Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mountains To Climb

Last summer Sue and I took a 50 mile backpack through the Sierra Nevada mountains. Backpacking the Sierras has been our summer custom for as long as we’ve been married (coming up on 29 years now). We hiked a familiar trail out of Kings Canyon – the Rae Lakes Loop. Sue carried a 35 pound pack up steep trails, over a 12,000 foot pass and back to the point of beginning in five days. 10 miles a day in steep terrain with a 35 pound pack is pretty good for a 50-ish lady (who looks 30-ish, you know).

Yesterday we took a level ¼ mile hike along the paved road from Lakeview Cottages to dam number 2 at Huntington Lake. The accomplishment was almost as exhilarating to Sue as cresting that 12,000 foot pass last summer. During the previous two weeks of whamo therapy (my new term for chemo therapy) Sue would not have had the energy to make that short hike. This was her first off week and by the end of it Sue actually had the energy to do more than sleep, rest, and sleep. Being able to take this short hike was a ray of hope; maybe she will again be able to climb mountains.

Meantime, she has a different kind of mountain to climb. Doc has prescribed three more two-week sessions of whamo thereapy, each followed by one week off. Then, who knows? A lot of people can’t or won’t climb the mountains they face. That’s not Sue. It may take her a while, but if there’s a trail up and over the mountain, she’s going to climb it.

1 comment:

  1. Being the caregiver has just as many challenges as the patient. It can be tiring to always give the support. Be sure to take care of yourself too. It is good to see you have many friends and family to help you on this emotional roller coaster. Because "fine" can mean fine, and "fine" can also mean that's all I can say at the moment without breaking down. As one person once asked me, "are you really "fine", or are you just saying "fine" to get through the day?" Some days, it is okay to say "fine".

    From another perspective, I discovered a new appreciation for my Dad from watching him lovingly care for my Mom when she was sick. I realized how much love, care and devotion he gave to me when I was little and so dependent.

    Prayers are sent directly to God for you, specifically for you. The caretaker. The worrier. The scheduler. The protector. The info-relayer. The launderer, cleaner, shopper, errand-runner, yard keeper, meal prepper, shoulder, and rock! Your task is also a mountain, and I pray that God will show you "a trail and give you the energy to climb it."