The Results

In anticipation of leaving for our road trip on Friday, we made plans to meet the family at Mom & Dad’s for lunch on Thursday before leaving town.  On our way into the City, I got the call from Dr. O’Keefe with the results from my recent biopsies.  Unsurprisingly, both bumps turned out to be cancer.  I thought I set myself up for this news, but it just knocked the wind out of my sails.  We immediately turned the car around and headed back home where we spent the rest of the day lying in bed holding each other.  I just can’t get ahead of the cancer.  I feel like I’m running out of time, and I’m not sure how to spend what is left.  Because we never made it into the City, later that night Mom, Dad and Ryan came out to Pultneyville to join us.  It was just the push I needed to get myself out of bed and eat a little dinner.


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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39 Responses to The Results

  1. Em says:

    Today is your best day.

    Ride in a Good Direction.

  2. Carol burke says:

    Bret, When Holly got the same news , we also spent the time embracing each other. She, like you, picked herself up and continued on. I am so proud of you.
    Love, Carol Holly

  3. Debbie says:

    Hello Road Warriors 🙂

    While devastated you guy weren’t coming down to see us, I’m so amazingly happy that right now you have each other to hold to, to embrace, to love and to share. Yes, it does feel like for every two steps forward you take, you’re brought back a step. But the thing there is–you ARE moving forward.

    I was convinced to the core of my soul that these bumps were just small scar tissues from the surgery–some kind of cyst while you healed. I cried at work when I got the text from Shannon and immediately wanted to hop on a plane and come see you and hug you both.

    When I went through a rough trial period of my life about 4 years ago, there was a mantra I kept saying to myself over and over again. “The hottest of fires tempers the strongest steel”. But you’re continuing to ride in a good direction and today really is the best day.

    I love you both so much. I’m ready to hop on said plane anytime you guys tell me to.

    Consider yourself hugged and kissed!


  4. nanci bogan says:

    I am so sorry about the latest results. I have never commented before, but I do so enjoy your blog and feel I know you two. This hits me like a punch in the gut!! with much love to all of you……nanci

  5. Tia says:

    I found your blog from a UR nursing student friend of my husband’s, and I’m actually friends with Lysa and Bren too (I used to work with Lysa a Harris). I’ve been reading for a month or so, and I’m so sad for this news. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  6. Nannette says:

    Praying for your strength so you can get back to ride in a good direction. Nannette and Karl

  7. Uncle Kevin & Aunt Judy says:

    This news has hit us all so hard, but for a whole year the news has hit us hard and each time you always amaze us with your ability to face it with a smile and a push forward. We hope that you can still keep looking forward and do and see just as much as you can. You are helping so many people on your journey with your bravery and wonderful upbeat attitude towards every one of these road blocks. As we have said before, you have already lived much more in the last year than the rest of us have or ever will live. We hope that you can keep riding in that good direction because we are all with you every step and mile of the way. We love you both very much.
    Love, UK & AJ

  8. Betsy Wager-Stenclik says:

    I’m sorry about the news your received. I can’t even began to understand the emotions you must be feeling now. I can tell you though that as one of your “loyal followers”, it takes the winds out of all of our sails. You have so many people cheering you on and just hoping you will catch a break. Once again, you amaze me with your strength in being able to share your journey. You inspire so many and have taught us to live each day to the fullest. Please keep fighting and know that you have an army of supporters sending good vibes and love your way.

  9. Diana C says:

    Bret: My heart goes out to you. In some small way I know what you must be thinking and feeling, but you should continue to persevere and hope. Never give up hope and continue to live your life at the fullest speed. Strength to both of you.

  10. HP says:

    I bet we could come up with just the right words for this on Words With Friends… Seriously, pissed at the universe with & for you. Ready to battle it out on the scrabble board – very therapeutic and cheaper than retail therapy. Hugs and love to you & Shan. Love you guys!

  11. Kirstie says:

    I do not know you, yet I love you. The only words that know to say are to lay down your fear, place all of your worries at His feet. He who gave you this life, loves you. He will take care of you. All that is required of you is to want Him, and then, to TRUST Him. Prayer will be my priority for such a courageous soul.

  12. Marianne Borrelli says:

    Bret and Shannon I’m so sorry to hear your news today. Lost for words. Know that I love you and will keep praying for some better news. You are a tough cookie. Keep searching for the silver lining, around that dark cloud. I know it’s there somewhere. Keep riding in a good direction. Love you both.

  13. ginger johannes says:

    LIVE TO THE FULLEST…. every wonder filled day…


  14. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    Dear Bret and Shan,
    As with so many others, the wind was also knocked out of of our sails when we learned of this latest news. You have both been in our thoughts and in our hearts constantly and we’re so sorry you have to deal with yet another stumbling block. We are, however, confident, knowing you both, that you will draw strength from one another just as you have all along, and you will pick yourself up again, and forge ahead with the same amazing positive attitude and determination that continues to inspire us all. Keep fighting, Bret and NEVER give up hope because you do indeed have that whole “army of supporters” who love you and are cheering you on no matter what comes your way.
    Sending you both all our love always,
    Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon

  15. Kelly says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hang on and finish the ride in style!!

  16. Jill St. George Forsythe says:

    Bret & Shannon,
    I have been thinking about you since I read this post… You have experienced some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows. You keep returning to your love and courage to fight through. Like many other faithful follwers I firmly believe that you are the man that can overcome this. I think the Chumbawamba post was spot on. It is definitely your theme song. Stay strong. You are in my thoughts.

  17. Sally Leeson says:

    To borrow from JoEllen Fahy Schubmehl, “honk, honk, honk” times ten, times a hundred, times a thousand, times as many readers as there are on this blog!

  18. Eileen says:

    Bret, I have been following your blog since you came to Louisiana at the beginning of your trip. I look forward to reading your messages every day. I know that the news you recieved must be devasting but you cannot quit with your dreams. I hope that you and Shannon return to your original plans and continue your travels. Only God knows what your future is so why not let him carry you on your next chapter of your life. I am sure that everyone that reads your words keeps you in their prayers and thoughts each and every day. Keep your dream alive and ride as you orginally planned. I wish you and Shannon the best and please remember that everyone is praying for you.

  19. Geof Williams says:

    Really sorry to hear of your news. My thoughts are with you both. Try to let your head clear and follow your heart-we would all do well to do that-you will find a good direction again. Let us know if there is something we can do.

  20. mary beer says:

    Oh Bret and Shannon! I have been leary to read your post in fear that the biopsy news would not be good. It must be excrutiating to dig deep to find the courage to keep fighting but dig deep you must. You have come so far and there is still so much for you to see and do! I’m praying that you will seize the day and eat what you want, hug your neices and nephews to pieces, laugh till your sides hurt and get back on the road to Alaska and soak in the majesty of our beautiful world…you have been blessed with the opportunity to see so much more than most of us could even ever imagine….but mostly blessed to be loved by so many. We are continuing to pray for you every day…hard to understand why the prayers do not seem to be answered….I do believe that there is higher purpose to your journey. Be sure to also take time sometimes to be still and know that He is with your. Will continue to pray that everyday will continue to be your best day!

  21. Laurie Sherner says:

    My dear Bret. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are feeling, so won’t presume to tell you to chin up. In fact, be angry, be indignant and get it all out! Then consider this: not one of us on the planet know what lies ahead nor how long we will live. Maybe, with this in mind and knowing of your love of adventure and desire to travel — just maybe you should go full speed ahead with your travel plans, keep sampling your favorite foods with the love of your life by your side and tremendous family. Keep riding in a good direction with the knowledge that we are going to watch your progress, and that we are totally behind you. We will marvel as you see new sights, cry with you if setbacks come and we’ll be there totally cheering you on. May God give you strength to forge ahead and keep fighting. You are my hero!

  22. Kristen Brown-Greisch says:

    Keep strong and hold on to each other. Every day you live is one more together. Today is Sunday and one year ago today I lost my Mom to cancer. I wish for one more day, everyday. I can keep my spirits up and not be sad because of YOU! I read this blog every chance I get and am thankful beyond words to have been included in this journey of yours. You and Shannon both are two of the toughest, stongest and most genuine people I “know”. Together you will get through this, I believe that with all my heart. I have had 2 cancer scares myself this year, and to be honest, I face those possibilities with a whole new light because of you and your strenght. I have more hope and enjoy more of the little things in life because of your words. Thank you is all I can say, but that doesn’t begin to cover the grateful feelings I have for you and your family for sharing your struggle with us all.


  23. Cousin Michelle, Mario, and Simona says:

    Bret, I was finding it hard to come up with the words to respond to what you are going through. All I know is that like the 22 people before me said, you are one amazingly strong and insprirational person. You have touched so many who know you and half that dont even know you but now do because of your spirit, drive, and determination during this fight. No one knows why we are thrown the obstacles we are in this life but you are the one who can beat it. You have love and support all around you. Keep you head held high and continue riding the journey. May everyday always continue to be your best day! We love you!

  24. Bree Miller says:

    I am so sorry about this news but I know that you will keep living life to the fullest. Not a day goes by that I don’t “check in” on the blog and I was afraid of this posting. You are such an amazing person and I will keep checking in to hear about your journey to Alaska and beyond:-) I love you and Shan dearly!!!

  25. Yvonne M Sellers says:

    Dear Bret & Shannon.. I add my voice to all of the others when I say how sorry I am to read your post, to find that your fears were confirmed. I read daily, and have read from post #1, following your journey, in awe of your strength & courage. There is so much more of your story together to be written, more life to live, more love to share. Take this as your best day, the day you realize there is still more strength within, to continue on your ride in a good direction. My thoughts and prayers are with you, today, and all of the tomorrows.

  26. Lisa (Moore) Boomhower says:


    There is not a day that goes by that I do not read your blog. In the beginning my husband Mike would ask me what I was reading and I explained to him how I knew you and what was happening in your life. When I am reading the blog around Mike he always asks how you are doing. When I read the post about the bumps you had removed, he said keep me posted. This afternoon I read the results to him. You and Shannon have to be one of the strongest couples we know. I have often heard my Mom say God will not give you more than you can handle. I believe those words and God must believe you are strong.

    This journey that we call life is a ride is a good direction. You and Shannon are in our prayers.

    Make everyday your best day Bret! Thank you for the inspiration!


  27. Nanette Hance says:

    As I read your news about the biopsy results, the Serenity Prayer immediately came to mind as it best describes you and the way you continue to meet the challenges before you . . . and Bret, may God grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change; the courage to change the things you can and wisdom to know the difference. And, most of all, may you and Shannon find comfort in each others embrace and love. May you both find strength in knowing that so many others are thinking of, and praying for you, as you continue to ride in a good direction.
    All my love … Nan

  28. ~so so sorry~
    SHIT! DAMN IT! $%)&%!!
    I read your blog daily…was waiting all weekend in anticipation for the results, really thinking all would be ok….
    (i am waiting for results too of a lump on breast…waiting is so very hard)
    Go to alaska…
    ride hard, ride long, don’t stop…let the sun shine upon you…
    **A champion is someone who gets up, even when he can’t**
    You are a champion in every sense of the word!!

    bless you and shannon and your wonderful family and friends..
    my prayers are with you.

  29. Cheri Gerber says:

    Bret-Your latest news is heart wrenching. I sit here trying to think of something to say that will somehow inspire you for you have inspired so many. To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: “Leave no stone unturned.” Edward Bulwer Lyttonsay. Keep doing what you are doing and live your life to the fullest. Just remember all the good you have in your life. Your wife, family, friends of old and new. For you, Bret, are truly blessed. May God comfort you during this difficult time.

    Keep on riding!

  30. Dani Solberg says:

    this news hit me like it happened to me. i go in for tests tomorrow and results on tuesday. not easy to hear this news before i go. i am soo sorry you are going through this. your strength impresses me each day and helps me continue down my road. i hope you guys continue on your trip and see all of the places you have always wanted to go and do it together. continue “riding in a good direction”-hugs to you all, Dani (ccs friend)

  31. Rebecca (Rector) Lauriault says:

    Hi Bret,
    So very sorry to hear your latest news. I have been reading your posts on a weekly basis. Keep “riding in a good direction”. Keeping you and Shannon in my thoughts and prayers. My mom sends her prayers along too. Thank you for keeping us all updated.

  32. Judy Lynd says:

    Bret and Shannon…so sorry the news was not good…as always we pray God will give you the strength to pick up the pieces, hold each other tight, and continue to follow your dreams. As John’s mother, who lost her husband when he was very young told us when we got married…”always remember it’t not how long you will have each other, but the quality of the time you have together”..what an example of this you two are… keep riding together, our thoughts and prayers will always be with you. Judy and John

  33. Aunt Bo says:

    I am at a loss for words or unable to find the words to communicate how I feel. I wanted to you have so much more time before you hit the next roadblock…but there was another plan.
    I say go…as long as you are feeling well..for whatever it is worth..go! and enjoy each day to the fullest.
    You continue to remind me to do that. Today is my best day.
    I am so glad you were able to connect with Katie and Mark last night…one upside of the postponed trip. 🙂

  34. Crissy Kid says:

    ((((BIG HUGS)))) to you both………..

  35. Danielle P. West-Chuhta says:

    Keep riding in that good direction, Bret. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  36. Marcy says:

    Thinking of you and your family today. Will continue to and pray that there is an answer to this. We are still so amazed and in awe of you.

  37. casey says:

    keeping you all – as always – in our thoughts.

  38. Jessica Scott Wolfanger says:


    I’m so sorry about your latest results. Please know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers.


  39. Jennifer Gause says:

    I have been reading your blog for months now. Every post has inspired me. We met once about 8 years ago after the birth of my first child. You and Shannon stopped by our house one evening to say, “Hi” as you guys were passing through King. I continually keep you, Shannon, and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Your zest for life and perseverance is evident through your writing and your actions throughout this journey. Keep “riding in that good direction” and let your passion and love for all you hold dear continue to propel you forward. Blessings and love to you and Shannon.

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