Posted by wendy on 2012/04/09
I knew when I got my port-a-cath removed last August that I wanted to do something special with it–I just wasn’t sure what. I had loads of suggestions, but it wasn’t until M suggested we hike our way up Helvellyn over the Easter holiday that the plan coalesced in my head. I would climb Helvellyn and bury my port at the summit.
Mind you, I’ve never actually climbed a mountain before, so let’s all imagine my shock (and awe) at how incredibly difficult this climb was for me. Difficult–and completely terrifying–and oh hey, can you SEE the metaphor forming? I mean, seriously, I had a little metaphor-shaped cloud hanging over me from around the 400 meter mark and beyond. I mean, seriously. Incredibly difficult on a physical level? Check. Painful? Check. Mortal fear? Check. Icy cold wind making my face numb? Well, okay. That bit was new. 😉
We hiked, we climbed–and once or twice, I scooted on my butt because I couldn’t figure out any other way to get from one rock to another–but, we made it to the summit, and I buried my port inside a cairn just north of the summit marker.
There are cairns all over Helvellyn. All the way up and back down again. It’s tradition for climbers to toss another rock on the cairns as they go by. I think it’s a way of saying “I was here.”
It may come back. It may be the thing that gets me in the end. That is the reality we all live with. But, now–here and now–I feel stronger and less afraid than ever.
I was here.
There are more shots on my Facebook page, if you want a peek.