddles behind her back. She will find her balance. And when she burns, we'll be there to pour gasoline on her, cuz that's how she likes it. I imagine anger is tough to watch, but look at anger in a different way: Anger=Piss and Vinegar. And it'll take the paint off your car....Hang in there super survivor guy....We're all pullin for ya.
Hugs and Hurls,