Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Climb...

What??!!  He went to Whistler?
Doesn't he know he has Stage 4 Lung Cancer?
He is on Chemo for Christsake...
Is he supposed to be doing that stuff?

Time:  Yes I have the time, didn't even have to use a vacation day.
Resources:  Yes I have all the gear and the financial means to make the trip.
Energy:  I am at the end of my chemo cycle, so I feel the best that I will, and I feel pretty good.

All of the above are reasonable questions....yes I went to Whistler, and I did it in hardcore style.
We departed Olympia at 2 am and drove straight through to Whistler in order to be on that 9 am gondola.  Upon arrival to the mountain we were greeted with bluebird skies and new snow within the previous 48 hours.  My partners Casey and Royce led me to a pit stop at the Starbucks and we charged up the mountain.  After a gondola, a couple of chairlifts, a t-bar, a bootpack, and a long traverse we ended up at the foot of a pretty serious hike over on the Blackcomb side.  It was burly, I have done it before but that was a long time ago.  Yes, we are those knuckleheads who can't be satisfied with getting where the chairlifts can take us, we have to go further, higher......
The question was actually posed, do you want to do it?
Anybody who knows me, knows that there is only one answer to that question, yes......lets do it. Sometimes in my head I forget that I am Jim Brown "Cancer Patient", this was one of those times. Casey transitioned and started hiking in front of us, he was the carrot, I took up the middle position in line and Royce followed me.  There was a beautiful skin track but we were not on AT gear so it was boot packing for us.  The first 15 minutes were fine, just nice and steady, I will get there when I get there type of thing.
After awhile the idea that this was a pretty damned hard effort, set in and I had to refocus.  It was very warm in the sun but then when we got into the shade the temp dropped considerably.  Royce kept a close eye on me and checked in frequently, he gave me water and encouragement.
At what appeared to be the halfway point I was really having some doubts about my decision to take on the hike, but.....those that know me know there is no way I was going to abort the mission that I had started.  But I struggled,.... coming to terms with my new physical state is a slow process for this thickheaded fella.  The trail traversed and the summit saddle was out of sight, I knew it was there, Casey had disappeared, I had to keep pressing on.  The hike became a bit of a deathmarch.
30 steps then rest, 30 steps then rest, 30 steps then rest, and on and on.
Finally I made the saddle, and what was the first thing I saw?
Casey taking a piss......seriously.
The view beyond our vantage point was breathtaking and amazing, I was filled with emotion and my legs were wobbly with fatigue, I wouldn't even want to know what my heart rate values were during this effort, I think it would be kinda scary.
We basked in the sun, re-hydrated, had some laughs, and considered our next move.
Jim Brown's vote?  No more hiking, lets go down from here brothers.
We ripped some sweet turns into the bowl, and continued on our way.
Friday night brought Nate's arrival and we plotted out 2 more days of alpine bliss.
Great turns, great friends, awesome food, and a few gin and tonics rounded out the weekend.
I'm pretty sure Dr Eaton had written me a prescription for that exact formula.

Me and My Climb
"The Climb" as a metaphor for my life right now.

I faced a daunting and uphill task.
I could not see the summit or end point.
I had uncertainty but I tackled the job.
I kept a steady and even pace.
I faced emotions, and doubt.
I was helped along by my brothers.
I took water and nourishment to fuel my machine.
I felt sunshine and I felt the chill of the shade.
I did indeed reach the summit and reveled in the beauty.
I did feel satisfaction in knowing that I gave it all I had.

As I prevailed in "The Climb"I will prevail in my battle with cancer.
I will not be stopped.

I am a Warrior.
I am a Thrivor.
I am the Exception.
I Choose the Miracle.

Clinical News.

Last Thursday I bagged Chemotherapy round #15.
Next CT Scan is April 21st, I feel confident that it is going to report sustained stabilization of my disease, I base that confidence on how well I feel.

Prayer Request:

Complete healing from Metaststic Adenocarcinoma.
Continued restful sleep.
Peace for my family.

Thanks for checking in.
Hold Fast


Oh and Nate introduced me to the Raddest band: Sleaford Mods
NOT for everybody, Rated R.  NSFW
Had to add it, was a key part of the weekend, you will probably hate it.
The Spoils of the effort
Whistler Crew
(L to R) Royce, Casey, Myself, Nate
Round #15 Crew Tammy and Sarah


  1. Regarding prayer requests, on it!

  2. Regarding prayer requests, on it!

  3. What a trip!! We are definitely praying friend for each of your prayer requests!! Holding fast in prayer!!!

  4. What a trip!! We are definitely praying friend for each of your prayer requests!! Holding fast in prayer!!!

  5. Good for you, man. Looks like an epic trip

  6. Prayers continuing as you Hold Fast to the Creator...

  7. Prayers continuing as you Hold Fast to the Creator...

  8. You make me proud to know you.

    I hope to see you at Sae Otter.