Sunday, September 23, 2012

First Descents: Day Four

It was eleven-thirty pm.  Six am breakfast was quickly approaching, but I couldn't get myself to write a blog post or go to sleep because I was just to busy giggling with my new sisters.  Two queen beds, six women, and way too many cancer jokes.  (While kidney cancer doesn't lend itself to many puns, breast cancer and vulvar cancer are just way too fun).  How will we ever be able to leave each other in two days?!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Descents: Day Three

Today I am amazed by the power of those around me.  Marette (a.k.a. Ponch) made multiple full ascents despite missing all the toes on her left foot due to amputation.  Charlie (a.k.a. Yogi) has not only been battling Asbergers and brain cancer, but pushed himself so hard today that his hands are covered in ridiculously huge blisters.  Erica (a.k.a. Everything) and I both climbed routes we didn't think were possible and shared our subsequent emotional breakdowns.  And my new "sister" Tikvah (a.k.a. Tiki) has discovered not only a new love for climbing, but an incredible talent for it as well.

On a lighter note, on a climb today I managed to lift my foot above my head, place it on a foot hold and then pull myself up to meet it.  It was little short of an act of God.  Pictures coming soon.

Monday, September 17, 2012

First Descents: Day Two

Lessons learned from my first day on the rock:

  • The importance of trust.  Yesterday I met Terri (a.k.a. Waldo) for the first time.  Today she held my life in her hands as my belayer.  As I climbed a darn steep rock face, she held the rope that would save my life should I fall.  And I had no choice but to have faith that she would be there for me.  (She was :))
  • My body is capable of way more than I give it credit for.  The last year has been an extreme test for my poor body.  Natural childbirth, kidney cancer, a few running PR's, and now some serious rock climbing.  This afternoon, we're returned to the rock after a much needed respite from the hellishly hot sun.  One of the guides set up a new route on a large crack that climbed up the wall at close to a 90 degree angle.  It was ridiculous.  Straight up with huge distances between real foot holds, this climb was way above my skill level.  I doubted my arm strength, my level of endurance, (which lately seems close to zero), and my limited rock climbing experience.  And somehow, through some creative thinking, a few blisters, and tons of sweat, I made it thirty feet up that rock. 
I have met so many amazing people and have already done more than I imagined I could handle.  I can't wait to see what more will happen this week!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Descents: Day One

Day One at First Descents: Moab.  The leaves are changing in the mountains and the drive was beautiful.  I'm camped out at a fabulous, fancy cabin with 14 other cancer survivors and 12 staff members.  The scenery is breathtaking, the company is great, and the food is scrumptious (elk burgers, quinoa salad, hummus and hiccuma, banana-peanut butter pudding...).

Tonight we all introduced ourselves with our official FD nickname and said a little bit about why we came to camp.

"My name is Beast, I live in Denver, and I'm here because I like to prove to myself that I can do hard things."

Tomorrow is our first day of climbing. Bring on the hard things!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Okay... I'm way behind.

But things are going great around here.

I finally feel back to my normal self (mostly).  Today marks 3 months since surgery which means I have ZERO restrictions.  I went running twice this week (a pitiful attempt compared to where I was 3 months ago), and I'm leaving this Sunday for a rock climbing trip with First Descents.  I'm stoked (and mildly terrified).

Will is doing great.  He's officially walking.  And he's the cutest baby in the world.  Have I mentioned that before?

And Grant has been busy around the house.  Latest projects include painting (of course), building a compost barrel, installing a hitch on his Camry, and assembling a trailer to tow our various crap around.  He is impressive.

While there are certainly overwhelming 'motherhood days," we are so grateful to be healthy, happy, and most importantly, together.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's tough to be an (almost) toddler

Today Will...

  • Fell down the front porch and hit his head on the concrete
  • Slipped and hit his forehead on the corner of the garden bed
  • Got his leg trapped under the garage door
  • Fell backwards from standing in the tub and hit his head

Yes, that was all today.  Yes, he basically landed on the front, side, and back of his head on three different falls.  And yes, somehow we all made it through.