Backpacking and Breast Cancer
I posted the following statement on July 18, 2016.
We cancelled our plans for a family backpacking trip to Colorado this summer because a backpack and chest expanders are a bad combination. (Just wearing a seat belt across my chest right now about drives me batty.) Next summer the Harms family will be climbing some mountains.
On July 11, 2017 we climbed a mountain. Well, kind of. We climbed most of the way up a mountain in Byers Peak Wilderness in Colorado. We camped by Horseshoe Lake 11,200 feet above sea level where we were secluded from the world (except for one other family and their 4 alpacas 🙂 )
It was fantastic.
I love backpacking with my family. Something about all of us doing a challenging thing together brings me great joy. I love the taste of Mountain Meals eaten out of a bag while sitting on the ground, and I love relaxing by the campfire together before retiring our sore bodies to our tiny little tents. I could do without the middle of the night trips to the outdoor loo, but I guess it wouldn’t be backpacking if I didn’t have to pee outside.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, our friends/tax guy/realtor Chris and Tami Hicks offered us a week of their timeshare. Not only did they offer it, they made sure we took them up on the offer by reminding us every month or two that they wanted to give us a vacation. So thank you Chris and Tami for the condo with a view of the Rockies, and for helping me accomplish a goal.
We had a fantastic week of swimming, rafting, hiking, eating lots of junk and relaxing in our own personal hot tub room.
My boys might say that rafting or cliff jumping was their favorite part of the trip, but for me it was definitely the backpacking.
Last year at this time I was recovering from reconstruction surgery #2, and dreaming about the day when I might be able to extend my arms over my head again. This year I strapped on a 20 lb. backpack and climbed a mountain.
Last year going for a half-mile walk with Corey was a grand accomplishment. This year I hiked for hours on what alltrails.com lists as a HARD trail.
Last year I had no feeling in my alien breasts. This year…still no feeling 😉 (A relatively small price to pay to rid my body of cancer.)
But that’s not really what this is about. This is about living the life God gave me to the fullest.
Last year that meant a lot of resting and letting other people take care of me. This year it means checking the goals off my Post Cancer To Do List and hopefully encouraging other women who are in the midst of hard things.
Backpacking is my last checkmark.
I guess it’s time to write a new one.