Sunday, November 2, 2008


I managed to skip an entire month of blogging. I haven't really had anything to talk about, been riding some, working a lot, and eating even more.

My wife and I have been going through a troublesome time, our 6 year old yellow lab Duke, passed away on Saturday from cancer. He was having issues on Tuesday of last week keeping food and water down, so we took him into the vet where they kept him overnight. After some x-rays, blood tests and $600 later, we were told that he was anemic (sp?) and had a lot of mast cells in his blood (cancer indicator)

We were told to take him to Dr. Ann Jeglum in Chalfant, PA for a bone marrow biopsy, which turned out OK, with low count of the mast cells that were found in his blood. After speaking with Dr. Jeglum, she informed us that his spleen was very enlarged and would require an ultrasound to determine what was going on, as well as a blood transfusion to get his red blood cell count up. There was a potential to have to remove his spleen.

Fast forward to Thursday morning, Dr. Jeglum called my cell and told me that Duke had to have his spleen removed right away or he would die, because there was a 6 cm mass (a little smaller than a tennis ball) had ruptured and was bleeding into his stomach. So we made the decision to have this $2500 required surgery with the hopes that the mast cell hadn't spread and/or caused any more tumors.

Friday morning we went and picked him up from the surgery center to transfer him to Dr. Jeglum's office in West Chester, he was moving really slow and not really perking up the way they wanted him to. He was however happy to see us, which was nice to see some resemblance of our Duke. We had a really difficult time getting him into the car, and an even harder time getting him out of the car. We got a stretcher and loaded him onto it to get him into the office, after he was checked out by Dr. Jeglum, she met with us to give us an update. If he gets through the recovery of the splenectomy, we would attempt to treat the cancer with steroids and possibly chemotherapy.

Saturday morning I called off from work and headed down to visit him at the vet. We got to the office and hung out in the waiting room for the doctor to take us back. A few minutes later we heard a pretty loud howl, hoping it wasn't Duke. The doctor came out to bring us back and as soon as we got to him he was arresting. That was a terrible site, as well as seeing the brain reaction causing his head to move while we were standing over him.

I know this probably wasn't the post anyone wanted to read and I certainly didn't want to write about it. But I figured if you see me out and about, and didn't quite understand why I might not be myself, you'd at least know why. Sorry for long sad story. Thank you to all my friends and family for their support during this trying time.

Trying to keep my mind off things, I got to ride two days in a row at Salisbury. Saturday late afternoon I did a loop on the SS 29'er, and about a minute into the ride I was kinda spacing out and ran my front tire right into a stump just of the trail sending me about 15 feet down the trail face first. I got up and brushed myself off with no "real" injuries, and headed back out to ride awhile. I realize a few minutes later that I had dropped my water bottle in the crash, so I had to right back up to get it. At that point I almost just rode back to the car and headed home, however I grabbed my bottle and went back out to do the normal loop.

I was out there for awhile before I even saw another rider, as I went up the switchback climb I caught up to John Eoiro (sp?) a local MASS racer that I had met once or twice before. We finished the ride together and grabbed some good mexican food at La Lupina in Bethlehem, near Lehigh. I was cool to just chill and shoot the breeze about riding and racing with someone else who shares our love for racing, and it kept my mind off emotions.

Sunday I headed back out to Sals and did a double loop at Sals. I put in about 4 hours total with probably a bit over 3 hours ride time. Lots of riders out there, and lots of flats. Turns out Dan K. had 4 flats throughout the day, I was able to escape with only one. However, that one did ruin a brand new Maxxis Crossmark tire, at least for tubeless use - with about an inch long gash in the tread. By the end of the ride my right knee was starting to hurt again from a crash 2 weeks ago on the new rocky switchback downhill at Sals.

I'll try to keep posting a little more regularly moving forward. See you all on the trails!



Gunnar said...

hey really sorry to hear about your dog.

Kim said...

I am so sorry...I went through a very similiar experience with my boxer, Hazel, shortly after our son was born...
nothing can describe what that kind of loss feels like and I hope your dog didn't suffer for long.
Kindest regards,

Travis said...

Damn man, I'm so sorry to hear about that. Reading that alone about mad be tear up.

Jason said...

sorry man.
take care.

cosmo said...

Hi, so sorry to hear about Duke. I followed a link here to read about your 29er. But I was struck by how your dog's story was so similar to mine. I had a 1.5 year old GSP that was her normal happy go lucky self on Sunday we did a 3 hour MTB ride. Then on Monday she started moping around the house and couldn't keep any food down. After a few trips to the vet, an ultrasound and a few blod test later we found out that she had a large (size of a grapefruit) tumor in her liver. We immidiately got her into surgery. This was on Wed. morning. But during recovery later that day she just shut down, and didn't make it. It was kind nice though, that because of her sweet nature, she had the entire staff in tears.

It's really something how much they touch our hearts. And what's really something is how strong they are. They can live with such a terrible thing inside them and still be so sweet and loyal.

Ride on brother. Ride on.