Saturday, 21 November 2009

the view from the summit... Cycle 6, Day 12

I've come to the conclusion that undergoing a course of chemotherapy is a bit like climbing a mountain.  

It requires a considerable amount of time-consuming preparation before you take the first step.  Going through the foothills isn't difficult but it takes time, and you can sometimes lose sight of the goal.  

The closer you get to the summit, the steeper the ascent and the harder the going underfoot.  The air is thinner, it takes more energy to climb.  Tough terrain and bad weather can cause occasional set backs and delays.  There is altitude sickness and exhaustion to contend with, as well as the risk of frost bite and dehydration.  

There are times that the cold is almost unbearable, and you are sorely tempted to turn back...But the end is in sight, and you can't give up now, even though the final ascent requires all the determination you can muster and it takes every ounce of energy you possess to reach the summit.

And then you are there, on the top. Cold, exhausted, aching, but relieved to have made it.  You have come out of the clouds and can see see the way ahead, whereas up until now you have just pressed on putting one foot in front of the other, step by laborious step.  

But the journey doesn't end having reached the summit. You still have to make your way back down again, summoning up some more energy from somewhere to work that tired body for the descent.  Gradually things get easier as the body readjusts to breathing more oxygen. The altitude sickness eases off then disappears altogether.  The gradient lessens, the ground becomes easier, and the aches and pains get better....

Steve is now on the descent. It will take a while before the side effects of the chemo wears off and his energy levels pick up.  But he's on the right track, going in the right direction and slowly but surely, it will get better with every passing day.  

Post script

As the next blog will be No 100, I have asked Steve to write it (about time he contributed to the blog, other than telling me about my appalling grammar and typos)....Whether he will, or not, is another matter!  Watch this space.

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