has cycling helped save your life

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
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simon_ls
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has cycling helped save your life

Postby simon_ls » Mon May 20, 2013 12:51 pm

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in july 2011, and have been through operations and chemo in the past 2 years.
Mentally and emotionally it has done alot of damage.

My only salvation in the past two years has been when I have been able to have a ride.
Thats the only time I have felt at ease.
I am curious to know if cycling has changed your life in a major way and how it helped.

thanks for listening

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goonz
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby goonz » Mon May 20, 2013 13:00 pm

Yes it has saved me having to sit in with the missus all weekend!

Wait, thats not what you meant right?

All jokes aside glad to hear you have made it through and have been able to get yourself fit enough to do something you obviously are getting a lot of enjoyment out of.
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Arnieirksson
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby Arnieirksson » Mon May 20, 2013 13:35 pm

Technically no, however roughly a year ago I was a fat bastard on my way to heart attacks and/or late onset diabetes, bought my self a cheap bike and started cycling to and from work. In january I sold my car, bought my self a higher quality bike and have cycled every day since.
Now I'm nearly Ideal weight, blood presure returned to normal more energy and I just enjoy life more...always look forward to the ride to work in any weather (live in Iceland)...life is just somehow better when you have a good bike in your life

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elderone
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby elderone » Mon May 20, 2013 13:52 pm

Firstly,glad to here your ok now.To answer the question,cycling may pro long my life so thats as good as for me.
My father had heart attack and quad by pass at 51 and my brother died of heart attack at 50,so as im 50 now it was a tad of a worry.Also smoked for 35 years which isn,t good.Had all the tests and came back ok and started cycling last september,so hope fully this will stand me in good stead.
To be fair I was always fit with being in army and competative in another sport till mid 30,s then sort of nothing for years.
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Camus
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby Camus » Mon May 20, 2013 14:15 pm

Arnieirksson wrote:Technically no, however roughly a year ago I was a fat bastard on my way to heart attacks and/or late onset diabetes, bought my self a cheap bike and started cycling to and from work. In january I sold my car, bought my self a higher quality bike and have cycled every day since.
Now I'm nearly Ideal weight, blood presure returned to normal more energy and I just enjoy life more...always look forward to the ride to work in any weather (live in Iceland)...life is just somehow better when you have a good bike in your life


Last point is so true, nothing can get close to the feeling of riding a road bike, even in a car doing 70 you don't get the same sensation of speed since the sensory experience is dulled by suspension, windows, engine noise etc. Going fast on a bike feels faster than going fast in a car, if that makes sense.

I had the pleasure to visit Reykjavik a while back, awesome city but don't envy you as a cyclist there with the snow, unless you can head out to places like Þingvellir during the good weather? That would be a great ride.

jouxplan
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby jouxplan » Mon May 20, 2013 14:18 pm

Firstly, it is great to hear that cycling has meant so much to you, at such a difficult time.

Ten years ago I was taken seriously ill, and ended up in hospital for 3 weeks whilst everyone tried to work out what was wrong with me, and how to save me. In short, I caught a cold on the Tuesday; collapsed in the GP surgery on the Wednesday; got admitted to hospital the next day after collapsing in A&E; then over the next few days my kidneys began to fail and my lungs filled with fluids and I didn’t eat or drink and I vomited bile for days and generally felt like I was dying. My SATS slowly fell to 88, my heart rate began to soar and my breathing became frighteningly desperate.

What I did not realise at the time (and neither did the doctors), was that I was actually dying. It was only when a Consultant noticed my swollen ankles after about 7 days that the alarm bells started to really ring. One emergency ultra-sound later, and they all realised I had a very significant pericardial effusion (fluid build -up around my heart). Next thing I know, I am rushed into a cardiac ward and surrounded by every doctor and nurse in the building, and plugged into every machine anyone could lay their hands on. They all stood around, apparently waiting for me to go into cardiac arrest. To say I was scared would be an understatement.

I was transferred as a medical emergency to a specialist cardiac hospital thye other side of town that same night, where a team was awaiting my arrival. My frantic wife was told to sign a consent form, it being noted that I was relatively likely to go into cardiac arrest and that I could well die during the procedure. She asked what the consequences of not doing the procedure were. ‘He will die within the next 24 hours’ they said……………..

They drained something like 1.5 litres of bright orange fluid from around my poor heart that night. It was left to drain over the next few days. The whole thing was horrifying. By the time I went home, I had lost a ton of weight (I had only weighed 66 kg anyway) and I could barely walk, I was so weak. It took me over 6 months to recover.

ANYWAY, to answer to OP’s original question – my wife and I were told on several occasions that the only reason I had survived long enough for the doctors to make a diagnosis, was because I was such a healthy cyclist, with a very strong heart. They said that ‘Joe Public’ would have died several days before diagnosis, and that I was very, very lucky to be so fit.

Cycling has been my life since I was a teenager. I used to race, and I used to (and still do) go to the Alps every year to cycle up ‘em. I am not as fast as I used to be, but then I am not as young as I used to be. I am not sure how much I can put this down to the scar tissue that remains on my peri-cardium, but I suspect getting older and a little fatter is really the main cause :oops:

Before anyone asks what was actually wrong with me, the doctors never said. It seems they did not know. They just said ‘virus’, which is a tad vague.
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ademort
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby ademort » Mon May 20, 2013 14:42 pm

Cycling hasnt saved my life but its certainly improved my life.
Ademort

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ednino
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby ednino » Mon May 20, 2013 17:35 pm

I've got Crohns disease that's dramatically decreased my quality of life. The bike on the other hand has improved it greatly

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Mikey23
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby Mikey23 » Mon May 20, 2013 19:46 pm

Not me personally but I was chatting to a guy last year during a sportive. He was in his 40s and was a heavy smoker and drinker and a junk food eater. He had a heart attack and while recovering started to realise that unless he changed his lifestyle he was not going to see his three young kids grow up. So he turned it around, took up cycling, got rather good at it and the rest as they say is history ...

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MountainMonster
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby MountainMonster » Mon May 20, 2013 20:42 pm

I got skinny! Love life now a days!

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diy
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby diy » Mon May 20, 2013 21:59 pm

Brother had a heart attack 2 years ago - same age as me now.
Dad had one last year and he was pretty fit.

Started my fasting (5:2) diet, last year, lost a stone in a month and little more since. Resting HR is high 30s to low 40s depending on eating day or fasting day. Just love having so much energy.

Didn't think I was that fat, just your typical 40 year old who lunches with clients a fair bit. But clearly more going in than out despite the cycling (been keen for about 8-10 years now).

The thing about road cycling is you look ridiculous in lycra if you have a belly, so the incentive is to get rid of it.

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Buckles
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Re: has cycling helped save your life

Postby Buckles » Tue May 21, 2013 07:00 am

Saved me from wasting my life sitting around smoking and drinking.

Unfortunately has led to me almost losing my life a couple of times, but you could argue that other people's driving, rather than me cycling, did that.
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