I tell in the introduction of my book how God led me to write His Love Carries Me. (Refer to the “Peek Inside” feature on the Home page.) But there is more to the story that explains why I have two publishers’ logos on my books.
Back in November 2015, Chad reflected on life as a professional cyclist while his dad was battling cancer. He also shared his perspective on some life lessons (used with his permission):
My younger son, Shane, was Chad’s shadow. Whatever Chad did, Shane did. Their lives always seemed to be intertwined as best buddies. After Shane graduated from college and was unhappy with his chosen career path, he decided to try his brother’s dream career. Shane, too, became a professional bicyclist, before he quickly realized that was Chad’s dream—not his. Here are excerpts from what Shane wrote in 2014 (shared with his permission):
My older son, Chad, just finished racing his first Tour de France, and his professional cycling team, Team Sunweb, helped Tom Dumoulin place second overall. As proud and excited as I am for him and for them, Chad will be the first to tell you that there is more to life than just sports. Below are excerpts from a blog that he wrote about a life-changing experience he had in 2013 (shared with his permission):
Chris enjoyed leatherworking as a hobby, and when Chad and Shane were young, he taught them a bit of the craft. In Cancer on Two Wheels, Chris talks about how he taught Shane some more of leathercrafting when Shane was in middle school. The last time they shared this hobby was Thanksgiving week 2013. After his father’s death, Shane decided to teach himself more of the skill as he worked through his grief. His ability has far surpassed anything his father knew how to do. I thought you’d enjoy hearing how Shane decided to pay tribute to his dad by making this his living:
Both Chad and Shane have inherited their father’s talent for writing. Here’s a blog that Shane wrote in September 2016 about a lesson he learned from his dad in baseball that reflected how Chris dealt with life during cancer:
In my book His Love Carries Me, I refer to my husband, Chris, as “Shane’s hero.” The following is an excerpt from a blog written by our younger son in October 2016 (shared with his permission) and explains why his dad was his hero:
Years ago, my mom reached out to friends and family for us to write letters of appreciation to my dad for the impact he had in our lives. I had this memory, clear as day, that I decided to write about.
Chris and I were blessed with two wonderful sons who have remained best friends over the years. I have included in my book His Love Carries Me the story of Chad and “The Accident” in Spain, but I thought you would appreciate the story from his brother’s viewpoint from his blog, which Shane wrote in March 2016 (shared with his permission).
You were left hanging at the end of the previous blog. Here is the rest of the story as to how Chad got into cycling, written by Chad in June 2011 in honor of Father’s Day:
People frequently ask me, “Did your sons get into cycling because of their dad?” The answer is, “No. Chris got into cycling because of our boys.” Whatever sport they became interested in, Chris wanted to become a part of to spend more time with them. (Okay, to be honest, he also wanted to make sure they were safe when riding on streets with motorists during their earlier years.) But then he, too, got bit by the cycling bug and loved to be on the bike even if Chad and Shane weren’t around.
Since our older son Chad is currently racing in the Tour de France, I decided to share (with his permission) a blog that he wrote in March 2011 on how he became a cyclist.
I’m learning to not tell God my plans, as He will just laugh and follow His own plan.
Well, yesterday was quite the exciting day. Chad officially became a bike racer in the eyes of the American public as he entered his first stage of the Tour de France. Although he has seven Grand Tours already under his belt, because the general public in America has never heard of those races, those tours don't count.
Our older son, Chad, was scheduled to graduate in December 2010 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Although he had already received a job offer from the company where he had interned, we weren’t surprised when he called Chris in October to say that a couple of semi-professional cycling teams had shown an interest in him. He didn’t ask his dad’s opinion of what he should do, but Chris sensed he wanted to. Our son apparently couldn’t get up the courage to make this career change after we had put him through four years of college.
The books have arrived. My book launch party is June 30, 2018, to distribute them to my local friends who ordered books already. We'll be enjoying Chris's favorite snacks and music on the 2-year anniversary of when we laid him to rest. Perfect timing to celebrate that Chris's spirit lives on through his legacy.
It's hard to believe that two years ago today the love of my life took his first breath in heaven. In commemoration, I will give you a peek into the love we shared.
In 2011, less than a year into his battle with stage IV lung cancer, Chris was in the hospital on Valentine’s Day recovering from an almost non-existent immune system from chemo. I had just gotten over a cold but still wore a mask to prevent breathing any germs on him.
I gave him a heart-shaped box of chocolates decorated with the words “Faith, Hope, Love.” Those words described exactly what we had. Here is the letter that I included in my Valentine's Day card to him:
At our monthly Cancer Encouragement Group in 2013, Paul Guffey, a cancer survivor and talented musician, played the guitar and sang a soft, tranquil song that he wrote. I found myself wiping away tears; it made my heart swell so much with emotion that I couldn’t contain it. The song helped me realize that my love for the Lord had continued and grown despite the storms in life we were experiencing. He was giving me the strength to carry on through each day. With Paul’s permission, I will share the lyrics with you and pray that it will touch your heart, too.
In April 2011, Chris and I were asked to be guest panelists at a Relay for Life session in Denison, Texas, to share how cancer touched our lives in ways we never expected. Here are some of the questions I was asked, along with my answers:
What do you wish you had known from the beginning of the diagnosis?
It’s never easy to make plans for dying, but it’s a fact of life that we will all die someday, and it could be in the blink of an eye for any of us. Here are some tips for things to take care of, especially if the patient has a terminal illness:
Do you, as a caregiver, ever feel like a piece of your life is missing because of your overwhelming responsibilities, and you feel like no one understands what you’re going through? Studies have shown that connecting with a support group is extremely important. Sharing what’s on your heart can help you understand the puzzle as to why you may be suddenly feeling a range of new emotions such as grief, guilt, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, resentment, frustration, discouragement, and even loneliness. You don’t want to express these feelings to the patient and burden him/her, who has enough to deal with just focusing on getting well. People who share your common experiences can provide invaluable help, whether it is in the form of providing resources, coping tips, or simply a listening ear and a hug.
Medical treatment for a catastrophic diagnosis such as cancer is expensive. Knowing what financial resources are available, having good money management skills, and being organized becomes extremely important. Here are some tips to help you get off to a good start: