Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Not right in the saddle

As enthusiasts of two wheels and knobby tires, we thrive on a certain type of uncertainty: about whether those knobs will let us stick that corner; whether we have the power to push up that hill; whether we have the cojones to send the steep descent on the far side. Or, whether we'll have the ability repair the wreck of bike and body that sometimes results from pushing our limits.

That's what I call "funcertainty".

Then there's another type of uncertainty. It's one that no one wishes for. In my case, it's been not knowing whether I might have prostate cancer. Over the past several months I've had blood tests and physical exams to try to get a conclusive diagnosis. Between the tests and family commitments this summer, I've missed a lot of the riding I need to stay sane and have had far too much time to dwell on the thought of maybe having cancer.

Even if it turns out to be nothing, this type of uncertainty is not fun. Hopefully the next round of consultations provides a more definitive diagnosis. I just want to know, so I can move on with either treatment or a sigh of relief about dodging another bullet.

Meanwhile, I've signed up for The Ride to raise funds for cancer research at the Ottawa Hospital. This is the same bunch of doctors who may need to look after me. With more funding maybe they can cut diagnostic and treatment wait times so others don't need to spend months in limbo, wondering what they're dealing with.

So here's my ask: Please sponsor my ride. There are thousands of you who read this blog. Help me beat my $1500 goal. It's Canadian funds, pretty cheap these days! But it can make a real difference in providing cancer treatment in my community. Donating is easy and you can find me here:

Thank you!

Jordan Smith

Edit Oct 30, 2015: Results of my biopsy three weeks ago show I indeed have cancer, although fortunately it's restricted to 1 of 12 areas sampled and is therefore probably very early stage. Will learn more and potential treatment options soon. Unfortunately, it might mean missing even more riding which would certainly be a bummer.

Edit Nov 5, 2015: Good news! Still cancer, but low enough risk that Dr. recommends a "wait and see" approach with further PSA monitoring and biopsy in two years. So I'm back in the saddle!