Thinking of our teammate, Catherine

Thinking of our teammate, Catherine

While the FGM cycling and tri teams love to ride and race together, we received some sad new in March of this year. One of our teammates and cyclist-extraordinaire, Catherine Ashbridge, was diagnosed with cancer. Her Facebook post from March 11, 2017 says it all:

Facebook friends & family, I’m not sure there’s ever an easy way to say hard things, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it: I’ve recently been diagnosed with a form of liposarcoma. It’s a rare cancer not typically seen in someone my age, but nevertheless, that’s what it is. Myxoid liposarcomas are by their very nature intermediate grade tumors, so while they aren’t as good as a sarcoma possibly could be, they also aren’t as bad as they could be either. Fortunately, the survival rate for this is very high, and I’ve been assured I’ve still got a lot of life left ahead of me once I’m finished with treatment.

I’ll be starting chemotherapy on Monday. Barring anything unfortunate, I’ll get at least two rounds, but hopefully four. (As backwards as it sounds, in this instance more is actually better as it means the tumor is responding very well to chemo, and shrinking.)

Chemo carries its own litany of risks and side effects, so I’ll be doing it at the hospital as an inpatient. After chemo, I’ll do several weeks of radiation, then surgery so what’s left of it can be removed. Surgery will be sometime mid-fall if all goes well.

Between my orthopedic oncologist and his team at MUSC, and my hematology oncologist and radiation oncologist at SCOA, I’m pretty excited about my doctors. I’m in good hands.

Several people have asked if there’s anything they can do for me. Honestly, prayers are the most appreciated thing ever right now! If you’re not the praying sort, I’m completely okay with good vibes, happy thoughts, kudos, and any other form of positive cosmic inclination you might happen to subscribe to.

Thank you all for your support through this. If cancer has shown me anything yet, it’s that I have the most awesome friends and family anyone could ever ask for. To quote Walt Whitman, “I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.”

As I write, Catherine has just finished up her second round of chemo. While the chemo affects her energy and appetite, she’s still training and cycling away, which is highly commendable. Check out her activities on Strava here.

Catherine is also a role model to many as she has Type I Diabetes. JDRF and Tour de Cure are two causes very close to her heart; we encourage you to check them out and support them if you feel so inclined.

The FGM team is thinking and praying for our fellow teammate Catherine during this trying time, although her tenacious spirit leaves us with little doubt that she will get through this.