What I didn’t know…

Exactly 1 month ago today, I stood on the summit of Mt. Rainier. 

It was the “Climb to Fight Cancer” to benefit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

I was climbing for my sister. 

I was climbing for my mother-in-law.

But what I didn’t know?

I was climbing for me. Exactly 10 days after I stood on the summit of Mt. Rainier, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

My sister Trina battled non-Hodgkin Lymphoma for 8 years, and was just told last Friday she is in remission. When we heard this news, my husband and I fell into each other’s arms, each of us crying with visceral joy.

My mother-in-law Marsha is knee-deep in her fight with Pancreatic cancer, enduring months of chemo, readying her body for a major surgery this fall.

I am now in that fight. My climb, as it turns out, could not have been closer to a version of irony that I can think of.


More specifically Invasive Lobular Carcinoma in my left breast. It’s also in the lymph nodes.

 All those climbs (originally for Breast Cancer) for the Hutch. Who knew I would ultimately be climbing for myself.

 I have to believe everyone who has said to me “You are strong. You will beat this”. I am and I will.

 Also, I have a sick sense of humor, so I have decided I need a t-shirt that reads:

 “I climbed Mt. Rainier, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. And cancer.”