April 24th 6a.m., 2010. I wake up this morning with the excitement of another expedition. Waking is such a gift. Just 3 years ago I was fighting for my life. During the bone marrow transplant period I remember going to sleep and wondering if I would wake up in the morning. Waking is such a gift. At one point I had set a goal. After my
4th round of Rutaxan, a nasty last chance Chemotherapy, my physical strength was gone. I returned home and set the goal of being able to walk to my mail box just 40 yards down the road. My first journey out I made it to the bottom of my steps just 10 feet from the front door of my house. The mailbox expedition would have to wait another day as I could just make it back up the steps and the 10 feet back to my sofa. For 7 months I lay all day on the sofa. Daily I would try for the mailbox. At one point I encountered a white owl sitting above my Koi pond on one of my attempts. At the time I didn’t know the significance but recently found that native Americans believe that death is near when a white owl presents itself. It took me 14 days before I could make the 40 yards to the mail box.
This morning I am thankful. It has taken 4 years to recover but I can finally say I am healthier, stronger than I was before transplant. Today I depart to climb a peak called Kyajo Ri. A 20,390 foot peak west of Everest. In 2002 I tried the first ascent of the peak on its east face. We hope for a 6 day ascent from Base Camp on its south face.
I want to thank: My friends( you know who you are) family (too many to list), Dr. Linenberger, Dr. Keel, Natalia Rudovsky, Anne and Charlie Diemer, Dr Steve Carter, Kishor and Dawn Shrestha, Bob and Georgia Conglton, Michael Brannon, Fabrizio Zangrilli. Support from the gang at active.com, Nalgene , Steripen, North Face, and Black Diamond, Smith Sunglasses.
A special Thanks to my wife, Thank you, Thank you , Thank you
Thank you all for helping me wake this morning. Waking is such a gift.