Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

The days are just packed… (apologies to Calvin & Hobbes)

It started like all Thursdays start; the alarm clock goes off at 6:55am, I walk into the kitchen and turn on the coffee maker, use the bathroom (while checkout out the latest bike racing info on the iPhone), get dressed, go into the garage and air up the tires on my bike, drink my coffee while eating some sort of energy bar (whatever’s available, only requirement being that it can’t contain raisins), make a bottle of drink mix (which I rarely drink any of on my morning rides), grab my lights and computer that charged overnight, one last quick stop in the bathroom and then head out to ride.

Except that normally I’d be getting Kevin going too, instead of trying to figure out when to visit him at the hospital while he’s somewhere in the middle of a 4-week process involving planting 80 electrodes into his brain, inducing seizures so they can study what happens, removing the electrodes, coming home for a week, then going back in to have a fancy miniature computer installed into that same brain. Yeah, doesn’t seem like that big a deal to me either, but I do miss riding with him. 🙂

It was an easier ride than most mornings, and not sure why. Karl, Karen, JR, Scotty… I think that’s everyone.

After the ride, another ride, to the shop, to help more people… ride. I think there’s a theme here. After work, another short ride to the hospital to check up on Kevin, then finally, at about 9:30pm, back home again. Tomorrow (Friday) morning, it’s back to the hospital again, this time to drop my wife (Karen) off to have a “port” installed for her upcoming chemo treatments, and while there, check up on Kevin who will be, about the same time, having a procedure to remove the electrodes from his brain. After that, back to the shop, help more people with bikes… rinse, wash, repeat.

It doesn’t seem all that unusual; it’s my new normal. Is there going to be an empty feeling once Kevin’s procedures are done and Karen’s once-monthly chemo treatment just becomes part of a routine? I’m kinda looking forward to finding out. 🙂

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Just another nice day on the bike, plus update on Kevin, Becky & Karen

wolh_05_03_16Not quite warm enough yet to dispense with the base layer and leg warmers, but at least we’re into regular (short-finger) glove mode! Eric, JR, Marcus, Karl & Karen this morning; older Kevin is off cycling in Mallorca, while younger Kevin is still having his brain scanned.

It was one of those rides where you really felt pretty awful at the start, but the longer you rode, the better you felt. Truthfully, I felt OK once we hit Kings. I didn’t know I felt OK until I found I was still on Marcus’ wheel when everyone else had dropped off the pace a bit. A quick regroup at the park entrance, after which things split up again… I dropped back to keep an eye on the rear, but chased back up to the front again, finally circling back at the wide open section. It’s likely I could have had another decent time on the climb, but more important to make sure everyone’s OK.

kevin_fat_frogAfter work, it was time to check up on Kevin and see if he’s still OK. He’d had an interesting day; his doctor had come by and was, literally, playing with Kevin’s brain. Those 80 electrodes connected to his brain, the electrodes that tell the doctor what Kevin’s brain is up to? Turns out they can be used in reverse. Pretty cool. The doctor can stimulate any one of those areas and basically do a sort of puppet-master thing on Kevin, causing him arm to fly out and open, various muscles to twitch, or, in one of the funnier things anyone has seen, force an involuntary smile. Seriously. I got to see a recording of it his girlfriend had made. Pretty hilarious!

Kevin will be leaving the hospital on Sunday, and then head back a couple weeks later to have a very high-tech brain stimulator implanted in his skull. Something that will actually learn from his seizures and (hopefully) figure out a way to trigger an anti-seizure before a real seizure gets a chance to start. Clearly, interesting times are ahead!

Tomorrow is lining up to be another significant day. On the good side of things, Becky finally gets the cast off her broken foot. It’s been a month since she’s been able to ride to work. On the praying-for-good-news side, my wife (Becky & Kevin’s mom) gets the results of a high-tech scan she had today, results that will hopefully show that her newly-discovered cancer hasn’t spread beyond what was found (and removed) a couple weeks ago. If the scan does find more, hopefully it will give her doctors the information they need to aggressively go after it. This is her 3rd time with breast cancer, something she’s lost her mom, and one of her sisters to. The road ahead will not be easy, but cancer treatment is significantly better today than even the 5 or so years ago when she lost her sister. Still, it’s going to be a challenge holding everything together, but you just have to take things one at a time, as they come to you. That and a healthy amount of prayer. –Mike

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