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. NancyTex December 23, 2014 / 12:53 am

    Merle is a warrior, and filled with courage. Sending love and light your way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. MichelleMarie December 23, 2014 / 12:02 am

    OH my you are really dealing with something that is life changing and also it causes us to reach very deep when one battles a disease such as this. My girl from the age of 2 has battled sickness and disease and I can tell you while it has been gut wrenching watching her suffer it also has been so rewarding because each year with her I watch her grow stronger and stronger. I love this post it is very encouraging! Climbing mountains together like this takes a different kind of courage because you heart is invested 100%. Blessings to you and I will pray for you and your family as you make this journey together! Hugs to you and loving prayers! MM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 3:42 pm

      Hey thanks Michelle, Deb (Merle) will work through this and we’ll all help her…

      Life is a journey, but we can never be sure which path it will take us on! Cheers, Baz

      Like

  3. ksbeth December 22, 2014 / 11:01 pm

    what a lovely and thoughtful gesture. this is a wonderful idea from your sister, to help others to feel and understand and to support her, and what courage she has! hugs to her and to your entire family as she begins this next journey ) beth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baz - The Landy December 23, 2014 / 3:45 pm

      She surely is and she will come through this stronger than ever…!

      Like

  4. Travel Spirit December 22, 2014 / 9:10 pm

    She has such a wonderful attitude and is able to convey her emotions so eloquently. I pray for her healing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 22, 2014 / 10:08 pm

      Hey sweetie, thanks, and you know prayers truly work…! Thanks, Baz

      Liked by 1 person

  5. osarobohenry December 22, 2014 / 8:54 pm

    Thank you so much Baz for stopping by at my blog and for liking one of my posts which link me to your blog. God’s blessings to you and compliment of the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. wildsherkin December 22, 2014 / 8:05 pm

    Hi Baz, this has brought me to tears. What an amazing person she is to have such courage and the sensitivity to think of others while facing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 22, 2014 / 10:07 pm

      Man, she just blows you apart…she is truly amazing!

      Like

  7. Sas December 22, 2014 / 7:10 pm

    Sorry to hear you sad news Baz x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 22, 2014 / 10:06 pm

      Hey Sas, life can throw lots at you, but how you tackle it is what defines us as people and Deb isn’t someone that will take it lying down…!

      Like

  8. Barbara Grandberg December 22, 2014 / 6:14 pm

    your sister is amazing….sending lots of healthy thoughts her way….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 22, 2014 / 10:04 pm

      Hey BG, you are amazing and we both take strength from you!

      Like

    • mmmmerle March 25, 2015 / 4:48 am

      Thank you Barbara for your thoughts and taking the time to visit and express them. I do not consider myself amazing, just living life each day as we all do, I just have a bit more of a challenge that’s all.
      I think Baz is truly amazing, I am blessed that I have a brother such as him. Love him to pieces/

      Like

  9. Deb December 22, 2014 / 4:24 pm

    I hope the best for your sister. It would have taken amazing courage to even write the note.

    We have a friend who went through the cancer experience. In one of those quieter conversations I remember him saying that in some ways he was lucky to get the disease. He re-evaluated everything. Bought the ranch he always wanted, built a house that was his dream, and enjoyed the land and his cows to the fullest. His happiest moment was seeing his “sea of cows”. He stopped putting things off and found happiness in every moment. I hope your sister finds her equivalent to “a sea of cows”!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 22, 2014 / 10:03 pm

      Thanks Deb, and you know, if you live one day at a time, just living the moment, you can get through anything, and that is how life should be…thanks for sharing your great insight, I know Merle will be touched by it… 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:32 am

      Thank you for sharing this story, I now visualize those “sea of cows” and dreams do really come true. X

      Like

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 3:05 am

      Thank you for sharing this story, I visualize those “sea of cows” reinforcing my belief to take each moment and embrace it and rejoice in it…!!!

      Like

      • Deb March 22, 2015 / 5:43 am

        Thank you for reading the comment. I wish I had a picture of the ranch . It’s a work of love.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      Thank you for sharing the story, i now visualize those “sea of cows” and dreams really do come true !

      Like

  10. Anonymous December 22, 2014 / 4:06 pm

    A letter full of meaning, hope and love for all Merle’s family and friends. Lots of good thoughts and prayers for the journey ahead

    Liked by 1 person

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:34 am

      Thank you for you for your kind thoughts.

      Like

  11. Lavinia Ross December 22, 2014 / 3:31 pm

    Your sister Merle and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as you climb your mountain. She is a beautiful sister!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Baz - The Landy December 22, 2014 / 10:01 pm

      Hey Lavinia, two wonderful women in my life, Janet and Deb..you wouldn’t think a bloke could be so lucky… Yes, she truly is beautiful and Merle has enriched the life of all who have been touched by her…! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 3:01 am

      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, they mean a lot!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:53 am

      Thank you for your kind words

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mary Strong-Spaid March 22, 2015 / 12:26 pm

        Merle! It is I who should thank you for the kind words!
        Your courage was with me when I had lung surgery on January 20. I didn’t understand how I could possibly have lung cancer when I felt fine, wasn’t coughing, had never smoked…etc. etc. But the nodule that the doctors removed was cancerous–an “adenocarcinoma.” I am told that I am lucky, because the cancer was determined to be a Stage 1A and had not spread to the surrounding areas.
        The recovery from the surgery has been rather difficult. It was a pretty big cut the surgeon made! Removed a lobe from my right lung and broke a rib along the way too. When I woke up (and for many days after that), I felt like I actually had fallen off the top of a mountain top, to be sure. Hurt so much..
        After all of that though, I still have my voice and I still have the music. So happy to be able to continue to enjoy “moments of being,” I am! So glad to have met you, Merle.
        http://storieswithnobooks.com/2014/08/14/singing-darkness-into-light/

        Like

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:59 am

      Thank you for that!!

      Like

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:51 am

      Thank you..I feel the warmth.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:58 am

      Thank you for your thoughts

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Linda Visman - wangiwriter December 22, 2014 / 3:06 pm

    Your sister has courage in abundance, Baz. May it never diminish. Make the most of what you have. Blessings on Merle.

    Liked by 2 people

      • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:49 am

        My dear brother,family, friends and people such as you inspire and make my life so rich and wonderful every single day.
        Thank you for your words of encouragement.

        Like

    • mmmmerle March 22, 2015 / 2:57 am

      My dear brother,family,friends And people such as you, inspire and make my life so rich and wonderful every single day.
      Thank you for your words of encouragement!!

      Liked by 1 person

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