Thursday, September 10, 2009

Peleton Charge

Yesterday was a hard day. Sue was in emotional turmoil and wanted me to spend the night at the hospital with her. I drove to David's apartment to get a shower, get some things, and then came back to the hospital.

Having been woken up repeatedly the night before by Sue's desperate calls for me to come and get her out of the hospital, and having gotten up at 4 a.m. to get down here to just be here for her and do what I could, I was tired. Well, o.k., nearly exhausted. I figured if I didn't get a good night's sleep I was a candidate for a cold, which would render me unfit to even come onto the floor at 11 Long, much less be a physical or emotional support for Sue.

The night started badly, with multiple interruptions from medical staff, housekeepers etc. Sue was also restless, nauseous, etc. and unable to sleep. I was trying without success to sleep on a conglomeration of two uncomfortable chairs. I figured I was doomed. I figured we were both doomed. I prayed for sleep and renewal and protection from sickness. Then, mercifully, peace came over the room and both Sue and I were able to sleep. I woke up at 6 a.m. refreshed and renewed.

Because of the preceding three days of nausea and diarrhea, the medical staff required that Sue's True Blue quilt be laundered again. I took the opportunity to do all of her laundry, and mine as well. While I was at David's apartment picking up my dirty laundry, I figured it would be well to get in a little jog. I wanted to put my hands on Hopper's Hands because I felt like I had figuratively been part of an effort to keep Sue from a suicidal "jump" from the hospital bridge while neutropenic.

The jog turned out to be a good idea. It was a beautiful sunny day in the City, with blue skies and sunshine covering the inner Bay and a low fog sneaking in under the Golden Gate Bridge, just under the famous orange suspended roadway, and then dissipating. As I jogged along the path above the beach at Crissy Field, this verse came to me: Isaiah 40:31 "... but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

I did grow weary, though, jogging into the headwind blowing into the bay from the Pacific. It made me think of the Tour de France, and how the riders form a peleton to cut the wind and preserve their energy. The peleton riders do all the heavy work for the star riders, so that, at the end of the race, the stars have the energy to dash away to the finish and claim victory. I got choked up thinking about how all of you who have supported Sue through her previous chemo treatments and medical appointments and who have supported her physically and emotionally and spiritually to this point, and who continue to support her, have been my peleton. Now, like Lance Armstrong, I am ready to charge up the final hill and claim the victory.

Except it wasn't Lance Armstrong who claimed the victory in the recent Tour de France. It was his teammate, Alberto Contador, who won. And I am like all of you, just part of the peleton for Sue, cutting wind and preparing the way for her to claim the victory over this cancer. We're a mighty good team and I'm proud to be working with you.

P.S. This has been a much better day for Sue. I think she's turning the corner. Keep up the prayer work, peleton people!!!


  1. Georgie: We've been keeping up with all that is going on. We have had many prayers and quiet moments with all the kids to lift you, Sue and the girls up in prayer.

    We wish we were closer so we could lend a physical hand, however a spiritual one will have to do for now. It is good that you took some time for yourself. Just like a new mommy, you can not help Sue if you are ill. Sometimes, as a mom or a husband, this can be hard to remember.

    The pictures you take help the reality of your situation become more clear for the boys. Emma and Clark have kept up prayers in their youth groups for all of you.

    Thinking of you often. Be well.

    Much love, Dee Dee and family

  2. I'm glad to hear Sue had a better day today, George! She has been in my thoughts and prayers throughout the day today and I will continue to pray for her strength and yours!! Thanks for keeping us updated.
    Marcy Bergen

  3. I admire your care for her, dear. Try ur best and u'll feel happy afterwards. "she's better today"- which is all we want. Hope tomorrow she'll be much better... I'm praying for you both, Geoge.

  4. Once again, what good writing you do. After talking with Sue on the phone the other night I spent time in prayer. It is such a reminder for me to keep up thankfulness for all the blessings in my life. It was good to hear that Sue is better. Love and prayers, Janice

  5. George I had never heard the term peleton, but am familiar with the concept. I am happy to be part of the team. Team Sue. We will have more racing to do when she gets home and us "peleton" will rejoin you physically. We are with you both now in mind, spirit and prayer. We love you both and are looking forward to your return.