Wherein I Compare and Contrast Recent American Tour de France Champions to my Wife

From time to time, I post how things are going with my wife. But I don’t tell you everything, and sometimes I don’t tell you anything.

I haven’t, for example, gone into much detail about how much pain Susan’s in right now.

So you’ll just have to trust me that Susan wasn’t just being a pansy when, yesterday morning, she called the bone tumor specialist’s nurse and told her that she just couldn’t take it much longer.

The nurse, to her massive credit, immediately lined up an impromptu appointment with the specialist, then called Susan’s oncologist, and started investigating whether it would be possible to move Susan’s surgery up a week.

So yesterday Susan and I spent most of the afternoon talking with doctors, where we found that the crack in Susan’s left hip is spreading. We all agreed it would in fact be a good idea to do this surgery as soon as possible.

So when will Susan’s hip replacement be?

Tomorrow.

With this fairly big deal suddenly coming up, now seems like a good time to have a Susan-centric post. I’d therefore like you to consider some rather freaky parallels between Susan and the two most recent American Tour de France champions, Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis.

Comparison 1: Cancer Battles
Both Lance Armstrong and Susan have battled cancer.

  • Armstrong fought it once, as a single man, with responsibilities to nobody but himself.
  • Susan has fought it twice, with a husband and four children to take care of.

Advantage: Susan, by a mile.

Comparison 2: Cancer Awareness
Both Lance Armstrong and Susan have raised considerable quantities of money toward cancer survivorship.

  • Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which has directly benefitted thousands and thousands of cancer survivors and their families. He has turned cancer research into a bona fide political issue for the 2008 US presidential election.
  • Susan has raised more than $6000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and has given a number of Fat Cyclist blog readers a reason to take up breast cancer research as a cause worth fighting for.

Advantage: Armstrong. Sorry, Susan, but you’ve got some catching up to do on this one.

Comparison 3: Hip Replacement
Floyd Landis had a hip replaced. Susan’s about to have a hip replaced.

  • Landis messed up his hip by falling off his bike and then letting the screws holding his hip together get rusty. Or something like that.
  • Susan messed up her hip by doing too much kickboxing as a teenager, and also because of that cancer thing.

Advantage: Susan. Unlike Floyd, Susan did everything she could to avoid the hip replacement, including radiation and hobbling along on it in spite of the fracture. Floyd, on the other hand, just let his old hip rot in its socket. That’s just gross, Floyd.

Oh, by the way, I may have made up that bit about kickboxing.

Comparison 4: Twins
Lance Armstrong is the father of six-year-old twin girls. Susan is the mother of (a completely separate set of) six-year-old twin girls.

  • Armstrong’s twins are fraternal. Also, Armstrong did not carry his twins around for 8-point-something months before they were born.
  • Susan’s twins are identical. As in, we give them different hairstyles so people can tell them apart, because otherwise it’s pretty much impossible. Susan carried the twins to about as close to full term as any mother ever has. And she continued to be a great mom to our two sons while she did it.

Advantage: Susan. You know what’s funny? During the first two years of the twins’ life, we thought that was going to be our big life test. Ha.

Comparison 5: Biking
Let’s see how Susan, Armstrong and Landis compare on their bikes.

  • Armstrong and Landis are remarkable athletes and can ride their bikes two levels of magnitude faster than you or I can.
  • Susan doesn’t have a bike. I bought her a nice Sugar 2 shortly before we found out she was pregnant with the twins, but she hasn’t really had a chance to ride it. However, even with everything we’ve been through, Susan doesn’t just tolerate that I ride and love bikes; she actively encourages and supports me.

Advantage: Me. For sure.

Comparison 6: Doping
Rumors and allegations of drug use have followed Armstrong, Landis, and Susan.

  • Landis was accused of an abnormal testosterone level, but he denies the charge and is fighting hard to overturn the ruling.
  • Armstrong has never been formally accused of taking any drugs, although he’s been informally accused so often it’s practically a sport of its own. Plus, being on drugs would explain the recent sightings with that girl from Full House.
  • Susan takes a lot of drugs. Chemo, Zometa, Avastin, antibiotics, Coumadin, EPO (yeah, my wife’s on EPO) and a veritable cornucopia of painkillers. Susan’s blood sample wouldn’t just raise a red flag when tested; it would raise a red flag, cause the klaxons and sirens to go off, and probably melt the vial it’s contained in. It’s entirely possible that WADA would not approve of Susan’s shenanigans.

Advantage: Susan. You’ve got to admire how brazen she is about her pill-popping ways.

Final Score: This one’s easy. The parallels are eerie, but Susan manages to come out ahead in almost all of them. She’s one tough mama.

She and I are both anxious, but also looking forward to getting this over with, so she can get back on her feet. With any luck, this will be the last major step in her treatment for a good, long time.

PS: I expect that a lot of you will be anxious to know how Susan does in tomorrow’s surgery. I can’t promise anything, but I will do my best to post an update in the late afternoon or evening.

PPS: Susan does read this blog, so if you’d like to get her a message of encouragement, the comment section’s an easy way to do it.

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