Cycling Over Cancer with John - Update 8 | Cycle 4


I haven't posted for a month, but I have been getting treatment and training during that time. My primary goal is to overcome lymphoma (SLL). I am doing that by (a) keeping a healthy mind and body - reduce stress and maintain a positive outlook and focus (b) rest and get a reasonable amount of sleep (c) nutrition - following the American Institute for Cancer Research's Healthy 10 Challenge and (d) exercise. I feel that I have been successful in all 4 of my categories and am feeling better each cycle after the first 5 days of chemo which do hit me hard.

After I began treatment, I realized that I could exercise at least moderately after the first week of each cycle (chemotherapy and white blood cell booster shots are the first 3 days of the cycle). After the first week of cycle 2 I decided to set a goal during my treatment and began training for the Markleeville Death Ride which is July 17. Some may rightly argue that one should not push their body in that manner during chemotherapy treatment. That is a fair argument, but I also believe that my serious commitment to physical fitness during my 6 phases of treatment is helping me much more than it may set me back. My oncologist has commented that by training and exercising you actually become more attuned to the effect of the chemotherapy and that makes sense - if you are sedentary, you have less appreciation for the effects of the drugs than if you push your body a bit through physical exertion.

I do not know if I will succeed and do all 5 passes and climb 15,000' but because of the wonderful treatment I have been receiving from my oncologist and all the staff at Sutter Infusion Center in Santa Rosa, together with my strict compliance with my protocols (a)-(d) listed above, I think I have a fair to good chance to get er done. My primary concern is the altitude because the cancer has caused anemia which will be kryptonite at altitude

If I complete the Death Ride, I will then advance to Goal #2. I have 4 goals, all of them require successfully completing the preceding goal. I am very excited about my personal goal challenge because it keeps me motivated to stick to my program and succeed. There are many days when I just don't feel like exercising or eating all my vegetables, etc. However, I cannot tell you how much having tough goals forces commitment to a healthy life. I will not publicize my goals now because, well, they do sound unrealistic (I'm being kind to myself there). I am not crazy, but I do want to have challenges far enough out to motivate me to stay healthy and fit and live a quality life as I recover from cancer and get older (slowly 😊).

I'll keep you all posted and I have very much appreciated all the wonderful support you have shown - it has given me motivation, perseverance and strength.

Please check out my video as well:


Let us know your thoughts about this blog post. Signup for our FREE membership to post a comment or question.
Already have an account?

Jul 7, 2021
Way to go JJ. You have set extremely high goals for yourself your entire life and that has resulted in great success. Why change that formula? Good luck with the treatment and the training and hope to get back out on the bike with you in the future. Peter D.
Jul 6, 2021
So inspiring, John! "Dreams are free. Goals have a cost." [Usain Bolt] . You are such a great example of how to take on life's greatest challenges and set yourself up for success. Chapeau!
Jul 7, 2021
Thank you Nigel - coming from someone who has dedicated his life to curing/preventing cancer, I cannot begin to tell you how valuable your support is to me. I look forward to helping the AICR in any way I can in the future - it has been a solid source of support and assistance for me in planning my path back to full health. jj