Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Biking Miracle

Gerry's been saying for months that he just wished he could get ON a bike. He kept saying that riding a bike, as counter-intuitive as it seems, would be easier for him thank walking. I smiled and said, "Yes, dear..." but didn't really believe it.

He's been spending a lot of time working on the family bikes, getting them fixed up, making sure I had a good working one. The reason became obvious yesterday.

He promised Max he'd ride with him to school. And not just Max, but ALL of the kids from the bus stop. I was filled with admiration, and pure anger.


Or not.

I told him I would NOT let him go without me, which took some discussion. Finally I said, "What if something went wrong and you fell and broke one of your brittle, brittle bones?"

How would that affect Max, feeling so helpless as his dad was laying there needing medical assistance?
Things to ponder that we wish we didn't have to. He wants a normal life, he wants to ride with his kids and toss a ball around. He's fragile, though. How far do I put my foot down before I start digging a hole?

So I went, too...

Our first trip was yesterday. I'm embarrassed to say that I was the weak link in the bike chain. There was Max, 3 of his friends (above) who all meet at the bus stop, and Gerry and me - a half dozen bikers in total. We met at the bus stop then rode along the least busy streets we could find (using the sidewalks on the busier streets - no pedestrians were out...) and about 2/3 of the way I became SO winded going up a hill that I had to stop and rest while they all blithely rode on. They didn't even miss me.

I eventually caught up with Gerry, and then the two of us rode to Wuollets for coffee, then we rode home and he looked for all the world like the cat who ate the canary. Or the carrot cake muffin.

Of course, the pure exhaustion that he felt all afternoon was rough, but to be expected. No huge change in his pain, but this does give him more of a reason to take his pain meds.

Today we spoke with the other kids at the bus stop and explained that on days we could ride we'd be happy to have them with us, but we just can't promise that it will be an every day affair.

Gerry has excellent days, and he has devastating days. Two days ago he had a hard time getting out of bed and lay there for 6 hours, then yesterday he was riding a bike. Go figure...

I'm proud of him. Scared for him, a little worried. But very proud.

Future Bike Fun
This weekend we'll take the kids and the bikes and go someplace where we can ride with little or no traffic. We may just bike down Summit Ave (there's a nice bike path on it) and home - Maybe we'll even take the kids to Hebrew School via bike? I usually walk them...

The bad thing about not walking is that biking is MUCH harder for me. My breathing has been really terrible for a few weeks, just rotten this week (I started a course of prednisone today, so I'm hoping I'll be back in fighting form in a few days...) and when I bike I suffer for it for an hour after with shallow breathing.

Also, Atticus doesn't get that nice, long walk we've been taking. I could ride with him running along, but I'm shy about that (he's a strong dog, and if he took a notion to chase a squirrel or run to another dog, I'd be in trouble!)

So all in all excellent news - yay! The Landy Quest to make every single day as full of love and fun as possible continues!

We drove out to Stillwater for a Multiple Myeloma support group. I'd never been to one, Gerry'd never been to THIS one, and the speaker was an accupuncturist talking about pain strategies for MM patients.

It was ironic because we planned to leave the meeting a little early so Gerry could make it to his accupuncture appointment this afternoon. I can't wait to hear how he feels it affected his pain!

I've finished the O-Wool Classic & O-Wool Balance colorwork sweater, and I'm SO happy with it! I decided against steeking and creating a cardigan, it looked so right as a pullover.

So I created a split turtleneck so I could use those wonderful buttons that had inspired the pullover to begin with!

The pattern should be finished in a few days, then I'll have it tech edited and it will be ready for purchase. I just LOVE this sweater, and may have to work up one in more subtle colors for Gerry.

The details are set - huzzah! And with this nice, warm weather we're having I'm beside myself in anticipation! Click here for full details... Contact Barb at to make your reservation.

Click on the image for your invitation!
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posted by Annie at


Blogger Lynn said...

I'm glad to hear about the biking excursion and hope there are many more.

You and your family, as always, are in my thoughts. I believe, in many ways, you are the definition of grace.

April 16, 2008 9:57 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Hooray for family bike outings! I'm happy for Gerry that he could get out and push some pedals.

I love love love the new sweater, Annie. The colors are fabulous and the pattern looks very interesting!

Judy in Rochester

April 16, 2008 10:29 PM  
Blogger planetKnit said...

Sounds like the biking is a *good* thing. :)

A friend of mine has one of these harnesses to bike with her dog. Loves it.

Your retreat sounds wonderful. I wish I was out of school and 1 state closer!! :( Maybe next year...

And the sweater? GORGEOUS!!

April 16, 2008 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Tina Rose said...

Annie... I recommend you visiting Mason Dixon and Wendy who knits blogs. They've both are finishing sweaters that are similar to yours. There's some major differences, but enough similarity in the coloration and style. I had to chuckle to myself when I noticed the similarity.


April 16, 2008 11:20 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

It's good to see Gerry seizing the day! Yes, Annie, you know there are dangers in his going out, but it's really important that he do the things he feels he *can* do whether you think he can or not. And in this case, who was right??

As long as he has a cell phone to call for help if needed, and someone with him, please let him live as normal a life as he feels he can.

Me? I'm wondering about plane fare to that retreat from here on the right coast (MA).. I shall have to look around as the price is just perfect.

April 17, 2008 7:18 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

The bike rides sound great. I bought this thing called a "Springer" (website is "springerusa") so I could ride my bike and have the dog run next to me. When he pulls to try to chase something, I barely feel it. It gives the dog a more intense exercise period than he gets with just a walk. I hope Gerry is feeling better today.

April 17, 2008 9:49 AM  
Anonymous SarahA said...

My husband almost moved us back to Minneapolis so I understand how much it means to him.

I would suggest the lakes (Nokomis, Calhoun, etc) for biking. They're lovely and have bike paths and walking paths so there is no confusion. And if he gets tired or has to stop, you can drive to pick him up.

April 17, 2008 9:53 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'm so happy that Gerry was able to ride the bike. I can only imagine how important it was for him to do that for Max.

Sending love and hugs your way!


April 17, 2008 10:54 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

I concur with Sarah on biking the lakes. The area around Minnehaha Falls has great bike paths too.
If you want to park the car and bike, head out towards Stillwater. There's some great bike paths that run all the way from Oakdale to Stillwater, with parking lots along the way. It's really easy to bike awhile and then turn around and go back.

April 17, 2008 11:26 AM  
Blogger indigo warrior said...

Hey I think it's great you got to do the family biking thing, and I hope you get to do many many more.

The knitting retreat looks great! I wish I could go!

April 17, 2008 1:24 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Question on the knitting retreat - does it go through Sunday, May 3 or Saturday May 3 (the invite says Friday May 2nd - Sunday May 3rd).

OK. Reading further, I see that its through Sunday... Still, then I'm mentioning that there is a typo in the date at the top.

April 17, 2008 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

I agree with Lynn, the definition of grace. Many warm thoughts your way and many more bike rides to come.

April 17, 2008 3:26 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

This post has been removed by the author.

April 17, 2008 4:05 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Let me try again. I love that sweater. It almost makes me wish it got colder here in Texas.

April 17, 2008 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leslie stole my comment!
This veteran, but not too grizzled, PT is grinning ear to ear at Gerry's cycling pic. I'm sure though if he was my husband, and not my patient, I would be grimacing.
Your sweater is oh so gorgeous but that moment has the hand of God in it.

April 17, 2008 5:37 PM  
Blogger cathyannhenry said...

Great to hear you are getting out on a bike. It is great exercise, and easier on your knees than walking.

Who knows, next thing you know you might be signing up to ride 100 miles to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (as I am June 1--riding in honor of Gerry, my friend Gay, my niece Amanda, and many others with blood cancers)!

I will still be training for my ride in May so I can't come to your first retreat. If the fall dates go forward, though, I would love to be there.

April 18, 2008 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

I would recommend rails to trails. I really like biking on them as they are relatively flat. You could actually go farther and the route would be more scenic. Here is a link for trails in Minn. There are some, I think, around you.

Happy Passover. I hope you and your family have great seders.

April 18, 2008 3:25 PM  
Anonymous twinsetellen said...

One of the great things about MN - the wonderful bike trails. And as Jeremy says, the rails to trails ones are quite low in grade.

I also concur with some of the comments about rejoicing in Gerry's abilities and not holding him back out of worry. There's staying alive, and then there's living.

I love the sweater, and hope you do execute another colorway. This pattern is so nice it deserves it.

April 18, 2008 6:05 PM  
Blogger DeltaDawn said...

Go Landy family! You all rock!

I have to echo the lovelovelove the sweater - I'll get in line to buy it. You'll tell us where you found those spectacular buttons too, right?

And man - do I wish I could come to the retreat - sounds like such a nice speed and more quality time with you....

My good energies continue to flow your way.

April 18, 2008 6:19 PM  
Blogger Palmer Public Library said...

You might look into a recumbent bike for Gerry - might be easier on his back. I'm sure there must be places to rent them....

April 18, 2008 10:57 PM  

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