Cancer and Courage, our Mount Everest

Mt Aspiring

Courage is a very powerful word when you look behind its meaning…

“…to have courage is to have the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation”.

The word courage has been casually discussed around our dinner table amongst family and close friends in the context of my journey to the mountains, a journey that one day will lead me towards the summit of Mount Everest, fulfilling the dream of a young boy who has always believed that anything is possible –  just believe in that dream!

This week my sister Debbie, who is affectionately known to us as Merle, and I spoke about my journey and what it meant for her. Whilst she is an exceptionally talented musician and accomplished athlete it seems she never got that climbing and mountaineering gene.

And rest assured, I never got that musical gene. If they handed out awards for singing in the shower I’d still go home empty handed.

But as we spoke on the telephone tears rolled silently down my face…

Recently, Deb was diagnosed with cancer, a cancer that has taken a significant hold on her body in a relatively short period of time.

And here she was encouraging me to chase my dream, assuring me that she took great strength from my dream and my journey – and making me promise that no matter what happens to her that I must continue on my journey.

As we spoke she explained that the cancer that has infected her precious body is her own Mount Everest.

She reached out and said…

“Baz, take my hand and we will climb our own Mount Everest together, one step at a time, for that is the only way”.

Deb, Merle sent the following note to her many friends recently and I want to share it with you. I’m hopeful that it will inspire, inspire those who perhaps face their own Mount Everest…

Yes, courage is a very powerful word and I learnt its true meaning this week…

 The Beginning of a New Chapter

By “Merle”

A wonderful sister...
Merle, A  beautiful sister…

I am beginning a very important journey. So much to achieve, new directions to take, challenges to overcome, happiness to be found….endless opportunities to grab hold of. A time to redefine, evolve and embrace life to the fullest.

With the love and support of my family and dear friends, long standing and new, it will hopefully be a celebration of the human spirit that lives within us all. I am blessed that I have today and the time to make each moment count… moments that we can reflect and smile upon. Moments of “BEING” whatever that may be and wherever it may takes us.

I will be taking each precious day at a time and endeavouring to seek all the happiness and joy each of them bring. I will be promoting and encouraging all who know me to do the same. My one wish and only wish is for everyone to not focus on the disease (that is the doctor’s job) it is what it is. Find the love, joy, precious “ididocic” (idiotic) moments filled with laughter and all the happiness in the world during this time. NOT EASY…CHALLENGES NEVER ARE…DEFINITELY DOABLE!!!!

I understand this is a big ask for all who stand on the perimeter of watching someone they love go through this. To me, it is counter-productive to dissect and try to analyse and make sense of this disease consuming my body. It would obscure the human spirit that defines ME as a person…I am most afraid of losing sight of who I am in all this. If you can help, it would be beneficial not only for me, but ALL of us, please participate however and in whatever way you can to… HELP ME…REMIND ME…REMEMBER AND ENHANCE THE MEMORIES!!! For after all, this chapter is NOT ALL ABOUT ME. It is about ALL of us and what we gain from this experience.

CONFRONTING…yes, very much so. If not confronted we have not the opportunity to overcome this.

SCARY…mmmm!!! I imagine it could be at times. I do believe, always have, that knowledge and sharing is powerful. The understanding gained and shared puts things in perspective and allows you to take away or minimise the “scariness” to some degree.

SAD….definitely, we will all feel it. Sadness is a positive emotion, I believe it shows how much we truly treasure, connect and love each other. It is an emotion to not hide…we cannot be BRAVE all the time, that would be counter-productive, and we would go insane. Release the tears, smile and begin again.

“IDIDOCIC” MOMENTS…Yes please, lots and lots of them!!!   Also remember past “ididocic” experiences and share with everyone who will listen. Laugh, BIG belly laughs and rejoice!!!!

I am looking forward to the moments we will all share and I am truly blessed, humbled and consider myself the most fortunate person on this earth to have such beautiful people in my life. Thank you for being you and hold on…this journey is going to be a big one with lots of opportunities.

Love Merle x x x

70 thoughts on “Cancer and Courage, our Mount Everest

  1. Geoff Smith March 16, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing this,my beautiful sister in law was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia just over 2 years ago and underwent a marrow transplant just over 12mths ago now,she has been through hell and it continually fighting for her health,your story and my sister in-laws has changed my whole attitude to life…..bless her and thank you again for sharing her coragous attitude and journey.Yours Geoff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy March 17, 2015 / 11:14 am

      Thanks Geoff…life is so fragile, precious!


  2. Holistic Wayfarer January 28, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    I want to say sorry but in the spirit of the beautiful letter will cheer you on to take her hand and climb.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amy Christine December 31, 2014 / 11:46 am

    Sorry to hear about your sister! She sounds so strong and beautiful in the letter 🙂

    Lots of good vibes and hugs going your way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 31, 2014 / 11:57 am

      Thanks sweetie, have a rum for us both! 🙂


  4. Shelley December 23, 2014 / 4:06 pm

    Wow. Am moved by your sister’s courage and attitude to a horrendous disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 4:36 pm

      Thanks Shelley, you know at the end of the day we can’t change what is, but we can decide on how we deal with it.

      And Deb (Merle) is tackling it head-on with an amazing attitude to it, and life in general…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. greg894 December 23, 2014 / 1:29 pm

    Sorry to read that mate.

    Wishing you and your family a blessed Christmas, and I hope you treasure your special time together.

    Thanks for sharing us in on all your exploits.

    Kind regards


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tiny December 23, 2014 / 12:43 pm

    What an amazing sister you have! Her courage and caring is truly inspirational. I pray that she’ll climb her Everest in no time and will soon stand triumphantly on the top looking at the world saying “We did it!”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 3:49 pm

      And being slightly impatient she’ll do it sooner, rather than later…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 10:07 pm

      I will get there, slowly but surely…it is the only way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tiny March 23, 2015 / 12:49 am

        It is the way! And you’re not climbing alone.


  7. ingrid December 23, 2014 / 11:33 am

    So inspiring … Your sister will be in my prayers .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 3:48 pm

      Ingrid, she’ll appreciate that, we all will…


  8. Kimbalee December 23, 2014 / 9:56 am

    Brave beautiful words from Debbie … True strength x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 3:48 pm

      And hey it is people like you that give us the strength, thanks for all you do for us sweetie!


    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 10:08 pm

      Thank you Kimbalee…will catch up soon.


    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 3:47 pm

      Thanks Tony, and watch out when we all pull together, which we’re doing right now…Cheers, Baz


  9. ME and the Boss December 23, 2014 / 1:04 am

    Merle, you and all of those who share your journey are in our prayers.
    ME and the Boss

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks, and your flowers are always uplifting!


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