Pain in the *ss

We are so appreciative of everybody’s continuing concern, support, and well wishes.  Knowing how much everybody cares helps buoy our spirits.

So, we’ve got some fantastic news and some…well, some embarrassing news.

First the fantastic news:  We consulted with a second surgeon at UCSF, one of the premier thyroid cancer centers in the country, and the top surgeon there was enthusiastic about us going on our bike trip.  He didn’t even seem that concerned about getting a mid-trip scan in Europe, although we will certainly try to.  He said that if he were counseling his family or friends, he would have no problem telling them to continue the trip as planned and begin treatment after our return.  Of course, he did have to read the fine print and tell us that there is always risk in delaying treatment, but imaging and biopsy results do not give him any indication that Mark’s cancer is aggressive.

So, the trip is on!  But, now we have another wrinkle in our trip plans…and this is rather awkward. Julie has…erm…a huge pain in the ass.  (We know, you may think she is a pain in the ass, but that’s a blog post for another time.)  The pain is in her right cheek, to be precise, right where the sit bone rests on the saddle.  But it only hurts in the saddle, not off.  Based on our very imprecise internet search, we figured she probably had a cyst, which likely meant surgery.

She couldn’t go on the trip with the pain – it had become excruciating to ride her bike the last few weeks.  Yet, how long would butt surgery keep her out of the saddle???  And if we delay the trip on Julie’s account, after overcoming cancer to make the trip a go, how would we explain THIS one to everybody?

Sure enough, a visit to the dermatologist last week confirmed our suspicions.  Turns out that cysts are an occupational hazard of cycling.  The repetitive movement and pressure at the saddle can create internal cysts and/or scar tissue.  And last Wednesday, Julie had minor surgery to remove it.  So now, as she recovers, her pain in the ass is bigger than ever!

She’ll get the stitches out in just over a week, and then it will likely take at least two more weeks before she can comfortably sit on the saddle again. Even then, she’ll have to slowly build up to riding long distances. So, now we’re deferring our departure from April 15 to April 30. Luckily, we have 6+ months to cycle around Europe, so a slow start won’t be a big setback.

Anyway, we’re having a good laugh at Julie’s expense.  Between Mark’s cancer and the dermatologist getting a piece of Julie’s ass, gallows humor is alive and well at Team Lumaca.


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